Graffiti Incident Reported on Oakland Road

Dear Reading Community,

Over the weekend, a member of the community reported to the Reading Police Department that there was additional graffiti in the form of a swastika symbol etched onto the wooden fence on the street side of Oakland Road adjacent to the RMHS Fine and Performing Arts side of the Reading Memorial High School property.  The etched swastika was enclosed in the shape of a window, with the word “no” in front of it.  It is unclear when the swastika was etched onto the fence and the incident is currently under investigation by the Reading Police Department.

As we have mentioned in previous communication to you over the last few months regarding other graffiti related incidences, there is no place for these types of hateful actions in the Reading Public Schools or in our community.  During the summer, the graffiti incidents from last spring have been on the forefront of our planning for this upcoming school year.  In June, Superintendent of Schools John Doherty and Deputy Chief David Clarke met with members of the Jewish Community to discuss the graffiti incidents and to listen to their concerns and possible next steps.  The school department has been updating the Bullying Prevention Plan which will be implemented this upcoming school year to address issues of bullying, harassment, and bias incidents.  Both the Town and Schools are working closely with the Anti-Defamation League in how we can create a more inclusive community that respects differences.  In addition, the Reading Clergy Association has been working with a planning group of Town, School, and Community members to plan events in the fall that will address these issues.  They will be communicating in the near future when the first event will take place.  Although this graffiti incident happened outside of the school year, we will continue to use these situations as teachable moments for our students and help them understand the impact of these types of hateful actions and poor decisions.  Finally, we will continue to work closely with the Reading Police Department and the Town of Reading to address these and any future issues.

If you have any questions or information regarding this incident, please contact the Reading Police Department at 781-944-1212.

John F. Doherty, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Reading Fall Street Faire Volunteer Signup

Good Afternoon,

The Reading Fall Street Faire is seeking volunteers to help with a variety of tasks at the Faire on Sunday, September 10, 2017.  There are many volunteer opportunities available and any amount of time you can provide will be gladly 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:

http://www.signupgenius.com/ go/20f054ea5ad2aa6fb6-2017

 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!

Register Early for 8th Annual Fall Street Faire 5K Road Race

The following press release is from the Reading Rotary Club who is a major supporter of the Reading Public Schools.

The 8th Annual Fall Street 5k Race will take place at Washington Park, 100 Washington Street, at 8:30 am on September 10. The race takes place before the Fall Street Faire festivities, which begin at noon. Lori Haverty of Tread & Tread on the Mill, who has been involved in planning the race in previous years, is coordinating the race sponsored by the Rotary Club of Reading.

The 5k race has played a popular role in the Faire since 2010 and is a great way for friends and neighbors to get together for some fun and friendly competition after the summer recess. The course for the race is moderate, not only approachable for casual runners, but also a great speed challenge for the pros. Children are encouraged to run with their families. The course starts at Washington Park and winds through some of Reading’s most beautiful neighborhoods, including Hillcrest Avenue, Oak Street, Walnut Street and Summer Avenue.

“I am happy to be back at the helm planning a family race at the Street Faire. We are looking forward to families running together to make the race an annual family-friendly community event,” said Haverty. “While we hope for a cool September morning, this event is rain or shine. Besides, running in the rain is fun!”

There will be a brief awards ceremony at Washington Park following the race. The times to beat are 15:57 for males and 19:40 for females.

Bib numbers and registration packages will be available at Tread on the Mill, 13 High Street, in the back of the lot behind Square Liquors, on Friday, September 8, from 2-4 pm, or Saturday, September 9, from 10:15 am to noon or at Washington Park on the day of the race at 7:30 am. The first 200 registrants will receive race T-shirts, so register early!

“Prizes for our race winners will be given out during the ceremony, but, don’t leave yet! You will want to stay for food, drinks, kids’ activities, live music, a chili cook-off, antique car show and so much more at the 9th Annual Fall Street Faire from noon to five,” added Lori.

Cost to participate is $25 and there are no refunds. Runners should arrive at Washington Park at 8:15 for a prompt 8:30 start. Register online at http://www.fallstreetfaire.com.

Survey Opportunity from Board of Selectmen

Good Morning,

The following message is from the Town of Reading in relation to a survey opportunity for our community.

