Lowell School Newsletter

April 5, 2020

To translate this newsletter, click on it then use the link to the right. (English)

Para traduzir este boletim, clique nele e use o link à direita. (Portuguese)

Para traducir este boletín, haga clic en él y luego use el enlace a la derecha (Spanish)

لترجمة هذه الرسالة من المدرسة ، اضغط عليها ثم استخدم الرابط الموجود على اليمين. (Arabic)

Այս տեղեկագիրը թարգմանելու համար կտտացրեք այն, ապա օգտագործեք աջ կողմում գտնվող հղումը: (Armenian)

Чтобы перевести этот бюллетень, нажмите на него, затем воспользуйтесь ссылкой справа. (Russian)

Bu bülteni çevirmek için üzerine tıklayın ve ardından sağdaki bağlantıyı kullanın (Turkish)

Join us for Morning Announcements!

Please join Mrs. Phelan every morning at 8:00 am for Lowell Morning Announcements! See Schedule Below:

  • Pledge
  • Lowell Pledge
  • Thought for the Day
  • Start of Virtual Learning Pep Talk

Please click the link below:

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/168213265?pwd=TjQwbUkrcDVnNHNOby9INlFsVk1rUT09 Meeting ID: 168 213 265 Password: 559093

Principal's Message

Good evening,

Here we go, we begin phase 2 of remote learning tomorrow morning. Our teachers have been working around the clock to creating engaging lessons to help support homeschooling during the pandemic. We know how challenging this time is for you. Many of our teachers have young children of their own they need to home school while working for Lowell.

Last week, I held a parent coffee and few parents ask if I could speak directly to the students and explain the expectations are for learning during the remote schooling. Beginning tomorrow at 8:00 am I will hold morning announcements similar to the ones we have in school each morning. We will say the Pledge of Allegiance, Lowell School Pledge, and set daily expectations. I'm hoping this will give the day some structure for you and the kids. Plus, it helps me stay connected to the students.

I plan to hold a parent coffee again on Friday, April 10th, at 8:30. It will be a Zoom meeting, just like the students attend. I want to give parents the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback on how things are going. Children are allowed to attend with you!

I know you've received a lot of information over the past few weeks. We are implementing a communication strategy to help decrease the number of emails you're receiving. You should expect to receive the newsletter on Sundays from me, communication from Central Administration mid-week, and a newsletter from your child's classroom teacher on Friday.

Classroom teachers are holding four instructional meetings each week. We included those meetings and times by classroom teacher in a spreadsheet at the bottom of this newsletter.

Some folks have asked if we'll be observing April Vacation, the answer is yes. April vacation will take place the week of April 20th. Online instruction will resume on April 27th.

I hope to see the students tomorrow morning at 8:00 am. You can find the link to the Zoom Morning Meeting at the top of this page.

Just remember, we're all in this together. We are strong and will grow stronger still.


Dr. Galdston's Update

Good morning WPS Families and Staff Members:

We hope that this email finds your family navigating these difficult times well and that your children/students are beginning to adjust to remote learning. As I’ve assured you in prior communications, our foremost priority is to maintain supportive connections between school staff, students, and families.

I want to provide you with important updates based on Governor Baker’s announcement to extend school closures until May 4 and the recommendations from the MA Commissioner of Education. WPS teachers and administrators have reviewed and revised our Extended Learning Plan for the coming weeks. We recognize that this closure may be extended beyond May 4, and as such, a long-term extended learning plan is vital at this time to prevent regression and ensure the attainment of key grade-level concepts.

The goal for Phase 2 of the WPS Extended Learning Plan

During the period of school closure through May 3, the goal for the Watertown Public Schools Extended Learning Plan is to: reinforce skills already taught this school year, apply and deepen these skills to prevent regression, catch students up to have all students starting at a similar place upon their return, and to prioritize new key concepts throughout the end of the year, especially at the secondary level, to the extent possible in an extended learning environment.

Learning has its foundation in the relationships developed between learners and teachers, adults, and children. As such, there is no way to replicate this environment in a digital format in the middle of a pandemic during school closure. There is a wide variety of circumstances that our families and our staff find themselves in right now, and Phase 2 of our Extended Learning Plan is designed to balance moving instruction forward and maintaining the social and emotional health of students, staff, and families. The WPS Extended Learning Plan holds student connections, flexibility, resiliency, equity, and support at its core.

Shifts in the Extended Learning Plan

The two significant shifts in the Plan include: increased interactive time with students and requiring students to participate in the learning provided to the extent that is possible. Principals will send more information in their next newsletters, and your child’s teacher(s) will provide students and families with an updated schedule for class meetings early next week. Our planning team is determining methods to provide feedback and monitoring of student participation and learning that is more aligned with a remote learning environment and will apprise you when that is decided next week. On a weekly basis, teachers will track participation during Community Meetings; Google Classroom and other online resources; office hours; and class check-ins. If technology presents a barrier to accessing remote learning, please contact your child’s principal, as we can assist you with technology access.

