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

Final Pathways Newsletter of School Year

Good Morning, Reading Public School Community

We hope all is well and you are enjoying your weekend.  We want to wish all Fathers in our school community a Happy Father’s Day on Sunday.

Below is the final Pathways Newsletter of this school year.  This week’s articles include the following:

  • Unity Project Video
  • Disheartening Graffiti Found at Parker
  • Barrows Principal Announcement
  • Reading Public School Staff to Be Recognized on Monday
  • An Edutopia Article on Getting the Most out of Summer
  • Coolidge Field Day
  • RMHS Future Freshmen Night
  • Stepping Stones
  • Blazing Trails

As we close the school year, we want to take this opportunity to thank you, the parents and our community, for your support.  With the community support of a Proposition 2 1/2 override ballot question in April, we have turned a corner and look forward to the upcoming school year.

Have an enjoyable and relaxing summer!

 

Pathways Newsletter V4N39

Pathways Newsletter for Week of 6/10/2018

Good Afternoon, Reading Public School Community,

I hope all is well and you are enjoying this beautiful weekend.  Below, please find this week’s edition of the Pathways Newsletter.  This week’s Newsletter includes the following articles and items of interest:

  1. RMHS Graduation
  2. Update on Barrows Principal Search
  3. An Edutopia article on Summer Reading to Cultivate Your Emotional Resilience
  4. Final RMHS High Fives for the 2017-18 School Year
  5. RMHS Financial Fair
  6. Coding at Joshua Eaton
  7. Stepping Stones
  8. Blazing Trails

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead! Eight days to go!

Pathways Newsletter V4N38

Barrows Principal Finalists Announced

Good Morning, Reading Public School Community,

We are pleased to announce the four finalists for the position of Barrows Elementary Principal.  They are as follows:

  • Beth Leavitt, Grade 2 Teacher, E. Ethel Little Elementary School, North Reading, MA
  • Kari-ann Murphy, Assistant Principal, Arthur T. Cummings Elementary School, Winthrop, MA
  • Kathleen Riordan, Principal, Abbot-Downing School, Concord, NH
  • Michael Mondello, Principal, Lynnhurst Elementary School, Saugus, MA

Their resume and cover letters are attached.  There will be a Community Open Microphone session on Wednesday, June 6, beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Barrows Elementary School Cafeteria.  The interview times are as follows:

6:00 p.m.             Beth Leavitt

6:30 p.m.             Kari-ann Murphy

7:00 p.m.             Kathleen Riordan

7:30 p.m.             Michael Mondello

We would like to thank the members of the Barrows Screening Committee for all of their hard work during the interview process.  The members include:

  • Jennifer Bove, Human Resources Administrator
  • Sean Donahue, HR Generalist for Town of Reading
  • Richele Shankland, Principal Parker Middle School
  • Joanne King, Principal Wood End Elementary School
  • Carina Becker, Teacher
  • Julie Gilchrist, Teacher
  • Carole Casavant, Teacher
  • Donna Walsh, Secretary,
  • Kristen Agami, Parent

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices at 781-944-5800.

Barrows Resumes

Pathways Newsletter for Week of June 3, 2018

Good Afternoon, Reading Public School Community,

We hope all is well and you are having a great weekend.  At the link below is a copy of this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  In this week’s Newsletter, we have the following articles and information:

  • RMHS Participates in Envirothon
  • An Article from Edutopia titled, A Little Prep Goes a Long Way
  • Parker Holds Annual Cribbage Tournament
  • Greek Day at Coolidge
  • RMHS Class Day
  • RMHS Baccalaureate
  • Stepping Stones
  • Blazing Trails

Tomorrow, at 1:00 p.m. in the Walter Hawkes Field House at RMHS, approximately 300 students will be graduating from Reading Memorial High School, completing their graduation requirements.  The vast majority of these students began attending our schools 13 years ago in Kindergarten, some even longer in RISE Preschool.  Their graduation tomorrow is due to the hard work of all of our staff, our community, and most importantly, our parents and families  who have made an impact along the way.  Thank you for everything that you did for these students.

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead.

Take care.

Pathways Newsletter V4N37

Pathways Newsletter for Week of May 27, 2018

Good Afternoon, Reading Public School Community,

We hope all is well and you are enjoying your long Memorial Day Weekend.  Below is a copy of this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  In this week’s edition, you will find the following articles and information:

  • Unifying Our Community-An Article About the Unity Project
  • Upstander Training at RMHS
  • Scholastic Awards Night Honors Students and Teachers
  • Middle School Jazz Band Receives Gold Medal
  • RMHS Book Club Hosts Offer Dick Lehr
  • Reflection Garden
  • Stepping Stones
  • Blazing Trails

We are beginning to enter the home stretch with our High School graduation coming up a week from Sunday.

Have a great long weekend and week ahead!

Pathways Newsletter V4N36

Superintendent Office Hours for Week of May 20, 2018

Good Morning, Reading Public School Community,

If you have any questions about the Reading Public Schools, we encourage you to attend Superintendent of Schools John Doherty’s office hours over the next few weeks or feel free to schedule a time when we can meet.  The office hours for next week is as follows:

Superintendent Office Hours For Weeks of May 20, 2018

5.22.18  5:00 – 6:00 p.m.   Superintendent’s Office

5.25.18  7:00 – 8:00 a.m.   Coolidge

If you have any questions, please contact the Reading Public Schools administration offices at 781-944-5800 or by contact at http://www.reading.k12.ma.us/about-us/contact-us/

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead!

Take care.

 

Pathways Newsletter for Week of 5/20/2018

Good Morning, Reading Public School Community,

I hope all is well and you are enjoying your weekend.  Attached, please find this week’s edition of the Pathways Newsletter.  In this week’s newsletter, you will find the following articles and information:

  • Town and School Safety Summit on Wednesday
  • UNITY Project begins at RMHS
  • A Marshall Memo Article on 12 Ways That Teachers Can Build Resilience
  • An Edutopia Article on What My Teachers Taught Me About Teaching
  • RMHS High Fives For the Week
  • RMHS Jazz Band Performs At Berklee School of Music
  • AP Art Show
  • Stepping Stones
  • Blazing Trails

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead!

Pathways Newsletter V4N35

Reading Rotary Service Above Self Scholarship-Applications Due June 1st

Good Afternoon,

The Reading Rotary Club is offering a scholarship opportunity for students in the class of 2018 who live in the Town of Reading.  This Service Above Self Scholarship is focused on providing community service opportunities.  The details of the scholarship and the application is attached below.

If you are interested in applying, please complete the application below and sign the certification document. Submit this application to Rotary Scholarship Coordinator John Doherty by email at john.doherty@reading.k12.ma.us or mail to 82 Oakland Road, Reading, MA 01867, no later than June 1, 2017. Applications postmarked/received after June 1st will not be considered.

Reading Rotary Scholarship 2018

Pathways Newsletter for Week of May 13, 2018

Good Morning, Reading Public School Community,

I hope all is well and you are having a great weekend.  Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow to those who celebrate the day.

Attached is this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  In this week’s edition, you will find the following articles and information:

  • Reading Students Participate in Special Olympics
  • RMHS Student Recognized at Congressional Art Show
  • An article from the Marshall Memo on Using Behavioral Science to Nudge Students in the Right Direction
  • A post by Dan Rather regarding his thoughts on Teacher Appreciation Day
  • RMHS High Fives for the Week
  • Reading Teachers Step Up For Colleen
  • RMHS Food Service Staff Having Some Fun
  • Stepping Stones
  • Blazing Trails

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead!

Pathways Newsletter V4N34