JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

I hope that everyone was able to take some time over February break to enjoy the fresh air and be together as a family. I was able to get outside for daily snowshoe walks which was a wonderful way to get some exercise and be out in nature.


There is a lot of chatter regarding news from the Department of Education. On Tuesday, schools received the news at the same time as the general public about Commissioner Riley's want to have all students in five days a week by April 5th. Families who wish to remain fully remote will have the option. At this point, we are working to acquire information and a plan. Additionally, we have been informed that MCAS will proceed and that students who are fully remote will need to come to the school to take the assessments. Again, we are working on a plan as to what this will look like and will communicate as soon as possible. As schools, we have as many questions as you do so we understand how confusing this information appears in the moment.


Finally, I've been receiving emails from families with similar questions so I wanted to make everyone aware of some upcoming information and dates at Killam.



THIRD TERM HYBRID CHANGES:

The next, and final date students can move from fully remote to hybrid is Monday, March 15th. If you are interested in changing your current plan, please email Ms. Leveque by Friday, March 5th. In the subject line, write "hybrid change" and include your child's name and current grade in your correspondence. I will then contact with you further information closer to the March 15th date.


March 15th will be a B week so students in Cohort B can return in person that week. Students in Cohort A will return to in person the week of March 22nd.


Dr. Doherty has also started a survey to think about a potential full return to school. Please take the time to fill this survey out as we think about our next steps.



SCHOOL PICTURES:

Many families have asked about school pictures. We are once again working with O'Connor Studios to set up dates for our students to have their school pictures taken. Due to the COVID restrictions we need to follow, we are planning to have two separate weeks to ensure everyone has an opportunity to have their photo taken. We are taking individual photos this year but not class photos due to social distancing. We are planning on having all students, grade K-4 in Cohort B on Tuesday, March 16. Then, we will have all students in Cohort A on Wednesday, March 24.


Fully Remote students will have an opportunity to come in after school on March 24th from 3-4pm if they want to participate. If you are a fully remote family and wish for your child to have a school photo taken, please email our school administrative assistant, Jackie Maglio by March 12th. Mark your calendars. More details will be coming soon!




THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL:

Snow days do impact our end date. Currently, we have had two snow days, so the last day of school is scheduled for June 21st. Final approval about our school calendar and last day of school is determined later in the spring with Dr. Doherty and approved by the School Committee.



INCOMING KINDERGARTEN SCREENING:

This is not yet planned. Once we have decided as elementary schools how to proceed, I will share information with families as soon as possible.



COVID POOL TESTING STUDENT SOCIAL STORY AND VIDEO:

As we begin rolling out pool testing with students, we wanted to share a Killam specific social story and video to help your child understand the procedures. This week we began with staff and it was very quick and well organized. Students who have been signed up to be Covid tested will be accompanied by a staff and will step out of their classrooms to take the test. We have a wonderful group of nurturing individuals, led by our own Sharon Grottkau, in helping think about our students emotional and physical needs throughout this testing process.



Stay well,

Ms. Leveque

Killam Upcoming Dates

Week of February 28th Cohort B week
-Read Across America Begins


Wednesday, March 3rd: 100th Day of School

-PTO Virtual Meeting, 7-8 pm (see below)




Hybrid In-person Weeks Staggered Dismissal:

-Grades One and Two: 2:35pm

-Grades Three and Four: 2:40pm
-Kindergarten and Grade Five: 2:45pm

-All students taking the bus or attending Extended Day will be monitored by Killam staff until picked up.

-Remote learning weeks end at 2:45, Grades K-5

Killam Read Across America beginning in March!

Our Read Across America theme is Around the World with Reading. We will read and listen to authors and books from all over the world!


  • Our Spirit Days are Wednesday, March 10th (cohort A) and March 17th (kindergarten and cohort B) - Dress As Your Favorite Story Book Character!

  • We will have guest readers in school or over Zoom!

  • Our Virtual Bedtime Story Hour is Thursday, March 11th from 6:00-7:00!

  • Our 4th and 5th Graders will vote for their favorite MCBA Book!

  • We will host our first Battle of the Books Challenge and vote for our school favorite!

  • Our Makerspace At Home Challenge is to recreate the Landmarks of the World!

  • Lauren Tarshis Virtual Author Visit for 3rd-5th Grade in the Spring!

  • Send us pictures of you reading at home or at school!



