Antibullying Plan Draft Released

Over the last several weeks, the Reading Public Schools anti-bullying committee has developed a draft of the anti-bullying plan that will be submitted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in late December as required by law.  This draft plan will be presented at the Reading School Committee meeting on Monday evening.  The plan is now available for public comment.  There are several ways that you can give input to the plan.  One way is to post your thoughts on this blog.  Another way is to complete the public comment form, which will be available next week.  A third way is to attend one of the community forums, which will be held on November 9 (Parker), November 16 (Killam), and November 29 (Superintendent’s Office).  All three community forums begin at 6:30 p.m.  We will also be discussing the FY12 budget at these forums.   Another way is that you can email your comments directly to Assistant Superintendent Patty de Garavilla at Finally, Mrs. de Garavilla is convening a group of parents to give input on the plan.  If you are interested in being a part of that group, contact her directly.

During the month of November, we will be receiving feedback on the plan, making the necessary revisions, and presenting a final plan to the Reading School Committee and the Community in early December.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Patty de Garavilla at 781-944-5800 or at

Stepping Stones….

Here are some other events going on in our schools:

1.  Reading School Committee Meeting on Monday, November 1st-The Reading School Committee will hold a regular session meeting on Monday, November 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Reading Memorial High School Library Media Center.  You can access the agenda and packet here.  There will be monthly office hours in the Superintendent’s Office prior to the meeting from 6:00-7:00 p.m.  At the meeting, there will be a presentation of a draft of the anti-bullying plan, as well as, a presentation by RMHS teachers Janet Dee and Sharon Burke on the different ways that Reading Memorial High School is integrating technology.

2.  RMHS Drama Club Fall Show Opens November 13-Students from the RMHS Drama Club are busy rehearsing for their upcoming production of  The Scarlet Pimpernel.  The show, set in the early stages of the French Revolution, combines mystery, comedy, intrigue and engaging music.  I was able to get a sneak preview of the show and the acting, costumes, props, and music are amazing.  Show dates are November 13, 19, and 20 at 7:30 p.m. and November 14 and 21 at 3:00 p.m.  You can purchase tickets during box office hours:  Tuesday through Thursdays from 6:00-7:00 p.m., or by mailing RMHS Drama, P.O. Box 432, Reading, MA 01867.  More information can be found on the RMHS website:  Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students.  Please come and support the arts in Reading and be part of the excitement!

3.  METCO Elementary Update-We are pleased to announce that beginning this Wednesday, we have been able to arrange bus transportation so that the elementary METCO students will be able to spend Wednesday afternoons in Reading either participating in their school’s extended day program or going over to a friend’s house.  If you would like to host a METCO elementary student at your home on Wednesday afternoons from 12:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., please contact your child’s building principal or METCO Director Jesenia Castro at  

3.  Coolidge Middle School Receives a Surprise Thank You from Afghanistan-For the past five years, Coolidge Middle School has collected items and sent “care packages” from Coolidge to our troops who are stationed overseas. Coolidge Teacher, Amy Kasprzak, and her colleagues have coordinated the efforts; and Ms. Kasprzak’s brother, Major Robert Pawlak, currently overseas in Afghanistan, has helped by giving her addresses of people stationed in remote locations. The other day the Coolidge Community was surprised by a very long distance phone call from Captain Robert Williams, and in a follow-up email letter with photos, he expressed heartfelt and very enthusiastic thanks from all of his team in a very remote section of Afghanistan.

Captain Williams writes, “On behalf of the Nagahan Village Stability Team I would like to express our deepest appreciation for your care package that we received on 26 Oct 2010. Your thoughts and well wishes have added a few more smiles to our daily routine, and possible a few more cavities as well! As deployed soldiers we always have our loved ones and family back home with us. We carry photos, email when we can, and make the occasional phone calls in order to feel just a little closer to those things we cherish and miss while we are deployed. These are things we plan for, and we accept as part of our duty. Unexpected, uncontrolled, unsolicited acts of kindness from those friends we have yet to meet however are not planned for, and the impact is enormous. Your actions are truly reflective of a compassionate and caring School Staff and Student body.”

In total, Coolidge shipped out twelve boxes, with a total weight of 568 lbs, to our troops in Afghanistan. Each box ranged from 40 – 50 lbs and had a little bit of everything in it. Major Robert Pawlak provided twelve addresses for remote locations along the Pakistan border and in the Helmand province.  This is another example of how these types of efforts are alive and thriving in our schools.   

5.  A special thank you to the Verrier family for hosting a neighborhood coffee last Friday morning. 

Have a safe Halloween!

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