JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

We had our second official snow day of the school year. It was certainly perfect snow for building snowmen but challenging for snow removal. It's left a beautiful landscape here at Killam and our students have enjoyed being outside playing in it. A special thank you to Mr. Ken and Mr. Joe, our custodians, who along with facilities worked tirelessly on the snow day to prepare for the students arrival.


In the spirit of thanks and appreciation, I am reminded of an article from Responsive Classroom, an educators resources on social-emotional development, that recognizes that teachers specialize in everything! I have shared this before but it's worth revisiting. This article from September 20, 2017 states this about teachers, "you’re a master of flexibility, an expert gear-switcher, and you know and teach every student at your school." This couldn't be more true for our Killam staff. Each and every day, they work to form strong relationships, make personal connections, wear the hat of knowledge-expert and knowledge-finder, promote exploration of creativity and ideas, take on the role of nurse, Mom, Dad, family support, and psychologist, and most importantly, supporter of childhood. We are fortunate to have this community of teachers educating our students. Please join me in thanking them for their incredible dedication, commitment, and attention to the Killam students! I, in turn, wish to thank you for being your child's cheerleader, parent, and teacher this year also. Working alongside you is what is helping us have a positive year in education.


As we enter February break, I ask you, 'how many hats are you currently wearing?" My guess is too many and I encourage you with the same message I am sharing with staff. Take the February break to build in moments of self-care, whether it be a mindfulness break, a way to state gratitude daily, a walk or sled ride outside, or even writing a Valentine's card to someone you care about. Winter can be long and this year is more challenging this most, so don't forget about YOU in all of this.


It's hard to believe but February break begins next Saturday, February 13th. Please review the MA Travel Restrictions and the RPS guidelines for remote access, as listed below, if you are traveling. My next newsletter will be for the week of March 1st. Enjoy February break!


Stay well,

Ms. Leveque

Killam Upcoming Dates

Week of February 7th Cohort B week



February 13th - February 21st: February Break. No school.



Week of February 21st: Cohort A week


Monday, February 22nd: School resumes.




Hybrid In-person Weeks Staggered Dismissal:

-Grades One and Two: 2:35pm

-Grades Three and Four: 2:40pm
-Kindergarten and Grade Five: 2:45pm

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

-Remote learning weeks end at 2:45, Grades K-5

Grade 4 PE Snowshoeing Unit

Building Safety Project at Killam

As part of the district wide building safety upgrades, all schools are getting new cameras and keyless entry systems. The electrical contractors will be starting at Killam on Monday. All contractors will be wearing IDs and have had CORI checks. They are following all COVID safety protocols. We anticipate this work to take four to six weeks. We're very excited about our safety upgrades.

Grades 3-5 MCAS Testing 2021

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is preparing for MCAS administration this spring and therefore we are starting the preparation process at the Killam School. The testing windows for this spring are:


  • April 5 to May 7 English Language Arts - Grades 3, 4, and 5
  • April 26 to May 28 Math - Grades 3, 4, and 5
  • Science, Technology Engineering April 27 to May 28 - Grade 5


DESE is making adjustments to the number of sessions due to the shortened testing window. We do not have information yet on how tests will be administered for fully remote students. Please keep these testing windows in mind when scheduling appointments or other school absences for your child.

Killam Safety Reminders

Arrival:

Follow these guidelines if you are participating in rolling car drop-off a child at the front of the building:


  1. Pull up as far as you can in the driveway prior to letting your child exit the car.
  2. Drivers stay in the car and children exit on the sidewalk side of the car.
  3. If your child is unable to get out of the car independently, please park in a street parking space and walk them in.
  4. Do not pass cars in the driveway and it is a right turn only out of the driveway.


Dismissal:

At dismissal time, there is no live pick up in the driveway except for students who take the bus.


As a safety reminder, the staff parking lot is staff only. We've seen families parking there for dismissal and we respectfully ask that you park along the street. With our students exiting from their external doors in the parking lot, having cars drive in and out is not safe. Thanks for helping us out.


