The Lion's Roar
McAvinnue's Weekly Newsletter: Week Of January 11th
MCAVINNUE'S PRINCIPAL'S MESSAGE
Hello McAvinnue Community!
We made it through the first official school week of 2021 with great success! We had an average student attendance rate of 93% for this past week which is a solid number returning after the holiday break. When visiting classrooms this week, students were working extremely hard and were very eager to return to McAvinnue's school routines and expectations. It's important that we continue this positive momentum for this up and coming week. The first step to having a productive school day starts with being on time and ready for learning. We continue to emphasize the importance of having a good learning spot free from distractions and positive behaviors that will contribute to having a great school day such as "learning is really hard when you are laying in bed...and is much easier when you are seated at a table or desk". Please help us spread this message by reminding and supporting your child with these important action steps.
Even though we had a highly successful opening week of 2021 at McAvinnue, there was a tremendous amount of uncertainty and unrest within the United States this week. We all watched the events that transpired in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. This was troubling and disturbing display that we will all remember for some time regardless of your political beliefs or views. It's important that we reassure our young ones that disagreement doesn't justify violence and destruction. Peaceful conversations and discussions is what will ultimately lead to productive change regardless of what team you support.
Please see the important message from Superintendent Boyd below that address the events that took place on Wednesday, January 6th at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
“Dear Lowell Public Schools Community,
The peaceful transfer of power is a cornerstone of our democracy here in the United States. This tradition - and the very state of our democracy - was threatened during acts that took place at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. yesterday. Many of us watched and followed the news reports from our nation’s capital filled with sadness, confusion and concern among other emotions.
As educators, we carry the added responsibility of having to help our students process these events, even as we try to make sense of them ourselves. We know that facilitating and managing difficult conversations through a computer screen makes things all the more difficult. However, we are prepared to help our students through another difficult time in what has been a difficult year.
We live in highly charged times politically. We will not always agree. But we can still have difficult conversations while respecting one another and listening to one another. We can address differing ideologies in a productive and peaceful way, and the Lowell Public Schools remains committed to providing a safe, caring and respectful learning environment for all of our students, staff and families.
Our curriculum team has prepared resources to help our students through difficult events, like what took place at the Capitol (we emailed a list of links to families). In the meantime, if your child is expressing concern, please reach out to your teacher, social worker or principal for support.
Thank you to everyone for centering our discussions around how we can help our students feel safe, welcomed, respected and heard as we continue to engage in the democratic processes of our nation.
Continue to stay safe and be well.
Dr. Joel D. Boyd
Superintendent of Schools”
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, January 13th: Early Release Day - Student Dismissal @ 1:30 PM
- Monday, January 18th: Dr. Martin Luther Jr. Day - No School
- Monday, February 1st: CSA Tentative Return To In-Person Learning
- Wednesday, February 10th: Early Release Day - Student Dismissal at 1:30 PM
- Monday, February 15th - Friday, February 19th: Winter Break; No School For All Students
Flu Vaccine Required For All Students: UPDATED DEADLINE
As new information becomes available and opportunities become available, we will share out as much information from local health providers to make things as easy as possible for you to get the required flu vaccine by Sunday, February 28th.
REMEMBER THAT THE FLU VACCINATION IS A REQUIREMENT AND NEEDS TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR IN-PERSON LEARNING AT MCAVINNUE. 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
LPSD Winter Community Information Session
Please join Superintendent Boyd and the Lowell Public Schools leadership team for a virtual information forum geared for our families. These sessions will give you a chance to receive some important updates, including:
- Current status of COVID-19 in Lowell
- Remote Learning Resources and Support
- Attendance Expectations
- Goals for Returning to In-person Learning
- Status of Standardized Assessments (MCAS/ACCESS/SAT/AP)
The forums will take place via Zoom at the following times:
- Tuesday, January 12th at 3:00 PM
- Tuesday, January 12th at 6:00 PM
- Wednesday, January 13th at 6:00 PM (Spanish language forum)
You will need to register in advance for each session. Click here for registration links: https://www.lowell.k12.ma.us/WinterInfoSession
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 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: "Monkey Arms"
We will practice another new pose this week called "Monkey Arms". This new pose will allow us to open up our chest, improve our posture by releasing tension in our upper body. We will practice "Monkey Arms" 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!
Holiday Tree Removal
THIS IS THE LAST WEEK TO DISPOSE OF YOUR HOLIDAY TREE...DON'T MISS OUT ON YOUR CHANCE TO GET RID OF IT IN THE PROPER WAY.
