JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

We are fortunate to have an active PTO and at a recent meeting, we discussed the rolling car drop-off. Rolling car drop-off continues to be a challenge for us. We continue to see parents getting out of the car to say goodbye to students, as well as pass cars on the left. We need both of these to stop. It is extremely unsafe and distracting for our students and drivers to have both events happen. If you wish to help your child out of the car or have an extra moment to say goodbye, you are welcome to park and walk your child to the playground. When we pass on the left, we cause a bottleneck at the exit of the driveway and we have seen near misses as cars pull away from the curb. We want every child to enter our building safely each day and your example matters. Please help us out!

Additionally, based on feedback, we have been working on creative solutions to let families know it’s an In-Day for drop-off. This week, we tried out an additional flag at the entrance of the Killam driveway (near the Charles Street - Boswell Road intersection). Thanks to Mrs. Iozzo and Mrs. Trites for creating a new flag for us. We also wish to thank Ms. Cindy, our crossing guard, for supporting the effort. Pictures of our new flag are below. We’re working on a way to support families who arrive from the Haverhill Street entrance.

In other news, the fourth grade students wish to thank the community for their generosity! Together we donated 118 coats to the Coats for Kids program. Anton’s Cleaners will be cleaning all the coats and distributing them to families in need around the community. Thank you for helping others stay warm this winter!


Ms. Leveque

Important Killam Dates

Monday, January 20th: No School, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Town-Wide Coming Together, 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

The Human Relations Advisory Committee invites you to attend the Town Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. The theme is “Coming Together.” There is no charge for this event. The breakfast donated by Freedom includes Gluten-free Doughnuts, Honey Dew Doughnuts, and waters donated by Reading Cooperative Bank. A performance focusing on the theme will begin at 10.

When: Monday, January 20th, 9:30 am (Breakfast), 10-11am (Performance)

Where: RMHS Performing Arts Center



Upcoming Changes in Lunch Protocol

Tuesday, January 21st will be the start of our new lunch time protocol. I met with students and staff and we are all on-board with this updated approach to protecting those with food allergies.

As a reminder:

  • Students who buy the cafeteria’s daily lunch will be welcome to sit at their classroom’s Red Dot Table.
  • Student’s who bring a lunch that is allergen free will also be welcome to sit at their classroom’s Red Dot Table.
  • Students who eat at the Open Tables will be asked to use handwipes before leaving the cafeteria.
  • If your student brings lunch from home, please let your student know what it contains, or it will be especially helpful if you label their lunch.
  • As always, all tables will be washed between lunches.
  • There is no change in our classroom protocol. Snacks are eaten in the classroom so all snacks must be allergen free.
  • There is also no change to our no food sharing policy.

Please contact me if you have any concerns or any questions at Sharon.grottkau@reading.k12.ma.us.

Thank you,

Sharon Grottkau, BSN, RN

Is Your Child Getting Enough Sleep?

Did you know school-aged children need 9-12 hours of sleep each night, but many children get only 7-8 hours of sleep, or even less. Studies have linked sleep deprivation with mood swings, inattention, reduced cognitive function, lower test scores, poor eating habits, obesity, and a drop in overall school performance (Cleveland Clinic, September 2019). Inadequate sleep leads to tired kids and tired parents. Many sleep deprived parents think these symptoms are normal, but they are quite unhealthy. To improve your child's sleep and overall health, encourage them to follow these tips:

The night before...

  • Aim for a bedtime that allows for 10-11 hours of sleep
  • Don't nap
  • Pick out clothes for school
  • Make breakfast/lunch so it's ready to go
  • Pack your school bag
  • Put your alarm across the room
  • Create a consistent and calming bedtime routine
  • Turn off screens 1 hour before bed - computers, phones, TV, etc.
  • Read, write in a journal, or listen to music for 15 minutes before trying to sleep

In the morning...

  • Don't snooze more than 5 minutes
  • Get lots of bright light every morning - open the shades
  • Eat breakfast
  • Don't sleep more than 45 minutes later on weekends/vacations. This resets your body clock and makes it harder to fall asleep at your usual bedtime.
  • Aim for at least 1 full hour of physical activity/exercise each day

Parents can set a good example by making sleep a priority for themselves. Sleep well!

