Wood End Wildcat News

October 18, 2020 ~ Week A In-Person

Hello Wood End Families,


We just wrapped up a wonderful week with the first cohort of Grade 1-2 students returning in person. The school was full of energy and it was great to reconnect with our friends and see them so excited about being back! They fell right back into their routines and showed us they were ready for learning. I can say from my own observations that the teachers are working extremely hard to provide the best instruction for your students using this model, and it is not easy! They travel between 2 classrooms throughout the entire day to make sure they are connecting with all the students and are available for questions. I am so impressed at their level of commitment, energy, and the support they are giving to each child.


Thank you to all the families who "attended" our Curriculum Night last Thursday. The teachers were eager to share their plans for this year and spend some time with their new families. Our talented specialist for art, music, PE (health & wellness), and library created their own presentation which you can access HERE. We are so grateful for this talented team! If you missed any of the presentations, they were all recorded and are available from your child's teacher. The Principal presentation is also on our school website and you can find that information HERE.


Some families have not been able to pick up learning materials on Fridays. As a reminder, the pick up time is 7:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. These materials will definitely be needed by your child for the following week's learning. If you miss the pick-up time, we will have the materials available on Monday morning after our in-person arrival. They will not be available before 8:35 so we don't interfere with the student drop-off. I realize this may not be the most convenient time, but student safety is my primary concern. Having families trying to pick up supplies while others are dropping off students causes considerable traffic and confusion, as I'm sure you can imagine. If it is raining, the materials will be kept inside the school. Families can ring the bell and we will bring them out to you. You can also call in advance so we know you are on your way.


Wishing you all a great weekend,

Dr. King

Arrival & Dismissal Procedures


Our next cohort of students will return to school on Monday (Grades 1 & 2, Cohort A) and will be following the same procedures for drop-off and pick-up at Wood End. Additional staff will be visible outside and in the hallways to assist students and families. We appreciate everyone's patience and support as we all re-learn the routines of dropping off and picking up students safely.


Student drop-off begins at 8:10 a.m. so Wood End families should not plan to arrive before this time. As a reminder, parking is extremely limited at the school, so please plan to park in surrounding neighborhoods and walk to the school if you are not using our placard system.

Our school hours are as follows:

  • First bell at 8:15 a.m.
  • Start of day(tardy bell) at 8:25 a.m.
  • Monday-Thursday dismissal at 2:45 p.m.
  • Friday is a remote learning day for all students until 11:00 a.m.


Arrival procedures:
No students will be allowed on the upper playground as we have done in the past. To comply with all social distancing guidelines, each grade level will enter the school through a designated door, then go directly to their classroom. Unless you are using the placard system, which we certainly encourage, parents must remain with their child until they enter the building. No students will be allowed to enter prior to 8:10. Teachers will meet their students outside and bring them into the school.



  • Students in PreK (RISE) will enter/exit from the right side of the building (door nearest the inside octopus, along the side of the building). Teachers will walk all students outside at dismissal time to release to families. This door will be monitored by RISE staff.
  • Students in Grades K-1 will enter/exit from the front of the building (door nearest kindergarten classroom and staff lounge by driveway). Teachers will walk all students outside at dismissal time to release to families. This door will be monitored by Miss Conry.
  • Students in Grades 2-3 will enter/exit from the left side of the building, near the upper playground. This door will be monitored by Miss Rubin.
  • Students in Grades 4-5 will enter/exit from the main entrance at the front of the building. This door will be monitored by Miss Norcross.


During inclement weather, all students will enter through their designated door and go directly to their classrooms. You will not wait for teachers to line up their classes outside.



Morning Drop-Off/Placard:

Staff will be visible at the front of the building beginning at 8:10 a.m. to assist students. All cars will remain in a single-file once they enter Sunset Rock Lane, up the driveway, continuing around the circle at the top of the driveway near the playgrounds, and back down the driveway to exit the school. Drivers will pull into the unloading area marked by the orange cones along the sidewalk. All students must exit quickly & safely through the passenger side doors closest to the sidewalk. Drivers must stay in cars and remain alert. We will unload 6-8 cars at a time, so please pull up and unload as soon as you enter this area. Do not wait to pull up to the front door. Please do not pass cars in the driveway or park in the fire lanes.


