Wood End Wildcat News

April 4, 2021

Dear Wood End Families,

The teachers and staff have been very busy preparing to welcome all our students back to school this week! Everything is ready to go and we are eager to see everyone in person. Please watch our latest video, Welcome Back Wood End, April 2021, created by the talented Miss Norcross and our amazing Student Council members! You are in for a real treat!

Of course we also want to keep students, staff, and families healthy so please continue to follow all CDC guidelines. All students (and staff) are required to wear masks in school, use hand sanitizer, socially distance, and stay home if they have any symptoms. Please remeber to pack a snack, refillable water bottle, and extra mask for your child. We still have 10 weeks of learning experiences to go and we want to be in school for this time. Please help us do that!

School will be in session Monday through Thursday from 8:15 a.m. until 2:45 p.m. and on Fridays from 8:15 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. If your dismissal plans have changed, please be sure to notify Mrs. Finigan as soon as possible. We need to know how every child is getting home after school. Most families have provided this information already, but if we do not have a plan before Monday morning, your child will be waiting in the office for pick-up.

Most importantly, with all our families back in school, please use extra caution when driving on school grounds. During drop-off and pick-up, DO NOT PASS CARS IN LINE. Leave yourself a few extra minutes to allow for more families, and watch out for those in crosswalks and students who may be walking home. Staff will be very visible outside to ensure student safety and we need all families to drive slowly and carefully.

Students will continue to enter/exit the building through their assigned doors and go directly to their classrooms for the remainder of the school year. If you have any questions, please ask a staff member who will be happy to assist. We look forward to seeing you all Monday morning!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and a Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

Dr. King

Winner of This Year's 5th Grade Yearbook Cover - Designed by Luke Millerick! Congratulations to this talented artist!

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Girls On the Run is Ready to Go!

Thanks to the leadership of our amazing music specialist, Erin Hussey, our spring 2021 Girls on the Run Reading program is about to begin this week! The team will meet from 3-4:30 PM on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the program will meet in-person. We have 2 slots remaining if any 4th or 5th grade girls are still interested.

There is a fee of $225 to register your child. This fee includes a GOTR swag bag, registration in the GOTR end of season 5K, and 8 weeks of instruction facilitated by our 4 trained site coaches; Erin Hussey, Keri Dinapoli, Kelly Mahoney, and Pam Daskalakis. No child will ever be turned away from GOTR due to financial need, so there is a financial aid option in the registration link found below.

Here is the LINK for Girls on the Run spring 2021 registration if you're interested.

GOTR is a social emotional learning curriculum disguised as a running group. While girls will actually be running and performing physical activity, they will also be building friendships across grade levels and building self-confidence through various games and activities all while hopefully developing a life-long love of exercise :)

If you have any questions comments or concerns, please contact Erin Hussey.

Changes to School Lunches

Beginning on Monday, April 5th, we will be making some changes to our school lunch choices. Students will be able to order from two options - a hot lunch or a pretzel lunch. We will no longer be offering alternative selections of sunflower butter sandwiches. Students may order seconds if available, and we will still provide allergen-free lunches including gluten-free pizza and gluten-free chicken nuggets available every day. If you have any questions about our lunch selections, please reach out to our cafeteria manager, Charlene McManus.

Updated Book Borrowing Times

Due to some scheduling changes, we have updated your child's book borrowing times. Please be sure your child returns any overdue books during these times:


Mrs. Foresman 10:00-10:30

Mrs. Gaska 11:45-12:15


Mrs. Tainsh 8:30-9:00

Mrs. Bielicki 11:20-12:00

Mrs. Cullen 2:30


Mrs. Gianatassio 10:05-10:35

Mrs. Ockerbloom 11:05-11:35

Miss Habeeb 12:40-1:10

Mrs. Malone 1:20-1:50


Mrs. Roberts 11:20-12:00

Mrs. Commito 1:20-1:50


Miss Raffa 8:30-9:00

Mrs. Hester 10:15-10:45

Mrs. DiNapoli 11:00-11:30

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Little Libraries to be Installed Soon!

