Lowell March Newsletter
We are proud of our pride of Lowell lions!
From Ms. Franzone...
Dear Lowell Families,
Welcome to March! More sunshine and warmer temperatures always feel lovely, even if there may be plenty of winter-like weather ahead. One of my favorite quotes is “No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn” (Hal Boland). The hope inherent in an anticipated spring always brings me joy.
We had a great time in February celebrating Black History Month. Thanks to all of our readers who participated in this year’s Read Your Heart Out event. If you haven’t seen it already, check out our “ABCs of Black History” - a presentation that was co-created by all Lowell classrooms and shared throughout the school.
Beginning on March first, MMSD has determined that masks will be recommended but not mandatory when outside. Please talk with your students about how they can keep track of their masks during recess times (e.g., wearing on their wrist, keeping it in their pocket). We will always have extra masks when students need them!
On March 18th, all students and staff have the day off from school for a district-provided mental health day. Our last day of school before spring break will be March 25th, and we return on April 4th! I know that spring break is a much appreciated break for staff and students after these long winter months!
As always, thank you for your continued support and partnership. May the work we do here at school and in our homes bring peace and justice to our communities, our nations, and our world.
Upcoming Important Dates
March 7, 2-6pm: School Staff available for 4K-5K enrollment support
March 11: Salsa/Pizza Pick-Up for LCO Fundraiser
March 18: No School
March 25: End of 3rd Quarter
March 28-Apr 1: No School – Spring Break
April 4: School resumes
April 4: Beginning of 4th Quarter
April 5: Spring Election
April 8: Early Release at 10:35am for K-5; No 4K Classes
April 14: Early Release at 10:35am for K-5; No 4K Classes; Conferences
Lift Every Voice and Sing!
Mr. Burkel made this awesome video of our students singing Lift Every Voice and Sing!
4K & Kindergarten Enrollment for the 22-23 School Year
Online enrollment for 4K & Kindergarten for the 22-23 school year is now open. Please spread the word! (Online enrollment for all other grades will open in August.)
February 28, 2022 - Online enrollment begins
Families can complete the application online starting February 28. At the end of the application, families receive an email confirmation with next steps to complete the student’s enrollment.
March 7, 2022, 2:00 – 6:00 PM:
School staff will be available March 7th, 2pm-6pm via telephone and/or email to assist with questions related to enrollment.
Families of new four-year-old kindergarten (4K) and new five-year-old kindergarten students to MMSD complete the enrollment for 4K and KG.
Your school will contact you within one business week from the date you submitted the online enrollment application, to schedule a zoom meeting with you to verify your student’s enrollment documents.
Families use the Enrollment Checklist as a guide and provide the following documents* to school:
- Verification page for each student -- printed from online enrollment.
- Proof of age (birth certificate or medical record).
- Immunization Records (IR) -- provide IR if we cannot use the Wisconsin Immunization Registry [WIR] to retrieve your child’s IR.
- Verification of Parent/Guardian Identity and relationship**. Verification of parent/guardian identity and relationship has two steps:
- Verification of parent/guardian identity: Driver’s license, passport, or government issued ID.
Verification of parent/guardian relationship: The student’s birth certificate or court documentation providing proof of parent/guardian relationship. If you are unable to provide verification, please contact the MMSD Enrollment Office at 608-663-4957 or firstname.lastname@example.org
*Parents can send verification for enrollment documents to the school’s email, except the following document which need to be verified through a Zoom meeting:
**NOTE: The parent who enrolls the student can confirm the identity verification of the other parent as long as the other parent's name is listed in the student's birth certificate.
Proof of address (lease, mortgage, or utility bill).
Mark your calendar for August
In August, parents will need to complete the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch application and pay fees, if applicable. Families who have completed the enrollment application prior to August, but have not provided proof of birth and/or address, must provide proof at this time.
**Refer to your school’s website for future dates.
4-year-old Children in the MMSD:
Children who are four years old on or before September 1, 2022, and live in the MMSD are eligible to participate in the 4K program; however, 4-year-olds are not required to attend 4K.
4K Enrollment Day on March 7th is for families who have a child who is new to MMSD.
Children currently receiving early childhood special education services with MMSD that are turning 4 on or before September 1, 2022 and attending 4K next year also need to enroll starting March 7.
