JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

Happy 2020! I hope that everyone had time to relax and enjoy the holiday season. The staff and I appreciated all of the shows of gratitude that we received from the Killam families. We feel fortunate to work here in Reading!

I have a few housekeeping reminders this week. As we are now fully embracing winter, I wanted to send a note about arrival and outside play.

We anticipate that our rolling car drop-off line will continue to grow as the cold weather rolls on. Thank you for your patience and remembering the safety guidelines. As the snowbanks grow taller and the ice appears on our roadways, it is more important than ever that we enter the driveway slowly, hang up our cell phones, and pay attention to the roadway.

-Leave home a few minutes early to anticipate a longer drop-off line. We will hold attendance on days when the backup is very long as we want to ensure that everyone enters safely.

-Students and parents should be crossing the streets AND the driveway using the crosswalks. It is harder to see students walking between cars.

-Pull ALL the way forward in the driveway. We need to use the entire fire lane when dropping off. Do not stop in front of the school doors.

-Students need to exit from the passenger side of the car. Adults should not be getting out of their cars in the rolling car lane.

-We go outside for arrival and recess if the temperature (including wind chill) is above 20 degrees. You can check WeatherBug.com to see if it is an indoor or outdoor day.

-Dress students appropriately for winter on a daily basis. If the temperature rises during the day, we are going outside.

-If students wish to play in the snow, they need full snow gear (coats, snow pants, boots, hats, and mittens/gloves).

-If the snowbank if over the students head, we do not allow students to climb it. This is for safety reasons. The area around the modulars often has tall snowbanks and we do not allow students on these banks, even before and after school.

-Finally, if you are in need of warm winter clothes for your child, do not hesitate to reach out to me. We keep extra coats and winter gear in the office.


Ms. Leveque

Important Killam Dates

Monday, January 6th: Killam School Council Meeting, 3-4 pm in the Conference Room. All are welcome!

Thursday, January 9th: PTO Meeting, Planning for Enrichment, 7-8 pm in the Killam Cafeteria. All are welcome!

Friday, January 17th: 11 AM Dismissal for all students

Monday, January 20th: No School, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


Upcoming Changes in Lunch Protocol

January 2020

Dear Parents,

Happy New Year! Beginning Tuesday, January 21st, we will be updating our lunchtime protocol. The new arrangement is being introduced to protect students who are vulnerable to reactions from allergens contained in food products. Killam students have a variety of food allergies, not only to nuts, but to other ingredients as well. This arrangement will provide a greater measure of safety to all our students. Additionally, it will make us more in line with other schools in our district.

The new plan will not change the current table assignments; each class has three tables and will continue to use those tables. However, one of the three assigned tables will have a red dot on it. The red dot will indicate that the table is an allergen free table. Therefore, any student who has a known allergen will have a designated table at which they can sit without encountering foods that might contain their allergen. Other students may also sit at this table, provided their lunch is also allergen-free. The other two tables for each classroom will be considered ‘open tables’ where any student may sit.

Our cafeteria monitors will carry handwipes and will remind students who eat allergen containing foods to use a handwipe before returning to class. All other lunchtime procedures will stay the same. As always, our no food sharing rule will be observed.

Our school staff will be working as a community to support these changes. I will be speaking with the students about this change during their lunchtimes the week of January 13th. Please contact me if you have any concerns or any questions at Sharon.grottkau@reading.k12.ma.us.

Thank you,

Sharon Grottkau, BSN, RN

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UGGly Issue!

It's that time of year where we start to have an UGGly problem! Just say no to UGGS on Physical Education days! If you are wearing UGGS or any other kind of winter boots to school, please pack a pair of sneakers so you can play during PE class. Wearing anything but sneakers to PE class poses a safety issue.

Thanks for your help with this UGGly issue!

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Killam Lost and Found

We have an abundance of coats, hats, mittens, sweatshirts, water bottles...you name it, we have it! We will be displaying the objects this upcoming week for students to identify during lunch. You are also welcome to stop in and take a look. We will be donating remaining items with our Coats for Kids donation.
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PTO Corner

New in 2019-20 - Pay PTO dues with Venmo at @KillamPTO!

Please be sure to include your child/family’s name in the notes when you submit your Venmo payment so we can credit the dues to the appropriate family.

Birch Meadow PTO Presents a Workshop

How to Look at Children's Books with an Eye Toward Equity and Anti-Bias

Presented by Paula Falvey, Librarian

Jan Rhein, Literacy Specialist

Julia Hendrix Principal

Are you wondering how to talk with your child about bias and stereotypes in children's books? Do you want to know more about how to select books that challenge bias and stereotypes and are still enjoyable to read? In this workshop, we will teach ways to examine bias in children's literature (both chapter books and picture books) and give you the chance to review books from our own library for bias and stereotyping. You'll leave with some tools to help you talk about bias and stereotyping with children.

Location: Birch Meadow School Library

Day and Time: Wednesday, January 15th at 6:30 p.m.

The graphic below gives you an idea of what diverse representations look like in children's literature in 2018.

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Need Help Putting Food on the Table

If you or someone you know is struggling to provide nutritious meals for the family, Project Bread can help. This is the only comprehensive statewide information and referral service in Massachusetts for people facing hunger. They can connect you to SNAP benefits and food resources in your local community, and help you navigate the application process. They also provide referrals to other programs such as WIC, school meals, housing, and utility assistance. For more information, call 1-800-645-8333 Monday through Friday, 8AM-7PM, and Saturday, 10AM-2PM.

Killam MCAS Dates

Below are the MCAS Testing Dates for 2020. Please consider these dates when making appointments or other plans that involve absence from school. These dates are also posted under the Students tab on the Killam website.
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Accessing Report Cards

This is a friendly reminder that as guardians, you can access your child's released report cards at any time! Login to your PlusPortal account and choose the eLocker tab on the top of the page. This will bring you to all official report cards that can be downloaded as a PDF and printed or saved from the luxury of your home.

2020-2021 Incoming Kindergarten Information

It was a great turnout for the Parent Information session. If you were unable to attend, the presentation can be found on the Killam website at https://www.reading.k12.ma.us/killam/. The presentation is under the "Parent" tab on the bottom of the homepage.


The SEPAC meets throughout the school year in the RMHS Library Media Center at 7:00 p.m. Please plan to attend on the following dates, or click here for additional information:

  • Tuesday, January 14th--

    The next business meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 14th, at 7:00 p.m., in the RMHS library media center. A representative from the FCSN (Federation for Children with Special Needs) is scheduled to present on the "Role of the SEPAC."

  • Tuesday, February 11th-- The next monthly meeting for SEPAC will be held on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, at 7:00 p.m., in the RMHS library media center. A representative from the FCSN (Federation for Children with Special Needs) is scheduled to put on a Basic Rights Presentation on "Understanding the IEP." The presentation offers valuable information for the parents of children receiving special education, and/or parents who think their child(ren) might be in need of receiving special education.

  • Tuesday, March 10th
  • Tuesday, April 14th
  • Tuesday, May 12th
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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!