JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

The last day of school is Monday, June 21, with an 11:00 a.m. dismissal.


This will be the last newsletter of the 2020-2021 school year and what a year it has been! Our students, staff, and families have been incredible this year, shifting with whatever came our way and working to not only make this a year of learning, but also to make this a positive experience wherever we could. As the saying goes, we made lemonade out of lemons. We could not be more proud of the strength, focus, kindness, and flexibility that our community showed during this time. Please take a moment to reflect on all the good moments of this school year. I will send an update in July and one in August to communicate information regarding the 2021-2022 school year.


With the end of a year, we have a few goodbyes to say. Ms. Julie Vetal, our fourth grade teacher, will be moving back to Virginia to be closer to her family. Her enthusiasm for the field and love of the students will be missed. Mrs. EmilyJane Rizzo will be returning to Killam as a fourth grade teacher. Mrs. Rizzo joined the fifth-grade teaching team during a leave of absence position this past fall and then moved to Barrows Elementary to finish the school year in fourth grade. We are thrilled to have her back in our community.


We have also been fortunate to have support from our amazing paraeducators this year, some who will be returning and ALL who deserve our gratitude. We thank Kris Chuha, Kerry Yurewicz, Stephanie Manna, Krista Marchand, Kaitlin Camadeco, Kathy Kinney, Sue Menenello, Julie Wall, Deb Nusinov, Heather Lee, Cheryl Cruickshank, Kaitlyn Bisson, Jamie Santiago, Dana Levin, Walter Lutter, Aine O'Doherty, Nicole Sherwood, Daniel McCrystal, Erline Trites, Michelle Tucker, Nicole Cronin, and Leslie Shultz. These dedicated professionals have been bright lights in our school. We wish everyone a wonderful summer!


I am thrilled to announce the general education classroom teams for next year:

Kindergarten: Katie Cole, Melissa Cannata, Erica Boran, and Ashley Wheaton (half-day kindergarten)

First Grade: Catherine Rice, ToniAnn Walker, and Christen Pegoraro

Second Grade: Lauren Nawrocki, Lindsay St. Germain, Lauren Gramolini, and Victoria Binns

Third Grade: JoEllen McGinnity, Ann Sweeney-White, Lisa Treacy, and Jessica Bruno

Fourth Grade: Kameka Kraft, EmilyJane Rizzo, and Karesa Encarnacao

Fifth Grade: Helen Palmieri, Tonia McGuire, and Kate Gustafson


I am dedicating this newsletter to our Fifth Grade Class of 2021! They have bright futures ahead as they move on from Killam to Middle School. This week, the staff will be celebrating their accomplishments and giving them the send off they deserve. They are a kind, articulate, fun-loving, and accomplished set of individuals. We know they have much more to contribute to society and we are so proud of them!


RPS Loaned Laptop Equipment
Please see the information below on how to return the equipment. Thanks to those families who have already sent the laptops back.



Class Lists

On Monday, the elementary school principals sent a letter regarding class lists for the 21-22 school year. This year, class placements/teacher assignments will be available on the Parent Portal at the end of July or beginning of August. This allows the schools to adjust lists as necessary over the summer when new students move into a school or staffing changes happen. When the teacher and class assignments are available in the Parent Portal you will receive an email from the school.



LOST AND FOUND

We have a lot of students’ clothing and gear. We’ll be leaving lost and found items out front for the remainder of the school year. Please check it out when you are here. Anything remaining at the end of the year will be donated. Thanks!


BIKES AT SCHOOL

With the warmer weather, we love seeing our students ride their bikes to school. It’s important that we review the expectations with our students. Children are required to walk their bicycles on and off the school grounds, including the school zone areas along Charles Street. With cars parked along Charles Street, we’ve had a few close calls where students on bikes either come close to hitting pedestrians or getting hit by car doors opening. For safety reasons, only students in grades 3, 4, and 5 are allowed to ride their bicycles to and from school without adult supervision. Younger children are permitted to ride when accompanied by an adult. A bicycle rack is provided along the back side of the building and children are instructed to securely lock their bicycles to the rack.



