Lowell Parent Newsletter

May 16, 2021

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Message from Mrs. Phelan


Just a reminder, much of the country and even the state have announced new standards for mask-wearing inside and outside. At this time, we are not changing our social distance or mask policies. Please continue to send your child to school wearing a mask, and if you're on school ground, you are required to wear a mask.

This week Pooled testing will take place on Wednesday. We changed the day to avoid conflicting with the MCAS test. The good news, the last two weeks, we have had no new cases of COVID. We hope this trend continues.

Wednesday teachers will be taking part in Professional Learning Time. We will continue our Equity work. This week we'll focus on Interrupting Biased Comments in the Classroom and Challenging Biased Language.

This week we will administer the Math MCAS to in-person students on Tuesday and Remote students on Friday.

With Gratitude,


Resources for Teachers and Parents

PBS KIDS Talk About FULL EPISODE | Race & Racism | PBS KIDS

Cradles to Crayons

A few Lowell graduates have set up a Cradles to Crayons drive here at Lowell School. The drive is going from May 10th to May 20th. They are looking for donations of new/like-new clothing for children sizes 0-14. Any donations of PJs, undergarments, socks, or masks need to be brand new. Cradles to Crayons support families struggling to pay rent and buy groceries and often can't afford anything else. There is a large box in the front of the school ready for your donations!

Last week at the Lowell

Student Diversity Council Presentation: Autism Awareness by JD Kubilus

The Lowell Leopard was spotted.....

In Ms. McCollum's Library class.

This week Lennie was so busy in the library! We shelved book returns, sorted through and cataloged new books, and distributed MCAS packets to teachers.

We visited classrooms to learn about what makes computers... computers, wrote book reviews, and read books aloud including a book written by an actual wolf. Lennie's favorite visitors were kids from our virtual classroom who came to school for MCAS testing. Everyone got so tall!

5th grade Human Impact Panel

The 5th graders across the district took part in a Human Impact Panel discussion on Friday, May 14th. This event served as a capstone to our unit on reducing human impact on the Earth’s resources and environment. A huge thanks to the panelist for sharing their expertise, and to Elizabeth Kaplan, the WPS K-8 Math/Science Coordinator, for organizing the panel. Below is the list of panelists and their closing words to our students.

  • Laurel Schwab, Environmental Planner for Watertown: "Look out for Watertown Resilient signs and activities this summer. Become involved with Watertown Resilient and share your ideas and concerns."
  • Janet Buck - Architect, Stormwater Advisory Committee, Watertown Planning Board: "Think about future jobs that will help our environment. Get outside, enjoy the outdoors, and love it!"
  • Giulia - High School Senior: "Change starts with young people . . get involved with clubs and organizations that help our environment and that put pressure on corporations to do the right thing."
  • Vincent Coljee - Physicist & chemist who is very involved in Watertown environmental committees and organizations: "Do not stop asking these questions, have your voices be heard! It is important to think what you can do but it is also important to ask what we (adults) can do. Get involved and have fun doing that."
  • Quinton Zondervan: Cambridge City Council member, climate activist, part of Cambridge Green New Deal: "Insist that all schools in Watertown, including the high school, are built to be net zero."

This Week at the Lowell

Students Leaving District

We are in the process of assigning class placement for the Fall 2021. If you are planning to move out of Watertown or the Lowell district, please send an email to Melina Jacovides, Guidance Counselor at melina.jacovides@watertown.k12.ma.us. If you prefer sending a letter via USPS, please send your letter to the attention of Kara Flynn, J.R. Lowell School, 175 Orchard St. Watertown, MA 02472. Please state that you will be moving at the end of this school year and not returning to the Lowell School, and include your new location.

Ms. Jacovides will send your child’s records after your child is enrolled in their new school, and she has received the records request form from that school.


Our school will administer the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) ELA and Math Test to all third, fourth and fifth-grade students. Grade five students also take an additional assessment in Science and Technology/Engineering. The actual tests are scheduled to take place:

This week students will take the Math Test, on Tuesday, May 18th and Friday, May 21th for virtual students.