Our Little Free Libraries are almost ready to be installed as a wonderful addition to our outdoor classroom space! A huge thanks to our wonderful Wood End parent, Dion Mraz, for building them! Another huge thank you to all who have donated books thus far! We have plenty of books to get the libraries up and running. We will share more about how they work when they are installed, so stay tuned!

Now, we need your help! One library is built and ready for adult books to fill your homes and encourage student reading. The children's library needs some bright colors. We are looking for one student per grade to join Mrs. Hester and help paint the little free library afterschool on a warm day. Date and time to be decided. Please use the Google Form HERE to enter your child in a raffle to help us paint! You will be contacted via email with more information if your child has won the raffle.

PAWS Update

The Leadership Team is happy to report that we have seen an increase in both the number of teachers giving out PAWs to recognize our students, and the number of students receiving PAWS for showing expected behaviors. The results for March are…

o Total PAWs Given: 2, 241

  • In person: 71%
  • Remote: 29%

o Core Values Recognized

  • Engaged: 63%
  • Responsible: 52%
  • Respectful: 38%
  • Honest: 28%
  • Safe: 26%

Notes from the Nurse

The pooled testing for this past week resulted in 2 students testing positive. As a result, all students and staff working in those two classrooms will quarantine. We realize this is not what anyone wants, however, we were fortunate to identify those affected very early as they had no symptoms, and this likely stopped further spread of the virus.

Pooled testing will continue through the remainder of the school year, so if you are interested in having your child participate, please register HERE.

As we prepare to return to full in-person learning on Monday, please remember:

  • To check in with a doctor or get a Covid test if your child has ANY symptoms of illness.
  • Many children with Covid have shown only mild head cold symptoms, and often a test is the only way to distinguish the virus.
  • Many pediatricians have recommendations for testing sites and results are now coming in faster (usually within 24 hours).

Please contact our School Nurse, Kristen Agami, with any health questions or concerns.

Stay well!

Traveling During Vacation

Several families have asked about remote learning around April vacation since many families are traveling. We understand with more and more people getting vaccinated, adults are wanting to travel. Unfortunately, our children do not yet have the option for vaccination. The RPS guidelines remain the same as for previous vacations; we do not offer remote learning due to quarantine before or after travel. Your child will be marked absent until their return to school. We will encourage students to continue to read and access to online learning platforms such as Raz-Kids, Lexia, and Moby Max, but they will not be provided access to remote learning due to travel.

Is 3 feet of social distancing really safe?

A recent study of Massachusetts schools compared infection rates of staff and students of 3 feet versus 6 feet physical distancing. The results indicated that Among 251 eligible school districts, 537,336 students, and 99,390 staff attended in-person instruction during the 16-week study period, representing 6,400,175 student learning weeks and 1,342,574 staff learning weeks. Student case rates were similar in the 242 districts with ≥3 feet versus ≥6 feet of physical distancing between students (IRR, 0.891, 95% CI, 0.594-1.335); results were similar after adjusting for community incidence (adjusted IRR, 0.904, 95% CI, 0.616-1.325). Cases among school staff in districts with ≥3 feet versus ≥6 feet of physical distancing were also similar (IRR, 1.015, 95% CI, 0.754-1.365).

The conclusion of this study indicates that lower physical distancing policies can be adopted in school settings with masking mandates without negatively impacting student or staff safety.

Are You Interested in a Big Buddy?

Since it is hard for students to learn this year we are here to help! We are a group of RMHS students involved in the Spread Kindness Club. Our goal with this is to help kids get the help they need academically during this hard time. We want to also help kids get the opportunity to talk to older students and build connections while also learning.

We are looking to start a tutoring program at local elementary schools similar to the Study Buddies club that takes place at the library, except centered more around individual elementary students. If you are interested, please fill out our survey HERE and we will provide more information.

5th Grade Celebration Planning

If you would like to offer a helping hand, please reach out the committee members below.

