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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer Updates!

Hello! I hope you are all enjoying summer so far. I am writing with just a few summer updates.

Lowell Facilities Issue
Over fourth of July weekend, the sprinkler system at the Lowell malfunctioned. This caused some flooding and damage to our boiler room.  While I feel so relieved that the damage was so localized and was to an area of the building that is not used by any students or staff, it did cause some significant problems.  I am currently receiving daily updates about the assessment of the damage and about the plans for repair.  Currently the Lowell is closed so that repairs may be made. Our custodians are still working hard as they normally do to get the building ready for opening of school and our director of facilities is working with a number of our contractors and service providers to remedy the boiler room damage.

As the Lowell is temporarily closed, I am working from home and from central office while repairs are being made. There was no electricity and no fire protection for a brief period of time and there is no air conditioning currently (I am very pregnant and consequently very hot).  I have had intermittent access to my voicemail but I am here for you! Please email me if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a time pick up your student's report card.

Placement Letters
Every year we send placement letters out at the beginning of August. We will do this again this year so you should expect your student's letter with their class assignment for next year towards the end of the first week of August.

First Day of School
I am sure your student does not want to think about this yet...but the first day of school is Thursday, September 4th! Prekindergarten and kindergarten students follow a somewhat different schedule for starting school and those details will be outlined in the placement letter.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

More Weekly Updates

The last of the school year updates are here for you! As I said in my end of year post (previous post on blog if you missed it) have a wonderful summer!

PTO Updates
The final PTO updates for the year.  http://eepurl.com/XrnGP
A big thank you to Noreen Lombard for putting these together weekly for us!

Report Cards
If your child is not here on the last day, you may email me (elizabeth.kaplan@watertown.k12.ma.us) or call the office to set up a time to come in and get it after school is out. Hang on to them as many sports organizations require them for registration!

Last Day
A final reminder that the last day for PreK/K is this Thursday and it is a full day. Last day for grades 1-5 is Friday and it is a half day with dismissal for all (no LEDP) at 12:15pm.

Grade 5 Graduation
Our fifth graders will be moving on to middle school and their "graduation" from the Lowell is this Thursday at 1pm in the Lowell gym. Due to weather we must hold the event inside this year.

Lost and Found
There are LOTS of items in our lost and found. If your student is missing something, please stop in to look in the lost in found. Please check in to main office and then head to lost and found in cafeteria. Unclaimed items will be donated!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

End of Year Letter

End of Year Message 
As the year comes to an end I want to take this opportunity to celebrate, reflect, and look forward.  In spite of budget challenges and a significant lack of resources, the Lowell had another very successful and happy school year. I want to thank all of you for your support of our school, your student, and our staff throughout the year.

There is much to celebrate this year. We implemented the new Common Core State Standards smoothly and in such a way that our students were engaged and there was some amazing project based learning happening. With the adoption of this new set of standards came a new way of teaching math and with this we saw a marked improvement in student achievement. Our students not only wrote personal narratives but also had the opportunity to write to persuade! One of our students was so persuasive in a letter, that we received a personal letter in return from the commissioner of Major League Baseball! Our reading month in March (Reading Olympics) had the most involvement yet and we had our first all day school wide field day off site at Victory Field. The Lowell continued to be a positive environment for students to learn and grow!

Looking forward to next year, I am thrilled with what we have planned. Our school improvement plan outlines what our goals are for next year. Below you will find a very brief look at our school improvement plan. Action items on how we will achieve each goal are in italics below the goals.

School Goal 1: In the 2014/2015, 90% of Lowell students will show growth in both English language literacy and math literacy.

Implementation and support for parents and teachers of new “Math in Focus/Singapore Math” curriculum, intervention and challenge in grades 4 and 5, math intervention all grades.

School Goal 2: In the 2014/2015 school year, home-school communication about student progress and curriculum will be expanded and improved.

Revised report card, technology for all staff with professional development to improve home-school communication

School Goal 3: In the 2014/2015 school year, new awards, recognition, and school events will be implemented to improve school culture and student behavior.

Monthly awards and school wide experiences, changing awards and recognition to encourage character building behavior, monthly school assemblies

-School Goal 4: In the 2014/2015, teachers will have increased opportunity to collaborate with their peers and school administration.

Consistent consult times for all grade levels, teachers engaged in peer observation, formation school leadership team


I am also so excited about our teaching staff for next year. We are adding a classroom due to increased enrollment so there will be 21 classrooms at the Lowell. Below you will find the grade level classroom teaching teams for next school year. At the start of the school year you will receive a list of the complete Lowell staff.

I am so proud of our school and so grateful to be a part of it.  I have had many visitors to the Lowell-parents, professors from teacher preparation programs at universities, and student and substitute teachers- all mention to me that the atmosphere at the Lowell is happy and welcoming. I believe that it really is a special school community. As you know, I will be away from the Lowell for a bit while I am on maternity leave. I am looking forward to spending time with my family but will miss the Lowell so much. I know the school is in good hands and I look forward to seeing all of you in 2015!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I will be working for most of July and will send a message to all families when acting principal, Allison Donovan, should be contacted instead of me!

