Wood End Wildcat News

November 8, 2020 ~ Week B In-Person

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Hello Wood End Families,


As we begin this week, I'd like to take a moment to thank and honor all the men and women who have served or are currently serving in our armed forces. On Wednesday, November 11th, we recognize Veterans Day as the one day we can all stand together in respect for those who wear the uniform, serving and sacrificing for our great country. Please take a moment on this day to remember, honor, and thank our Veterans!


We still have about 30 families who need to update their contact information on the Portal. Classroom teachers have reached out to those individuals, and Mrs. Finigan will follow up again with another reminder. It's really important that we have accurate contact information on hand in the event we need to reach you.


We are looking forward to seeing the rest of our 3rd graders (Cohort B) on Monday. Beginning on November 16th, we will finally welcome back our grade 4-5 students in Cohort A, followed by their peers in Cohort B the following week, on November 23rd. I know this has been a long road for everyone and I appreciate all the support we have received along the way. I personally will be thrilled to have every student back in-person, even if it's in smaller groups. We have missed them!


As a reminder, if you did not pick up your child's supplies today, they will be available on Monday morning anytime after drop-off (after 8:30). You just need to ring the bell and we will bring the materials outside to you.


Wishing you all a great weekend,

Dr. King

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Recess Equipment for Every Classroom!

Great news! With the generous support of our PTO and some research by Andrea Freeman, who worked with our PE teacher Mr. Bauer and Physical Therapist, Alysia Redard, we will soon have new recess equipment for every class! Our students will be thrilled to have a variety of fun and interactive equipment to play with during outdoor recess. Some of this equipment will include:


Recess Kit for K-2

Sidewalk chalk

Playground ball/kick ball

Velcro catch set

Tennis balls

Jump ropes

Recess Kit for 3-5

Playground ball/kick ball

1 set of bases

Whiffle ball set (bat and ball)

Tennis balls

Frisbee

Scoop and catch set

Jump ropes

Skip-it


New mesh bags will also be purchased to hold this equipment for easy storage. Thank you PTO for this generous donation!

Online Book Fair This Week!

We will be hosting an online book fair through Follett Books. The fair will be held Monday, November 2 through Saturday, November 21. If you’d like to purchase books please click HERE and type in class code: ZYY74


This is a great opportunity to start your holiday shopping early while supporting the Wood End Library since any books ordered will arrive before the holidays.

Profits will help Miss Norcross purchase new nonfiction books to update the collection in our school’s library.


All books ordered online will be shipped to Wood End where we will sort them and make arrangements for easy pick up. Please feel free to reach out to Kerry Giordano or Kelly Mahoney with any questions.

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Updates From the PTO

Spirit Wear On Sale!

The PTO is excited to offer Spirit Wear items for sale in the next week as we get ready for our first Wood End Wildcat spirit day of the school year, Friday, November 13. Check out the items for sale in the attached flyer or in the cafeteria windows at Wood End!


We will be offering our in-stock Spirit Wear on an ongoing, first-come, first-serve basis. To make options available to you before the 13th we are offering pick-up for purchased items (see below). After that, we will fill orders as they come in and do our best to get orders filled quickly. Additionally, we will be offering new Spirit Wear items later this year, with several size options. Stay tuned!


How to Order

1. Visit our Square site and place your order!

https://wood-end-elementary-pto-inc.square.site/

2. Send an email to woodendpto@gmail.com. Please be as specific as possible in describing what you’d like to purchase, including the item name and size.

We prefer that you pay via Square. If that’s not possible, we can make arrangements to receive payment by check.


How to Pick Up Your Spirit Wear

Place your order by NOON on Wednesday, November 11 to pick up on Thursday, November 12. Pick up will be from 65 Batchelder Road. *These deadlines are firm so that we are able to fill orders on time.


Flamingo Flocking

The Wood End flamingos are ready to bring some fun & cheer to Fall 2020! Flamingo flocking is a fun Wood End tradition in which families can sign up to "flock" another family. A family who is flocked gets a surprise, anonymous visit from the Wood End PTO flamingo flock. Who flocked you? It's anyone's guess! Sign ups are open and you can participate by purchasing flocks here and/or delivering a purchased flock here.


We have several ways families can help with some easy "fundraisers" including...

Amazon Smile

When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to the PTO. Bookmark in your browser for every time you shop Amazon. Save this link as a shortcut on your phone desktop!


Stop and Shop A+ School Rewards

Once registered, Stop and Shop will donate to the school when you use your card and shop, sign up now! Go to: https://stopandshop.com/school-rewards/


Shutterfly/Tiny Prints

13% of your purchase goes to the school! Sign up now! Click HERE to access the Wood End Shutterfly Storefront. There are promotions and discounts every fall and holiday season, so check it out!


If you are interested in running for Co-President, Treasurer, Enrichment Coordinator, Events & Fundraising Coordinator, or Secretary please email us as soon as possible and let us know! This would be the perfect year to "shadow" someone in that role and ease into some responsibilities.

