Lowell Elementary School
As you are all aware, Governor Baker has extended the school closure until May 4, 2020. I'm sure this news wasn't completely shocking, yet I found it still surprising. I want to let you know how disappointed I was to hear his latest update. I know you have been taking all of these twists and turns in stride. It certainly is daunting just thinking about how to continue this for almost another six weeks. I completely empathize and am confident we will come through strong on the other end.
Today, an article appeared on Boston.com detailing an account of a woman suffering from severe flu like symptoms. Her story is difficult to read and we sympathize with her struggles. Many of you may recognize her as a member of our school community. She is the first person we are aware of that could possibly have the virus who has any association with the Lowell community. Please know we have been away from school for 13 days, which is almost as long as the advised self-quarantine period recommended by the CDC, so that is good news.
The last week has been anything less than amazing. Our community has come together in countless ways to support one another through this unprecedented time. I've heard of mothers holding virtual play-dates, virtual dance classes, folks leaving meals for one another, donations of personal protection items to local health departments, and many other acts of kindness.
This spirit will go on and we at Lowell School will continue to support you through this challenging time. We need to recalculate our plan as a school department with the Governor's new announcement. Our focus remains on supporting our students socially and emotionally during this time. Our Community Meetings are an essential mechanism for staying connected to your children. Please work with us to keep your child connected to their classroom. Community Meetings are intended for students only. As we know many parents need to help their child get set up. We ask that the child be the only participant in the meeting. This weekend I'll send along with a list of norms we can all follow during Community Meetings.
Another important topic on parents' minds is the class placement letters that are needed to be dropped off in the office by March 31st. Given our current state, that is impossible. Therefore, I'd like to invited parents to send the letter to me via email. I will make sure to take it under advisement during our class placement process. Feel free to send me a letter and make sure your child's first and last name is included.
Just remember, we're all in this together. We are strong and will grow stronger still.
Coffee with the Principal Over Zoom!
Stacy Phelan is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Principal Coffee
Time: Mar 27, 2020, 08:30 AM Eastern Time (the US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting just click here the URL below:
Meeting ID: 295 132 2272
Meeting ID: 295 132 2272
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/afrUx47AL
Are You in Need of a Loaner Device?
Our goal is for everyone to access to online learning. We can also provide HotSpot if needed.
Community Meetings and Expectations
Many teachers and students have started meeting on ZOOM for face to face Community Meetings, and it has been great to "see" each other and re-connect and catch up with each other. :) However, there are certain expectations we have for these meetings. The teachers have conveyed them to the students, but we ask that you please reinforce them with your child(ren).
Please follow school dress code (no pajamas)
School appropriate language and behavior
Respect each other during the meeting
Students (and teachers) have the option to turn off their video if they are more comfortable participating that way
This is a fun way to re-connect, but we also need to keep it school/professional.
Keeping Routines is Important for Children
Watertown Library Updates - Let's all get Reading!!
Watertown Library Increasing Numbers of Titles Available Online, Find Out How to Access them:
Many of you have asked how to help...
One important way to help is by donating to the WATERTOWN FOOD PANTRY.
The Watertown Council on Aging administers the Watertown Food Pantry, which provides food assistance to any Watertown resident in need.
LOCATION: The Food Pantry is located at the rear of the Belmont-Watertown United Methodist Church at 80 Mt. Auburn Street. The entrance to the Food Pantry is around the left corner of the church (formerly St. John's) from the parking lot at the side of the building, basement level. Look for the Watertown Food Pantry signs.
DAYS and HOURS: The food pantry has changed their days and hours due to COVID-19. They are only open Tuesdays from 10 am to 2 pm until further notice. This is a link to the town website with the information.
CONTACT: Call the Council on Aging/Senior Center at 617-972-6490 for more information, to volunteer, and to donate.
Dr. Galdston's Update
Here is the information that Dr. Galdston sent out last night:
Good evening WPS families, faculty, and staff:
During this extraordinary time we find ourselves in, I want you to know how much we all appreciate your compassion and patience as we join together in support of the children. As we settle into this new virtual educational reality, I want to share a few updates and reminders with you.
Elementary and Middle School Conferences
The elementary and middle school conferences that were scheduled to begin tomorrow are postponed with new dates to be determined. Our staff are currently engaged in learning how best to work in an online environment and therefore are not able to provide feedback to parents/guardians about student performance at this time. When we return to school, we will reschedule our conferences and look forward to these important opportunities for partnering together on your child(ren)’s education.
Our wonderful School Nutrition Department is providing breakfast and lunch for all families who need this support. Please stop by the High School faculty parking lot off of Broadway Street between the hours of 11 am to 1 pm to pick up the meals. All we are asking for is your name and the number of lunches your family needs. Currently, we are providing meals daily, Monday through Friday. If you are not able to pick up these meals, but could use them, please email email@example.com. I am most grateful for our school nutrition workers and custodians who are keeping this operation open during the closure!
Extended Learning Opportunity Website
As a reminder, the WPS Curriculum Team has created a helpful and extensive Extended Learning Opportunity Webpage for your use during the closure, which includes grade-level specific resources, digital learning opportunities and social/emotional learning resources, all of which can be accomplished at home. This webpage is intended to be a guide that you can adjust to meet the needs of your family as you support your child or teen in balancing on-screen and off-screen tasks while they are out of school, and is supplemental to what our teachers are providing students in their communications. Our goal is to enrich and reinforce learning, and to support you as you are home with your children. If you need a device for your child to access the online resources, please email your principal this week.
Beginning this week, our teachers will hold Community Meetings in an effort to reach as many of our students as possible. Not only are the Community Meetings a great way for teachers to check-in with your children, but it also allows us to continue to narrow down the number of students who may not be able to connect, which is critical to our success with remote learning activities. Community Meetings will offer our students a chance to reconnect and be social with each other with our staff there to facilitate the conversation. We will be using Zoom and Google Classroom or Google Hangouts for the meetings, and teachers will send out information about the meetings via email. If your teacher uses Zoom, these meetings are live and will not be recorded. Teachers will provide guidelines and norms for the Community Meeting and we ask that you please have a conversation with your child over appropriate behavior during these group meetings.
As always, I will update the community as soon as we have any information to share from the Commissioner of Education.
With great appreciation,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Videos
The following videos were created as part of CDC-TV’s Health Matters series for the general public and public health professionals.
We encourage you to watch these videos and learn more about how you can keep you and your family healthy by practicing improved hygiene. If you are a public health professional, you can use these videos to raise awareness and educate your community on healthy hygiene behaviors.