Wood End Wildcat News
May 23, 2021
Dear Wood End Families,
I hope you spent lots of time outside enjoying this beautiful weekend weather!
It's hard to imagine that we are nearing the end of a very unique school year. With just 4 weeks remaining, teachers and staff are continuing to provide an engaging classroom experience with some fun end-of-year events for our students. June is typically a very busy time of year, and this year is no exception. Please be sure your children attend school, on time, every day until June 21st. As we all know, attendance matters, and we want our students in school learning.
With the new COVID guidelines recently released by Governor Baker, I want to remind families that we are all still wearing masks in school, and maintaining 3 feet of social distancing. Students are allowed to take masks off during outdoor recess or snack, but must wear masks at all other times. I'm asking parents to keep masks on during drop-off and pick-up until you are far enough away from others. I know this is a new experience we are all navigating together. Some people don't mind masks while others can't take them off soon enough. I hear you, but I still want to keep our students safe, the school open, and prevent another class from being quarantined this year. None of our students are vaccinated, and during arrival and dismissal, we cannot monitor the social distancing of all families. Let's work together to make it to June 21st with all of us healthy and ready to start summer!
Have a wonderful week,
Diversity Interviews with Our Community
Many of our students have begun our new community project, Diversity Interviews. This project will provide our students with opportunities to share their families’ cultures, traditions, and history in meaningful ways with their peers and other families. We are excited to see the creative ways our students will showcase their work, and we encourage every family to participate.
Information about this project was sent home with each student and is also available in your child's google classroom, so be sure to check out all the details. We provided samples as well as some interview questions to help get you started. Projects are due in your child's grade-level google classroom by June 11th. Please reach out to your child's classroom teacher with any questions.
Stories to Share
School Council Elections to be Held Monday
By law, each school in Massachusetts must have a School Council composed of family/community members, staff, and the principal. We have been so fortunate to have the following people serve on this Council and send warm wishes as their terms expire in June: Lori Abelson, Nicole Cella, and Jessica Hester.
Spring Book Fair Ends This Week!
LAST chance to stock up some books for your summer reading!
Follett Book eFair
Monday 5/17-Monday 5/24
We are wrapping up our virtual Book Fair for our families this week. To make a purchase please use this LINK and code ZYY74 to access the online Wood End spring book fair. All purchases help support the Wood End library. Books will be shipped directly to Wood End, where they will be sorted and sent home with your child. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Kerry Giordano or Kelly Mahoney.
Girls On the Run 5K
Girls on the Run is getting ready for their 5K road run to celebrate the end of their 8-week program. Running Buddies must be 18 years or older. The girls and coaches already participating in this group have been registered. All buddies need to register at this LINK by May 24.
When: June 5th
Where: Wood End Sign
Time: Arrive at 8:45 AM
Ends at approx. 10:30 AM
The race will start at the Wood End sign, continue down Roma, Sanborn, and Lilah Lane and then reverse back to Wood End.
We hope you can join us to cheer on these girls. Please do not park on these streets. We ask that you park at Wood End.
5th Grade Celebration & Updates - We Need Volunteers!
Save the Date! We are finalizing details for our outdoor "Moving On" ceremony honoring our 5th grade students on Wednesday, June 16th at 8:45 a.m. The ceremony will last approximately 30 minutes. Attendance is limited to 3 guests per 5th grade student. Younger siblings will not be allowed to leave their classes to attend. Adults should bring a chair if you want to sit for this period. Masks are not required outdoors as long as we maintain 3 feet for social distancing.
Following the ceremony on the field, guests will be dismissed, and 5th grade students and pre-registered volunteers will transition to 5th Grade Field Day, followed by a picnic lunch. Students will then return to their classrooms to watch a slideshow of the wonderful photos submitted by families during our yearbook photo collection, which will also be sent home for family viewing! Rain date is Thursday, June 17th.
- 5th Grade Tee-Riffic Tuesdays: We're turning Tuesdays into 5th grade Tee-Riffic Tuesdays!! Starting Tuesday, May 25th, 5th graders are invited to wear their 5th grade t-shirt to school. If you miss a Tuesday, no big deal, as we have 4 Tuesdays on the calendar!
- The 5th Grade planning committee is also busy planning goodie bags, Field Day, and a special lunch & games to celebrate these awesome kids. If you have not yet sent your suggested $25 donation, kindly send a check to Wood End PTO via backpack mail or venmo Amy Croot at @Amy-Croot. It would be great to have donations by May 28th so we can complete our planning. If you're not sure whether you've contributed, please reach out to Amy Croot.
- 5th Grade donations are being collected through May 28th with a suggested amount of $25 check payable to Wood End PTO.
