Wood End Wildcat News
June 6, 2021
Dear Wood End Families,
Wow! We are nearing the end of our school year with only 11 days remaining and still so much to do! Today is also a "big day" for our high school seniors who are graduating. Congratulations to the Reading Memorial High School Class of 2021 who will be celebrating later today!
As we head into these last two weeks of school, the days will be hotter and the school building gets warmer. I want to remind folks to send your children to school dressed for warm weather, apply sunscreen at home, provide a refillable water bottle and an extra mask. We will be planning more outdoor mask breaks as well as keeping lights off and fans on in classrooms. Please do not send fans into school. We are still abiding by COVID guidelines and will only be using the fans installed in the building. I always encourage teachers to use the office area for a "cool down" period for their classes as needed throughout the day. We are all doing our best this time of year.
We are all still very busy planning and preparing. Teachers are currently completing their end-of-year report cards, teams have been working for weeks on student placement, learning materials and technology are being ordered, new staff are being hired, and most importantly we are spending time planning some wonderful activities for our students.
If you, or a family member, have not been interviewed yet for our school-wide diversity project, there is still time! Students are encouraged to learn more about their families’ cultures, traditions, and history and share this with our school community. We are hoping every family participates in some way, giving our students an opportunity to showcase what they've learned. Information about this project was sent home with each student and is also available in your child's google classroom, so be sure to check out all the details. Projects are due in your child's grade-level google classroom by June 11th.
Please checkout the details below in this newsletter for updates on the 5th grade celebration and our many end-of-year activities we have planned for our students.
Enjoy your Sunday afternoon,
Girls on the Run Celebration
Runners take their mark at the starting line.
Coaches Keri DiNapoli, Pam Daskalakis, Erin Hussey & Kelly Mahoney are ready to go!
Runners proudly display their medals.
Officer Vatcher Talks Internet Safety
As more children have internet connected devices at younger ages, we are increasingly aware of the risks that online communication and activity can pose. We understand that families are vigilant about their child’s online activity, but we also know that it can be overwhelming. Ultimately our children have to learn to behave in safe ways while on the internet.
The library media specialists as each of the elementary schools teach our students about digital literacy and safety. At Wood End, Lisa Norcross has been doing this for several years for all our students, K-5. This year, we’re adding another component to our digital safety work with your children.
Officer Matt Vatcher, our School Resource Officer, has created an online safety workshop based on a workshop provided by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. This workshop focuses on internet safety, health risks associated with screen time and online viewing, risks posed by online gaming and online social media, online bullying, and the issues that can be caused for students by their online behavior. He presented this workshop to our 4th and 5th graders this past week.
Some great questions were asked during this presentation! We encourage families to continue these conversations at home as we all work together to keep our children safe. Thank you Officer Vatcher!
Please Consider Taking On These Roles...
We are really asking everyone to consider taking on one of the board positions that are still open. We have been asking all year, but at this time we still do not have anyone to lead our PTO. Without the PTO, our students won't have the wonderful enrichment opportunities, author visits, field trips, and special community events that have been provided at Wood End for many years. Please consider volunteering for one of the following:
- President: This position is very rewarding and can certainly be shared! The President attends and presides at all PTO meetings, and oversees the work of the many talented subcommittees. The President makes sure that events are moving forward, and works with our school Principal to help address the needs of the school and our WE community.
- Secretary: The Secretary attends all PTO meetings and records the minutes. The Secretary helps draft PTO announcements and agendas. As a member of the Board, the Secretary votes on fundraising, spending, events, enrichment and other opportunities presented to the PTO.
- Adult Fundraiser Events: Our community includes parents and caregivers, not just students! This committee-level position coordinates events for adults, which could include Zoom cooking/crafting events for the pandemic world, or has included Trivia Night and Musical Bingo in the past.
Attendance at PTO meetings is beneficial, especially during our event planning, but not consistently required. Do as much or as little as your schedule allows, but please help out.
If you are interested in serving in any of these positions (two-year commitment), please reach out to one of the current co-presidents, Melissa Moran or Cristina Prior. To learn more about the PTO, check out our bylaws HERE.
Final PTO Meeting & Elections This Week!
PTO Meeting & Elections
We have scheduled our last PTO meeting of the year, along with elections for new board members. The meeting takes place on Wednesday, June 9th at 7:30 p.m. and we hope you can join us. All meetings will take place on Zoom and a link to this meeting will be sent to all families. We encourage you to come and bring a friend!
