J R Lowell School

November 22, 2021 - Renovation and Relocation Update

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We Stay Committed to Our Mission and Vision

The Mission of the Watertown Public Schools is to prepare each child in Watertown for life by engaging them in a challenging and meaningful education within an inclusive, diverse community. Our vision for all of our students is to be inspired in our schools and to explore and shape the world around them.

The following are the four current strategic objectives:

1. Establish systems and structures that ensure all WPS students receive what they need to develop and achieve their full academic, social, and emotional potential.

2. Support instructional excellence by building and implementing a cohesive, coherent, and aligned educational program that promotes high expectations, authorship, and student agency.

3. Foster caring and collaborative relationships among and within schools, families, and community members.

4. Build educationally appropriate, joyful learning environments, working with the School Building Committee, that support the WPS mission and vision.

Message from Principal Phelan

Greetings Lowell School,

It is with great pleasure I begin my communication aimed at keeping you informed throughout our relocation and renovation project. We have been anticipating this move for over four years. We started our journey holding community forums where the stakeholders of Lowell school met for many hours to redesign Lowell School to renovate the building to take us through the next century. When we began our journey, we were first on the list of the elementary schools to begin work. As you know, we ended up being the last elementary school to join this incredible journey of creating a world-class school system. However, we will not be the last school to have a building project. The high school is right behind us.

My primary objective is to provide you with the details and information to feel informed and prepared for each project stage.

I believe communication is essential. I welcome feedback throughout this process. I plan on using several mediums to achieve our communication goals. I will provide updates and announcements for each phase. I will also hold live Q & A sessions via zoom and hopefully live meetings soon.

This undertaking is not being led by me alone. I feel well supported by the Watertown administration team, faculty, and staff of the WPS. Our school is committed to providing quality education and will remain focused on improving the academic achievement for all of our students. Since joining WPS, I have made considerable effort to ensure each student receives the resources and support they need to succeed, and I stay committed to that goal.

Let me begin with some background information for those of you who have recently joined our school community. Lowell School will go through a building renovation and building project beginning in February.

Due to the size of our enrollment, it is necessary to split the building into two separate locations during construction based on grade level. Students currently enrolled in grades kindergarten and first grade will move to the Phillips Administration Building located at 30 Common Street. Students in grades two through five will relocate to Lowell West (the former St. Jude School in Waltham) at 175 Main Street. Our last day in our current building will be Thursday, February 17, 2022. Our students' first day at their new school will be Monday, February 28. Students and staff are on February break from the 18th through the 27th. Students will remain in the same school building they begin at in February during the renovation period.

We began with designing a comprehensive organizational structure for each location. Lowell West and the Phillips will have the same systems, staff, supports, and services at both locations. Mr. Chen, our Assistant Principal, will be the administrator on the Lowell West campus, and Mr. Roberts, our Team Chairperson, will be the lead on the Phillips campus. I will oversee and move between campuses.

The questions most frequently asked are what time will school start? Will transportation be available? Will my child be able to remain in Extended Day or Before School Care? Will breakfast and lunch be available?

The school day at Lowell West and Phillips will remain 8:15 am - 2:30 pm.

We will provide breakfast and lunch services at both schools. Breakfast will begin at 7:45 am, which is the same time we serve breakfast now. Our hot lunch program will run as usual at both locations. Students will eat lunch in their classrooms.

Parents who wish to drive their children to school will have the option to drop off beginning at 7:45 am at Lowell West. We will provide supervision at no additional cost. Drop off for the Phillips building will begin at 8:05 am.

Below you will find details for our Extended Day Program and Transportation.

Dr. Galdston, our Superintendent, Debi Cornelius, Director of Community Education, and I will host parent forums on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at 9:00 am and 6:30 pm on Zoom. Caregivers will have the opportunity to ask questions during the session.

Debi Cornelius, Director of Community Education

Dear Lowell School Families:

We are pleased to share that both the Lowell Before School Program and the Lowell Extended Day Program will continue to be available for currently enrolled students in grades k-5 when Lowell transitions to its temporary school locations following February break. Due to our current staffing levels and space constraints at Lowell West, both the Before School Program and the Extended Day Program will run at the Phillips Administration Building. Bussing will be provided to the Phillips building from Lowell West for grades 2 - 5 at no additional cost. Our program will continue to run until 6:00 pm.

Families who are not currently enrolled in the Before School and/or Extended Day Program can visit our website at this link to learn more about our programs and access our online registration form or contact Debi Cornelius at debora.cornelius@watertown.k12.ma.us. Please note that many of our grade groupings and programs are currently enrolled to capacity and a waitlist may apply.



Lowell 2021-22 Bus Information Interest Form

Lowell 2021-22 Bus Registration Form

Yellow school bus transportation will be available to the Lowell Students from shared pickup points throughout Watertown to their temporary school during construction. All students must register by December 14 in order to be guaranteed a seat on a bus. After that date busing will only be available if there is room on the bus.

There is no fee for this bus, but students must register. We are asking families who are interested in having their student ride the bus to complete this form so we can create bus routes based on interest.

Use this online form to indicate you would like your student(s) to ride the bus to their temporary Lowell school during construction during the 2021-2022 school year. There will be a new form to complete for the 2022-2023 school year bus.


There is no charge for the Lowell bus.


If you have additional questions, please contact Shannon Dixon at shannon.dixon@watertown.k12.ma.us or call 617-926-7716.

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Project Timeline and Key Dates for 2021-2022 School Year. The expected completion is summer 2023. The newly renovated Lowell will open September 2023.

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The Front Facing Exterior Pictures and Floor Plans

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Floor 0

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Floor 1

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Floor 2

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Parent Forum

Wednesday, Dec. 1st, 9am

This is an online event.

Parent Forum

Wednesday, Dec. 1st, 6:30pm

This is an online event.