The Lion's Roar
McAvinnue's Weekly Newsletter: Week Of February 22nd
MCAVINNUE'S PRINCIPAL'S MESSAGE
Hello McAvinnue Community!
We hope that EVERYONE had an amazing Winter Break with family and friends. The weather wasn't the best overall limiting some outdoor activities. However, the time off was well deserved and well needed for the McAvinnue community. Sometimes, it's just good to relax and enjoy a good book, a movie or series you wanted to watch, dinner at a favorite local restaurant, or just not needing to maintain a set schedule.
We have completed 94 school days and only 76 left until the Summer vacation! However, we still have a lot of work left to do this year to make sure all of our students are ready to move forward to the next grade. Also, we will have a significant amount of work to do in the Fall to help all of our students get back on track.
Our goal is to continue to push forward and capitalize on the positive momentum we have build in the first half of the school year! Many of our students are doing an amazing job with everything...we need those students to keep up the hard work! Those students that can do better...there's still time to change and move in a more positive direction for the second half of the year. We have targeted those students...and will continue to work individually with them as well as support the family to ensure that every opportunity is provided to make actionable change!
As everyone is already well aware, we are opening McAvinnue up again for in-person learning starting on Monday, February 22nd. Our CSA students will return first on this date followed by those students that were in-person in the Fall on Monday, March 1st. Additionally, we are working on a plan that will allow more students to return to in-person learning on April 1st...more information to come in March...stayed tune!
The second half of this crazy school year should look different for just about everyone! While this is an exciting opportunity to have our students back into the school building for in-person learning, we will need EVERYONE'S support to fully take advantage of this potential chance to end the school year in a more "normal" manner! Keep doing your part...don't let up...and we will get through the second half of the school year together having some fun!
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the Main Office at McAvinnue or send Mr. Domina a message a firstname.lastname@example.org.
In-Person Learning Update: Sub-Separate Return On February 22nd
Please read this important update sent on Friday, February 18th from Superintendent Boyd on the status of in-person learning that will resume on Monday, February 22nd.
You can access the information below in multiple languages using this link:
"February 18, 2021
Greetings Lowell Public Schools Families,
We hope you enjoyed the February vacation and were able to relax and recharge.
With our first group of students set to return to in-person instruction on Monday, February 22, and our next group returning in-person on March 1, we wanted to share some updates and reminders to help guide families through the transition (these were included in the February issue of our district newsletter, the LPS Connector):
Schedule for Returning to In-Person Learning
- February 22nd - Students in substantially separate special education programs who were previously participating in our in-person learning model (those students who were still attending in-person instruction in December)
- March 1st - Students who are not in a substantially separate special education program, but were previously served in-person this fall as part of our original school reopening plan.
- April 1st - Our target date for expanding in-person learning for additional students beyond those who were assigned to in-person learning at the beginning of this school year. We will continue to keep you posted with more details and about the feasibility of meeting this next target date. (In the meantime, please take our return to school survey if you have not already done so.)
Transportation for In-Person Learners
- For those students returning in-person on February 22 and March 1 who receive transportation, the transportation schedule will remain the same as the last time they were attending school in-person. If you have any questions, please call the Transportation Office at 978-674-4333.
- The COVID-19 rates here in Lowell continue to improve. According to the Commonwealth’s weekly report released on February 18, the average number of daily cases per 100,000 residents is now 41.0, down from 87.0 a month ago, while the “percent positivity rate” (the percentage of tests that are positive here in Lowell) is now 5.01, down from 10.15 a month ago.
- The latest COVID-19 data, updates and information can be found on the LPS COVID-19 Dashboard. Please check out this great resource.
COVID-19 Testing Program
- As part of the reopening process, we will be offering voluntary free weekly COVID-19 testing. This testing will lower the risk of spread of COVID-19 by helping to identify those positive cases in people who do not show any symptoms of COVID-19. In order to participate, parents/guardians will have to sign a consent form for their child. Click here for the consent form.
- This COVID-19 test is quick, easy and it does not hurt. It is a nasal test that gently swabs the lower inner nostril. We will accommodate all students’ needs to help them be comfortable during the test.
- The test is free. You do not need to pay for the test or have insurance to get the test.
- The more students and staff who participate, the safer our schools will be. Please click here to read more about this testing program.
