Lowell Lions ROAR

Back to School edition

Welcome to Lowell

School is just around the corner! I hope that all of our returning and new families have had a safe and enjoyable summer. Our custodial staff and teachers have been busy preparing for the first day of school on September 5th.


At Lowell, we care deeply about the success of your child. Getting your child to reach their potential while enjoying learning is our number one priority. Families and school staff support one another to ensure a successful and positive school experience. With your partnership we can help you child achieve his or her goals. This newsletter is designed to provide you with information on how you can assist us at Lowell.



  1. Make sure your child gets to school every day and on time. When is my child expected to be at school?

  2. Make sure your child comes to school prepared to learn and ready to participate. Where can I get a list of school supplies for my child?

  3. Communicate with us so we can be meet the needs of your child. Who is my child's teacher?

  4. Get to know the staff at school, especially your child's teacher. When is Open House?

  5. Get involved! Join the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) group that meets once a month or volunteer to help with activities. Who do I contact to get involved at school?

  6. Call us if you have any questions. See Contact Us!

  7. Stay connected! Visit our website. Provide your email for regular e-newsletters like this one!

When is Open House?

Our Back to School Open House will be held from 4:30-6:00 pm on Thursday, August 31, 2017. This is an opportunity for the parents, students, and Lowell staff to begin forming a partnership that will last through the school year. During your visit, families can:

  • meet your child's new teacher

  • drop of school supplies

  • complete district and school required forms

  • add money to your child's lunch account, etc.


Make sure to stop by the Office to wish Mrs. Gayle Hunger a happy retirement! She will be retiring on September 1st. Mrs. Cathy Holman will be starting with us on the first day of school. Please have patience with the office that day as she is brand-spanking new!

Where can I get a list of school supplies for my child?

Whenever I run into a store these days, I see specials on school supplies! If you are looking for a supply list, you can find it on our Lowell website or here. Some of the local stores will also have copies of the supply list if you look in their Back to School section.


Please make sure to label all of your child's belongings. This includes the following:

  • backpack

  • gym shoes

  • sweatshirts and jackets

You would be amazed at how many things look alike and become missing.


When is my child expected to be at school?

We expect your child to get to school every day and on time. Our daily student hours are from 7:45 am to 2:15 pm. Please do not drop your child off before 7:30 am. All students will be directed to the playground for a morning recess period from 7:15-7:30 am. If your child will be taking advantage of the FREE school breakfast program, they will be allowed to enter the cafeteria beginning at 7:20 am.


Please print off a copy of the ISD 709 2017-18 calendar for information about when school is in session. You can download a copy here.


If you child will be absent, please contact the attendance line at 218-336-8895 each day your child will be out.


*Please note that our front entrance is locked at 7:50 each morning to ensure the safety of our students.


Who is my child's teacher?

Our office just reopened on Monday, August 14th. We have been adjusting the class lists for any new enrollments or transfers. On Monday, August 21, Mrs. Hunger mailed out the teacher placement letters. If you have not heard your child's placement by Monday, August 28, please contact the school at 218-336-8895. Additionally, beginning on August 25th, families can log in to Parent Portal for schedule information for students in all buildings.


Here is the current Lowell staffing for the 2017-18 School year

Kindergarten: JoAnn Margo, Debra Joseph (blended K/1)

Spanish K: Marizela Stuecher, Becky Sheldon

Ojibwe K/1: Gordon Jourdain

Grade 1: Ann Anderson, Debra Joseph (blended K/1)

Spanish 1: Natalie Kapphahn, Maria Strom

Ojibwe 2/3: Doreen Skinaway

Grade 2: Stephanie Gottschald, Sofia Woyno

Grade 3: Amy Larson/Kristy Zwak (shared position), Nancy Pulkrabek

Grade 4: Troy Erie, Amy Kass

Grade 5: Kelsey Holt, Philip Warmanen

Who do I contact to help at the school?

If you are interested in helping at the school, the first place to start is with the PTA. Kari Speer is the current PTA president. You can contact her at nelsonka@gmail.com. Our first PTA meeting will be scheduled later in September. Come check it out!


