JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque


We want to wish everyone a safe and healthy April vacation. We all look forward to our breaks and time to refresh. It is our hope that your family continues to find ways to enjoy your time together and help following social distancing guidelines so we can all return to school as healthy as possible. If you aren't sure about the travel guidelines, please see the information below in this newsletter.

As we are still using our technology in our classrooms, if your child was issued a RPS laptop, they should be bringing it to school each day.


We are excited that vaccine appointments are opening up for our teaching staff! Please note that our staff are encouraged to take any available appointment so you may see more asynchronous work over the next few weeks as staff are heading to their appointments.


If you are interested in having your child join COVID pool testing you can still give consent by following this link. COVID Consent Form.

Stay well,

Ms. Leveque

Killam Upcoming Dates

Saturday, April 17th - Sunday, April 25th: April Vacation; No School

Monday, April 19th: Patriot's Day; School Offices closed

Monday, April 26th: Full day of school for students

School Hours:

Monday-Thursday, 8:15-2:45 (8:10-11:30 for half-day kindergarten)

Friday, 8:15-11:30 (8:10-11:30 for half-day kindergarten)

Staggered Dismissal:

-Grades One and Two: 2:35pm Monday-Thursday; 11:20am Friday

-Grades Three and Four: 2:40pm Monday-Thursday; 11:25am Friday

-Kindergarten and Grade Five: 2:45pm; 11:30am Friday

-All students taking the bus or attending Extended Day will be monitored by Killam staff until picked up.

4th and 5th Grade MCBA Book Event!

Our fourth and fifth graders made some really impressive hats to honor their favorite MCBA books. Keeping with Killam tradition, we celebrated our school winner, Lifeboat 12, by playing BINGO with clues for all 25 books on the list. A special congratulations goes to Jayson Encarnacao, Aliasgar Bhagat, Peter Misticawi, Julia Silva, Kaya Ryder, Curran Healy, Morgan Conant, and Lily Weaver for reading all 25!

Tonight and Tomorrow, Coolidge Middle School Presents...

The Coolidge Production of "Sleeping Beauty, Briar Rose:, will be virtually broadcast on April 16 at 7:30 & April 17 at 3:00. The students, directed by Stephen MacDonald, have been working hard and long on the play, and are excited to share this amazing, virtual event with our Reading community! You can watch from any device, at any location, home or on vacation! Please consider joining us and showing your support of the arts in Reading.

Tickets for this virtual event ($10 per viewer), and more information about the play, can be found here: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/43732

The group also has a Facebook page, which you are welcome to follow.

We hope to "see you" there! 🙂

Message from the Health Office

Dear Families,

It is wonderful to have our students back at Killam; there is a lot of great energy in the building and I’m enjoying seeing all the familiar faces.

Since the kids are spending more time at school and outside, I’m noticing that there are some extra nutritional needs.

Here is some important lunch information and suggestions:

  • Killam is offering every student one full lunch every day free of charge.
  • Lunch snacks are not available for purchase at this time.
  • Unfortunately, we are also unable to provide a second lunch to students.
  • Please consider packing some additional nutritious food items that you know your student enjoys so that they can remain ‘fueled for school’.
  • Please remember to pack a filled water bottle every day.

I am working with the students to stay focused on health and safety, especially in the lunchroom. We are reminding everyone to face forward and stay seated while eating so that they are protected by the plexiglass barriers at the lunch tables as much as possible. We are also reminding students to wear their masks except when they are eating.

I am hopeful that working together, we can keep everyone healthy!

As always, please contact me with any questions.

Thank you,

Sharon Grottkau, BSN, RN

April is National Occupational Therapy Month!

Check out some fun child-centered activities to support your child's development.

Travel During April Vacation

April Vacation is right around the corner.

We are getting many inquiries about remote learning around April vacation since many families are traveling. We know families are seeing adults vaccinated and wanting to travel. Unfortunately, our children do not yet have the option for vaccination. The RPS guidelines remain the same as previous vacations; we do not offer remote learning due to quarantine before or after travel. Your child will be marked absent until their return to school. We encourage students to continue with their reading and access to online learning platforms such as Raz-Kids, Lexia, and Xtra Math.

Updated Travel Restrictions

Please note the following MA travel advisory changes and updates.