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!
Be sure to use our school's Shutterfly & TinyPrints Storefront when ordering cards, photos, gifts, invitations, etc. Did you know that 8% of your purchase gets donated back to Wood End for our kids? Please feel free to share our storefront with family members and friends.
Stop and Shop A+ School Rewards - FINAL YEAR
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/
Time to Return Those Laptops!
As the end of this extraordinary school year draws to a close, we are reaching out to you to have all technology equipment returned. Your child(ren) has a laptop that was provided for remote learning. Since remote access is no longer needed, we are asking all families to return the laptops and cables/cords, as well as hotspots if applicable, as soon as possible. We need to inventory and account for this equipment and would like to do this as soon as possible. Please refer to the attached loaner agreement to review the terms of agreement you signed.
All laptops and cables/cords from each family should be returned to Mrs. Finigan in our Main Office at your earliest convenience. Please be sure the power cord is provided with the laptop. If laptops are not returned, families will be charged for replacement of items that are not returned, lost, or damaged.
5th Grade Celebration Details
We are very excited for our outdoor "Moving On" ceremony honoring our 5th grade students on Wednesday, June 16th beginning at 8:45 a.m. Students should plan to dress comfortably (i.e. shorts, t-shirts, sneakers) and wear sunscreen for this day. Please note the schedule for this day's events below. Rain date is Thursday, June 17th.
- 8:45-9:15 "Moving On Ceremony" on the lower field. Attendance is limited to 3 guests per 5th grade student. Younger siblings will not be allowed to leave their classes to attend. Adults should bring a chair if you want to sit for this period. Masks are not required outdoors as long as we maintain 3 feet for social distancing between families. Families are encouraged to take photos immediately following the ceremony before students begin field day, and family members depart.
- 9:15-9:30 Students transition to field day activities; snack/water break; bathroom break
- 9:30-11:30 Field Day games & activities organized by Mr. Bauer and 5th grade planning committee
- 11:30-12:00 Pizza lunch on the field
- 12:00-12:30 Slush & socializing with peers
- 12:30-2:45 Students return to classrooms
Students will have time to watch the 5th grade slide show as a class community on Friday morning, June 18th at 9:30 a.m. followed by yearbook signing.
If you can provide requested games, snacks, water and other needed supplies, please check out our Sign-Up Genius HERE. We appreciate any help you can provide to make this day special for our 5th graders.
Don't forget our 5th Grade Tee-Riffic Tuesdays! We're having fun with these special days. Remind your 5th grader to wear their shirt on Tuesdays!
As a school nurse and a parent of 3 kids, I have noticed the trend that we all need to readjust from "pandemic survival mode" to re-establishing healthy routines again. As we head toward the summer, please consider planning any overdue doctor appointments, necessary specialist visits, or dentist appointments for your children. In addition to lots of summer fun, this is also a great time to help kids refocus on personal hygiene, sleep habits, and healthy eating.
If your child has an Epipen, inhaler, or other medication at the school, please plan to pick these up either Friday, June 18th or Monday, June 21st by 3:00 p.m.
As we prepare for the new school year in the fall, you will need a new doctor’s order and parent permission forms for any medication. Be sure to check those expiration dates.
Click HERE for many helpful forms and other school health information.
I sincerely thank you and have loved being a health resource for you and your family.
Wishing a happy & healthy summer to all!
Kristen Agami, RN BSN
Grade 6 Summer Reading List Released!
Reading Summer Reading Program
The Wood End Library may be closed for the summer, but the Reading Public Library is open and offering lots of great programming! This year's summer reading theme is "Tails and Tales." It will be focused on all kinds of animal fun, and of course lots of reading! Read below to find out more information on how to join in the fun this summer!
When: June 21st - August 14th
How: Kids may stop by the Children’s Room to sign up on or after Monday, June 21. They'll be given a Bingo board full of ideas and activities. When they complete a row, column, diagonal, OR do a “blackout” – fill out the whole board they are eligible for prizes. Registration can also occur online with the option for the child to print their own Bingo sheet.
In addition to the Bingo board there will be ongoing theme-based activities held throughout the summer including seeing Flying High Dogs, a professional K-9 Frisbee team perform on June 29!
Here's the LINK for more information, reading lists, events list etc.
