Lowell Parent Newsletter

April 11, 2021

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Principal Corner

Thank you for an Amazing Week!


I must say the week flew by but shortly after closing on Friday, Ms. Sudbay and Ms. Walker remarked that Monday seemed so long ago. Ms. Brodeur commented that the kids were back to their old routines in just two days. It did feel like we served lunch all week long. Thank goodness the weather cooperated, and the students took to their new routines without any trouble. Thank you to all the staff who were outside helping with lunch this week. Big thank you to Deb and Jeff (Extended Day) for stepping in and lending us two more hands.


Our SEL Team, in coordination with our PTO, provided us with special care as we returned to school. Ms. Cochrane, Ms. Johnson, and Ms. Jacovides! Supplied us with smiles, cheers, and sweet treats, making us feel special and loved. Your "Donut How We'd Do It Without" Breakfast on Monday was a wonderful way to begin the week. The Snack Cart on Friday put a smile on everyone's face. Such yummy treats from our "SWEET" SEL Team and the PTO. Sending Big Hugs Your Way!


Ms. Flynn, Nurse Taverna, Ms. Jacovides, and Mrs. Phelan dropped off cakes at each virtual student's home on Monday afternoon. We didn't want them to miss out on all the celebrations at school. They seemed surprised and excited to see us. The PTO provided us with individual-size bundt cakes for each child. It was a big hit.


Our PTO was great support this week, from supplying the balloons, planting flowers, providing the snack and treats for teachers, and supplying the mini cakes for the virtual school students. Thank you for all your hard work and unwavering support.


We're, of course, still making adjustments to our routines. This week, grade three will leave the building using the Carlton Street door and walk around to the front of the building and line up on the hill. Their lines will line up closer to the Carlton Street Exit. We've adjusted this to speed up our dismissals.


Looking ahead at the week's weather, it looks like rain is in our future. We will serve lunch indoors on Monday even if it doesn't rain as a practice run for inclement weather. Students that have permission only to eat outdoors will do just that eat outdoors. If you have not returned your permission slip, please send it in tomorrow.


Thankfully we only need to make minor adjustments to improve our lunch and dismissal routines. Arrivals have been going very well. It's great seeing all the families again. Please continue to read our messages as they could affect drop-off or pick-up.


This past week Dr. Galdston and I held two Parent Forums where we discussed the relocation proposal for the impending school renovation project, which will take place in February 2022. After listening to your feedback, we have made adjustments which we hope address many of your concerns. We want to discuss these changes with you on Monday at 10:00 AM. The link is provided below; you can also find it on our school website. We will have interpreters on hand for our Spanish, Portuguese, Pashto, and Arabic families. Please join us.


For those who cannot join us Monday, I will offer an additional forum on Tuesday evening before our PTO meeting at 6:00 PM.

Teaching & Learning Updates from the Assistant Superintendent's Office

WPS Families & Staff Members:


It's finally Spring and at WPS we are embracing the 'renewal' theme. Our resilient teachers and support staff are continuing to pivot to meet the needs of their students, with most of our PreK - elementary students and staff back in the schools this week full-time. Our WMS staff is readying for Monday's return with some students already visiting the school, prepping the gardens for renewed growth (See photo). Our WHS colleagues are planning their in-person return on April 26th with Principal Giacobozzi joining HS Curriculum Coordinators in offering Zoom presentations tonight (April 8) on their extensive Program of Studies (See information w/Zoom links below). All-in-all, it's with buckets of gratitude that we welcome staff and students into our halls, classrooms, and general physical presence. Our hearts are full and our hopes are high.


While our principals keep you well-informed with weekly newsletters, please enjoy these quarterly 'Teaching & Learning Updates' that provide you a glimpse of education in Watertown, from our T & L Team.


Keep each other (and yourselves) well,


Dr. Theresa McGuinness, Assistant Superintendent

theresa.mcguinness@watertown.k12.ma.us


Every Child...Every Classroom...Every Day

Quick Resources: WPS 2020 - 2021 Calendar, WPS Website

i-Ready Diagonstic

The i-Ready mid-year Winter diagnostic was administered to students in grades 1 - 8 beginning the weeks of March 1st and March 8th. Results were analyzed by the assistant superintendent, curriculum coordinators, principals, and shared further in data meetings with teachers, service providers, and Title 1 tutors.


i-Ready has added a new percentile feature to their reports. In many cases, students increased in their achievement but went down in their percentile ranking. After contacting i-Ready Support about this they explained the following:


  • The percentiles we see in the reports are based on i-Ready norming windows. If students were assessed between Nov 15, 2020 - March 1, 2021, the percentiles will be from the Winter norming window. If they were assessed after March 1, the percentiles will be from the Spring norming window, thus not accurate percentiles. We assessed after March 1st thus, the Spring norming window. Also, the percentiles are normed from the 2018-2019 school year, a “normal” school year, so we're comparing apples to oranges. WPS and many other districts did not assess after the pandemic hit in Spring 2020 as students were learning from home, so there is no comparative data for the 2019-2020 end of year.