Students will walk to their designated arrival doors. Students arriving after 8:25 a.m. need to be walked into the Main Office by a family member and signed in to receive a tardy pass.


Dismissal Procedures:

The dismissal bell rings at 2:45 p.m. each day, Monday through Thursday. Students will be dismissed from the same doors as arrival, so please be aware of this change from last year. Students using our placard system will be dismissed at the main entrance and wait at the designated dismissal area under the main awning until they are called. Once our older students arrive in grades 3-5, if an older sibling is picking up a sibling in K-2, they will go to the dismissal door for that sibling to pick up. Any changes in dismissal should be communicated directly to the classroom teacher via note or email. If your dismissal routine changes unexpectedly during the day, please call the main office and let us know.


We appreciate everyone's support in keeping our students safe during arrival and dismissal.

Book Borrowing - Returns & Renewals

Book Requests:

To keep our students engaged in reading, we want to encourage them to try out some new books. 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.


We are thrilled to see so many books circulating, and so far we've had over 175 requests from students! Miss Norcross is really happy to see the books getting into the kids' hands. As we transition to the hybrid model we want to update you on the book borrowing procedures for kids in school. Below is the current book borrow schedule:


  • Monday- Mrs. Hester
  • Tuesday- Ms. Raffa, Mrs. Foresman and Mrs. Bielicki/Baker
  • Thursday- Ms. Habeeb, Mrs. Gianatassio and Mrs. Roberts


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. There is also a return bin outside the school every day 7:30-3:30. Books can be dropped off in the bin any day within that time frame.


Overdue notices will go home next week. They are being sent strictly to help keep track of what is currently out. There is no penalty for being overdue, but this is a check in with materials that are out. We appreciate your help in returning library books when finished.

Updates From Our School Nurse

COVID-19 Travel Alert

As of September 30th, the only LOW RISK states that do not require a 14-day quarantine are : New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, New York, or District of Columbia. For additional information and guidelines, please click HERE.


Flu Vaccine Required for Students, K-12

The school immunization requirements, including the requirement for seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine, apply to all Massachusetts students enrolled in Kindergarten through Grade 12, regardless of whether the district is providing instruction in-person, or using a hybrid or remote learning model.


Your child needs to have a flu shot by December 31, 2020. Please make sure the letter or note of verification from the pediatrician has a stamp of the doctor's name and/or practice. If you receive the vaccine from a pharmacy such as CVS, Walgreens, Target, please ask them to send the proof of immunization to your child's pediatrician. Please send documentation of vaccinations to the health office.


Boston Children’s Hospital has provided resources that are very useful in answering ‘Return to School’ questions about Covid-19 as well as a tip sheet for helping your child to wear a mask. Please take a few minutes to review the information in the links below:


BCH What families should know

BCH - Helping your Child Wear a Mask


COVID Symptom Checker

You can also refer to the CDC website for a COVID symptom checker, as well as these "frequently asked questions" for more information.


If you have any questions or concerns about your child's health, please contact our school nurse, Mrs. Agami.

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Remember to Update the Portal Information!

Forms are now available in the portal for parents to view and update information. This year there are two forms:


Pupil Information Form -Sent to the primary contact only to update any student information, including medical information, student permissions, emergency childcare and Connect Ed emergency notification information. Once submitted, the fields listed on the Form Data tab will make any changes, allowing the Main Office to see the form has been updated by the parent/guardian.


Contact Update FormEach contact associated with a student will see this form. It includes, name, address, home/mobile/office phone, primary and alternate email address. Contacts are instructed to call the Main Office with changes to primary email addresses because this will impact their portal login and contact will have to be sent another activation code. Each contact will need to log into the portal to see this form.


To recap:

Primary Contact will see both forms in the portal to update pupil information and update their own contact info.

All other contacts will only see the Contact Update form to update their own contact info.


