JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

As different a year as it has been, we cannot deny how incredibly hard our students and staff have been working since the first day of school. Term 1 grades closed last week and teachers are now working on report cards and progress reports. These will be emailed home to students in grades 1 - 5 on December 18th. I sent an email last week with all you needed to know about report cards and you are welcome to reach out with any questions. To see a copy of the note, click here.


As I am sure you have seen, the numbers are increasing of COVID cases and I want to thank all of the families who have been extra cautious. I know the past couple of weeks have shown us that we are still in the midst of this pandemic that is wreaking havoc on all our lives. The number of cases both in Reading and Massachusetts are increasing, and COVID has impacted students, staff and families at Killam. Many of us are feeling disheartened and the disruptions to our lives can at times feel unmanageable. At Killam, we will continue to do everything we can to keep our students in school while also keeping everyone safe.


We still need your continued support as we all work together to follow all the recommended safety protocols. Wearing masks, maintaining social distance, proper hand hygiene, reporting symptoms, self-quarantining when advised, and reducing the number of people in close proximity are all key to reducing the spread of this virus.


Sharon Grottkau and I also thank parents for emailing or calling us to report on test results, any exposure, and to ask questions. Please keep communicating and keep asking. Stay safe and thank you!


Stay well,

Ms. Leveque

Toys for Tots

We continue to be amazed by the Killam community's generosity! Thank you for supporting the PTO's Toys for Tots event. This is just a portion of the toys that will be donated. Donations are accepted outside the Killam entrance through today, December 11th.
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Killam Upcoming Dates

Week of December 13th: Cohort A


Friday, December 18th: Term 1 Report Cards emailed home


Wednesday, December 23rd: Full day of school
-Optional Reading Public School Hybrid Model Parent Survey Deadline. To access the survey from Dr. Doherty, click here.


Thursday, December 24th - Sunday, January 3rd: No School; December Break



Hybrid In-person Weeks Staggered Dismissal:

-Grades One and Two: 2:35pm

-Grades Three and Four: 2:40pm
-Kindergarten and Grade Five: 2:45pm

-All students taking the bus or attending Extended Day will be monitored by Killam staff until picked up.

-Remote learning weeks end at 2:45, Grades K-5

Reading Memorial HS National Honor Society Food Drive

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Travel Over the Holidays

Many of you may be traveling to see family or loved ones. Even if your celebration is smaller this year, travel may be involved in your holiday plans. We have seen an uptick in positive COVID cases since the Thanksgiving holiday. Remember, if you are traveling to a location out of state that is not considered a lower risk state by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you must either quarantine for 14 days upon return or have a COVID test. This link will take you to the Commonwealth's COVID 19 Travel Order site that includes a list of lower risk states.


If you travel to one of these states, please either quarantine for 14 days upon return or have a PCR COVID test and send the negative results to Sharon Grottkau, Killam nurse.


If you have questions about learning during the period of a quarantine or awaiting a test result, please contact me by email.


We are a community and need to band together to keep Killam School safe for our students and staff. Thank you for your support in this.

Student Services Office Hours

Dear Families,


With the holidays upon us, we wanted to take a quick moment to thank all the families for their support and partnership during this most unusual school year. We hope that you all have a chance to relax, spend time with family and reenergize for the coming weeks!


As December is approaching, we wanted to share our office hours for the month of December. Jen Stys, Director of Student Services, and Allison Wright, Assistant Director of Student Services, are available for office hours on the following dates. Please sign up for an appointment through the link below.


December Office Hours

  • Wednesday, December 16 @ 2-3 pm
  • Monday, December 21 @ 12-1 pm


Link to the DOODLE Poll to sign up for office hours:

https://doodle.com/poll/megik5eq9tmh8tvf?utm_source=poll&utm_medium=link

Thank you,
Jennifer Stys and Allison Wright

Thankful for Diversity Book Donations

Killam is so grateful for the books that have been donated in efforts to help diversify our library collection. Over the last several years, we have been working to add more titles to our collection to better represent our students, community and the world around us. In light of current events starting last spring, the elementary schools in Town were contacted by several individuals who wanted to make a difference in our schools. Rachel McVie, a Reading RMHS alumni, contacted us about purchasing a few titles to support our collection. As Rachel talked to other Reading alumni friends, this donation grew. Rachel and her friends purchased more than 25 new titles for each school to add to our libraries. Rachel and her friends purchased the books from black-owned bookstores to help support these small businesses.


In addition to this kind donation, Reading Women’s League also donated several diverse titles with books geared toward different grade levels. We had another donor, Molly Craven, who helped organize a community effort. Molly was able to purchase 120 titles, allowing for an additional 25 new titles per school. We are very grateful for the generosity of all three groups! These books have been cataloged and are ready for checkout! Through their kindness, they’ve helped to not only educate our students, but to spread awareness and allow all of our students to see themselves in the books they read. We are so thankful!

Lunch Reminders

As you all know, our lunch program is FREE for students this school year. All students may receive a healthy lunch at no cost. However, snacks, bottled water, and additional lunches are not free and families will be charged for those items. We have several students ordering an additional lunch or snack and we just want to be sure families are aware this is happening so you are not surprised if you are billed for these items. Please talk with your child and check your account to see about snacks.