COVID POOL TESTING:

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



Have an amazing summer!


Stay well,.

Ms. Leveque

Killam Upcoming Dates

Thursday, June 17th: Fifth Grade Moving On Ceremony, 8:45-9:45am (see invitation below)


Friday, June 18th: Rain date for the Fifth Grade Moving On Ceremony, 8:45-9:45am


Monday, June 21st: Last day of school. 11am dismissal.
-Report cards emailed home.


Thursday, July 1st: Last opportunity to purchase School Supply Kits for the 2021-2022 school year.
Link: https://1stdayschoolsupplies.com/




School Hours:

Monday-Thursday, 8:15-2:45 (8:10-11:30 for half-day kindergarten)

Friday, 8:15-11:30 (8:10-11:30 for half-day kindergarten)


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.



2021-2022 School Year:

Wednesday, September 1 -- First Day of School for students in Grades 1 to 12

Wednesday, September 1 and Thursday, September 2 - Kindergarten Screening - a schedule will be sent out during the summer

Friday, September 3rd - Vacation Day - No School for students

Monday, September 6th - Labor Day - No School for students, Office Closed

Thursday September 9th - First day of school for Pre-K and all Kindergarten students.

Attention Fifth Grade Families

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RPS Laptop and Equipment Returns

Attention families who have an RPS loaner laptop and/or hotspot:

  • The equipment will be returned to Killam with your child. In a bag, place a piece of paper with your child's first and last name, the laptop, charger, and hotspot (if applicable). The laptop can be handed to your child's teacher or the adult can return it to the front office.


-If your child is a fully in-person student:
Grades K-4: Return equipment to school from June 7-June 18
Grade 5: Return equipment to school from June 14-June 18


-If your child is fully remote, we want you to have access to the equipment and learning through the school year. All equipment needs to be returned to Killam by Thursday, June 24th. You can return it in person between 8-3 or leave it in the grade level bin out front. We will check it nightly.

Killam School Council - are you interested?

We are still looking for another family/community member who is interested in joining our School Council for a two-year term beginning this fall. By law, each school in Massachusetts must have a School Council composed of family/community members, staff, and the principal. We have been so fortunate to have the following people serve on this Council: Tonia McGuire, Kim Adamo, Bryn Panee Burkhart, and Christine Strack.


School Council members serve a two-year term. We typically hold elections for School Council members in the fall 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 afternoons, typically 3-4 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 the Killam School. If you are interested and would consider being a part of this important team, please reach out to Sarah Leveque.

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Sixth Grade Summer Reading List Announced

Below is the summer reading list for 6th grade. I'm also including the link for easier access:

https://bookshop.org/lists/rps-grade-6-summer-reading-2021


Elementary students do not have a a universal summer reading list. Teachers will communicate if they want to draw your attention to specific summer reading.

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Summer Food Distribution Options

As we continue to transition out of the pandemic, we would like to communicate to you two opportunities throughout the summer where families will be able to access food on a weekly basis. Both of these programs are meant to complement each other and are not in competition with each other.



  1. Reading Public Schools Food Distribution Program Through the USDA

We will be continuing our food distribution program throughout the summer. As part of the USDA Seamless Summer Program, we will be providing 7 breakfasts and 7 lunches for each child in a family, ages 0-22. The food will include fresh fruits and vegetables, along with perishable items. Food Distribution will be every Tuesday, beginning on June 22nd, from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon at the bridge at Reading Memorial High School near the Hawke Field House. For further information, please contact School Nutrition Director Danielle Collins at Danielle.Collins@reading.k12.ma.us.



