Lowell Weekly Parent Newsletter

February 7, 2021

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Message from Mrs. Phelan

Greetings Lowell,

This week's message is dedicated to Johanna Mitchell, mother of a Lowell School student and a valued member of our team. Congratulations to Johanna on becoming a United States Citizen this past week. Johanna joined our team in September 2017 as an instructional assistant and is the mother to first-grader Sianna. She originally came to the United States from Barranquilla, Columbia in 2010 and her husband is Matthew.

Johanna has worked in kindergarten, first-grade in the past and is now working in our ISP program. Johanna is known for her patience, kindness, and willingness to support students and faculty alike.

A few weeks ago I walked into ISP to find Johanna and a colleague, Steve Helberg, cleaning and setting up their classroom for the next day's work. As they collected materials I overheard Steve asking Johanna questions related to U.S. history. Those who know Steve understand he is a proud Army Veteran and a history buff. He was quizzing Johanna on all the potential questions she might encounter on the Naturalization Test. Besides quizzing Johanna, he gave her all the details behind the movements and dates she needed to know. I came to find out that Steve had been helping Johanna for days. It just warmed my heart, and I wanted to share this little story with you. It reminded me of the awesomeness of this great country. Johanna and Steve make the perfect team. They work well together and their skills complement each other's talents nicely. We are lucky to have them both. They certainly are the "Heroes" among us.

As always, stay safe and be well!


P.S. GO Tampa!

Celebrating Black History Month

A Georgian librarian created this calendar that spotlights a specific event/person in Black History on that specific day in February. Emily Walsh, one of our third-grade teachers, discovered it.
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Second Grade Students are Becoming Book Critics This Month - Reviewing Stories Featuring Black Characters

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We Are Excited to Announce WPS Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Webpage

Our new webpage on WPS (Currently Under Construction): WPS Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging This section of our website highlights earlier, ongoing, and upcoming work across the Watertown Public Schools in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEI & B). These are central tenets in the academic, behavioral, and social-emotional support of our students and staff. All of our work supports our WPS District Strategic Initiative --- To engage all WPS faculty and staff in embracing anti-bias and inclusive practices that promote equity and ensure all students feel valued and supported in their learning. We will be adding items to it throughout the spring. At Lowell School, for Black History Month and beyond.

Celebrating Black History Month at Lowell

At the Lowell School, we are intentional that all of our students “see” themselves throughout yearly celebrations and the curriculum. During February, we are taking the time to recognize the sacrifices, contributions, and achievements of African Americans. This month-long recognition allows us to reflect upon the past and help build a better future. Please see below the various activities that will occur in February leading into March.

Classroom Motivational Quotes:

In January, students engaged in discussion and activities about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Following the Watertown Unity Breakfast, we were fortunate to receive several quotes from famous African Americans to hang in our building. We decided this would be an excellent opportunity to bring this activity into the classrooms. We asked classroom teachers to lead a mini-lesson on “What is a Motivational Quote?”. We then asked students and staff members to pick a quote that inspires or uplifts and to decorate the halls and doorways of the Lowell School.

Daily Morning Announcements will recognize past and current African Americans who’ve made a major contribution to their field or industry.

  • Week 1 African American Inventors

  • Week 2 African American Fine Artists

  • Week 3 Hidden Figures of Massachusetts

  • Week 4 Young Entrepreneurs/ Artist

    • Highlight: “ Little Miss Flint, and “Me and the Bees,” and Marley Dias

Black history month will be celebrated through literature, videos, sports, music, and art. As a school, we will be reading several whole school reads, highlighting Black authors, illustrators, and characters.


Throughout February and beyond, kindergarten students are reading books highlighting Black writers, illustrators, and characters. Creating door quotes to celebrate Black inspirational leaders and closing circle time, students learn about black leaders with quotes that make powerful conversation starters.

Quotes for Kindergarten slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1CzrU2QYutK2s1VGbXxEP6RGT9877LPk0thGwWXJeXd8/edit#slide=id.p


Is spending the month learning what Black History Month is and what it means to celebrate Black Americans' contributions through videos, read aloud, and group discussions.

