Lowell Parent Newsletter

April 25, 2021

Big picture

Ramadan Observance April 12 - May 12

Big picture

Message from Mrs. Phelan

Welcome Back from Vacation!


I hope this week brought relaxation and peace to you and those you love. I'm excited to kick off the final quarter of this school year. Having most of our students back in school is a big first step to returning to a typical school year. The next task is to begin planning our Lowell School spring events such as Field Day and Moving On which should be so much fun. More information will be available in the coming weeks.


I can't let this important week go unnoticed. During our week away, we witnessed two historical events which have the power to bring healing and acknowledgment to crimes against our shared humanity—first, the guilty verdict in the George Floyd murder trial. Second, the official recognition by the United States Government of the Armenian Genocide in the early 1900s. These events alone can sit as moments in our history, or they can lay the foundation for a profound impact on our American future. Only by keeping the momentum going will these moments create a lasting change in society. We do this by teaching our children the importance of social justice, which helps bolster our celebration of identity and diversity. We will continue our equity work in several ways over the coming weeks. As the year comes to an end, grade level teams are planning activities to assess our equity work with Antiracist Baby and other units of study taught throughout this year. We will also host Student Diversity Council live and via Zoom on Friday afternoons. This week's presenter is JD Kubluis who's topic is Autism Awareness. Students in grades 3-5 meet this Friday, and grades k-2 meet next week. JD will present to both groups.


I'm happy to welcome you all back!

Big picture

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent and Teacher Conferences will take place on the following dates and times:

The ESL Team will be booking interpreters for conferences and calling families directly.


Conferences will be held on Zoom

Thursday, 6/10 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM

Tuesday, 6/15 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM

Weds. 6/16 from 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Dates to Remember

Monday, April 26th, at 5:00 PM - Anti-Bias Coalition District Event


Thursday, April 29th, 8:45-2:30 - School Pictures Rain Date Friday, April 30th


Thursday, April 29th, at 3:15 PM - Equity Leaders Team District Event


Friday, April 30th, at 1:45 - Student Diversity Council Grades 3-5 in the Cafeteria

School Pictures

School Pictures will take place on April 29th the rain date is scheduled for April 30th


  • April 29th In-person students beginning at 8:30-1:00
  • April 29th Virtual students beginning at 1:00 at the top of the Orchard Street hill.


Online ordering made easy:


http://www.coffeepond.com

Big picture

2021 Curiosity Challenge Winners

Students in grades 1-5 participated in the Cambridge Science Festival’s Curiosity Challenge as a part of their asynchronous science this winter. Each school had a number of winners! They are listed below. Also all winners are now on the Curiosity Challenge website! Curiosity Challenge 2021 Winners

Lowell

1. Caroline Marsh-Zinser

2. Maisie Morgan

3. Charlotte Kubilus

4. Sophia Zarkados

5. Quinn Leonard

6. Bella Shutts

MCAS DATES

Virtual students:

All 3 schools on the same day

3rd and 4th go to their neighborhood school

All 5th grade will go to Hosmer


ELA

WVS Friday, May 14

In-Person Tuesday, May 11th


MATH

WVS Friday, May 21

In-Person Tuesday, May 18th


SCIENCE

WVS Monday, May 24


In-Person Tuesday, May 25th



MCAS Schedule and Dates

Parent Diversity Council

Last night we hosted our Monthly Parent Diversity Council. We started the meeting by taking a moment to pause and reflect on the recent killings of Eight Asian Americans, Daunte Wright, and Adam Toledo. We recognized as a council that our work is important and will continue!! We are currently offering volunteer leadership opportunities. Please see information below and reach out to Candice Whitmore or Stacy Phelan if you are interested. Please see the slides from the council here.




As we phase into Year four of our Council, we are asking for a few parent leaders to step in to co-lead the Parent Diversity Council

  • Duties would include:

    • Mid-Monthly check in meetings with Stacy and Candice

      • Are we meeting the needs of the group?

      • How can the group inform their direction?

    • Liaison and spokesperson for the Lowell with other district Diversity Councils

    • Meeting Notes and sharing with broader Lowell Community

Please join us for the next meeting: May 20th, 6pm

Notice: Travel Protocols

The governor of Massachusetts issued a Travel Advisory effective March 22, 2021. Below is information from the advisory. Please click on the link to get more information and check the link periodically as it is subject to change.

As of Monday, March 22, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival. Travelers in the following categories are exempt from this quarantine advisory:

  • Travelers who have received a negative COVID-19 result on a test administered not more than 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. Travelers may also test out of the quarantine advisory after arrival in Massachusetts, as long as they quarantine until receiving a negative test result.

  • Anyone who is entering Massachusetts for fewer than 24 hours

  • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after being out of the State for fewer than 24 hours

  • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) during required commuting to or from work and while at work.