As of Monday, March 22, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival. Travelers in the following categories are exempt from this quarantine advisory:

  • Travelers who have received a negative COVID-19 result on a test administered not more than 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. Travelers may also test out of the quarantine advisory after arrival in Massachusetts, as long as they quarantine until receiving a negative test result.
  • Anyone who is entering Massachusetts for fewer than 24 hours
    • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after being out of the State for fewer than 24 hours
    • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) during required commuting to or from work and while at work.
    • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago) and who do not have symptoms.

    All travelers are encouraged to consult and follow the CDC’s guidelines and requirements for travel.

    Due Today: Reading METCO Director Community Input

    Dear Reading Community Member,

    The Reading Public Schools are seeking a METCO Director for the 21-22 school year. As part of that process we are seeking your input about the characteristics and skills this person should have. Please complete the survey at this link by Friday, April 16th.

    The Screening Committee for selecting the next Reading Public Schools METCO Director is seeking members. This committee will review applicants for the METCO Director position, interview applicants and send finalist choices to the Superintendent. These candidates will be interviewed by the Superintendent and he will make the final choice. We are collecting community input through a survey of families, staff and RMHS students. This committee will review those survey results and use them to inform our questions as part of this process.

    The composition of the committee is as follows:

    • LisaMarie Ippolito, Joshua Eaton Principal, Co-Facilitator

    • Julia Hendrix, Birch Meadow Principal, Co-Facilitator

    • Teacher

    • Teacher

    • Teacher

    • METCO Parent/Guardian

    • METCO Parent/Guardian

    • Parent/Guardian

    • Secondary Level Student

    The following dates are the timeline for the screening committee. Please make sure you’re available for these dates prior to indicating interest.

    April 26th

    4:00-6:00 p.m.

    Screening Committee Organizational Meeting

    Question Review and Selection

    May 6th

    4:00-6:00 p.m.

    Meet to review applicants

    Friday, May 14th

    7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


    Send pre-finalist to Superintendent

    Please click on the following link to sign up for the METCO Director Screening Committee The deadline for this is April 16th. htps://forms.gle/Zk4H7HoqZ3ehTrHF9

    Even if you are unable to participate in the screening committee we ask that you complete the needs assessment survey.

    Julia Hendrix Julia.hendrix@reading.k12.ma.us

    LisaMarie Ippolito lisamarie.ippolito@reading.k12.ma.us

    Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

    We need the community's help to keep ALL our student safe on campus.


    1. All students enter and exit from their external classroom doors (or designated spot). This is the same door your child has been using this year (unless your teacher communicates a new plan).

    2. All cars need to be parked along Charles Street, Haverhill Street, or the surrounding neighborhoods. The driveway parking spots are for staff and visitors staying for an extended period of time in the building.

    3. There is no idling on school property.

    4. The sidewalk along the school entrance is a live fire lane. Cars cannot park or idle there.

    5. Our school will remain closed to visitors. In a continued effort to slow the spread by keeping our students with their peers and teachers, we ask all visitors/guardians to ring the front doorbell. A member of the office staff will ask you to remain outside the entrance as we help you with your request.

    6. If your child will be absent, call our absentee line 24 hours-a-day at 781-944-7831, option 2. Please state your child’s name, classroom teacher, and reason for absence. We will continue with our COVID tracing protocols so please inform us if the illness is COVID related.


    7. Rolling car drop-off begins at 8:10 am.

    8. For rolling car drop-off, cars pull all the way up the driveway, parents remain in cars, and students exit from the passenger side of the vehicle.

    9. Stay in the rolling car line; do not pass vehicles or buses once your child exits the vehicle.

    10. There is a right hand only turn at the end of the driveway onto Charles Street during arrival.


    11. The driveway is closed 15 minutes before and after dismissal (2:30-3:00pm; 11:15-11:45 on Fridays), meaning no cars should be parking in or driving through the driveway at dismissal. We will have 400 students returning to school and we need to keep our driveway clear of moving vehicles. The exception to this are buses and vehicles with handicap plaques/accessibility.

    Grades 3-5 MCAS Testing 2021

    The Department of Education has notified schools that the elementary MCAS dates have moved to May 10-June 11. Below is the Killam MCAS schedule.

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    Student Services Office Hours

    Dear Families,

    The schools have been busy over the past few weeks prepping for the upcoming change to full - in person learning! We are looking forward to seeing more students in the building! We understand that this shift in the learning model can bring up additional questions about supporting your students and we would be happy to meet with individuals during office hours to discuss any questions or concerns.

