JW Killam Principal's Corner
Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter
From the Desk of Ms. Leveque
Who can believe there are 11 school days left. In so many ways, it has felt like three school years in one. The number of transitions that have required our students and staff to pivot on limited notice is something that we hope is not repeated in years to come. We all want to feel balanced again. We thank our families for your support on this journey.
There is a clear feeling in the air that summer vacation is just around the corner. We get to this point each year, yet this one feels just a bit bigger. There isn't an educator or student in this building who is not talking about summer plans or hopes, and wishing that it was sooner. To put it frankly, the fatigue is real. The added heat of next week will only contribute to the discomfort. We are seeing heightened emotions across all settings and our kids need a break from one another. They have worked incredibly hard to keep it together and go with the flow this year, and they know the end is in sight. We get it! We ask that you join us in helping your child process this end of the year, and keep us going through this final push. We will do the same by keeping consistency, structure, and engagement going to the best of our abilities. We can all do this!
LAST DAY OF SCHOOL:
The last day of school for students is Monday, June 21st with an 11am dismissal. I know there has been some confusion over the dates!
COVID POOL TESTING:
If you are interested in having your child join COVID pool testing you can still give consent by following this link. COVID Consent Form.
Killam Upcoming Dates
Sunday, June 6th: RMHS Graduation. Congratulations seniors!
Monday, June 7th: Killam School Council Meeting, 3-4pm
Thursday, June 17th: Fifth Grade Moving On Ceremony, 8:45-9:45am (see invitation below)
Friday, June 18th: Rain date for the Fifth Grade Moving On Ceremony, 8:45-9:45am
Monday, June 21st: Last day of school. 11am dismissal.
Monday-Thursday, 8:15-2:45 (8:10-11:30 for half-day kindergarten)
Friday, 8:15-11:30 (8:10-11:30 for half-day kindergarten)
-Grades One and Two: 2:35pm Monday-Thursday; 11:20am Friday
-Grades Three and Four: 2:40pm Monday-Thursday; 11:25am Friday
-Kindergarten and Grade Five: 2:45pm; 11:30am Friday
-All students taking the bus or attending Extended Day will be monitored by Killam staff until picked up.
2021-2022 School Year:
Wednesday, September 1 -- First Day of School for students in Grades 1 to 12
Wednesday, September 1 and Thursday, September 2 - Kindergarten Screening - a schedule will be sent out during the summer
Friday, September 3rd - Vacation Day - No School for students
Monday, September 6th - Labor Day - No School for students, Office Closed
Thursday September 9th - First day of school for Pre-K and all Kindergarten students.
Attention Fifth Grade Families
When: June 21st - August 14th
How: Kids may stop by the Children’s Room to sign up on or after Monday, June 21. They'll be given a Bingo board full of ideas and activities. When they complete a row, column, diagonal, OR do a “blackout” – fill out the whole board they are eligible for prizes. Registration can also occur online in which case the child would have to print their own Bingo sheet.
In addition to the Bingo board there will be ongoing theme-based activities held throughout the summer!
Here's the link for more information, reading lists, events list etc. https://www.readingpl.org/kids-teens/kids/summer-reading/
Message from the Health Office
Hello Killam Families,
Hot weather is on the way! Dehydration happens quickly for kids and adults when the air is warm. Common symptoms of dehydration include:
- Flushed skin
- Feeling Tired
- Dry mouth
Please remember to pack a reusable water bottle for your student. Here are some tips to help your student stay hydrated at school and through the summer heat:
- Water is the best source of hydration, limit juice and other drinks
- Squeeze a fresh fruit into water such as lemon, lime or orange to add a little healthy flavor
- Mark lines on your child's water bottle to show how much they should drink
- Snacks like fruits and vegetables with high water content are helpful – try cucumbers, oranges, or berries.
For kids who will participate in outdoor recreation, it is a great idea to start activities after having some fluid intake to make sure that they are well hydrated. Please encourage your child to take frequent breaks to rehydrate.
Take care and be well!