- Massachusetts is currently in Phase 2 of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout. As of publication, the following groups are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine: everyone in Phase 1; individuals 75 and older; individuals 65 and older; residents and staff of affordable senior housing; people with 2+ medical conditions. Those accompanying residents 75 and older to vaccine appointments (at the mass vaccination sites) can also get a shot. Early education and K-12 workers are currently slated to be eligible for vaccination later in Phase 2. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the state’s website.
Check out these helpful resources from the Lowell Community Health Center and the Greater Lowell Health Alliance:
LPS Face Mask Protocol and Guidelines
- Students, staff, and any person entering our school buildings are required to wear a face covering, unless there is a documented exception. Masks potentially slow the spread of the virus and can protect against the transmission of the virus from people who may have the virus and be asymptomatic. Please review the LPS Face Mask Protocol and Guidelines.
COVID-19 Cleaning Protocols
- As students return to school, we will make sure we continue to follow strict safety guidelines in order to keep our students and staff safe. Air purifiers will be checked to ensure they are running in proper order, hand sanitizer stations and classroom dispensers will be filled, and desks and all surfaces will be regularly cleaned.
- Our custodial staff will continue deploying additional disinfecting treatments in our buildings, such as using a disinfecting fogging/sprayer machines, especially when a COVID positive case has been identified.
What To Do When You Feel Sick
- Do you feel sick or have COVID-19 symptoms? Please refer to this helpful and easy to follow chart for guidelines about if you should go to school and how long you should isolate or quarantine if you do have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. Please be sure to contact your school nurse if your child develops COVID symptoms or has been identified as a close contact or tested positive for COVID.
Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order
- Please be mindful of the state’s COVID-19 Travel Order if you traveled out of state during the February vacation week, especially for families of students returning on February 22 or March 1. Having our COVID-19 numbers continue to decline is key to being able to keep our students in our school buildings."
Here are important dates to remember over the next few months of school:
- Month Of February: Raz Kids Reading Benchmark Assessment Testing
- Monday, February 22nd: McAvinnue Reopens
- Monday, February 22nd: CSA Tentative Return To In-Person Learning
- Wednesday, February 24th @ 9:40 AM: COVID-19 Pooled Testing For McAvinnue Students & Faculty
- Thursday, February 25th: McAvinnue's School Site Council Meeting @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
- Monday, March 1st: 25% Return To In-Person Learning
- Monday, March 1st: 100th Day Of School
- Thursday, March 4th: McAvinnue's School Site Council Meeting @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
- Wednesday, March 10th: Early Release Day - Students Dismissed @ 1:30 PM
- Monday, March 29th: Report Card Distribution (PreK - Grade 4)
Please go to the "Our School" tab and click on "School Site Council". There is a section for the 2020-2021 academic school year. Go to the "Members & Meeting Dates 2020-2021" and you will find the necessary meeting information and working agenda for this meeting.
LPSD Pooled Testing Information & Consent Form
On February 22, 2021, we will begin to bring back students for in-person learning. As part of the re-opening, we will be offering voluntary free weekly COVID-19 testing. This testing will lower the risk of spread of COVID-19 by helping to identify those positive cases in people who do not show any symptoms of COVID-19.
We hope that you will participate by signing a consent form for your child. The more students and staff who participate, the safer our schools will be!
We have created an easy to use newsletter that contains the following information:
- What is the COVID-19 testing program?
- How can my student participate in the program?
- Online consent form translated in multiple languages
- How does it work?
If you have any questions, please contact Nurse Robin at email@example.com, The Family Resource Center at (978) 674-432 or The Equity and Engagement Office at (978) 674-4326.
You can access the Pooled Testing newsletter using the link below that includes the online consent form.
Return To School Survey For Fully Remote Students Only - April 1st
The Lowell Public Schools is continuing to plan for the potential return of additional students for In-Person learning no sooner than April 1, 2021.
In order to do so, we are reaching out to all families who have been fully remote this school year to get updated information about whether you want your child(ren) to return to In-Person learning when we are able to do so. Families completed a survey back in August/September, and we understand that your wishes may have changed since then.
Please note that this survey is simply collecting data and completing this survey does not guarantee an In-Person seat for students. It is just a data-collection system to help us plan for potentially expanding our In-Person capacity in the spring.
You should complete the survey one time and include each of your children who attend any school within the LPS system. There are directions included.