Mask Up Reading!

The Town of Reading asks residents to:

· Wear a mask or face covering whenever you are not at home or in your personal vehicle.

· Maintain social distancing, at least 6' from others.

· Observe the State's Stay-at-Home Advisory from 10PM – 5AM.

· Review the latest CDC Guidance.

· Get a flu shot.

· Talk about Covid precautions with household members, neighbors, friends, and colleagues.

· Stay home when you are experiencing symptoms.

· Don't hesitate to get a COVID-19 test (click here for testing sites).


If you have any questions, please contact our local Board of Health.

Rolling Car Drop-off

We appreciate everyone following the Do's and Don'ts of our rolling car drop-off. We need everyone's help to keep our morning arrival safe and our line moving smoothly.


This year, we are not having bad weather flag days, meaning regardless of weather, students are entering from their external classroom doors. Again, we are not using the front entrance, cafeteria, or gym for bad weather days. The only exception to this is if it's after 8:25 in which we will have students enter the front door at socially distanced timings (please note that 8:25 is the tardy bell; corrected from previous communication). As overall reminders:


DO:

-drive like your own children go to school here! Safety is key!

-drive slowly, being mindful of the crosswalks in the driveway. We have a LOT of children and families using our driveway crosswalks so eyes need to be on the surroundings at all times.

-pull all the way forward in the driveway. This helps us get our students unloaded quickly and safely.

-have your child exit the car closest to the sidewalk and front face of the building. This helps us keep students out of the path of cars.

-only take a right hand turn out of the driveway. This helps us avoid a bottleneck traffic jam.


DON'T:

-drop-off prior to 8:10 AM.

-stop directly in front of the school. Pull forward to the end of the driveway.

-get out of your car. If your child needs extra help to unload or to say goodbye, park and walk your child to their external classroom door.

-pass any buses or vans. It's against the law to pass a school bus/van that is unloading.

-pass cars in front of you once you drop-off. Stay in a single line.

-park in the staff parking lot.

-use the rolling car line to drop off materials to your child or class. Please park and bring the materials to the door.

Cold Weather Gear

We have been very fortunate this year to have unseasonably warm weather. We will continue to get outside as much as possible. Just a reminder that we do go outside every day unless the temperature or wind chill is 19 degrees or below, or there is heavy rain or snow. We use the WeatherBug app to check the temperature and we encourage you to do the same in the mornings. Additionally, as previously shared, regardless of weather or temperature, students will be entering the school from their external classroom doors. We will not be using the gym or cafeteria for before school gatherings as we want to encourage social distancing practices. To that end, we ask that you please send your child to school dressed appropriately for the weather. Thank you!

Reading Public School Laptops

A friendly reminder that if you were loaned a laptop from RPS, it is expected that your child is bringing that device to school whenever they are in person. Thank you!

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PTO Corner

TOYS FOR TOTS

We will have a marked bin outside of the main entrance of school from Monday November 30th thru TODAY, Friday December 11th. We ask that you consider donating a new, unwrapped toy for a child this holiday. Please reach out to Nicole Crosby with any questions Crosby_777@hotmail.com.


DINE-OUT

Mandarin on a Friday? Yes please! Join us TODAY, Friday December 11th for our December Dine-out at the Mandarin restaurant in Reading. Mention Killam when ordering and 20% of the proceeds will go back to the PTO. This is good for lunch or dinner!


GEAR AND BOOK FAIR PICKUP

If you chose to send books home in your child’s folder from the book fair they should be coming home soon! We are planning to do a drive thru pick up at Killam for both gear and books when the gear is ready. If you would like to get your books earlier, please e-mail JWKPresidents@gmail.com to arrange a pickup.


DUES

We know that many families are under greater financial strain right now, and we are reducing our dues estimates: this year, we ask families to consider paying $30-50 per child, or $75-$100 per family. As is the case every year, our highest priority is participation, so please consider paying ANY amount, no matter how small, to help support the work we do.

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SEPAC Information

Connect with the SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) by clicking these links:


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.

A Note from Food Services

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 for the entire 2020-2021 school year.


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 Danielle.Collins@Reading.k12.ma.us or 781-670-2822

Resources to Setup Your Child for Remote Learning

Your child's teacher will communicate today the daily schedule for remote learning. They will also be sharing their own resources and tutorials. Below are a few of the main instructional platforms that all students will be using. These documents walk you through how to setup for success for the first day of school.


All information is listed under the Distance Learning Resources tab on the Killam Homepage.


Google Classroom
-How to Sign-in to Google Classroom

-How to Post Assignments in Google Classrooms

-How to View and Respond to Comments in Google Classroom
-Supporting your Child in Google Classroom


-Google – Teach from Anywhere: Google has established a website to help families and teachers (individual links) use Google and troubleshoot common problems, but all provide helpful hints. This is something teachers may want to share with families at some point. Click HERE to check it out!



Zoom
-How to Login to Zoom


Microsoft Teams

-How to Login to Microsoft Teams


SeeSaw
-How to Access SeeSaw through Google Classroom


Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Support 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.

School Presentations:
Building (Hybrid) Safety Procedures, October 2020 (Passcode: 2*7M=v9S)

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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!