Lowell West Family Guide 2022

Written by Stacy Phelan, Principal

Lowell School Family Guide- Lowell West

This guide includes additional information regarding protocols at the Lowell West School. Please read this over with your child(ren).

School Hours

8:15 am until 2:30 pm

Arrival & Dismissal Procedure – Lowell West

Important Times:


7:45 AM Early drop off – only for families with students at both the Lowell West and the Phillips; Breakfast will also begin at this time.

8:05 AM Students may enter the school building and go to their classrooms.

8:15 AM Classes begin.

8:20 AM Students arriving at or after this time are considered tardy and must sign the attendance log in the main office.

2:30 PM Dismissal Time.


Arrival Procedure:

  • Vehicles will enter/leave the school parking lot using the entrance and exit. Please see Lowell West Aerial View (Page 2) for reference.

  • Adult(s) are asked to remain in the vehicle and pull up to the sidewalk where school personnel will be waiting.

  • Please have your child(ren) ready to exit the vehicle when you pull up to the sidewalk.

  • Cars must remain in the line and are not allowed to pass others. As a safety measure, please do not make a U-turn or deviate from the drop-off line.

  • Please yield to school buses when pulling in or out of the school parking lot.

  • Students are not allowed on the playground before school as there is no supervision.


Dismissal Procedure for Parent Pick-up:

  • Students being picked up by a parent will report to the cafeteria for dismissal. Late pick-up students will also report to the cafeteria (only pertains to students with siblings at Phillips).

  • Families could park their vehicles on the neighborhood street around the school, exit their cars, and pick up their children at the front door.

  • The staff at the front of the building will walkie the group leader for student dismissal.

  • Please be mindful and respectful of our neighbors. Do not block driveways. If a neighbor asks you to move in order to gain access to their driveway, please comply. Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation!

Late Pickup

  • Only families with children at both locations (Lowell West and Phillips) may pick up their child(ren) from Lowell West at 3 PM at the front door. Designated school personnel will stay with your children until their grown-ups arrive.

Lowell West Aerial View

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  1. Lowell West Main Building

  2. Parking Lot Entrance

  3. Drop-off Location

  4. Parking Lot Exit

  5. Playground

  6. Front Door (Parent Pick-up Location)


Students Arriving Late for School & School Day Early Dismissal by Guardian

Students arriving late to school or being dismissed by a guardian should enter through the front door located at 175 Main Street and check in with the main office.


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Walking to school:

Two crossing guards are located on Main Street. One will cross pedestrians at the cross-walk directly in front of the school located at 175 Main Street, Waltham, Ma. An additional crossing guard will direct cars and buses at the entrance of the parking lot where cars and buses enter the drop-off car line. They are on duty for 30 minutes before school starts and for 30 minutes after dismissal time. Locations are determined by the School Department in consultation with the Waltham Police Department.


Drop and Go Zone:

• The Drop and Go Zone is located off Main Street for all students.

• These areas are designated for Drop off and Go only. No parking or live parking is allowed in this area. Teachers are on duty to assist and direct students into the school.


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Parking:

On-street parking is limited around the school, so we encourage families to use the Drop and Go Zone. The Lowell West School aims to be a good neighbor in our school neighborhood. Would you please not park in or block our neighbor’s driveway?


When dropping students for before-school programs, please drop students at the side door labeled #3 on the aerial picture above, off the parking adjacent to the building.


Handicapped Accessible parking spaces are located and appropriately marked in the parking lot.

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Dismissal Procedures:

Dismissal time is 2:30 p.m. and Early Release day at 12:15 p.m.

Students will be dismissed to designated areas or their after-school program.


  • Students will be escorted to bus lines at the end of the school day located in the school’s parking lot.

  • Extended Day and Courses For Kids students will take a school bus to the Phillips Building at the end of the school day to attend afterschool programming.

  • Students being picked up by a parent will be escorted to the gym. Parents will pick up students at the school’s main entrance. The name of the adult must be listed as an approved guardian for dismissal purposes.

Attendance:

Attendance is an essential component of a student’s academic success. School attendance and timeliness create a foundation for healthy social, emotional, and academic development. Absences can have a significant impact on a child’s ability to follow classroom routines and to meet grade-level standards. This impacts students, teachers, and the classroom as a whole. Students absent for 10% of the school year (18 days total), are considered to be “chronically absent”, a designation that impacts our school’s state performance rating.