In October 2016 the Board of Selectmen (BOS) placed a Ballot Question in front of Reading voters, asking for an operational Override, for the first time since 2003. About 37% of Reading voters turned out at the polls and by a margin of 59%-41% voted NO to this question at a Special Election. The BOS is considering placing another operational Override question before the voters at the annual Town Election in April 2018.  To help guide their deliberations, the Selectmen are asking for your assistance by completing the following survey link below.  The survey is anonymous, and space is provided at the end to ask questions or bring ideas forward.  Paper copies of the survey are available at the Reading Town Hall, Reading Public Library, and Reading Senior Center.

Thank you very much for your consideration and for your assistance.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ReadingBOS

First Lego League Registration-Deadline is July 14th.

The Reading Public Schools will proudly be again offering First Lego League in our school district during the 2017-18 school year.  Below is the information about the league and the registration information.  The Deadline to Register is Friday, July 14th.  

On your mark, get set, flow!
Drink in the 2017/2018 HYDRO DYNAMICSSM season and learn all about water – how we find, transport, use, or dispose of it. In the 2017/2018 FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge, students age 9 to 16* from 80 countries will make a splash with HYDRO DYNAMICS. What might become possible when we understand what happens to our water?  For more information about this challenge, please visit:  https://www.firstinspires.org/node/3461

Lego League

How to Register & Pay

  • Registration forms can be accessed at the following link:   Hydro Dynamics Lego League Registration Form (003).
  • Send in payment and registration form with your child to school in an envelope marked First LEGO  League Program. Please make checks payable to the Town of Reading.

*Visa cards are not accepted*

  • By Mail:

Reading Community Education

82 Oakland Road

Reading, MA 01867

For further information, please contact Ann Marie Johnson at

Annmarie.johnson@reading.k12.ma.us or 781-942-9136

Superintendent Office Hours for the Week of June 18, 2017

Superintendent of Schools John Doherty will be offering office hours during the following day and time next week:

Superintendent Office Hours For the Week of 6/18/2017

Thursday June 22 (2:00 – 3:00 p.m.) – RPS Administrative Offices

Friday June 23 (7:30 – 8:30 a.m.) – RPS Administrative Offices

All are welcome to attend.  If you have any questions, please contact the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices at 781-942-5800 or by contact at http://www.reading.k12.ma.us/about-us/contact-us/

Final Pathways Newsletter for the 2016-17 School Year

Good Morning, Reading Public School Community,

I hope all is well and you are enjoying your weekend.  Happy Father’s Day!  This is the final Pathways Newsletter of the 2016-17 school year.  In this week’s edition, there is a thank you note to all of you, a story about the RMHS Underclassman Awards Ceremony, a story about the Barrows Elementary School raising funds for the victims of the Sanborn Street Fire, MTSS in our High School, and How Mindfulness and Psychological First Aid Combats Student Anxiety.  We also have photos from Parker, RMHS, Birch Meadow, and Killam.

Enjoy the last two days of school and have a restful and relaxing summer break!

Pathways Newsletter V3N39

Superintendent Office Hours For Week of June 11, 2017

Superintendent of Schools John Doherty will be offering office hours during the following day and time next week:

Superintendent Office Hours For the Week of 6/11/2017

Monday June 12 (5:00 – 6:00 p.m.) – RPS Administrative Offices

Wednesday June 14 (5:00 – 6:00 p.m.) – RPS Administrative Offices

Thursday June 15 (7:30 – 8:30 a.m.) – Wood End Elementary School

All are welcome to attend.  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/

Pathways Newsletter for Week of June 10, 2017

Good Afternoon, Reading Public School Community,

We hope all is well and you are enjoying this beautiful weekend!  Attached is this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  There are several great activities going on in our district right now and this week’s edition captures many of them.  In this week’s edition, there is an article about last week’s RMHS graduation, an update on the level consolidation at the secondary level, teachers who have been recognized for reaching milestones, the RMHS Financial Fair Simulation that was held this past week, How Coolidge and Parker implement MTSS, RMHS Students participating in the Memory Project, a Coolidge Student who will be on the Channel 7 News Segment Class Act, and an article from Ed Week on Finishing Strong.  We also have several retirement photos and photos from Parker, Coolidge, High School, Wood End, Facilities, Killam and RISE.

Enjoy the beautiful weather and have a great week!

Take care.

Pathways Newsletter V3N38

Superintendent’s Remarks-RMHS Graduation

Below is the text of the speech given by Superintendent of Schools John Doherty at the RMHS graduation on Sunday, June 4, 2017.