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Flocking Fun Continues

Book Borrowing - Returns & Renewals

Book Requests:

Need a good book? Students in grades 3-5 and those working remotely can continue to request books from our school library HERE and we will have them ready for pick up. All other students have the opportunity to check out books when they are in school.


Students can request up to 3 books each week. All requests need to be made by Tuesday evening in order to get the book by Friday of the same week. Any requests after this time will not be filled until the following week. Books are being pulled for students between lessons, and with bags going home on Friday morning, Miss Norcross needs time to pull the books.


Renewals & Returns:

If you have any books that your child would like to renew, you can email Miss Norcross. Please provide the child's name, teacher, and what books you want renewed, or you can ask to renew them all. Books can be returned on Friday when you pick up new materials, or if your child is in school, they can return them any day to their classroom teacher.

Shared by our first grade teachers - something to think about...

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Spirit Days Are Back!

We are excited to start up our spirit days again to help our Wildcats enjoy some fun! Whether you are remote or in-person, we'd love to have everyone join in! Get ready to show your school spirit on these "fun Fridays" coming up:


  • November 13th - Wood End Wildcat Day, wear blue & yellow or your favorite Wildcat attire!
  • December 4th (NEW DATE) - Patriots' Day (or your favorite football team's colors)

Laptops and Technology Help

As we have more cohorts coming back into school, it will be an expectation that any child who was provided with a loaner laptop will be bringing that laptop to school during in-person learning weeks, if the classroom teacher requests this. This will ensure we have enough devices for every student in the building. If you are asked to do this, please be sure laptops are transported securely in your child's backpack, away from any liquids that could spill.


If you have any technology issues with your student's laptop, please contact our IT department HELP DESK or by calling 781-670-2888.

Sharing Family Contact Information

We are asking any families who wish to share their contact information do so through the Parent Portal. The Portal will be the way that Wood End families share contact information. In the Portal you can choose what you want to share with your child's classmates and other families in the school. If you would like other families to be able to contact you for any reason (for instance, party invitations or playdates) please set up your Parent Portal account to share information in the online directory.


Directions for Adding Your Information to the Directory


  • On your Parent Portal account go to the pull down menu below your name.
  • Choose Directory Listing on that pull down menu.
  • A Directory Listing menu will appear.
  • Click "List my information in the school directory"
  • Select which information you would like to include in your listing.
  • Click the blue "Save Directory Listings" button.


Pictures here show you how this appears in your account.

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Wood End is Getting Little FREE Libraries!

Have you ever seen those tiny houses filled with books? They are libraries! With the help of community members and our PTO, Wood End will be adding two libraries to our lovely outdoor space- one for students and one for adults. The hope is to inspire readers and develop our community. Research shows that being around adult readers and in spaces filled with texts, creates lifelong reading habits in younger students! For more information, please see the Little Free Library Website: https://littlefreelibrary.org/



To do this, we need your help! The Wood End PTO will be running a book donation drive. The PTO will have bins outside of Wood End each Friday during material pick up days. Please feel free to donate books, in good condition, that you are no longer interested in.


These books can include:

  • Fiction or nonfiction children’s books

  • Children’s chapter books

  • Adult fiction and nonfiction novels


Please refrain from donating:

  • Textbooks

  • Torn, dirty or worn down books

  • Guides (cooking, traveling, etc.)

  • Annotated books


Thank you!!! We can’t wait to get reading!

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Information From SEPAC


SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) is hosting a presentation by Coordinator of Mediation and Facilitation, Myrto Flessas, of the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) at our next general meeting, on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 7:00 PM.

This presentation will be held virtually, via Zoom


Join us for our next

VIRTUAL SEPAC MEETING

on Tuesday, November 17th at 7 PM.

Meeting link: https://readingpsma.zoom.us/j/85279985457

All are welcome and ENCOURAGED to attend!


Connect with SEPAC by clicking these links:

· Join SEPAC's mailing list by emailing SEPACREADING@gmail.com

· Follow SEPAC on Facebook (please adjust settings so that you are sure to see our posts)

· Visit SEPAC’s website


The mission of the Reading Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is to work for the understanding of, respect for, and support of, all children with special needs in the community.

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FAQs About COVID-19

What happens if my child is sent home sick from school?

Any child who is ill will be sent home and asked to follow up with their pediatrician. Children with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 will be tested at the doctor's recommendation.

If a student has COVID-19-like symptoms, they may return to school after they have tested negative for COVID-19, have improvement in symptoms, and have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications. If a provider makes an alternative diagnosis for the COVID-19-like symptoms, the individual may return to school based on recommendations for that alternative diagnosis (e.g., influenza or strep pharyngitis).


If a student presents with COVID-19-like symptoms and chooses not to be tested, they may return to school 10 days from the start of symptoms, as long as their symptoms have improved and they have been without fever for at least 24 hours prior to their return to school without the use of fever reducing medication.


