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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Weekly Message

It is our last week of school before vacation! Please remember that school will be closed starting December 21st-January 1st. School will resume on Thursday, January 2nd. 

-There is no Site Council meeting this month. We will meet again on January 21st at 7pm.

-There will be a kindergarten parent coffee this Thursday at 8:20 am in the Lowell lounge. All kindergarten parents are welcome to join us! We will talk about curriculum, instruction, assessment, social-emotional learning, and more!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Spirit Day
A reminder that we have a pajama day tomorrow (Thursday)! Bring in spare change for the book fair!

Book Fair Additional Hours
Also, we will be having the book fair open for a parents-only shopping event from 8:20-10am on Friday morning.

We will be taking donations of homemade snowflakes to decorate for the Winter Wonderland. They can be dropped off on Friday.

Principal Coffee Events
The grade 3 parent will be in January as we rescheduled our kindergarten parent coffee to next Thursday, December 19th at 8:20 am.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Message

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Spirit Day Thursday
There will be a pajama day spirit day this Thursday, December 12th. Students may wear pajamas and bring in spare change to go towards our book fair. The change raised last year purchased 500 dollars worth of books!

International Night
International Night planning is in full swing! Please consider hosting a table-it is really low prep and lots of fun-that represents your nation of origin. Email Deb Ortiz and Yolyette Hohmann at

Kindergarten Parent Coffee
We will have a principal's kindergarten parent coffee on Thursday, December 19th at 8:20 am in the Lowell cafeteria. Topics covered include curriculum, assessment, instruction, and much more!

PTO Update
The Winter Wonderland is this Friday and the book fair begins today. Please click on this link for details!
PTO Weekly Update Link

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Weekly Message

I hope you had a wonderful long weekend with your families!

Picture Retake Day
Picture retake day is this Wednesday, December 4th. Please return your original photo package if you would like retakes!

Homework Club
Last night, the School Committee voted to accept a gift from the PTO. The gift will fund a homework club that will run two times a week (Tues/Thurs) for about ten weeks. The club will be open to students in grades 3-5. Each week, parents will have the opportunity to sign their child up for homework club for that week. Right now, we are in the process of hiring teacher to run the club. Stay tuned for more information very soon! Thank you to the PTO and to all of you for funding this free opportunity for our students!

Cradles to Crayons Fundraiser
Two of our third graders, Cecelia Maillus and Alexandra Karalis, and her brownie troop are having a fundraiser for Cradles to Crayons. Collection boxes are in the very front lobby from December 2nd-13th. Donations of clothing, toys, shoes/boots, books, winter gear, pajamas, and blankets (new or gently used) are welcome! It is so wonderful to have student led community service projects at our school!

PTO Update
Here is the link to the PTO weekly update. Take a moment to read it as there are some exciting things coming up! PTO Weekly Update

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cold Weather Attire

Today is the coldest day we have had yet this year. Students must come to school dressed properly for the weather, with warm coats, hats, gloves. It is important to the physical, social, emotional, and academic well being of students to have recess each day. While we do sometimes have to make the call for indoor recess depending on how low the temperature is, we do have recess today.  We understand that your student may not put these warm items on willingly! Please send them in with them and our teachers will remind them to put them on for recess!

Monday Message

I want to wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful for you, our students, and our staff!

Early Release Wednesday
Students will be dismissed promptly at 12pm on Wednesday. There is no lunch served and no LEDP/extended day.

No School Monday, December 2nd
There will be no school on Monday, December 2nd for teacher professional development.

Retake Day
Picture retake day is on December 4th. If you would like retakes, please return the entire original portrait package.

School Site Council
Site Council will meet this Tuesday, November 26th at 7pm. We will be discussing curriculum and assessment with Allison Donovan, Elementary Curriculum Coordinator. All are welcome.

International Night is Coming!
I am thrilled to announce that planning for our second International Night is underway. Fliers are up around the school. International Night and Potluck will take place on Friday, January 24th from 6-8pm. Please consider hosting a table that represents your country! Email Deb Ortiz and Yolyette Hohmann if interested at

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Message

A busy week at the Lowell again! Today, Junior Achievement volunteers are here delivering engaging civics and economics lessons to our third, fourth, and fifth grade students. Next month, more volunteers will be here with our kindergarten, first, and second graders. For more information on the Junior Achievement curriculum that your students will be engaging in, visit:

Early Release Days
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week are early release days. Dismissal is at 12:15 pm, lunch will be served each day, and there is LEDP on these days.