RMHS Graduation 27

RMHS Class of 2017

High School Graduation Speech-Dr. John F. Doherty
Mr. Bakr, School Committee Members, Fellow Administrators and Faculty, Family and Friends of the Graduates, students, other guests, and most importantly, members of the Graduating Class of 2017, it is with great pride that I address you today as you complete your graduation requirements for the Reading Public Schools and begin the next leg of your journey.  This is my 8th graduation speech as Superintendent and I continue to be impressed with the accomplishments of each graduating class.  As the class of 2017, you have reached milestones and achievements as students, engineers, scientists, athletes, musicians, actors and actresses, and artists.  It is evident by these accomplishments and what we see each and every day from you that our future is in very good hands.

I also want to thank the Class of 2017 because after 8 years, you have helped me reach a milestone as well…I finally made the Main Street Countdown.  The pictures of me are not too flattering, but I will take it.  Thank you for including me in your memories.

Your class has also reached another set of milestones.  According to long-time resident Bill Brown, today’s RMHS graduation is the 150th in Reading History, the 60th on this property, and the 10th in this renovated high school.  Today, you are all a part of history and if we assume on average 300 graduates each year, approximately 45,000 students have graduated from a Reading High School.  By the end of today, 3,317 students will have graduated during the last 10 years. Certainly, our community, our country, and our world have changed since the graduating classes of 1867, 1957, or even 2007.  There is, however, one area that I believe has become more and more of a priority to our society as time has gone on and that is providing service.  I know that many of you have volunteered during your four years at RMHS to help others who are in need.    Today, I would like to focus my remarks on the importance of service and highlight how you have experienced service in your lives.

RMHS Graduation 1

RMHS Principal Adam Bakr

One organization that is very familiar with service is Rotary International, one of the largest community service organizations in the worId.  Rotary’s motto is “service above self” and I have had the privilege of being a member of Reading’s Rotary Club for the last five years.  Some of you have been members in the Rotary-sponsored student Interact Club which has participated in many community service projects—and I have had the privilege of working with you as well.  I have seen first-hand through this organization the importance of providing service and receiving service in our daily lives.

Why is community service so important?  When we participate in service activities, we are improving the quality of life for others by giving back to the greater good of the community.  This type of work ultimately makes our entire community stronger.   In addition, volunteering develops interpersonal skills and promotes good will.  When we volunteer, we reap the benefits because it allows us to appreciate and respect the differences that each of us have. This in turn  helps us develop a greater empathy and understanding for one other.  Service activities gives you the opportunity to discover who you are and the type of person you want to be.  As the leader of the Indian Independence Movement, Ghandi once wrote, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

RMHS Graduation 23

RMHS Class President Timothy O’Sullivan

Providing service can look different in many ways.  Your teachers, administrators, coaches, and advisors, many of whom are here today from as far back as when you were in kindergarten, have dedicated their lives to providing service above themselves to prepare you and give you the skills that you need to live and contribute in a democratic society. Our police officers, fire fighters, and military personnel risk their lives each and every day to provide service to our community and to keep our country safe and secure.

But perhaps the greatest example of service can be found in your parents, grandparents, and other significant adults in your life who have modeled service for you during your entire life.  They have provide you with support, boundaries (even when you did not think you needed them) and their love.  They have educated you and prepared you for this very moment so that you are now prepared to take the next steps in your journey.  I am sure that they have a treasure chest of those memories which they have stored in their hearts and minds for days like today.

RMHS Graduation 5

RMHS Chorus Singing at Graduation

Your parents remember your firsts; such as the first day of kindergarten and the first time that you read a book.  They remembered every new school year as you began a new grade.  This year’s first day of school may have been particularly difficult because it was your last first day of school before high school graduation.  They also remember when you began participating in your first activities.  It may have been dance, scouts, music, or sports, followed by your first recital, your first badge ceremony, your first art show, your first choral or instrument performance or your first sporting event.  These same people have also been there for your setbacks and disappointments, ones they wished you did not have to experience, but they were there for you, providing guidance, advice, comfort, and sometimes just a shoulder to cry on.