All test are taken on chrome books. Students are very comfortable and familiar with this type of testing environment. Their teachers will be with them every step of the way from class prep, practice test and on the day of testing. Each session lasts approximately one hour. However, they are given as much time as they need. We do not want them to be overly anxious, but we do wish each understands it is important to try their best and demonstrate their highest ability.

You can help at home by making sure your child:

  • Comes to school by 8:15am

  • Gets plenty of sleep each night

  • Eats a nourishing breakfast each morning

  • Knows you believe he/she will do his/her best on the test

  • Wear comfortable clothes on the day of the test

  • Students are allowed to bring and chew gum during the test

Your care and concern are greatly appreciated. Please call us with any questions or concerns. Here’s a link with more hints on helping your child prepare for MCAS.


Lowell PTO Meeting

Tuesday, May 18th, 6:30pm


This will be the last meeting of the school year.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 932 2107 8144
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Meeting ID: 932 2107 8144
Find your local number: https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/u/acDgeuampV

How to Talk to Kids About Race, Culture, and Racism

Thursday, May 20th, 6:30pm


This week, Lowell Diversity council will be attending :

How to Talk to Kids About Race, Culture, and Racism
A presentation by: Dr. Kalise Wornum
Thursday, May 20, 2021, 6:30 - 8:00pm

Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/3xRTwIF

Please join us for this important presentation:

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How to Talk to KIds about Race, Culture and Racism with Dr. Kalise Wornum

Dr. Kalise Wornum is an Educational Consultant at KW Diversity Inc. Earlier in her career, she served

As the METCO Director in the Wellesley Public Schools. As part of the equity work in WPS, Dr. Wornum has col-

elaborated with the WPS Leadership Team in providing resources and training to become Culturally Proficient

Leaders. This work moves WPS towards achieving its mission of preparing all students for life by engaging them

in a challenging and meaningful education within an inclusive, diverse community.

Upcoming Dates:

PTO Meeting: Tuesday, May 18th at 6:30 PM

MATH MCAS for In-Person Tuesday, May 18th

Parent Diversity Council Meeting, Thursday, May 20th

MATH MCAS WVS for Remote Students Friday, May 21st

SCIENCE MCAS WVS for Remote StudentsMonday, May 24th

SCIENCE MCAS 5th In-Person Students Tuesday, May 25th

Memorial Day : No School May 31st

Kindergarten Screening: Friday, June 4th by appointment


Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent and Teacher Conferences will take place on the following dates and times:

The ESL Team will be booking interpreters for conferences and calling families directly.

Conferences will be held on Zoom.

Thursday, 6/10 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM

Tuesday, 6/15 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM

Weds. 6/16 from 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Sign-up Genius will be open on June 1st.


June 4th, kindergarten will not have school. Teachers and staff will be welcoming and screening our incoming kindergarten students. Please plan accordingly.

PTO Corner

PTO Update

Thank You for the generous donations of goodies, gift cards, and photos for Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week! We were very happy to be able to provide our staff, teachers, and school leaders with special events to show our great appreciation for their hard and important work during this especially challenging year.

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. We are open to everyone! Please email lowellelementarypto@gmail.com to learn more.

DATE CHANGE: Next PTO Meeting: Tuesday, May 18th at 6:30PM. We are moving the May PTO Meeting to Tuesday, May 18th at 6:30PM. This will be our last PTO Meeting of the year.

WATERTOWN ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY EFFICIENCY COMMITTEE (WE3C): Would you like to be involved in local sustainability efforts? Watertown’s Environment and Energy Efficiency committee, WE3C, is looking to develop a network of parents and teachers. Contact Ellen Menounos, Lowell School parent, ellenmenounos@gmail.com. Find out more about the committee’s work on the Resilient Watertown website. http://resilient.watertown-ma.gov

SUPPORT WHS 2021 GRADS: Please consider buying a sign to support the class of 2021 as we raise funds for their senior send-off activities. This sign supports all Watertown Public Schools in what has been a very difficult year. All orders will be through Graphic Connections online store, and you’ll get an email from them when it’s ready to be picked up. Parents, grandparents, friends and relatives can all participate! Thanks for considering supporting the class of 2021 and Watertown Public Schools. Signs are $20 and include a metal yard stake, order here by May 12. https://graphicconnectionswatertown.itemorder.com/

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