  • i-Ready Support suggested not using these percentiles with parents as they are not accurately reflecting our data against that norm. After the spring, during our June testing window we will examine the Parent Reports again for the accuracy of the percentiles. We may send home the end of year Parent Report, which will be slightly more accurate although still normed against 18-19 school year, only if we collectively determine that the end of year comparison data is accurate this unique year.


Our rationale for likely sharing the end of year Parent Report (with explicit explanation) is that they will provide individual student growth from the school year's beginning to the end, and a comparison to more accurate percentiles (since comparison will be all students at the end of year timeframe versus the March 2021 varying dates), even though they are still normed against 18-19SY.

Notice: Travel Protocols

The governor of Massachusetts issued a Travel Advisory effective March 22, 2021. Below is information from the advisory. Please click on the link to get more information and check the link periodically as it is subject to change.

As of Monday, March 22, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival. Travelers in the following categories are exempt from this quarantine advisory:

  • Travelers who have received a negative COVID-19 result on a test administered not more than 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. Travelers may also test out of the quarantine advisory after arrival in Massachusetts, as long as they quarantine until receiving a negative test result.

  • Anyone who is entering Massachusetts for fewer than 24 hours

  • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after being out of the State for fewer than 24 hours

  • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) during required commuting to or from work and while at work.

  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago) and who do not have symptoms.


Every WPS employee should follow this advisory.

Anyone arriving from an international destination must quarantine for 14 days, per the Watertown Health Department. Staff should consult with the school nurse and building administrator regarding international travel as guidelines change rapidly.

Quaranting

The governor of Massachusetts issued a Travel Advisory effective March 22, 2021. Below is information from the advisory. Please click on the link to get more information and check the link periodically as it is subject to change.

As of Monday, March 22, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival. Travelers in the following categories are exempt from this quarantine advisory:

  • Travelers who have received a negative COVID-19 result on a test administered not more than 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. Travelers may also test out of the quarantine advisory after arrival in Massachusetts, as long as they quarantine until receiving a negative test result.

  • Anyone who is entering Massachusetts for fewer than 24 hours

  • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after being out of the State for fewer than 24 hours

  • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) during required commuting to or from work and while at work.

  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago) and who do not have symptoms.


Every WPS employee should follow this advisory.

Anyone arriving from an international destination must quarantine for 14 days, per the Watertown Health Department. Staff should consult with the school nurse and building administrator regarding international travel as guidelines change rapidly.


QUARANTINING: UPDATED INFORMATION

In the event that a student/adult in a classroom receives a positive test result and a classroom will need to quarantine, we will provide teachers and families a school day to prepare for this. This will enable teachers to organize schedules, zoom links, and supplies for families to pick up.


With regards to international travel, a quarantine of 14 days upon return is necessary, with a negative PCR test on day 15. This is in accordance with the directive of the Watertown Health Department. Students quarantining after travel may not Zoom into classroom lessons.


Students are invited to Zoom into the classroom only in cases where they have tested positive for COVID themselves OR have been deemed a close contact. In these cases, parents/families must contact Nurse Kathy Taverna and arrangements will be made.

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Lowell School's Curiosity Award Winner 2021

2021 Curiosity Award

winners. We are compiling the winning entries in a book for each student winner and their school.


1. Caroline Marsh-Zinsa

2. Maisie Morgan

3. Charlotte Kubilus

4. Sophia Zarkados

5. Quinn Leonard

6. Bella Shutts


This year's Cambridge Science Festival is being held virtually during April. I have included a link for an interesting

event that might be of interest to your students during April vacation:

https://boston.alumclub.mit.edu/s/1314/bp19/interior.aspx?sid=1314&pgid=56340&gid=10&cid=92460&ecid=92460&post_id=0

Last Week at the Lowell

The Lowell Leopard was SPOTTED: on 3/29-4/2

In Ms. Altobello's Kindergarten Class


Lennie had a blast in Kindergarten this week! He/she enjoyed working on a puzzle and coloring at choice time. Early in the week, Lennie really liked book shopping for Just Right Reading books with the kids. Lennie helped us get the Lowell Learning Garden ready for spring with weeding and raking. He/she loved our first week of math centers and especially liked playing Domino Parking Lot. Most of all, Lennie was so happy to play with us at recess on a warm, sunny day!

The Lowell Leopard was spotted: ( This Week)

In Ms. Walsh Kindergarten Classroom


Lennie The leopard had a great time in kindergarten this first full week back! He was able to play with some Play-Doh and participate in writers workshop!

Special Thanks!

This week the Lowell Staff would like to thank our SEL Team, Melina Jacovides, Crystal Johnson and Kelley Cochrane, along with our Wonderful PTO for putting together special treats for the staff this week. These treats kept us energized to push through the week!

This Week at the Lowell

Morning Announcements for Virtual Students


Starting April 12th Lowell Virtual students will still have the opportunity to zoom in at 8:20am for the whole school announcements. Please join us using the link below.



Candice Whitmore is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Topic: Morning Announcement Zoom Meeting

Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime


Join Zoom Meeting

https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/93942649049

Lowell Parent Forums on Monday!

