Wood End Wildcat News
May 9, 2021
Learning More About Our Community
Dear Wood End Families,
Our School Council and School Leadership Team have been working throughout this year to refocus on our most important work, educating our children. After the challenging and isolating year that we have all experienced, we are excited to share a project we have developed to engage our community in uniting and reuniting. At the end of this week after our all-school meeting on Friday, our students will be coming home with information about this project, which includes interviewing someone important in their lives. Our goal is for our students to further develop a sense of communal and individual identity by inviting them to learn about their roots from those around them. This project will provide our students with opportunities to share their families’ cultures, traditions, and history in meaningful ways with their peers and other families.
We are excited to see the creative ways our students will showcase their work, and we encourage every family to participate. We look forward to learning about and appreciating one another as we continue to practice being a caring and welcoming community for everyone.
A wonderful story you can listen to with your child is Alma and How She Got Her Name written by Juana Martinez-Neal. It tells the story of a young girl and explains the various people she was named to honor. This may be a great way to start the conversations about some of your family's traditions and history.
Enjoy the week ahead,
Thank you for recognizing all we do!
Thank you so much to all our families who have shared their support and love for our staff this past week! We enjoyed a delicious luncheon on Thursday and some beautiful artwork as we entered the school on Friday morning. We are truly so fortunate to work in this community with the best families in town!
Student Spotlight: Black Belt Book Project
Bennett Freeman, a 4th grade student at Wood End, is working towards earning his black belt. As part of his program, he had to complete a community service project. Bennett has a love of reading and wanted to connect his project to his interest. He decided to hold a book drive and donate any books collected to an organization that would need them. He called his project "Black Belt Book Drive." Read on to learn more about Bennett's amazing project.
"For my community service project, I created a Black Belt Book Drive. I met with my school's library media specialist, Miss Norcross, to talk about how I could help other kids and schools by collecting books and she helped me partner with Reader To Reader, Inc. This is a nonprofit organization "devoted to increasing literacy and fostering a love of reading at all ages." They connected me with a teacher at a local elementary school and the teacher I emailed with let me know they needed books for the kids at their school. I made a wish list on Amazon of some awesome books and my friends and family donated books. I was able to collect 200 books! Yesterday, I delivered the books to the elementary school. The teacher was so happy and the kids in her class wrote me thank you notes. I am very proud of my project."
Wood End is so proud of the work Bennett did and the impact he has made on this community. His idea shows us just how far a little kindness can go. This a great example of our core values at Wood End. Way to go Bennett!
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Reading Public Schools is offering community and staff trainings to promote mental health and wellness.
Tuesday May 11th: Kids and Toxic Stress and the Effects on the Brain:
How to Help Students Regulate Kids and Toxic Stress
Presented by Windi Bowditch 3pm-4:15pm
Thursday May 20th: Managing Emotional Health During Uncertain Times
Presented by Lynn Lyons 6pm-7pm
Tuesday May 25th: Stress, Resilience and Self Care.
Presented by Windi Bowditch 4pm-5pm Stress, Resilience and Self Care
Book Drive at Whitelam Books
In an effort to bring more books that represent diverse perspectives into our schools, Understanding Disabilities has put together a book drive with Whitelam Books. Understanding Disabilities teaches our students that even though we may be different in many ways, we are all the same inside. To help our kids see through the eyes of people with diverse abilities, UD has created a wish list of books for our school, chosen by our library staff, that feature characters with disabilities.
Starting on Monday May 10 and running through June 13, stop into Whitelam Books on Main Street here in Reading, or call (781) 779-1833, to purchase one or more of these books for our school library, and while you are there, check out the full list of books and consider picking one up for your child as well! Many of these books are past MCBA book honorees, and Whitelam has books from picture books through young adult books selected for all five elementary schools and the two middle schools in town.
The books for Wood End will be delivered to our library in June after the drive is complete, and will be ready for students to start reading in the fall. Please share this information with loved ones and friends who might also like to support our school and Understanding Disabilities.
The Snow Rabbit Hardcover
My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay
Cari Best and Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Illustrator)
Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin
Jen Bryant, Melissa Sweet (Illustrator)
The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game
Nancy Churnin, Jez Tuya (Illustrator)
Thank You, Mr. Falker
Farah Rocks Fifth Grade
Susan Muaddi Darraj
Show Me A Sign
Ann Clare LeZotte
What the Wind Can Tell You
Sarah Marie Jette
Letter to Incoming Kindergarten Families
Dear Incoming Kindergarten Families,
We are excited to welcome your child this fall to the Wood End Kindergarten classrooms! In the past, we have held Kindergarten screening in late spring. These days provide us the opportunity to meet your child and learn a bit about them. It is also the time in which we introduce families to what kindergarten will look like at Wood End. With the ongoing restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we will be holding kindergarten screening in the fall over the course of the first few days of school. We will have more information prior to the start of the year. Our goal each year is to create balanced classrooms that meet our students’ needs, and the kindergarten screening process will provide us with this information. Kindergarten screening is one glimpse into your child, but certainly not our only glimpse. Oftentimes, students come to screening and are shy, nervous, or overly excited so we know there is much more to be learned than we can see in one hour. We want to assure you that we are still able to complete class placement with the information that we have from you.