The 4K program is a half-day program held at several MMSD elementary schools (Tuesday-Friday) and participating Early Care and Education (ECE) centers throughout Madison. The 4K program is offered free of charge.* (*There is a $40 consumable materials fee.) The fee will be collected in August.
Find out more at mmsd.org/4K or (608) 663-4957.
5-year-old Children in the MMSD:
Children must be five years old on or before September 1, 2022, and live in the MMSD attendance area to enroll in Kindergarten. Kindergarten enrollment on March 7th is for families with a child that is not currently enrolled in MMSD. Parents of children currently attending 4K and PK in an MMSD school or Early Care and Education Center (ECE) do not need to enroll this spring, but must enroll during August enrollment days. Find out more at mmsd.org/kinder or contact your school.
Welcome to O'Keeffe!
O’Keeffe Middle School is pleased to welcome incoming 6th graders and their parents for the 2022-23 school year.
Starting Middle School is a big step. The staff at O’Keeffe is committed to supporting students and parents as they make this important transition. If you have questions, please email the O’Keeffe School Counselor, Paul Chotlos, at email@example.com. If you would prefer to communicate questions in Spanish, email Magda Coll-Palombi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grade 5-6 Transition Timeline for O’Keeffe Middle
O’Keeffe sends a welcome email to parents of rising 6th graders at Marquette, Lowell and Hawthorne with O’Keeffe enrollment for 2022-23. The welcome email includes a parent feedback form that parents can return to the O’Keeffe Principal. We are requesting that parents communicate student information to Mr. Dugas no later than May 3.
O'Keeffe staff will visit 5th grade classrooms at Hawthorne, Lowell and Marquette to greet students, explain music options, and answer student questions about O'Keeffe. Using email, we will send a follow up survey to 5th grade parents so that they can indicate their student’s 6th grade music class preference. Parents should reply to the music survey before April 13.
April 13 - 7-8 pm
O'Keeffe Information Night (format to be determined) for parents of rising 6th graders. The event includes presentations by 6th grade staff. If the meeting is in person, parents can visit 6th grade classrooms.
April 28 - 8:30-9:30 am
Student orientation and building tour for Lowell 5th graders and O’Keeffe bound Hawthorne 5th graders. The format is to be determined, but if the event is in person, yellow school buses will transport students from Lowell and Hawthorne to O’Keeffe and the event will take place in the O’Keeffe multipurpose room.
Note that we are planning additional orientation activities prior to the start of school in August and the first day of school is for 6th graders only.
Lowell COVID Testing Site Closed
MMSD COVID Testing Clinics
The district is experiencing a temporary pause to COVID-19 testing services at all sites located at MMSD schools beginning February 25. This brief pause in testing services is to accommodate the transition to a new testing vendor.
For students and families requiring COVID-19 test services during the period of this brief pause, we encourage you to work with your local health provider to schedule a test or you can visit the Public Health Madison & Dane County Testing Web Page for alternate testing locations.
Pandemic EBT for families
School Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is a program that provides benefits for families to buy food if their children do not get free or reduced-price meals at their schools because they are home for COVID-19 related reasons. Families on free/reduced lunch will qualify for P-EBT. Eligible students will receive benefits for each day their school reports they learned from home or were absent for a COVID-19-related reason during the 2021-2022 school year.
Food & Nutrition Department will be sharing information with families who completed an application and qualify for free and reduced benefits this school year. On March 5, the first round of P-EBT will be given to families (for months of September, October, and November).
Reach out to your school social worker if you have questions.
Care Solace: Support for Families
MMSD has partnered with Care Solace to support the well-being of our families. Care Solace is a complimentary and confidential care coordination service that can help you quickly find mental health or substance use treatment options matched to your needs, regardless of circumstances.
If you would like to use Care Solace to help you find a provider:
- Call 888-515-0595. Support is available 24/7/365 in any language.
- Visit www.caresolace.com/madisonmetro and either search on your own OR click “Book Appointment” for assistance by video chat, email, or phone.
Lastly, there is power in sharing our stories. If you have already connected with a mental health or substance use treatment provider and would like to share how your experience helped you, consider sharing your story here: https://serve.caresolace.com/share-your-story. Your story may encourage others who need help to seek help. We’re all in this together.