Pathways Newsletter for Week of October 15, 2017

Good Morning,

We hope all is well and you are enjoying your weekend.  Below is the link to this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  In this week’s edition, we have our first FY19 Budget Bulletin, a call for budget liaisons for the FY19 budget process, a joint presentation sponsored by the RMHS Guidance Department and and RCASA on managing anxiety, information on Parent University and the REF Grant Cycle, and an article by Dr. Robert Brooks on Should We Engage in That Touchy Feely Stuff?”  We also have photos from the RMHS High Fives for the week, Joshua Eaton, and Coolidge.

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead!

Pathways Newsletter V4N7

 

Superintendent Office Hours for Week of 10/15/2017

Superintendent of Schools John Doherty will be holding office hours during the following times this week:

Superintendent Office Hours

October 16        7:45 – 8:45 a.m.      Killam

October 19        7:15 – 8:15 a.m.      Coolidge

October 19        5:15 – 6:15 p.m.      RPS Administration Offices

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices at 781-944-5800 or at https://www.reading.k12.ma.us/about-us/contact-us/ .  Office hours are an opportunity for the Reading Community and staff to inquire or ask questions about any areas related to the Reading Public Schools.  We will try to have at least 2 opportunities for office hours each week during the school year. There is no appointment needed.

 

 

 

Budget Liaisons Needed for FY19 Budget Process

Budget Liaisons Needed for FY19 Budget Process

As part of the FY19 budget process, the Reading Public Schools will be seeking parent and community volunteers to become a budget liaison.  Budget liaisons play a key role in the budget process as they develop an understanding of the FY19 budget process and then give timely communication to their school communities and peers.

The specific information regarding budget liaisons is listed below.  We are looking for two parents per school (one preferably from each PTO or School Council), up to four members of the community, and two parents from the Special Education Advisory Council (SEPAC).  If you are interested in becoming a budget liaison, please contact Linda Engelson, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent at linda.engelson@reading.k12.ma.us or 781-944-5800.   The deadline to submit is November 1st.

Reading Public Schools Budget Liaison Information

WHO-Community members who do not have children in the   Reading Public Schools or parents who have children in the Reading Public Schools may become a budget liaison.  We need two parents per school (one preferably from the PTO or School Council), up to four from the community at large and two parents to represent the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC).

RESPONSIBILITIES-The budget liaison responsibilities are as follows:

  • Participate in meetings with the Superintendent of Schools and Director of Finance from November-February to learn about the school department budget and the budget process.
  • Work with the Superintendent and the Director of Finance to review, critique and give input on the budget and the budget process.
  • Understand how the budget process works and be able to explain the budget and the process to other members of the community.
  • Act as a liaison between the school department and their child’s school or community by reporting back to other parents and community members both formally (PTO, School Council and SEPAC meetings) and informally.
  • Attend School Committee meetings and other relevant meetings during the budget deliberations in January and February.

WHEN-Meetings will begin in mid-November.  The month of January is a busy month with six meetings in ten days.  February will have one meeting.

The following School Committee meetings in January and February are dedicated to the FY19 budget.  The Budget parents will meet prior to these meetings.

January 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 24 (Financial Forum)

February 7 (School Committee FY19 Budget Presentation to Finance Committee Meeting)

Please note that each budget liaison does not have to attend every meeting. We would always like at least one representative from each school and community at each meeting.

Superintendent Office Hours for Week of 10/8/2017

Good Morning,

Superintendent of Schools John Doherty will be holding office hours during the following times this week:

Superintendent Office Hours

October 11        7:30-8:30 a.m.       Killam Elementary School

October 11        5:00-6:00 p.m.       Superintendent’s Office

October 12         4:00-5:00 p.m.      RMHS
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices at 781-944-5800 or at https://www.reading.k12.ma.us/about-us/contact-us/ .  Office hours are an opportunity for the Reading Community and staff to inquire or ask questions about any areas related to the Reading Public Schools.  We will try to have at least 2 opportunities for office hours each week during the school year. There is no appointment needed.
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Pathways Newsletter for Week of 10/8/2017

Good Afternoon,

We hope that you are having a great long weekend.  Below is this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  In this edition, there are the Superintendent’s remarks at the Reading Embraces Diversity Event, a press release celebrating the 10 year financial literacy partnership between Reading Memorial High School and the Reading Cooperative Bank, information about Parent University, and an article about how the arts need to be a central part of schooling.  There are also photos from Killam and Joshua Eaton.

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead!

Pathways Newsletter V4N6

 

 

 

Registration for Reading Public Schools Parent University

 

Reading Public Schools 1st Annual

Parent  University

Sponsored by

Reading Cooperative Bank Logo

Reading Public School’s first annual Parent University will be held on Saturday, October 21st from 8:00am-12:15pm at Reading Memorial High School.  Registration for Parent University’s free workshops and free childcare is available now at:

 

https://www.reading.k12.ma.us/community/adult-and-community-education/

 

The purpose of Parent University is to provide timely information to parents on a variety of topics that affect them and their children. The University will begin with a presentation by Dr. David Walsh and Erin Walsh on “Connection unleashes Children’s Potential”. Following the keynote, there will be several workshop sessions that parents can attend including topics on mindfulness, the college process, school budget 101, and raising kids in the digital age.

