Lowell Weekly Parent Newsletter

January 17, 2021

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Welcome! To translate this newsletter, click on it then use the link to the right.

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

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

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

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

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Bu bülteni çevirmek için üzerine tıklayın ve ardından sağdaki bağlantıyı kullanın.

Message from Mrs. Phelan


This week's newsletter is filled with many examples of staying connected while being apart. As many school districts remain fully remote, we feel blessed to offer Hybrid Learning. Even hybrid learning presents challenges, we've made it our professional practice goal this year to find ways to stay connected as a school community. We want to ensure our virtual community and hybrid community feel connected throughout this unprecedented year.

Recently, the PTO purchased Lowell T-Shirts for each student and the entire staff. We want to celebrate our unity by wearing our T-Shirts this Friday. Please wear your Lowell T-Shirt Friday and show your Lowell Spirit.

Each week from now through the end of the school year, we will be highlighting fifth-grade students. We want everyone to see how bright they shine. Typically, fifth-graders have many schoolwide opportunities to lead by example. This year is very different, so we decided to spotlight different fifth graders for you each week in the newsletter. Learn more about their favorite memories and see why they are our student leaders.

Next week is International Week. This year we are unable to host International Night. Instead, the PTO has come up with a Virtual Week filled with many activities to showcase your culture and talents. Please read more about International Week below.

Tomorrow's Unity Breakfast is a virtual event open to everyone. Please join us at 10 am online. You'll find the link below.

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day!


Last week at the Lowell

The Lowell Leopard was spotted in Mr. MacLellan's 2nd grade classroom

Our class had a visit from Lennie the Leopard this week! Lennie is a mask-wearing pro, but thinks that they need to develop a hand sanitizer that works for paws.

Our students were good at explaining how to compare three digit numbers by using place value. Lennie thinks Mr. MacLellan should call the 'greater than' and 'less than' symbols a math leopard instead of a math alligator, though.

Lennie loved learning about North America, especially the animals that live here. She wants to find out more about her cousins the jaguar and mountain lion, and thinks the ocelot is pretty cute. Her ears pricked up when she saw a black panther in a video we watched.

She also liked doing movement breaks with us. She loves dancing, and thinks everyone should watch the GoNoodle video "Kitty High Five."

Thanks for visiting, Lennie!

Martin Luther King Day

On Monday, Jan. 18th, there will be NO school to commemorate MLK Day. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 18, 2021, is the 26th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. This year, Lowell students and staff will be creating, inspiring and uplifting cards for children all over the United States that are currently in hospitals. This week, supplies have been given to all students in hopes that on Monday, Jan.18th, they can create a card to inspire another child. We would love for students to use phrases such as "You are Amazing, "You are beautiful" , "SMILE", verus phrases such as "Get Well Soon" or "Sorry you are in hospital". Students can return the card on Jan. 19th and 20th. There will also be a drop off box for all virtual students to submit cards. Thank you in advance for your participation.

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, Vince

What are 3 words that describe you? Busy, crazy, silly

What’s your favorite Lowell School memory?

First grade field day

Favorite book, movie, or song?

Harry Potter

Congratulations, Emmy

What’s the best thing about being in 5th grade?

I get one of the best teachers. And that we get to read books during closing meeting.

What’s your favorite Lowell School memory?

When my friend chased our 3rd Grade teacher around the room with little bananas on her hand.

What are you looking forward to in middle school?

Harder classes, meeting new people, and playing Field Hockey.

Congratulations Savannah

What are 3 words that describe you?

Silly, fashionable, kind

What is your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobby is singing. I love to memorize songs and then sing along to them.

Favorite movie?

My favorite movie is probably "Bruce Almighty." I just love how Jim Carrey acts in it! He makes me laugh so much!

Voluntary Student COVID Testing

We will be continuing our voluntary student COVID pooled testing this week at our elementary schools. Lowell will be testing on Tuesdays (Cohort A) and Wednesdays (Cohort B). Testing moving forward will take place in each of the elementary schools throughout the school day, with minimal disruption to instructional time. Please click here for more information.

Upcoming Events

2021 Virtual Unity Breakfast

January 18 @ 10:00 am

The 2021 Watertown Unity Breakfast will be virtual, presented in partnership with WCA-TV

Unity Breakfast will include traditional parts of past programs ...

  • Honorary Host Michael Bobbitt, Artistic Director of the New Rep Theater

  • Middle School and High School essay contest winners

  • keynote speaker Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, advocate for ecological & social justice

  • presentation of the Unity Award to Rhode Moise, Program Director, Watertown Boys & Girls Club

The Unity Breakfast will also include something new - story sharing, with members of the Watertown community (youth and adults) sharing their personal experiences of bias and discrimination.

Parent Diversity Council Meeting

Our next Parent Diversity Council meeting will be held on Thursday, Jan. 21st from 6:00-7:00pm. The agenda for this meeting is below

  • Diverse Book orders (round 2)
  • Starting Student Diversity Council

Topic: Lowell Diversity Council

Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime

Join Zoom Meeting


Virtual International Week

The PTO will be sponsoring a virtual International week on January 25th- 29th. This week will celebrate our community's cultural diversity. There will be opportunities to share songs, dance, recipes, stories, and more from countries around the world.

POST your pictures or videos on the Facebook group:

J.R. Lowell Elementary International Week 2021

If you don’t use Facebook please email photos to lowellelementarypto@gmail.com and we will be happy to display them throughout the week in the group and on other school social media accounts.

