Lowell Parent Newsletter

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Big picture
Big picture

Voluntary Student COVID Pooled Testing at the Lowell

If your child is not signed up for testing, please consider signing them up. Click for more information and the sign-up form. Please note, you only need to fill out the signup form once, not each week.

MORE INFO --> here

Free! Covid Testing for students --> SIGN UP HERE

Big picture

A Message From Mrs. Phelan

Greeting Lowell School,

This week students will begin taking iReady, the midyear diagnostic test. Students will take the literacy assessment this week and the math assessment next week. We will also be administering the Fountas and Pinnell's Benchmark Assessment throughout March. The results of these assessments will be shared with you during Parent-Teacher Conferences in April. You can read more about iReady assessment by clicking the link below.

This week we kick off National Women's History Month. We will highlight women who have made significant contributions during morning announcements through their work, activism, and bravery. Since 1995, each president has issued annual proclamations designating March's month as “Women's History Month.” The National Women's History Alliance selects and publishes the yearly theme. The theme for Women's History Month in 2021 captures the spirit of these challenging times.

Have a joyful week ahead!


Big picture


The four grade recently read one of the whole school reads selected for Black History Month, "I Am Every Good Thing" by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gorden C. James. The story is told by a confident Black narrator who is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He's got big plans, and no doubt he'll see them through--as he's creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend. Sometimes he falls, but he always gets back up. And other times, he's afraid because he's so often misunderstood and called what he is not. Please slow down and really look and listen when somebody tells you--and shows you--who they are. There are superheroes in our midst!

Inspired by the main character's own metaphor, our fourth-grade students created their own metaphors. Below you will find metaphors created by Mrs. Antonellis' fourth-grade students.

I am
a nonstop ball of energy.
Powerful and full of light.
I am a go-getter. A difference-maker. A leader.

Big picture
Big picture


SEPAC is sponsoring another Q&A session with Kathy Desmarais, Director of Student Services, Tuesday, March 2, from 6-8 p.m.

Splash of Flavor Contest

The staff of the Watertown Splash is having a writing contest, with submissions due by Sunday night. They would like students to find one (1) fabulous taste sensation available in and around the Greater Watertown area and write about it. The submissions entries will be published online on the five respective Watertown school newspaper websites. Reporters are running this year's contest in the Watertown Splash afterschool newspaper club at Watertown Middle School.

They are looking for what you believe is the best thing at that place, with an explanation and description of what makes it special and wonderful and leaves you with a good feeling every time you order it. It has to be available to the general public -- so it can’t be your grandmother’s meatballs -- and it has to be available in the Greater Watertown area.

The stories can be of any length. Articles must include the name and address of the business and contact information (website, social media, phone, etc.).

Sign up at this link!

Big picture

Watertown Literacy Week, March 8th-12th

You can go anywhere with a good book!

Save the date - The week of March 8th will be our Elementary Literacy Week! During this week, we have two authors/illustrators joining us for evening presentations and a school-based literacy activity night on Wednesday. We will also have a ‘dress as your favorite book character day on Thursday or Friday. We hope you can join us for one or more of these events to celebrate reading and the places it can take us.

Monday, March 8th - Watertown Virtual School Book Pickup

Tuesday, March 9th - Author / Illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi will be joining our Watertown Elementary School community to share what it takes to write a book! She will talk about writing her own books and then show us some secrets to being an illustrator!

Her books are fun, and you’ll love hearing about her work. Zoom link coming soon!

  • 6:00 - 6:40 (Students in grades K-2)

  • 6:45 - 7:30 (Students in grades 3 - 5)

Wednesday, March 10th - School-based literacy activities

From 6:00 - 7:00 PM, each elementary school will host an hour of virtual literacy activities, games. Stay tuned for more information next week about the event we will be held at our school.

Thursday, March 11th - Author / Illustrator Jason Chin will come to share his closely researched non-fiction texts about science and nature. As he describes, “I try to explain Science with imaginative storytelling.” Jason will discuss some of the recent books that have taken him places around the world’ and provide a brief art demonstration. Zoom link coming soon!

  • 6:00 - 6:40 (Students in grades K-2)

  • 6:45 - 7:30 (Students in grades 3 - 5)

Big picture

Reminder Regarding Student Schedule Changes Effective March 1st

Effective March 1, you will notice a change in your child’s weekly schedule. On Monday and Tuesday, the 1:10 - 1:40 block will be titled DEAR/Asynchronous Teacher Assigned Time. This will give teachers more flexibility with assignments. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of each week, you will notice that the 1:40 - 2:10 block will become Synchronous Science or Social Studies time with teachers leading whole class remote lessons. At the end of this session, teachers will naturally transition to the closing circle.

During the coming week, I will be meeting with faculty members whose service delivery is impacted by this schedule change. Most likely, service delivery times will remain as is. I will provide additional details in next week's newsletter.

Celebrating our Lowell School Fifth Graders!

The years have flown by for the Lowell School 5th Graders who will soon be on to middle school. Each week this year, we look forward to celebrating them here in the Principal's newsletter. Best wishes to all! We are so proud of you!

Congratulations, Daphne

What are you looking forward to in middle school?

The change of pace, new teachers, and a new schedule.

What are your favorite hobbies?

Reading and skateboarding.

What is your favorite movie?

