JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

I am pleased to share the 2020-2021 Killam School Improvement Plan. To access the plan, click here. Each year, schools are required to create overarching student learning and professional learning goals that support the forward movement of our community's educational experience. The goals support the District Improvement Plan and better address our individual school needs. We will be focusing on the hybrid learning experience and our equity, diversity, and inclusivity work. I want to thank the Killam staff and the Killam School Council for their guidance on this plan. I will send periodic updates on our School Improvement Plan throughout the year.


Stay well,

Ms. Leveque

Killam Upcoming Dates

Week of December 6th: Cohort B


Thursday, December 10th: Hanukkah begins at sundown


Friday, December 18th: Term 1 Report Cards emailed home



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

Rolling Car Drop-off

We appreciate everyone following the Do's and Don'ts of our rolling car drop-off. We need everyone's help to keep our morning arrival safe and our line moving smoothly.


This year, we are not having bad weather flag days, meaning regardless of weather, students are entering from their external classroom doors. Again, we are not using the front entrance, cafeteria, or gym for bad weather days. The only exception to this is if it's after 8:25 in which we will have students enter the front door at socially distanced timings (please note that 8:25 is the tardy bell; corrected from previous communication). As overall reminders:


DO:

-drive like your own children go to school here! Safety is key!

-drive slowly, being mindful of the crosswalks in the driveway. We have a LOT of children and families using our driveway crosswalks so eyes need to be on the surroundings at all times.

-pull all the way forward in the driveway. This helps us get our students unloaded quickly and safely.

-have your child exit the car closest to the sidewalk and front face of the building. This helps us keep students out of the path of cars.

-only take a right hand turn out of the driveway. This helps us avoid a bottleneck traffic jam.


DON'T:

-drop-off prior to 8:10 AM.

-stop directly in front of the school. Pull forward to the end of the driveway.

-get out of your car. If your child needs extra help to unload or to say goodbye, park and walk your child to their external classroom door.

-pass any buses or vans. It's against the law to pass a school bus/van that is unloading.

-pass cars in front of you once you drop-off. Stay in a single line.

-park in the staff parking lot.

-use the rolling car line to drop off materials to your child or class. Please park and bring the materials to the door.

Cold Weather Gear

We have been very fortunate this year to have unseasonably warm weather. We will continue to get outside as much as possible. Just a reminder that we do go outside every day unless the temperature or wind chill is 19 degrees or below, or there is heavy rain or snow. We use the WeatherBug app to check the temperature and we encourage you to do the same in the mornings. Additionally, as previously shared, regardless of weather or temperature, students will be entering the school from their external classroom doors. We will not be using the gym or cafeteria for before school gatherings as we want to encourage social distancing practices. To that end, we ask that you please send your child to school dressed appropriately for the weather. Thank you!

Gift Cards for Holiday Gifts

Gift Card Fundraising - $ for Killam while Shopping

Please consider supporting our school by purchasing gift cards through the Shop With Scrip Program. The retailers sell the gift cards at a discount, you pay face value and Killam receives the difference as revenue. Physical gift cards and ecards are available along with reloading options. This is a great way to support Killam with your everyday and holiday shopping. Physical cards are ordered in bulk and shipped in bulk to minimize shipping fees and maximize rebates. A full list of retailers and the rebate percentage can be found on the website, https://shop.shopwithscrip.com/Login. You can skip the login and click on SHOP to just browse. Killam’s enrollment code is D55318B4173L8 (more details in AtoZ Connect PTO email).


December order deadline for physical cards is Monday, December 7th

Please contact Kate DePalma at kate.w.depalma@gmail.com if you have any questions.


Killam PTO thanks you for your support!

Student Services Office Hours

With the holidays upon us, we wanted to take a quick moment to thank all the families for their support and partnership during this most unusual school year. We hope that you all have a chance to relax, spend time with family and reenergize over the coming weeks!



As December is approaching, we wanted to share our office hours for the month of December. Jen Stys, Director of Student Services, and Allison Wright, Assistant Director of Student Services, are available for office hours on the following dates. Please sign up for an appointment through the link below.



December Office Hours:

  • Tuesday, December 8 @ 9-10 am
  • Wednesday, December 16 @ 2-3 pm
  • Monday, December 21 @ 12-1 pm


Link to the DOODLE Poll to sign up for office hours:

https://doodle.com/poll/megik5eq9tmh8tvf?utm_source=poll&utm_medium=link



We are all thankful to be working in such a wonderful community.