- We are still looking for volunteers for Field Day and to help with the 5th Grade lunch. Please see Mr. Bauer's sign-up genius for Field Day or reach out to Lisa Caraviello to help with lunch.
If you would like to offer a helping hand, please reach out the committee members below.
Book Drive at Whitelam Books - Shop Until June 13
In an effort to bring more books that represent diverse perspectives into our schools, Understanding Disabilities has put together a book drive with Whitelam Books. Understanding Disabilities teaches our students that even though we may be different in many ways, we are all the same inside. To help our kids see through the eyes of people with diverse abilities, UD has created a wish list of books for our school, chosen by our library staff, that feature characters with disabilities.
Beginning May 10 and running through June 13, stop into Whitelam Books on Main Street here in Reading, or call (781) 779-1833, to purchase one or more of these books for our school library, and while you are there, check out the full list of books and consider picking one up for your child as well! Many of these books are past MCBA book honorees, and Whitelam has books from picture books through young adult books selected for all five elementary schools and the two middle schools in town.
The books for Wood End will be delivered to our library in June after the drive is complete, and will be ready for students to start reading in the fall. Please share this information with loved ones and friends who might also like to support our school and Understanding Disabilities.
- The Snow Rabbit Hardcover by Camille Garoche
- My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay by Cari Best and Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Illustrator)
- Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant
- A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin byJen Bryant, Melissa Sweet (Illustrator)
- Completely Me byJustine Green
- The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game by Nancy Churnin, Jez Tuya (Illustrator)
- Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
- Farah Rocks Fifth Grade by Susan Muaddi Darraj
- Show Me A Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte
- What the Wind Can Tell You by Sarah Marie Jette
Incoming Kindergarten Updates
We are excited to welcome our new kindergarten students this fall to the Wood End! As we begin to put our classes together with our goal of creating balanced classrooms that meet our students’ needs, we are reminding families to complete the online survey. Please click here to gain access to the Google Survey entitled “Wood End Incoming Kindergarten Parent Input Form 2021-22.” This is a questionnaire that allows you to provide insight about your child. You know your child best and we will use this information when thinking about each kindergartener. Because we work to create balanced classrooms, we do not accept specific teacher requests. If you would like to provide information, the survey will be open until Friday, May 28th.
You will receive information about your child’s classroom, including the teacher assignment, over the summer. With this information, we’ll provide a welcome packet, including information about ways you can best support your child during the summer months.
Kindergarten screening will take place on September 1-2 with specific times sent to each family. There will be no kindergarten classes held on those two days. Because of the Rosh Hashanah holiday on September 7 and 8, the first day of Kindergarten classes will be held on Thursday, September 9th. This change in the first day of school for kindergarten students is consistent with School Committee Policy IMDA on Religious Holiday Accommodations.
We look forward to welcoming your child and family to the Wood End community! If you have any questions, please reach out to Dr. King directly.
Student Services Office Hours
Below, please find the Student Services Office Hours for the second half of May and for the month of June. If you are interested in meeting with Dr. Jennifer Stys, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and Allison Wright, Director of Special Education, please utilize this Doodle Poll to reserve a time. The purpose of the office hours is to provide time to connect with families regarding any questions or concerns regarding your students and their experiences. Prior to your designated time, you will receive a ZOOM link for your meeting time.
- Tuesday, 5/25/21 @ 2-3pm
- Wednesday, 6/2/21 @ 9-10 am
- Thursday, 6/10/21 @ 11-12 pm
- Tuesday, 6/15/21 @12-1 pm
Please reach out to Allison Wright, Director of Student Services with any questions or concerns.
PTO Needs Your Help!
Help keep enrichment, author visits, resources & professional development coming to Wood End! Please consider volunteering for one of the following:
- President: This Board level position may sound daunting, but is very rewarding. This role can be shared! The President attends and presides at all PTO meetings, and oversees the work of the many talented subcommittees. The President makes sure that events are moving forward, and works with our school Principal to help address the needs of the school and our WE community.
- Secretary: The Secretary attends all PTO meetings and records the minutes. The Secretary helps draft PTO announcements and agendas. As a member of the Board, the Secretary votes on fundraising, spending, events, enrichment and other opportunities presented to the PTO.
- Adult Fundraiser Events: Our community includes parents and caregivers, not just students! This committee-level position coordinates events for adults, which could include Zoom cooking/crafting events for the pandemic world, or has included Trivia Night and Musical Bingo in the past.
- Book Fair Committee: Join this committee and learn from our experienced parents before their kids move on from Wood End! Book Fair committee involves organizing 1-2 Book Fairs a year with Miss Norcross and Follett Books. Book Fairs can be virtual or in-person where classes visit the Fair at scheduled times. WE also offer an open night at school for family browsing.
