The Lion's Roar

McAvinnue's Weekly Newsletter: Week Of November 23rd


Hello McAvinnue Community!

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States, and Thanksgiving 2020 occurs on Thursday, November 26. In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Native Americans shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

For most families, Thanksgiving is a time for families to come together to enjoy food and time participating in many traditions that are unique to their cultures and beliefs. This will be a much different celebration due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Lowell and throughout the Commonwealth.

Please make sure that you do your part and keep family gatherings at a minimum and follow all of the required COVID-19 precautions including mask wearing and social distancing. Our goal is to return our students to in-person learning. We can't do this safely when the COVID-19 positive cases continue to increase throughout the city. The next several weeks will be critical with the up and coming holiday season around the corner.

Here are a few highlights for you to be aware of over the new few weeks:

  • Wednesday, November 25th @ 11:50 AM - Early Dismissal
  • Thursday, November 26th & Friday, November 27th - No School (Thanksgiving Break)
  • Thursday, December 3rd @ 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM - Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Wednesday, December 9th @ 1:30 PM - Early Release Day

You will be able to find more details below in this edition of McAvinnue's "Lion's Roar" Community Newsletter.

If you have any questions or need anything that we can support you with, please reach out to the Main Office at McAvinnue or send Mr. Domina a message at

Big picture

Here are important to remember over the next few months of school:

  • Wednesday, November 25th: Early Dismissal @ 11:50 AM
  • Thursday, November 26th & Friday, November 27th: Thanksgiving Break - No School
  • Thursday, December 3rd: Parent/Teacher Conferences @ 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday, December 9th: Early Release Day - Student Dismissal @ 1:30 PM
  • Monday, December 21st: Report Card Distribution (PreK - Grade 4)
  • Thursday, December 24th - Friday, January 1st: Holiday Break - No School
  • Monday, January 4th: McAvinnue Reopens @ 9:10 AM (In-Person); 9:30 AM (Remote)

Thanksgiving Around The World

Thanksgiving doesn’t always mean turkey, pilgrims, and seemingly endless football! The idea of bursting cornucopias and celebrating the bounty of Mother Nature transcends borders and cultures across the world. Although they spring from the same ideas, thanksgiving traditions around the world bring unique ceremonies and stories that inspired the merrymaking to the table. Here are some thanksgiving and harvest festivals around the world each complete with their own way of showing and giving their thanks!

Harvest Moon Festival / Mid-Autumn Festival – China: When the moon is the brightest and the fullest, this three-day celebration takes place in the middle of the autumn season. Also known as the Moon Festival, this celebration is a descendent from the original Chinese customs of moon-sacrificial ceremonies, where a series of prayers, poems, and offerings were burned as offerings. Nowadays, the people of modern China are much more accustomed to “appreciating the moon,” which is the practice of gathering around a table, talking, and eating the offerings from the sacrificial ceremony. Reflecting on the importance of togetherness, families eat moon cakes (round, semi-sweet pastries) and the children dance and play with festival lanterns.

Pongal – India: A time for giving thanks to nature, Pongal, the Indian Harvest festival, is a four-day long celebration held in mid-January in Southern India, and it contains plenty of rice, sugarcane, and turmeric! When you break it down, the first day is the time for paying homage to Lord Indra, the ruler of clouds who provides the rain. People celebrate his generosity in providing water for their crops and bringing prosperity to all. The second day is the performance of puja (the ceremonial act of worship), where rice is boiled in milk and then symbolically offered to the Sun God. Sugarcane, coconut, and bananas are offered in a small dish, and all participants are clothed in traditional dress.

The third day is the day for cows. In representation of the legend of Shiva and Basava, his bull, the cows are adorned in decorations, beads, corn, and flowers and paraded around the town. The jingling bells signal the time for celebrating, and the entire scene turns into one giant party! The fourth and final day of Pongal requires the women of the house to wash a turmeric leaf, lay it on the ground, and place Pongal rice around it, asking that the house and their brothers always prosper.

Chuseok Harvest Festival – Korea: The Chuseok Harvest Festival, celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, emphasizes respect and commemoration of elders and ancestral roots. Aside from the usual thanksgiving traditions (aka feasting with friends and family), families return to their ancestor’s hometowns and hold memorials at relative’s grave sites. Along with Songp’yon (traditional rice cakes), toran-t’ang (taro soup), and song-i (mushrooms), people celebrate with dishes made from the freshly harvested rice. Celebratory friend and family activities include archery, musical competitions, and singing folk music. While this is a holiday to honor family ancestors, Chuseok is a special time for spreading happiness and togetherness amongst those you love.