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.

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Calareso's Fundraiser Ends April 5!

A favorite & easy fundraiser is back! PTO has partnered with Calareso's Farmstand to offer Calareso's Gift Certificates. Calareso's is generously donating 25% of your purchase to Wood End. Gift certificates can be used for food or gardening purchases, and never expire! Orders may be placed from March 15th-April 5th via backpack mail.
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PTO Updates & Upcoming Meetings

Upcoming Meetings for Spring

We have scheduled the last of our PTO meetings for this school year and hope you can join us. All meetings will take place on Zoom and begin at 7:30 p.m. Links to our general meetings will be sent to all families and we encourage you to come and bring a friend!

  • Board Meeting: Wednesday, April 7th 8-9pm (note time change)
  • May General PTO Meeting: Wednesday, May 5th at 7:30 p.m.
  • June Elections/General PTO Meeting: Wednesday, June 9th at 7:30 p.m.

If you are interested in filling any of the open vacancies, please reach out to Melissa Moran or Cristina Prior. We still need the following roles filled: President, Secretary, and 2 VP positions - Enrichment Coordinator and Events & Fundraising. Without folks taking on these roles, we cannot provide fieldtrips, school events, or support our students and school community the way we have done in the past. Please consider helping us out!

Amazon Smile

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

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/

Student Services Office Hours

Dear Families,

The schools have been busy over the past few weeks prepping for the upcoming change to full in-person learning! We are looking forward to seeing more students in the building! We understand that this shift in the learning model can bring up additional questions about supporting your students, and we would be happy to meet with individuals during office hours to discuss any questions or concerns.

Below, please find our office hours for the month of April. Please use the DOODLE Poll link to select a time to meet with us. We continue to enjoy these opportunities to meet with families on an individual basis.

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, Director of Special Education.

Office Hours for April 2021

  • Wednesday 4/7 @11:00-12:00 pm
  • Thursday 4/15 @ 9:30-10:30 am
  • Tuesday 4/27 @ 2:00-3:00 pm

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


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The SEPAC Community & Friends welcome your input and help to identify topics of high interest for future Special Education Parent Advisory Council presentations. Our goal is to build a stronger connection to not only the special education community and families, but the wider community as a whole. Learning together and building stronger relationships with all families creates a more accepting and informed community.

Please email michelesanphy@yahoo.com with your suggestions for presentation topics by Friday, April 2nd. We look forward to hearing from you!

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.

Technology Help

If you have any technology issues with your student's laptop, please contact our IT department HELP DESK or by calling 781-670-2888.

MCAS Dates for Wood End

Students will be taking MCAS this year, though the testing window has been moved to later in the spring, May 10-June 11. The current testing schedule for Wood End is below:

  • May 11 - English Language Arts - Grade 5
  • May 12 - English Language Arts - Grade 4
  • May 17 - English Language Arts - Grade 3
  • May 18 - Mathematics - Grade 5
  • May 19 - Mathematics - Grade 4
  • May 26 - Mathematics - Grade 3
  • May 27 - Science, Technology, Engineering - Grade 5

DESE is making adjustments to the number of sessions due to the shortened testing window. Please keep these testing windows in mind when scheduling appointments or other school absences for your child.

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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!

Family Resources

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!)

Upcoming Events:


5: Full In-Person Learning Begins - Welcome Back!

7: Spirit Day - Wear your favorite pajamas!; PTO Board Meeting, 8-9 PM

9: Student Council Meeting with Miss Norcross, 11:30-12:30 in Library

12: School Council working group meeting, 7-8 PM

14: All-School Meeting, Earth Day, 8:30-9:00 AM

17-25: April Vacation

26: School Council working group meeting, 7-8 PM

28: Spirit Day - Wear your Red Sox colors! Student Council Meeting with Miss Norcross, 7:30-8:15 a.m. in Library; School Picture Retakes

30: Student Council Meeting with Miss Norcross, 11:30-12:30 in Library

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