Summer Food Resources
As we continue to transition out of the pandemic, we would like to communicate to you two opportunities throughout the summer where families will be able to access food on a weekly basis. Both of these programs are meant to complement each other and are not in competition with each other.
I. Reading Public Schools Food Distribution Program Through the USDA
We will be continuing our food distribution program throughout the summer. As part of the USDA Seamless Summer Program, we will be providing 7 breakfasts and 7 lunches for each child in a family, ages 0-22. The food will include fresh fruits and vegetables, along with perishable items. Food Distribution will be every Tuesday, beginning on June 22nd, from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon at the bridge at Reading Memorial High School near the Hawke Field House. For further information, please contact School Nutrition Director Danielle Collins at Danielle.Collins@reading.k12.ma.us.
II. St. Vincent de Paul Society Fifth Annual Summer Food Distribution Program
The Reading Conference of the Society of St Vincent de Paul is pleased to invite you to share in our fifth annual summer food program. This free program serves the families of any students who are at risk of hunger during this very difficult financial time. Every family who joins this program will receive a supply of free, high quality, nutritious and non-perishable food each week during the summer months...oh, and some new recipes, too.
Here’s how to join:
1. Register your family with us by answering the following three questions:
A. Your last name
B. The number of children in your family
C. The address in Reading to which your groceries should be delivered
2. Send this information to St. Vincent de Paul Society on line at
firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, June 10, 2021.
Weekly deliveries will be made on Wednesday late afternoon from June 16 through August 18. You will receive a weekly email on the day of delivery which will advise you of the approximate time you can expect your groceries. At this point, if you wish to cancel this delivery just send notice via return email. Please also use this email to discuss any comments or concerns you may have with this free service during the summer.
Your groceries will be delivered to the address in Reading as noted above. Please state which outside door to leave these bags and if you wish the delivery person to ring the bell. To be certain that all the groceries are delivered in a timely way, the driver is on a very strict schedule and so is not able to enter your home.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE:
Although we are sensitive to friends with food allergies, we are not prepared to modify the contents of the bags to meet everyone’s personal needs. Just as you would shop in a store, we ask you to select the items for your family. If there is something you cannot use, please pass it on to someone else or deposit it into the Reading Food Pantry collection bin at your local supermarket.
Best wishes for a very healthy and happy summer,
Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Book Drive at Whitelam Books - Shop Until June 13
In an effort to bring more books that represent diverse perspectives into our schools, Understanding Disabilities has put together a book drive with Whitelam Books. Understanding Disabilities teaches our students that even though we may be different in many ways, we are all the same inside. To help our kids see through the eyes of people with diverse abilities, UD has created a wish list of books for our school, chosen by our library staff, that feature characters with disabilities.
Beginning May 10 and running through June 13, stop into Whitelam Books on Main Street here in Reading, or call (781) 779-1833, to purchase one or more of these books for our school library, and while you are there, check out the full list of books and consider picking one up for your child as well! Many of these books are past MCBA book honorees, and Whitelam has books from picture books through young adult books selected for all five elementary schools and the two middle schools in town.
The books for Wood End will be delivered to our library in June after the drive is complete, and will be ready for students to start reading in the fall. Please share this information with loved ones and friends who might also like to support our school and Understanding Disabilities.
- The Snow Rabbit Hardcover by Camille Garoche
- My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay by Cari Best and Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Illustrator)
- Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant
- A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin byJen Bryant, Melissa Sweet (Illustrator)
- Completely Me byJustine Green
- The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game by Nancy Churnin, Jez Tuya (Illustrator)
- Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
- Farah Rocks Fifth Grade by Susan Muaddi Darraj
- Show Me A Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte
- What the Wind Can Tell You by Sarah Marie Jette
Student Services Office Hours
Below, please find the Student Services Office Hours for the month of June. If you are interested in meeting with Dr. Jennifer Stys, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and Allison Wright, Director of Special Education, please utilize this Doodle Poll to reserve a time. The purpose of the office hours is to provide time to connect with families regarding any questions or concerns regarding your students and their experiences. Prior to your designated time, you will receive a ZOOM link for your meeting time.
- Thursday, 6/10/21 @ 11-12 pm
- Tuesday, 6/15/21 @12-1 pm
Please reach out to Allison Wright, Director of Student Services with any questions or concerns.
