Reading Public School Newsletter for Week of March 10, 2019

Good Morning, Reading Public School Community,

I hope that you are having a great weekend.  Attached is this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  This week’s newsletter contains the following information and articles.

  • Swastika Graffiti Found at Reading Memorial High School
  • Update on Birch Meadow Student Illnesses
  • Director of Student Services Announcement
  • Reading Cultural Council Awards $7500 in grants
  • RMLD Honors Local Elementary Students
  • Reading Institute Spring Program
  • RMHS High Five for the Week
  • Joshua Eaton Celebrates Read Across America
  • 2019 Reading First Lego League Exhibition
  • Stepping Stones
  • Blazing Trails

There will be no office hours this week.

Thanks and have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead!

Pathways Newsletter V6N24

Director of Student Services Announcement

Good Afternoon, Reading Public School Community,

We wanted to update you on the search process for the Director of Student Services.  Over the last few weeks, the 16 member Director of Student Services Screening Committee has been engaged in designing questions and conducting interviews.  The Screening Committee interviewed 5 qualified candidates, all with districtwide special education administration experience.  From that process a group of pre-finalists were moved to a second round of interviews with the Central Office Leadership Team consisting of Superintendent of Schools John Doherty, Chief Financial Officer Gail Dowd, Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Teaching Christine Kelley, and Interim Director of Student Services Sharon Stewart.  As a result of both rounds of interviews, one candidate has been moved forward as a finalist.

We are pleased to announce that Jennifer Stys is a finalist for the Director of Student Services.  Jennifer is currently the Director of Special Education for the Lowell Public Schools.  A copy of Jennifer’s resume is attached.

Because our process is ending quicker than anticipated, we will be changing it slightly.   The Community is invited to attend a question and answer session with Jennifer on Monday, March 11th, from 6:00-6:40 p.m. in the Patrick A. Schettini Library Media Center.  Community members who attend the evening session will have the opportunity to submit questions for the candidate to answer.  Immediately after the question and answer session with the candidate, the School Committee will be meeting to discuss the process which may also include voting on the Superintendent’s recommendation of Ms. Stys as the next Director of Student Services for the Reading Public Schools.

If you have any questions, please contact the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices at 781-944-5800.

Stys Resume

No School For Reading Public Schools for Monday, March 4th

No School

No School for Monday, March 4th

Good Evening, Reading Public School Community,

I hope that you are having a great weekend.  Due to the impending snowstorm, there will be no school for the Reading Public Schools for Monday, March 4th.  In addition, all 52 week employees, except those involved in snow removal, may stay home tomorrow.

Be safe and enjoy the snow day.

Information for Parents on “Momo Challenge”

Dear Reading Public School Families,

Over the last few weeks, there have been many news stories circulating on the “Momo Challenge.” The purpose of this letter is to provide information, and to encourage you to monitor your children’s use of social media and the internet.

In the Momo Challenge, an image of a woman with distorted features allegedly instructs viewers to commit acts of violence against others and ultimately, acts of self-harm under threat of a “curse” or that Momo will injure them. The challenge apparently started in Latin America in 2018 and spread to the United States via Facebook, but it has never been established who is behind it or what his or her intent was. In February 2019, new warnings about the challenge made the rounds through social media.  The “Momo Challenge” is a hoax.

We recommend the following tips to keep your children safe online and to talk to your children about this challenge in a way that you feel is appropriate for their understanding.

  • Use the parental controls available through your Internet service provider, device, and apps to minimize the risk of your children’s access to inappropriate content. Parental controls and filtering software are not perfect, so your presence while your children are using the Internet is still necessary.
  • Bookmark favorite sites so your children can find them easily and directly.
  • Start a conversation around appropriate online behavior, including what to do if your children find content that is frightening or that makes them feel uncomfortable. Make sure they know who they can talk to if they encounter a situation they do not know how to handle.
  • Ensure your children know not to share personal information of any kind with anyone. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) restricts what a commercial website can collect and requires a parent’s consent, but that does not mean that an individual cannot ask personal questions.
  • Make sure your children (and you) know that clicking on random links or downloading unfamiliar or unexpected attachments is how malware is spread.

The Reading Public Schools takes internet safety very seriously and puts digital safety practices in place to help students stay safe while using the district’s network and internet.

There are several links below that explain the “Momo Challenge” in more detail.  Please be advised that some of the stories and images may be disturbing.

We encourage your children to speak with a trusted adult should they have any concerns.  If you have any questions, please contact your child’s building principal, who can provide further information and support.

Sincerely,

John Doherty

Superintendent of Schools

Reading Public Schools and the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse Featured in Report from National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

 

Reading Public Schools and the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse Featured in Report from National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

Youth Mental Health First Aid Highlighted As a Best Practice

Reading Public Schools and the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse and its work to support the whole student is included as an exemplary approach to supporting students’ social, emotional, and academic development in a report released last month by a prestigious national commission.

The Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development’s “From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope” asserts that our nation is at a turning point, understanding that social, emotional, and cognitive development underpins children’s academic learning. This breakthrough understanding about how people learn is fueling a growing movement to educate children as whole people, with social and emotional as well as academic needs, the report says.

Reading Public Schools was highlighted under Recommendation IV, building adult capacity, where District, school, and youth development leaders should provide opportunities for school faculty and staff, families, after-school and youth development professionals, and future professionals still in university pre-service programs to learn to model and teach social, emotional, and cognitive skills to young people across all learning settings, both during and out of school.  In this recommendation, the Reading Public Schools and the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse (RCASA) are highlighted in training adults across the community in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). An evidence-based, international program, YMHFA trains adults similarly to medical first aid and CPR to identify the signs and symptoms of a young person in distress and to take the appropriate steps in providing aid until further help comes. A common language and expectations regarding typical child development, as well as ways to manage crisis and non-crisis situations, were spread throughout the community.

