JW Killam Principal's Corner
Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter
From the Desk of Ms. Leveque
As we approach the end of this school year, we begin thinking about next year. Hard to believe. Here is some back to school information for you. This is a change from the original start date for Kindergarten (from Tuesday, September 7 to Thursday, September 9).
Wednesday, September 1 -- First Day of School for students in Grades 1 to 12
Wednesday, September 1 and Thursday, September 2 - Kindergarten Screening - a schedule will be sent out during the summer
Friday, September 3rd - Vacation Day - No School for students
Monday, September 6th - Labor Day - No School for students, Office Closed
Thursday September 9th - First day of school for Pre-K and all Kindergarten students.
Finally, with the new COVID guidelines recently released by Governor Baker, I want to remind families that we are all still wearing masks in school, and maintaining 3 feet of social distancing. Students are allowed to take masks off during outdoor recess or snack, but must wear masks at all other times. I would encourage parents to keep masks on during drop-off and pick-up until you are far enough away from others. I know this is a new experience we are all navigating together. Some people don't mind masks while others can't take them off soon enough. I hear you, but I still want to keep our students safe, the school open, and prevent another class from being quarantined this year. None of our students are vaccinated, and during arrival and dismissal, we cannot monitor the social distancing of all families. Let's work together to make it to June 21st with all of us healthy and ready to start summer!
LAST DAY OF SCHOOL:
The last day of school for students is Monday, June 21st with an 11am dismissal. I know there has been some confusion over the dates!
COVID POOL TESTING:
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 all and have a good Memorial Day weekend.
Killam Upcoming Dates
Monday, May 31st: No School; Memorial Day
Sunday, June 6th: RMHS Graduation. Congratulations seniors!
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)
-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.
Understanding the Process of Assessing for Reading Disabilities
Reading Remembrance Tour
Understanding Disabilities Book Drive
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. Starting on Monday 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 Killam 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.
Message from the Health Office
Spring has brought beautiful days and warmer weather and unfortunately, allergy season as well.
If your student has allergies caused by the environment, please monitor for symptoms. There are many over-the-counter medications that can help alleviate symptoms. You may also want to consult your student’s pediatrician for advice. It is important that any prescribed medications be used daily to keep symptoms to a minimum.
Since the symptoms of environmental allergies may be similar to Covid-19 symptoms, below is a visual to help you identify the similarities and differences.
If you have not already done so, please let me know if your child has seasonal allergies.
Thank you and stay well,
From the Office of Student Services
Below, please find the Student Services Office Hours for the second half of May and 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 the 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.
- Wednesday, 6/2/21 @ 9-10 am
- Thursday, 6/10/21 @ 11-12 pm
- Tuesday, 6/15/21 @12-1 pm
Please use the DOODLE Poll below to sign up for an Office Hours time:
Jennifer Stys, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, and Allison Wright, Director of Special Education, are available for office hours to discuss and questions or concerns that you have. Please sign up for one 15 minute time slot. (Only 1 person per time slot). Following sign up, a ZOOM link will be sent prior to your selected time. Please include your FULL NAME and EMAIL address when signing up.
Please reach out to Allison Wright, Director of Student Services (Allison.Wright@reading.k12.ma.us) with any questions or concerns.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
RETURN TO IN PERSON SCHOOLING UPDATE:
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.
All information is listed under the Distance Learning Resources tab on the Killam Homepage.
-How to Sign-in to 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
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.
Building (Hybrid) Safety Procedures, October 2020 (Passcode: 2*7M=v9S)