JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

We have been busy over here at Killam! We are excited to be welcoming our third graders into the building beginning this week. We are hopeful that our fourth and fifth graders are joining right around the corner. We have also been very busy with the hiring process. I want to thank the community for your patience, thoughtfulness, and willingness to support the schools during this time. It truly takes a village!

Please join me in welcoming the following new staff members to Killam:
-Teachers: Mrs. EmilyJane Rizzo and Ms. Ellen Morris

-General Education Tutors: Deborah Nusinov, Kaitlyn Bisson, Heather Lee, Cheryl Cruickshank, and Jamie Santiago
-TSP Paraeducators: Nicole Barletta, Angelique Gomez, and Nina Murray
-Custodian: Joseph Cass

Our Killam hallways will once again be filled with friendly faces and children's laughter!

Stay well,

Ms. Leveque

Killam Upcoming Dates

Week of November 1st: Cohort A

Monday, November 2nd: Grades 1, 2, and 3 hybrid (Cohort A in-person; Cohort B remote)

Tuesday, November 3rd: Election Day - Remote day for all students in the Reading Public Schools

Wednesday, November 4th: Incoming 2021-2022 Kindergarten District-Wide Parent Presentation, 7pm (see below)

November 3rd - Election Day Update

On Tuesday, November 3rd, Election Day all students in the Reading Public Schools will have a remote day of learning. This includes all students including high risk students and kindergarten students who would typically be in school. Teachers will provide a full day, 8:15 to 2:45, of remote learning including both synchronous and asynchronous lessons.

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!

Killam Lunch Monitor

The Killam School is in need of a lunch monitor. As you may be aware, with all grades in school, we will need the cafeteria and the gym for our lunches, requiring increased supervision. The lunch monitor paraeducator position is 9 hours a week (Monday-Thursday, 10:50-1:00). It is a time when students do not wear their masks so I want to be upfront about that. All staff do wear masks regardless of the time and location.

This is a paid position (low $15/hour range) and is for someone on a leave of absence until mid-December. The position could extend if this individual does not decide to return.

I am open to this being a job share. If you are interested, please email me at Sarah.Leveque@reading.k12.ma.us, remind me which cohort you would be able to be in-person, and provide me with your resume.

School Council Member Needed

School Council consists of teachers and parents who volunteer their time to help develop the School Improvement Plan and review budget needs to support the students at Killam. During this school year, the School Council will also be involved in refining our plan with a particular focus on anti-bias and equity education, planning and carrying out action steps related to these goals. In addition, members will review academic and behavioral data for Killam School. School Council meetings this school year will occur remotely through Zoom, and meetings will be scheduled after school. We are in need of one parent to join our School Council. This is a two year commitment and will take you through the 2022 school year. Our school council dates are as follows:

-Monday, November 9, 2020, 3-4pm over Zoom

-Monday, January 11, 2021, 3-4pm over Zoom

-Monday, April 12, 2021, 3-4pm over Zoom

-Monday, June 7, 2021, 3-4pm over Zoom

If you are interested in joining School Council, please email Sarah.Leveque@reading.k12.ma.us

Attention 2021-2022 Incoming Kindergarten Families

Attention Reading Families: If you have a child born between September 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016, we are looking for you. The registration process for the 2021-22 school year will begin soon. Please contact Linda Engelson by phone (781 944-5800) or email (linda.engelson@reading.k12.ma.us) if you have any questions or would like to be sure your child is on our preliminary list. If emailing, please provide your child’s name, date of birth and address.

Registration packet available on the district website– www.reading.k12.ma.us

Incoming Kindergarten Parent Information session is November 4th at 7:00 p.m. via Microsoft Teams.

Health Office Updates from Mrs. Grottkau

I am so happy that our third graders will return next week, I am looking forward to seeing everyone!

Flu Immunization Information:

Thank you to all families who have provided immunization documentation.

Massachusetts is requiring all students to have a flu shot by December 31, 2020. The school immunization requirements apply to all Massachusetts students enrolled in Kindergarten through Grade 12, regardless of whether the district is providing instruction in-person or using a hybrid or remote learning model.

Travel reminders:

As the holidays approach, please be aware that Massachusetts has travel precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Massachusetts Health Department has a website to answer questions about travel policy: Massachusetts Travel Protocol.

A few important points:

· -Travelers to Massachusetts from any state that is not considered low risk must show evidence of a documented COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival. Please reference Lower Risk States for up to date information.

· - Anyone who chooses not to be tested must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to Massachusetts.

· -Killam requires students and staff who travel to present documentation of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival to Massachusetts before returning to school (unless they instead choose to quarantine for 14 days before returning).


Please make sure your child arrives wearing a clean mask every day. Masks must fit snuggly across the nose and chin to be effective. Packing an extra mask is also important since they can become wet or soiled.

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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
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PTO Corner

November is a busy month for the Killam PTO! We have a lot of great opportunities that will be coming out in the next few weeks. Read on to hear a little more about them!

PTO Presentation

In leu of our November meeting, we have a great FREE presentation for our Killam community. Parenting through Covid: Addressing Stressors and Promoting Resilience presented by Licensed Clinical Psychologist Ilana Blatt-Eisengart Tuesday November 10th 7:00pm. Q&A to follow!

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81362005766?pwd=SU5FRFNzdWNjUCttZmo2bG9ROEJqZz09

Meeting ID: 813 6200 5766

Passcode: koalas

Harrows Fundraiser

We will be selling $25 gift cards for Harrows for only $20! This is a great deal with the holidays coming up! Look for an order form coming out soon. Orders will be open until 11/15.

