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Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Message 4/13

Good Morning Lowell Families,

It is wonderful that spring is finally here.  We are seeing a lot more students walking to school which means that drop and go traffic is moving more quickly.  Remember to be on the look out for students in crosswalks.

Early Release This Week:
Monday through Thursday are early release days.  Students will be served lunch and dismissed at 12:15.  There is LEDP but, there is no homework club.  Friday is a full school day.  If you have a conference scheduled with your child's teacher please try to be on time.  Conferences are twenty minutes in length and teachers have packed schedules.

April Vacation:
Next week is April vacation, there is no school for the week.

PTO:
This Tuesday, April 14th, there is a PTO Meeting at 7:00 in the Library.

The theme of this Friday's Spirit Day is "Mismatch Day."  I am looking forward to seeing some great clashing outfits on Friday.

Have a wonderful week and a great April break.

Ms. Donovan

Monday, April 6, 2015

Monday Message 4/6

Good Morning Lowell Families,

The students at the Lowell School were very excited to reach their goal of reading 5,000 hours during the month of March.  The students in Pre-k through fifth grade read a total of 5,546 hours.  To celebrate this accomplishment we had a special assembly from Jim Parks of Wingmasters.  He brought five birds of prey and did an educational presentation for all of the students.  Ask your children about the American Kestrel, the Peregrine Falcon, the Screech Owl, the Barred Owl, and the Red Tail Hawk they met today.  Mr. Parks was amazed at what a respectful audience the students were and about the knowledge they had about animals.  I will be updating the homepage soon with more pictures of these magnificent creatures.



Early Release and Conferences
Parent- Teacher Conferences are scheduled for this Thursday evening and Monday through Thursday afternoon of next week.  Please be on time for conferences so that teachers can stay on schedule.
On early release days, lunch will be served and students will be dismissed at 12:15.

PTO:
Classes are in the middle of the spring Box Top contest.  The students have until April 30th to bring in Box Tops.  The class with the most box tops will win an ice cream party.  Ms. Altobello's class is currently in the lead with 237 box tops.

The next PTO meeting is next Tuesday, April 14th at 7:00 PM.

Grade 3-5 Homework Club:
There will be homework club this week.  The homework club sign-up will go out this afternoon.

Healthy Technology Use Speaker Series
This Wednesday, April 8th is the third and final speaker in the Healthy Technology Use Series.
Wednesday April 8th @ 7:00
Watertown Middle School (Parent & tween/teen presentation)
Speaker David Bickham and also features Stacy Carruth with an introductory to Mindfulness.

Reserve your seat by registering at
https://healthy-families-2015.eventbrite.com

Learn more about the Center on Media and Child Health on their FB group at
https://www.facebook.com/centeronmediaandchildhealth

Have a great week!

Ms. Donovan


Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday Message 3/30

Good Morning Lowell Families,

The students at the Lowell School have been very busy reading.  Each hoot sheet they complete represents two hours of reading and earns a feather for the owl.  The owls wings are growing large!



The school needs to read 5,000 hours to earn a special assembly.  So far the students have read 1,912 hours.  We need to do a lot more reading in the final weeks.  Keep reading!

Early Release Friday:
This Friday, April 3rd is an early release day.  It was changed from a no school day due to the amount of snow days.  Students will be served lunch and dismissed at 12:15. There is NO L.E.D.P.

Report Cards and Conferences:
Reports Cards will go home this Thursday, April 2nd.  Conference appointment times will also go home this day.  Evening conferences are scheduled for Thursday, April 9th.  Afternoon conferences are scheduled from Monday 4/13 to Thursday 4/16.  These will be early-release days.  Students will be dismissed at 12:15 and lunch will be served.

PARCC:
Student in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade have two final days of testing.  Monday and Tuesday of this week students will complete the two sessions of Math testing.  The next window of PARCC testing will be Monday, May 11th- Friday, May 15th.  Additionally students in grade 5 will have two days of the MCAS Science, Technology and Engineering test on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 5th and 6th.

