JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

I hope this newsletter finds you and your family safe and well. This week, we welcomed back Cohort A students in 1st and 2nd grade. We continue to welcome back students with Cohort B during the week of October 26th. Information about hybrid weeks will be included in the "Killam Upcoming Dates" section of the newsletter to help you keep up with who is in school and when they are here. We continue to be impressed by the resiliency of our youngest learners as they adjust to the COVID-19 precautions that we are taking in school. Thank you to families for helping students prepare for wearing masks, following social distancing guidelines, and preparing to enter the school building.

I know that the families and children in Grades 3 to 5 are ready to return to school. Superintendent Doherty continues to work on a plan to bring those students back in person in the hybrid model. We have four open positions at the Killam School and I have been interviewing this week to fill those positions. I know this is a challenging situation and I want you to know that I am working hard with our staff to make this happen as quickly as possible.

Stay well,

Ms. Leveque

Killam Upcoming Dates

Week of October 25th: Cohort B

Saturday, October 24th: PTO Halloween Boo-Thru, 5:30-8 pm

Monday, October 26th: Grades 1 and 2 hybrid (Cohort B in-person; Cohort A remote)

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

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.

Health Office Updates from Mrs. Grottkau

Killam’s students are working hard to keep everyone healthy by wearing their masks, keeping their hands clean and keeping 6-feet between themselves and others. Great job everyone! Just a reminder to observe these guidelines during outdoor activities and sporting situations when students are away from school. As we enter cold and flu season, it is more important than ever to protect yourself and those around you. Stay safe and stay healthy!

Health Screenings:

Since Covid-19 protocol prevents us from doing grade level health screenings this year, I want to let you know I am available to screen students if you have any concerns. Screenings may be done for vision and hearing as well as height and weight. Please contact me if you would like your child screened.

Reading’s Virtual Health Office:

Reading’s team of school nurses has created a Virtual Health Office that has many resources. You will find information about current health topics as well as frequently requested forms. Please visit: Virtual Health Office

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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

PTO Corner

The PTO has a lot going on right now!

Halloween Boo-Thru Registration

The Killam Halloween Boo-Thru drive thru event is happening Saturday, October 24th! Killam will be decked-out with Halloween decorations and we're encouraging everyone to wear costumes! Although registration is required, the event is FREE. Sign up here: https://m.signupgenius.com/#!/showSignUp/70a0f49aca72ea1fc1-boothru

Photoshoot fundraiser!

NEW DATE ADDED! 11/15 at Ipswich River Park

Looking to get holiday photos done while supporting the Killam PTO? With the support of Q Haggarty Photography we are able to offer THREE dates for mini photo sessions.

Each session is $150 for 10 minutes which includes 6 digital files and print releases. A $50 deposit is required. 20% of each session will be donated back to the PTO!

11/8 at Ipswich River Park sign up: https://calendly.com/.../11-8-ipswich-river-park-mini

11/15 at Ipswich River Park signup: https://calendly.com/qhegartyphotography/11-15-ipswich-river-park-mini-session-killam-pt-clone?fbclid=IwAR0lEpoGg4GoQc6xQl7N6sMa3zr6WbDW-cOLly3ePczXx3H2r9BUPoXI4Q4&month=2020-11

11/29 at Rollie's Tree farm sign up: https://calendly.com/qheg.../11-29-rollies-farm-mini-session


The PTO is also having its first dine-out of the year! We will be having taco Tuesday at Chipotle’s on October 27. Please see flier below for more details.

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Information from SEPAC

There is a Reading SEPAC Meeting this Tuesday, October 27th at 7 pm!

The meeting agenda is available here

Virtual meeting: Oct 27 Meeting Link

READING INSTRUCTION DISCUSSION during the October 27 meeting!

  • Let us know at the meeting or via email if you want the SEPAC to plan a future discussion or presentation about reading Instruction.

  • Click here to read an article from Education Week about Lucy Calkins. Click here to read the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Rough Draft
  • Teachers and Administrators of the Reading Public Schools are participating in a multiple year literacy training presented by the Crafting Minds Group

SEPAC BOARD ELECTIONS during the October 27 meeting!

  • SEPAC is awesome--help lead it by running for a board position!
  • You can nominate yourself or someone else for a board position by emailing the Elections Coordinator at SepacElections2020@gmail.com.
  • YOUR perspective is important! Please attend. Submit public comment by emailing us ahead of time or by using the chat feature on Teams during the meeting.

Other Upcoming Events

  • Understanding the IEP Workshop October 29 - 6:00 PM
    • You must pre-register by clicking here

  • 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!