The Kadazan Festival - Malaysia: Malaysians believe that “without rice there is no life.” The Kadazan Festival, celebrated in May, worships rice as an extension of the Creator, and thus, the source of thriving life and existence on Earth. Malaysians celebrate the Creator, Bambaazon, for his generosity in facilitating life on Earth. In the time of creation, the story states that their God sacrificed his daughter in order to save the people who would otherwise suffer from great famine. He buried parts of her across the land, and her body became the seed of the rice paddy. Still today, the people of Malaysia believe the grain holds the spirit of life and creation. With a rather dark origin to such a bright festival filled with rice wine, buffalo races, and agricultural shows, the Kadazan Festival is a beautiful day of giving thanks to the Creator who made the people’s most-prized staple of life.

Big picture

"Virtual" Morning Announcements

We have launched each day with "Virtual" Morning Announcements. These announcements bring the in-person and remote students together in the usual way we launch each day of school with some important information...while having some fun!

If you miss morning announcements, you can watch the videos on the McAvinnue's Learner's Google Site and on McAvinnue's YouTube page. Links can be found below for each.

Google Learner's Site:

YouTube Channel:

Big picture

Online Emergency Contact Form

Due to a combination of in-person and remote learning occurring for this school year, we have created an online emergency form for you to complete below. Using the same form, we have provided information in both English and Spanish for your convenience.

You can complete this form or complete a paper copy that we have used in previous school years. This form will be sent home with those students that will be at McAvinnue for in-person learning. However, the paper copy of the emergency form can also be picked up at McAvinnue for those families who will be working remotely to start the school year.


If you could like a paper copy of the emergency form, please contact Ms. Nancy in the Main Office and she will set you up with what you need to complete.

Remote Learning Daily Meal Service UPDATED

Big picture
  • Students will receive two breakfasts and two lunches on Mondays and Wednesdays at these sites.
  • Students will also receive meals for the weekend days on Fridays at all of our meal sites.
  • All LPS students are eligible for meal service. All meals are free of cost. No student ID is required and students don’t have to be present to pick up a meal. A parent or neighbor can pick up the student’s meal.
  • Meals will be served outside in a grab and go format at the front or back of the school, depending on the location.
  • Please remember to wear a mask or face covering and follow social distancing protocols when visiting the meal sites.

Any updates to the remote learning meal service schedule will be posted here:

McAvinnue's Yoga Pose Of The Week: "Chair"

On this short week, we will practice this pose and focus on increasing our strength while maintaining balance through patience and discipline. Please see the steps of this yoga pose that we will practice during Morning Announcements to launch each day.

Big picture



Big picture

McAvinnue's Virtual & In-Person Learning And Information Spot For Students

This link will take you to all of our learning information site for students. It is one place for you to easily be able to navigate to your child's virtual and in-person platform. You will be able to virtually met your child's teacher and access information to their in-person and virtual classrooms.

Want To Check It Out? Click The Button Below!

Lowell Public School District Tech Support

The LPSD IT Team will have a "Technology Tent" set-up at the following locations during the times listed below this up and coming week:

  • Monday, November 23rd from 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM at the Lincoln Elementary School (300 Chelmsford Street)

  • Tuesday, November 24th from 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM at the Pawtucketville Elementary School (425 West Meadow Road)

  • Wednesday, November 25th - No Tech Tent Available

Please note that these locations will change weekly.

You can also contact the Help Desk at (978) 674-2024 for assistance.

We Still Have WIFI Hotspots...Do You Need One For Better Online Access?

If you need access to the internet or if your home internet is not really reliable, we have T-Mobile WIFI hotspots that will allow you to fully access all elements of our remote learning program.

All you need to do is contact us and we will make sure that we secure a WIFI hotspot for your family. At this time, we can only provide one WIFI hotspot per family. We have heard very positive results for families that have more than one child needing to use this device when it is used as directed.

If you need a WIFI hotspot, contact the Main Office at McAvinnue and we will do our best to get this critical device in your hands as soon as possible.

Big picture


New & Updated COVID-19 Guidelines

COVID-19 cases continue to be on the rise in Lowell, with 789 new cases reported in the City on October 29th - November 13th. Lowell has a COVID-19 average daily incident rate of 64.2 (increase) and a percent positivity rate of 8.85% (increase) as of Friday, November 20th. This still places our community in the "red" high risk category.

As you know, new measures went into effect on Friday, November 6th to help slow the spread. Know the rules and follow them closely to help keep our community safe.

  • Stay At Home Advisory: 10:00 PM - 5:00 AM
  • Face Coverings Required In All Public Places
  • Restaurants Close @ 9:30 PM
  • Indoor Gatherings Limited To 10 People
  • Outdoor Gatherings Limited To 25 People
Big picture
Big picture

Flu Vaccine Required For All Students In Massachusetts

The Lowell Health Department is requiring all children to be vaccinated against influenza by the end of the calendar year on 12/31/2020. Please not that students will not be permitted back on campus after the December vacation without the flu vaccine. This will be important not only for our in-person students but any student who is eligible to return for in-person learning at any time this school year.

