JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

We are thrilled to have most students back in person on Monday. For our students who are fully remote, we look forward to inviting your into our school community virtually. In many ways, Monday feels like the first day of school and the excitement can be felt in the hallways. Our classrooms, cafeterias, and outdoor spaces are ready for the hum of little voices.


The most important piece to remember is our drop-off and dismissal safety procedures.

We need the community's help to keep ALL our student safe on campus.


ALWAYS

1. All students enter and exit from their external classroom doors (or designated spot). This is the same door your child has been using this year (unless your teacher communicates a new plan).

2. All cars need to be parked along Charles Street, Haverhill Street, or the surrounding neighborhoods. The driveway parking spots are for staff and visitors staying for an extended period of time in the building.

3. There is no idling on school property.

4. The sidewalk along the school entrance is a live fire lane. Cars cannot park or idle there.

5. Our school will remain closed to visitors. In a continued effort to slow the spread by keeping our students with their peers and teachers, we ask all visitors/guardians to ring the front doorbell. A member of the office staff will ask you to remain outside the entrance as we help you with your request.

6. If your child will be absent, call our absentee line 24 hours-a-day at 781-944-7831, option 2. Please state your child’s name, classroom teacher, and reason for absence. We will continue with our COVID tracing protocols so please inform us if the illness is COVID related.

ARRIVAL

7. Rolling car drop-off begins at 8:10 am.

8. For rolling car drop-off, cars pull all the way up the driveway, parents remain in cars, and students exit from the passenger side of the vehicle.

9. Stay in the rolling car line; do not pass vehicles or buses once your child exits the vehicle.

10. There is a right hand only turn at the end of the driveway onto Charles Street during arrival.


DISMISSAL

11. The driveway is closed 15 minutes before and after dismissal (2:30-3:00pm; 11:15-11:45 on Fridays), meaning no cars should be parking in or driving through the driveway at dismissal. We will have 400 students returning to school and we need to keep our driveway clear of moving vehicles. The exception to this are buses and vehicles with handicap plaques/accessibility.





RETURN TO IN PERSON SCHOOLING UPDATE:

Here are some resources to help you and your child prepare:

-A return to school social story for kids

-Frequently Asked Questions - a set of questions and answers from the district nurses.

-Kindergarten Families Newsletter

-Fully Remote Families Newsletter

-Whole School Newsletter




VACCINES:

We are excited that vaccine appointments are opening up for our teaching staff! Please note that our staff are encouraged to take any available appointment so you may see more asynchronous work over the next few weeks as staff are heading to their appointments.




COVID POOL TESTING STUDENT SOCIAL STORY AND VIDEO:

As we begin rolling out pool testing with students, we wanted to share a Killam specific social story and video to help your child understand the procedures. Students who have been signed up to be Covid tested will be accompanied by a staff and will step out of their classrooms to take the test. We have a wonderful group of nurturing individuals, led by our own Sharon Grottkau, in helping think about our students emotional and physical needs throughout this testing process.


If you are interested in having your child join COVID pooled testing you can still give consent by following this link. COVID Consent Form.



Stay well,

Ms. Leveque

Killam Upcoming Dates

Monday, April 5th: Full In-person return


Wednesday, April 7th: Virtual PTO Meeting, 7-8 pm




School Hours:

Monday-Thursday, 8:15-2:45

Friday, 8:15-11:30


Staggered Dismissal:

-Grades One and Two: 2:35pm Monday-Thursday; 11:20am Friday

-Grades Three and Four: 2:40pm Monday-Thursday; 11:25am Friday

-Kindergarten and Grade Five: 2:45pm; 11:30am Friday

-All students taking the bus or attending Extended Day will be monitored by Killam staff until picked up.

April is National Occupational Therapy Month!

Check out some fun child-centered activities to support your child's development.

Updated Travel Restrictions

April Vacation is right around the corner.

We are getting many inquiries about remote learning around April vacation since many families are traveling. We know families are seeing adults vaccinated and wanting to travel. Unfortunately, our children do not yet have the option for vaccination. The RPS guidelines remain the same as 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 encourage students to continue with their reading and access to online learning platforms such as Raz-Kids, Lexia, and Xtra Math.



Please note the following MA travel advisory changes and updates.

As of Monday, March 22, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival. Travelers in the following categories are exempt from this quarantine advisory:

  • Travelers who have received a negative COVID-19 result on a test administered not more than 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. Travelers may also test out of the quarantine advisory after arrival in Massachusetts, as long as they quarantine until receiving a negative test result.
  • Anyone who is entering Massachusetts for fewer than 24 hours
    • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after being out of the State for fewer than 24 hours
    • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) during required commuting to or from work and while at work.
    • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago) and who do not have symptoms.


    All travelers are encouraged to consult and follow the CDC’s guidelines and requirements for travel.

    Adopt a RMHS Senior!

    Good Morning Reading neighbors,


    Many of you have been asking what you can do to make our RMHS seniors feel special this year. It's been an extremely stressful year for them with the school year shortened, events cancelled and challenges to make future plans. We would love your help to shower them with kindness!


    The Adopt a Senior program is a way community members can sponsor a graduating student and show them support. You will be given their name and address. You may drop a note, snack, gift, etc. to the senior to show them how much you care.