    Below, please find our office hours for the month of April. Please use the DOODLE Poll link to select a time to meet with us. We continue to enjoy these opportunities to meet with families on an individual basis.

    Prior to your scheduled time, a ZOOM link will be sent to you via email. Please be sure to include your email address when you sign up!

    If you have any questions regarding Office Hours, please contact Allison Wright, Director of Special Education @ Allison.Wright@reading.k12.ma.us.

    Office Hours for April 2021

    • Tuesday 4/27 @ 2:00-3:00 pm

    Link to the Doodle Poll to sign up for Office Hours:


    Thank you,
    Jennifer Stys and Allison Wright

    PTO Corner

    PTO Meeting

    Our next PTO meeting is May 5th at 7:00pm on zoom. Keep an eye, out closer to the date, for the link!

    Teacher Appreciation Week

    We are working hard on celebrating our teachers during teacher appreciation week! A sign-up genius will be coming out soon for people to sign up for items for the teachers. If you are interested in helping out with teacher appreciation week please reach out to jwkpresidents@gmail.com

    Drive with Whitelam books!

    Have you purchased books for your classroom yet?

    We are still running a book drive with Whitelam Books to bring new books for each grade level into the classrooms. Stop in at Whitelam in downtown Reading or give them a call at 781-779-1833 to buy books from our teachers' wishlists. Lists are by grade level not by specific teacher, and include books requested by each of the teachers. When you buy something for the school, Whitelam Books will have name plates/stickers available at the register for you to sign and stick into the inside cover (or if you order over the phone they can fill one out for you)!

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    SEPAC Information

    Dear SEPAC Community & Friends:

    At our April 13, 2021 business meeting, there was a parent led presentation and discussion on local/regional community resources. We are grateful for the caregivers who shared their families' experiences and recommendations regarding community resources with the group. Their contributions helped make the presentation more informative and engaging. In case you missed the meeting or would like to view the presentation again, you may access the presentation at the below link.


    Please know that the organizations' names highlighted in PINK text in the presentation signify hyperlinks to the organizations' websites.

    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.

    Remote Access for In-Person Students Who Are Absent From School

    Below are the remote criteria that will be used when students who are in person during a particular week are absent from school. This was shared by Dr. Doherty in a newsletter.

    Students will have live remote access under the following conditions:

    • He/she is quarantined due to testing positive for COVID-19.
    • He/she is quarantined due to being in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
    • He/she is being quarantined for being out of state and is waiting for a negative COVID test per DPH guidelines.
    • He/she is showing symptoms of COVID-19 and is awaiting test results.
    • He/she has another medical condition that prevents them from coming to school.

    Students will not have live remote access under the following situations:

    • He/she is absent for any reason other than described above.
    • He/she is quarantining for 10-14 days because of out of state travel as defined by the MDPH Travel Order and is not getting a COVID-test.
    • He/she is going on a family vacation or other non-school activity during school days.

    Please note that there may be extenuating circumstances in a school that would require a different action than above. These decisions are at the discretion of the building principal.

    Lunch Reminders

    As you all know, our lunch program is FREE for students this school year. All students may receive a healthy lunch at no cost. However, snacks, bottled water, and additional lunches are not free and families will be charged for those items. We have several students ordering an additional lunch or snack and we just want to be sure families are aware this is happening so you are not surprised if you are billed for these items. Please talk with your child and check your account to see about snacks.

    Mask Up Reading!

    The Town of Reading asks residents to:

    · Wear a mask or face covering whenever you are not at home or in your personal vehicle.

    · Maintain social distancing, at least 6' from others.

    · Observe the State's Stay-at-Home Advisory from 10PM – 5AM.

    · Review the latest CDC Guidance.

    · Get a flu shot.

    · Talk about Covid precautions with household members, neighbors, friends, and colleagues.

    · Stay home when you are experiencing symptoms.

    · Don't hesitate to get a COVID-19 test (click here for testing sites).

    If you have any questions, please contact our local Board of Health.

    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!

    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

    Resources to Setup Your Child for Remote Learning


    Here are some resources to help you and your child prepare:

    -A return to school social story for kids

    -Frequently Asked Questions - a set of questions and answers from the district nurses.

    -Kindergarten Families Newsletter

    -Fully Remote Families Newsletter

    -Whole School Newsletter

      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!

      -How to Login to Zoom

      Microsoft Teams

      -How to Login to Microsoft Teams

      -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.

      We have a secondary RPS Social-Emotional Learning Resource Center with additional materials.

      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!