Monday, April 12th, 10am

This is an online event.

Monday, April 12th, Dr. Galdston, and Mrs. Phelan will hold a Parent Forum to discuss our building's relocation plan during the Lowell School Renovation. Please join us at 10:00 AM on Zoom. Interpreters will be on hand to support our families.


Spanish: Carmen Mendez


Portuguese: Cristiana Marques


Arabic: Janet Atiyyat


Pashto: Nelma Pirzata


Here is the link to join our meeting:

Stacy Phelan is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/94595939480

Meeting ID: 945 9593 9480

One tap mobile +13126266799,,94595939480# US (Chicago) +16465588656,,94595939480# US (New York) Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 646 558 8656 US (New York) +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC) +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose) +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) Meeting ID: 945 9593 9480 Find your local number: https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/u/aV7MKpql9



Current 4th-grade families Only- are invited to a Zoom meeting with Dr. Galdston and Mrs. Phelan at 8:30 am.

Please follow the zoom link below.


You may use this link to enter the meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/97688677680

Meeting ID: 976 8867 7680

One tap mobile +13017158592,,97688677680# US (Washington DC) +13126266799,,97688677680# US (Chicago) Dial by your location +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC) +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 646 558 8656 US (New York) +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose) Meeting ID: 976 8867 7680 Find your local number: https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/u/abq4iPUKer

Parent Forum

Tuesday, April 13th, 6pm

This is an online event.


Here is the link to join our meeting:


Stacy Phelan is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/94595939480

Meeting ID: 945 9593 9480

One tap mobile +13126266799,,94595939480# US (Chicago) +16465588656,,94595939480# US (New York) Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 646 558 8656 US (New York) +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC) +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose) +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) Meeting ID: 945 9593 9480 Find your local number: https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/u/aV7MKpql9

PTO Meeting This Week

Tuesday, April 13th, 6:30pm

This is an online event.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

6:30PM


1. PTO Leadership Roles – Next Year


2. Upcoming Events:

  • Parent Night Out

  • Teacher Appreciation Week (May 3rd week)


3. Guest speakers: Kara and Shantu Salvi, Affinity Space for BIPOC Children and Families


4. Principal Update


5. Budget Update if time


Zoom Link for April PTO Meeting

https://lesley.zoom.us/j/94468998190?pwd=czdIclR6TVI0b09Kek5YT0lLcDBsQT09

Meeting ID: 944 6899 8190

Passcode: 247758

Dial by your location: 1 929 205 6099


Parent Diversity Council

Thursday, April 15th, 7pm

This is an online event.

Lowell Parent Diversity Council


Agenda:

  • Student Diversity Council Updates
  • 21-22 SIP Goals
  • Open Forum


Candice Whitmore is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Topic: Lowell Diversity Council

Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime


Join Zoom Meeting

https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/96342530411


Meeting ID: 963 4253 0411

One tap mobile

+13126266799,,96342530411# US (Chicago)

+16465588656,,96342530411# US (New York)


Dial by your location

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

Meeting ID: 963 4253 0411

Find your local number: https://watertown-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/u/abjZ4umbDm


No Dogs are Allowed on School Grounds

Dogs are not allowed on school grounds, ball-field, basketball courts, or playgrounds. We kindly request you follow Town Ordinances.

PTO Corner

PTO Update

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. Please email lowellelementarypto@gmail.com to learn more.


Next PTO Meeting. Tuesday, April 13th at 6:30PM. You can find the link on the Lowell PTO page.


Cosmic Yoga Kids Club:

Students are invited to sign-up for Cosmic Yoga with Ms. Gerring! Recommended for Grades K-2 but all are welcome. Yoga will be on Thursdays from 3 - 4pm on Zoom. Session 2 will run from April 15 - June 17. There will not be meetings during April School Vacation week. This club is FREE with PTO support. Space is limited, and families can sign-up using this link:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0545a5ae28a0f49-cosmic

Parent Resources

Summer Success

Summer Success for Reading, Math and ESL

This year we will be once again offering a summer success program for eligible students. This program will run from July 12 - August 5th on Monday - Thursday from 8:30 - 12:00 at the Lowell School. Eligible students will be notified by the end of April and those that attend will receive small group instruction in math, reading, and writing.


Please reach out to Deb Opar (deborah.opar@watertown.k12.ma.us), Elizabeth Kaplan (Elizabeth.kaplan@watertown.k12.ma.us) or Kate Phillipson (kathryn.phillipson@watertown.k12.ma.us) with any questions about this summer program.

Watertown Elite Field Hockey

Clinic Information:

Date: August 2nd-5th

Grades K-12

9:30am-3pm

Cost:$350


The clinic at Victory Field is open to players in grades K-12. Players are grouped by age, experience and skill level. Having a good understanding of basic fundamental skills is the key to success in becoming a well-rounded field hockey player. Dribbling, passing, shooting, hitting, goalie training, team play and defensive skills will be taught in a fun and engaging way. After teaching the players the technical aspects of field hockey through challenging drills, they will have a chance to showcase what they have learned by playing in field hockey games each day