The Lion's Roar
McAvinnue's Weekly Newsletter: Week Of November 23rd
MCAVINNUE'S PRINCIPAL'S MESSAGE
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 email@example.com
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
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.
"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:
Online Emergency Contact Form
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.
PLEASE COMPLETE ONE FOR EACH CHILD ENROLLED AT MCAVINNUE!
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
- 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.
MCAVINNUE'S WEEK IN REVIEW
Good News In Room 209i
Kindergarten students in Room 209i used materials from nature to make their very own trees! They have been learning all about trees in Science! Check out their awesome creations!
Good News In Room 303
Grade 3 students in Room 303 completed a Mayflower STEM project using materials found at home. The designs and creativity is truly fantastic! Check out all of the hard work put forth by these students...well done!
Good News In Room 208
Students read "Turkey Trouble" and had to create a disguise for a turkey the would keep it safe from becoming someone's Thanksgiving meal! Check out the awesome disguises these students came up with!
Good News In Room 209i
Good News In Room 303
WE'VE GOT TECH TIPS & SUPPORT FOR YOU!
McAvinnue's Virtual & In-Person Learning And Information Spot For Students
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?
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.
HEALTH & SAFETY GUIDELINES
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
Flu Vaccine Required For All Students In Massachusetts
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 clinic...it doesn’t have to be the one at your school. Advanced registration is required and space is limited.
REMEMBER THAT THE FLU VACCINATION IS A REQUIREMENT AND NEEDS TO BE COMPLETED BY DECEMBER 31ST. IF YOU HAVE ALREADY HAD YOUR CHILD RECEIVE THE FLU VACCINATION, YOU CAN DROP OFF PROOF TO NURSE ROBIN AT MCAVINNUE DURING SCHOOL HOURS OR EMAIL THEM TO HER AT firstname.lastname@example.org
FAMILY INFORMATION & RESOURCES
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.
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
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:
mailto:email@example.com / 978-349-4171
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org / 978-349-4177
Community Resources and Daycare Options for Families
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...
Call or text school-age coordinators to request a slot
CTI will have full and half day slots for CTI kids
Families who are not enrolled in a CTI program
If you’ve filled out a CTI application in the past...
Contact Karen (978) 729-7216, email@example.com to see if where you are on the waitlist
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
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5 Facts About Thanksgiving Around The World
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