Wednesday, November 27th is also a half day. Dismissal is at 12 pm and no lunch is served. There is no LEDP so ALL students must be picked up promptly at 12pm.

PTO Updates 
Clink on the link for important PTO updates! Lowell PTO Weekly Updates

Kindergarten Parent Coffee
Due to scheduling conflicts with the early release schedule, the kindergarten parent coffee scheduled for this week will be rescheduled to December. Stay tuned!

Getting the Most Out of Parent Conferences
I share this article summary every year on the week of conferences. Enjoy!

“Parent-teacher conferences can be daunting,” says Marjorie Hancock, Kansas
education professor, parent, and former teacher. She offers parents these ten pointers
for making conferences more successful:
- Arrive on time. This sends the message that the parents care.
- Bring a written list of questions. “A lot of parents get nervous because the
teachers are the professionals and they get back into their car and think ‘Why
didn’t I ask that?’”
- Realize that your child may act differently in school than at home; be open to
the teacher’s descriptions of your child’s behavior in school.
- Don’t be defensive. It’s all about helping your child do better in school.
- Ask the teacher for examples of your child’s work to back up the points the
teacher is making.
- Discuss specific strengths of your child as a learner; build on your child’s
- Ask the teacher for specific ways you can help at home.
- Set 2-4 specific goals for your child in the next grading period.
- Share what the teacher reports with your child. Better yet, have your child be
part of the conference.
- Remember that, as a parent, you are the most important person in your child’s
life. Give your child a hug and reassurance after the conference. “The bottom
line is ‘I love you,’” says Hancock. “It’s almost a team approach to success.”
“Getting the Most Out of Parent Conferences” in PEN Weekly NewsBlast, Sept. 30, 2004.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Weekly Message

I hope you enjoyed the long weekend!

Parent-Teacher Conferences Next Week
You should have received an appointment slip for your parent-teacher conference next week. This meeting is very important to your child's progress in school. Please come to your conference appointment. If you are unable to attend, please let your student's teacher know as soon as possible.

Schedule Next Week
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of next week are early release days for conferences. Dismissal is at 12:15 pm on these days and lunch will be served.

PTO Updates
The PTO will meet tonight, Tuesday, November 12th. This is an open meeting-all are invited to attend!

Thursday 11/14 & Friday 11/15 -Shoes For Shriners 
The Lowell School has teamed up with the Shriners Hospital in Boston and looking for donations of new sneakers in child sizes (toddler sizes 6 and up).  Donations of gift cards will also be accepted to either Stride Rite Outlet or Famous Footwear, both in the Arsenal Mall.  Thank you in advance for supporting this great cause and one of our Lowell students who received treatment at Shriners.  This might even work great with several parents pitching in to purchase a new pair of sneakers.
New sneakers and gift card donations will be collected during AM Drop off on bothThursday & Friday of this week.  

Friday 11/15 - Spirit Day
Mix-Matched Shoe Day.  All students & Staff are invited to participate

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday Message

November is a very busy month! We do not have a full week of school for the rest of the month for voting, Veteran's Day, conferences, Thanksgiving!

No School Tomorrow
There will be no school for students tomorrow, Tuesday, November 5th.  School will resume as usual on Wednesday.

Bake Sale Donations Needed
The Lowell School PTO is looking for families willing to donate baked items to our Annual PTO Bake Sale on Tuesday November 5th. Items can be dropped off after 2:30 PM on Monday in the Teachers Lounge to the designated table or first thing onTuesday AM in the Lowell Gym Polling area.
Popular items include cookies, brownies, bread loaves, Cake Pops, and more.For any questions please contact Noreen at

Lost and Found
Our school lost and found is located in the cafeteria. I noticed this morning that it is filling up! If your student is missing an item (clothing, lunch box, etc...) encourage them to take a look in the lost and found! If you need to look in the lost and found, please follow visitor rules and stop in to the main office first!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Message

I usually post quick informational updates on my weekly blog post, yet I always wish I was including more on our students, teachers, and on teaching and learning.  This year is the first year of a new teacher evaluation system. This evaluation system involves frequent observations of all teachers. It has been a challenge to dedicate time to these observations and writing feedback after the observations, but it has been an amazing experience for me so far. There are so many wonderful things happening in our school! Some of the wonderful things...
  • Students preparing to communicate with their pen pals ("ePals") in another country.
  • Students excitedly explaining to me the variety of reading strategies they are using to interact with a book.
  • Students harvesting vegetables from our Lowell Learning Garden to use for a science lesson.
  • A lunch group problem solving, together, something that happened on the playground.
Okay, now for the business side of the the blog!

