Lowell Newsletter

November 11, 2020

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We will be holding Virtual Parent Teacher Conferences the week of November 17th.


On November 4th, your child's classroom teacher(s) sent invites to sign up for a conference time via Signup Genius.


Specialists Learning Intentions and links to schedule conferences with Mrs. Russell, Mr. Cutler or Mr. Johns can be found by following the links below, lots of great information!


Library Conference Information

P.E. Conference Information

Music Conference Information

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Thanksgiving Meals

If your family will be without a meal for the November holiday, we invite you to come to the annual Turkey Distribution at the Missoula Food Bank and Community Center. Missoula Food Bank will be offering a turkey and a bag of fixings to families while supplies last on Sunday, November 22, 2020 from 9 am – 6 pm. Distribution will take place at the Missoula Food Bank and Community Center located at 1720 Wyoming St. Please remain in your car, with all family members wearing masks, and items will be brought to you. Thank you!
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We are excited to add a new opportunity for your child on Hybrid Remote school days.

This week, in partnership with Missoula Parks and Rec, we will open a Lowell Remote Learning Hub on the Tuesdays or Thursdays your child is OUT of school. Students will meet Parks and Rec staff in the Lowell cafeteria at 8am and then will be transported to the Parks and Rec Base Camp. Students will work with trained staff on remote learning assignments from Lowell coupled with a swimming lesson at Currents Aquatic Center. The learning hub will keep students in the same school cohorts they are in during the school day. Students will return to the Lowell cafeteria for pick up at 1pm.


Please use this link to sign up for the Learning Hub.

FREE opportunities for out of school care offered to Lowell families as part of our Lowell Community Center initiative.

We are pleased to announce that our FREE full-day out of school programming for Lowell students on Remote Mondays will continue through November. We are also adding free full day programming November 23-25 when school is out for Thanksgiving week. Please use this link to sign up for these full day programs. If you have questions or need to confirm your enrollment, please email Alex @ BirrellA@ci.missoula.mt.us. These full day programs will be held at Lowell and students will stay in the same pods they attend on school days. Parks and Rec will include time to work on remote learning activities as well as field trips, recreation opportunities, and arts and crafts.


If you need full day care for your kiddo on hybrid-remote days (T-W or Th-F), please email WhicherM@ci.missoula.mt.us for low to no cost options.

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Winter Weather - school delays and cancellations

We are fast approaching the winter season and the heart of Missoula winter weather. I want to make sure you know where to find information regarding any weather related delays or cancellations to our normal school schedule.

When school is delayed or cancelled due to weather, it is our District’s goal to notify families, students and the public by 6:30 a.m. This decision is based on input from local law enforcement, our transportation partner Beach Transportation, and our own staff research of current road conditions.

We post notifications about delays or cancellations on our district website homepage at www.mcpsmt.org. This information will also be posted on each school’s website homepage. We also post the information on our district Mobile App, as well as the MCPS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

For those families that opt to receive emails, phone calls and text messages from the school, you will also receive a notice directly via phone, email and text.

Finally, you will see the information reported by local media on the radio and television as well as their own websites. When looking at reports on local media, be sure that you look for notices related to Missoula County Public Schools or School District #1. Sometimes other schools in the area are affected and our 18 schools remain on normal schedules. If in doubt, check one of our MCPS websites or social media accounts.

We also want to remind you that students should only wait at a bus stop for 15 minutes after the scheduled pick up time. We don’t want students out in the cold waiting for a bus that may be delayed due to weather. We will contact you with instructions if the bus is delayed longer than 15 minutes.

LOWELL LIBRARY

We would like to thank a multitude of community members that have supported literacy at Lowell! The generosity of our community is heart warming and humbling.


First, the famous Annie Garde of The Pea Green Boat (MT Public Radio) has once again donated books to our school! These beautifully engaging stories will be available for check out soon!


Randy and Theresa of Missoula also donated to a recent Donorschoose project and in one fell swoop, the project was fully funded! Our school library collection will soon acquire a lot of popular titles our students have been requesting thanks to their generosity.


Last but not least, the donations from Missoula Gives will not only fund Battle of the Books for future years to come, but will also help update our library collection with high interest books for students of all ages. We are planning to use a portion of these funds for 5th graders to select a beloved book to add to our library for future students to enjoy, so they too can leave a mark on literacy at Lowell Elementary! Thank you for supporting our students and encouraging a love of literacy!

LOWELL COUNSELING CORNER


Check out this great video from our counseling team on the Circle of Control for families

Circle of Control Video for Families

We are happy to share with you that all school meals will be free for the rest of the school year due to an extension of support from the US Department of Agriculture.


