JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

This year your child/children have probably come home at least once and reported that they had a substitute teacher that day. Teachers, like all of us, have sickness and personal business that sometimes keeps them away from work. Additionally, there is professional learning that takes place during the school day for which teachers leave the classroom. In order to give all teachers access to the same professional learning we have to offer it during the school hours when teachers are at work; this is why professional learning happens during the school day.

Below are two examples of professional learning for teachers and staff. The connecting thread through all of these courses is increasing our capacity as educators who can reach all learners with all kinds of learning styles.

Reader's Workshop

  • Participating teachers: All general education teachers in Grade 2; All general education teachers in Kindergarten
  • Amount of time: three full days per teacher; two full days per teacher
  • Purpose: The Reader's Workshop model for teaching reading is a philosophy that supports student choice, differentiated and individualized instruction, and allows teachers to use their full range of reading methodologies, including book clubs, guided reading groups, strategy groups, and individual conferences. This allows us to address district goals of improving literacy instruction and closing the achievement gap and supports our goal of including students with all learning styles and abilities in reading instruction. The district has provided all teachers with Reader's Workshop kits for their grade level(s). This year all general education teachers are fully implementing Reader's Workshop. Last year, all general education teachers piloted various parts of the program, receiving direct professional development on the program. This program is a large instructional shift in our literacy practices and all staff will benefit from additional professional development. Based on feedback from the pilot last year, the Kindergarten and Second Grade teachers identified as benefiting from this first year of professional development. Grade levels will receive additional support on a rotating basis in subsequent years.

Science Unit Development Review

  • Participating teachers: All general education teachers in Grades 3-5
  • Amount of time: two full days per teacher
  • Purpose: Grades 3-5 students have been implementing the Know Atom curriculum since the 2016 school year. We are fortunate to see the benefits of this work throughout the years, yet, we know as instructional leaders, we always need to review our practices. These Unit Development days allow teachers to explore and develop deeper understanding of the Massachusetts Science Frameworks in relation to the Know Atom curriculum. The work will review the core science standards, looking vertically at the progression of lessons as well as restructure the scope and sequence for which we teach the units (if necessary). This days will also allow staff to reconnect with the engineering standards and revisit the 21st Century skills of scientific exploration and inquiry skills, thinking about the practical implications within a classroom setting.


Ms. Leveque

Third Graders Visit Parker Tavern

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Important Killam Dates

Week of October 21st: Reading Public Schools Stem Week (see flier above)

Monday, October 21st: TRRFCC Assembly - wear class colors!

Thursday, October 24th: Grades 3-5 Free Coding Drop-In Session at Killam. No RSVP necessary (see flier below)

Saturday, October 26th: PTO Sponsored Killam School Halloween Bash, 5-7pm

Monday, October 28th: Diwali

Tuesday, October 29th: Grades K-2 Free Coding Drop-In Session at Killam. No RSVP necessary (see flier below)

Friday, November 1st: Donations for Veterans due

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Wondering what’s new on our playground blacktop?

Alysia Redard and Maria Fitzpatrick, RPS physical therapists, wrote a grant to “install” a sensory motor path at each elementary school. Killam is the first school to benefit from this grant. These trails are much like a painted obstacle course and will provide the opportunity for students to gain access to a different way of thinking about recess. The course focuses on motor skills, spatial awareness, and balance. Sensory motor paths are designed to improve a child’s five senses and provide a “brain break” from the pathways the brain is making during an academic task. The course is still in the works so keep an eye on the blacktop between the baseball field and recess doors entrance as the course progresses!
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PTO Corner

Killam Halloween Bash

Halloween is nearly upon us! If you have not already contacted Jeannette Vigorito for tickets to next weekend’s Halloween Bash, YOU MUST TEXT JEANNETTE AT 617-699-5092 BY THE END OF THE DAY TODAY, FRIDAY 10/18. We cannot admit families without tickets as we purchase materials this weekend based upon the numbers at the end of the day today.

Killam Koalas Spirit Gear

Next week is the final week for our Spirit Wear sales this fall - the deadline has been extended to NEXT FRIDAY, 10/25, and we will distribute any gear ordered at the November book fair or parent teacher conferences. Please go online to buy Killam gear for kids and adults!


New in 2019 - 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.

Donations for Veterans

In alignment with our core values, the Killam School would like to thank and support our active and retired service people in honor of Veteran's Day. We have many veterans within our school community and we were approached by one father, asking if would would accept donations for care packages. From now through Friday, November 1st, if you would like to donate any of the following products, we will be collecting them in our main lobby:




-toiletries (no aerosols)

-decks of playing cards

-microwave popcorn

-instant noodles or macaroni and cheese


-baby wipes



-handmade cards

Additionally, if you would like to volunteer in putting together the care packages or would like more information, please see the flier below.

We wish to thank all active or retired service people for supporting our freedoms!

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TRRFCC Assembly Time- We Need Your Help!

Thank you for sending in donations. Our first TRRFCC Assembly is this Monday, October 21st so please send in donations as soon as possible. We are still in need of new or gently used yoga mats. These mats will be used throughout the year with the TRRFCC assemblies and then be put to good use as we incorporate yoga and mindfulness into our PE time.

You can access the sign-up genius wish list here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0949adae2daafb6-trrfcc. If you are able to donate supplies, please send them in with your child in a bag marked with the teacher's name that is noted on the sign-up genius.

Friends of Reading METCO Family Dinner

Greenwood Memorial United Methodists Church

378 A Washington St

Dorchester MA 02124

Parking lot next to church on Washington Street additional parking on street if needed

Please enter at the Dakota Street side of building
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A Note from the Health Office

Hearing and Vision screenings for students in grades 1 – 5 has begun; I will contact you if I find that your child needs further evaluation by their health care provider. If your student wears glasses, please be sure they bring them to school.

Thank you,

Mrs. Grottkau

Understanding Disabilities Update

UD is excited to kick off our first ever pet portrait session on Saturday, October

19, from 7:00am to 12:00pm at Mattera Cabin here in Reading. Want to capture that perfect picture of your pet and donate to a good cause at the same time? Cordele
Photography is hosting a pet portrait session and donating the sitting fee to support
Understanding Disabilities! Go to https://tinyurl.com/PetphotosforUD to sign up for your


If you would like to volunteer with Understanding Disabilities, either in the classroom as a
lesson leader (we provide training) or a parent assistant, or if you would like to join our board,
please contact us at info@understandingdisabilities.org. We especially need volunteers to

help us with fundraising!

Update from Community Education

Sandy Calendrella, Director of After School Programs, shared the following information with the schools.
I wanted to update you on the after school enrichment program status at each of your schools. We have historically run three, six week sessions during the school year. As a result of the size of the Extended Day Program and our need to use all of the space possible to manage our waitlist, we will not be doing the after school enrichment program this fall. We are working on a plan to roll the after school enrichment programming into Extended Day, but do not have details on this yet. At the earliest, after school enrichment programs would roll out after January 1st.

2020-2021 Incoming Kindergarten Information

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MCAS Results

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has released district and school level accountability and performance results for the MCAS 2019. Click here to download the Assistant Superintendent's report on Reading Public Schools. I am reviewing these results and planning Killam's next steps related to this information. I will share a report on this with the school community in the coming weeks.

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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!