No School Next Week
There will be no school on Tuesday, November 5th as the school will be open for voting and teachers will be engaged in professional development.

Drop and Go
A reminder to drop and go in the mornings on Lowell Avenue. DO NOT get out of your car when in the drop off line. Our goal is to have traffic move smoothly and quickly through the drop off line and to prevent students from being tardy to school. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Message

It was so great to see so many of you at the Haunted Harvest Festival on Friday night. Thank you to our PTO for hosting such a fun event for our children and families.

School Site Council
Our School Site Council will meet this Tuesday, October 22nd at 7pm in the Lowell lounge. Please join us as we talk about school improvement. I will send out a full list of School Site Council dates at the meeting and in my next post.

Conference Slips
Notices will be going home this week, on Thursday, about November parent-teacher conferences. Please keep an eye out for this important notice.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Site Council Meeting Correction!

An error was made in my weekly message! School Site Council will meet Tuesday, October 22nd-NOT on Thursday the 24th.

Thank you!

Weekly Message

I hope you enjoyed the long weekend! Teachers were here yesterday and engaged in really meaningful professional development all day.

Harvest Festival
The PTO's very popular Harvest Festival is this Friday, October 18th from 6:30-8:30 pm. This is NOT a drop off event so families must accompany their students. This event is only for Lowell families. Students are encouraged to come in costumes and have a blast!

Spirit Day
A Pajama Day Spirit Day will be held this Friday, October 18th. Wear your PJs to school and, if you choose, bring a donation of candy. We will be donating the candy to a few local area nursing homes so their residents can have some sweet treats!
Unfortunately, no slippers are allowed on pajama day as they are hazardous on stairs.

Parking and Pick Up
There have been a number of cars parking in the George St staff lot in the afternoon. This parking lot is for STAFF ONLY.  Please refrain from parking in staff lots.

School Site Council
School Site Council will meet next week, Thursday, October 24th at 7:00 pm in the lounge.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Monday Message

Hello! Today I am at the Massachusetts School Safety Summit and am learning a lot! Please take a moment to read my updates below. Also, as you read my weekly updates, please remember that we are asking all parents to commit at least five hours of volunteer work to our school community this year! Visit for more information on how your involvement can improve your child's achievement!

Picture Day
Picture Day is this Thursday, October 10th. Please return picture forms to classroom teachers.

PTO Meeting
The PTO will meet this Tuesday, October 8th at 7pm in the Lowell lounge. Please join us!

No School Next Week
There will be no school on Monday, October 14th for Columbus Day and no school on Tuesday, October 15th for teacher professional development and for voting. School will resume on Wednesday, October 16th.

Parent Coffee Events
Please take a moment to reference your paper PTO calendar for grade level parent coffee events. We had our first parent coffee for grades 4 and 5 parents this past week. I will be sending the presentation from the event to all 4/5 parents.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Message

It was so wonderful to see so many of you at Back to School Night last night.  It was a very busy weekend in our community. I have heard Faire on the Square was a lot of fun and our Lowell Learning Garden volunteers and families enjoyed an amazing potluck on Sunday evening.    On Friday night, I was at the Watertown Education Foundation's grant kick-off event. There were many great presentations from grant recipients. I had the honor of thanking the PTO and WEF for the iPads that were purchased for classroom teachers.

Picture Day
Picture day is on October 10th! Picture forms will be sent home this week. Students should return them directly to homeroom teachers.

4/5 Parent Coffee
There will be a parent coffee for parents of students in grades 4 and 5 this Thursday, October 3rd at 8:20 am in the Lowell lounge. We will talk specifically about curriculum, instruction, assessment, social-emotional learning and more!

Back to School Night Presentation
A link to my brief presentation from Back to School Night is below. We are starting a "Five to Thrive" campaign to increase parental involvement. This means that we are asking for families to pledge to give five hours of involvement/volunteerism to the school community! There are many ways parents can get involved. The following website "Project Appleseed" is an amazing resource!
Back to School Night Presentation Link

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Message

It will be a great week ahead at the Lowell School. We have our annual Back to School Night and our first School Site Council meeting. Please read on for details. I also want to share a great resource with all of you. Mrs Knight, our guidance counselor, updates her blog with great information and thought-provoking insights. She has a new post up right now. Please take a moment to check it out.

Back to School Night

Back to School Night schedule is as follows:

PreK-2 Parents
3-5 Parents
6:30-6:45 pm
Presentation from Ms Kaplan (Gym)
Visit classrooms 
(Students' classrooms)
Visit specialists (Café)
(K parents will have brief presentation in library from Project READ, and will visit specialists after)
Visit specialists (Café)
Visit classrooms
Grade 4/5 parents will meet in the GYM.

