Lowell Parent Newsletter

April 4, 2021

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Principal Corner

Greetings Lowell,


We have spent many hours planning for this day, and now the day has come. I know many of you are feeling excited and anxious all at once. The most critical component for success is our relationships with each other. You have been our co-teachers for the past 13 months. We look forward to taking over as their primary teacher and give you back the time you've been spending helping us teach your children. Classroom expectations are in place, and as with any school year, we will continue to be refined—our systems and protocols. We are thrilled to begin full-day live instruction in person and virtually on Monday.


This return will feel a little different because it's the first time we'll have most of our school in school at the same time. Our teachers have eagerly awaited this day since last March, and the desks are being added to their rooms as I write this newsletter. We are ready, as I'm sure you are too.


I just wanted to share a few resources with you to help frame conversations you may have with your children over the weekend. We hope you find it helpful.


I want to take a moment to acknowledge we still have one more phase to go through until we are completely back in school. We will not be whole again until it's safe for our virtual school students can join us. We continue to send our love and positive thoughts their way and hope we can come together as a whole school in September.


Happy Easter and Happy Passover!

Stacy

Tips From Our SEL Team Ms. Cochrane, Ms. Jacovides, and Ms. Johnson

Tips for speaking with your child during these uncertain times:

  • Validate their feelings

  • Focus on the positives

  • Be honest and accurate.

  • Keep explanations age-appropriate (see attached resources for more guidance)

  • Stay calm, listen, and offer reassurance.

Frequently Asked Questions:


Q: How do I talk to my child about the change to Full Day Learning?


Sample Script: “The Lowell School was closed for a long time because of COVID-19. We began school first in a Hybrid model to following physical distancing protocols. The adults who have been keeping us safe have decided that it is now safe to return to school for full-time, five days a week, instruction. The Lowell may look a bit different. The adults want to make sure they take great care of all of the students at Lowell. You will be asked to keep your mask on and wash your hands frequently. It is also important that you watch your distance around others to make everyone feel safe. There are lots of teachers at school to make you feel safe, comfortable, and ready to learn!”


Q: How do I explain to my child that they will be learning remotely while some friends are in-person?


Sample Script: “The Lowell School was closed for a long time because of COVID-19. The adults who have been keeping us safe have decided that it is now safe for some students to return to school two days a week. You may see that some friends in our neighborhood are going to school. Our family has chosen to continue learning from our home. You will have the same teacher and classmates, and we can still find ways to connect with friends we miss.”


Q. How do I help my child cope with stress during these uncertain times?


Children look to adults for safety and security. They watch how the adults rely on responding to uncertainty and stress. When there is uncertainty, we need to teach and model how to be calm and flexible.


You can help your child focus on the things they can control, such as how to wear a mask correctly and how to wash their hands properly, rather than the things they can’t possibly know or control.


If your child is returning to school in person, focus on the positives of going back, especially if they’re feeling anxious. For example, they can look forward to seeing their teacher and some friends and doing some activities together.


If your child remains at home for remote learning, focus on the positives of spending more time together. Eating lunch together or going for a walk mid-day are things they can look forward to.



Additional Resources:


Parenting During Coronavirus


Helping Children Cope with Changes Resulting from COVID-19


JR Lowell Virtual Calming Room


Social Stories:


Using my own materials at school


Going Back to School


Greeting my Teachers and Friends

The Lowell Leopard was SPOTTED:

In Ms. Beans' 1st grade classroom!


Lennie had an amazing week in grade one! He worked on place value and addition during our small group math workshop. In reading, he learned about reading smoothly with expression. He worked hard to practice some of our new glued sounds in Fundations. Lennie wrote about his collection of spots during writing. He helped us remember to socially distance while we line up.


He even helped to redecorate the classroom door with all the colors of the rainbow! We had an awesome time hanging out with Lennie and cannot wait to hear about his future adventures!

This Week at the Lowell

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Families must Consent to COVID Testing Pool

Please read the following notice sent by Dr. Galdston date March 25th. Parents and Guardians are required to consent to pooled testing at school to attend in-person learning as of April 5th. Medical and Religious exemption will be honored but must be received by our school nurse. You may reach Nurse Taverna at 1-617-926-7770. Please fill out the google form attached to this notice.


Students will not be able to enter the building if this form is not complete by Monday, April 5th. Pooled testing will take place on Tuesdays at school.