Monday- Show us your musical talent on an instrument from your country

or simply play your favorite song.

Tuesday- Create a flag or show us some special art from around the world.

Wednesday- Share a delicious recipe or take a picture of your favorite dish.

Thursday- Read a passage from your favorite international book or just post a picture of it.

Friday- Show us how you celebrate with movement or dance in your favorite country.



Technology Updates

We look forward to supporting you with your educational technology questions.

Here is a link to the weekly 01/08 Family Ed-Tech for All Newsletter, LIVE Ed-Tech Support Sessions, Resources, Tutorials & tips that are curated and created, just for you. Do you need help with Ed-Tech? Please complete the WPS Ed-Tech Support Request Form. A member of the WPS Ed-Tech team will reach out to you within 1 school day.

Additional Updates:

1. Please visit our WPS Family Ed-Tech for ALL Website for updated resources.

2. Here is a link to the WPS Student Data Privacy Initiative Website

3. How to install Google Read and Write on Chrome

Thank you and have a terrific day,

Rashmi Pimprikar (District Ed-Tech Coordinator), Digital Learning Team and IT Team

Curriculum Corner

Writing Units of Study

Informational Writing:

Grades 2, 3, and 5:

Learning From the Experts. Students chose topics that they knew a lot about and wrote informational texts to teach others.

Information Writing: Expert Reports written by grade 2,3 and 5 students

In December, students in grades 2,3, and 5 were learning how to write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduced a topic they are an expert. Students began by thinking about the big subtopics (chapters) they should include. Once they began writing, students were encouraged to use facts and definitions to develop points and provide a concluding statement or section.

As you read through these, understand that some of these pieces are in draft form while others have been “published.” It is important to be aware that even “published” pieces are not perfect. We want to celebrate student work and pay attention to the hard work students are doing to organize their material, use craft techniques, and use the conventions of writing to the best of their ability. If you do not see any mistakes, we can wonder what the student’s work is and what did the teacher correctly. _ Enjoy!

Grade 4: Traveling Across the United States - learning about states and natural and historic sites in each state. ( Teachers are also joining in by sharing their favorite US destinations on the bulletin board.)

Grade 2: Continents and Countries. Students are immersed in an integrated Reading, Writing, and SS unit. They are learning about the continents and countries of the world. The unit begins with an in-depth look at North America. Students will be reading about a country, learning to hold onto the most important information, and write an informational piece about their country. Students will pin their country on the world map and will be ready to answer questions.

Student Work Sample Below

Please Click on the Image to Make it Larger

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Grade Four is currently working on a unit about U.S. states. Students are taking a road trip journey through the United States. Joia, Reading Coach, has asked anyone who wants to join the fourth grade in traveling across the US to share their favorite destination. Here is the United States Map highlighting stops along the way. I'm driving a Volkswagen Bug traveling to New Orleans, and Candice is driving a Musicians Tour Bus to Memphis, TN. We've asked the staff to join the fun. Here are a few images from our Map.
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Updates from the Art Room

I am starting to plan the end of the year website to showcase student artwork and I am looking for photos of art that students have made this year in class. Normally, this is something I would do myself and I have discovered that photos uploaded by students have too many issues to work well.

Photos taken on a smartphone are the best otherwise photos taken from a computer are fine too.

Place the art on the floor or table in a well lit room.

Try to have the bottom of the art straight and parallel with the bottom of the photo.

Take photos of as many pieces as you wish.

Email me the photos.


Feel free to continue sending photos as the school year progresses.

Thank you so much.

Mr. Skaife

Parent Resources

Free Parent and Caregiver Workshop

Thursday, January 28, 1-3 PM Eastern Time

Join expert Teachers College Reading and Writing Project staff at our upcoming workshop day for parents and caregivers of students in grades K-8. Learn more about ways to support your child’s literacy education at home, what or how they are learning in school, how to best engage in home literacy projects, and more.

These days are typically 2-3 hours long, composed of a series of 15-minute small-group presentations. Parents and caregivers can choose the workshops that match their needs and are free to come for one workshop or many. The schedule of workshops will be made available prior to the event. These sessions are offered live and are not recorded for later viewing.

Click the link below to register.


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

PTO Corner


Order a School Shirt: The PTO is selling school shirts until January 31 if you would like to purchase any additional ones for kids or adults. Shirts cost $15. Order and payment information are available through this Google Form: https://forms.gle/dkBBmeid1KipPFWD9

Let’s Chat, Thursday, January 28 at 9:30AM: Join the school’s guidance and SEL team to connect on Zoom to discuss important questions about supporting our kids. Please use Padlet to share any question, thought, or concern that you might have with the Lowell School’s team that supports students’ social and emotional well-being. Look for the plus sign (+) on the bottom right to add your response.

International Week – January 25 – 29! We'll be having a fun-filled week of virtual events January 25 - 29 to celebrate our community's cultural diversity. There will be opportunities to share songs, dance, recipes, stories, and more from countries around the world.

Get Take-out at Chulo to Support the 5th Graders: Phone in an order to Chulo (former Asiana Fusion) on January 26, 27, or 28th and 15% will be donated to our fifth grade events. Show the flyer (print or on phone) for pick-up or delivery. Enjoy their Nepali and Indian cuisine as a special way to celebrate International Week!