RPS Laptop and Equipment Returns
Attention families who have an RPS loaner laptop and/or hotspot:
- The equipment will be returned to Killam with your child. In a bag, place a piece of paper with your child's first and last name, the laptop, charger, and hotspot (if applicable). The laptop can be handed to your child's teacher or the adult can return it to the front office.
-If your child is a fully in-person student:
Grades K-4: Return equipment to school from June 7-June 18
Grade 5: Return equipment to school from June 14-June 18
-If your child is fully remote, we want you to have access to the equipment and learning through the school year. All equipment needs to be returned to Killam by Thursday, June 24th. You can return it in person between 8-3 or leave it in the grade level bin out front. We will check it nightly.
Understanding the Process of Assessing for Reading Disabilities
Reading Remembrance Tour
Understanding Disabilities Book Drive
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. Starting on Monday 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 Killam 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.
From the Office of Student Services
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 the 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.
- Wednesday, 6/2/21 @ 9-10 am
- Thursday, 6/10/21 @ 11-12 pm
- Tuesday, 6/15/21 @12-1 pm
Please use the DOODLE Poll below to sign up for an Office Hours time:
Jennifer Stys, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, and Allison Wright, Director of Special Education, are available for office hours to discuss and questions or concerns that you have. Please sign up for one 15 minute time slot. (Only 1 person per time slot). Following sign up, a ZOOM link will be sent prior to your selected time. Please include your FULL NAME and EMAIL address when signing up.
Please reach out to Allison Wright, Director of Student Services (Allison.Wright@reading.k12.ma.us) with any questions or concerns.
SCHOOL SUPPLY KITS
Our school supply kits are ready to go. Go to https://1stdayschoolsupplies.com/ to order now. The deadline to order is July 1.
PTO APPRECIATION NIGHT
Save the date for our PTO appreciation night on Monday June 14th at 7:00pm. A location will be announced closer to the date.
**** Please join the SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) at our next business meeting on Tuesday, June 8 at 7:00 PM. We will be hosting a meet and greet with incoming Superintendent, Thomas Milaschewski, and other new administrators. This meeting will be held virtually, via Zoom. Meeting ID: 830 0724 2726
**** Survey - We would like your feedback on future topics for SEPAC meetings and workshops. Please complete this quick survey no later than Friday, June 4th. SURVEY LINK
*****SEPAC and Reading Public Schools will host a workshop, Understanding the Process of Assessing for Reading Disabilities, on Tuesday, June 15th at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. https://readingpsma.zoom.us/j/87037078496. This is the second in a series of community reading training sessions.
As part of this training, participants will learn about:
· The Process of Assessing for Reading Disabilities
· The Referral Process
· Reading Assessments for Specific Constructs/Assessment Sensitivity
· Using Reading Assessment Data to Drive Instruction/Progress Monitoring (Aimlines)
· The Crafting Minds Special Education Graphic Organizer for Assessment Results
The presenters for the workshop will be:
· Shana Goldwyn, PhD – Team Chairperson: Killam Elementary/Joshua Eaton elementary
· Renee Limauro, MS, CCC-SLP – Team Chairperson: Reading Memorial High School
· Auriana Musselman, M.Ed. – LEAD Teacher, Parker Middle School
All are welcome and ENCOURAGED to attend!
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)
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.
Summer Food Distribution Options
As we continue to transition out of the pandemic, we would like to communicate to you two opportunities throughout the summer where families will be able to access food on a weekly basis. Both of these programs are meant to complement each other and are not in competition with each other.
- Reading Public Schools Food Distribution Program Through the USDA
We will be continuing our food distribution program throughout the summer. As part of the USDA Seamless Summer Program, we will be providing 7 breakfasts and 7 lunches for each child in a family, ages 0-22. The food will include fresh fruits and vegetables, along with perishable items. Food Distribution will be every Tuesday, beginning on June 22nd, from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon at the bridge at Reading Memorial High School near the Hawke Field House. For further information, please contact School Nutrition Director Danielle Collins at Danielle.Collins@reading.k12.ma.us.
