Sunday, August 28, 2016


PRINCIPAL'S BLOG Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Dear Reading Elementary "Rockets" Parents & Community Members,

You've heard of the "night before Christmas," well there's actually a "night before the first day of school."   All the staff are so excited about school starting up and seeing your children's smiling faces that we'll probably have a hard time sleeping until Friday night!  

Thank you to so many of you who have sent welcoming notes, e-mails, or phone calls.  It's great to be "home" in Reading. 

Due to budget restraints, a staff position was cut this year and we don't have a position to cover for early morning times, thus the reason for limiting the number of students who can arrive early.  This is the guideline the staff have established for this first month, we will review and change as funding and needs change.  Please contact Mrs. Knight directly if your child needs to arrive earlier due to your work hours.   We want to support families AND keep students safe.  

Teachers' contractural teaching day starts at 7:45 AM , and they should not have children in their classroom until that time.  Students who arrive on the bus, or for breakfast will wait in the cafeteria before everyone is dismissed to go to their classrooms at 7:45 AM.  

Other Items of Interest:

1st Day of School for our students:
  • Gr. K-6 - Wed., Aug. 31 - 7:45 AM 
  • 4 yr. old Pre-School - Thurs., Sept. 1
  • 3 yr. old Pre-School - Fri., Sept. 2.  
PTO 1st Day Breakfast This will be available to families on Wed., Aug. 31 from 7:15 - 7:45 AM. 

School Arrival Times 
  • Bussers ONLY arrive at 7:15 AM and will go the Cafeteria.
  • Breakfast served - 7:30 - 7:45 AM
  • All other students should arrive at 7:45 AM, UNLESS you are purchasing breakfast.  
  • Class Starts - 7:45 AM
PLEASE do not arrive before 7:45 AM if your child is not eating school breakfast. IF this creates a dilemma for your family because of your work hours, please contact Mrs. Knight so we can work on solving it together.  

Morning Meetings - Consistency and routine are so important for children, but also for adults.  The Reading teaching staff decided after last year to limit morning meetings to one day a week due to the frequent transitions that was disrupting learning time.  We will be having "big" morning meetings on Wednesday mornings and we hope you can join us for that.  Students will have a "dismissal" routine every day from the cafeteria.   

School Dismissal - Learning goes on until the last possible minute.  Consistency in the classroom's end-of-day routine is very important to students and staff.  Please help limit learning distractions by waiting outside for your students to be dismissed.
  • 2:35 PM - Walkers/students being picked up are dismissed by teachers .
  • 2:40 PM - Bussers dismissed.
  • 2:45 PM - Bus departs RES.
Pre-School -  We are excited to announce that our new Pre-K teacher is Ms. Kathi Faulkner, an experienced teacher from Rutland.  We will be having a "Pre-K Open House - Meet & Greet" from 5:30 - 6:30 PM on Tuesday evening.  Please stop by if you can!   There will be NO Pre-School  Wed. Aug. 31, instead the first day will be Thursday, Sept. 1  for 4 year olds and Friday, Sept. 2 for 3 year olds.   

Just to clarify, 3 year olds attend M, W, F. and 4 year olds attend T, W, Thurs.  Since both groups are together on Wed., Amy Harkins will be the paraeducator to assist with that group.  Start time is 7:30 and students will be dismissed at 11:15 and should be picked up no later than 11:30 AM. 

Bus Schedule - The schedule posted was provided by Butler Bus Company.  We understand that it will need to be tweaked as the runs are made.  We will let you know of changes as we learn of them.

2016-17 Student-Parent Handbook -  This will be published on the website soon and the new website link will be sent home in this blog. In order to promote "sustainability" and save trees, we are not providing copies for each family.   If you would like a hard copy of the handbook, please call and request one.  Otherwise, they will be on-line as a reference as soon as possible.

Emergency School Communication - The emergency parent-school communication tool is called "Blackboard Connect."  When you receive phone calls from it, it will have the Reading School phone number on it.  Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 6 PM, there will be a "TEST" message sent out.  Please call the school on Wednesday if you do not receive this phone call.   

Safety Drills - Practice make perfect - for safety's sake!  The Wed. AFTER Labor Day, we will practice our first fire drill so all Pre-K students can practice.     The second full Wed. we will be having a Lockdown Drill.  If there is ever a serious concern, we will send you a  BLACKBOARD message on your phone and your e-mail.  If you arrive to the school during a drill, please allow us to complete it. 

Emergency Forms - Parents have asked that we make these forms available BEFORE the first day of school.  We are working on uploading them to the website so you can print them out at home and send them in with your student. 
These are important forms so we can contact you in case of an emergency.  We will be sending home 1st day packets with other forms and information.   We would greatly appreciate it if you could  send them in with your child as soon as possible.  

Afterschool - At this point there is no formal after school program available through the school.  We are aware there is a need and will be trying to find alternatives.  We will keep you informed.  

Lunch Program - Reading Elementary is lucky to have the same food director, Heather Evans this year.  Her scrumptious food is something everyone looks forward to!    

The food prices have continued to rise, but there has not been a lunch price increase in many years.  This year breakfast will be $1.50; and lunch will be $2.75.  We will offer a pre-paid option - if your student lunch account is pre-paid in advance by a month, then the rate will continue at $2.50 per lunch.   There are 22 possible days to purchase lunch between now and the end of September, for a total of $60.50.  IF you pre-pay, you will only pay $55.  If your child chooses not to eat every day, then the remaining lunch balance will simply "roll-over" to the next month.  The State will reimburse us at the higher rate for those students who are eligible for free and reduced meals.  Therefore, we are receiving MORE from the State.   This was discussed and approved at the Board meeting.

Milk will be .50 at snack time or at lunch if a student is not eating school lunch.    

We will be  sending home  the form for Free/Reduced Meals and Milk In the student folder.    It is vital that every family fill this out as we as a school can qualify for extra funding if we have enough qualified families.  

Wed., Aug. 31Rice & Bean Burritos (Whole Grain Tortillas), Grapes, Shredded Romaine & Iceberg Tomatoes
Thurs., Sept. 1 - Turkey & Cheese Sandwiches on Whole Grain Bread, Sone Fruits, Spinach Salad w/Shredded Carrot, Potato Wedges
Fri., Sept. 2 - Spaghetti & Meat Balls (whole grain), Apples,  Peas & Corn

Happening this Week:
  • Tues., Aug. 30 - 5:30 - 6:30 PM - Open House for Pre-K Students
  • Wed., Aug. 31 - 1st day of school for Gr. K-6.
  • Thurs., Sept. 1 - 1st day of school for 4 year old Pre-Schoolers
  • Fri., Sept. 2 - 1st day of school - 3 year old Pre-Schoolers

Mark Your Calendar/Upcoming Events:
  • Mon., Sept. 5 - SCHOOL CLOSED - Labor Day
  • Mon., Oct. 3 - School Picture Day

Thoughts to Ponder:

Something we'll be working on at school in every class!  

(This is a weekly feature of this blog.  If you do not want your child's photo in the blog, please let the office know as soon as possible.  Student's names are not used. ) 


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