There are nine drop-off locations available to Lowell residents between January 11th - January 15th. Natural Christmas trees only! The Lowell DPW has indicated that these areas will be under surveillance to prevent illegal dumping.
Please refer to the locations below along with any necessary and needed information. This service is free of charge and you can select drop-off option or curbside collection by the local Scout Troops.
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, January 11th from 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM at the Lincoln Elementary School (300 Chelmsford St.)
- Tuesday, January 12th from 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM at the Pawtucketville Elementary School (425 West Meadow Rd.)
- Wednesday, January 13th from 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM at the Stoklosa Middle School (560 Broadway St.)
- Thursday, January 14th from 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM at the Reilly Elementary School (115 Douglas Rd.)
- Friday, January 15th from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM at the Robinson Middle School (110 June St.)
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, please contact your child's teacher or 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 COVID-19 Guidelines & Data
COVID-19 cases continue to occur in Lowell, with 1,325 new cases reported in the City over the past 14 days. Lowell has a COVID-19 average daily incident rate of 78.8 (decrease) and a percent positivity rate of 10.2 (decrease) as of Tuesday, January 5th. 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
Need A COVID-19 Test?
Do you need a COVID-19 test? The drive-up site behind Showcase Cinemas has reopened. Register for an appointment using the link below.
Lowell City Hall - CLOSED
You can pay bills and request records online at: https://www.invoicecloud.com/portal/(S(jos25t3zvkicuuwhbe0pkqy1))/2/Site.aspx?G=055baa3f-ac74-481f-a9c5-db32d3f1d5ae
FAMILY INFORMATION & RESOURCES
Updated P-EBT Benefits
The state of Massachusetts has announced that the P-EBT benefit for October and November will be paid today, December 30th.
The benefit will be made by electronic deposit to your existing P-EBT or EBT card. The details are below.
- Eligible students will receive P-EBT in a lump sum for October and November - the amount will include $117.20/month (for fully remote students).
- 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 Reading & Writing Project
"Teachers College Reading and Writing Project" at Columbia University recognize that in these unprecedented times you are working hard to support your child’s literacy learning at home as best you can. They want to help. To that end, they have created free offerings for families. The goal is that these will bring more joy into home literacy learning. This group will be adding to these regularly; check this page for updates and additions!
In these family videos—each less than ten minutes— They draw on a combination of research, classroom experience, and educator knowledge to help parents and caregivers support young people, pre-k to grade 9, with their reading and writing. Some of these videos show you games that to play at home while others help you support phonics, avid reading, creative writing, study skills, research, vocabulary, or abstract thinking. They will add to this collection periodically. They have tried to make these accessible and joyful, and to support you in ways that will make a difference for your youngsters.
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, January 12th. 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
Positive Solutions for Families Workshop Series
The first session begins on Wednesday, January 20th. Registration needs to be completed by January 13, 2021.
Questions, Please email or call using the information below.
Laura Valdez CFCE coordinator email@example.com (978) 674-2065
Jennifer Williams Early Childhood Social Worker firstname.lastname@example.org
Greater Lowell Health Alliance to Offer FREE Community Programming to the Greater Lowell Region
Wednesday, January 13th, 12:00-1:30 PM
Typical vs Troubled in the Time of COVID-19 brought to you by the NAN Project
This training will compare and contrast the typical ups-and-downs of pre-teen and teenage development during the time of Covid-19 versus clear signs of a mental health challenge. We will cover our tried and true tips for starting everyday conversations about mental health. We will also offer strategies to approach a young person who may be struggling with the stress of this unpredictable time.
- Jake Cavanaugh: Executive Director
- Donna Kausek: Clinical Director
- Lizzie MacLellan: Sr Peer Coordinator
- Shilpa Thirukkovlur: Peer Coordinator
Registration is required for this event. Please email RSVP@greaterlowellhealthalliance.org to reserve your spot.
Please add the seminar name to the Subject link of your email when RSVPing.
NFI Family Resource Center Resource Guide
NFI is holding an ongoing virtual "Remote Learning Support Group." It will happen every other Monday from 3:30-4:30. First topic is "Creating a Learning Space in your Home". We will let the group lead about what our biweekly topics will be. Below is the link and dates.
January 11th and 25th @ 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Here is the link for the meetings:
You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (408) 650-3123
Access Code: 656-101-301
NFI has also put together a resource guide for families during the pandemic. Some of the topics covered are:
- Emergency Funds & Financial Resources
- COVID-19 School Information
- Parenting Resources
- Mental Health
- Supplemental Food Support
- Community Teamwork Inc.
- Technology Resources
Click below to access the guide
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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