Sunday, January 22, 2017

What's up with the BMI Screening?

Families in grades 1 and 4 will be receiving a letter from Nurse Rose about upcoming health screenings.

The BMI screenings that will be taking place with Nurse Rose soon come from a Massachusetts General Law that mandates schools provide health screenings for students (M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 57 and 105 CMR 200.000). Regulations requiring BMI screening for students in grades 1, 4, 7, and 10 (or of comparable age) were implemented by the state for all public school districts about 7 years ago. 

The purpose is to provide information that families may need to support their child’s health as well as provide the state ongoing data about health trends of children in the state to inform their work as well. The information reported by the schools helps MA Department of Public Health target necessary areas of education and resources.

Although we are required by state law to perform these screenings, families always have the option to opt-out (as it is written into the regulations as well!) 

If you are curious to learn more, please feel free to check out the guidelines here:
Image result for healthy student clipart

Friday, January 13, 2017

FY18 Budget Information from Elementary Principals

January 10, 2017
Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Impacts on Elementary Schools

As many of you know, Dr. Doherty presented the Superintendent’s Recommended Budget for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 18) to the School Committee on Monday, January 9th. The budget is complex and detailed. There are three more School Committee meetings to review the budget with a final vote scheduled for January 26th.

Over the next month, the elementary principals will share information about the FY 18 budget and its impact on elementary schools. We hope to provide you with accurate information that will answer some of your questions. We will be highlighting specific parts of the budget that affect elementary schools. We encourage parents to attend the School Committee meetings to hear a more in-depth presentation of the budget impacts across the district.

Several recommended reductions from last night’s presentation are of particular interest to elementary parents.

  • There is a recommended reduction of 2.0 full time equivalent elementary teachers.
  • Prior to 2013, full day kindergarten para-educators were scheduled for 19 hours per week in each kindergarten classroom. In 2013, their hours were increased to 28 hours per week. In the FY 18 recommended budget, full day kindergarten para-educator hours will be returned to the pre-2013 allotment of 19 hours per week. Half day kindergarten para-educators will work 12.5 hour per week.
  • The Instructional Mathematics Coach position has been removed from the recommended budget. This coach provides support with assessment planning, instructional planning, and professional development to teachers from kindergarten to 5th grade.

For complete budget information please review the Reading Public Schools website at We will continue to provide accurate and up-to-date information regarding the FY ’18 budget on the district and individual school websites. If you have questions you can contact your school principal.

Heather Leonard, Barrows Principal
Julia Hendrix, Birch Meadow Principal
Eric Sprung, Eaton Principal
Sarah Leveque, Killam Principal
Joanne King, Wood End Principal