Second Grade

Second grade: Second graders are studying black leaders in social studies asynchronously. All second-grade classrooms have chosen an inspirational quote (or quotes) from black leaders as part of a school-wide initiative. Read alouds focused on black leaders are being presented in classrooms. Finally, we are continuing our work with the AntiRacist Baby to deepen our students' understanding of the history around race and racism in our country.


Third-grade classrooms at the Lowell will share read alouds of influential and important people and events in Black History. These read alouds will take place during Morning Meeting, Reader's Workshop, and Closing Circle. After reading these books, we will continue our discussions about equity and follow up with Antiracist Baby's work as this work isn't just being done for one month but will carry on throughout the year.

Fourth grade

It continues to examine the nine principles from the book Antiracist Baby. During Black History Month, we will be presenting quotes from black changemakers as part of our morning meeting and having students interpret the quotes and relate them to antiracism. We will also be reading multicultural literature and connecting the ideas from the stories back to antiracism and diversity principles.

Fifth grade

We will celebrate Black History Month by Studying Enslavement and Resistance in Colonial America. This unit focused on enslaved Africans' experiences from the beginning of the Atlantic Slave Trade through the abolition of slavery in 1865. We are also selecting read-aloud that celebrate Black voices and Black history.

Physical Education: This month, our PE teachers focus on black people who have significantly influenced sports, health, and wellness. In the first week, we recognize Otis Boykin, who invented the pacemaker. In P.E. class, we have been focusing on fitness and the heart. This amazing invention has helped improve the lives of many people, young and old. Week two, we recognize Wilma Rudolph, who was the first black woman to make a major impact on international track and field. She recovered from childhood polio, pneumonia, and scarlet fever and was told by doctors she would never walk. She went on to win three gold medals at the 1960 Olympics, the first American woman to do so.

In week three, we will recognize Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls Basketball player who won six NBA titles and present owner of the NBA Charlotte Hornets. We feel this is an important time for us to reflect on accomplishments and the impact these Black Americans had on our society.


Kindergarten and 1st grade are learning about Alma Thomas.

Alma Thomas was the first person to graduate from Howard University with an art major.

Alma Thomas taught art in Washington D.C. for 35 years. After retirement, Alma Thomas’s paintings began to get attention. She was the first African-American woman to receive a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art

2nd and 3rd graders are learning about Clementine Hunter.

Clementine Hunter is a self-taught artist who did not start making art until she was a grandmother in her 50’s. Hunters’ paintings are based on her memories of her childhood. By studying Clementine Hunter’s art, we can see how much has changed since childhood.

4th and 5th are studying Romare Bearden.

Romare Bearden is an artist who is associated with the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. We will look at some of his early work, which focuses on the importance of African Americans’ unity and cooperation.


In music class for the whole month, we'll be learning about some famous African American musicians/singers. Each week we'll look at different artists, explore their music and learn a little about their lives. This week we're focusing on a group called the Fisk Jubilee Singers. The next musicians/singers we'll focus on including Audra McDonald, Lizzo, and Ella Fitzgerald. I've chosen a variety of musicians who represent different styles of music.

Celebrating Black History Month : Student Voice "Impressions" Showcase

We are very excited to collaborate with you and share the WPS Black History Month Student Voice "Impressions" Showcase. The submission form is open from January 22 - March 1, 2021.

Here is the link to our 2021 WPS Black History Month Student Voice "Expressions" Showcase" that hosts the submission details, some student work examples for inspiration, few guidelines, and the student work submission form.

The Lowell Leopard was Spotted in Ms.Dillaway's 2nd grade Classroom

We sure did enjoy having Lennie in our classroom this week! Lennie participated in adding two and three digit numbers. He also was with us to learn about breaking words apart into syllables. He also helped us research our continents. Lennie even got to sit with students and learn about their topics.

Student Diversity Council Kick-off

We are excited to kick off the first ever Lowell Student Diversity Council! This first meeting will be a meet and greet and introduction to the topic, “What is Diversity?” We will also preview some of the books that we will use to guide discussion. We look forward to the students participating in this wonderful addition to the Lowell community!

