JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

We could not have been more excited to see your children this week! Whether it was remote or in-person, we have been thrilled getting to know your child, introducing your child to the new class, curriculum, and structure, and launching the 2020-21 school year!

Thank you for helping your children get up and running this week. We know it takes a village and that we will experience bumps along the way, yet we are all committed to making this year powerful. It may look different, but we will continue to innovate and evolve. We know you are right there with us every step of the way!

We know you are inundated with emails right now so this is more of a reference newsletter. Your primary focus is on reading through the emails from your child's teacher. Happy reading!

Changes in Dismissal and Absenteeism

If your child is absent, remote or in-person, please call the absentee line at 781-944-7831. If your child is in person in school and if your dismissal plan changes during the school day, call the office at 781-944-7831 to notify us about the change. Office staff will get this information to the teachers. If you email a teacher during the school day they cannot always read the email and changes in dismissal information could be missed.

Stay well,

Ms. Leveque

The Start of School at Killam

At Killam, we are all aware that this is the most confusing start of the school year ever. I know there is a lot of confusion about what day your child actually starts learning. Below is a schedule for next week.

The school calendar has been updated to state which cohort week we are currently on (Cohort A/B). When you access the school website or the PlusPortal, you will see the current cohort week to help your with you planning.

September 15th - September 22nd: Grades 1-5 orientation are scheduled. Your classroom teacher has communicated which day your child will be coming to school. No remote learning happens on this day.

September 21st - All Kindergarteners begin school in person (half-day remote students begin remote). Grades 1-5 continue remote learning.

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

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Helping Your Child Prepare for School

  • Continue to work with your child on face mask wearing and etiquette. We know that face coverings are essential to decrease the spread of COVID. All students in Grades K to 5 will be required to wear face masks, with scheduled breaks during the day.

  • The JW Killam School has Poland Springs water dispensers in some locations, but they will not be in every classroom. Please send your child to school with a full water bottle every day that they can refill as needed.

  • If you have a younger child please work with them on opening their own snack and lunch containers, tying shoes, blowing noses, and putting on outer wear. We will not be able to support children with these activities as we have in the past.

Message from the Student Services Office

Digital Forms

In our new digital world, we have developed ways for families virtually to sign paperwork. This reduces the length of time it takes to get forms to you.

If Dr. Shana Goldwyn, our Team Chair, has paperwork for you to sign, she sends you an email letting you know that you will be getting an email from Frontline Education. When you get that email it will have a link to take you to the form. We are using this for all paper working, including meeting invitations, consents to evaluate, and IEPs.

Please check your junk, clutter or spam folder if you get an email from Dr. Goldwyn indicating that she has sent you a form through Frontline Education.

Office Hours with Special Education Administration

During the extended closure in the Spring of 2020 office hours were offered to families and we would like to continue to offer virtual office hours with Jennifer Stys, Director of Student Services and Allison Wright, Assistant Director of Student Services. Office hours is a time for individual families to discuss questions and concerns regarding the implementation of their student’s IEP, their progress or to share positive feedback. If you are interested in attending office hours, please sign up for a 15 minute block via the link below. The dates/times of office hours are as follows:

  • Friday 9/18, 10-11 am
  • Wednesday 9/23 9-10 am
  • Tuesday 9/29 2-3 pm

Link to DOODLE Poll for Student Services Office Hours for the month of September

Special Education Support

If you have any questions about your student’s IEP or services please reach out to our building Team Chairperson, Shana Goldwyn at Shana.goldwyn@reading.k12.ma.us

SEPAC and Parent Resources

The SEPAC will be offering a basic special education rights training on October 13 at 7:00. More information will be coming about this important event.

Message from the Reading Technology Department

Technology Questions

The district IT department has loaned out 793 laptops to families. They have run out of devices that are set up and currently are setting up more for loan. If you have requested a laptop recently, you may not hear about its availability for a week.

If your technology needs have changed since you completed the family survey, please email Killam's Administrative Assitant at jaculen.maglio@reading.k12.ma.us and let her know the change. She will forward your request to the technology department.

There has been some concern about Chromebooks for use in online/distance learning. Any laptop (Chromebook, Mac, PC) that has a web browser will work for online/distance learning. Our platform is web based. Tablets (including Kindle Fires) and phones with internet browsers can be used, however, the interface is difficult on these devices. A laptop is recommended.

Resource from the Reading Health Office

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PTO Corner

PTO Directory

Please register for the Killam School Directory (AtoZ Connect) today to get connected with your child’s future classmates, room parents, and to receive valuable PTO emails on school-wide events. When room parents send out class emails, their source of contact info is AtoZ Connect, so if your child is not registered up on there, you will be missing out on emails about in-class enrichments, celebrations, teacher gifts, Killam gear ordering, etc. You can download the AtoZ Connect App on a phone or go to AtoZConnect.com on a computer to join - it's super easy! Just click on "sign up" and search by the school zip code (01867), the select Killam from the list.

PTO Social Media

We also post info to Facebook at Killam School PTO, Reading MA, please join/like us! Please feel free to contact Jen Kane, our PTO secretary if you need help or have questions: jwksecretary@gmail.com.

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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!