II. St. Vincent de Paul Society Fifth Annual Summer Food Distribution Program
The Reading Conference of the Society of St Vincent de Paul is pleased to invite you to share in our fifth annual summer food program. This free program serves the families of any students who are at risk of hunger during this very difficult financial time. Every family who joins this program will receive a supply of free, high quality, nutritious and non-perishable food each week during the summer months...oh, and some new recipes, too.
Here’s how to join:
1. Register your family with us by answering the following three questions:
A. Your last name
B. The number of children in your family
C. The address in Reading to which your groceries should be delivered
2. Send this information to St. Vincent de Paul Society on line at
firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, June 10, 2021.
Weekly deliveries will be made on Wednesday late afternoon from June 16 through August 18.
You will receive a weekly email on the day of delivery which will advise you of the approximate time you can expect your groceries. At this point, if you wish to cancel this delivery just send notice via return email. Please also use this email to discuss any comments or concerns you may have with this free service during the summer.
Your groceries will be delivered to the address in Reading as noted above. Please state which outside door to leave these bags and if you wish the delivery person to ring the bell. To be certain that all the groceries are delivered in a timely way, the driver is on a very strict schedule and so is not able to enter your home.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE:
Although we are sensitive to friends with food allergies, we are not prepared to modify the contents of the bags to meet everyone’s personal needs. Just as you would shop in a store, we ask you to select the items for your family. If there is something you cannot use, please pass it on to someone else or deposit it into the Reading Food Pantry collection bin at your local supermarket.
Best wishes for a very healthy and happy summer,
Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Arrival and Dismissal Procedures
We need the community's help to keep ALL our student safe on campus.
1. All students enter and exit from their external classroom doors (or designated spot). This is the same door your child has been using this year (unless your teacher communicates a new plan).
2. All cars need to be parked along Charles Street, Haverhill Street, or the surrounding neighborhoods. The driveway parking spots are for staff and visitors staying for an extended period of time in the building.
3. There is no idling on school property.
4. The sidewalk along the school entrance is a live fire lane. Cars cannot park or idle there.
5. Our school will remain closed to visitors. In a continued effort to slow the spread by keeping our students with their peers and teachers, we ask all visitors/guardians to ring the front doorbell. A member of the office staff will ask you to remain outside the entrance as we help you with your request.
6. If your child will be absent, call our absentee line 24 hours-a-day at 781-944-7831, option 2. Please state your child’s name, classroom teacher, and reason for absence. We will continue with our COVID tracing protocols so please inform us if the illness is COVID related.
7. Rolling car drop-off begins at 8:10 am.
8. For rolling car drop-off, cars pull all the way up the driveway, parents remain in cars, and students exit from the passenger side of the vehicle.
9. Stay in the rolling car line; do not pass vehicles or buses once your child exits the vehicle.
10. There is a right hand only turn at the end of the driveway onto Charles Street during arrival.
11. The driveway is closed 15 minutes before and after dismissal (2:30-3:00pm; 11:15-11:45 on Fridays), meaning no cars should be parking in or driving through the driveway at dismissal. We will have 400 students returning to school and we need to keep our driveway clear of moving vehicles. The exception to this are buses and vehicles with handicap plaques/accessibility.
Remote Access for In-Person Students Who Are Absent From School
Below are the remote criteria that will be used when students who are in person during a particular week are absent from school. This was shared by Dr. Doherty in a newsletter.
Students will have live remote access under the following conditions:
- He/she is quarantined due to testing positive for COVID-19.
- He/she is quarantined due to being in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
- He/she is being quarantined for being out of state and is waiting for a negative COVID test per DPH guidelines.
- He/she is showing symptoms of COVID-19 and is awaiting test results.
- He/she has another medical condition that prevents them from coming to school.
Students will not have live remote access under the following situations:
- He/she is absent for any reason other than described above.
- He/she is quarantining for 10-14 days because of out of state travel as defined by the MDPH Travel Order and is not getting a COVID-test.
- He/she is going on a family vacation or other non-school activity during school days.
Please note that there may be extenuating circumstances in a school that would require a different action than above. These decisions are at the discretion of the building principal.