JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

Our Third, Fourth, and Fifth Graders took their ELA MCAS this week and were rockstars! We are proud of the effort they put into doing their best work. This week, we continue with math MCAS and we know the students will continue to bring their TRRFCC attitude and energy to the assessment.

Our classrooms continue to flourish. We have seen incredible creativity this year and I continue to be inspired by our staff and students abilities to navigate this new academic setup with positivity. We are excited to be able to take advantage of our outdoor learning spaces now that the weather is warming up. Below are a few photos from our half-day kindergarten students learning subtraction by participating in a giant bowling game. It certainly brings the learning to life!


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

Tuesday, May 18th: Gr. 5 Math MCAS

Thursday, May 20th: Gr. 4 Math MCAS

-Incoming Kindergarten Optional Parent Input form due (see below)

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.

Grades 3-5 MCAS Testing 2021

Next week, 5th and 4th graders will take the Math MCAS. The complete MCAS schedule is below. The testing block begins at 8:30 a.m. so please make sure your 4th or 5th grader is in school on time next week. Thanks.

Big picture

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Reading Public Schools is offering community and staff trainings to promote mental health and wellness.

Tuesday May 11th: Kids and Toxic Stress and the Effects on the Brain:

How to Help Students Regulate Kids and Toxic Stress

Presented by Windi Bowditch 3pm-4:15pm

Thursday May 20th: Managing Emotional Health During Uncertain Times

Presented by Lynn Lyons 6pm-7pm

Tuesday May 25th: Stress, Resilience and Self Care.

Presented by Windi Bowditch 4pm-5pm Stress, Resilience and Self Care

Register for Trainings HERE

Big picture

Incoming Kindergarten Families

Dear Families of Our Incoming Kindergarten Class,

We are excited to welcome your child this fall to the J.W. Killam Kindergarten classroom!

Each year, we have a state requirement to hold kindergarten screening. This screening process provides us the opportunity to meet your child and learn a bit about them. It is not a screening tool to identify special education concerns or social-emotional concerns, but rather, allows us to do a meet and greet and see who your child is as a new student to our school.

The screening tool we use asks students information such as to draw a picture, to jump, and to identify their numbers, all of which are developmentally appropriate tasks. It is by no means anything that a child needs to prepare for or be worried about. For the 2021-2022 school year, Kindergarten Screening for next year’s Kindergarten students will be held on Wednesday, September 1 and Thursday, September 2nd. There will be no kindergarten classes held on those two days. Because of the Rosh Hashanah holiday on September 7 and 8, the first day of Kindergarten classes will be held on Thursday, September 9th. This change in the first day of school for kindergarten students is consistent with School Committee Policy IMDA on Religious Holiday Accommodations.

We want to assure you that we are still able to complete class placement with the information that we have from you. Our goal each year is to create balanced classrooms that meet our students needs and your kindergarten registration packets provide us with rich information. Kindergarten screening is one more glimpse into your child but certainly not our only glimpse. Oftentimes, students come to screening and are shy, nervous, or overly excited so we know there is much more to be learned than can be gleamed in one hour! We always anticipate for great growth over the summer months and know this year will be no different.

As another part of the placement process, we love to hear from you, our families, about your child! Here’s where you can help. Please click here to gain access to a Google Survey entitled “Killam Incoming Kindergarten Parent Input Form 2021-22.” This is a questionnaire that allows you to provide insight all about your child. You know your child best and we love to use this information when thinking about each kindergartener. Because we work to create balanced classrooms, we do not accept specific teacher recommendations and we cannot assure that learning partners are in each class, but we do use this information as a part of our discussions. If you would like to provide information, the survey will be open until Thursday, May 20th.

You will receive information about your child’s classroom, including the teacher assignment, in the summer. With this information, we’ll provide a welcome packet, including information about ways you can best support your child over the summer, school-specific procedural information, and information about how your child will get to visit their classroom and teacher before the school year begins. Wanting to be mindful of the ongoing pandemic, we will wait to share this information at a later date so that our information is as accurate as possible. We appreciate your patience.

Again, we are excited to welcome your child to the Killam community! If you have any questions, please reach out to me at sarah.leveque@reading.k12.ma.us.

Stay well,

Sarah Leveque


Message from the Health Office

Dear Families,

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,

Sharon Grottkau

Big picture

From the Office of Student Services

Dear Families,

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.


  • Monday, 5/17/21 @ 12-1pm
  • Tuesday, 5/25/21 @ 2-3pm
  • 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:


Doodle: Student Services Office Hours - May/June 2021

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.

    PTO Corner

    Thanks for your continuous support of the Killam community! Our staff and students appreciate your generosity!

    Our 3rd-5th graders felt our community cheering them on this week during MCAS. We were able to provide water and a congratulatory goodie to each child.

    Big picture

    SEPAC Information

    Dear SEPAC Community & Friends:

    We hope you and your families are well and enjoying spring.

    Please note that subsequent to the May 11th SEPAC business meeting, the following two additional SEPAC related meetings have been scheduled for this month. Both meetings will be via Zoom and the agendas are attached for your review.

    • Monday, May 17th SEPAC business meeting to discuss and approve minutes from April 13, 2021 SEPAC business meeting. Zoom Link to Meeting.
    • Tuesday, May 18th SEPAC reading/literacy subcommittee meeting. Zoom Link to Meeting.

    Additionally, if you missed the "Understanding Progress Reports" presentation at the May 11th business meeting, please know that it will be available shortly on the Student Services Website. The presentation was presented by Linda Boyages, Occupational Therapist at RISE; Kassie Boilard, Speech and Language Pathologist at JE; Anne Korwan, Occupational Therapist at JE & Barrows; and Auri Musselman, Special Education Teacher in the LEAD program at Parker. Thank you Linda, Kassie, Anne & Auri!

    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)

      Big picture
      Big picture

      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!