Wood End Wildcat News

April 11, 2021

Dear Wood End Families,


We were so excited to welcome all our students back this week! It's been a very busy week filled with smiling faces and lots of laughter - just what we all need! We have another full week of school before spring break, so please be sure your child comes to school on time each day to make the most of their learning. As a quick reminder, school is 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.


One change we are making on Monday, April 12th is our first grade students only will be dismissed at the end of the day on the side door along the sidewalk (right side of the building). This is to minimize the number of students crossing in the Main Lobby as they leave the building. They will still enter the school each day near the front of the school (this is not changing) so only the dismissal door will change.


Enjoy this beautiful weekend,

Dr. King

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Girls On the Run is Off to a Great Start!

Thanks to the leadership of Erin Hussey, Keri Dinapoli, Kelly Mahoney, and Pam Daskalakis, our Girls on the Run program has begun, and we've heard nothing but positive praise! The team meets from 3-4:30 PM on Mondays and Wednesdays. The girls are forming new friendships while running, exercising, and building their self-confidence as young leaders. What a wonderful opportunity!

Changes to School Lunches

We have made some changes to our school lunch choices. Students are able to order from two options - a hot lunch or a pretzel lunch. We are no longer 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.

Coolidge Students Perform Sleeping Beauty

The Coolidge Production of "Sleeping Beauty, Briar Rose:, will be virtually broadcast on April 16 at 7:30 & April 17 at 3:00. The students, directed by Stephen MacDonald, have been working hard and long on the play, and are excited to share this amazing, virtual event with our Reading community! You can watch from any device, at any location, home or on vacation! Please consider joining us and showing your support of the arts in Reading.


Tickets for this virtual event ($10 per viewer), and more information about the play, can be found here: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/43732


The group also has a Facebook page, which you are welcome to follow.


We hope to "see you" there! 🙂

Library Book Borrowing Times

We recently updated your child's book borrowing times to accommodate some scheduling changes with our full in-person learning. Please be sure your child returns any overdue books during these times:


Mondays

Mrs. Foresman 10:00-10:30

Mrs. Gaska 11:45-12:15

Tuesdays

Mrs. Tainsh 8:30-9:00

Mrs. Bielicki 11:20-12:00

Mrs. Cullen 2:30

Wednesdays

Mrs. Gianatassio 10:05-10:35

Mrs. Ockerbloom 11:05-11:35

Miss Habeeb 12:40-1:10

Mrs. Malone 1:20-1:50

Thursdays

Mrs. Roberts 11:20-12:00

Mrs. Commito 1:20-1:50

Fridays

Miss Raffa 8:30-9:00

Mrs. Hester 10:15-10:45

Mrs. DiNapoli 11:00-11:30

METCO Director Search Committee

Dear Reading Community Member,


The Reading Public Schools are seeking a METCO Director for the 21-22 school year. As part of that process we are seeking your input about the characteristics and skills this person should have. Please complete the survey at this link by Friday, April 16th.


The Screening Committee for selecting the next Reading Public Schools METCO Director is seeking members. This committee will review applicants for the METCO Director position, interview applicants and send finalist choices to the Superintendent. These candidates will be interviewed by the Superintendent and he will make the final choice. We are collecting community input through a survey of families, staff and RMHS students. This committee will review those survey results and use them to inform our questions as part of this process.


The composition of the committee is as follows:

  • LisaMarie Ippolito, Joshua Eaton Principal, Co-Facilitator

  • Julia Hendrix, Birch Meadow Principal, Co-Facilitator

  • Teacher

  • Teacher

  • Teacher

  • METCO Parent/Guardian

  • METCO Parent/Guardian

  • Parent/Guardian

  • Secondary Level Student


The following dates are the timeline for the screening committee. Please make sure you’re available for these dates prior to indicating interest.


Monday, April 26th

4:00-6:00 p.m.

Screening Committee Organizational Meeting

Question Review and Selection


Thursday, May 6th

4:00-6:00 p.m.

Meet to review applicants


Friday, May 14th

7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Interviews

Send pre-finalist to Superintendent


Please click on the following link to sign up for the METCO Director Screening Committee The deadline for this is April 16th. https://forms.gle/Zk4H7HoqZ3ehTrHF9


Even if you are unable to participate in the screening committee we ask that you complete the needs assessment survey.


Julia Hendrix Julia.hendrix@reading.k12.ma.us

LisaMarie Ippolito lisamarie.ippolito@reading.k12.ma.us

PTO Needs Your Help!

Dear Wood End Families,


As we finish our term as PTO Co-Presidents, we’d like to thank you for this opportunity to serve the Wood End community, and to encourage you to consider an open seat on the 2021-2022 PTO Board.


Being on the PTO Board is a rewarding and important role as you help bring authors, assemblies and field trips (whether traditional or virtual), books, and technology to Wood End. The Board also helps foster and support the wonderful Wood End community through community events and staff appreciation. Being a Board member connects you with parents, teachers and staff from the whole school. Your student may be in any grade for you to hold a position on our Board, and we encourage representation from all grade levels.


Typically, a term on the Board is two years. Several members of the current Board have served 3 years, and it has come time for us to leave the Board. Volunteers have stepped forward for a few of the roles, but there are some important open positions including President and Secretary. Board seats may be shared, so grab a friend and become co-presidents or co-secretaries!


If you are interested in learning more about these positions, please contact us. We are happy to lend a helping hand to transition you into a new role. Thank you for considering serving the Wood End community. Although we are leaving the Board in June, we are very glad for our time on this committee and the friendships we’ve made.


Thank you,

Melissa Moran & Cristina Prior



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!


  • 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.


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!


Shutterfly

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 - FINAL YEAR

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/

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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! April 16th is the last day to enter this raffle! You will be contacted via email with more information if your child has won the raffle.

Notes from the Nurse

The pooled testing for this past week resulted in ZERO positive tests! 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 start to develop "COVID Fatigue" please remember to continue following all social distancing guidelines from the CDC and:


  • 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.

5th Grade Celebration Updates

The Year Book Team is hard at work finalizing the 5th Grade Year Book, with just the finishing touches to go. Team members will be at school during lunch and recess next week for an unofficial photo shoot. This is just a heads up if your 5th grader wants to glam up that day.

Monday, April 12 – Mrs. Malone

Wednesday, April 14 – Mrs. Commito

Thanks to everyone for submitting everything that was asked for in record time!

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.

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

  • 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:

https://doodle.com/poll/qywrhxnahz424rm3?utm_source=poll&utm_medium=link

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Special Education Parent Advisory Council Meets April 13

Please join the SEPAC at our next business meeting on

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 7:00 PM!

New business to be discussed includes a presentation by Team Chair, Kelly DiCato, on the DESE Resource Guide to the MA Curriculum Frameworks for Students with Disabilities, followed by caregiver comments/questions; also a parent prepared presentation on local/regional community resources providing family education/advocacy, recreational opportunities, and summer camps, followed by a parent discussion regarding the same; and other items.


Please join us for these presentations and discussions 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, April 13th at 7 PM.

Meeting link: Join Zoom Meeting


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.

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:

April

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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