Weekly District Newsletter and Superintendent’s Office Hours

Good Morning, Reading Public School Community,

I hope that you are having a great weekend.  Below, please find a copy of this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  There are a lot of amazing things going on in our district and this week’s newsletter highlights some of them.  In this week’s edition, there are the following articles and information:

  • United States Department of Education Visits Reading Public Schools
  • Killam Staff Encourage Student Attendance Through Video
  • Providing Accommodations for Students on Religious Holidays
  • RCASA Honored in Washington D.C. for National Recovery Month
  • Time to Apply for Reading Cultural Council Grant
  • An Edutopia Article on 6 Ways to Build Rapport With Students
  • RMHS Volleyball Community Service
  • Stepping Stones
  • Blazing Trails

The Superintendent’s Office hours for the next two weeks are below.  If you have any questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to reach out during those times or anytime.

9/17 Birch Meadow

           7:45 – 8:45 a.m.

9/19 Wood End

           12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

9/21 Parker

           7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

9/26 Barrows

           12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

9/27 Superintendent’s  Office

           3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Our thoughts continue to go out to those staff impacted by the gas explosions in Lawrence, North Andover, and Andover.  We hope that you are able to return to your homes soon.

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead!

Pathways Newsletter V6N3

Interim Director of Student Services Announced

Good Afternoon,

We are pleased to announce that Sharon Stewart has been appointed as the Interim Director of Student Services for the Reading Public Schools for the remainder of the 2018-19 school year.  Sharon retired in 2016 as the Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services for the Tritown School Union (Boxford, Middleton, and Topsfield)) where she was in that role for 16 years.  Sharon is very familiar with our school district, having served as a mentor for current Director of Student Services Carolyn Wilson when she first started in Reading.

Sharon will be working in the district three days a week in her role as Interim Director.  She will be coming in a few days over the next two weeks to transition in the role and will begin officially the week of October 1st.

Mrs. Stewart’s role will be focused primarily on special education.  During this year, we will be reassigning some of the non-special education duties and responsibilities that normally would be assigned to the Director to other Central Office Administrators.

A copy of Mrs. Stewart’s resume is below.  Please welcome Sharon Stewart to the Reading Public Schools!

Sharon Stewart Resume

Pathways Newsletter for Week of 9/9/2018

Good Afternoon, Reading Public School Community,

I hope you are having a great weekend.  Attached is this week’s edition of the Pathways Newsletter.  In this week’s newsletter, you will find the following articles and information:

  • Providing Accommodations for Students of Religious Holidays
  • Time to Apply for Reading Cultural Council Grants
  • An article from Edutopia on How Restorative Justice Helps Students Learn
  • Information from DESE
  • Coolidge Opening Day
  • Stepping Stones
  • Blazing Trails

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead!

Pathways Newsletter V6N2

 

Superintendent Office Hours for This Week

Each week, when school is in session, I will try to hold at least two office hours in the school district.  Office hours are an opportunity for staff and the community to discuss any Reading Public School topics.  There is no appointment necessary.  If you cannot make an office hour during a week and you would like to meet with me, feel free to contact me by email at john.doherty@reading.k12.ma.us or by phone at 781-944-5800.

The next two week’s office hours are as follows:

Superintendent Office Hours

September 10  Superintendent’s Office  4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

September 12  Joshua Eaton  12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

September 17 Birch Meadow 7:45-8:45 a.m.

September 19 Wood End  12:30-1:30 p.m.

September 21 Parker  7:30-8:30 a.m.

Superintendent Office Hours for This Week

Each week, when school is in session, I will try to hold at least two office hours in the school district.  Office hours are an opportunity for staff and the community to discuss any Reading Public School topics.  There is no appointment necessary.  If you cannot make an office hour during a week and you would like to meet with me, feel free to contact me by email at john.doherty@reading.k12.ma.us or by phone at 781-944-5800.

The next two week’s office hours are as follows:

Superintendent Office Hours

September 4    RMHS      6:45 – 7:45 a.m.

September 6    Coolidge  2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

September 10  Superintendent’s Office  4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

September 12  Joshua Eaton  12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Pathways Newsletter For Week of 9/2/2018

Good Morning, Reading Public School Community,

We hope that you are having a great Labor Day weekend! The link below, for your information, is this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  This is the 6th year of this Newsletter, which provides weekly district updates, photos, and articles that are related to the mission and vision of the Reading Public Schools.  If you have any stories, photos, or information that you would like us to put in the Pathways Newsletter, please do not hesitate to send it to Superintendent of Schools John Doherty at john.doherty@reading.k12.ma.us.

