Sunday, October 30, 2011

Food Pantry Collection

Dear Families,
As we approach this busy time of year, it is important to remind ourselves of all that we have to be thankful for. That being said, it is also very important to remind ourselves that there are people that are not as fortunate as we are. We have been in contact with the Reading Food Pantry and have decided to run a school wide food drive. I am attaching the list of items that are needed and not needed at this time. Please, if you are able to do so, send in some of the items on the list, place them in the designated container in your child’s classroom and we will forward them to the Reading Food Pantry. Your thoughtfulness, kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated!
The Kindergarten and Third Grade Team
Suggested Classroom Food Pantry Donations:


Instant and canned potatoes

Mandarin oranges

Any canned fruits

Granola bars

Corned beef hash

Beef Stew


Canola cooking oil

Instant or Regular rice (brown or white)

100% Juice boxes


Clam or corn chowder

Paper Products of any type

Laundry detergent

Dish detergent


*Any and all donations are greatly appreciated

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

High School presents "Modern Millie"

The RMHS drama club came to Birch Meadow to introduce our students to the show Thoroughly Modern Millie. Thank you to the High School for the performace. The show will be coming to RMHS in November. More pictures can be seen on the Birch Meadow Shutterfly page.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Monster Mash and Spooky Fun Fair

We have lots of pictures from this past weekend. Monster Mash and Spooky Fun Fair were a big success. Pictures are here and on the Birch Meadow shutterfly page. We have additional pictures from this snapfish page of Monster Mash. Thank you to Pam Keating for sharing her pictures. Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers who made these events possible!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Birch Meadow students experienced the Food Play assembly last week. Thank you to the PTO for bringing this program to our school. Ask your child the difference between and "WHOA FOOD" vs. "GO FOOD". The program provided good information and reminders about making good choices about what you eat. You can see a few pictures below and many more on our Birch Meadow Shutterfly Site.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ms. Simon in Africa

The following pictures are from the summer experience of Maria Simon, Birch Meadow kindergarten teacher, teaching in Africa. If you are interested in more pictures or hearing about her experience please send an e-mail to Ms. Simon.

647 Our team had a lovely musical send off from the children at our last school, Ziga Primary. My first grade friends are in the front row. Leaving them was bittersweet!

567 These are the Mpindo Primary School dancers. They performed at our end of the week assembly. We couldn't resist joining them, which was fun and maybe funny!

Here I am with Patricia. She was my first grade guest teacher, at Kapane Primary School. She teaches grade one and has 47 students in her class. The classroom is also shared with grades zero and two!

These are my grade one friends at Jabulani Primary School. It is a grade zero through eight school, but only has three classrooms. The youngest two grades (that I taught) have to learn outside. There simply isn't enough classroom space. Jabulani is in Victoria Falls and is just twenty minutes away from a fairly well funded private school.

Message from Asst. Superintendent - Patty de Garavilla

Elementary Standards-Based Report Cards
Parent Informational Update #1

This year, Reading Public Schools is implementing the new Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks for both English/Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics for PreK-12. These new standards include the Common Core State Standards which has been adopted by most states across the United States. Each grade level and subject area has specific standards for students to master by the end of the school year. Our teachers will focus on these as we support the goal of the Common Core which is to prepare students for college and career.
This year you will notice a new system of assessment for our K-5 students that is correlated to the new standards and expectations for mastery. Teachers will now report out student progress using the indictors of” Exceeds the Standard”,” Meets the Standard”, Progressing Toward the Standard”, and Beginning to Develop the Standard”. This system will be used with classroom assessments. You will no longer see scores reported out with letter grades or as percentages.
This will also be true of the new standards-based report card which will be introduced this year in grades K-5. This system will provide you with much greater detail on what your child is learning and his/her progress towards mastery. Please watch for more information on our standards-based grading and report cards over the next few weeks. We hope that this information will contribute to a smooth transition from the former report cards to the new.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Planting at Birch Meadow

Thank you to the following parents and families who helped by cleaning our courtyard garden and planting new flowers. Some of these volunteers were working for more than 6 hours! Thank you to Aji Gnanaratnam and Mahoney's Garden Center in Tewksbury for donating the plants and flowers!

Gnanaratnam family
Jean Williams
Trey Skehan
Jodi Fox
Nancy and Bill Benson

Monday, October 3, 2011

Responsibilty is our character trait this month

As you know, Birch Meadow’s behavior program is focusing on 6 themes of character this year: Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Sportsmanship, Cooperation, and Caring.

Responsibility is the character trait we will be focusing on this month. A special thank you goes to our 5th graders who introduced our guest speaker, superintendent of schools Dr. John Doherty. Dr. Doherty talked about his responsibilities as the superintendent and allowed students to share how they will be responsible at home and school. Teachers and staff will be rewarding students showing Responsibility and we are encouraging parents to do the same at home. Your child will be bringing home a bear this week. Please reward your child when you see him/her showing Responsibility by filling out the bear with your child’s name, room number and what they did to show RESPONSIBILIITY. The bear will be added to the other bears in a container in the office and posted in the lobby. Mr. Sprung will read one bear from each grade level at our next assembly.

The bear will be returned to you at the end of the month. Thank you for your cooperation with this program, and we look forward to reading how your child has shown Responsibility at home!