Date: Monday, February 22, 2021

Time: 12:30- 1:00 Grades K-2

1:00-1:30 Grades 3-5

Zoom Link: https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/99035329800

If you have any questions feel free to email Candice.whitmore@watertown.k12.ma.us or carolyn.miller@watertown.k12.ma.us

MCAS Spring Testing, please save these dates:

We have begun planning for the upcoming spring MCAS testing for students in grades 3-5.

Here is the Spring MCAS Testing Schedule. Additional administration details will be provided after the February break. Please mark the dates on your calendar.

Lowell Dates


WVS Monday, April 26 - Virtual (Hosmer/ Lowell/ MS)

Cohort A Tuesday, April 27 - Cohort A (Lowell/ MS)

Cohort B Wednesday, April 28 - Cohort B (Lowell/ MS)


Cohort A Thursday, May 6 - Cohort A

Cohort B Friday, May 7 - Cohort B

WVS Monday, May 10 - Virtual (Hosmer/ Lowell/ MS)


Cohort A Tuesday, May 18 - Cohort A (Lowell/ MS)

Cohort B Wednesday, May 19 - Cohort B (Lowell/ MS)

WVS Monday, May 24 - Virtual (ALL)

Important Safety Concerns

Celebrating our Lowell School Fifth Graders!

The years have flown by for the Lowell School 5th Graders who will soon be on to middle school. Each week this year, we look forward to celebrating them here in the Principal's newsletter. Best wishes to all! We are so proud of you!

Congratulations, Julian !

What's the best thing about being in 5th grade?

The Best thing about being in fifth grade is being the oldest kids in the school.

What's your favorite Lowell School menory/

My favorite Lowell School memory was when we made the peace symbol on the field.

What's your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobby is playing basketball.

Congratulations, Nora!

What is your favorite Lowell School memory?

My favorite Lowell school memory was when we had field day. I liked when we got popsicles and watched the teachers play kickball.

What are you looking forward to in middle school?

I'm looking forward to being able to be in a different building and having multiple different teachers for different subjects.

What's your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobbies are playing soccer and baking

Congratulation, Daunte!

What are 3 words that describe you?

Sporty, cheerful, helpful

Tell your classmates something they might not know about you.

I like jazz.

What's your favorite Lowell School memory?

The walk-a-thon!

Congratulations, Jennie!

What are you looking forward to in middle school?

I'm looking forward to being in classes with friends from other schools.

What are your favorite hobbies?

I like gymnastics, ice hockey, and field hockey.

What is your favorite book?

My favorite books are the Spy School series.

Congratulations Zahra!

What's your favorite Lowell School memory?

Going to the court in first grade as a field trip.

What is your favorite book and movie?

Favorite book: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Favorite movie: Home Alone

Tell your classmates something they might not know about you.

I am on a swim team and my favorite thing about it is that we get to compete in meets with other teams.

Congratulations, Matheus!

What are 3 words that describe you?

Hard working, cool, playful

What is your favorite thing about being in fifth grade?

Studying math.

What is your favorite Lowell School memory?


Lowell School Site Council

Thursday, Feb. 11th, 7pm

This is an online event.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Location Zoom Meeting

7:00-8:00 PM

Stacy Phelan is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting



  • Open

  • Updates from PTO

  • Updates from Parent Diversity Council

  • Literacy Week March 8th -12th

  • SEL Teams “Let’s Chat”

  • Proposed Goals 2021-2022

  • Comments and Questions Time

Technology Updates

We look forward to supporting you with your educational technology questions.

Here is a link to the Weekly 02/06 Family Ed-Tech for All Newsletter, LIVE Ed-Tech Support Sessions & WPS Family Ed-Tech Website with resources, just for you.

Do you need help with Ed-Tech?
Please complete the WPS Ed-Tech Support Request Form. A member of the WPS Ed-Tech team will reach out to you within a school day.

