JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it is my favorite holiday as, to me, my traditions focus on showing gratitude to my family and close friends who have nurtured me and allowed me a wonderful life. As are many of you, I am struggling with what is the right thing to do in regards to the Thanksgiving break as my family is in Maine. Whatever your decision is, I cannot emphasize enough that we are relying on the community following the travel restrictions and the quarantine restrictions so that we can stop the spread in our schools. If you are unsure about MA travel restrictions, please go here.

Our in-house preventive measures are effective only if we act as a community to prevent the COVID spread. If a member of your immediate family, living in your home, tests positive, you will be contacted by the Board of Health, who will give you guidance. Please make arrangements to get your entire household, including the Killam student(s) tested with a PCR COVID test and quarantine all household members for 14 days. If your child is a close contact of a person outside your family who tests positive, please get your child tested with a PCR COVID test and quarantine for 14 days. During the time of the quarantine your child should not be participating in group or community events outside of your home.

If your child demonstrates symptoms and you are not aware of a close contact, you may choose to get your child tested for COVID. If you do get your child tested for any reason, they should remain home until you get the negative test results.

If you’re unsure about your child’s exposure you can contact Mary Giuliana at mary.giuliana@reading.k12.ma.us or Sharon Grottkau at sharon.grottkau@reading.k12.ma.us to ask health related questions about COVID. The graphic below provides information about quarantine and incubation periods for COVID.

Parents have been great about communicating with me, Sharon Grottkau, and the classroom teacher when there are questions, people being tested, or test results. We are working with each family as situations arise so email me at any time and we are here to help. Stay safe everyone and try to limit your groups! We want the kids in school and to keep all of us safe. If your child needs to quarantine, we will do the best we can to get your child setup with a remote classroom teacher within a day. It is a process to make the switch and we appreciate your understanding.

The Killam School and all the Reading schools need your help to prevent and slow community spread of COVID. In order to keep our schools open in this hybrid model we all must follow CDC and Reading guidelines on testing and quarantine. Please help us.

Regardless of how your Thanksgiving holiday looks this year, I wish you a peaceful break. Dr. Doherty wrote about pandemic fatigue and I hope we can find ways to rejuvenate and remember to be kind to one another during this time. I am going technology free for the break (and I encourage everyone to do so also). My next newsletter will be for the week of December 6th.

Stay well,

Ms. Leveque

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Killam Upcoming Dates

Sunday, November 22nd: Last day to order from the Killam PTO Book Fair (see details below)

Week of November 22nd: Cohort B

Wednesday, November 25th: 11AM Dismissal for all students

Thursday, November 26th-Friday, November 27th: Thanksgiving break - no school

Week of November 29th: Cohort A

Wednesday, December 2nd: Virtual PTO Meeting, 7-8 pm

Cold Weather Gear

We have been very fortunate this year to have unseasonably warm weather. We will continue to get outside as much as possible. Just a reminder that we do go outside every day unless the temperature or wind chill is 19 degrees or below, or there is heavy rain or snow. We use the WeatherBug app to check the temperature and we encourage you to do the same in the mornings. Additionally, as previously shared, regardless of weather or temperature, students will be entering the school from their external classroom doors. We will not be using the gym or cafeteria for before school gatherings as we want to encourage social distancing practices. To that end, we ask that you please send your child to school dressed appropriately for the weather. Thank you!

RMLD 4th Grade Optional Art Contest

The RMLD recently held an optional 4th grade electricity-themed art contest. Congratulations to Sophie Stetson on a winning entry!
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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!

Reading Education Foundation

The Reading Education Foundation (REF), non-profit foundation, is committed to supporting innovation and excellence in the Reading Public Schools. Our goal is to enhance and increase educational opportunities for all Reading students by providing funds for projects that go beyond the scope of traditional classroom learning. We are committed to working for the whole child and every child.

This year, instead of the Festival of Trees, the REF is thinking outside the box. See the flyer below for ways to bring the Festival of Trees into your home. To order a snow globe kit, click here.