As part of this placement process, we want to hear from you, our families, about your child. Here’s where you can help. Please click here to gain access to a Google Survey entitled “Wood End Incoming Kindergarten Parent Input Form 2021-22.” This is a questionnaire that allows you to provide insight about your child. You know your child best and we will use this information when thinking about each kindergartener. Because we work to create balanced classrooms, we do not accept specific teacher requests. If you would like to provide information, the survey will be open until Friday, May 28th.
You will receive information about your child’s classroom, including the teacher assignment, over the summer. With this information, we’ll provide a welcome packet, including information about ways you can best support your child during the summer months, school-specific procedural information, and information about when your child can visit their classroom and teacher before the school year begins. Wanting to be mindful of the current pandemic, we will wait to share this information until a later date so that our information is as accurate as possible. We appreciate your patience in this unprecedented time.
We look forward to welcoming your child and family to the Wood End community! If you have any questions, please reach out to me directly.
Dr. Joanne King, Principal
5th Grade Celebration Updates
Save the Date! We are excited to announce an outdoor "Moving On" ceremony honoring our 5th grade students on Wednesday, June 16th at 8:45 a.m. The ceremony will last approximately 30 minutes. Attendance is limited to 3 guests per 5th grade student. Younger siblings will not be allowed to leave their classes to attend. Following the ceremony on the field, 5th grade students will participate in their field day, a picnic lunch on the field, followed by a class viewing of the 5th grade DVD. Rain date is Thursday, June 17th. More information to come!
If you would like to offer a helping hand, please reach out the committee members below.
School Council Members Needed
School Council members serve a two-year term. We typically hold elections for School Council members in the spring of each year. We plan to hold 4-5 School Council meetings throughout the school year which will occur remotely through Zoom or another online platform, and meetings will be scheduled in the evenings, typically 7-8 p.m.
During this school year, the School Council will be involved in developing the School Improvement Plan with a particular focus on anti-bias and equity education, planning and carrying out action steps related to these goals, and reviewing academic and behavioral data for Wood End School. If you are interested in being a part of this important team, please reach out to Dr. King.
Cereal Donations Extended to Tuesday, May 11th
Wood End Cereal Box Domino Fun!
Deadline extended! Thank you to all who have already donated to our Cereal Box Domino Run. We have collected 230 boxes already! We are extending our donation period until Tuesday and would love to hit 300 boxes! Once collected, we will be lining up all the boxes to make a "chain of kindness" and knock them down like dominos during next week's all-school meeting! This is a collaboration between Leadership Team and Student Council. We've also had some awesome morning 5th grade helpers collecting and sorting boxes as they come in. All of the collected items will be donated to the Reading Food Pantry. Thank you in advance for helping us give back to our community.
For more details, take a look at what our Student Council members put together HERE!
PTO Needs Your Help!
Help keep enrichment, author visits, resources & professional development coming to Wood End! Please consider volunteering for one of the following:
- President: This Board level position may sound daunting, but is very rewarding. This role can be shared! The President attends and presides at all PTO meetings, and oversees the work of the many talented subcommittees. The President makes sure that events are moving forward, and works with our school Principal to help address the needs of the school and our WE community.
- Secretary: The Secretary attends all PTO meetings and records the minutes. The Secretary helps draft PTO announcements and agendas. As a member of the Board, the Secretary votes on fundraising, spending, events, enrichment and other opportunities presented to the PTO.
- Assistant Treasurer: This committee-level position involves supporting the Treasurer in reviewing transactions and reconciling bank accounts to monthly statements. Your voice at PTO meetings would be greatly appreciated.
- Adult Fundraiser Events: Our community includes parents and caregivers, not just students! This committee-level position coordinates events for adults, which could include Zoom cooking/crafting events for the pandemic world, or has included Trivia Night and Musical Bingo in the past.
Attendance at PTO meetings is beneficial, especially during our event planning, but not consistently required. Do as much or as little as your schedule allows, but please help out.
If you are interested in serving in any of the following board positions (two-year commitment), please reach out to one of the current co-presidents, Melissa Moran or Cristina Prior. To learn more about the PTO, check out our bylaws HERE.
Spirit Wear Still Available
If you missed our winter spirit wear sale, we have t-shirts & sweatshirts in stock! This is a great way to show your school spirit! Check out our Square site to order. https://wood-end-elementary-pto-inc.square.site/
Last PTO Meeting
We have scheduled our last PTO meeting of the year, along with elections for new board members. The meeting takes place on Wednesday, June 9th at 7:30 p.m. and we hope you can join us. All meetings will take place on Zoom and a link to this meeting will be sent to all families. We encourage you to come and bring a friend!
When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to the PTO. Bookmark in your browser for every time you shop Amazon. Save this link as a shortcut on your phone desktop!