    Please complete the Google Form with your information and we will match you with a senior.

    If you have any questions, please email Classof2021RMHS@gmail.com


    Thanks so much,

    RMHS Class of 2021 Senior Events Committee

    Grades 3-5 MCAS Testing 2021

    The Department of Education has notified schools that the elementary MCAS dates have moved to May 10-June 11. Below is the Killam MCAS schedule.

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    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 @ Allison.Wright@reading.k12.ma.us.


    Office Hours for April 2021

    • Wednesday 4/7 @11:00-12:00 pm
    • 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



    Thank you,
    Jennifer Stys and Allison Wright

    PTO Corner

    Thank you to Mrs. Hussey for an amazing Paint Night last Friday! We loved seeing the artwork and excitement over our evening event. Well done Killam koalas!


    Calareso’s Farm Stand Fundraiser!

    LAST DAY: 3/15/2021-4/5/2021

    We are raising money for Killam PTO by shopping at Calareso’s Farm Stand and garden center! Simply purchase Calareso’s fundraising certificates through the Killam PTO and 25% of the purchases goes directly toward our school! They never expire, and can be used on any items at the store! Checks must be in by 4/5/2021. Fundraising certificates are $10 each and can be purchased individually or in books of 5 or 10. Payment may be either via Venmo @KillamPTO or by Check in your child’s folder. The PTO is planning on using the money to buy individual recess equipment for each class! E-mail jwkfundraising@gmail.com with any questions!

    To purchase fill out form here:

    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1MJ8SZr5A4vfSh05Cqa52CBzcmW2vMjOzwkgjyKXqgsY/edit




    Enrichment Update!

    We are excited to announce that virtual enrichments will begin next week for 3rd and 5th grade! 3rd grade will be doing a virtual “experience” with the Boston tea party museum! The 5th grade is going on a virtual visit to the Jamestown colony in Virginia and then the week after will return to Jamestown to meet a 17th century colonist! Keep an eye out for more news on enrichment for other grades!

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    SEPAC Information

    The SEPAC Community & Friends welcome your input and help to identify topics of high interest for future Special Education Parent Advisory Council presentations. Our goal is to build a stronger connection to not only the special education community and families, but the wider community as a whole. Learning together and building stronger relationships with all families creates a more accepting and informed community.


    Please Email: michelesanphy@yahoo.com with your suggestions for presentation topics by Friday, April 2nd.


    We look forward to hearing from you!


    Connect with SEPAC by clicking these links:

    · Join SEPAC's mailing list by emailing SEPACREADING@gmail.com

    · Follow SEPAC on Facebook (please adjust settings so that you are sure to see our posts)

    · Visit SEPAC’s website


    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.

    Remote Access for In-Person Students Who Are Absent From School

    Below are the remote criteria that will be used when students who are in person during a particular week are absent from school. This was shared by Dr. Doherty in a newsletter.


    Students will have live remote access under the following conditions:


    • He/she is quarantined due to testing positive for COVID-19.
    • He/she is quarantined due to being in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
    • He/she is being quarantined for being out of state and is waiting for a negative COVID test per DPH guidelines.
    • He/she is showing symptoms of COVID-19 and is awaiting test results.
    • He/she has another medical condition that prevents them from coming to school.



    Students will not have live remote access under the following situations:


    • He/she is absent for any reason other than described above.
    • He/she is quarantining for 10-14 days because of out of state travel as defined by the MDPH Travel Order and is not getting a COVID-test.
    • He/she is going on a family vacation or other non-school activity during school days.



    Please note that there may be extenuating circumstances in a school that would require a different action than above. These decisions are at the discretion of the building principal.

    Lunch Reminders

    As you all know, our lunch program is FREE for students this school year. All students may receive a healthy lunch at no cost. However, snacks, bottled water, and additional lunches are not free and families will be charged for those items. We have several students ordering an additional lunch or snack and we just want to be sure families are aware this is happening so you are not surprised if you are billed for these items. Please talk with your child and check your account to see about snacks.

    Mask Up Reading!

    The Town of Reading asks residents to:

    · Wear a mask or face covering whenever you are not at home or in your personal vehicle.

    · Maintain social distancing, at least 6' from others.

    · Observe the State's Stay-at-Home Advisory from 10PM – 5AM.

    · Review the latest CDC Guidance.

    · Get a flu shot.

    · Talk about Covid precautions with household members, neighbors, friends, and colleagues.

    · Stay home when you are experiencing symptoms.

    · Don't hesitate to get a COVID-19 test (click here for testing sites).


    If you have any questions, please contact our local Board of Health.

    Reading Public School Laptops

    A friendly reminder that if you were loaned a laptop from RPS, it is expected that your child is bringing that device to school whenever they are in person. Thank you!

    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

    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!



    Zoom
    -How to Login to Zoom


    Microsoft Teams

    -How to Login to Microsoft Teams


    SeeSaw
    -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.


    We have a secondary RPS Social-Emotional Learning Resource Center with additional materials.

    School Presentations:
    Building (Hybrid) Safety Procedures, October 2020 (Passcode: 2*7M=v9S)

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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!