PTO Corner

New in 2019-20 - Pay PTO dues with Venmo at @KillamPTO!

Please be sure to include your child/family’s name in the notes when you submit your Venmo payment so we can credit the dues to the appropriate family.

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Reading Public Schools Budget Process Information

To learn information about the FY21 Superintendent's Recommended Budget, please click here.

The School Committee budget presentation schedule is as follows:

Monday, January 6th

  • Budget Overview
  • Financial Overview of FY21 Budget
  • Administration Cost Center
  • Districtwide (Health Services, Athletics, Extra-curricular, Technology Infrastructure) Cost Center
  • Overview of Facilities Department
  • School Facilities Cost Center
  • Town Core Facilities Budget
  • Capital Plan

Thursday, January 16th

  • Regular Day Cost Center
  • Special Education Cost Center

Thursday, January 23rd

  • Public Hearing on FY21 Budget
  • Special Revenue Funds
  • FY21 School Committee Budget Questions

Monday, January 27th

  • School Committee Vote on FY21 Budget

All meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Schettini Library at Reading Memorial High School. We encourage all members of the community to participate in this budget process and to attend the budget meetings. This year, we have made a conscious decision not to have specific budget liaisons assigned to the budget process. This decision is not based on the participation level of the dedicated budget liaisons that we have had over the years; rather the number of budget liaisons over the years has decreased. We will continue to update the community on a regular basis through our newsletters and blogs what transpires during each School Committee budget meeting and subsequent meetings throughout the winter/spring.

If you have any questions about the budget, please do not hesitate to contact Superintendent of Schools John Doherty at john.doherty@reading.k12.ma.us .

From the Office of Student Services

As a district our goal is to create program descriptions for our substantially separate special education programs and Learning Center support. These descriptions will serve as an ongoing reference aide for families and staff. The descriptions will be a transparent and welcoming look into programming options with the understanding that any program can adjust and revise its elements to respond to the ever changing needs of our students.

We welcome feedback from our Reading families, staff and the residents on our draft Program Descriptions. Our goal is to use your feedback, along with the work that has been completed with staff, to publish updated descriptions within the next few months. The surveys will be available through February 1, 2020.

There is a section of survey links available on the Reading Office of Student Services website at https://www.reading.k12.ma.us/departments/student-services/

Reading Coalition has a New Name

In January of 2020, the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse (RCASA) will be known as the Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support. The coalition, now funded under the Town of Reading within the Reading Police Department, offers programs and services, more suited to the new name. According to Bob LeLacheur, Town Manager, “Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support captures who we are today and what we are working towards not just with respect to substance abuse prevention but also mental health promotion”.

As the coalition rebrands, all initiatives will continue uninterrupted. “Rebranding to Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support enables us to connect with a wider audience, continue expanding our programs and services, and ultimately better position us to serve the community,” said Erica McNamara, Director of the Reading Coalition.

Killam MCAS Dates

Below are the MCAS Testing Dates for 2020. Please consider these dates when making appointments or other plans that involve absence from school. These dates are also posted under the Students tab on the Killam website.
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Accessing Report Cards

This is a friendly reminder that as guardians, you can access your child's released report cards at any time! Login to your PlusPortal account and choose the eLocker tab on the top of the page. This will bring you to all official report cards that can be downloaded as a PDF and printed or saved from the luxury of your home.

2020-2021 Incoming Kindergarten Information

It was a great turnout for the Parent Information session. If you were unable to attend, the presentation can be found on the Killam website at https://www.reading.k12.ma.us/killam/. The presentation is under the "Parent" tab on the bottom of the homepage.


The SEPAC meets throughout the school year in the RMHS Library Media Center at 7:00 p.m. Please plan to attend on the following dates, or click here for additional information.

  • Tuesday, February 11th-- The next monthly meeting for SEPAC will be held on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, at 7:00 p.m., in the RMHS library media center. A representative from the FCSN (Federation for Children with Special Needs) is scheduled to put on a Basic Rights Presentation on "Understanding the IEP." The presentation offers valuable information for the parents of children receiving special education, and/or parents who think their child(ren) might be in need of receiving special education.

  • Tuesday, March 10th
  • Tuesday, April 14th
  • Tuesday, May 12th
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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!