Healthy Technology Use Speaker Series:
The second part of the Healthy Technology Use speaker series is happening this Wednesday evening.
CYBER SAFETY (Parent & tweens/teens)
Wednesday, April 1st 7:00 PM @ Watertown Middle School
Kristen Noto - DA's Office

As a Middlesex County Assistant District Attorney, Kristen Noto has had firsthand experience prosecuting perpetrators and working with victims of online criminal behavior. She will hold a frank discussion about how risky online behaviors can negatively affect the emotional well-being, health and safety of our children. After her talk, she, along with a panel of staff members from the Watertown Public Schools, will help us plan guidelines for our children's online use so that we can better ensure that they are safe while they are digitally connected.

PTO:
The next PTO meeting is Tuesday, April 14th.  
Check out the PTO website for information about on-going fundraisers.  

Have a great week!

Ms. Donovan


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Monday Message 3/23

Good Morning Lowell Families,

The students at the Lowell School read 708 hours last week as part of the 2015 Reading Challenge: Birds of a Feather...Reading Together.   The reading challenge last for 4 weeks.  The students need to read a total of 5,000 hours to earn a special assembly.  The students will need to read much more than 700 hours per week to reach the goal of 5,000 hours.  Families can get in on the action and help out.  Reading to children earns minutes in addition to children reading on their own.  There are many benefits to reading to children, even for children old enough to read on their own.  Check out the article posted on www.greatschools.org that examines the benefits of reading aloud to children.  Children can track their reading minutes on the owl reading logs and return completed logs to class to add to the classroom total.

PARCC in Grade 3, 4, and 5

Students will be taking the PARCC exams this week.  It is important for students to arrive on time.  Testing sessions will begin first thing in the morning.

Monday 3/23
Tuesday 3/24
Wednesday 3/25
ELA Session 1
ELA Session 2
ELA Session 3


Monday 3/30
Tuesday 3/31
Math Session 1
Math Session 2

There will be no Homework Club this week.


Healthy Technology Use Speaker Series

On Wednesday, March 25th Jon Mattleman will be the first in a series of speakers on healthy technology use.  Please use the link to access the flyer or sign up to attend the speaker series at: Healthy Technology Use Sign-Up.

PTO: Upcoming Events & Fundraisers:
Boston Red Sox - 4/27, 6:10pm.
Paint Bar - 5/19, 6:30pm

Lost and Found

The Lost and Found in the cafeteria is looking very full.  Please check it out.  I'm sure there are many hats, mittens, and lunch boxes that have not made it home this winter.


Have a great week!

Ms. Donovan

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday Message 3/16

Good Morning Lowell Families,

We have broken the record for snowfall this year but luckily it has not caused another cancellation.  This has been a difficult winter but despite all of the challenges parents and teachers in Watertown continue to work for what is best for the students.  Thank you to everyone who contributed to making the PTO Zumbathon a success.  The money the PTO raises helps to fund important resources for students at the Lowell School.  

Site Council
On Tuesday, March 17th at 7:00 PM is the next Lowell Site-Council meeting.  We will be working on crafting goals for the 2015-2016 School Improvement Plan.  



Healthy Technology Use Speaker Series
Here Is a link to the flyer: Healthy Technology Use

Reserve your seat today! https://healthy-families-2015.eventbrite.com for one, two or all three of the Speaker Series.



PARCC Schedule:
Students in Grades 3-5 will begin taking the PARCC exam next week.  At the Lowell School the testing schedule will be:

Monday 3/23
Tuesday 3/24
Wednesday 3/25
ELA Session 1
ELA Session 2
ELA Session 3

Monday 3/30
Tuesday 3/31
Math Session 1
Math Session 2

Attendance on the testing days is very important.  Students need to be at school on time to settle into the routine of the day and prepare for a successful testing session.  