Check out with Mrs. Adamo has put together for our students!
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MWRA Student Contest

The MWRA is sponsoring a Poster and Writing Contest for students who live in or attend school in a community served by the MWRA such as Reading. Students are invited to use their creative skills to design a poster and/or write an essay, poem or story about the important work being done behind the scenes at the MWRA to make sure we all have clean drinking water and/or proper wastewater treatment. For more information and the contest and all the paperwork needed to enter, please visit the MWRA website.


All entries must be postmarked no later than March 12th.

Building Safety Project at Killam

As part of the district wide building safety upgrades, all schools are getting new cameras and keyless entry systems. The electrical contractors will be starting at Killam on Monday. All contractors will be wearing IDs and have had CORI checks. They are following all COVID safety protocols. We anticipate this work to take four to six weeks. We're very excited about our safety upgrades.

Grades 3-5 MCAS Testing 2021

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is preparing for MCAS administration this spring and therefore we are starting the preparation process at the Killam School. The testing windows for this spring are:


  • April 5 to May 7 English Language Arts - Grades 3, 4, and 5
  • April 26 to May 28 Math - Grades 3, 4, and 5
  • Science, Technology Engineering April 27 to May 28 - Grade 5


DESE is making adjustments to the number of sessions due to the shortened testing window. We do not have information yet on how tests will be administered for fully remote students. Please keep these testing windows in mind when scheduling appointments or other school absences for your child.

Killam Safety Reminders

Arrival:

Follow these guidelines if you are participating in rolling car drop-off a child at the front of the building:


  1. Pull up as far as you can in the driveway prior to letting your child exit the car.
  2. Drivers stay in the car and children exit on the sidewalk side of the car.
  3. If your child is unable to get out of the car independently, please park in a street parking space and walk them in.
  4. Do not pass cars in the driveway and it is a right turn only out of the driveway.


Dismissal:

At dismissal time, there is no live pick up in the driveway except for students who take the bus.


As a safety reminder, the staff parking lot is staff only. We've seen families parking there for dismissal and we respectfully ask that you park along the street. With our students exiting from their external doors in the parking lot, having cars drive in and out is not safe. Thanks for helping us out.


Dogs and Puppies on School Grounds

As much as we all love dogs and puppies and as much fun as it is walking them, School Committee policy prohibits dogs on school grounds. If you'd like to walk your dog as part of your pick up routine, the dog has to stay off school property. If you'd like your child to walk to you on the sidewalk or to the driveway entrances at dismissal so you can wait with your dog please make that plan with them.

The Jungle Book

Parker Drama is presenting The Jungle Book - livestreamed! - on Thursday, March 25 @ 6:30pm and Friday, March 26 @ 7:30pm.

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Student Services Office Hours

Dear Families,


We hope everyone is feeling rested after February break and that you were able to spend some time with your families! As we move into the month of March, we wanted to share the Student Services Office Hours for the upcoming month. Please use the link to the DOODLE Poll to select a time to meet with us.


The purpose of Office Hours is to meet with the Director and Assistant Director of Student Services to ask questions, express concerns or to share personal experiences of your student. These are optional meetings and are not team meetings. We've enjoyed these opportunities and look forward to continuing connecting with families during office hours.


Prior to your scheduled time, a ZOOM link will be sent to you via email. Please be sure to include your email address when you sign up!


If you have any questions regarding Office Hours, please contact Allison Wright, Assistant Director of Student Services @ Allison.Wright@reading.k12.ma.us.


Office Hours for March 2021

  • Wednesday 3/3 @9:00-10:00 am
  • Tuesday 3/9 @ 1:00-2:00 pm
  • Thursday 3/18 @ 11:00-12:00 pm
  • Monday 3/22 @ 10:30-11:30 am
  • Wednesday 3/31 @ 9:00-10:00 am

Link to the Doodle Poll to sign up for Office Hours:

Link to Doodle Poll



Thank you,
Jennifer Stys and Allison Wright

PTO Corner

PTO Meeting Next WEDNESDAY, March 3rd at 7pm!

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125295940?pwd=K3FESkE0S3JVbS9iV3huSDVEeWIzZz09
(meeting ID 861 2529 5940, password 333charles). Join us to discuss plans and share ideas for upcoming events!


Help stock the teacher lounge!

Next Wednesday marks 100 days of school at Killam! To help celebrate, we are planning on stocking the teacher’s lounge with snacks and goodies for our staff.

We have created an Amazon wishlist in case anyone would like to help stock the lounge! This year has been different due to covid and we have not been able to provide some of the teacher appreciation events that we have in past years. Purchasing snacks will help us keep the lounge stocked for the rest of the year!