Attendance at PTO meetings is beneficial, especially during our event planning, but not consistently required. Do as much or as little as your schedule allows, but please help out.
If you are interested in serving in any of these positions (two-year commitment), please reach out to one of the current co-presidents, Melissa Moran or Cristina Prior. To learn more about the PTO, check out our bylaws HERE.
Spirit Wear Still Available
If you missed our winter spirit wear sale, we have t-shirts & sweatshirts in stock! This is a great way to show your school spirit! Check out our Square site to order. https://wood-end-elementary-pto-inc.square.site/
Final PTO Meeting & Elections
We have scheduled our last PTO meeting of the year, along with elections for new board members. The meeting takes place on Wednesday, June 9th at 7:30 p.m. and we hope you can join us. All meetings will take place on Zoom and a link to this meeting will be sent to all families. We encourage you to come and bring a friend!
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!
Be sure to use our school's Shutterfly & TinyPrints Storefront when ordering cards, photos, gifts, invitations, etc. Did you know that 8% of your purchase gets donated back to Wood End for our kids? Please feel free to share our storefront with family members and friends.
Stop and Shop A+ School Rewards - FINAL YEAR
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/
The Special Education Parent Advisory Council would like your feedback on future topics for SEPAC meetings and workshops. Please complete this quick survey no later than Friday, May 28th.
Thank you in advance for your support!
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.
Field Day Fridays Are Here!
We have begun our field days for our students beginning with 4th grade. The students were so eager to participate and had a great time working with friends as they traveled to various stations. We have lots more fun coming up over the next several weeks with each grade level having their own event. Please see below for the remaining dates.
- Friday, June 4 – 1st Grade
- Friday, June 11 – Kindergarten
- Wednesday June 16 – 5th Grade (date is confirmed)
- Friday, June 18 – Rain Date
Time and location: Field Day will take place from 10:30 – 11:30 on the above-mentioned dates down on the main field. (5th grade time will look a bit different)
Dismissal: Teachers will have students pack up before their field day so they have all their belongings for dismissal.
Materials: Please be sure your child is prepared for the day with sneakers, a refillable water bottle, hat, sunglasses, sun block, extra mask, etc. depending on the forecast for that day.
Grade Level Colors: Please remind students to wear their colors to show their team spirit.
- K = white, 1 = red, 2 = blue, 3 = orange, 4 = green, 5 = yellow/tie-dye (there have been student requests for 5th grade tie-dye)
Parent Volunteers: We will be asking 4-6 parents (per grade level) to volunteer to help with these outdoor activities. Chris Bauer will be providing this communication and will select the volunteers. All volunteers must have an active CORI on file.
Questions/Concerns: Please talk to Chris Bauer for any additional information.
1st Days School Supplies for 2021-22
We have been working with 1st Days School Supplies to once again create grade-level supply kits for next year! By ordering through this vendor, families are able to do their back to school shopping risk free from the comfort and safety of their own home. Get the exact supplies our teachers are requesting without the hassle and aggravation of shopping at big box retailers.
To order supplies, click HERE and you're ready to go! This link will be open until June so order when it's convenient for you.
Emails from 1st Day School Supplies with this link were also sent directly to all families who purchased a kit in prior years.
FREE Meals for Students - In & 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 June.
What does this mean 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, in your home is meal distribution. This may include remote learners, 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, at the bridge of Reading Memorial High School on Wednesdays from 2:30 – 3:30 pm or Friday from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon.
- Your family may participate in BOTH options. Students can eat at school and receive Meal Distribution for the remote days and weekend meals that your family is entitled to.
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!
If you have any questions please contact Danielle Collins, School Nutrition Director, or call 781-670-2822.
If you have any technology issues with your student's laptop, please contact our IT department HELP DESK or by calling 781-670-2888.
MCAS Dates for Wood End
The remaining testing schedule for Wood End is below:
- May 25 - Mathematics - Grade 4 (DATE CHANGE!)
- May 26 - Mathematics - Grade 3
- May 27 - Science, Technology, Engineering - Grade 5
DESE is making adjustments to the number of sessions due to the shortened testing window. Please keep these testing windows in mind when scheduling appointments or other school absences for your child.
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!
Please be reminded of these amazing resources, if your family is in need:
- RPS Behavioral Health Resources linked here.
- Town of Reading: compiled resources linked here.
- RCASA and Mental Health Support linked here.
- St. Vincent de Paul linked here.
- Free & Reduced lunch access: sign up here.
- Reading Food Pantry linked here.
- Project Bread link here.
- Residential Financial Assistance (Rent/Mortgage) link here. (New resource! Check it out!)