Dogs and Puppies on School Grounds

As much as we all love dogs and puppies and as much fun as it is walking them, School Committee policy prohibits dogs on school grounds. If you'd like to walk your dog as part of your pick up routine, the dog has to stay off school property. If you'd like your child to walk to you on the sidewalk or to the driveway entrances at dismissal so you can wait with your dog please make that plan with them.

Message from the Health Office

We continue our focus on the goal of limiting the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions are tiresome. None of us are in this alone, but we need everyone’s cooperation to ensure we can all stay healthy.


  • Please do your part to keep Killam safe for everyone. If you or your child is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, call me to discuss before sending your child to school. As a reminder, the common symptoms include:


  • Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath

  • Fever (100.0 degrees or higher)

  • Chills

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Muscle aches

  • Abdominal discomfort – nausea/vomiting/diarrhea

  • Cough (a change from any baseline cough related to allergies or asthma)

  • Headache


  • Be mindful of hand hygiene

  • Wear your mask when you are outside your home, even with non-household relatives.

  • Travel guidelines are linked here. Travel outside of Massachusetts to any other red state obligates travelers to test or quarantine. Please check the website below for the latest information and check with me if you have any questions.


Massachusetts Travel during Covid-19 Pandemic


  • Seek testing if you believe your child has been exposed. While awaiting results, do not send your student to school to limit potential exposure of classmates and staff. Testing site information in available here:


Stop the Spread

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.

Student Services Office Hours

Dear Families,


As we move into February next week, we wanted to share the Students Service's Office Hours for the next month. We have found these times to individually connect with families very valuable. Below please find dates and times of February's Office Hours as well as the link to the DOODLE Poll. Please use the DOODLE Poll to select a time to meet with us. 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, Assistant Director of Student Services @ Allison.Wright@reading.k12.ma.us.


Office Hours for February 2021

Tuesday 2/8 @ 1-2 pm

Wednesday 2/24 @ 9-10 am


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

Doodle Poll Link


Thank you,
Jennifer Stys and Allison Wright

PTO Corner

5th Grade supplies purchased by the PTO!

This week the PTO dropped off new notebooks to the school for the entire 5th grade class! We purchased these from the Staples in Reading who, as always, gave us a great deal!


Chocolate Fundraiser

Today is the last day for chocolate orders! Don't forget to order your Valentine's chocolates by FRIDAY, 2/5, for pickup 2/11! You can place an order at https://forms.gle/ZxgEfRw98EA9PLGA6

Payment must be received via Venmo, cash, or check by noon on Friday, 2/5. If you want to pay on Thursday or Friday by cash or check, please drop at 42 John St.


Gear Sales

Did you know? We still have stuff for sale on our gear site! Gear, Killam masks, lanyards, pencils and more! Some items have been discounted to sell quickly! https://jwkillampto.square.site/


Nest Raffle!

Next week we will be raffling off a Nest Thermostat, keep an eye out for an e-mail with more information!

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SEPAC Information

Please join the SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) at our next business meeting on


Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 7:00 PM!

New business for this meeting includes an update from our

reading/literacy subcommittee and a brief presentation by Alice Gomez, School Psychologist, on community resources, followed by a parent discussion regarding

the same.


Please join us for this presentation and discussion and feel free

to share any additional resources that you think other parents may find helpful.

All are welcome!


This meeting will be held virtually, via Zoom.


Join us for our next

VIRTUAL SEPAC MEETING

on Tuesday, February 9th at 7 PM.

Meeting link: Join Zoom Meeting



Please also join us for our next VIRTUAL Reading and Literacy Subcommittee Meeting

on Tuesday, February 2nd at 7PM.

Meeting link: https://readingpsma.zoom.us/j/87835232197


All are welcome and ENCOURAGED to attend!

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.

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

Your child's teacher will communicate today the daily schedule for remote learning. They will also be sharing their own resources and tutorials. Below are a few of the main instructional platforms that all students will be using. These documents walk you through how to setup for success for the first day of school.


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!



Zoom
-How to Login to Zoom


Microsoft Teams

-How to Login to Microsoft Teams


SeeSaw
-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.

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!