School Site Council
The School Site Council will meet this Tuesday, September 24th at 7:00 pm in the Lowell lounge. The Site Council is comprised of teachers and parents work together to write our school improvement plan. Please attend if you are interested in school reform and improvement. It is a great way to get the "big picture" of our school!

School Security Reminder
We pride ourselves on having a safe and secure school building. Please remember to do the following when entering our building:
1. Always check into the main office first. Please DO NOT enter the building and walk directly to a classroom, the nurse, etc...Even if it is during drop off when the doors are being held open for students, adults must check in to the main office.
2. Enter and exit through the main doors only.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Message

I hope you enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend! The PTO Movie Night was a great success and I enjoyed seeing so many of you there!

PTO Meeting
The first PTO meeting is tomorrow night, Tuesday, September 17th at 7pm in the Lowell lounge. All are welcome! We always have a teacher sharing grade level happenings at this meeting. This week, Rachael Levine, a grade 4/5 teacher will be sharing how she uses the iPad to enhance instruction.

Courses for Kids
The deadline for Courses for Kids sign up has been extended to this Wednesday. Forms can be dropped off in the black basket inside the main office.

Grade Level Parent Coffee
We will have the first grade level parent coffee on Thursday, October 3rd at 8:20 am for parents of students in grades 4 and 5 in the Lowell lounge. This is a date change due to a calendar conflict. Topics covered include: curriculum, assessment, instruction, and bullying and teasing. Each grade level will have a parent coffee once a month.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Message

We had a wonderful first week back last week. I hope to use this blog this year to share useful and interesting information about our school and education in general. The post today is mostly informational-but it contains some important info!

New Family Coffee
We would like to invite parents new to the Lowell school this year, to a family coffee this Friday, September 13th at 8:20 am in the Lowell cafeteria. It is a great opportunity to speak with other new families, parent leadership, and me (Ms Kaplan)!

CORI Forms
In order to volunteer in the school or chaperone a field trip, all non-staff must fill out a CORI form. Once you do this, you are approved for THREE YEARS.  If you have not filled out a CORI yet, please take a moment to read the following information:
-CORI forms are available right outside of the main office.
-To complete the process, bring a copy of your drivers license  and the completed form to the table in front of the main office between 8:05 and 8:45 am.
-CORI checks usually come back within two weeks. 

Absent Students
Please do not call the main office if your student is absent. If your child is out, you will receive an automated absent call. If you receive the call and your child is NOT absent, then please contact the office.

Dismissal Forms
Please return your students dismissal form to your student's teacher.  We may not dismiss your child to anyone who is NOT on the dismissal form. This means that if you call with the name of an adult that is not on the dismissal form, we may NOT dismiss your child to that adult.  Safety is of the utmost importance and any adult taking your child home MUST be on the dismissal plan.  You may add to the dismissal plan, but it must be done by the parent or guardian in person, in writing.

Ice Cream Social and Movie Night

The PTO is sponsoring a movie night with ice cream this Friday night at 5:00 pm.  It is a free event and will be fun for parents and students!
Please bring blankets, bug spray, and flashlights as the movie will be shown on a large screen on the lawn at the front of the school. No dogs are allowed at this event.
If it rains, the event will be rescheduled

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Welcome Back!

Happy first day of school! We have had a very successful first day-we even had our first fire drill, which was quite a surprise!  This is my first weekly message of the year. Usually, I send a weekly Monday Message. Please take a moment and subscribe to this blog so that you may receive these posts!

PreK and Kindergarten Updates
It was wonderful to see all of our preK and K students on tours today.  Our PreK and K students will be with us for shortened days on Thursday and Friday of this week. The first full day for PreK and K students will be on Monday, September 9th.

New Family Coffee
If you are new to the Lowell school, please join us for a New Family Coffee on Friday, September 13th at 8:30 am in the cafeteria. It will be a great chance to connect with other new families, parent leadership, and me!

Back to School Night
Back to School Night is Thursday, September 26th at 6:30 pm. Details to follow!

As always my door is open to you. Please get in touch if you have any questions about anything at all. It will be an amazing year ahead and I look forward to working with you and your students.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

4/5 Information and Supply List

Last night, we had a 4/5 orientation for families and students new to grades 4 and 5. Below you will find the presentation from last night. I have also provided the link for the supply list for our 4th and 5th grade students.

Supply List Link

Friday, August 16, 2013

New Members to Our Community!

