Wood End Wildcat News

November 15, 2020 ~ Week A In-Person

Big picture

Hello Wood End Families,

We will finally begin welcoming our grade 4-5 students back this week. Students in Cohort A begin on Monday while those in Cohort B begin on November 23rd. We have been setting up our satellite classrooms, installing the necessary technology, and finalizing schedules to make sure we are ready. As a reminder, all Grade 4-5 students need to enter the school through the main entrance, no earlier than 8:10 a.m. where they will meet their teachers before heading upstairs to classrooms. Please remind students to bring a refillable water bottle and extra mask. We look forward to seeing our students back in school!

We will continue to monitor the health and safety of all students and staff, and we are asking families to do the same. In order to keep COVID cases to a minimum and our schools open, PLEASE follow all social distancing guidelines. If your child is not feeling well, please do not send them to school. If you have any questions about our policies and procedures regarding COVID, please reach out to our school nurse, Kristen Agami, or our Director of Nurses, Mary Giuliana for more information.

Wishing you all a great weekend,

Dr. King

We Need Our Community's Support!

During my many years as part of the Wood End community, I have always been inspired by the love, care and empathy our families have for one another. Whether we are cheering for our students, raising money for technology and classroom libraries, donating gifts for the holidays, visiting those who are sick or grieving with those who have lost a loved one, sending cards and well-wishes, this is truly a unique community. I am reaching out to ask you to come together once again to surround two of our families with love & care.

We have recently learned that two of our moms have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are undergoing treatment. Not only are these moms our neighbors and friends, they are part of our Wood End family. Both are juggling many roles including caring for their children, working full-time jobs, cleaning, cooking, laundry, and as always, thinking of others. It's our turn to step up and help them so they can concentrate on the next phase of their journey to health.

We have set up a meal train to provide some nourishment for these beautiful ladies and their families. It will be a huge relief to not worry about meal planning for a few nights each week as they spend time resting and healing. If you are interested in providing a meal, or gift cards to some local restaurants, please click on this link and join the meal train. We thank you for any support you can provide, as well as your thoughts & prayers.

If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out to Dr. King. We are happy to help in any way!

Online Book Fair Continues This Week!

We will be hosting an online book fair through Follett Books. The fair will be held Monday, November 2 through Saturday, November 21. If you’d like to purchase books please click HERE and type in class code: ZYY74

This is a great opportunity to start your holiday shopping early while supporting the Wood End Library since any books ordered will arrive before the holidays.

Profits will help Miss Norcross purchase new nonfiction books to update the collection in our school’s library.

All books ordered online will be shipped to Wood End where we will sort them and make arrangements for easy pick up. Please feel free to reach out to Kerry Giordano or Kelly Mahoney with any questions.

Big picture

Changing From Hybrid Or Remote Learning

As we near the end of the first marking period for elementary students, we are sending out this request form to all Elementary parents/guardians if they would like to request that their child transition from either hybrid to remote OR from remote to hybrid. Please note that we will only be able to honor requests from remote to hybrid if there is space available in our classrooms due to our six foot physical distancing requirements. We will honor requests in order of priority of student needs (high needs students would receive first priority).

This form should only be completed by parents who would like to change their child's instructional model from hybrid to fully remote OR from fully remote to hybrid. You do not need to complete this form if you would like to keep your child in the model that they are currently in. Please complete one form for each child in your family at the elementary level ONLY.

The deadline to complete this form is 4:00 p.m. on Friday, November 20th.

Click HERE to complete the survey.

Thank you!

Big picture

Reading Education Foundation

The Reading Education Foundation (REF), non-profit foundation, is committed to supporting innovation and excellence in the Reading Public Schools. Our goal is to enhance and increase educational opportunities for all Reading students by providing funds for projects that go beyond the scope of traditional classroom learning. We are committed to working for the whole child and every child.

This year, instead of the Festival of Trees, the REF is thinking outside the box. See the flyer below for ways to bring the Festival of Trees into your home. To order a snow globe kit, click here.

Updates From the PTO

Flamingo Flocking has Wrapped Up

Thank you to Christy Mraz for organizing all of the deliveries, to Dimpee Desai for running Square, and to all the community members who delivered and purchased flamingos! We hope that they brought you some joy, surprise and laughs!

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!

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.