Gear Sales

We are so excited that we will finally have new gear to sell! Our new 2020 gear will be available for preorder on our gear site starting next week. This year we will be offering T-shirts and hoodies plus some brand new items - flannel PJ pants and Pom-pom hats! We have discounted last years stock to make way for the new gear, so go buy some gear now at a great price! We also still have MASKS for sale! We will be accepting gear pre-orders via the website until November 20th, and everything should be ready for pickup in mid-December (in time for the holidays).

Check out our gear store at: https://jwkillampto.square.site/?fbclid=IwAR0WrAbNNvJq0EYYgTV_tUSTV2NZwLG67dZuvFfPvrPVTh-r6t4rDNQjXEs

Book Fair

The book fair is coming! The book fair is coming!

November 13-22, 2020

While we can't do an in-person fair this year, the Killam PTO has partnered with local bookseller Fantastic Book Fairs to host a virtual book fair! From November 13-22, you and your child can purchase books at our online Fantastic Book Fairs shop! Books will be delivered to the school for pickup in early December! More details coming soon!

5th Grade Clothing Drive

The 5th grade class will be having a clothing collection fundraiser in November. They will be collecting gently used clothing, blankets, pillows and other items. Please save your donations! More information will be sent out soon.

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Information from SEPAC

Upcoming Events:

  • Transition Planning Workshop November 2 - 6:00 PM
  • You must pre-register by clicking here
  • Virtual support Chat for Reading SEPAC Members November 5 - 7:30 PM
    • Process information learned at the Evaluation and Eligibility Workshop with other Reading Parents
    • Nov 5 Support Chat Zoom Link
    • Zoom Meeting ID: 796 3747 6973; Passcode: 0dEKAC
  • Presentation on Facilitated Team Meetings and Mediation Services Nov 17 - 7:00 PM
    • Meeting link will be published in November

COVID-19 Compensatory Services

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!

-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.

School Presentations:
Building (Hybrid) Safety Procedures, October 2020 (Passcode: 2*7M=v9S)

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Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

How do I prepare my child for safe in-person learning?

Here is what parents should know from Boston Children’s Hospital.

What kind of mask should my child wear?

Here is guidance from CDC on choosing the right mask.

What if my student refuses to wear a mask? Mask expectations

How do I help my child get used to wearing a mask?

What if my child forgets or loses their mask?

Your school nurse has masks for students, but plan to send extra just in case.

When should I keep my child home from school?

Please review the health screening before sending your child to school every day.

What if my child is sick?

Here is a list of COVID-19 symptoms:

Symptoms of Coronavirus

Here is a symptom checker:

Check your symptoms and find the right care

What are the differences between flu and COVID symptoms?

What happens if my child is sent home sick from school?

Any child who is ill will be sent home and asked to follow up with their pediatrician. Children with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 will be tested at the MD’s recommendation.

If a student has COVID-19-like symptoms, they may return to school after they have tested negative for COVID-19, have improvement in symptoms, and have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications. If a provider makes an alternative diagnosis for the COVID-19-like symptoms, the individual may return to school based on recommendations for that alternative diagnosis (e.g., influenza or strep pharyngitis).

If a student presents with COVID-19-like symptoms and chooses not to be tested, they may return to school 10 days from the start of symptoms, as long as their symptoms have improved and they have been without fever for at least 24 hours prior to their return to school without the use of fever reducing medication.

If your child has been to the doctor, please provide a note when they return to school.

Where can I get myself/ my child tested?

Here are local testing sites and information:COVID-19 Testing

How can I prepare my child for the COVID test?

Will schools be testing staff and students?

Not at this time. Anyone who is a close contact or is symptomatic should consult with their physician about testing. In the event of a cluster (or outbreak of cases) in the schools, in consultation with the Reading Board of Health, there may be surveillance testing for asymptomatic staff and students.

If a student in my child’s class tests positive will the class need to quarantine?

If a student tests positive, any close contacts of the child should also be tested and quarantined for 14 days. The rest of the class and teacher would only have to quarantine if the child tests positive, and if they had close contact with the student within 2 days prior to the positive test.

What is a close contact?

A close contact is anyone who has been within 6 feet of another individual for a period of at least 10-15 minutes. By wearing masks, we are hoping to decrease the transmission of the virus, however it is still considered an exposure.

If my child is a close contact of someone with COVID but they test negative, may they return to school? All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person, regardless of test result.

What happens if I or my child test positive?

It is important to note that testing, combined with contact tracing and isolation, helps control the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. All test results, both positive and negative, are reported to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). When a person has a positive COVID-19 test, it is the local board of health or the Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative that will reach out to provide support so that these individuals can remain safely in medical isolation. They will also ask for help to identify close contacts. These organizations will then reach out to the individual’s close contacts to provide important information that is aimed to stop the spread of the virus, including how to safely isolate/quarantine. While these organizations will provide support to further assist with contact tracing, the student/family and staff are asked to reach out to their personal contacts and notify the school.

What if my family member tests positive?

If you are a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you must also be tested and quarantine for 14 days after the last close contact.

Does Reading have a lot of cases in the community?

What if my family travels outside of Massachusetts?

Anyone traveling to a higher risk area must complete a travel form and quarantine for 14 days unless they have a negative test within 72 hours of return/entry.

See COVID-19 Travel Order for details.

Where can I get more health information?

Click here to access the Reading School Nurses Virtual Health Office

Massachusetts Dept of Public Health website

CDC website

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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!