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Attention 2021-2022 Incoming Kindergarten Families

Attention Reading Families: If you have a child born between September 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016, we are looking for you. The registration process for the 2021-22 school year will begin soon. Please contact Linda Engelson by phone (781 944-5800) or email (linda.engelson@reading.k12.ma.us) if you have any questions or would like to be sure your child is on our preliminary list. If emailing, please provide your child’s name, date of birth and address.

Registration packet available on the district website– www.reading.k12.ma.us

The Incoming Kindergarten Parent Information session took place on November 4th and is available for viewing through this link (Passcode: 35^CYsCs).

A Message from the Health Office

Covid-19 Pandemic and the Holidays

As the holidays approach, the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic may feel more burdensome. Many holiday traditions involve family and friends sharing special times. Though Covid-19 restrictions will make things different, some changes can still allow for fun. Here are some tips that may help:

  1. · Gatherings - Governor Baker’s guidance limits indoor gatherings at 10, and outdoor at 25. If you are having visitors, have guests wear a mask and stay six feet apart when possible. Perhaps try an indoor meal with those closest to you and invite friends to a socially distant dessert gathering outdoors, served with warm mugs of cider or coffee.

  2. · Gather with Zoom or Facetime – Invite family and friends to join you via screen technology while you are prepping and when you sit down to enjoy a meal. Share recipes and invite people to see the results of your mealtime creations.

  3. · Enjoy a favorite movie with the friends- Some online apps allow multiple people to watch a movie ‘together’ while in different locations and comment about the movie as they watch.

  4. · Play favorite games or take a walk outdoors – staying focused on fun can be a great stress release and exercising outdoors provides many health benefits.

Let’s all try to stay the course so that we can stay healthy and stay in school!

Flu Vaccine

The countdown to the New Year begins; as I write this, there are 49 days left in 2020. If you have not already done so, please provide documentation of your student’s flu vaccine as soon as possible. This vaccine is required for all students this year and will help protect your student and your family which is especially important this year.

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
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PTO Corner


Our Virtual Book Fair is still going on! For a chance to win an awesome LEGO set hop over to our facebook page (Killam PTO), and tell us what book you ordered that your kids are most excited about! Remember, you still have time to order if you have not ordered yet, we will pick a winner at the end of the day Friday! Order online before November 22 for pick-up at Killam in December!

**NEW** Click here to shop our virtual book store:



We can’t say enough about this awesome opportunity, families have been SO happy with their photos thus far. The 11/29 Rollie’s Christmas Farm session still has 4 openings! Sign-up NOW, you won't regret it! Each session is $150 for 10 minutes which includes 6 digital files and print releases. Photos have been sent out typically 48 hours after the shoot! A $50 deposit is required. And 20% of each session will be donated back to the PTO!

Sign up here:https://calendly.com/qheg.../11-29-rollies-farm-mini-session


The fifth grade clothing drive will officially begin November 21. Drop off your bags of gently used items at the front of Killam. We will have a drive by collection on Saturday December 5th (details to follow).


This year the PTO chose to postpone our usual September dues push until we had a return date for all of our students. We know that many families are under greater financial strain right now, and we are reducing our dues estimates: this year, we ask families to consider paying $30-50 per child, or $75-$100 per family. As is the case every year, our highest priority is participation, so please consider paying ANY amount, no matter how small, to help support the work we do.

Gear Sales! LAST CALL!

New gear available for preorder in the Killam shop! Order before November 20 for pickup in December, just in time for the holidays! https://jwkillampto.square.site


Killam PTO will be collecting gifts for Toys for Tots this year! We will have more information about this soon!

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SEPAC Information

The SEPAC's (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) Reading/Literacy Subcommittee is having its first meeting Tuesday, November 24th at 6:30PM to discuss goals and action items. Please join us via Zoom: https://readingpsma.zoom.us/j/84617190360;

All are welcome and ENCOURAGED to attend!

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.

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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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!