The Latest at Lowell
Update from the Principal
Miigwech, saludos and greetings, Lowell Families!
I want to briefly introduce myself as the new principal at Lowell Elementary. This is my 17th year in education. I have primarily worked as a high school Spanish teacher across three states (Washington, Arizona and Minnesota), in many different districts and across a variety of educational settings. I am honored to work with this amazing community.
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted many different aspects of our lives and has had profound consequences for educational communities. There are many unknowns in our world. I have been impressed by the resilience and flexibility which our students, families, staff and community have shown in the last months. Teachers are going into their classrooms and planning with a new sense of innovation and creativity. Families are showing patience and joining forces as never before. Community organizations are stepping up to help those in need. This will be a very different school year, but together we can make it a great, and memorable one.
As we get closer to the start date of September 8, I hope your family is able to feel the back-to-school excitement that usually fills conversations and social media around Labor Day. I hope your student eagerly runs to the mailbox when their teacher assignments are delivered in the next week. I hope your student excitedly wonders who will be in class with them. And I hope your student gets to feel the joy that only comes with being a part of a loving school community.
See you soon, weweni, and hasta pronto,
- Stephanie Portner - As our new Kindergarten teacher, Stephanie comes to us from the Preschool program at Stowe Elementary
- Stephanie Lorek - Stephanie is new to the second grade Spanish Immersion team and brings experiences from New Mexico and the East Coast
- Alexa Jokinnen - As we continue to add grade levels to the Nueva Visión Spanish Immersion program, Alexa will be our fourth grade teacher.
- Shaleen Cameron - As our new first grade teacher, Shaleen has a strong background in reading and we look forward to the assets she will bring to the staff
- Our Misaabekong Ojibwe Immersion program is hiring for a Cultural Intergration Teacher. This teacher will be a valuable asset to our community.
- Kelsey Holt - Kelsey will be moving from first to fourth grade this year
Teacher assignments and A/B Groupings
- Teacher assignments will go out by the end of next week
- A/B groupings are currently being run through the district office in order to coordinate transportation, busing capacities, same day placement for siblings, and to ensure sure A/B class sizes stay lower than 16. We are trying to send these in the same mailing as teacher assignments
September 8, first day of school
September 8 is the first day of school. All students will participate in digital learning. They will be interacting with their teacher virtually. Some activities will include:
- Welcome activities with teachers
- Relationship building
- Training in internet safety
- Introduction to new digital learning platforms (Seesaw, Canvas)
- Introduction to content and curriculum
- Setting expectations for learning and COVID-19 safety protocols
- Kindergarten students and families will meet their teachers
During the week of September 14 - 18, students will jump into content and move forward with learning objectives focusing around math, reading, social studies and math. This initial segment of digital learning will last through September 18.
Please reference this page for further information:
- Students will be assigned either AA (Monday/Tuesday) or BB (Thursday/Friday) groups
- Specialists (art, media, music, phy. ed) will rotate on a four day rotation
- When students are learning from home, they will interact with their teacher and classroom materials on Seesaw, our new Learning Management System
- Students will need a computer or device to use and access internet from home, the district will be providing Chromebooks to families that need devices
COPPA form - Necessary before logins and computer access can begin
Mailing Address - Lowell Elementary, 2000 Rice Lake Rd, Duluth, MN 55811
Email - email@example.com
Fax - 218-336-8895
Drop off hours - 7:15 am - 3:30 pm
Daycare - Emergency and After school care
- If both parents/guardians are Tier 1 essential workers, your student(s) will qualify for the free school-hours based care at the middle school sites. See this link for more information and to register. https://www.isd709.org/updates/emergency-child-care-fall-2020
- For after-school care on the days your student attends school, KEYZONE will be running the program. See this link for more information and to register https://www.isd709.org/programs-services/key-zone-school-age-child-care
Back to school/Open House
We are still planning this schedule and more information will be shared ASAP.
Some COVID-19 Safety Protocols
Code of Conduct: Our school community during in-person learning is expected to follow all public health guidelines, protocols, and procedures
Face Coverings are required by all students, staff, and visitors in ALL Duluth school buildings.
Hygiene and Sanitizing Breaks will be scheduled at staff discretion throughout the day
Social distancing: Students and staff will practice 6' distancing throughout all areas of the school, including before and after school.
Staff and student COVID testing: ISD 709 has received assistance from Regional Support Teams including the MN Department of Health, MN Department of Education, regional service cooperatives and local public health to determine appropriate safety precautions for a safe opening of schools.
Health screening and reporting: Each building will implement passive screening, meaning families will need to check student temperatures and symptoms and staff will check their own temperatures and look for symptoms before coming to school.
Quarantining and school closures: Decisions will be made in collaboration with St. Louis County Public Health and ISD 709 District Administration.
Medical Safe room - If staff observe a student experiencing symptoms, the student will be moved to an isolation area for assessment. If appropriate, parents will be notified to pick up their child.
Ventilation: System checks have been made to air systems to maximize fresh air flow each hour
From the MN Department of Health: Screen and Check Your Symptoms Every Day
If you have any of these symptoms, go home, stay away from other people, and contact your health care provider. Employees are asked to contact their supervisor and families are asked to contact their school
- Fever or Feeling Feverish
- A New Sore Throat
- New Muscle Aches
- A New Cough
- New Headache
- Shortness of Breath
- New Loss of Smell or Taste