I want to introduce some new Lowell staff members as well as some staff members who will be taking on new roles this year.

Haynes Altobello will be teaching kindergarten this year. Mrs Porter has relocated to Vermont and Ms Altobello will be replacing her. Before joining the Lowell community, Ms Altobello has taught kindergarten in Weston.

Amy Peca is the newest addition to our first grade team! Ms Peca has been an instructional assistant and classroom teacher in Newton.

Emily Walsh will be teaching third grade while Mrs Moriarty is out on maternity leave. Mrs Walsh has been an instructional assistant in grade two at the Lowell.

Tony Fiandaca will be filling in for Mrs Peterson Eacott when she goes on maternity leave in October. Mr Fiandaca has been an instructional assistant at the Lowell for four years.

All of our new teachers bring so many rich ideas and experiences with them to their new roles. I am thrilled to have them as members of our amazing community. Please join me in welcoming them!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Summer Updates


I hope you are all enjoying summer! I am in the building most days, preparing for the upcoming school year. I wanted to pass along some quick updates.

First Day of School
The school calendar was officially changed for the district. The first day of school is Wednesday, September 4th (not Thursday, September 5th).  The district calendar on the front page of the website also reflects these changes. More information on the opening of school will be forthcoming, but I wanted to make sure all are aware of this change.

Placement Letters
Class placement letters will be sent home via mail early next week.

Report Cards
There are still many report cards that need to be picked up. I am in the office most days, but please call before you come in to make sure I am there. I would not want you to come down if I am not there!

Monday, June 24, 2013

End of Year Message

Lowell Families,

As the 2012-2013 school year ends this week, I feel so grateful to be a part of this wonderful community for a second year.  We have been through much and accomplished even more this year. I have taken time to reflect on the past year and wanted to share some of my reflections with you here.

The tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut in December forced us to look very carefully at our school security.  We were able to make some important changes, but overall we learned that our school IS very secure. Our Critical Incident Team met frequently this year to review and revise protocols and meet with the district wide crisis team to share information and collaborate.  We were dealing again with tragedy in April in the wake of the Boston marathon bombings and subsequent manhunt in Watertown. Again, our schools responded well and we took time to take care of each other.  The strength of the Watertown community was clear and truly amazing to see.

Although we dealt with tragedy, we accomplished much this year at the Lowell school. In looking at our school improvement plan with School Site Council it was clear that we are moving forward with our goals.  This year, teachers across the district collaborated with coordinators and administrators to begin the curriculum mapping process. The result, drafts of English Language Arts and Mathematics curriculum maps the are aligned to the Common Core State Standards, will be published in the coming months.  This is a huge step forward to having cohesive, clear, aligned, and engaging curriculum at all grade levels.  We continued our social-emotional learning by launching a cross-age buddies program. Students had an amazing year working with their buddies! This year we experienced true examples of parental involvement to improve student achievement.  Our first International Night in many years was a huge success! The Lowell School Learning Garden was built and the plants look amazing! The Lowell community is made up of incredible students, staff, AND parents!

Looking forward to next year, we will continue to move forward with the curriculum mapping process to improve our curriculum at all grade levels.  We will work, through professional development, to improve instruction to meet the needs of all learners.  In terms of school culture and community, we will continue our buddy program but will hopefully launch a school wide service initiative as well.  I hope to explore more opportunities for student leadership as well.  Next year, I will ask all families to think about how they can give a small amount of time throughout the year so that they can be involved in our school.  There are many and varying opportunities to become involved!

It has been a busy and successful year. I wish you all a restful summer.  I will be working here at the Lowell for most of the summer, but will be taking a vacation abroad at the beginning of July.  I will be entirely offline (a first for me) but will be available in mid July.  Please email or call if you need anything! You can expect placement letters with your student's class assignment for the 2013-2014 school year to come home at the beginning of August.

Thank you for all of your support this year! I am so lucky to work at the Lowell school!

Ms Kaplan

The last day of school for students in grades 1-5 is this Friday and it is an EARLY RELEASE DAY. Dismissal is at 12:15 and lunch will be served.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Message

The school year is almost over and end of year events are in full swing. My Monday Message next week will be an end of the year letter to all of you!

Visiting School
With all of the wonderful opportunities to come in to school (breakfasts, performances, etc..) please remember our security protocols when visiting the building.
-Wait to be buzzed in through main entrance.
-Check in to main office to receive a visitors badge.
-ONLY exit the building through the main doors.

Last Day Reminder
The last day of school for preK and kindergarten is Tuesday, June 25th. The last day for grades 1-5 is Friday, June 28th. It is an EARLY RELEASE DAY. Progress reports will go home with students on the last day.