Celebrating WPS Black History Month Student Voice "Impressions" Showcase

We are very excited to collaborate with you on the 2021 WPS Black History Month Student Voice "Impressions" Showcase, which hosts some student work examples for inspiration, few guidelines, and the student submission form. The student work submission form is open from January 22 - March 1, 2021. Please email me if you have any questions.

The theme for this year is " We Stand Together."

Few additional resources:

1. Link to Common Sense Media Resources about Race and Racism

2. Link to BrainPOP Black History Month Resources

Thank you and have a terrific day,

Rashmi Pimprikar (District Ed-Tech Coordinator), Digital Learning Team and IT Team

PTO Corner


Dear Lowell School Families,

Thank you for all your fantastic support of International Week. It was such a success, and we look forward to Literacy Week with some other mystery readers and our read-a-thon (with prizes!) coming in March! Please read along for some important PTO announcements for February.

Cosmic Yoga Kids Club: Students are invited to sign-up for Cosmic Yoga with Ms. Gerring! Recommended for Grades K-2 but all are welcome. Yoga will be on Thursdays from 3 - 4pm on Zoom. Session 1 will run from February 4 - April 8. Session 2 will run from April 15 - June 17. There will not be meetings on school vacation weeks. This club is FREE with PTO support. Space is limited, and families can sign-up using this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0545a5ae28a0f49-cosmic

Shiraz Persian Cuisine Fundraiser: The Chulo nights were a hit -- THANK YOU for your support! We’re back with another delicious Lowell-family restaurant for you to enjoy – Shiraz Persian Cuisine. Grab some takeout in February including some dates over February vacation week! – and help support our fifth graders!

Let’s Support the PTO and Lowell-Family Businesses at the Same Time!

Your support of local Lowell-businesses - like Donahue's! - will help us make sure the fifth graders have a great end-of-this crazy-year!

Parent Resources

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MassSupport Helping Families During COVID-19

MassSupport Network provides free community outreach and support services statewide in response to the unprecedented public health crisis, COVID-19.

MassSupport counselors and clinicians are available to provide support, resources, and education, typically weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For 24/7 support, call the National Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text “talk with us” to 66746. If you are in crisis or worried about a loved one, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741. To access peer support for trans and questioning individuals, call the Trans Lifeline Hotline at 877-565-8860.

MassSupport is hosting support groups throughout COVID and has 2 upcoming zooms about parenting virtual learners.

This is a registration-required event held on Zoom. Do you have children being remotely schooled? MassSupport is holding a coping group to connect and share in a supportive virtual space with others in similar circumstances. These groups last about 90 minutes, and participants do the vast majority of the talking. Groups are run by counselors and clinicians who also provide a brief educational component.

* Connect with other people.

* Discuss your experience in a supportive space.

* Learn coping strategies and foster resilience.

* Access resources.

Resources for Parents During Vacation Week

Boys and Girls Club Opportunity

Good Morning Parents,

We are now in February and preparing for our vacation program. I have attached the flyer and the registration form for our February Vacation Week program to this email for you to fill out. Please complete the form and email me when it is done. If it is easier to sign your child up online, you may do so. Here is the link: https://online.traxsolutions.com/watertown/main#/search

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Trax Online Registration

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Rhode Moise

Program Director

Watertown Boys & Girls Club


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Just in time for February Vacation.

Hello Friends,

We are so excited! On Monday, February 8, we will be reopening our doors and welcoming you back to the Museum.

Join us for our brand-new permanent exhibit, Arctic Adventure: Exploring with Technology. After you trek across virtual ice fields and search for wildlife with interactive tools, make your way over to All Aboard! Trains at Science Park before it departs.

If you've ever seen a Pixar film or short, have you ever wondered, "How do they do that?" Find out "how" in our temporary exhibit, The Science Behind Pixar.

If stargazing is on your agenda, we have a variety of shows in our Planetarium. If you love dogs, don't miss Superpower Dogs in our newly refurbished Mugar Omni Theater.

Advance reservations are required for admission and will open to the general public at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 4. Reserve your spot online or by calling 617-723-2500. If you have any questions about a visit to the Museum, check our Visitor FAQs.

Get your face coverings ready to join us back at Science Park—we’ve missed you!

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