If you have any questions, please contact Director of Adult and Community Education Sandy Calandrella at Sandy.Calandrella@reading.k12.ma.us

 

A Message from the Superintendent of Schools to Reading Public School Staff and the Greater Reading Community Regarding the OCR Case

Dear Reading Public School Staff and the Greater Reading Community,

I feel it is important that I make our staff and community aware of a recent finding that involved the Reading Public Schools by the United States Department of Education.  This finding was presented and discussed at the September 25, 2017 School Committee meeting, by Director of Student Services Carolyn Wilson.  The presentation by Mrs. Wilson included the findings and resolution for Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Complaints that were initiated in June, 2016 at the Joshua Eaton Elementary School for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.  Those reports, and Mrs. Wilson’s presentation, can be found in the September 25th School Committee packet, located here and the RCTV recording of the meeting can be found here.

The complaints focused on two areas where it was determined that practices were essentially resulting in discrimination based on disability.  The first area of concern was that the classroom space used by the students in the special education program was not comparable to the classroom space used by students without disabilities.  The second area of concern was that the district failed to implement each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) with respect to certain provisions related to multi-sensory instruction.  After carefully considering all of the information during the investigation, OCR found sufficient evidence of a violation for the first area of concern and certain aspects of the second area of concern.  As a result of these findings, the Reading Public Schools entered a resolution agreement with those students affected.  On behalf of the Reading Public Schools, I signed that resolution agreement, effective August 31, 2017.

The results of the findings further affirms the work that we have begun in our district is necessary and important.  Two years ago, prior to receiving this Office of Civil Rights Complaint, our District began focusing our District Improvement Plan on closing the achievement gap for all students, including students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students, and English Language Learners.  Teachers and administrators have been focusing their time and resources on this very important area which affects every student in our school district.  You may have noticed that we have purchased curriculum materials over the last few years in several grades to support changes in science, mathematics, and literacy.  Our core mission as a school district is to ensure that all students have access to quality curriculum, that they are held to a high level of expectation, and that they are provided the support and/or interventions they need to make continuous growth.  Although we have made some progress in this area, we know we have further to go.

We have learned many lessons from this OCR finding and look at this process as an opportunity to improve the special education program at Joshua Eaton as well as throughout the school district.  This complaint reminds us of the need to continually evaluate all special education spaces in the district to ensure that students have comparable educational space that is appropriate to allow them to progress toward meeting their individual goals.  In addition, it is important that parents, teachers, administrators and the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) work collaboratively together to develop short term and long range plans to address the needs of our students.  Each group has a unique perspective, which collectively, will lead to effective evidenced based programs and services that benefit students.   I am committed as Superintendent of Schools to work with the School Committee to secure the necessary resources with the community to support the changes necessary to have special education programs and services where our students have the appropriate tools and skills for a successful educational experience and are prepared for the next grade, and ultimately, prepared to contribute to our community.

We will give regular updates to the School Committee and the Community on our progress.  In the meantime, we encourage staff and the greater school community to give us feedback and comments on what is working and what needs to be improved.  I encourage you to attend SEPAC meetings, Superintendent Office Hours (which are posted on our website, www.reading.k12.ma.us, each week), or by contacting Director of Student Services Carolyn Wilson at Carolyn.Wilson@reading.k12.ma.us.

Pathways Newsletter for the Week of October 1, 2017

Good Morning,

We hope all is well and you are having a great weekend.  Below is the latest edition of the Pathways Newsletter.  In this week’s edition, there is a statement from the Superintendent of Schools regarding the recent OCR case, the upcoming Reading Embraces Diversity Event, the first annual Parent University, the upcoming Reading Education Foundation Grant Workshop, an article on dyslexia in the general education classroom,  and an article on the power of retrieval practice to improve long term memory.  We also have photos from last week’s RCASA events, and Wood End.

Have a great week ahead!

Pathways Newsletter V4N5

 

Superintendent Office Hours for Week of 10/1/2017

Good Afternoon,

Superintendent of Schools John Doherty will be holding office hours during the following times this week:

Superintendent Office Hours

October 2          4:30 – 5:30 p.m.      RPS Administrative Offices

October 4          7:30 – 8:30 a.m.      Parker Middle School

October 6          1:00 – 2:00 p.m.      Birch Meadow School

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices at 781-944-5800 or at https://www.reading.k12.ma.us/about-us/contact-us/ .  Office hours are an opportunity for the Reading Community and staff to inquire or ask questions about any areas related to the Reading Public Schools.  We will try to have at least 2 opportunities for office hours each week during the school year. There is no appointment needed.