Press to Access Consent Form

Testing Consent FORM

Morning Announcements *New Time April 5th


Starting April 5th, we will resume Morning Announcements in the school building. Lowell Virtual students will still have the opportunity to zoom in at 8:15am for the whole school announcements. Please join us using the link below.



Candice Whitmore is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Topic: Morning Announcement Zoom Meeting

Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime


Join Zoom Meeting

https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/93942649049

Parent Resources for Return to In-Person Learning

Arrival/ Dismissal/ Lunch

Student Arrival

Building opens for students at 8:00am. Students will enter the building, and will go directly to the classroom.


Grades 1-5 Drop and Go Zone:

  • Adults pull up, staff open car doors on the curb/sidewalk side of the car and let the students out of the car.

  • The Drop and Go zone is located on the Lowell Street side of the building.

  • There is NO parking or live parking in this area.

  • Parents will be reminded by staff to remain in their vehicles.


Kinder students and Ms. Beans 1st grade

  • Adults can park along George Street, and walk students to door #2
  • Adults should not pull into the staff parking lot.

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Lowell Student Dismissal

Dismissal begins at 2:30pm. Dismissal will be staggered by grade level to allow for social distancing.


Classroom teachers will walk children to their designated pick up location. Please refer to the map below.


  • Kindergarten Dismissal- Door #3 2:30pm

  • Grade 1- Door #6 2:18pm

  • Grade 2- Door #6 2:20pm

  • Grade 3- Door #6 2:24pm

  • Grade 4- Door #6 2:26pm

  • Grade 5- Door #6 2:30pm


We will announce Grades over the PA system. Please be ready to go at your time. Otherwise, social distancing will be impacted.


Teachers stay with the students until all students are picked up by an adult. If students are not picked up by 2:40, they should be brought to the office.


For students in grades 3 - 5, parent/ guardian must provides written permission for the student to walk home.


Reminder, Please continue to wear a mask and NO Dogs are allowed on school grounds!

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Lunch Procedures

School meals will continue to be free for all families through the current school year. Starting Monday, April 5th students will have the choice of two different packaged lunches, one of which will always be a vegetarian option. Students will make their choice during morning homeroom by 9:00am. Menus can always be found here. Students also have the choice of bringing a lunch from home.

Each student has been assigned their own Lowell Stadium seating seats. They will take them to lunch with them daily.


Student Expectations:

  • Students will bring their Lowell Stadium seat to lunch daily.

  • Children should sanitize their hands before and after eating.

  • Students will eat their lunch outside unless inclement weather.

  • Students must be seated in a spot that does not change while eating.

  • Students must be 6 feet apart while eating.

  • Barrels will be moved out by custodians to the lunch locations for trash to be deposited in.

  • Barrels will have a jug of hand sanitizer and a walkie-talkie next to them.

  • Students needing to use the restroom will have to enter through the main doors.


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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.

Update from Nurse Taverna

Reminder:

Epi-Pens and Asthma Inhalers with signed MD orders and parent permission forms need to be turned in on the first-day students return to school in person.



Nurse Taverna will set up a station under the tent to collect forms, Epi-pens, medications, and doctor's orders on April 1st at 1:00pm and April 5th at 8:00am.

Thanks,


Nurse Taverna

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, April 13th 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

Parent Resources

Watertown Elite Field Hockey

Clinic Information:

Date: August 2nd-5th

Grades K-12

9:30am-3pm

Cost:$350


The clinic at Victory Field is open to players in grades K-12. Players are grouped by age, experience and skill level. Having a good understanding of basic fundamental skills is the key to success in becoming a well-rounded field hockey player. Dribbling, passing, shooting, hitting, goalie training, team play and defensive skills will be taught in a fun and engaging way. After teaching the players the technical aspects of field hockey through challenging drills, they will have a chance to showcase what they have learned by playing in field hockey games each day

LEGO'S Needed

Hello Lowell Community, we wanted to ask if families have LEGO Sets they would like to donate. Building Legos continues to be a highly motivating safe, independent activity for students. Students connect with each other about their love of LEGOs sets. Students are able to work independently during a break or indoor recess. We would happily accept any sets; Harry Potter, Lego Friends, Ninjago, Star Wars, Avengers, Lego City, Minecraft, Batman, Super Mario, etc. just to name a few of the more popular sets. Even if the set is missing a few pieces; we will hunt it down in our lego bin.