Lowell November Newsletter

We are proud of our pride of Lowell lions!

From Ms. Franzone...

Dear Families,


Today is the first day of the second quarter of this school year. Our staff and students have settled into routines and are actively spending their days learning, playing, and engaging with one another. I have had the opportunity to observe classrooms, meals, and recesses and I can attest that our school is bustling with brilliant minds and creative spirits!


We have and will continue to focus on fostering the diverse identities of our students here at Lowell. We start the year celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, during which we are intentional about elevating the stories and experiences of Hispanic students and families and celebrating the Spanish language. We also continue our lessons from Welcoming Schools, which you can read more about below. We know the importance of making sure we provide both mirrors and windows for all of our students - making sure they see themselves reflected in our classrooms and hallways as well as providing views of people who have experiences different than their own.


We are also ready to start welcoming some family volunteers into our community. At this time, we are only able to have volunteers outside. Given these parameters, we are looking specifically for volunteers who can provide a regular commitment (e.g., 1-3 times per week) of 30 minutes or more between the hours of 10:25-1:00. If you are scheduled, you would be providing additional supervision during a recess block. Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee that you would be working specifically with your student's class; we would place you where there is the greatest need on an individual day. If you are able, willing, and interested in helping, please sign up on the Volunteer Tracker. Feel free to call the Lowell Main Office at 608-204-6613 if you have any questions, or visit MMSD’s volunteer website.


We look forward to connecting with families this week during teacher conferences. As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.


Warmly,

Ellen

Upcoming Important Dates

November 1: 2nd Quarter Begins, Early Release @ 10:35am

November 4: Evening Parent/Teacher Conferences

November 5: No School - Parent Teacher Conferences

November 11: Picture Retake Day

November 12: Gallery Night 5-9pm

November 24-26: No School - Fall Break

December 6: No School - Staff Only Day

December 20-31: No School - Winter Break

Welcoming Schools

Welcoming Schools is a nationwide program being used in MMSD and at Lowell to create more respectful and supportive schools for all students, staff and families. Professional development, lesson plans, books and inclusive language are provided around family diversity, gender and LGTBTQ+ inclusion, anti-racism and preventing bias-based bullying. Classroom teachers teach one or more lessons from Welcoming Schools each month. Lessons often use children’s books as starting points for activities and discussion. We know that in order for students to do their best learning, they and their families need to feel safe, valued and respected.


Welcoming Schools provides resources and a framework for schools to help us achieve that goal. If you would like more information about Welcoming Schools, you can:


Standard Response Protocol

During the last few weeks, all classes engaged in lessons related to the Standard Response Protocol, which help students understand what they will do in case of an emergency situation. These lessons included:


  • Shelter: We talked about different reasons we might need to seek shelter, such as a thunderstorm or tornado warning. We talked about where their class will go in case there is a tornado warning.
  • Hold: We explained that hold is the word that is used when students and staff need to stay in their classroom (or gymnasium, library, music room, and so on) in order to keep the halls clear of people. This might be due to a spill in the hallway or a student needing medical attention.
  • Evacuate: These lessons included evacuations that students may be familiar with, like fire drills. Students will practice lining up with their class and following directions on where they should go in case of this type of emergency.
  • Lockout: We taught students the importance of quickly getting inside the school building in the event of a Lockout. We explained that this may happen if there is something on the playground, like a stinky skunk. This is also the procedure that would be used if the school was notified of a threat or danger in the community; students would be brought inside and would remain there until the threat was removed.
  • Lockdown: We talked in very general terms about using this action when someone is being unsafe inside the school. Teachers talked with students about having an area of their classroom where they will go to be very quiet like a bunny.

For more information about the Standard Response Protocol and MMSD emergency procedures, please visit https://www.madison.k12.wi.us/office-of-school-safety/standard-response-protocol.

Picture Retake Day: November 11th

Please see the Lifetouch flyer here.

Gallery Night: November 12th

This one night event will be at the Plymouth Congregational Church on Atwood Avenue. Doors will be open from 5-9pm.


Masks will be required and there will be no eating or drinking in the church. They will be handing out a cookie bag as visitors leave the show.


