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,

Eve Hessler

Teacher Updates

This year we also welcome:
  • 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

We are working hard to align all of the moving pieces and appreciate your patience. I know this is much later than normal.
  • 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:

https://www.isd709.org/fall-planning-2020

Hybrid Learning

On September 21, student will begin their hybrid groups. Here are the main points:


  • 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

Attached you will find the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) form. We will be pushing this hard to our families. Please download it, complete it, then mail, fax, email or drop it off at the school as soon as you can. We cannot give out logins, passwords or any other computer access information until we have a hard copy marked off in our records.


Mailing Address - Lowell Elementary, 2000 Rice Lake Rd, Duluth, MN 55811

Email - cathy.holman@isd709.org

Fax - 218-336-8895

Drop off hours - 7:15 am - 3:30 pm

Daycare - Emergency and After school care

Back to school/Open House

We will not be hosting an Open House this year due to COVID guidance, however, we are going to provide a chance for your to connect with your children's teacher(s), check out chromebooks, and complete any necessary paperwork.


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
  • Chills
  • New Muscle Aches
  • A New Cough
  • New Headache
  • Shortness of Breath
  • New Loss of Smell or Taste