Thank you very much for your assistance with gathering this important information.
DEADLINE TO COMPLETE THIS SURVEY IS TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd
Change Of Address Form
McAvinnue's Week In Review!
"Good News" In Room 304
Sophia has completed 443 ST Math Puzzles! So awesome....keep up the great work!
More "Good News" Room 304
Stephanie was the ST Math classroom winner for the month of January as she logged in 893 minutes....yes, that's 14 hours! Amazing job!
"Good News" In Room 200i
"Good News" in Room 200i! Edison recently completed and shared his "All About" book he created focusing on Polar Bears! So much fantastic information...we really learned a lot for all of your hard work!
"Good News" In Room 304
More "Good News" Room 304
"Good News" In Room 212!
PreK students had some fun making Valentines for their families. Check out how creative they are...we think that your families will LOVE these!
ST Math "Good News"!
McAvinnue's ST Math Challenge is going so great so far! Check out some of the work for our students in Room 301, 102, and 204! We think everyone is doing tremendous work...keep it up and you may earn the "ST Math Swag Bag".....LET'S GO!!!
"Good News" In Room 208!
Jael won both the ST Math and Raz Kids Challenge and earned a pizza! He had the most minutes for both platforms! This is strong work!
"Good News" In Room 212!
ST Math "Good News"!
"Good News" In Room 309!
Grade 4 students spent some time focusing on "Cause & Effect" and had to create a model that demonstrated how one factor can impact the end results. Check out the models that were created....so creative!
"Cool News" In Room 304!
Grade 3 students focused on centipedes during Science and needed to produce a model that included various characteristics that they learned about in their classroom exploration. All of the models that were shared were really awesome...and super creative!
"Good News" In Room 205!
Kindergarten students completed the final stage of the Engineering Process Building! They created designs to improve the McAvinnue Elementary School! This was the culmination of the now famous “Lowell Project”!
"Good News" In Room 309!
"Cool News" In Room 304!
The LPSD "Connector" District Newsletter
The LPSD is excited to share with you the second installment of our monthly district-wide community newsletter - the LPS Connector:
The February issue includes a welcome message from Superintendent Boyd, a COVID-19 update, as well as information about district surveys. We also highlight some of the great work happening at our individual schools and pay tribute to Black History Month. Ever wonder who our schools are named after? Our new feature, "What's in a Name?," will explore this topic. Additionally, you’ll find information on technology support for remote learners, a preview of February’s Harvest of the Month item at our meal sites, and you will be able to learn more about School Site Councils.
The LPSD hopes you enjoy the articles we have prepared for you in this month’s newsletter. They welcome your feedback and suggestions on topics of interest to you, as our goal is to keep you informed and connected to the great and timely happenings across our district.
McAvinnue's Zoom Meeting Norms & Expectations
Here are the basic Zoom norms that we have worked out and would like to propose moving forward.
- Make sure your name in zoom is your real name.
- Raise your hand to speak and wait for the teacher to call on you so everyone can hear you.
- Please be on mute when the directions are being given. Teachers may need to mute the whole class if there are too many noises.
- Please turn on your camera for attendance.
- Be online for class or activities
- Use respectful words in chat at all times (Even if the student to student chat feature is off).
These are basic norms that we will attempt to adhere with for all classes. Please review these norms with your child.
McAvinnue's "Virtual" Morning Announcements
Missed McAvinnue's "Virtual" 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.
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!
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.
If you have changed any numbers or have new primary care providers that you would like to add, please complete the form below or reach out to us with this new information. It's important to do this as we start to return to students to in-person learning for the second half for this school year.
Remote Learning Daily Meal Service: February 2021
- 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: "Sitting Rag Doll"
We will try another new pose this week called "Sitting Rag Doll". This new pose will allow us to improve our focus and clarity by releasing tension through relaxation and rest that will help us find our center. We will practice "Sitting Rag Doll" daily during our "Virtual" Morning Announcements during this up and coming week. You can get an early head start and practice this pose before we launch into another exciting week!
WE'VE GOT TECH TIPS & SUPPORT FOR YOU!
McAvinnue's Virtual & In-Person Learning And Information Spot For Students
Click The Button Below To Access The Site
Lowell Public School District Tech Support
The LPSD IT Team will continue have a "Technology Tent" set-up at the following locations during the times listed below this up and coming week. No appointment is necessary and you can pick which location works best for you.
