JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

As we approach the 100th day of school (Friday!), it's a perfect time to reflect on the growth that your child has shown this year. From all areas- developmental, physical growth, cognitive responses, responsibility, and emotional, we have much to celebrate with them. We are in a great rhythm with our learning, sharing, and collaborating. It's a perfect time to say, "we've got this!"

It's also a great time to think about how we are going to keep this learning going for the remainder of the year. Igniting our students' passions and thoughts, recognizing that they are growing in confidence about sharing their opinions, we have to pledge that we will be with them each step of the way. We want our learning to be active and our classrooms reflect this where students learn to work together, clarify their thinking, discuss content, and practice applying new knowledge. Our partnerships and student groupings are dynamic and reflect the ongoing changes we see in our students. Our learning is interactive and engaging.

We love what we do here at Killam. We are proud of how our classrooms create opportunities for students to envision themselves as capable and responsible learners who foster a culture of positivity and success. We've got this and we love that you think so too! Here's to 4 and half more months of learning together!


Ms. Leveque

Important Killam Dates

Wednesday, February 5th: Chinese New Year

Thursday, February 6th: Understanding Disabilities Public Forum, 6:30-7:30pm in the Killam Cafeteria (see details below)

Friday, February 7th: 100th Day of School!

Understanding Disabilities

This month, Understanding Disabilities will be teaching the final lesson of our elementary curriculum to all of the 5th grade students in the district. The lesson focuses on Emotional and Behavioral challenges, and in addition to defining what an Emotional / Behavioral challenge can be, we share with the students techniques to improve their own emotional and behavioral health. We finish the lesson by discussing in an age-appropriate fashion when and how to ask a trusted adult for help. This lesson is especially relevant for students as they prepare to enter middle school, and we encourage them to identify and understand their emotions and behaviors, and of course we remind them once again that in spite of our differences, we are all the same on the inside. One note about the 5th grade lesson - we do not have small group activities in the 5th grade and therefore we do not ask for classroom assistants, however UD is always happy to discuss the curriculum with families.

Next month we will be teaching our physical disabilities unit in the 1st grade, and for this unit and our 2nd grade unit in May we do need classroom assistants to help with centers! If you are interested in participating, keep an eye out for further updates with links to sign up.

If you have questions about what we teach, or if you would like to learn how to get involved with UD, please contact Allison Sillers at asillers@understandingdisabilities.org.

Allison Sillers
Program Leader
Understanding Disabilities

Forum this Thursday:

Understanding Disabilities is holding a public forum on Thursday February 6, 2020 from 6:30 - 7:30pm in the Killam Cafe. This event is open to all and we very much would like as many varied perspectives as possible as we look to the future of UD. The flier is posted below.

Additionally, please fill out this anonymous survey to help us better understand your perspective on UD.

Family Survey: https://forms.gle/cH75ZoqiS3HuhCM38

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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.

A Note from the Health Office

Flu Season

Winter in New England means cold weather, and unfortunately it is also flu season. Staff members are taking extra care to watch for signs and symptoms of illness and we are also working hard to prevent illness. I am hopeful that working as a team, we can keep our students and our staff members healthy!

Please consider the health of your child’s classmates and teachers before sending your child to school As always, if your child has a fever (100.4 or higher) keep them home until they are fever-free for 24 hours without taking any fever reducing medication like Tylenol or ibuprofen. Let the front office know if your child is ill and the nature of the illness.

The CDC website on the flu is an excellent resource for all the information you need to know including common signs and symptoms, emergency warning signs and when to seek emergency medical care. If you’re not certain whether it is a cold or the flu, the attached document may help.

CDC recommendations for avoiding flu include:

  • Have all family members vaccinated if you have not already done so.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, you should stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine).
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

Please contact me at sharon.grottkau@reading.k12.ma.us with any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Sharon Grottkau, BSN, RN

School Nurse

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Reading Public Schools Budget Process Information

To learn information about the FY21 Superintendent's Recommended Budget, please click here.

If you have any questions about the budget, please do not hesitate to contact Superintendent of Schools John Doherty at john.doherty@reading.k12.ma.us .

From the Office of Student Services

As a district our goal is to create program descriptions for our substantially separate special education programs and Learning Center support. These descriptions will serve as an ongoing reference aide for families and staff. The descriptions will be a transparent and welcoming look into programming options with the understanding that any program can adjust and revise its elements to respond to the ever changing needs of our students.

We welcome feedback from our Reading families, staff and the residents on our draft Program Descriptions. Our goal is to use your feedback, along with the work that has been completed with staff, to publish updated descriptions within the next few months. The surveys will be available through February 1, 2020.

There is a section of survey links available on the Reading Office of Student Services website at https://www.reading.k12.ma.us/departments/student-services/

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.


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, 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!