This week’s Newsletter contains the following:

  • Welcome to our new staff
  • Providing Accommodations for Students on Religious Holidays
  • An Education Week Article on Tips for Planning the First Day
  • Friends of METCO Pool Party
  • First Days of School
  • Stepping Stones
  • Blazing Trail

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead!

Pathways_Newsletter_V6N1.pdf

 

Running in Memory of Patrick A. Schettini, Jr.

Schettini Photo

Aaron Geller, nephew of former Reading Superintendent, Patrick A. Schettini, Jr., will be running the New York City Marathon in November in honor of Pat’s life and for the Project Purple charity, which donates all money to helping research and find a cure for Pancreatic Cancer. Aaron states the following on his donation page:

“This year I will be running the 2018 NYC Marathon in honor of my dear Uncle Pat who suddenly was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and passed away on December 26, 2009.  My Uncle Pat was the kindest, most selfless person I have ever known.  He was the Superintendent of Schools, he had a law school degree and passed the bar, he served on many Boards throughout town, but with all his responsibilities and hectic schedule, what stands out the most in my mind, is his undying love for me and my family and how he never missed a family or school event!   My dear Uncle was more like a father figure to me and instilled in me his incredible values as a person.  I hope he knew how much I admired him.   He taught me many valuable lessons that have shaped me into the person I am today.  I hope through me I can carry on his legacy, as this terrible disease took him too young and there was so much more he had to give. I think of him often as I go through my life and what he taught me, and I hope what he instilled in me earns me the same respect that I watched others have for him.   I am honored to raise money for a such a great charity to help fight this terrible disease that took away my uncle, my mentor and my friend.”

 

If you are interested in supporting this cause, a donation page has been created, which can be accessed  here.

Welcome Back!

August, 2018

Dear Reading Public School Families:

I hope that you had an enjoyable summer.  Welcome to the 2018-19 school year!  Each year, we are required by Federal, State, and local laws and policies to distribute certain informational flyers which are meant to inform you about your rights and your child’s rights in a public school setting.  The purpose of this letter is to inform you about where you can access that information and how you make any necessary changes to current demographic information.  This information is very important because they provide us with contact information in case of an emergency, as well as, permissions that allow your child to fully participate in educational activities.

This year for the first time, we will be asking you to make any demographic changes to your child’s information online via the parent portal.  If you are already registered through the portal, you will be receiving a specific email in the next few days with how to review and make those changes.  This will replace the pupil information card that you have completed annually.  If you are not registered for the portal, please contact your child’s school to get further guidance.

In order to conserve paper, we are only distributing to you the information that you either need to complete and return, or is required by law or school committee policy for us to distribute to you in paper copy.  Those forms will be given to your child on the first day of school.  This the medical permissions and other permissions that are required under Massachusetts General Law or School Committee policy.  Please complete the forms that are sent home and your parent portal information no later than Friday, September 7thYou can also print paper copies of these forms on the Reading Public School District Website, http://www.reading.k12.ma.us/district-information/first-day-school-fliers/ or pick up paper copies at your child’s school.

In addition, some informational flyers will not be distributed by paper and will also be posted on the link above.  If you would prefer to have a paper copy of these flyers, please contact Linda Engelson, the Administrative Assistant for the Superintendent, at 781-944-5800 or by email at linda.engelson@reading.k12.ma.us.

Please take a few moments to read these important fliers located at http://www.reading.k12.ma.us/district-information/first-day-school-fliers/ :

  1. School Committee Policy ACAB/ACAC on Harassment, Discrimination, Bullying and Hazing-This policy has been updated to reflect the Massachusetts Anti-Bullying and Gender Equity Laws.
  2. Notification of Rights under FERPA-This letter describes the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which affords parents and students over 18 years of age certain rights with respect to the student’s education needs.
  3. Directory Information-FERPA requires that the Reading Public Schools, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records.  However, the Reading Public Schools may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent unless you have advised the District to the contrary.  This letter describes the directory information and the process and has been updated since last year.
  4. Notification of Rights Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)-This letter explains the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), which affords parents certain rights regarding our conducting of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams.
  5. Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) and Children Families and Protection Act-This letter outlines procedures to notify parents and faculty under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) and the Children Families and Protection Act (Use of Pesticides).
  6. Acceptable Use Policy and Internet Safety Agreement for Students-This document explains in detail the Reading Public Schools Acceptable Use Policy and Internet Safety Agreement for Students.  Parents should read this policy carefully with their child and sign on the Pupil Emergency Card.  This document has been updated to reflect the changes that have occurred in the cyberbullying aspect of the Massachusetts Anti-bullying law.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Superintendent’s Office or your child’s school.  We look forward to working with you and educating your child during this upcoming school year.