II. St. Vincent de Paul Society Fifth Annual Summer Food Distribution Program

The Reading Conference of the Society of St Vincent de Paul is pleased to invite you to share in our fifth annual summer food program. This free program serves the families of any students who are at risk of hunger during this very difficult financial time. Every family who joins this program will receive a supply of free, high quality, nutritious and non-perishable food each week during the summer months...oh, and some new recipes, too.

Here’s how to join:

1. Register your family with us by answering the following three questions:

A. Your last name

B. The number of children in your family

C. The address in Reading to which your groceries should be delivered

2. Send this information to St. Vincent de Paul Society on line at

st.agnes.reading.svdp@gmail.com by Thursday, June 10, 2021.

Weekly deliveries will be made on Wednesday late afternoon from June 16 through August 18.


You will receive a weekly email on the day of delivery which will advise you of the approximate time you can expect your groceries. At this point, if you wish to cancel this delivery just send notice via return email. Please also use this email to discuss any comments or concerns you may have with this free service during the summer.


Your groceries will be delivered to the address in Reading as noted above. Please state which outside door to leave these bags and if you wish the delivery person to ring the bell. To be certain that all the groceries are delivered in a timely way, the driver is on a very strict schedule and so is not able to enter your home.


VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE:

Although we are sensitive to friends with food allergies, we are not prepared to modify the contents of the bags to meet everyone’s personal needs. Just as you would shop in a store, we ask you to select the items for your family. If there is something you cannot use, please pass it on to someone else or deposit it into the Reading Food Pantry collection bin at your local supermarket.


Best wishes for a very healthy and happy summer,

Alicia Gallagher

Society of St. Vincent de Paul

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When: June 21st - August 14th


How: Kids may stop by the Children’s Room to sign up on or after Monday, June 21. They'll be given a Bingo board full of ideas and activities. When they complete a row, column, diagonal, OR do a “blackout” – fill out the whole board they are eligible for prizes. Registration can also occur online in which case the child would have to print their own Bingo sheet.

In addition to the Bingo board there will be ongoing theme-based activities held throughout the summer!


Here's the link for more information, reading lists, events list etc. https://www.readingpl.org/kids-teens/kids/summer-reading/

Understanding the Process of Assessing for Reading Disabilities

The Reading Public Schools is presenting a series of community trainings on reading. The images below contains information about the June 15 training and a link to the Zoom workshop.
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Reading Remembrance Tour

This weekend activity relates directly to the Massachusetts History and Social Studies Frameworks and is a great way to learn more about the history of Reading.
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Understanding Disabilities Book Drive

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 Killam 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.

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From the Office of Student Services

Dear Families,


Below, please find the Student Services Office Hours for the second half of May and for the month of June. If you are interested in meeting with Dr. Jennifer Stys, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and Allison Wright, Director of Special Education, please utilize the Doodle Poll to reserve a time. The purpose of the office hours is to provide time to connect with families regarding any questions or concerns regarding your students and their experiences. Prior to your designated time, you will receive a ZOOM link for your meeting time.


OFFICE HOURS:

  • Tuesday, 6/15/21 @12-1 pm


Please use the DOODLE Poll below to sign up for an Office Hours time:

https://doodle.com/poll/zzayw2kufrdv5xiq?utm_source=poll&utm_medium=link

Doodle: Student Services Office Hours - May/June 2021


Jennifer Stys, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, and Allison Wright, Director of Special Education, are available for office hours to discuss and questions or concerns that you have. Please sign up for one 15 minute time slot. (Only 1 person per time slot). Following sign up, a ZOOM link will be sent prior to your selected time. Please include your FULL NAME and EMAIL address when signing up.



Please reach out to Allison Wright, Director of Student Services (Allison.Wright@reading.k12.ma.us) with any questions or concerns.

PTO Corner


SCHOOL SUPPLY KITS

Our school supply kits are ready to go. Go to https://1stdayschoolsupplies.com/ to order now. The deadline to order is July 1.




PTO APPRECIATION NIGHT

Save the date for our PTO appreciation night on Monday June 14th at 7:00pm. A location will be announced closer to the date.
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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!