Best,

Jen Stys and Allison Wright

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!

Attention 2021-2022 Incoming Kindergarten Families

Attention Reading Families: If you have a child born between September 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016, we are looking for you. The registration process for the 2021-22 school year will begin soon. Please contact Linda Engelson by phone (781 944-5800) or email (linda.engelson@reading.k12.ma.us) if you have any questions or would like to be sure your child is on our preliminary list. If emailing, please provide your child’s name, date of birth and address.


Registration packet available on the district website. Registration is due December 4th.


The Incoming Kindergarten Parent Information session took place on November 4th and is available for viewing through this link (Passcode: 35^CYsCs).

A Message from the Health Office

Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful:

Students are spending more time outside this year; P.E. class and recess, as well as some mask breaks and snack times happen outdoors. Winter weather will be here soon. Though light clothing is comfortable inside, it is important students come to school dressed for being outdoors every day. Please help by having your student dress in layers on cold days and/or pack some extra outdoor gear. Mittens and hats are especially important.


Flu Vaccine Reminder:

Thank you to everyone who has sent me their student’s flu vaccine information! December 31st is the last day to comply with the 2020 flu vaccination requirement. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health made influenza vaccine a requirement for school attendance for the 2020 – 2021 school year; whether a student is attending in person or remote.

In past years, influenza vaccine was recommended annually for all people over 6 months of age. There are important reasons that led to the decision to make influenza a required vaccine:

  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, influenza vaccine will play an important role in reducing the overall risk of respiratory illness for the general population.
  • The vaccine may reduce the severity of the illness for anyone who contracts flu after receiving the vaccine.
  • By potentially reducing significant respiratory illnesses, this may reduce the overall impact on the healthcare system.


For the current season, the influenza vaccine is being offered as both an injectable and a nasally administered vaccine. If your child has not been vaccinated, please contact your child’s physician at your earliest convenience to make an appointment for your student to receive their vaccine. Once your child has been vaccinated, please send me the documentation. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 781-942-9177. Thank you!


Thank you again and enjoy the weekend!

Sharon

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
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PTO Corner

SHOP WITH SCRIP

The retailers sell the gift cards at a discount, you pay face value and Killam receives the difference as revenue. Physical gift cards and ecards are available along with reloading options. This is a great way to support Killam with your everyday and holiday shopping. Physical cards are ordered in bulk and shipped in bulk to minimize shipping fees and maximize rebates. See the writeup earlier in this newsletter for information.


TOYS FOR TOTS

We will have a marked bin outside of the main entrance of school from Monday November 30th thru Friday December 11th. We ask that you consider donating a new, unwrapped toy for a child this holiday. Please reach out to Nicole Crosby with any questions Crosby_777@hotmail.com.


DINE-OUT

Mandarin on a Friday? Yes please! Join us Friday December 11th for our December Dine-out at the Mandarin restaurant in Reading. Mention Killam when ordering and 20% of the proceeds will go back to the PTO. This is good for lunch or dinner!


5th GRADE CLOTHING DRIVE

We are still collecting clothes for our 5th grade fundraiser! Drop off your bags by December 5th by the main entrance of Killam.


GEAR AND BOOK FAIR PICKUP

If you chose to send books home in your child’s folder from the book fair they should be coming home soon! We are planning to do a drive thru pick up at Killam for both gear and books when the gear is ready. If you would like to get your books earlier, please e-mail JWKPresidents@gmail.com to arrange a pickup.


DUES

We know that many families are under greater financial strain right now, and we are reducing our dues estimates: this year, we ask families to consider paying $30-50 per child, or $75-$100 per family. As is the case every year, our highest priority is participation, so please consider paying ANY amount, no matter how small, to help support the work we do.

SEPAC Information

Please join the SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) at our next business meeting on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 7:00 PM! New business to be discussed includes an update from the Director of Student Services, Dr. Jennifer Stys, regarding the special education program descriptions; a report from the SEPAC reading/literacy subcommittee; and a request for a SEPAC budget liaison volunteer regarding the Reading Public Schools FY 2021 Budget.

This meeting will be held virtually, via Microsoft Teams.


Join us for our next

VIRTUAL SEPAC MEETING

on Tuesday, December 8th at 7 PM.

Meeting link: Click here to join the meeting

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.

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.

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!