We know that the pandemic has impacted many of our family’s income and job status. On top of the economic impact of COVID-19, 48% of residents in our county are cost burdened due to the cost of their housing.


In spite of these factors, only 40% of families in our school have returned a Free and Reduced Meal application. We think that up to 60% of our families may qualify for Free or Reduced Price Meals.


We also need your help returning forms because getting an accurate count will ensure important federal funding comes to our school. This funding, often called Title 1, is based on the number of families who qualify for free or reduced price meals. Our school district uses it to fund additional staff, professional development, family support services, and even technology for students. At Lowell, we use Title 1 funding to pay for our instructional coach, full time PE and Music teachers, and our additional counseling staff.


This school year, the district received about $200,000 less in funding from this program due to the low response rates for the annual Free and Reduced Meal applications from last fall.

  • We need families to complete a new form each school year.

  • Many families have had changes to their income or household size and may qualify.

  • We need high school families to complete forms even if they completed one for their younger student at one of the county K-8 schools.

When you complete the application, these are the benefits you may receive:

  • Reduced price or free school meals

  • Qualification for other resources like free or low cost Internet access at home

  • ACT and SAT test fees waived or reduced

  • Tuition for dual credit university classes waived

  • Middle and High School Athletic fees waiver or reduced

These are the important benefits to our schools when you complete the application:

  • Federal funding for staffing, professional development, technology, supplies, and parent engagement activities for our schools


Our school needs your help!


Please complete the application and ask your friends if they have completed theirs yet. Even if you think you won’t qualify, consider it an act of support to ensure our school can retain this essential federal funding.


All families who return forms by November 23rd will be entered into a raffle for a gas or grocery gift card or a $50 Montana Club gift card.


https://www.mcpsmt.org/Page/1858

Join us at Kids Study Club!


Kids Study Club is a “drop-in” hub in the Westside for youth to use a laptop for schoolwork, get a free snack and meal, and hang (at a distance) near other young people and caring adult mentors.
And if a young person just wants to hang out and draw or read – that’s okay, too!

Through this program, we strive to increase access to technology, healthy food, and positive adult supervision for kids who need it most during this pandemic – all while being as safe as possible! Our hope is that this program can give kids a safe, affirming place to spend time outside the home - and also give guardians and parents a break from the pressures of caring for youth in the pandemic.


When and Where is Kids Study Club?
Monday – Thursday from 3-6 PM beginning Monday, October 26th, 2020 until at least December 30th, 2020.

Burns Street Center, 1500 Burns St, Missoula, MT 59802.

How does the “drop-in” structure work?
Kids Study Club, like our summer program, is a free “drop-in” program, meaning that participants do not need to come every day – but are certainly welcome to – and do not need to stay for the whole 3 hours! Youth can come and leave whenever is best for them or their guardians, as long as staff are notified of how young people will be getting home. (Our detailed check-in/check-out policies and agreements are in the registration form.)


Safety in COVID-19

Masks and social distancing will be required for all staff and participants and the program is limited to 15 participants at a time to ensure that distancing is possible. Our full COVID-19 safety procedures are attached to this email.


How do I sign up?
To participate, simply bring the young person(s) to Kids Study Club, fill out a registration form on the spot, and you’re good to go! If you’d like to print and complete the form in advance, you can find it attached!


Find more information at nmcdc.org - and feel free to email me with questions!

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WINTER GEAR

With the change in our weather, it is important to make sure your child is dressed for recess. We will go out to recess until the temperature is below zero. Please send your child with a winter coat, mittens/gloves, and a hat so they can stay warm when we are outside.


If you need assistance gearing your Lowell Bobcat up for the winter, please contact our FRC Coordinator, Libby Miller @ rmiller@mcpsmt.org


We are also taking winter gear donations! If you have new or used winter gear to donate, please drop it off at our front office.

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LOWELL GIVING TREE

We will host a Giving Tree for Lowell Families again this year. Forms to sign-up went out last week. Please return them as soon as possible, Friday, November 13th is our deadline to accept wish lists. We will do our best to fulfill wish lists this year.


Please look for our trees in the Lowell Lobby and Burns St. Bistro if you'd like to donate gifts.

COVID TESTING

In addition to the county testing clinic, your primary care provider may offer COVID testing. For a complete list of testing locations visit www.missoulainfo.com/where-to-get-tested.
Project Westside Park

WESTSIDE PARK PLAYGROUND

The Lowell community is working hard to fundraise for a new playground. Please visit the Project Westside Park website to learn all about it.
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