  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago) and who do not have symptoms.


Every WPS employee should follow this advisory.

Anyone arriving from an international destination must quarantine for 14 days, per the Watertown Health Department. Staff should consult with the school nurse and building administrator regarding international travel as guidelines change rapidly.

Quaranting

The governor of Massachusetts issued a Travel Advisory effective March 22, 2021. Below is information from the advisory. Please click on the link to get more information and check the link periodically as it is subject to change.

As of Monday, March 22, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival. Travelers in the following categories are exempt from this quarantine advisory:

  • Travelers who have received a negative COVID-19 result on a test administered not more than 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. Travelers may also test out of the quarantine advisory after arrival in Massachusetts, as long as they quarantine until receiving a negative test result.

  • Anyone who is entering Massachusetts for fewer than 24 hours

  • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after being out of the State for fewer than 24 hours

  • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) during required commuting to or from work and while at work.

  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago) and who do not have symptoms.


Every WPS employee should follow this advisory.

Anyone arriving from an international destination must quarantine for 14 days, per the Watertown Health Department. Staff should consult with the school nurse and building administrator regarding international travel as guidelines change rapidly.


QUARANTINING: UPDATED INFORMATION

In the event that a student/adult in a classroom receives a positive test result and a classroom will need to quarantine, we will provide teachers and families a school day to prepare for this. This will enable teachers to organize schedules, zoom links, and supplies for families to pick up.


With regards to international travel, a quarantine of 14 days upon return is necessary, with a negative PCR test on day 15. This is in accordance with the directive of the Watertown Health Department. Students quarantining after travel may not Zoom into classroom lessons.


Students are invited to Zoom into the classroom only in cases where they have tested positive for COVID themselves OR have been deemed a close contact. In these cases, parents/families must contact Nurse Debbie Nolan and arrangements will be made.

No Dogs are Allowed on School Grounds

Dogs are not allowed on school grounds, ball-field, basketball courts, or playgrounds. We kindly request you follow Town Ordinances.

PTO Corner

PTO Update

Join the PTO! We have many leadership and volunteer positions available next year including President (or Co-Presidents), Vice President, and other event coordination positions. The PTO is a fantastic way to be more involved in the school and build friendships with other parents and families. Please email lowellelementarypto@gmail.com to learn more.


Next PTO Meeting. Tuesday, May 11th at 6:30PM. You can find the link on the Lowell PTO page.


Cosmic Yoga Kids Club:

Students are invited to sign-up for Cosmic Yoga with Ms. Gerring! Recommended for Grades K-2 but all are welcome. Yoga will be on Thursdays from 3 - 4pm on Zoom. Session 2 will run from April 15 - June 17. There will not be meetings during April School Vacation week. This club is FREE with PTO support. Space is limited, and families can sign-up using this link:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0545a5ae28a0f49-cosmic

Gardening Corner

Happy Spring from the Lowell Learning Garden!


We are excited to see things popping up in the beautiful Lowell Learning Garden! Students have already begun some springtime exploration and work in the garden!

We recently had an unfortunate incident of vandalism in the garden. Sadly, this is not the first time plants and structures have been damaged. Please note: Students who return to the Lowell after school hours to play are not permitted into the garden areas. Our children, teachers, garden coordinator and parent volunteers spend many hours making these garden spaces rich learning environments, and to see them being destroyed is heart-breaking. Our garden is a living extension of our school and should be treated with respect and care.

You're Invited: Vacation Week Garden Volunteer Opportunity!

If you are interested in helping out in the garden during vacation week (possibly Tues 4/20, Weds 4/21 or Thursday 4/22) please let Judy Fallows know by sending an email to judith.fallows@watertown.k12.ma.us.

A message from Judy:

Depending on how many may be interested and what the weather is doing, I'll put together a schedule and you can sign up. Kids welcome! We'll be wearing masks and keeping social distance just like during school. It's a chance to get out in the garden, smell the flowers and meet the bugs! If you'd be willing to come help move that huge pile of wood chips and weed and cultivate the garden beds, please let me know, I'd love some help! And we'll do a little planting too!

Have a great week, and maybe I'll see you in the garden!

Judy Fallows, School Garden Coordinator

Summer Success

Summer Success for Reading, Math and ESL

This year we will be once again offering a summer success program for eligible students. This program will run from July 12 - August 5th on Monday - Thursday from 8:30 - 12:00 at the Lowell School. Eligible students will be notified by the end of April and those that attend will receive small group instruction in math, reading, and writing.


Please reach out to Deb Opar (deborah.opar@watertown.k12.ma.us), Elizabeth Kaplan (Elizabeth.kaplan@watertown.k12.ma.us) or Kate Phillipson (kathryn.phillipson@watertown.k12.ma.us) with any questions about this summer program.