Be sure to use our school's Shutterfly & TinyPrints Storefront when ordering cards, photos, gifts, invitations, etc. Did you know that 8% of your purchase gets donated back to Wood End for our kids? Please feel free to share our storefront with family members and friends.
Stop and Shop A+ School Rewards - FINAL YEAR
Once registered, Stop and Shop will donate to the school when you use your card and shop, sign up now! Go to: https://stopandshop.com/school-rewards/
Field Day Fridays Are Here!
We have begun our field days for our students beginning with 4th grade. The students were so eager to participate and had a great time working with friends as they traveled to various stations. We have lots more fun coming up over the next several weeks with each grade level having their own event. Please see below for the remaining dates.
- Friday, May 14 – 3rd Grade
- Friday, May 21 – 2nd Grade
- Friday, June 4 – 1st Grade
- Friday, June 11 – Kindergarten
- Wednesday June 16 – 5th Grade (date is confirmed)
- Friday, June 18 – Rain Date
Time and location: Field Day will take place from 10:30 – 11:30 on the above-mentioned dates down on the main field. (5th grade time will look a bit different)
Dismissal: Teachers will have students pack up before their field day so they have all their belongings for dismissal.
Materials: Please be sure your child is prepared for the day with sneakers, a refillable water bottle, hat, sunglasses, sun block, extra mask, etc. depending on the forecast for that day.
Grade Level Colors: Please remind students to wear their colors to show their team spirit.
- K = white, 1 = red, 2 = blue, 3 = orange, 4 = green, 5 = yellow/tie-dye (there have been student requests for 5th grade tie-dye)
Parent Volunteers: We will be asking 4-6 parents (per grade level) to volunteer to help with these outdoor activities. Chris Bauer will be providing this communication and will select the volunteers. All volunteers must have an active CORI on file.
Questions/Concerns: Please talk to Chris Bauer for any additional information.
1st Days School Supplies for 2021-22
We have been working with 1st Days School Supplies to once again create grade-level supply kits for next year! By ordering through this vendor, families are able to do their back to school shopping risk free from the comfort and safety of their own home. Get the exact supplies our teachers are requesting without the hassle and aggravation of shopping at big box retailers.
To order supplies, click HERE and you're ready to go! This link will be open until June so order when it's convenient for you.
Emails from 1st Day School Supplies with this link were also sent directly to all families who purchased a kit in prior years.
Please join the SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) at
our next business meeting on
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
at 7:00 PM
New business to be discussed includes a presentation on how to read and understand progress reports, followed by caregiver comments/questions; and other items.
Please join us for these presentations and discussions and feel free to share any
additional resources that you think other parents may find helpful.
All are welcome!
This meeting will be held virtually, via Zoom
Join us for our next
VIRTUAL SEPAC MEETING
on Tuesday, May 11th at 7 PM.
Meeting link: Join Zoom Meeting
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.
FREE Meals for Students - In & Out of School
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 until the end of June.
What does this mean 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, in your home is meal distribution. This may include remote learners, 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, at the bridge of Reading Memorial High School on Wednesdays from 2:30 – 3:30 pm or Friday from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon.
- Your family may participate in BOTH options. Students can eat at school and receive Meal Distribution for the remote days and weekend meals that your family is entitled to.
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!
If you have any questions please contact Danielle Collins, School Nutrition Director, or call 781-670-2822.
If you have any technology issues with your student's laptop, please contact our IT department HELP DESK or by calling 781-670-2888.
MCAS Dates for Wood End
Students will be taking MCAS this year, though the testing window has been moved to later in the spring, May 10-June 11. The current testing schedule for Wood End is below:
- May 11 - English Language Arts - Grade 5
- May 12 - English Language Arts - Grade 4
- May 17 - English Language Arts - Grade 3
- May 18 - Mathematics - Grade 5
- May 19 - Mathematics - Grade 4
- May 26 - Mathematics - Grade 3
- May 27 - Science, Technology, Engineering - Grade 5
DESE is making adjustments to the number of sessions due to the shortened testing window. Please keep these testing windows in mind when scheduling appointments or other school absences for your child.
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!
Please be reminded of these amazing resources, if your family is in need:
- RPS Behavioral Health Resources linked here.
- Town of Reading: compiled resources linked here.
- RCASA and Mental Health Support linked here.
- St. Vincent de Paul linked here.
- Free & Reduced lunch access: sign up here.
- Reading Food Pantry linked here.
- Project Bread link here.
- Residential Financial Assistance (Rent/Mortgage) link here. (New resource! Check it out!)
9: Happy Mother's Day!
10: K-5 Enrichment, Ball in the House; School Council Extra Meeting, Equity
11: Grade 5 MCAS-ELA
12: Grade 4 MCAS-ELA; Spirit Day (Wildcat Day) and All-School Meeting
17: Grade 3 MCAS-ELA
18: Grade 5 MCAS-Mathematics
19: Grade 4 MCAS-Mathematics
24: School Council Meeting via Zoom, 7-8 p.m.
26: Grade 3 MCAS-Mathematics; Spirit Day
27: Grade 5 MCAS-STE
28: Teacher In-Service; no school for students
31: Memorial Day; no school