Wood End Wildcat News
May 2, 2021
Learning More About Our Community
Dear Wood End Families,
Our School Council and School Leadership Team have been working throughout this year to refocus on our most important work, educating our children. After the challenging and isolating year that we have all experienced, we are excited to share a project we have developed to engage our community in uniting and reuniting. In the next two weeks, we will ask our Wildcats to interview a grownup in their family or community and then share what they learn. Our goal is for our students to further develop a sense of communal and individual identity by inviting them to learn about their roots from those around them.
As we pass the one-year mark of this global pandemic, we will renew our Wood End community as an inclusive educational space that recognizes the importance of where we come from with a continued focus on our core values of being responsible, respectful, honest, engaged and safe. This project will provide our students with opportunities to share their families’ cultures, traditions, and history in meaningful ways.
We are excited to see the creative ways our students will showcase their work, and we encourage every family to participate. We look forward to learning about and appreciating one another as we continue to practice being a caring and welcoming community for everyone.
A wonderful story you can listen to with your child is Alma and How She Got Her Name written by Juana Martinez-Neal. It tells the story of a young girl and explains the various people she was named to honor. This may be a great way to start the conversations about some of your family's traditions and history.
Stay tuned for more information coming soon!
Enjoy the week ahead,
Our staff is so thankful!
Thank you so much to all who contributed to our SignUp Genius collection of items to stock the teacher's lounge. The teachers enjoyed a lounge full of drinks, yogurts, snacks, and supplies as they returned from April vacation. We will be doing more to thank our amazing teachers and staff this spring - stay tuned!
If you'd like to get involved and help our teacher appreciation committee, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
REF Relief Fund Supports Flexible Seating
Jessica Hester, Grade 3 teacher and Assistant Principal reached out to the Reading Education Foundation to request funding for flexible seating, and her request was granted. Mrs. Hester requested various, individually used, flexible seating options for K-5 general education classrooms at Wood End.
During this school year, students have been required to sit at individual desks for the day. However, in a typical school year, our elementary age students are moving throughout the classroom as frequently as every 15-30 minutes. Students typically work at desks, tables, on the rug, in cozy reading spots, with partners on the floor and more. It has been extremely difficult for our students to build their learning stamina with the amount of sitting.
These new flexible seating options will allow our students to sit and move in different ways so that they can build stamina and focus throughout the day. Items will be shared equally among the 13 general education classrooms at Wood End Elementary. Thank you REF for this support!
Letter to Incoming Kindergarten Families
Dear Incoming Kindergarten Families,
We are excited to welcome your child this fall to the Wood End Kindergarten classrooms! In the past, we have held Kindergarten screening in late spring. These days provide us the opportunity to meet your child and learn a bit about them. It is also the time in which we introduce families to what kindergarten will look like at Wood End. With the ongoing restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we will be holding kindergarten screening in the fall over the course of the first few days of school. We will have more information prior to the start of the year. Our goal each year is to create balanced classrooms that meet our students’ needs, and the kindergarten screening process will provide us with this information. Kindergarten screening is one glimpse into your child, but certainly not our only glimpse. Oftentimes, students come to screening and are shy, nervous, or overly excited so we know there is much more to be learned than we can see in one hour. We want to assure you that we are still able to complete class placement with the information that we have from you.
As part of this placement process, we want to hear from you, our families, about your child. Here’s where you can help. Please click here to gain access to a 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, school-specific procedural information, and information about when your child can visit their classroom and teacher before the school year begins. Wanting to be mindful of the current pandemic, we will wait to share this information until a later date so that our information is as accurate as possible. We appreciate your patience in this unprecedented time.
We look forward to welcoming your child and family to the Wood End community! If you have any questions, please reach out to me directly.
Dr. Joanne King, Principal
Thank You Wood End Families!
Miss Norcross would like to send a huge thank you! In honor of Library Week, 65 new books were donated to the library from Wood End families. With help from her intern and other support staff in the school, she has worked hard to get these new books cataloged and ready for check out. Some will be ready for check out Monday while the rest should be ready by mid-week. We are so excited by all the new titles and so touched by the generosity of others. Thank you for supporting the library and thank you for getting new titles into the hands of our readers!
School Council Members Needed
School Council members serve a two-year term. We typically hold elections for School Council members in the spring of each year. We plan to hold 4-5 School Council meetings throughout the school year which will occur remotely through Zoom or another online platform, and meetings will be scheduled in the evenings, typically 7-8 p.m.
During this school year, the School Council will be involved in developing the School Improvement Plan with a particular focus on anti-bias and equity education, planning and carrying out action steps related to these goals, and reviewing academic and behavioral data for Wood End School. If you are interested in being a part of this important team, please reach out to Dr. King.