Next School Year
The calendar for next year is up on the district website. The link:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday Message

It was great to see so many of you at the PTO picnic and garden ribbon cutting. I have fully recovered from being "dunked"!

If you are moving...
Please stop in to pick up a transfer form so that we may get your student's records to their new school in a timely fashion.

If you live out of Lowell district...
All families who do not live in the Lowell district (live in either Hosmer or Cunniff districts) MUST fill out an out of district transfer request form for their student/s EACH SCHOOL YEAR.  If you have yet to fill out this form, please pick one up and submit it to my office as soon as possible.

Current grade three parents...
Are invited to a parent coffee this Thursday, June 13th at 8:20 am in the Lowell lounge. I will be discussing the transition to fourth grade.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Monday Message

I hope you enjoyed the summer-like weather this weekend! There are some fun events this week.

End of Year Picnic and Garden Ribbon Cutting
The PTO End of Year Picnic and Lowell Learning Garden Ribbon Cutting will be this Thursday from 2:30-5:00 on the Lowell lawn. The garden event will be at 2:45. We hope to see many families there!

Course Selection
Parents of fifth graders can expect course selection sheets (for next year) to come home today.  All information and instructions are included!

Looking back on last week, we had another very successful school wide "Buddy Time" on Thursday.  Our Caring School Community Buddies got together to do a variety of different things. I have included some pictures below. Enjoy!
PreK and Mrs Buonomo's class talk about butterflies!
Grade 3 and kindergarten buddies plan to do some gardening!

Putting seedlings they grew in the ground!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Weekly Update

Hello! I am a little late with my update this week. I hope you had a good Memorial Day weekend.

Kindergarten Parent Coffee
Is tomorrow at 8:20 am in the Lowell lounge. Topics covered will be curriculum, assessment, instruction, and transition to grade one! I hope to see many K parents there.

End of Year Picnic and Lowell Garden Ribbon Cutting!
The PTO end of year picnic is Thursday, June 6th at 2:30 on the front lawn.  We will also be officially introducing our Lowell Learning Garden. We hope families and students will join us. There will be a Lowell celebrity dunk tank at the event as well....

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday Message

Hello! MCAS testing is over for the year and the month of May is coming to an end. The last day of school will be here before we know it.  This week there is an early release day and we end the week with a Memorial Day assembly and spirit day on Friday.

Early Release Day
Wednesday, May 22nd will be an early release day for students. Dismissal will be at 12:15 pm and lunch will be served. There will be no Course for Kids, but there will be LEDP.

Kindergarten Parent Coffee
There will be a principal's coffee for all current kindergarten parents on Friday, May 31st at 8:20 am in the Lowell lounge. Topics that will be covered include curriculum, instruction, assessment, and transitions. I hope to see many kindergarten parents there!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Message

I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend!

School Site Council 
Site Council will meet this Thursday 7:00 pm in the Lowell lounge. All are welcome to attend as we plan our school improvement plan.

PTO Meeting
PTO will meet this Tuesday at 7:00pm in the Lowell lounge. There will be a special presentation from Camp Hale. There will also be a presentation and discussion on iPads in the classroom. Toni Carlson (K-12 Ed Tech Coordinator), Tom Stezzi (4/5 Teacher), and Nicole Brown (K Teacher) will be special guests. Please join us!

We still have many volunteer opportunities at the Lowell school. If you are interested in helping out at our school in any way (the time commitment is up to you), please email the Lowell Community Volunteer Program to hear about opportunities! Send your email to

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Message

Teacher Appreciation Week
This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I am so grateful for all of our amazing teachers! 

Important Opportunity
This is an important invitation to parents in  Watertown. In response to the recent events, the Watertown Public Schools has been able to obtain the services of the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) to work with school leadership, staff and parents to help create a recovery process for our schools and community.
The ITC will be meeting with parents on Tuesday evening, May 7th at 6:30 p.m. and then again on Friday morning, May 10th at 8:45 a.m. Both events will be held in the Hosmer School auditorium.  The focus of the discussion will be supporting families in the coping and recovering process. 
The ITC travels around the world to strengthen community resilience following disasters. We are fortunate to have them share their expertise with us. The Combined Jewish Philanthropies, is sponsoring the ITC trip and work in Watertown.
We hope you will be able to attend one of these sessions.