If your child has been to the doctor, please provide a note when they return to school.


Where can I get myself/my child tested?

Here are local testing sites and information COVID-19 Testing


How can I prepare my child for testing?

Here is updated information about the COVID test?


Will schools be testing staff and students?

Not at this time. Anyone who is a close contact or is symptomatic should consult with their physician about testing. In the event of a cluster (or outbreak of cases) in the schools, in consultation with the Reading Board of Health, there may be surveillance testing for asymptomatic staff and students.


If a student in my child’s class tests positive will the class need to quarantine?

If a student tests positive, any close contacts of the child should also be tested and quarantined for 14 days. The rest of the class and teacher would only have to quarantine if the child tests positive, and if they had close contact with the student within 2 days prior to the positive test.


What is a close contact?

A close contact is anyone who has been within 6 feet of another individual for a period of at least 10-15 minutes. By wearing masks, we are hoping to decrease the transmission of the virus, however it is still considered an exposure.


If my child is a close contact of someone with COVID but they test negative, may they return to school?

All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person, regardless of test result.


What happens if I or my child test positive?

It is important to note that testing, combined with contact tracing and isolation, helps control the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. All test results, both positive and negative, are reported to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). When a person has a positive COVID-19 test, it is the local board of health or the Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative that will reach out to provide support so that these individuals can remain safely in medical isolation. They will also ask for help to identify close contacts. These organizations will then reach out to the individual’s close contacts to provide important information that is aimed to stop the spread of the virus, including how to safely isolate/quarantine. While these organizations will provide support to further assist with contact tracing, the student/family and staff are asked to reach out to their personal contacts and notify the school.


What if my family member tests positive?

If you are a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you must also be tested and quarantine for 14 days after the last close contact.


Does Reading have a lot of cases?

Check here to get more information about our community


What if my family travels outside of Massachusetts?

Anyone traveling to a higher risk area must complete a travel form and quarantine for 14 days unless they have a negative test within 72 hours of return/entry.

See COVID-19 Travel Order for details.


Where can I get more health information?

Click here to access the Reading School Nurses Virtual Health Office


Massachusetts Deptartment of Public Health website

CDC website

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FREE MEALS FOR STUDENTS - IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL!

Through the extension of the Seamless Summer Meal program, started in response to COVID-19, we are able to offer all Reading Public School Children FREE meals until the end of December, or when funding expires.


What this means for your family


  • Your school-age children will receive a healthy breakfast (at Coolidge, Parker and RMHS only,) and lunch every school day, at no cost, in a safe and welcoming environment. This applies to students who are attending classes in school.
  • Our other option for FREE meals for children, ages 0-21, is meal distribution. This includes remote learners, learnings participating in a hybrid learning mode, or any other children in your home. These meals will provide breakfast and lunch for each day, including weekends.
  • Our meal distribution is provided under the bridge at Reading Memorial High School every Wednesday from 2:30 – 3:30 pm or Friday from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon.


This program allows Reading School District to provide the most nourishing and appetizing meals possible for your children. When your children eat school meals, it helps the school system by providing federal funds to the district. The more meals we serve, the more funding we receive, allowing us to focus on providing wonderful, nutritious meals for your family. If your children have never participated in school meals, consider trying the program this year!

The School Nutrition Office will be monitoring participation.


If you have any questions please contact Danielle Collins, School Nutrition Director at 781-670-2822.
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Shop Amazon Smile & Support Our School

Right now, many of us are relying on Amazon to get groceries, everyday household items, and everything in between! Did you know that by shopping through Amazon Smile you can earn money for our school while doing your shopping? Amazon donates 0.5% of eligible purchases to our school. With our registered families and friends, we have earned over $250 this year. It's so easy to sign up and start shopping!

Ongoing Support for Students & Families

Social, Emotional and Behavioral Resources: In an effort to streamline locations that you can access for support, we've included all the information in one centralized location. On the Behavioral Health page of the Reading Public School's District website, you will now find all Covid-19 related resources, broken down by categories (upper right hand corner of the page). We are fortunate to have access to an incredible array of resources and we hope this helps you navigate this unprecedented time. Each page is set up in the same format, and hyperlinks are included to help get you quickly to the information you need.

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About These Services...

The Town of Reading contracts with William James College to offer a special service for our residents. The William James INTERFACE Referral Service maintains a mental health and wellness referral help line Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843 (toll free). This is a free, confidential referral service for individuals across the lifespan living in Reading. Callers are matched with licensed mental health providers from our extensive database. Each referral meets the location, insurance, and specialty needs of the caller. Click here to learn more!

Upcoming Events:

November

9: Grade 3, Cohort B returns to school

11: Veterans Day; No school

16: Grades 4-5 Cohort A return to school

20: Conference Day; No school for students

25: Early Release PreK-12; 11:00 dismissal

26: Happy Thanksgiving!

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