Here is our wishlist: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/genericItemsPage/1R0PI678V8CFM?fbclid=IwAR2fnT-SiSV2tCkr-GnT00xFjQSWuCutIzT2ojIdNwbfg1LHaIf4IjqFbjY&ref_=wl_share


Wishlist items will be sent directly to Christie Proctor’s house. If you have any questions please e-mail us at jwkpresidents@gmail.com



Paint Night with Mrs. Hussey

Please join us for a virtual paint night with Mrs. Hussey funded by the Killam PTO!

Read on for more details and then complete the form here: https://docs.google.com/forms/u/1/d/e/1FAIpQLSfrE3ujaMtXxnA4VjS9sBPmyvfbJ0YNHkqsWfc4GSK362p3Nw/viewform?usp=send_form



5th Grade Fundraiser

Let's All Think Spring!

Janelle Greatorex

will be sponsoring a Scentsy Fragrance Flower oil diffuser sale to benefit our 5th graders! Janelle is generously donating 50% of all the sales back to help fund memory books and the 5th grade class gift to Killam. Sales begin March 1st.



Save the Date!

Our next Dine-out will be on Wednesday March 10th with EJ’s Pizza Grab and Go in Wilmington. 20% of sales will go back to the PTO, just mention Killam when you order! Come support the Killam PTO AND support a Killam family!

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SEPAC Information


Please join the SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) at our next business meeting on


Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 7:00 PM!


New business for this meeting includes an update from our reading/literacy subcommittee and a brief presentation by Alice Gomez, School Psychologist, on community resources, followed by a parent discussion regarding the same. Please join us for this presentation and discussion and feel free to share any additional resources that you think other parents may find helpful. All are welcome!


This meeting will be held virtually, via Zoom.


Join us for our next

VIRTUAL SEPAC MEETING

on Tuesday, February 9th at 7 PM.

Meeting link: Join Zoom Meeting



Please also join us for our next VIRTUAL Reading and Literacy Subcommittee Meeting

on Tuesday, February 2nd at 7PM.

Meeting link: https://readingpsma.zoom.us/j/87835232197


All are welcome and ENCOURAGED to attend!


Connect with SEPAC by clicking these links:


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.

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.

Lunch Reminders

As you all know, our lunch program is FREE for students this school year. All students may receive a healthy lunch at no cost. However, snacks, bottled water, and additional lunches are not free and families will be charged for those items. We have several students ordering an additional lunch or snack and we just want to be sure families are aware this is happening so you are not surprised if you are billed for these items. Please talk with your child and check your account to see about snacks.

Mask Up Reading!

The Town of Reading asks residents to:

· Wear a mask or face covering whenever you are not at home or in your personal vehicle.

· Maintain social distancing, at least 6' from others.

· Observe the State's Stay-at-Home Advisory from 10PM – 5AM.

· Review the latest CDC Guidance.

· Get a flu shot.

· Talk about Covid precautions with household members, neighbors, friends, and colleagues.

· Stay home when you are experiencing symptoms.

· Don't hesitate to get a COVID-19 test (click here for testing sites).


If you have any questions, please contact our local Board of Health.

Reading Public School Laptops

A friendly reminder that if you were loaned a laptop from RPS, it is expected that your child is bringing that device to school whenever they are in person. Thank you!

A Note from Food Services

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 for the entire 2020-2021 school year.


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 Danielle.Collins@Reading.k12.ma.us or 781-670-2822

Resources to Setup Your Child for Remote Learning

Your child's teacher will communicate today the daily schedule for remote learning. They will also be sharing their own resources and tutorials. Below are a few of the main instructional platforms that all students will be using. These documents walk you through how to setup for success for the first day of school.


All information is listed under the Distance Learning Resources tab on the Killam Homepage.


Google Classroom
-How to Sign-in to Google Classroom

-How to Post Assignments in Google Classrooms

-How to View and Respond to Comments in Google Classroom
-Supporting your Child in Google Classroom


-Google – Teach from Anywhere: Google has established a website to help families and teachers (individual links) use Google and troubleshoot common problems, but all provide helpful hints. This is something teachers may want to share with families at some point. Click HERE to check it out!



Zoom
-How to Login to Zoom


Microsoft Teams

-How to Login to Microsoft Teams


SeeSaw
-How to Access SeeSaw through Google Classroom


Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Support 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.


We have a secondary RPS Social-Emotional Learning Resource Center with additional materials.

School Presentations:
Building (Hybrid) Safety Procedures, October 2020 (Passcode: 2*7M=v9S)

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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!