Artwork from every student K-5 will be on display!

Library & Technology Newsletter

Please read the newsletter here to find out about the Book Fair, the Library, Securly, and internet safety resources!

Winter Glow

Goodman Community Center, Nov 6th, 1-7pm

Winter Glow started in 2021 and offers a variety of resources including free winter coats, vaccinations, a pop-up food pantry, and more. Learn more at: cacscw.org/winterglow

Food Access Survey

Would you access free, nutritious meals for your child if they need to isolate, quarantine, or switch to virtual learning temporarily due to COVID-19?


We want to ensure students have access to nutritious meals if they need to miss school due to isolation, quarantine, or a temporary classroom closure (typically between 7 and 10 days). MMSD has worked with Second Harvest FoodBank and other community food pantries to pair every school with food resources in the event students are sent home due to COVID-19.


We want to make sure the food pantry paired with our school is as prepared with as many resources as possible to support your family in the event of a closure. This short survey will ask if you anticipate needing to access these resources if your child is temporarily sent home due to COVID-19. If your child is sent home, our school will let you know who to contact at school to be connected to resources.


Regardless of your answer today, you and your family can still access these resources if you need to at any time. We are simply trying to get a high-level view of the need at each school for planning purposes.


If you responded to this survey sent from another school in the district, please disregard. You do not need to complete it multiple times.


Take the survey.

MSCR Community Input Survey

Dear MMSD Families,

Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR), is seeking input to improve our community programs. Please take a few moments to complete this MSCR Community Input Survey by November 15, 2021.


The survey link above is in Spanish and English. Here's the survey in Hmong.


Thank you for taking the time to complete this short survey. We value your input.


Best regards,

Janet Dyer

MSCR Executive Director

Assessment & Learning Supports

Dear Families,


School conferences are soon approaching. At your student’s conference, please take the opportunity to speak with your child’s teacher(s) about their progress and any supportive activities that could be done at home.


Student assessments and data are used by teachers to improve instruction, and help teachers give each student what they need to be successful in school. In the classroom, teachers use different kinds of assessments. For example, some assessments in reading and math are used to gauge scholars' level of foundational skills in these subjects. The information obtained helps identify students who need additional academic support or challenge.


Different kinds of assessments provide information which is used for different purposes. Formative, or day to day informal teacher assessments, are created and used by teachers to inform and adjust their lessons. Interim instructional tasks/assessments are used less frequently to assess student’s progress toward mastery of grade-level standards. Screening assessments, such as FastBridge, Achieve3000 or iReady, are given three times per school year to determine progress in grade-level skills. Finally, summative assessments, such as Forward or ACT, are accountability assessments mandated by the state or federal government for evaluation purposes.


All of these assessments work together to ensure students are on track to reach year-end grade level standards and benchmarks. In our school district, the assessments students take are intended to inform teachers’ instruction while minimizing time spent out of the classroom learning environment. Additionally, interim instructional and screening assessments have the same level of rigor as summative assessments.


For more information about assessments, please see our website.


Sincerely,


The MMSD Assessment Team

Dismissal Reminders

  • NO PARKING along Ludington Ave. Do not leave your car to collect your student.

  • To help the flow of the car lane, follow the line of vehicles from Ludington to Center Ave. Stay in your vehicle and pull forward as cars leave.

  • The carline will likely back up along Ludington. Please be patient and wait until staff approach your car at the gate on Center Ave.

  • Please remind your students that they are NOT to run through the gate and to your vehicle. This is very unsafe.

  • If you want to walk up to collect your student, park legally in the neighborhood (NOT on Ludington or Center) and walk to the fence along Ludington.

  • Please refrain from congregating on the Ludington sidewalk after you have connected with your student. We ask that conversations move to other side streets in order to avoid crowds and allow teachers to identify waiting caregivers.

  • Please make sure caregivers and students ONLY cross the street in the crosswalks.

  • Please have patience with our staff and one another. We are working to get 350 students connected with their caregivers in an efficient and safe manner. As the weather changes and the snow piles, we need to make sure these systems are followed consistently.

Helpful Links