Please see below for information about upcoming flu clinics for LCHC patients. As the information becomes available, we will share out as much information from local health providers to make things as easy as possible for you to get a flu vaccine this year.

If you have any questions, please contact Nurse Robin at McAvinnue.

NEW - Flu Shot Opportunities

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has mandated that all children attending school in grades PreK-12 must receive a current flu vaccination by December 31, 2020. This includes students enrolled in both in-person and remote learning. Proof of a flu vaccine must be given to the school nurse by the 12/31/20 deadline or a child will be excluded from school.

In support of our families, Lowell Public Schools partnered with CVS Pharmacy to provide a series of flu shot clinics at our schools. The clinics are for children ages 3 and older (family members and school staff are also welcome!).

A list of clinic dates/locations and links to register can be found here:

You can go to any doesn’t have to be the one at your school. Advanced registration is required and space is limited.


Big picture


The Greater Boston Food Bank

The Greater Boston Food Bank will be at the STEM Academy (43 Highland Street) will now take place from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM.

The next food pantry is Tuesday, November 24th. Other dates for this school year are listed on the flyer.

This food pantry is a drive-up distribution of assorted foods for all Lowell Public School students and their families. All food bank clients are required to wear a mask to ensure the safety of our volunteers as well as other clients and community members. Please bring reusable grocery bags, baskets, or a cart to carry your food.

Please see the flyer below for more details.

Tuesday, Nov. 24th, 3-4pm

43 Highland Street

Lowell, MA

Big picture

Parent & Caregiver Support Groups

The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and Wayside Youth & Family Support Network are hosting Parent & Caregiver Support Groups.

Join them for weekly virtual support groups and individual support for parents and caregivers who are raising children and young adults with mental illness.

Parent Support Groups:

Tuesdays - 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Thursdays - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Drop-In Support:

Wednesdays - 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Spanish Support Group:

2nd and 4th Monday - 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Portuguese Support Group:

2nd and 4th Monday from 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

For more information or the Zoom meeting link, please the contact individuals below: / 978-349-4171 / 978-349-4177

Big picture
Big picture

Community Resources and Daycare Options for Families

You can click the link below to access a guide that includes resources ranging from food and utility assistance to support for parents and their children to resources about abuse. You can download and save the resource for future reference.

Here is a list of daycare options in Lowell:

  • Community Team Work (CTI) (978) 454-5100

    • Families who are already enrolled in a CTI program...

    • Families who are not enrolled in a CTI program

      • If you’ve filled out a CTI application in the past...

      • If you’ve never filled out a CTI application...

        • Fill out an application at 17 Kirk St., 126 Phoenix Ave

        • Or call the main CTI number (978) 454-5100 to request an email version of the application.

  • YWCA: (978) 454-5405 or (978) 458-9983; 41 Rock St in Lowell

    • The YWCA is offering full-day remote slots for families who are working with the Department of Children and Families (DCF)

    • Call your DCF worker and/or the YWCA to request a slot

  • YMCA: (978) 454-7825; 1 YMCA Dr in Lowell

    • Karen Espinola is the school-age director

      • Fill out a application online or at the YMCA to request a slot

    • Debbie Doben is the preschool director if your child is preschool age

  • Family Childcare: Call programs to see if they have openings near you

    • Bethel Family Childcare (978) 458-6577

    • Clarendon Family Childcare (978) 454-3026

    • Child Development and Learning (CDE) (978) 275-2843

    • ACRE Family Childcare (978) 937-5899

    • CTI: See above contact information

  • Girls Inc: (978) 458-6529, 220; Worthen St. in Lowell

    • Accept girls ages 5-14 years old

    • Accept Child Care Circuit vouchers, DCF vouchers, and private pay (income-based, sliding scale)

    • Call Pam Lerocque (Director of Finance & Administration) to check on openings

    • Girls Inc. has full and part-day options, but no transportation

  • Boys and GIrls Club: (978) 458-4526; 657 Middlesex St in Lowell

    • School-age openings for after-school only

    • Teens who are working with the Department of Children and Families can call BGC or DCF to see if they’re eligible

Follow McAvinnue On Social Media

You can follow McAvinnue on social media at the following sites! We update things daily and this is a great way to stay in touch with all of the amazing things that are happening inside and out of "the best school we all know"!

5 Facts About Thanksgiving Around The World

5 Facts About THANKSGIVING Around The World | 5 FACTS

Our Vision

McAvinnue Elementary School is a place...where there are high expectations, where students are academically engaged, where instruction is guided by a systematic approach to examine data, where there is a multi-tiered system of support, and where a responsive environment that fosters social emotional connections between faculty and students prevails.

#McAvinnuePride #BeTheDifference #NextLevel

Big picture