End of Year Opportunities
SEPAC Workshop on June 15th–Reading SEPAC and Reading Public Schools will host a workshop, Understanding the Process of Assessing for Reading Disabilities, on Tuesday, June 15th at7:00 p.m. on Zoom. You can access the link here: https://readingpsma.zoom.us/j/87037078496.
This is the second in a series of community reading trainings. As part of this training, participants will learn about:
- Understanding the Process of Assessing for Reading Disabilities
- Understanding the Referral Process
- Understanding Reading Assessments for Specific Constructs/Assessment Sensitivity
- Using Reading Assessment Data to Drive Instruction/Progress Monitoring (Aimlines)
- The Crafting Minds Special Education Graphic Organizer for Assessment Results
The presenters for the workshop will be:
- Shana Goldwyn, PhD – Team Chairperson: Killam Elementary/Joshua Eaton Elementary
- Renee Limauro, MS, CCC-SLP – Team Chairperson: Reading Memorial High School
- Auriana Musselman, M.Ed. – LEAD Teacher, Parker Middle School
SEPAC Survey-The Reading Public Schools Special Education Parent Advisory Council would like your feedback on future topics for SEPAC meetings and workshops. Please complete this quick survey no later than Friday, June 4th. https://forms.gle/VtqY7nditk1Nqsxg7
Thank you in advance for your support!
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.
Field Day Fridays
We will be wrapping up our grade-level field days over the next two weeks. Students have been very eager to participate and are enjoying a great time working with friends as they travel to various stations. Please see below for the remaining dates and important reminders.
- Friday, June 11 – Kindergarten
- Wednesday June 16 – 5th Grade (date is confirmed)
- Friday, June 18 – Rain Date
Time and location: Field Day will take place from 10:30 – 11:30 on the above-mentioned dates down on the main field. (5th grade time will look a bit different)
Dismissal: Teachers will have students pack up before their field day so they have all their belongings for dismissal.
Materials: Please be sure your child is prepared for the day with sneakers, a refillable water bottle, hat, sunglasses, sun block, extra mask, etc. depending on the forecast for that day.
Grade Level Colors: Please remind students to wear their colors to show their team spirit.
- K = white, 1 = red, 2 = blue, 3 = orange, 4 = green, 5 = yellow/tie-dye (there have been student requests for 5th grade tie-dye)
Parent Volunteers: We will be asking 4-6 parents (per grade level) to volunteer to help with these outdoor activities. Chris Bauer will be providing this communication and will select the volunteers. All volunteers must have an active CORI on file.
Questions/Concerns: Please talk to Chris Bauer for any additional information.
1st Days School Supplies for 2021-22
We have been working with 1st Days School Supplies to once again create grade-level supply kits for next year! By ordering through this vendor, families are able to do their back to school shopping risk free from the comfort and safety of their own home. Get the exact supplies our teachers are requesting without the hassle and aggravation of shopping at big box retailers.
To order supplies, click HERE and you're ready to go! This link will be open until June so order when it's convenient for you.
Emails from 1st Day School Supplies with this link were also sent directly to all families who purchased a kit in prior years.
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!
Please be reminded of these amazing resources, if your family is in need:
- RPS Behavioral Health Resources linked here.
- Town of Reading: compiled resources linked here.
- RCASA and Mental Health Support linked here.
- St. Vincent de Paul linked here.
- Free & Reduced lunch access: sign up here.
- Reading Food Pantry linked here.
- Project Bread link here.
- Residential Financial Assistance (Rent/Mortgage) link here. (New resource! Check it out!)
6 - RMHS Graduation, Congratulations to the Class of 2021
8 - Grade 2 Virtual enrichment program, Museum of Science, Built for Survival
9 - Book Buddy Beach Day, 8:30-9:00 for all classes; PTO General Meeting & Elections, 7:30-8:30 p.m. via ZOOM
11 - Special Olympics for our students, 10:00-12:00 at RMHS; Field Day for Kindergarten, 10:30-11:30 on the lower field
15 - Kindergarten Celebration of Growing, 8:45-9:15; Grade 3 Virtual enrichment program, Museum of Science, Built for Survival
16 - Spirit Day, Wear your Wildcat Gear! Grade 5 "Moving On" Ceremony & Celebration; Student Council end-of-year celebration
21 - Last Day of School; All-School Meeting & Celebration; 11:00 a.m. dismissal