MCAS Testing
Students in grades 3-5 will be taking math and science MCAS testing over the next two weeks.  The dates and times for testing are below:
Grade 3 Mathematics MCAS: Tuesday, May 7th and Tuesday, May 14th
Grades 4/5 Mathematics MCAS: Wednesday, May 8th and Thursday, May 9th
Grade 5 Science and Technology MCAS: Wednesday, May 15th and Thursday, May 16th

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Weekly Message

I hope you enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend. Spring is here!

Last Days of School
The last day of school for students in grades 1-5 is Friday, June 28th.   Friday, June 28th is an early release day for students, with dismissal at 12:15pm.  The last day for students in preK and kindergarten will be Tuesday, June 25th. These students end earlier so that we may conduct screening for our incoming kindergarten students.

Meetings and Events in May
Tuesday, May 14th: PTO Meeting @ 7pm in Lowell lounge
Thursday, May 16th: School Site Council Meeting @7pm in Lowell lounge

MCAS Testing
Students in grades 3-5 will be taking math and science MCAS testing over the next two weeks.  The dates and times for testing are below:

Grade 3 Mathematics MCAS: Tuesday, May 7th and Tuesday, May 14th
Grades 4/5 Mathematics MCAS: Wednesday, May 8th and Thursday, May 9th
Grade 5 Science and Technology MCAS: Wednesday, May 15th and Thursday, May 16th

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Weekly Updates

The return to school, after the tragic events of last week, was a smooth one.  Students seemed to be happy, engaged, and were supported by their teachers and other Lowell staff if they needed it. We will continue to support our students and each other in the coming days, weeks, and months. As always my door is always open if you would like to talk!  I do have some updates about the week.

School Site Council
Site Council will meet this Thursday at 7pm in the Lowell lounge. We will be writing our Lowell School Improvement Plan. It is an open meeting, all are invited to attend!

Intervention/Challenge Block 

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. This block is a part of our system of tiered interventions that we provide all of our students with. Earlier this month, all grade levels changed IC groups. This will be the last IC group change for this school year.

Spirit Days
Many students and staff are wearing Watertown colors in honor of our town pride today.  We may thoughtfully plan another spirit day to thank our towns "helpers" or first responders in the coming weeks. 

Wrapping Up...
Earlier this month our students reached their reading goal! This meant that I had to be wrapped up in a (very large and heavy) snake! Cameras were snapping away as I stood very still in front of the entire school! Enjoy the photo below!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Returning to School

During the tragic events at the Boston Marathon on Monday and subsequent manhunt in Watertown our staff, students, and families were in my thoughts.  I know that the entire Watertown community has been deeply impacted by the events of the week. I want to assure all families that the Lowell school staff look forward to greeting students back to school on Monday.

As we return to school, all will work together to ensure that every student feels safe and secure as we regain normalcy through consistency of our daily routines and academic activities. Guidance staff will provide emotional support to any student in need.  If you or your child were impacted by these events in a direct way, have a friend or family member involved or injured, please contact me so we may proactively support you and your student.   If  parents would like to speak to someone, please come to Room 101 of the Phillips Building, on 30 Common Street where professional counselors will be available all day on Monday.

We will plan to provide honest and developmentally appropriate responses to student questions and needs. However, we will return to our usual routines to ensure a sense of normalcy to our day.  It is also important that we provide hopefulness and security and remind students that the adults in their lives will take care of them.  

I am so proud to be a part of such a strong and amazing community.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or thoughts.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Guest Post: Monday Message

I am pleased to have a guest blogger this week! Lidia DiIeso has been working as a principal intern at my school for the past five weeks. This is her last week with us here and she will be our guest blogger! Before her post begins, I have some updates:

PTO will meet this Tuesday at 7pm in the Lowell lounge.
The WPS Art Show Reception is this Tuesday at the Watertown Mall from 6-8pm. All are invited to attend!

This week will draw a close to my time as Ms. Kaplan’s intern. A big thank you to everyone in the Lowell Community for welcoming me into The School and making my time here a great learning experience.

It was a pleasure to meet some of you throughout the past month. Whether participating in committees such as the PTO and School Site Council, attending events such as International Night and The Family Dinner Project, or volunteering time to help in classrooms, parents at the Lowell School have demonstrated their commitment to their children’s learning.
The Lowell School is a great community of learners. I have spent many hours of my internship studying the Lowell School’s model for Response to Intervention (RTI).The effort I have seen put forth by all faculty members to create and implement Intervention/Challenge groups to address RTI is commendable. I have visited classrooms during the Intervention/Challenge blocks and these small groups have done well to address learning weaknesses. Students are making great strides.