Can you donate some cereal?
Wood End Cereal Box Domino Fun!
WE need your help! Wood End is participating in a fun community collection project to help the Reading Food Pantry! We are collecting unopened cereal boxes (any brand) to create a "chain of kindness". If every Wildcat donates one or more boxes of cereal, we will not only help the Food Pantry, we will also be able to create a "cereal box domino run" that will be amazing to watch! Bins will be set up around the school to collect the donations. Please send in your filled boxes of cereal by this Friday, May 7th! Thank you for helping us, help others!
For more details, take a look at what our Student Council members put together HERE!
Get Involved With Our PTO
We still have some open Board position that we are trying to fill for our PTO. These are important roles if we are to continue providing the support for enrichment programs, professional development, social events, book fairs, spirit wear, and teacher appreciation events in our school community. We cannot do this without you! Consider joining this team that is dedicated to making Wood End a great school for our students and teachers. PTO is a wonderful way to contribute to our school.
If you are interested in serving in any of the following board 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.
President/Co-Presidents: The person(s) in this OPEN position presides over meetings, prepares the agenda for each meeting, and manages the overall operation of the Wood End PTO including maintaining records and coordinating the work of the various sub-committees.
Vice-Presidents: The people in these positions support the work of the President and oversee the work of each sub-committee, including recruiting volunteers and coordinating the related events and communication. They attend bi-monthly board meetings to report on the work and planning of each sub-committee. Sub-committees and contact people are listed below. Please reach out to them for more information.
· Event Coordinator
· Room Parent Coordinator
· Communications Coordinator
· Enrichment Coordinator
Secretary: The person in this OPEN position attends all PTO meetings and records the minutes of meetings and circulates them to the community, prepares correspondence and coordinates public relations on behalf of the PTO (i.e. gestures of appreciation or sympathy), and notifies the PTO members of upcoming meetings. As a member of the PTO board, this person would attend bi-monthly board meetings.
Treasurer: This person maintains all the financial information and records for the PTO including receipts, disbursements, collections and expenditures while also providing year-to-date financial statements at each general meeting. This person is also responsible for all federal and state filings.
We truly appreciate all that everyone does for our PTO. Please consider sharing your talents with this group!
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/
Upcoming Meetings for Spring
We have scheduled the last of our PTO meetings for this school year and hope you can join us. All meetings will take place on Zoom and begin at 7:30 p.m. Links to our general meetings will be sent to all families and we encourage you to come and bring a friend!
- May General PTO Meeting: Wednesday, May 5th at 7:30 p.m.
- June Elections/General PTO Meeting: Wednesday, June 9th at 7:30 p.m.
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/
Field Day is Coming Soon!
We are very excited to plan a field day for our students this year, though it will look a bit different than past years. Rather than having K-2 and 3-5 students together, each grade level will have their own event this year. Please see below for the dates.
- Friday, May 7 – 4th Grade
- Friday, May 14 – 3rd Grade
- Friday, May 21 – 2nd Grade
- Friday, June 4 – 1st Grade
- Friday, June 11 – Kindergarten
- Wednesday or Thursday, June 16 or 17 – 5th Grade (This date will be confirmed soon)
- 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.
5th Grade Celebration Updates
Please check your emails for more details from the planning committee. We are looking for parents to form a committee to plan the celebration day in June. If you are interested, please contact Lisa Caraviello
We have been working on ordering commemorative shirts for our 5th graders! If you haven't filled out the google form to request a specific t-shirt size, please contact Nicole Barletta
If you would like to offer a helping hand, please reach out the committee members below.
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.
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.
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
Students will be taking MCAS this year, though the testing window has been moved to later in the spring, May 10-June 11. The current testing schedule for Wood End is below:
- May 11 - English Language Arts - Grade 5
- May 12 - English Language Arts - Grade 4
- May 17 - English Language Arts - Grade 3
- May 18 - Mathematics - Grade 5
- May 19 - Mathematics - Grade 4
- 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!)
5: Cinco de Mayo; Grade 4/5 Virtual Enrichment, MOS The Changing Sky; PTO General Meeting via Zoom
9: Happy Mother's Day!
10: K-5 Enrichment, Ball in the House; School Council Extra Meeting, Equity
11: Grade 5 MCAS-ELA
12: Grade 4 MCAS-ELA; Spirit Day (Wildcat Day) and All-School Meeting
17: Grade 3 MCAS-ELA
18: Grade 5 MCAS-Mathematics
19: Grade 4 MCAS-Mathematics
24: School Council Meeting via Zoom, 7-8 p.m.
26: Grade 3 MCAS-Mathematics; Spirit Day
27: Grade 5 MCAS-STE
28: Teacher In-Service; no school for students
31: Memorial Day; no school