We also have an active parent group that is working on the development of our Nature trail and playscape. For more information on volunteer opportunities, contact Laura Whittaker at llwhittaker@gmail.com.


Please check with your child's teacher if you would like to help out in the classroom or with special events that are being advertised throughout the school year. We would love to have you join us!


Looking for a Playground Monitor!

We are looking for someone interested in working out on our playground everyday from 10:40-1:10. The pay is $9.50 per hour, but you will reap way more benefits from witnessing the joy and energy of our kids! School lunch is included. Please contact the office if you are interested.

From our PTA

New this year: Boo-hoo Woo-hoo Breakfast

Tuesday, Sep. 5th, 7:45-9am

2000 Rice Lake Road

Duluth, MN

Are you feeling sad that your little one is going off to Kindergarten this year? Are you excited that your children are finally back to school after our long summer break? Either way, come join us for breakfast in the Media Center. This is a time for building friendships and deepening relationships with some of your fellow Lowell parents.

Fundraising Efforts

Boxtops for Education: Start saving up your Boxtops and asks friends and families to help. We will have our Boxtop classroom contest in October. More info to come!


Shiny Paper Recycling: Our shiny paper receptacles are located at both the front and back entrances to the school. We collect until we have a dumpster full and then start all over again. If you have shiny paper that you have collected over the summer, don't forget to bring it in!


Other Fundraising Efforts: If you are interested in helping with any of the PTA fundraising efforts throughout the school year, please contact Kari Speer nelsonka@gmail.com.

District Back to School Information

NEW: Apply Online to Receive Free or Reduced Price School Meals!

Families can apply online anywhere, anytime - the process is safe, secure, convenient and available 24/7. Data is transmitted to your local school district office the same day you apply, allowing for quicker processing. Families qualifying for free/reduced school meals may also qualify for reduced school activity fees.

Families Are Encouraged to Apply:

>>This is an important way to ensure children are receiving nutritious meals each day which can have a positive impact on behavior and learning.

>>Qualifying to receive free or reduced price meals may help families qualify to pay no or lower school activity fees. Students who qualify can take the ACT Test at school for free!

>>Families who qualify for free or reduced price meals help schools receive more federal funding for education in Duluth.

>>It can help families avoid running up unpaid lunch debt and having that debt go to collection.

>>Lower unpaid lunch debt means more funds to provide healthy, tasty meals for children.

Back to School Fair - Free Backpack/School Supplies

Thursday, Aug. 31st, 9am-2pm

215 North 1st Avenue East

Duluth, MN

Use the Third Street door of Historic Old Central High School. Metered parking on the streets and avenues.

--Get ready for the upcoming year – no early sign up required, but supplies are limited.

--Resources, information booths, backpack distribution and registration for school lunch program for families who attend Duluth I.S.D. #709 public & charter schools

--Please be prepared to show I.D. for each student (Social Security card, medical card or birth certificate) who will be requesting a school backpack. Backpacks provided for K-12 students only.

For more information, call Scott at 727-2391.

Attendance Works!

Showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic success starting in kindergarten and continuing through middle and high school. Families play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day and understanding why attendance is so important for success in school and in life.
Children are less likely to succeed if they are chronically absent—which means missing 18 or more days over the course of an entire school year.
Research shows:
• Children chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade are much less likely to read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade.
• By 6th grade, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign for students at risk for dropping out of school.
• By 9th grade good attendance can predict graduation rates even better than 8th grade test scores.
Clearly, going to school regularly matters.

State and Local Plans Include Support for School Attendance

As Minnesota develops and transitions to a new accountability plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act, schools will focus more attention on helping address chronic absenteeism.

“We like the addition of attendance,” says Superintendent Bill Gronseth. “We know students can't learn if they're not in school and the new requirement will encourage schools to focus even more on creating welcoming environments and robust student engagement. We're also happy to see the measurements move beyond test scores alone to a more global view of a student's success. There's still work to be done to get there and these are important steps in the right direction.”

Draft MN State ESSA Plan – Review & Comment

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