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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Weekly Message

I hope you are all safe, dry, and with power as Hurricane Sandy finally moves out.  As November approaches, it is important to note that there are a few days off and half days for students.

Early Release Days
November 7th, 8th, and 9th will be early release days for parent-teacher conferences.  Dismissal will be at 12:15 pm each day and lunch will be served

Students will be dismissed at 12:00 pm for Thanksgiving Break on Wednesday, November 21st.  Lunch will NOT be served on this day.

No School
There will be a professional development day for teachers on election day, Tuesday, November 6th.  There will be no school for students on this day.

School will be closed for Veteran's Day on Monday, November 12th.

Please look in your students' backpacks for your parent-teacher conference assignments.

Parent Coffees
I will be holding my monthly parent coffee events starting in November.  Each coffee will be focused on one grade level. I would like to invite GRADE 3 parents to a coffee on Thursday, November 15th at 8:30 am in the Lowell lounge.  We will be discussing: curriculum, assessment, and other topics pertinent to third grade.  I look forward to seeing you!

Have a safe and happy Halloween.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Message

Hello! Some updates for the week:

Parent-Teacher Conferences.
Please return evening conference slips by tomorrow.  Parent-teacher conferences will be happening throughout November.We will  be scheduling conferences this week, so more information will be forth coming.

Picture Re-Takes
Picture re-takes will take place on December 5th. You will receive your student's first set of pictures before that date.

Drop Off Reminder
Parents wishing to drop-off their children can enter the “drop-off line” by proceeding from either
Belmont Street or Harnden Avenue onto York Avenue. Please turn left onto Lowell Avenue and pull
up as far as you can in front of the school. After a drop-off is completed, please continue down Lowell
Avenue to make room for other drop-offs.
The section of Lowell Avenue from Carroll Street to York Avenue is “one way” and is available for
“live parking” on the right side of the road only.

For safety reasons, please abide by the following:
• All students should exit their car from the passenger side.
• Pull as far down Lowell Avenue as possible to drop off, so others can too!
• Do not park and get out of your vehicle, we need to move the cars quickly and safely.
• Drive slowly and observe carefully. Walkers are arriving to school too!

I hope you have a wonderful week.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Message

Happy Monday!

Tomorrow is Picture Day! Forms should be sent in with your student so that they may be given to the classroom teacher.

School Site Council will meet this week on Thursday, October 18th at 7:00 pm in the Lowell lounge.  Site Council is comprised of teachers and parents who work collaboratively to help write the school improvement plan. It is a great opportunity to have a part in planning the "big picture"!  Please join us if you are available.

Many great things happening with the PTO.  The Harvest Festival, a free event for families, is this Friday, October 19th from 6-8pm.  The link to the PTO page is below.

The Lowell Community Volunteer Program matches volunteers with many different opportunities throughout the school.  Time commitment is flexible! Volunteer forms are available right outside of the main office.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Monday (Wednesday) Message

I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend!  While your students were home yesterday, teachers engaged in meaningful professional development.  In the morning, the Lowell staff focused on differentiating instruction to meet the needs of the diverse learners in their classrooms.  It was a productive session! In the afternoon, teachers went off in teams to work on collaborative projects around a variety of topics.

Picture Day
Picture Day is Tuesday, October 16th.  Picture Day notices will be sent home this Thursday.

MAP Testing
One of the many pieces of assessment data teams look at when grouping students is MAP, which stands for Measures of Academic Progress. MAP is a computerized assessment system that is aligned with state standards. This month, all Lowell school students will take MAP. MAP is given to students three times per year and the data that results from MAP is used to inform students’ instruction.  For more information on MAP testing in Watertown, please visit the following website:

PTO Updates
There are many great things going on with our PTO! Please visit the PTO website for detailed information:

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Message

It is October, already! The first month of school has flown by and we have had such a positive start to the year.  Some important updates are listed below.

No School
There will be no school on Monday, October 8th and on Tuesday, October 9th for Columbus Day and for teacher professional development.  School will re-open on Wednesday, October 10th.

A reminder to NOT call the school when your child will be absent.  We do not have an absence hotline.  If your child is home sick, you do not need to let us know.  We will mark them absent and you will receive an automated absence call later in the day.

Intervention/Challenge Blocks
The Lowell School is made up of an incredibly diverse community of students. The varying ranges of skills, concept, and vocabulary can vary widely within a classroom.  Every grade has a thirty minute block of time built into the day for “Intervention and Challenge” or “IC blocks”.  Students are reconfigured into groups based on assessment data. Students may receive targeted teaching aimed at closing a gap in skills or they may receive challenge if they are on or above grade level. Almost all grade levels have begun "IC blocks".  Your student may have a different teacher for this part of the day.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Target Funds
This summer the PTO sponsored a fundraiser through Target stores.  Families voted online so that Lowell could receive funds from Target.  Thank you for voting! The check arrived in the mail recently.  The funds will be put into a Lowell gift account and will be used to support a variety of expenditures not covered by our operating budget. 

"Borrowing" an Idea
This week, I had the privilege of being invited to view our preK teacher Ms Bean's class blog. It is an amazing web space that showcases EVERYTHING our preK students are doing (and they are doing some incredible things)! A part of the blog included "Ms Bean's professional reading".  Ms Bean shared what she was reading to continue her professional learning.  I am going to borrow this idea and share with all of you what professional reading I have been doing! The following is a link to a blog post on one of my favorite blogs "Connected Principals".  The post reminded me of how important it is to keep smiling at work! The post begins with a powerful quotation. “Always smile back at little children. To ignore them is to destroy their belief that the world is good.” ~ Pam Brown 
Enjoy the post, if you have time to check it out!