Wood End Wildcat News

October 25, 2020 ~ Week B In-Person

Hello Wood End Families,

We were able to welcome back the other half of our students in grades 1 and 2 this week, and they also seemed to have a fabulous time at school with friends and meeting their teachers in person. Our "remote only" students will continue to work from home with our amazing Wood End teachers regardless of the cohort that is in-person. As you know, we are continuing to work on staffing so we can support the return of our students in grades 3-5 as soon as possible. I know these students are ready to return, and it's frustrating we don't have the staffing to do this safely right now. I am doing everything possible to fill positions appropriately and will continue to provide updates if anything changes.

We had our first general PTO meeting this past Tuesday evening to talk about plans for this year and some fun-filled events happening this month. You can check out the meeting minutes HERE and more details are in my newsletter below! If you are interested in taking on a role in our PTO, we would love to have you. We have several open positions and are looking for volunteers to help with a variety of events including Teacher Appreciation, Wildcat Boo-Thru, Flamingo Flocking, and our Little Library project to name a few!

Remember to pick up your student's supplies tomorrow between 7:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. These materials will definitely be needed by your child nest week!

Finally, as a gentle reminder, please be sure your children are completing the specialist's remote lessons. These are not optional, but required. All students should be completing all exit tickets that go along with the assignments. Currently, only about half of our students in each class are completing these assignments. We appreciate your support in getting this work done.

Wishing you all a great weekend,

Dr. King

Election Day-Remote Learning

On Tuesday, November 3rd, Election Day all students in the Reading Public Schools will have a remote day of learning. This includes our high risk students, preschoolers, and kindergarten students who would typically be in school. Teachers will provide a full day, 8:15 to 2:45, of remote learning including both synchronous and asynchronous lessons.

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.

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:

  • October 30th - wear your favorite Halloween costume, or your most comfy pajamas - you choose!
  • November 13th - Wood End Wildcat Day, wear blue & yellow or your favorite Wildcat attire!
  • November 20th - Patriots' Day (or your favorite football team's colors)

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Updates From Our School Nurse

Dear Wood End Families,

Here is some information to simplify what is found on the CDC website:

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.

In order to keep our community health, follow these guidelines:

I wanted everyone to be aware of how important it is to wear masks and minimize social activities outside of school.

Once people start getting sick with a positive COVID test, there will be phone calls from the Department of Public Health that go out to all close contacts.

The decisions we make now can have a bigger ripple effect on many lives.

If you are socializing with many different groups of people outside of school, now is the time to rethink priorities.

If you test positive for Covid, the test is DAY 0 and you are now in isolation for 10 days.

Anyone around you for more than 15 minutes (all family living in your home, friends you saw

EVEN 2 DAYS BEFORE you were sick, and nearby classmates) will now quarantine for 14 days.

IF you are exposed to someone who tests positive, the day you are exposed is Day 0 and you count 14 days of quarantine. This means you STAY HOME and have someone else shop for you.

REGARDLESS of a negative test:

IF you quarantine and then become Covid Positive, you start at Day 0 again and follow a stricter ISOLATION. You re-start counting your 10 days now in isolation (have people bring you food, avoid others in your house, and use a separate bathroom if possible.)

This is different than TRAVEL quarantine (without a known exposure). You can have a negative test result within 3 days of return OR quarantine for the following 14 days.

We are so appreciative of all your efforts checking with your doctors and getting Covid tests for illnesses when necessary. For many people, Covid has felt just like a cold, but with a new loss of smell/taste. These minor complaints make it very challenging to screen symptoms at school because we do not have the tools to diagnose this illness immediately. We know it is an inconvenience and testing can be uncomfortable, but we all appreciate your efforts to keep our schools open!

Thank you for your understanding and contact me with questions.

Wishing you all good health,

Kristen Agami RN, BSN

Family Contact Information

We are asking all 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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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.

Are You Having Technology Issues?

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

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 beginning Friday, October 30 and each Friday thereafter. 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!

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!

Updates From the PTO

Thanks to everyone who joined our virtual PTO meeting last week. We are excited to see some new faces! 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.

Wildcat Boo-Thru, October 30th

In lieu of our annual Halloween Monster Bash, we are planning a car parade with costumes and some spooky tricks or treats! This family event takes place on Friday, October 30th from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Wood End. We are looking for volunteers and donations. Our plan is to decorate the outside of Wood End for a drive-thru event. More information about times and registration will be sent out next week! Please click on this Sign-up Genius for the items needed to help make Halloween happen for Wood End! Be sure to clearly label all items being loaned to us.

Online Book Fair is Coming Soon!

We are working with Follett once again to provide an online book fair for families. The fair is scheduled to run November 2-21 which will allow you time to shop for the upcoming holidays and receive your books in time for gift giving. Stay tuned for more details coming soon!

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!

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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:


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

30: Halloween Wildcat Boo-Thru car parade 6:30-7:30 PM


3: Election Day; Remote learning day for ALL students, PreK-12

11: Veterans Day; No school

20: Conference Day; No school for students

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

26: Happy Thanksgiving!

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