PTO:
The Lowell PTO is taking reservations for Red Sox Tickets, Monday April 27th 7:10 PM.  The Red Sox are playing the Toronto Blue Jays.  Here is a link to the form: Lowell PTO Night at the Red Sox.  Forms are due by March 31st.  

Have a great week!

Ms. Donovan


Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday Message 3/9

Good Morning Lowell Families,


School Calendar

The School Committee voted last Monday on a revised school calendar.  Friday, April 3rd has become an early release day rather than a no school day.  If there are NO OTHER snow days the last day of school will be Monday, June 29th.  Please use the following link for an updated copy of the school calendar.  2014-2015 Revised School Calendar.

Lowell Reading Challenge 2015: Birds of a Feather- Reading Together

This week is the beginning of our month-long reading challenge.  Students at the Lowell school work together  to try to read 5,000 hours.  Students will bring home reading logs that they can use to track their minutes of reading.  If we reach our goal the school will earn a special assembly.  Check out the video that students watched as a kick-off to the reading challenge.


PARCC Parent Information

Students in grades 3-5 persevered through their PARCC practice tests last week.  There is a link to information about the PARCC exams for parents on the Watertown Public Schools homepage.  Here is a link to the slides from the PARCC Parent Coffee at the Lowell School.  Additional information can be found at the PARCC website.

Arrival Time and Students Entering the Building

The temperatures are warmer this week and we are returning to our regular arrival procedures.  Students will not be permitted to enter the building prior to 8:05 unless they are attending a before-school program. Students entering the building after 8:20 will be marked tardy.

PTO

There is a PTO meeting this Tuesday evening at 7:00 PM.  Participating in the PTO is a great way to be involved in the school.  Please check-out a meeting and see how you can support our students.

Zumbathon

This Sunday, March 15th the PTO is sponsoring a Zumbathon from 2:00 PM- 4:00 PM!!  This is a family-friendly event and a chance for parents and kids to get some exercise.  The instructors will include Ms. Jacobson and Ms. Peca from the Lowell staff and parent, Veronica Castillo.

Have a great week!

Ms. Donovan

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Monday Message 3/2

Good Morning Lowell Families,

The students at the Lowell School learned a lot about perseverance over the past week.  On Tuesday we had an assembly and students listened to the story, The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires.  In this story the girl struggles with engineering a design that she sees perfectly in her mind.  She continues to work until she is successful.  On Thursday students put their own engineering skills to the test during Buddy Activity time.  Students used marshmallows and toothpicks to try to build towers.  The students had to persevere and problem-solve the best way to use these challenging building materials. 
Perseverance is an important character trait for students to develop.  It is important for students to learn to stick with challenging work.  Check out the following article on the importance of developing perseverance in students: How to Foster Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance: An Educator’s Guide.  As busy as life can be, it can be difficult to find opportunities to help your children develop perseverance.  It is important to think about times when you can slow down and let children figure things out for themselves.  This might mean several failures before achieving success.  It is important to celebrate the effort not just the end result. 

This Week:

PARCC-  This year students in Watertown are participating in the PARCC assessments instead of the MCAS assessments for ELA and Mathematics.  This week students in grades 3, 4, and 5 will be participating in PARCC practice tests.  The PARCC practice sessions are an opportunity for students to see what the experience of taking PARCC will be like.  On Friday, March 6th at 8:30 AM there will be a parent coffee for parents in grades 3, 4, and 5 to learn more about the PARCC exams. 

Next Week:

PTO Meeting: There will be a PTO meeting on Tuesday, March 10th  @ 7:00 PM.   Please attend to learn more about how you can support the classrooms at the Lowell School.  We appreciate the involvement of parents at the Lowell School.  If you have not had an opportunity to volunteer this year, please make an effort to attend the meeting and get involved. 

Bandarama:  On Wednesday, March 11th from 7:00 – 8:30 PM is Bandarama at Watertown High School.  This event is a chance to celebrate and enjoy the musical programs in Watertown. 

Have a great week!

Ms. Donovan