School Committee member Chuck Robinson states, “I would like to thank the Commission for developing this outstanding report.  As a parent and long-standing School Committee liaison to RCASA, I recognize the collaborative effort of our town and school officials to provide a safe environment for our students.  The Youth Mental Health First Aid Training highlighted in this report as a Reading Public Schools best practice is a very important training for any adult that works with children in our schools and in our community. I am deeply grateful for Executive Director Erica McNamara’s innovative and steady leadership in this effort”

“A Nation at Hope” emphasizes that translating knowledge about how people learn into practice and helping students develop skills like collaboration, empathy, and perseverance requires systemic change. It offers specific actions in research, practice, and policy to fundamentally shift how we teach children, with the understanding that the social, emotional, and cognitive dimensions of learning are mutually reinforcing rather than distinct.

The report recommends taking these key steps:

  • Set a clear vision that broadens the definition of student success to prioritize the whole child.
  • Transform learning settings so they are safe and supportive for all young people.
  • Change instruction to teach students social, emotional, and cognitive skills; embed these skills in academics and school-wide practices.
  • Build adult expertise in child development.
  • Align resources and leverage partners in the community to address the whole child.
  • Forge closer connections between research and practice to generate useful, actionable information for educators.

Drawing on input from more than 200 scientists, youth and parent groups, educators and policymakers, the report seeks to accelerate and strengthen efforts in local communities. These recommendations are especially pertinent as states and communities continue to leverage their increased authority on education policy under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. The report includes specific strategies that schools, districts, and communities can pursue related to each recommendation and examples of places that are engaged in these efforts.

The report also outlines evidence that confirms that supporting students’ social, emotional and academic development has a positive impact on their attendance, test scores, success in college and careers, and overall well-being. This approach also improves students’ feelings about school and makes schools safer.

 

Weekly RPS Newsletter and Superintendent’s Office Times

Good Afternoon,  Reading Public School Community,

I hope you are having a great weekend.  Attached is this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  This week’s edition has the following articles and information:

  • Reading Public Schools and the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse Featured in Report from National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development
  • Director of Student Services Update
  • Celebrate Reading’s 375 Birthday!
  • An article from the Marshall Memo titled, Increasing Upstander Behavior To Combat School Bullying.
  • RMHS High Five for This Week
  • Author Tara Sullivan Visits Coolidge
  • Wood End and Killam Celebrate Read Across America
  • Stepping Stones
  • Blazing Trails

The Superintendent Office Times for this week are as follows:

Superintendent Office Times For Upcoming Weeks

3/04   Joshua Eaton                                2:30 – 3:00 p.m.

3/05   Parker                                            7:30 – 8:00 a.m.

3/06   Barrows                                         12:30 – 1:00 p.m.

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead!

Take care.

Pathways Newsletter V6N23

Celebrate Reading’s 375th Birthday!

Reading 375

Get ready to party, Reading! Our town is turning 375 years old this year, and the Reading375 Committee is busy planning a two-week celebration from May 31 – June 15.  There are more events than we can list, so please LIKE and FOLLOW Reading375 on Facebook to keep up to date.  You can also check out Reading375.com for a list of planned events.  Please like, follow, and share Reading375 on Facebook.  Let’s make our town pride go viral!

RPS Weekly Newsletter and Superintendent Office Times For Upcoming Weeks

Good Morning, Reading Public School Community,

We hope that you are having a great February break.  Attached is this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  This week has the following information and articles:

  • Director of Student Services Update
  • RMHS Students Visit Schneider Electric
  • An Eduopia article on how to teach students to deal with stress
  • An upcoming workshop on how to talk to our kids about inclusion
  • Parent University information
  • An article on effective use of therapy dogs in schools
  • RMHS High Five for the week
  • Stepping Stones
  • Blazing Trails

The Superintendent Office Times for this week are as follows:

Superintendent’s Office Half-Hours this Week

All are welcome

2/26     RMHS    7:00-7:30 a.m.

3/01   Coolidge  7:30-8:00 a.m.

3/04    Joshua Eaton  2:30 – 3:00 p.m.

3/05    Parker  7:30 – 8:00 a.m.

3/06    Barrows  12:30 – 1:00 p.m.

Enjoy the rest of your break and have a great week ahead!

Pathways Newsletter V6N22

Reading Public Schools Newsletter and Superintendent Office Hours for This Week

Good Afternoon, Reading Public School Community,

I hope you are enjoying your weekend.  Attached, please find this week’s version of the Pathways Newsletter.  In this week’s edition, you will discover the following articles and information.

  • RMHS Senior Becomes Published Author
  • Upcoming SEPAC Meeting
  • An Article from Dr. David Walsh on the Teenage Brain:  Risky or Ready to Learn?
  • Did you know?  Resources on Black History Month
  • Teacher Reflection:  Listening to Student Messages
  • National Endowment for Humanities Free Summer Programs
  • Killam Sponsors Community Workshop on March 4th-Talking to Our Kids About Inclusion
  • Parent University
  • RMHS High Five for the Week
  • RISE Global Playday
  • Stepping Stones
  • Blazing Trails

 

Superintendent Office Hours

The Superintendent Office Hours for this week are as follows:

2/13     Killam   12:30-1:30 p.m.

2/15     Wood End  7:30-8:30 a.m.

Have a great rest of the weekend, a great week ahead, and a restful and relaxing vacation!

Pathways Newsletter V6N21