JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

As you are aware, Governor Baker has ordered the shutdown of school buildings to continue to May 4th. At this point in time, schools have received a set of guidelines with ideas about remote learning. I know that the superintendents are meeting with the Commissioner of Education this week so that we can gain more insight into how we are to proceed. We hope to have more information about the impact of this closure after that meeting. For now, our focus continues to be on slowing down, offering optional opportunities if it fits in your schedule, and re-establishing our incredible home-school connections with the Killam families.

Our goal this past week for the Reading Public Schools was connection and support. We know that you are in the process of creating new routines, new habits, and a new normal in your homes. This is not an insignificant change for any of you and we are aware of the difficulty of navigating this situation with a family.

By the end of today, every Killam family will have received a phone call from a teacher connected to their child. If you were not able to answer, teachers left voicemail messages and sent follow up emails. Please know that we are thinking of you and your children at this time and wish you all health and safety. I am hearing from each staff member how uplifting it has been for them to connect with you- as teachers, we too are a bit lost right now as begin to think about school in a different way. Much of our identity is tied to our profession and we want more than anything to be with our students!

Grade level teams have been connecting with your children and you through enrichment activities, including home activities and videos. All staff hope that you find these connections and activities helpful and engaging, however please remember that they are optional. Your most important job right now is to create a safe and supportive environment for your family and you; we are working on the same thing in our homes with our families. Please know that anything we send home to you is optional, not required.

As this situation unfolds the district may develop different plans for home enrichment and learning, however, we want these to be thoughtful and realistic plans. Creating those will take time and hard work; all of the Reading Public Schools staff appreciate your patience as we figure out how to "do elementary school" in such unusual circumstances.

Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns you have. Stay safe and healthy.

Missing the Killam students,

Ms. Leveque

Important Killam Dates

Out of abundance of caution for the COVID-19 virus, the Reading Public Schools to closed until May 4th. Buildings will be closed and teachers will not be working during this period of closure. We thank our custodial, facilities, and technology staff for their tireless work in our buildings during this period. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Doherty will communicate additional information. Take care and stay healthy.

Food Resources in the Greater Boston Area and Reading

Free & Reduced Lunch Options

RPS will be offering grab & go meals for those Reading Public School students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. The meals will be available at the Reading Memorial High School Cafeteria from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, beginning on Monday, March 16th. If students would like to participate, they must sign up ahead of time by completing information on this link: https://forms.gle/pzyL2aQgUmfQ1RHs8

Project Bread

Project Bread has resources for families and individuals who need food assistance, including a directory of where to get food help. Click here to visit their website.

Working from Home

Working virtually (and with the whole family at home) is a new challenge for many.

Below are some links that we think you might find helpful!

  • Smile for the Camera! – Video Conferences: There's a temptation to run meetings by phone; it's less obtrusive and often you can multi-task. Don't give in! Virtual collaboration feels much more real — and is much more productive — when we use video conferencing for as many meetings as possible. Plus, it's fun to see familiar faces. Zoom works GREAT for video conferences!
  • Walk n’ Talk: Working from home can leave you stuck in your chair for hours! Make sure you get up, walk around, go for a quick walk outside while you’re on a call. The fresh air and exercise will invigorate and wake you up!
  • Virtual high fives: Send encouraging words and praise to your colleagues when you can! It might be just the boost they need!
  • Set a Good Example: It can be tempting when you’re at home to respond to messages at all hours. Set aside “time out of the office” at the end of the day. Embrace activities with your children, pets, family, and take time to slow down.
  • Have Patience: Right now, routines are disrupted; events have been canceled; kids of all ages are unexpectedly home from school for weeks. Be patient. Be accommodating. Do you part to practice random acts of kindness toward everyone on your team.

Here are a few additional links that you might find helpful:

Should we have playdates?

Click here for a link to information about playdates and other social plans with children. This information is provided by Asaf Bitton, MC, Executive Director at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Report Cards for Term 2

As a reminder, parents and guardians 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.

Attention 5th Grade Families-- Middle School Transition Information

It is hard to believe that we are already preparing for transition to middle school! Although we are not ready to have the fifth graders leave us quite yet, they are sure to be ready for the big move come summer! Please click on the link below to access transition documents for both Coolidge and Parker including:

  • Welcome letters from each middle school principal

  • Parent input form due April 3 (please note these are different than the elementary input form)

    -If your child is attending Parker Middle School, please email the placement form to assistant principal Brendan Norton at Brendan.norton@reading.k12.ma.us.

    -If your child is attending Coolidge Middle School, please email the placement form to assistant principal Brie Karow at Brienne.karow@reading.k12.ma.us.

  • Important Transition Dates

  • Registration forms for "Welcome to Parker" and "Welcome to Coolidge" (in August)

  • Please note that the middle school transition meetings will be postponed until tentatively April 27th at 7:00 pm. Middle School Principals will be in touch as that date approaches to re-evaluate if necessary.

  • The Coolidge "Family Math and Science Night" on March 25th is also postponed for now.

Gr 5 to 6 Transition Information

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.

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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!