We are asking every family to review and update their information in the Portal. It is important that the Wood End main office has accurate demographic and contact information for every child. Click here to login to your portal account. Once you are logged in, select Forms from the menu bar and complete the 2020-2021 Reading Public Schools Pupil Information form.

OR

If you do not have access to technology, please contact the Main Office at Wood End to request a paper copy which you can return to the school via U.S. mail or drop off at your earliest convenience.


Please take a minute to review the Student Handbook on our website as well as the Student Acceptable Use Policy. Thank you very much for helping us keep information about you and your child up-to-date.

Kindergarten Registration Coming Soon!

Although it seems like we're just getting started, we are already beginning to plan for next year. Kindergarten registration packets were mailed to families and should be arriving in the coming days. If you have a child turning 5 prior to August 31 and you do not receive a packet, please email linda.engelson@reading.k12.ma.us. Spread the word!


Kindergarten information night will be held virtually on November 4th at 7:00.

More information to come.

What happens if my teacher is absent today?

As you know, teachers sometimes have to be absent from work for health or personal reasons. For the past year we have had difficulty filling teacher absences with substitutes. This situation is made more complicated by remote learning which requires a skill set that most substitutes do not have. While we are in this hybrid model, if a teacher is absent during their remote week, their class will work remotely on asynchronous lessons for the day. The grade level team will make a plan for this so that students in the affected class are being kept current on lessons while their teacher is absent. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Technology Loaners are Complete!

Our IT department has completed a herculean effort to distribute loaner laptops to families. All families who have requested a device should have received it by now. Some families have been notified to pick up their student laptop and still need to do that, so please do this as soon as possible. We appreciate your cooperation.


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

Flamingo Flocking is Back!

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're excited to have you join in the fun!

News From the PTO - Meeting October 20th

Please join us Tuesday, October 20th at 7:30 for a virtual PTO Meeting. We will be discussing the WE Little Library project, recess supplies for classrooms, a Halloween Car Parade, and other ideas for fun events that can safely bring our community together this year. We'd love to hear your creative ideas and take your questions! We're also looking for volunteers for various committees, including the 5th Grade Moving On Committee. A ZOOM link will be sent out to all families and everyone is welcome!


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!


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!


Wood End Spirit Wear

Our Blue 84 school store is no longer set up, and we are looking at some other online options that other Reading Elementary schools are using. In the meantime, we do have lots of spirit wear in stock including t-shirts, sweatshirts, and car magnets. We will be sending out information soon on how you can stock up on our Wildcat spirit wear, so stay tuned!


BayState Textile Recycling

This company offers local non-profit organizations and community groups an easy way to fundraise by paying for items donated in our recycling collection bin. Each time the container is emptied, Wood End earns funds! We are paid per pound and have collected several hundred dollars each year!


Acceptable donation items included anything you can wear, sleep in, or dry yourself off with - clothes, shoes, sneakers, handbags, bedding and towels, no matter their condition, as long as they are dry and clean. All items must be contained in plastic bags to keep donations dry and clean. Thank you for your donations!

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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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News from SEPAC

Are you interested in learning more about caregiver education on reading and literacy, particularly early signs of reading challenges? While the SEPAC, in collaboration with Reading Public Schools works towards this goal, Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents (NESCA) is offering a webinar on this specific topic on Oct. 15th. Details and link to register are below.


"Early Signs of Reading Challenges", a webinar featuring NESCA Pediatric Neuropsychologist Alissa Talamo, Ph.D.

October 15 from 2:00-3:00 PM ET

Register in advance for this webinar:

https://nesca-newton.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4XOoaw4IS-e8xEkHt6ev_A


The Reading Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is hosting a Basic Rights Presentation "Evaluation and Eligibility", presented by a representative for the Federation for Children with Special Needs. The Basic Rights Presentation will be held, virtually, on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 7:00 PM, via ZOOM.


All attendees must register via the link provided on the flyer below.


To learn more about SEPAC, check out this informational video.


Thank you,

SEPAC Board

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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:

October

20: General PTO Meeting, 7:30 PM (via Zoom)

26: School Council Meeting, 7-8 PM (via Zoom)

TBD: Halloween Car Parade at Wood End for families

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