Student Services

For our students with special needs, families can expect more individualized outreach from teachers and service providers to maintain and reinforce skills previously learned, as well as to make as much progress as feasible towards IEP goals during the school closure. We realize that this school closure is particularly challenging for our families of children with special needs, and we look forward to partnering with you to ensure all needs and concerns are addressed well.

Our Director of Student Services, Kathleen Desmarais, will offer a live ‘Question & Answer’ opportunity during the regularly scheduled Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) meeting on Thursday, April 9, at 6:00 p.m. Updates will be provided in a separate message from Ms. Desmarais, including a Zoom link to the SEPAC meeting. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher, principal, director at (kathleen.desmarais@watertown.k12.ma.us). Please also refer to the Massachusetts Department of Education’s most recent FAQ regarding special education.

Virtual Meetings

Our teachers are engaging in remote professional learning today, exploring several strategies and technological tools to support student learning and engagement in the virtual world through the Zoom platform, facilitated by their professional peers. Zoom is one tool that we are using for virtual meetings, and we are following all protocols to ensure student privacy, given the recent incidents in the news. Examples include requirement passwords, disabling screen sharing, utilizing the waiting room feature, and other safety protocols. We encourage all parents/guardians to read the Remote Learning Notification for the Watertown Public Schools, which contains essential information regarding the use of virtual learning platforms.

School Nutrition

The School Nutrition Department is distributing breakfast and lunch on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11:00-1:00. During these hours, meals for two days are supplied to any WPS family who can benefit from this service. If you are not able to pick up meals at these times, please send an email to lunch_line@watertown.k12.ma.us. Currently, the School Nutrition Department is providing meals to more than 100 students.

For more information about the remote learning recommendations from DESE, the Commissioner of Education provided a letter to families in English and Spanish reviewing the recommendations.

Be healthy and well,

Dede Galdston, Ed.D., Superintendent

Tuesday, April 7th Will Be the Last Day to Pick Up Chromebooks!

Tuesday will be the last day we are deploying Chromebooks to families.

The hours of pick up are between 10 am- 2 pm. Pick up will be in the lobby of the main entrance on Lowell St.

Please contact Ms. Whitmore if you need a Chromebook by Monday, April 6th.


Class Meetings Expectations

Many teachers and students have started meeting on ZOOM for face to face Community Meetings, and it has been great to "see" each other and re-connect and catch up with each other. :) However, there are certain expectations we have for these meetings. The teachers have conveyed them to the students, but we ask that you please reinforce them with your child(ren).

  • Please follow school dress code (no pajamas)

  • School appropriate language and behavior

  • Respect each other during the meeting

  • Students (and teachers) have the option to turn off their video if they are more comfortable participating that way

  • This is a fun way to re-connect, but we also need to keep it school/professional.

Class Meetings This Week!

Big picture

Student Support Team Newsletter

Parent Resources

Workshop on Hot Spots in Spanish and Portuguese

On Tuesday, April 6th from 5-6 pm, we will host a virtual meeting for families on how to work internet hot spots. Please join with the zoom information below.

Please click the link below to join the meeting

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 196 390 450
Password: 565385

PTO Corner

Silvergraphics Art Fundraiser

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from the PTO but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a lot going on behind the scenes! In an effort to help support our teachers with their new virtual lesson plans and classrooms, the PTO will be reimbursing each teacher an additional $75 this year in supplies for virtual learning. We recognize the challenges our teachers face setting up this whole new way of learning for our children and we want to support our teachers in every way we can!

The Lowell PTO, unlike many other organizations and nonprofits in our town, is fortunate to have hosted our largest fundraiser earlier this year with great success thanks to your support. With this in mind, we plan to go ahead with our annual spring Silvergraphics Art fundraiser and donate 100% of the profits to the Watertown Community Foundation Resilience Fund. The Community Resilience Fund will be for use in responding to urgent, community-wide needs or significant unexpected financial challenges from closures of core community institutions. Please press release below for more details.

We are thrilled that Silvergraphics was able to pull through and get our artwork online to purchase items such as notecards, t-shirts, etc. with our children’s artwork on it. It makes for a great gift for grandparents, family and friends who may miss seeing our kids regularly these days! Flyer attached with more details. If you don’t see your child’s artwork, you have the option to upload a piece of art. We know many of you have been doing lots of home art projects over the last few weeks that you may want to upload! Thank you to our wonderful art teacher, Mr. Skaife, for working with our children on their art for this fundraiser! Please join us in supporting our greater community by making a purchase.


Orders will ship direct to you or any address you specify at Checkout.

Ordering is easy (see attached flyer):

  • Go to: https://www.silvergraphics.com/shop/ and enter your School Access Code: 2020artJRL
  • Search for your art by class, teacher and student name. If your child does not have art on our gallery, choose the NewArt class and follow the directions to upload art created at home!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact SilverGraphics directly: info@silvergraphics.com.

Principal's Coffee Over Zoom Friday, April 10, 2020

Friday, April 10th. 8:30 -9:15 am

Click this link to attend the Zoom Meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 216 424 590
Password: 853764