Resources for Families

Reading Coalition’s Mental Health Resource List, Substance Misuse Resource List, and information on the Interface Referral Service has been updated and is available for all our families. The most updated version of our COVID-19 Resource is available on our website along with some additional resources. Please take a look if you need support for you or your family.

Book Borrowing - Returns & Renewals

Book Requests:

Need a good book? 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.

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.

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. Our next spirit day is December 4th (NEW DATE) - Patriots' Day, wear your favorite football team's colors!

Laptops and Technology Help

As we have more cohorts coming back into school, it will be an expectation that any child who was provided with a loaner laptop will be bringing that laptop to school during in-person learning weeks, if the classroom teacher requests this. This will ensure we have enough devices for every student in the building. If you are asked to do this, please be sure laptops are transported securely in your child's backpack, away from any liquids that could spill.

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

You Can Join the Family Directory

We are asking any families who wish to share their contact information do so through the Parent Portal. We currently have about 35 families who are participating in sharing their 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.

Big picture

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. 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!

Big picture

Information From SEPAC

SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) is hosting a presentation by Coordinator of Mediation and Facilitation, Myrto Flessas, of the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) at our next general meeting, on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 7:00 PM.

This presentation will be held virtually, via Zoom

Join us for our next


on Tuesday, November 17th at 7 PM.

Meeting link: https://readingpsma.zoom.us/j/85279985457

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)

· 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.

Big picture

FAQs About COVID-19

What happens if my child is sent home sick from school?

Any child who is ill will be sent home and asked to follow up with their pediatrician. Children with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 will be tested at the doctor's recommendation.

If a student has COVID-19-like symptoms, they may return to school after they have tested negative for COVID-19, have improvement in symptoms, and have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications. If a provider makes an alternative diagnosis for the COVID-19-like symptoms, the individual may return to school based on recommendations for that alternative diagnosis (e.g., influenza or strep pharyngitis).

If a student presents with COVID-19-like symptoms and chooses not to be tested, they may return to school 10 days from the start of symptoms, as long as their symptoms have improved and they have been without fever for at least 24 hours prior to their return to school without the use of fever reducing medication.

If your child has been to the doctor, please provide a note when they return to school.

Where can I get myself/my child tested?

Here are local testing sites and information COVID-19 Testing

How can I prepare my child for testing?

Here is updated information about the COVID test?

Will schools be testing staff and students?

Not at this time. Anyone who is a close contact or is symptomatic should consult with their physician about testing. In the event of a cluster (or outbreak of cases) in the schools, in consultation with the Reading Board of Health, there may be surveillance testing for asymptomatic staff and students.

If a student in my child’s class tests positive will the class need to quarantine?

If a student tests positive, any close contacts of the child should also be tested and quarantined for 14 days. The rest of the class and teacher would only have to quarantine if the child tests positive, and if they had close contact with the student within 2 days prior to the positive test.

What is a close contact?

A close contact is anyone who has been within 6 feet of another individual for a period of at least 10-15 minutes. By wearing masks, we are hoping to decrease the transmission of the virus, however it is still considered an exposure.

If my child is a close contact of someone with COVID but they test negative, may they return to school?

All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person, regardless of test result.

What happens if I or my child test positive?

It is important to note that testing, combined with contact tracing and isolation, helps control the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. All test results, both positive and negative, are reported to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). When a person has a positive COVID-19 test, it is the local board of health or the Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative that will reach out to provide support so that these individuals can remain safely in medical isolation. They will also ask for help to identify close contacts. These organizations will then reach out to the individual’s close contacts to provide important information that is aimed to stop the spread of the virus, including how to safely isolate/quarantine. While these organizations will provide support to further assist with contact tracing, the student/family and staff are asked to reach out to their personal contacts and notify the school.

What if my family member tests positive?

If you are a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you must also be tested and quarantine for 14 days after the last close contact.

Does Reading have a lot of cases?

Check here to get more information about our community

What if my family travels outside of Massachusetts?

Anyone traveling to a higher risk area must complete a travel form and quarantine for 14 days unless they have a negative test within 72 hours of return/entry.

See COVID-19 Travel Order for details.

Where can I get more health information?

Click here to access the Reading School Nurses Virtual Health Office

Massachusetts Deptartment of Public Health website

CDC website


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 781-670-2822.

Big picture

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.

Big picture

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:


16: Grades 4-5 Cohort A return to school

20: Conference Day; No school for students

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

26: Happy Thanksgiving!

Big picture