Your families have volunteered their time at many of your events and supported your fundraising efforts.  Some have sold refreshments and raffle tickets, others have coached your teams, and probably all have driven you back and forth from one activity to another.  They were there for many parts of your school life attending parent teacher conferences, PTO meetings, and keeping track of your progress.  Which brings us to this year, when all of the firsts became lasts:  your last game, your last dance recital, your last concert, your last performance, and your last day of high school.  All of these times, whether it was a first or a last, have provided both you and your parents with so many wonderful memories. Each of  them should prove to you that your years of hard work and their years of support and guidance have been worth the effort and time.  They have done their best to coach you, nurture you, challenge you, and encourage you to believe in yourself and in your abilities.  The role they will now play in your lives may change, but they will always be an important part of your lives and as they step back a bit, but continue to provide the guidance and support you will need.  This is the ultimate meaning of “service above self.”

RMHS Graduation 2

RMHS Jazz Band Performs at Graduation

Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

As the Class of 2017 you have embraced Dr. King’s words and have provided countless hours of service to promote good will or improve the quality of life for someone in the community.  I would like to share a few of the many examples from your class.

Anna Barbo has one of the highest numbers of documented volunteer hours in your class volunteering at the Lazarus House, Project Bethlehem, Bridge to Hope, Nutrition Mission, teaching CCD, and working with students at the Killam Elementary School.  Akshita Rao has volunteered countless hours of her time educating students in science and engineering at the Museum of Science, our FIRST LEGO League, and middle school science Olympiad teams. She has performed dance fundraiser events and charity shows to raise money for Akshaya Patra (a non-profit organization that provides meals to 1.6 million children in India every day) and the American Nepal Medical Foundation, specifically contributing to disaster relief from the recent earthquakes. Emily Allardi has volunteered her time with A World of Difference, Girls Rising to raise funds for college tuitions for girls who cannot afford to attend college, the Reading Food Pantry, and as a soccer coach for the EMARC Special Olympics.  Ian Ballou has volunteered his time for several years also at EMARC teaching kids with disabilities how to swim.  Erin Hamlin has volunteered for several summers at Lahey Hospital, Cradles to Crayons, an organization that provides children who live in low-income and homeless situations with the essential items they need to thrive, and has been part of their Teen Leadership Corps since she was a freshman and served as a Team Captain for the program.  Celina Bove has volunteered more than 200 hours at Winchester Hospital plus countless hours of service to RMHS as a four-year class officer.  Jessica Squires, Catherine Grayson, and Ruthie Wilson have been a supportive voice on the Human Relations Advisory Committee and A World of Difference Club in advocating for respect for others and their support of a Human Rights Resolution in our community and in our school.  Nick Miele, Liam Dwyer, Ryan Driscoll, Ryan Melley, James Reilly, Matt Thomson, and Kevin Tobin have spent the last three winters volunteering countless hours in inclement weather to shovel walks and driveways for our senior citizens and those in our community who are disabled. Allie Foley, Jamie Azulay (As-u-lay), Sam Johnson, Austin Counihan, John Eldridge and Katie McKenna have been dedicated members of the Interact Club, volunteering their time at soup kitchens like Rosie’s Place in Boston, My Brother’s Table in Lynn, and Sunday Breakfast Mission in Philadelphia while also raising money for worthwhile causes such as eradicating polio in our world. These students that I have highlighted are only a few of the many examples of the Class of 2017 who are unsung heroes among us today.  It reaffirms my belief that our future is in very good hands.

So Class of 2017, regardless of what your plans are for next month or next year, I encourage you to continue to embrace volunteering your time to provide service to help others. The problems in our world and in our society are becoming increasingly complex and challenging, so the more we reach out and help others, the better our world will be.  Think about how different our world could be if each of us gave a little time to help others.  My challenge to you is simple, but impactful.  No matter what path you take, always include service activities and helping others as part of your journey.  You will never regret the difference that you can make.

In a few short minutes, you will be receiving your diploma which symbolizes a successful culmination of your Reading Memorial High School experience.  As you walk towards this stage, receive your diploma and shake the hands of School Committee Chair Jeanne Borawski and School Committee Vice Chair Charles Robinson, reflect and remember on your Reading Public School experience. Think about how you can use the power of service to make a positive difference in this world.  As Dr. Seuss once wrote in his book the Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.”  We look forward to hearing about and seeing where your journey will take you, and how each of you will make this world a better place for you and future generations.  We are rooting for you.

Class of 2017, on behalf of your parents, family, educators, and the entire Reading Community, I congratulate you on your graduation.  I wish you good fortune and much success on your journey ahead.

Thank you.