Happy summer,
Elizabeth


PreK
Lynne Tarr/Julia Bean
Mrs Tarr will be covering Ms Bean’s maternity leave until her return in December
Kindergarten
Kristin Murray
Lisa Morrison
Nicole (Brown) Connors
Haynes Altobello
Grade 1
Ann Cox
Anthony Fiandaca
Amy Peca
Jen Peterson-Eacott
Grade 2
Jessica Hudon
Stephen MacLellan
Jen (Dalton) Seward
Grade 3
Sheri Park
Kevin Shpritzer
Emily Walsh
Grade 4
Erin (McCormick)Moriarty
Tom Stezzi
Adam Vachon

Grade 5
Debra Garabedian
Rachael Levine
Anne Sudbay

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Weekly Message

Hello families! A couple of short updates this week. I am looking forward to the last weekly message of the year next week.  I plan to share with you my end of year message that will contain some updates for next year!

PTO Picnic
The PTO picnic is tomorrow, Thursday, June 19th from 2:30-4:30 on the front lawn. There are many teachers lined up for the "celebrity dunk tank"! All students must be with an adult to attend the picnic.

Last Days Reminder
A reminder that the last day of school for preK and Kindergarten students is Thursday, June 26th, 2014. This is a full day. The last day for students in grades 1-5 is Friday, June 27th. This is an early release day for students. There is NO LEDP on this day and dismissal is at 12:15.
Progress Reports will be sent home on this day. If your student is not in school to receive their report card, you may pick it up during the summer. The office is not open all summer, so it is best to call the office or email me (elizabeth.kaplan@watertown.k12.ma.us) to schedule a time to come by and get it. I know students need them for certain town sports organizations!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Message

Acting Principal
Many of you may know (or most likely have noticed) that I am expecting my second child this summer.  I will most likely be on maternity leave from August until the start of the new year in January 2015.  It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce that Allison Donovan, elementary curriculum coordinator, will be filling in as acting principal of the Lowell while I am on maternity leave. Allison has been the elementary curriculum coordinator for the past two years and has accomplished so much for our elementary schools in that time. Allison was an exemplary elementary school teacher and teacher leader before becoming coordinator.  Allison and I have worked closely together over the past two years and she has been a great presence and addition to the Lowell community. Teachers are thrilled to have Allison as their administrator in my absence, as she understands the Lowell school well and is an incredibly smart, thoughtful, hard working leader.  We are planning to have a gradual and very smooth transition as I prepare to take leave. I will send my usual end of year letter on the last week of school and will also communicate with you over the summer up and let you know when I am "officially" on leave. I plan to stay in touch with Allison and support her through the time I am on leave.

Field Day!
Field Day is this week on Thursday. If you need to dismiss your child from school any time after 9:30 am on Thursday, please come to Victory Field. We will be set up to dismiss from there as the whole school will be at Victory! More information has come home from our PE teachers about this day as well. Students should bring a bagged lunch to have at Victory.

Calendar 2014-2015
I have been fielding many questions about the upcoming school year calendar.  We are still awaiting the final calendar to be posted, communicated to us, and finalized.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday Message

I hope you enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend! We have the class of 2027 here today and tomorrow (incoming kindergarteners) so it is an exciting time at the Lowell!

Town Council Meeting Tomorrow
The Town Council will meet tomorrow night to conduct the budget hearing on education. It is an important meeting and community member attendance is encouraged! It is at 6pm in the Town Hall Meeting Room.

PTO End of Year Picnic
The PTO end of year picnic is this Thursday starting at 2:30 pm and ending at 4:30 pm on the front lawn. Please stop by with your students-there are many "celebrity" staff members in the dunk tank this year! Also, the PTO weekly update is here    http://eepurl.com/VYl9j

Field Day Next Week
Our school wide field day is bigger and better this year! It is slated to be on Thursday, June 12th and is happening all day at Victory Field. More details to follow but it should be a very fun day for the entire school!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Message

Lowell Happenings
Friday night, many of our students were in The Show Must Go On. It was put on by the Watertown Rec Department and featured so many songs from the '80s. It was so fun and our students were incredible! A big congratulations to our very own Stacy Vachon for directing our students in such an amazing production! We are still waiting on pictures...the students looked great!

Early Release This Week
A reminder that this Wednesday, May 21st is an early release day for students for teacher professional development. Dismissal is at 12:15, lunch will be served, and there will be LEDP.

Site Council This Week
Our last School Site Council meeting of the year will be this Tuesday, May 20th at 6:30 pm in the Lowell lounge. We will finalize our school improvement plan! Very important work! It is an open meeting so please join us!

No School Monday
There will be no school on Monday, May 26th for Memorial Day.

PTO Updates
Please take a moment to read the weekly update from the PTO as it contains important information about upcoming elections and end of year events.
The PTO update is here  http://eepurl.com/UYBEn