Wood End Wildcat News

October 4, 2020

Hello Wood End Families,


This was an emotional week for the Wood End team as we said "goodbye & good luck" to Mr. Hughes, our amazing custodian. Today was his last day with us as he begins his well-deserved retirement after 15 years of dedicated service to our school community. I can say, on behalf of the entire staff, we are going to miss him terribly, but we are so excited for his new adventures to begin!


We are also wrapping up our third week of school and seem to be finding our rhythm. It is fascinating to see the teachers working with our students virtually and keeping them engaged and focused. They have a lot of learning to do this year, so please be sure your child is online for the full day and is attending all sessions. If we do not see them "on camera" we will continue contacting families to find out why they are missing. If students do not attend a remote session, they will be marked absent.


Our Curriculum Night is scheduled for Thursday, October 15th beginning at 6:00 PM. These virtual presentations will be live and will be recorded. This allows for families who may miss a child's grade level presentation or the school wide meeting to view the recording at a later time.

• Specialists (art, music, PE) will prepare pre-recorded information sessions, and provide links to their presentation in the Google classrooms.

• Principal, PTO, SEPAC presentation will be given at the end of the evening and shared in my weekly family newsletter as well as on the Wood End school website.

• Links will be shared with families for each presentation.


The schedule is:

• 6:00 - 6:30 p.m. - Grade K-2 live presentations

• 6:35 - 7:05 p.m. - Grade 3-5 live presentations

• 7:10 - 7:30 p.m. - Principal, PTO, and SEPAC presentation


We look forward to seeing you all soon! We have included an updated school calendar on our school's website to help everyone keep track of which cohort week we are in so you can plan accordingly.


Have a wonderful weekend,

Dr. King

Reminders for Picking Up Student Materials for At-Home Learning

Once again, we have had great success with the materials pick-ups on Fridays with all but a handful of families getting the supplies. Please remember to return all the materials from the previous week so we can stay current with what is being sent home. Often times, those materials have been planned to be sent home to another student the following week, so we need them back! Families are encouraged to make a quick pit stop at Wood End to drop off materials/work/books to be returned and pick up new materials and books for the coming week beginning at 7:30 every Friday morning until 3:00 PM.

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How To Request & Return Library Books

All classes have now been shown how to request a book during their Zoom library class. This does not apply for kindergarten students who have a book borrowing day while at school. Once other grade levels return to school, they will also begin book borrowing at school instead of online. In the meantime, students can request books through this link: https://forms.gle/u3BiRTbD8oD47hRt8


This link is included on all asynchronous library lesson days as well as in each classroom's Google Classroom under "Library Links". Students must complete the required questions. There is a link to browse the library catalog right through the form. 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. If you have any questions email Miss Norcross.

Providing Masks for Students

Many of our students are needing more than one mask per day. This is certainly understandable given the age of our students and the difficulty of wearing a mask for 6 hours a day. We are asking families to help our students by sending in multiple clean masks each day (in a baggie labeled with your child's name). Disposable masks and cotton masks are fine, as outlined in the CDC guidelines. Our school nurse, Mrs. Agami, will replenish masks if needed to ensure our students are comfortable throughout the day. We appreciate your support in keeping everyone safe!

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Portal Forms for 2020-21 Are Ready for Update

Forms are now available in the portal for parents to view and update information. This year there are two forms:


Pupil Information Form -Sent to the primary contact only to update any student information, including medical information, student permissions, emergency childcare and Connect Ed emergency notification information. Once submitted, the fields listed on the Form Data tab will make any changes, allowing the Main Office to see the form has been updated by the parent/guardian.


Contact Update FormEach contact associated with a student will see this form. It includes, name, address, home/mobile/office phone, primary and alternate email address. Contacts are instructed to call the Main Office with changes to primary email addresses because this will impact their portal login and contact will have to be sent another activation code. Each contact will need to log into the portal to see this form.


To recap:

Primary Contact will see both forms in the portal to update pupil information and update their own contact info.

All other contacts will only see the Contact Update form to update their own contact info.


We are asking every family to review and update their information in the Portal. It is important that the Wood End main office has accurate demographic and contact information for every child. Click here to login to your portal account. Once you are logged in, select Forms from the menu bar and complete the 2020-2021 Reading Public Schools Pupil Information form.

OR

If you do not have access to technology, please contact the Main Office at Wood End to request a paper copy which you can return to the school via U.S. mail or drop off at your earliest convenience.


