Principal's Newsletter

March 19, 2020

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Message from Stacy

Dear Lowell Families,


I hope this communication finds you all safe and well, and you are adjusting to these changes in all our lives. Today is the first day of Spring or Vernal Equinox, and I bet some of you may have missed this fact because it wasn't a very spring-like day. Perhaps because it is the earliest it's been in 124 years or maybe because there's so much more on your mind these days. Well, it is the first day of spring, and tomorrow's forecast looks spectacular. On this day, the daylight hours equal the night hours. It's a day when we have the full balance of day and night, or at least it should be. Hopefully, we'll all regain a sense of balance. I know it's hard but we are here as a school community to help you through it.


Last night you should have received an email from our Superintendent, Dede Galdston where she unveiled our new Extended Learning Opportunites website. This site was created to help facilitate and connect you with valuable resources to engage children during their time away from school. For those of you who don't have access to a computer or if you'd like a hard copy of iReady math and reading packets for grades k-5, these materials have been placed outside the school's main entrance in Rubbermaid bins labeled by grade. Additionally, you should expect to hear from your child's teacher by tomorrow if you haven't already been contacted today.


Our classroom teachers are eager to help you find fun and exciting ways to bring learning into your home. Teachers will first contact you with a brief letter, followed by a few critical questions. These questions will help guide and shape our support. You should expect to be asked:


1. How are you doing?

2. Can you access the internet at home?

3. Do you have a device that you can use at home to access online resources, such as a desktop computer, laptop, Chromebook, IPad, Kindle Fire, etc.?


Your answers will help us figure out if there are any resources we can get to you during this time. We want to know how you and your child are doing. We are looking to see if we can find a way to get you internet access if you don't already have it. Finally, we want to know if the school department can help you borrow a laptop to access resources and materials. We understand a lot of families are struggling to share devices. Many parents are working from home and need to prioritize their computers for work use. If that's the case, please let your teacher know, and we will get you a Chromebook. You can also email me directly, and I will pass on your name and email address to the tech department. Make sure to tell me your name and quantity.


Our plan currently covers the period from March 23 through April 6. We are providing resources and materials to you to use at home with your child. They, however, do not take the place of classroom instruction. During this period, we are not offering online classes or new learning. Our goal is to support students' social and emotional health while learning and staying engaged.


Classroom teachers will be providing additional grade level resources weekly. You will receive a weekly communication outlining how your child can stay connected to the school and standards-based content and activities. You can also expect teachers to offer a weekly community meeting. This weekly meeting will give students a chance to connect with their teachers and friends.


Our student support team is comprised of our guidance counselor, school psychologist, social worker, behavior specialist, and team chair who are here to support families during this time. You may contact them directly or speak with your child's teacher.


Our students/families who receive special education services should expect to be contacted weekly as a check-in. During this closure, special education services remain on hold. Our calendar year is paused during this school shut down. Individual Educational Plans which expire during this closure are considered in Stay Put status. Testing and meetings will resume when we return to school. If you have specific questions, you may contact your child's special educator, our team chair, or Elementary Special Education Coordinator. I've linked all their emails below.


As always, Candice and I are here to answer questions. We are available every day Monday-Friday. I also have been given a mobile phone to speak to parents directly. I've listed all the contact information below.


Candice and I will continue to send the weekly newsletters and offer parents the opportunity to connect. I plan on holding my first parent coffee via Zoom next Friday at 8:30 am.


Parent-Teacher Conferences are currently on hold until we decide how to move forward. Activities and events that were planned during this closure are canceled. We will wait to hear when we will be returning to school before announcing any other schedule changes.


Remember to be kind to yourself and others, love your family and do your best every day. Sometimes you need to stream a movie and eat some popcorn.


Stay safe and be well,

Stacy

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Coffee with the Principal Over Zoom!

Stacy Phelan is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Topic: Principal Coffee

Time: Mar 27, 2020 08:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Join Zoom Meeting just click here the URL below:

https://zoom.us/j/2951322272?pwd=YmxYVWkvckRvL1pqRXpNN0w1cWpHQT09


Meeting ID: 295 132 2272

Password: Coffee



Meeting ID: 295 132 2272

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/afrUx47AL

People to Contact for Support

If you have general questions or concerns, you may contact the principal at mailto:Stacy.phelan@watertown.k12.ma.us or by mobile phone 617-581-8454


You can contact the assistance principal mailto:candice.whitmore@watertown.k12.ma.us.


If you have questions related to the general office documentation contact our Administrative Assistant mailto:Kara.flynn@watertown.k12.ma.us


If you have health concerns, please contact mailto:Kathleen.Taverna@watertown.k12.ma.us.


If you would like to speak to our guidance counselor, please contact mailto:Melina.jacovides@watertown.k12.ma.us.


Need to speak with our school psychologist, please contact mailto:Kelley.cochrane@watertown.k12.ma.us.


If you have concerns with child behaviors, please contact our behavior specialist mailto:Brain.connors@watertown.k12.ma.us.


Questions about IEP meetings and special education concerns, please contact our team chairperson mailto:gregory.roberts@watertown.k12.ma.us or Elementary Education Coordinator mailto:Paula.czyrklis@watertown.k12.ma.us

Keeping Routines is Important for Children Here is a sample schedule for days off from school.

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Food Support for Students

Food Support for Students

We have worked with our school nutrition department to develop essential services for students experiencing food scarcity and/or insecurity to have access to meals that will comply with social isolation expectations. Meals will be distributed in the faculty parking lot on Barnard Ave behind Watertown High School, Monday - Friday from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm. Please note that all meals must be taken and consumed off-site. If assistance is needed to access the food station, please contact lunch_line@watertown.k12.ma.us or call (617) 926 7766. Additional food resources can be found at https://www.watertown-ma.gov/250/Watertown-Food-Pantry.

Watertown Food Pantry

Watertown Food Pantry


The Watertown Council on Aging administers the Watertown Food Pantry, which provides food assistance to any Watertown resident in need.

LOCATION: The Food Pantry is located at the rear of the Belmont-Watertown United Methodist Church at 80 Mt. Auburn Street. The entrance to the Food Pantry is around the left corner of the church (formerly St. John's) from the parking lot at the side of the building, basement level. Look for the Watertown Food Pantry signs.

DAYS and HOURS: Tuesdays, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.

Watertown residents need to bring identification including proof of address (driver's license, rent, or utility receipt). A five-day supply of food is available each month, as well as information about other food pantries in the area. Out of town residents can be served once per year. Home Deliveries on Tuesdays are available for homebound elders by request.

CONTACT: Call the Council on Aging/Senior Center at 617-972-6490 for more information, to volunteer, and to donate.

Please reach out if you require any assistance!