- Monday, February 22nd @ 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM - Lincoln Elementary School (300 Chelmsford St. - next to the main entrance)
- Tuesday, February 23rd @ 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM - Pawtucketville Elementary School (425 West Meadow Rd. - next to the main entrance)
- Wednesday, February 24th @ 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM - Stoklosa Middle School (560 Broadway St. - side door facing parking lot)
- Thursday, February 25th @ 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM - Reilly Elementary School (115 Douglas Rd. - rear door facing rear parking lot)
- Friday, February 26th from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM - Robinson Middle School (110 June St. - side door across from main entrance)
Bring the charger for the device that you need support with.
You can also contact the Help Desk at (978) 674-2024 for assistance.
Got A Hotspot That You're Not Using?
HEALTH & SAFETY GUIDELINES
COVID-19 Data & Guidelines
Here is the most recent health data for Lowell released this past week. COVID-19 cases continue to occur in Lowell, with 669 new cases reported in the City over the past 14 days. Lowell has a COVID-19 average daily incident rate of 41.1 (decrease) and a percent positivity rate of 5.01 (decrease) as of Thursday, February 18th. 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
FAMILY INFORMATION & RESOURCES
McAvinnue's ST Math Challenge
McAvinnue's ST Math February Challenge is going great...and our students are continuing to complete many puzzles both daily and weekly....and over the Winter Break! Remember...we have ONE more week to go before the challenge ends. Keep working hard...and you will have a good chance at earning one of the awesome prizes!
Here is a reminder for what students need to accomplish each week of the ST Math Challenge:
- Pre-K: 20 Puzzles Each Week
- K and Grade 1: 40 Puzzles Each Week
- Grades 2, 3, & 4: 50 Puzzles Each Week
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to your classroom teacher for support.
Here are some ST Math Challenge details for February 8th - February 14th.
# Of Students Who Met Goal:
- 2 Pre-K Students
- 21 Kindergarten Students
- 34 Grade 1 Students
- 25 Grade 2 Students
- 32 Grade 3 Students
- 15 Grade 4 Students
Total: 129 Students Met Their Grade Level Puzzle Goal (29% Of McAvinnue)
380 students signed during the week of February 8th - February 14th for a total of 18,211 puzzles completed.
Here are some ST Math Challenge details for the week of February 15th - February 20th.
# of students who have continued to meet the weekly puzzle goal:
- 8 Kindergarten students
- 12 Grade 1 students
- 4 Grade 2 students
- 2 Grade 3 students
- 6 Grade 4 students
Total: 32 Students Have Continued To Meet Their Grade Level Puzzle Goal
Please see the breakdown of the prizes that students can earn for successfully completing McAvinnue's ST Math Challenge in the picture below.
Here's a reminder about the ST Math February Challenge prizes below. The left side (highlighted in red) are the prizes that individual students can earn if they complete the grade level challenge for the month. The right side (highlighted in green) are the raffle prizes that one student in each grade level could also win if they complete the grade level challenge.
P-EBT Benefits - Remote Learning Students
The state of Massachusetts has announced that there will be P-EBT benefits for all families who have a child that is remote learning.
The benefit will be made by electronic deposit to your existing P-EBT or EBT card. The details are below.
- Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT, is a relief program created out of the CARES Act for families whose children qualify for free and reduced lunch. The program was launched in Massachusetts in April to help low-income families across the state cover the cost of missed school meals while their children learn remotely.
- If families previously received P-EBT on an EBT card funds will be put on that EBT card again - even if a family is no longer using the SNAP benefit at this time.
- If a new EBT card is required please visit DTAConnect.com or call 877-382-2363.
- If families received P-EBT on a P-EBT card in the past, funds will be put on their child's P-EBT card again. If a new P-EBT card is required visit DTAConnect.com/PEBT.
For any additional questions regarding P-EBT benefits please refer to MAp-EBT.org. You can also reach out to the Main Office at McAvinnue and we will connect you with Mrs. De La Luz for support.
The Greater Boston Food Bank
The Greater Boston Food Bank will be at the STEM Academy (43 Highland Street) will take place from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM.
The next food pantry is Tuesday, February 23rd. 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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Follow McAvinnue On Social Media
Weekly Family Read-A-Loud: "Never Let A Dinosaur Scribble" - By Diane Alber
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