Please take a minute to review the Student Handbook on our website as well as the Student Acceptable Use Policy. Thank you very much for helping us keep information about you and your child up-to-date.

What happens if my teacher is absent today?

As you know, teachers sometimes have to be absent from work for health or personal reasons. For the past year we have had difficulty filling teacher absences with substitutes. This situation is made more complicated by remote learning which requires a skill set that most substitutes do not have. While we are in this hybrid model, if a teacher is absent during their remote week, their class will work remotely on asynchronous lessons for the day. The grade level team will make a plan for this so that students in the affected class are being kept current on lessons while their teacher is absent. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Technology Loaners are Complete!

Our IT department has completed a herculean effort to distribute loaner laptops to families. All families who have requested a device should have received it by now. Some families have been notified to pick up their student laptop and still need to do that, so please do this as soon as possible. We appreciate your cooperation.


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

News From the PTO

The PTO Board met last week to discuss plans for the upcoming school year. We are looking for volunteers to join this group and take on some of the many open positions. This is the perfect time to come along and shadow those folks currently in the roles as most of these people are stepping down.


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!


We will be scheduling a general PTO meeting later this month with more information. We are hoping you can join us to share your thoughts and ideas on virtual fundraising and how to make this year as memorable as we can for our kids! We are looking for creative ways to keep the community engaged this year - this includes parents, teachers and students. If you have any ideas that you’d like to share with us, we would love to hear from you.


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!


Wood End Spirit Wear

Our Blue 84 school store is no longer set up, and we are looking at some other online options that other Reading Elementary schools are using. In the meantime, we do have lots of spirit wear in stock including t-shirts, sweatshirts, and car magnets. We will be sending out information soon on how you can stock up on our Wildcat spirit wear, so stay tuned!


BayState Textile Recycling

This company offers local non-profit organizations and community groups an easy way to fundraise by paying for items donated in our recycling collection bin. Each time the container is emptied, Wood End earns funds! We are paid per pound and have collected several hundred dollars each year!


Acceptable donation items included anything you can wear, sleep in, or dry yourself off with - clothes, shoes, sneakers, handbags, bedding and towels, no matter their condition, as long as they are dry and clean. All items must be contained in plastic bags to keep donations dry and clean. Thank you for your donations!

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FREE MEALS FOR STUDENTS - IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL!

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 until the end of December, or when funding expires.


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.
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Reminders From Our School Nurse


As the colder season starts, we want to remind families and staff to check for COVID-19 symptoms periodically. This is a CRITICAL factor in keeping our schools open and students learning in-person. When in doubt, keep them home and contact your child's pediatrician, or the school nurse, Mrs. Agami for guidance.


You can also refer to the CDC website for a COVID symptom checker, as well as these "frequently asked questions" for more information.


Students and staff have access throughout the day to hand sanitizer to keep themselves and others healthy. Hand washing is the preferred method for removing germs, however, soap and water may not always be readily available. When hand washing is not possible, students will be asked to use hand sanitizer at school. If you do not want your child to use hand sanitizer at school, please complete this form and return it to school by October 2nd.


We appreciate your support in keeping our community healthy!

News from SEPAC

Are you interested in learning more about caregiver education on reading and literacy, particularly early signs of reading challenges? While the SEPAC, in collaboration with Reading Public Schools works towards this goal, Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents (NESCA) is offering a webinar on this specific topic on Oct. 15th. Details and link to register are below.


"Early Signs of Reading Challenges", a webinar featuring NESCA Pediatric Neuropsychologist Alissa Talamo, Ph.D.

October 15 from 2:00-3:00 PM ET

Register in advance for this webinar:

https://nesca-newton.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4XOoaw4IS-e8xEkHt6ev_A


The Reading Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is hosting a Basic Rights Presentation "Evaluation and Eligibility", presented by a representative for the Federation for Children with Special Needs. The Basic Rights Presentation will be held, virtually, on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 7:00 PM, via ZOOM.


All attendees must register via the link provided on the flyer below.


Thank you,

SEPAC Board

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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.

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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!

Upcoming Events:

October

9: Teacher In-Service; no school for students

12: Columbus Day; no school for students

13: Grade 1 & 2 students begin in-person (Cohort B)

15: Back-to-School Curriculum Night for Families, 6:00-7:30 PM

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