Please do everything possible to have your child attend school daily unless they are sick. School staff will be taking attendance daily at 8:20. You will get an automated phone call when your child is absent from school. The purpose of the call is to inform you of your child’s attendance for the day. You do not need to call the school back.

If your child is going to be absent for an extended period due to illness or injury, please contact Nurse Taverna at 781-899-3705.


PowerSchool:

The school must have the most up-to-date contact and emergency information for every student. At the beginning of the school year, you will receive your child’s data sheet with the current contact information the school has on file. Please return this to your child’s teacher, making any necessary changes. If no changes are needed, please return the form indicating that the information is accurate. Please remember to contact the main office, in writing, of any changes in contact information that occur throughout the school year. Watch for notices regarding ways for parents to sign up to access our new student information system, PowerSchool.


Visitors:

At this time, visitors are not able to come into the building. If you need to meet with a staff member, please contact the staff member and schedule an appointment.


For the safety of all children, the school doors are locked 5 minutes after arrival time. Visitors must enter at the front door to gain admittance. All visitors, including parents and volunteers, must provide a picture ID upon arrival.

Visitors are asked to wear a visitor badge sticker (provided at the sign-in location) throughout their visit. All visitors are required to sign out before leaving the building. This procedure is for all staff and visitors. The front office must be aware of all persons in the building should an emergency arise. As part of the WPS district security plan, we are adding a layer of security. We use the RAPTOR visitor management system. RAPTOR screens and tracks everyone coming into our school. The system screens for sex offenders, alert staff of custody violations and provides districtwide reporting for all visitors. The safety of our students is our highest priority.

Code of Conduct:

The Lowell School community lives by the core values of Kindness, Cooperation, Integrity, Perseverance, and Equity. Faculty, administrators, school staff, students, and families are expected to demonstrate these qualities in all their actions. When students do not demonstrate these principles within expectation, they are reminded, coached and may face reasonable consequences for their actions. School behavior notes are sent home to communicate when your child has been redirected during the school day because of inappropriate behavior. Lowell Leopard Notes are used to communicate redirections. The form is used to inform parents of inappropriate behavior which took place during the school day. This system allows parents and the school to collaborate in helping students develop respect, responsibility, and academic skills necessary for success. When further consequences are necessary, the school will follow the procedures and policies stated in the District Handbook.


Holiday Activities:

The Lowell community represents a wide variety of cultures, celebrations, and beliefs. In keeping with the Lowell values of Kindness, Cooperation, Integrity, Perseverance, and Equity, the following guidelines surrounding holiday activities have been developed to responsibly represent our community's cultural beliefs, practices, and diversity.

• Encourage learning experiences that enhance student knowledge of cultural practices.


• Limit the celebration of the commercial/symbolic representation of an observance.


• Encourage activities that promote global awareness of practices from many cultures.


• Discourage “parties” but encourage “fun” creative experiences that respect student perspective and enthusiasm for the occasion.


• Responsibly minimize distractions in the school day and the emotional excitement and stress some students may experience concerning the occasion.


Expanding students’ knowledge and respect for cultural differences and practices is valuable learning. For Lowell to continue expanding our knowledge of cultural practices and adhere to our culture of inclusion, we encourage families to share their cultural practices with us.


“No Shared Food” Protocol:

The number of students with food-related health risks and allergies has increased significantly. The Lowell School takes many precautions to reduce these risks for our children. A “No Shared Food” protocol is one action we have put in place to promote an allergy-sensitive environment for students. A “No Shared Food” protocol means students will not share food in school and bring in food for special occasions such as birthdays, good-bye parties, and family breakfasts. This does not mean we are eliminating special recognition activities or family activities in classrooms. We encourage classrooms to acknowledge and celebrate our successes with students and families. However, they will not serve food during these activities.


Recess:

Each class is scheduled for 20 minutes of recess each day. Children will be outside for recess in all but the most extreme weather, so they should dress accordingly. Children are expected to demonstrate safe, respectful, and responsible behavior at recess. Physical contact activities, such as tackling and rough tag, are prohibited.


Home/ School Communication: Back to School Night in September

Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to attend this important guardian-teacher event held in the fall. You will have a first-hand opportunity to meet your child’s teachers and learn about the classroom experiences provided for your child during the school year. This evening is most effective when teachers have this time to share information with families/guardians (this is an adult-only event).


