Birch Meadow Newsflash

October 8, 2020

From The Desk of Ms. Hendrix

Hello Birch Meadow Community,

Below are details about the next week at Birch Meadow School. We realize it has been a long road to school opening this year. On October 19th we will begin hybrid learning for students in Grades 1 and 2, starting with Week A. We will all be very happy when the move has happened and we can welcome more students into school.

Please follow the link below to a schedule for the next 6 days of school.

Schedule for Birch Meadow- October 9th to October 16th

Curriculum Night

Curriculum Night has been scheduled for all Reading Public Schools elementary schools on Thursday, October 15th. This year's evening will be a virtual evening. The presentations will be live and will be recorded so that if you miss your child's grade level presentation or the school wide meeting you can view the recording. The specialist teachers will prepare recorded information sessions. Links to the specialist teacher presentation and the Principal, PTO, SEPAC Presentation will be shared in the October 15th Newsflash and on the Birch Meadow website. Teachers will share the links to their grade level presentations.

The schedule is:

6:00-6:25 p.m. - Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Grade Live Presentations

6:30-6:55 p.m. 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Live Presentations

7:00-7:30 p.m. Principal, PTO, and SEPAC Presentation

Pre-recorded Art, Music, Library, Health and Wellness

The teachers and I are looking forward to this opportunity to share the school, grade level curriculum, and teaching practices with you.

Stay well,

Julia Hendrix

Updating Your Parent Portal

All families received an email on Tuesday, with instructions for updating your ParentPortal Information. Forms are now available in the portal for parents to view and update information. Please update your information, particularly contact phone numbers, emergency contacts, and email addresses.

This year there are two forms:

Pupil Information Form -sent to the primary contact only to update any student information, including medical info, student permissions, emergency childcare and Connect Ed emergency notification info.

Contact Update Formeach contact associated with a student will see this form. It includes, name, address, home/mobile/office phone, primary and alternate email address.

If you want to change your primary email address, please contact the Birch Meadow Office at 781-944-2335. If you change your primary email address you will receive a new activation code for your account, because these codes are linked to the primary email address. You cannot change the primary email address on the form.

Big picture

Borrow Books Remotely from Birch Meadow School

Follow this link for directions from Mrs. Falvey on borrowing books remotely from the library. We have many wonderful books and want them in children's hands!

News from Mrs Costello in the Health Office

Preparing to Return to School:

We are off to a good start and hoping for a healthy school year for all our Birch Meadow families and friends! I appreciate check-ins regarding health issues for students and families; I’m always happy to answer questions. Boston Children’s Hospital has provided resources that are very useful in answering ‘Return to School’ questions about Covid-19 and a tip sheet for helping your child to wear a mask. Please take a few minutes to review the information in the links below:

BCH What families should know

BCH - Helping your Child Wear a Mask

Flu Immunization Information:

Thank you to all parents who have provided immunization documentation!

The school immunization requirements, including the requirement for seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine, apply to all Massachusetts students enrolled in Kindergarten through Grade 12, regardless of whether the district is providing instruction in-person, or using a hybrid or remote learning model.

Your child needs to have a flu shot by December 31, 2020. Please make sure the letter or note of verification from the pediatrician has a stamp of the doctor's name and/or practice. If you receive the vaccine from a pharmacy such as CVS, Walgreens, or Target, please ask them to send the proof of immunization to your child's pediatrician. Please send documentation of vaccinations to the health office.

Updates from the PTO Board

Hello Birch Meadow Families!

Room parent UPDATE!

Would you like to be a room parent for your child(ren)'s class this year?! Room parents are an important part of the Birch Meadow PTO community; they communicate school information with classroom families, organize classroom parties and events, and assist the classroom teacher(s) in various ways. This unique year, room parents' roles and responsibilities may be different, but we will continue to provide support and connection between school and home! If you are interested in being a room parent, please email PTO vice president Julie Wall ( Thank you!

October 20th will be our first Birch Meadow General PTO Meeting on Zoom. We will send meeting details the week before. The first meeting is a very important one and we would like to encourage you all to participate if you can. During this meeting we will be voting on the open PTO Board positions.

If you are interested in running for Co-President, Director of Communications or Secretary please email us by SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4th and let us know!

Everyone in attendance will be voting for the open positions:

Co-President - Lauren Goddard (Current Director of Communications)

Director of Communications - Annie Donohue

PTO Secretary - Michelle Grasso

If you are interested in running for any of the above positions, please let us know!

Please join us to share your thoughts and ideas on virtual fundraising and how to make this year as memorable as we can for the kids!

Passive Fundraising & Direct Donations:

Make sure you check out the document below titled “Ways to Help.” This gives you all the information you need to participate in our Passive Fundraising campaigns to effortlessly contribute to PTO programming!

Thank you to all of those that have already submitted their Direct Donation! If you haven’t done so yet, please use the link below to help contribute to the PTO Enrichment programming.

Thank you!
The Birch Meadow PTO Board

Big picture

Calareso's Gift Certificates are Back!

We are partnering with our friends at Calareso's here in Reading to offer Gift Certificates to help you shop for the upcoming Holiday Season and into the Spring!

Gift Certificates are $10.00 each, and for every gift certificate purchased, Calareso's is donating $2.50 back to the Birch Meadow PTO! Now is your chance to stock up and buy your pumpkins, mums, cornstocks, apple cider donuts ... or, since they don't expire, save them for Christmas trees, wreaths and even spring flowers!

Orders must be placed by October 16th and must be made directly through Melissa Henri via email:

Big picture

News from SEPAC

Dear SEPAC Community & Friends:

The Reading Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is hosting a Basic Rights Presentation "Evaluation and Eligibility", presented by a representative for the Federation for Children with Special Needs.

The Basic Rights Presentation will be held, virtually, on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 7:00 PM , via ZOOM.

All attendees must register via the link provided on the flyer.

Since there will be no opportunity this year for actual physical versions of the attached flyer to be hung in the school buildings for parents to see, the SEPAC is looking for help in getting the word out to parents about this important event.

Another priority that was proposed as a SEPAC goal for the 2020-2021 school year was caregiver education on reading and literacy, particularly early signs of reading challenges. While the SEPAC, in collaboration with the District, works towards this goal, in the meantime, Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents (NESCA) is offering a webinar on this specific topic on Oct. 15th. Details and link to register are below.

"Early Signs of Reading Challenges"

A webinar featuring NESCA Pediatric Neuropsychologist Alissa Talamo, Ph.D.

October 15 from 2:00-3:00 PM ET

Register in advance for this webinar:


Thank you,


Big picture