My favorite movie is Endgame.

Congratulations, Christian!

What is your favorite Lowell School memory?

My favorite memory of Lowell School is hanging out with Miss Stacy after school.

What is your favorite movie?

My favorite movie is Marvel's Avengers Endgame.

What is your favorite hobby?

I love playing video games!

Congratulations, Shayla

What's your favorite Lowell School memory?

The American Revolution play with Mrs. Walsh's class in 3rd grade.

What are you looking forward to in middle school?

I am looking forward to having theater/drama class.

What is your favorite movie?

My favorite movie is The Book of Life.

Congratulations, Antonia!

What are 3 words that describe you?

Kind, smart, and silly

What are you looking forward to in middle school?

I am looking forward to meeting new people, switching classes, and being able to see my cousin in the hallway.

Tell your classmates something they might not know about you?

I am a black belt in karate.

Congratulations, Jacob!

What are you looking forward to in middle school?

Facing new challenges and obstacles.

Favorite hobby?

My favorite hobby is playing the cello.

Favorite book, movie, or song?

My favorite books are the Mr Terupt series.

This week at the Lowell

Student Diversity Council: *new time change

Reminder, we will have Student Diversity Council every Monday!

This week we are talking about.....What makes you Unique!

Date: Monday, March 1, 2021

Time: 12:30- 1:00 Grades 3-5

1:00-1:30 Grades K-2

Zoom Link: https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/99035329800

If you have any questions feel free to email Candice.whitmore@watertown.k12.ma.us or carolyn.miller@watertown.k12.ma.us

Parent Diversity Council

Thank you to the parents that attended the Lowell Parent Diversity Council, this past Thursday Night. We reached a new milestone with 17 parents in attendance!!!! Please see the notes from the meeting here. We look forward to seeing at the next meeting on March 25, 2021 at 6:00pm.

Increase in Synchronous Learning Starting March 3rd

Beginning Wednesday, March 3, science and social studies will be taught synchronously (by the teacher) Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 1:40-2:10.

Students will log in to their classroom Zoom link at 1:40, and stay through Closing Circle. This will allow for a 90-minute increase in weekly instruction with the teacher.

Instead of alternating days between the two subjects, classes will focus more intensely on one unit at a time (science or social studies).

Students already enrolled in other personalized services during this time will continue with these services unless it is directly communicated to you otherwise.

We ask that you begin to think about your afternoon childcare and schedules and plan accordingly so that students are able to access this additional instruction with their classroom teacher.

Student Services Q & A

Dear WPS families of students with disabilities,

We hope that you can join us at our next Q&A session, in collaboration with Watertown's Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), via ZOOM on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, from 6:00 to 7:00. You can find the ZOOM link here.

Please know that these meetings are open to the public, and we specifically invite and encourage families of children with IEPs and 504s to attend. Questions are encouraged to be asked ahead of time by emailing the SEPAC at WPS_SEPAC@Watertown.k12.ma.us. As time allows, questions are also taken live.

~Kathleen Desmarais

Director of Student Services

Let's Chat ! "Managing Stress and Taking Care of YOU! "

Thursday, March 4th, 6:30-7:30pm

This is an online event.

We will learn stress-reducing strategies and walk through a mindfulness activity. The Let's Chat in February was so awesome, so don't miss it!

Our SEL team (Guidance Counselor, Social Worker and School Psychologist), in partnership with the Lowell PTO, hosts a monthly "Let's Chat" gathering by Zoom for all Lowell parents and caregivers. This is an opportunity to support Elementary age families as they manage the complexities and demands of remote and hybrid learning.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 955 4106 5520

PTO Updates!

Get Registered for the Read-a-thon! The PTO will be hosting a Read-a-thon from March 8 - 19th in conjunction with Lowell Literacy Week! During the Literacy Week, there will be Mystery Readers, Author and Illustrator events, a raffle just for registering and prizes for the classes that raise the most! Register by March 8 to be entered into a raffle for a Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Harry Potter gift basket. Register here: https://www.getmovinfundhub.com/register?school_uuid=5e136f1ba125d with the Parent Registration Code: 5e136f1ba125d

Join the Literacy Week Facebook Page! We welcome you to join our Facebook group; J.R. Lowell Elementary Literacy Week 2021.

Starting March 8, this page will connect you to the link for Mystery Readers, announcements about other cool Literacy Week events, and let you share photos of Literacy Spirit Week coming the week of March 15.

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 on school vacation weeks. 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

Upcoming PTO Meeting on Tuesday, March 9 at 6:30PM: Please join us for the upcoming Lowell PTO meeting. Connect to our Zoom link on the PTO website.

Big picture

Family Resources

Free Virtual Event: After-School Animal Encounters

Free Virtual Event: After-School Animal Encounters: Weird Eaters

Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 3:00pm to 3:45pm


Have you ever thought about the way you eat, or even how you chew? Now, imagine that you are a huge bullfrog, a sea star, or even a scorpion. How would you eat? As March is Nutrition Month in the U.S., it’s the perfect time to meet some of our live animals and explore our creatures’ diets and eating habits. Join human museum staffers Javier and Ryan in this 45-minute program for families and get a close look at some weird eaters.

This webinar is free and will be hosted via Zoom. Please note that registration closes 30 minutes prior to the event start time. Register here for this family-friendly event.

Big picture
Big picture