JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

It was great to see so many of you at last night's Killam Family Picnic. Thank you to the PTO for sponsoring the evening! It is a wonderfully positive sight to see our community coming together and enjoying a Friday evening.

We are pleased to announce the addition of Ms. Michelle Melchionda and Ms. Katherine Boebel to our cafeteria! Ms. Maureen Passatempo has shifted into the role of acting cafeteria manager and has done an outstanding job supporting Ms. Melchionda and Ms. Boebel as they acclimate to the Killam School. As our staff settles into the routines, we will be extending the limited lunch choices for one more week. For the week of September 16th, we will continue to only serve the hot lunch special, bagels, and pretzels. Thank you for your patience as we get our cafeteria fully running.


Ms. Leveque

Important Killam Dates

Thursday, September 19th: PTO Presentation -- Speaker: Theresa Wiggins, Mindfulness in Schools, 7-8 pm in the Killam Cafeteria

Wednesday, September 25th: PTO sponsored Killam Fall Clean Up

Thursday, September 26th: Killam School Picture Day

Killam School Council Opportunity

Calling all parents who wish to join the Killam School Council! Teachers Kate Splaine and Tonia McGuire, along with parents Nick Marrangoni and Jennifer Vogelzang, were acting members of the 2018-2019 School Council. They did an outstanding job engaging in discussions to promote our school and establish a home-school dialogue.

By law, the School Council is tasked with four responsibilities:

-Adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards

-Identifying the educational needs of students attending the school

-Reviewing the annual school building budget

-Formulating a school improvement plan

This year, the Killam School Council will meet four times. The dates are as follows:

-October 7th, 3-4 pm

-January 6th, 3-4 pm

-April 6th, 3-4 pm

-June 8th, 3-4 pm

If you are interested in joining the School Council, please email Ms. Leveque at sarah.leveque@reading.k12.ma.us by Friday, September 27th.

Update on Reading Public Schools Bus Routes

As promised, we have monitored the travel time for the morning bus routes to determine if there can be a shift in bus run pickup times. We are happy to inform you that beginning on September 16th the runs will change to the following:

Middle School Begin at 6:55 a.m.

Elementary Begin at 7:25 a.m.

High School Begin at 7:50 a.m.

We thank you for your patience in this matter.

A Message from the Health Office

Welcome Back! I am very happy to see all the students and I am excited about the upcoming school year!

  • I would appreciate any donations of spare pull on pants (sweatpants or leggings) so I have extra clothes for kids to change into when needed.

  • For students in grades three through five, please send in copy of your child’s most recent physical exam and immunizations for your child’s medical record.

  • Just a quick note about the EEE virus:

I have received some phone calls expressing concerns about the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus and asking whether there are precautions to prevent the virus. I have attached some information that may be helpful. As always, I am available to answer any other questions you may have.


-Sharon Grottkau, School Nurse

Killam Staff attend the Reading Fall Faire

Killam teachers Lucille Kaloyanides, Katie Cole, Tonia, McGuire, and Victoria Binns attend the Reading Fall Faire. Joining them in the Understanding Disabilities Jail is Wood End teacher Sarah Bielicki.
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Reading Public Schools Religious Holiday Accommodations -- from Dr. Doherty

Over the next week, there will be teachers, students, and their families who will be celebrating and observing two major religious Jewish holidays where they will be missing school. During this time, families will be attending temple services and gathering with families during the evening hours. The full School Committee Policy, IMDA and the implementation regulations, IMDA-R are found here.

For planning purposes, the following upcoming holidays are recognized by the Reading Public Schools as major religious holidays:

Rosh Hashanah: Begins at sundown on Sunday, September 29th and ends at sundown on Tuesday, October 1st.

Yom Kippur: Begins at sundown on Tuesday, October 8th and ends at sundown on Wednesday, October 9th.

State and federal laws require schools to make reasonable accommodation to the religious needs of students in observance of holy days. With respect to students, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 151C, section 2B reads in relevant part as follows:

“Any student in an educational or vocational training institution...who is unable, because of his religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study or work requirement which he may have missed because of such absence on any particular day….No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his availing himself of the provisions of this section.”

As a result, the following accommodations will be in place for ALL students on the following dates:
No assignments will be due for any student the day of or the day after the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays. Therefore, there will be no assignments due in any classroom in the Reading Public Schools on September 30, October 1, October 2, 9 and 10.

No tests or quizzes will be scheduled on the days of Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. Therefore, there will be no tests or quizzes scheduled on September 30, October 1, and October 9.

No one-time events such as field trips, music performances, theatre plays and productions, auditions, and back to school functions will be scheduled on the days or eves of Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. Therefore, there will be no one-time events scheduled on September 29th (evening), September 30, October 1st, October 8th, and October 9th.

Absences on Religious Holidays

Parents and students (if age appropriate) are encouraged to notify the school in advance when their child will be not be attending school because of religious or ethnic observance.
Discrimination against any student, because of such individual’s religious/ethnic belief or practice, or any absence based on said belief or practice is prohibited.

1. Any pupil absent from school because of a religious holiday may not be deprived of any award or eligibility or opportunity to compete for any award because of such absence;

2. Students whose conscientious observance of a religious or ethnic holiday conflicts with participating in a school-scheduled event such as tryouts, athletic contests, theatricals, or concerts, will not be required to participate nor penalized for their non-participation;

3. Any absence because of religious or ethnic holiday must be recorded as an excused absence for religious observance in the school register or in any group or class attendance record.

4. Parents should follow the normal procedures when their child is going to be absent to observe the religious holiday and call the parent verification system at the school on the day of the absence or notify the school in advance by email, written note, or phone. If a child is to receive an excused absence for religious observance, the parent must indicate that information in the correspondence with the school.

Emergency Contact Forms are ONLINE

The RPS Pupil Information Card is located within your PlusPortal account. To review and update the form, login and locate the Forms Tab. As guardians fill these out, they update in both our PlusPortals and our Admin. Plus databases. This will be our database for the year. These are our emergency cards and how you will receive notices all year. Please fill these forms out and keep them up-to-date throughout the year. Paper emergency contact forms will NOT be going home.

CORI Forms

In order to volunteer for school activities (for example: chaperoning field trips, volunteering in school events like Halloween Bash or Field Day, volunteering in the library, classroom helper) you must have a current CORI (Criminal Offender Record Check) on file. CORIs are valid for three years and cannot travel between districts or locations. (For instance, if you have been CORI'd for your work it cannot transfer to Killam, you have to do a new CORI at Killam). They can travel between schools in the Reading Public Schools; if you have submitted a CORI form at Parker and are approved we can honor that at Killam. If you are new to the Reading Public Schools or had your last CORI completed three years ago, please come by the office and complete a CORI. You must have a valid government issued ID with you. The office is open for CORI checks from 7:30 to 3:30 each day.

PTO Corner

Join us on Thursday, September 19th for our first PTO meeting with guest presenter Theresa Wiggins. She will be discussing Mindfulness in Schools from 7-8 pm in the Killam Cafeteria.

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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!