Family-Teacher Conferences:

Family-teacher conferences are held two times a year, in the late fall and early spring. These conferences are scheduled with guardians of each student to discuss student performance. It is vital to your child’s progress that you attend. You will meet with your child’s teacher and any applicable teachers to discuss strengths and areas for improvement. Each student is allocated one conference period per family. Guardians and/or teachers may schedule additional conferences as needed throughout the year. A notice will be sent home as soon as conference days are established.

Students are dismissed at 12:15 on conference days.

Standards-Based Report Cards:

Performance Indicators are based on student performance in class, ongoing assessments, homework, and project completion outside the classroom. Summary reports, which report student progress, will be issued in the winter and spring.


Classroom Issues:

Whenever you have a question or concern regarding your child(ren)’s success in school, be sure to get in touch with your child(ren)’s teacher as soon as possible, so you can work together to find an appropriate solution. If you need additional support to address your concerns, you may contact the guidance office or Principals. You can contact your child(ren)’s teacher by calling the school, email, or sending a note to the school. All staff email use the following format: firstname.lastname@watertown.k12.ma.us.


School Issues:

Administrative issues should be taken up with the Principal after 8:15 a.m. on school days. Please call the school secretary at 781-899-3701 to set up an appointment.


Special Service Issues:

For testing, curriculum information, special problems, and social issues call the Guidance Office at 781-899-3702.


Lowell School Website:

lowell.watertown.k12.ma.us

The school website provides information on school programs, school events, and classroom activities. Classroom sites, FTO, and calendar links communicate ongoing information on school events.


Lowell School FTO:

The Lowell Family Teacher Organization (FTO) is a group whose goal is to assist the school in bringing additional resources to the classrooms, the staff, and other school families. All parents and guardians of Lowell students and Lowell faculty are members of the PTO.

The PTO helps support learning at the Lowell School through:

• Funding that provides resources for classroom activities, scholarships for students, and family events.

• Volunteers to assist classroom teachers and facilitate school-based projects.

• Committees to enhance the physical environment and enrich learning experiences for students both in and out of the classroom, promote family activities to build community, organize fundraising activities, and plan special events.

The Lowell family LPTV is a volunteer organization, and its success depends on volunteers coming forward. There are opportunities for all interests, time commitments, and talents. A little help can make a big difference. FTO meetings on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.


Site School Council:

The Site School Council consists of parents, teachers, the principal, and community members. School site councils were established by the 1993 Massachusetts Education Reform Act to function as an advisory to the school principal. Members of the site council are elected by the PTO and serve for a 3-year term. This year is an election year. Elections are held at the first FTO meeting. Meetings will be held on the second Thursday of the month via Zoom.

The duties and responsibilities of the council include:

• Adopting educational goals for the school

• Identifying educational needs of the school

• Reviewing the school budget

• Formulating the School Improvement Plan


Before School Activities:

The Before School Program provides adult-supervised activities and homework time for students K-5 who attend the Lowell School. This program operates from 7:15 a.m. until 8:05 a.m. and will be located at the Phillips Building. Students in grades 2-5 attending Lowell West will attend the program at the Phillips Building and be bussed to Lowell West. The program is fee-based. Contact Debra Cornelius, Director of Watertown Community Education, at 617-923-7653.


Lowell West Breakfast Program:

The Lowell school will provide a free universal breakfast to all students. Menus are available online under parent resources. The breakfast program will begin daily at 7:45. Watertown Food and Nutrition


After School Activities:

Lowell Extended Day Program:

The Lowell Extended Day Program (LEDP), offered by Watertown Community Education, provides children a safe, nurturing environment after school. This program balances academic support with opportunities for rest. Children choose from a variety of structured enrichment activities, play-time, and homework time. This program is a tuition-based service for children in grades K-5. It operates according to the school calendar from school dismissal until 6 p.m. The LEDP program will take place at the Phillips building for the duration of the Lowell school renovation. For more information, contact Adam Vachon, Onsite Coordinator, at 617-926-7779 or Debra Cornelius, Director of Watertown Community Education 617 923-7653.



Courses for Kids:

Courses for Kids, part of the Watertown Community Education Program, is an after-school enrichment program at the Lowell School that offers nature detectives, art, mad science, drama, and karate classes. Courses may change each term, and a fee may be required for classes. Notices will be sent home listing the courses offered each term. For more information, contact Jeff Bodner, Program Coordinator, at 617- 926-7764.


Watertown Recreation Department:

The Recreation Department offers a wide range of after-school programs throughout the year. For information on programs being offered, see the Watertown website www.ci.watertown.ma.us, or contact Peter Centola, Director, at 617-972-6494.


Contact Information

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