 

Sincerely,

John F. Doherty

John F. Doherty, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Reading Fall Street Fair Seeking Volunteers

The Reading Fall Street Faire seeks volunteers to help with a variety of tasks at the Faire on Sunday, September 9, 2018.  There are many volunteer opportunities available and any amount of time you can provide will gladly be accepted.  Whether it’s setting up/marking booths in the morning prior to the start of the Faire, painting faces in the Children’s Area, directing traffic or putting on a costume, there’s something for everyone.

The Reading Fall Street Faire would not be possible without our many volunteers.  If you are interested in volunteering this year, please click on the following link to view the online sign up:

2018 Reading Fall Street Faire Volunteer Sign Up

or go to our website http://www. fallstreetfaire.com to sign up on the volunteer tab.

 

Thank you for making this this another great town event!

Reading Town Officials Issue Joint Statement Regarding Anti-Semitic Incident at Parker Middle School

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT:

June 20, 2018 Jayne Miller 781-942-6637 (o)  978-726-3359 (m)

Reading Town Officials Issue Joint Statement

Regarding Anti-Semitic Incident at Parker Middle School

Select Board issues public statement condemning anti-Semitic vandalism

READING, MA – Town Manager Robert W. LeLacheur, Jr., Superintendent of Reading Public Schools Dr. John F. Doherty, and Reading Police Chief Mark D. Segalla announce recent swift actions taken by local officials in response to anti-Semitic graffiti found at a middle school last week.  On Tuesday, June 12, at 7:50 am a student discovered a swastika and an anti-Semitic slur drawn in black permanent marker on a brick inside a vestibule in the Parker Middle School lobby. The School Resource Officer collected evidence and notified Facilities Department personnel, who removed the graffiti within 15 minutes.

Tuesday’s incident comes more than a year after two similar incidents at Reading Memorial High School in May 2017. More than a dozen incidents have occurred at district schools, as well as one at the Reading Public Library in October 2017. These incidents remain under investigation.

“We are asking for the public’s help in identifying the person or persons responsible for these hateful acts of vandalism,” said Chief Segalla.

Anyone with knowledge of any act of anti-Semitic graffiti is encouraged to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 781-944-1212. Alternatively, anyone may text an anonymous tip to the Reading Police Department or report one through the town website.

Communication efforts within the school community quickly followed Tuesday’s incident, beginning with an email from Parker Middle School Principal Richele Shankland notifying parents of the graffiti, the many steps taken by administration and teachers, and asking parents to talk to their children about the programs at the school. She later sent out another statement in her Sunday newsletter.

Superintendent Doherty also sent out a statement in his Saturday newsletter and spoke about the matter at the School Committee meeting on Monday, June 18.

“We continue to be disheartened and saddened by these events in our schools and troubled that this hate continues to exist in our community,” wrote Superintendent Doherty. “Although the events continue, we need to continue to do the work necessary to educate our students and community about the importance of fostering a safe and inclusive environment for all students. This will continue to be the focus for our schools. We also encourage families to engage in conversation about these important topics.”

Measures the schools have taken to foster an atmosphere of inclusion and acceptance include a robust core values program, A World of Difference student leaders, advisory lessons, student-led assemblies, Dr. Ornstein’s visits to all three secondary schools and curriculum-based activities.

Further, the town continues to utilize the significant resources of the New England Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League as well as collaborate with local clergy and organizations such as Reading Embraces Diversity (RED) and The Human Relations Advisory Committee (HRAC).

“The people in our departments, schools, and public safety work tremendously well together to create and sustain an atmosphere of acceptance for all,” said Town Manager LeLacheur. “These incidents are not the norm in Reading, nor do they reflect the vibrant, inclusive community for everyone who lives, works, and visits our town.”

At the June 19 meeting of the Reading Select Board, members unanimously adopted the following statement denouncing these incidents drafted by Andy Friedmann.

“The Select Board acknowledges that many Jewish people in the Reading community do not feel safe in their own town due to recurring anti-Semitic incidents, more than 10 in the past 12 months, ranging from swastikas to very threatening language such as “Gas the Jews.” The Select Board condemns the escalating occurrences of anti-Semitic vandalism that have defaced places in Reading, including our schools and public library. We recognize the deep impact these disturbing crimes have on our children, friends, and neighbors. The Board commits to increase its efforts to combat these repetitive acts of hate.”

“The Reading Police Department is committed to the safety of all people regardless of race, religion, gender, age, or any other demographic,” said Chief Segalla. “We work every day to combat hate and hateful speech across the community. We continue to vigorously investigate these terrible acts and intend to prosecute the offenders to the fullest extent of the law.”

More information on reporting an anonymous tip to Reading Police:

 Text a Tip by texting the keyword READINGPD and a message to 847411 (tip411).

 The Town website (READINGMA.gov) has more information about anonymous tips, including an anonymous reporting form, through this link: Reading Police Anonymous Tips