The collaboration that exists within the Lowell is quite apparent even beyond creating Intervention and Challenge groups. In my month here, I have also seen teachers work together to create a whole-school reading initiative - Wrapped Up in Reading, and a group develop plans to establish a Learning Garden on the grounds outside of the Lowell.

After April vacation, I will resume my responsibilities as a 4th grade teacher at the Cunniff School. Then, at the end of May, I will complete my principal licensure program at the Commonwealth Leadership Academy and receiving my Massachusetts Principal License.
It has been a pleasure to have the opportunity to work at your school.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Weekly Message

A mid-week message is sometimes better than a Monday message as I sometimes have more updates in the middle of the week.

Spirit Day
Our student is who is "Principal for the Day" has chosen tomorrow (Friday, April 5th) to be a Sports Spirit Day. Students are encouraged to celebrate by wearing something that represents their favorite sport! Also, our "Principal for the Day" is collecting donations for the MSPCA to help animals in need. Donations will be accepted of cozy blankets, towels, cat and dog toys, kitty litter, sheets, and anything else that would help a dog or cat in a shelter!

SEPAC Awards
The Watertown Special Education Parent Advisory Council will  be presenting it's annual awards night and a presentation called "Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid: A Survival Guide for Ordinary Parents of Special Children".  Dotty Buonomo of the Lowell School is being awarded! All are invited to attend.
Wednesday, April 10th from 6-9pm in the Hosmer School Auditorium.

Get Wrapped Up in Reading
If our students read only 200 more hours (totals to be announced today), I must get wrapped up in a giant snake tomorrow morning! It has been so wonderful to see how our students have been reading to reach their goal.  Encourage your students to keep reading after our challenge has ended!

Last Day of School
Currently the last day of school is to be on Friday, June 28th. This date has changed due to snow days.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Message

Many updates this week!

Early Release
Friday, March 29th is an early release day for all students. Dismissal is at 12:15 pm and lunch will be served. There are no after school activities.

Grade One Parent Coffee
There will be a principal coffee for grade one parents this Thursday, March 28th at 8:30 am in the Lowell lounge. Topics covered include: curriculum, assessment, and instruction.

Spirit Day
There will be a NEON spirit day this Friday, March 29th. Wear your brightest colors to celebrate spring!

Get Wrapped Up in Reading
Our monthly reading challenge is in the third week! We are getting closer to our goal. I will post a picture of our reading "snake" later!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


In order to make up missed school due to snow days, we will have school on Friday, March 29th. It will be a half day. Dismissal will be at 12:15 pm and lunch will be served.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Updated MCAS Schedule

Due to snow, we have had to readjust our MCAS testing schedule. The updated schedule is below.

This week:
Tuesday, March 19 - No MCAS
Wednesday, March 20 - Grade 3 ELA Session 1
Thursday, March 21 - Grade 3 ELA Session 2
Friday, March 22 - Grade 3 ELA Make up

Next week:
Monday, March 25 - Grade 4 ELA Long Composition and Grade 5 Field Trip
Tuesday, March 26th - No MCAS
Wednesday, March 27th - No MCAS
Thursday, March 28th - Grade 4 ELA Long Composition Make Up
Friday, March 29th - No School

The week after:
Monday, April 1st - No MCAS
Tuesday, April 2nd - Grades 4 & 5 ELA Session 1
Wednesday, April 3rd - Grades 4 & 5 ELA Session 2
Thursday, April 4th - Grades 4 & 5 ELA make up

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Message

This Week
PTO will meet on Tuesday at 7pm in the Lowell lounge. School Site Council will not be held this week due to the Comprehensive Town Planning Meeting. We are working with members to reschedule this month's meeting.

MCAS Testing
Third and fourth graders will be in MCAS testing this week. The schedule is in the Monday Message from last week. It is important that students get a good nights sleep and have breakfast the day of testing.

We are experiencing an increase in the amount of students that are tardy every day. Students must be in the building by 8:20 am every day. If students are tardy, they miss instruction. It is important that your student is on time.

A reminder that paper notices go home every Thursday. Please check your student's backpack on these days.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Get Wrapped Up in Reading

Our snake is growing, which means we are making a lot of progress towards our reading goal! Our preK students made this snake head and the "body" is made up of reading slips from the entire school!

All the tallying is done for week two and we read 878 hours giving us a total of 1,560 hours!
Ms. Dalton's class read the most hours for PreK-2nd grade with 87.5 hours

Ms. Sudbay's class read the most hours for Grades 3-5 with 108.5 hours!

The following classes DOUBLED their hours in one week!
Mrs. Peterson-Eacott
Mrs. Buonomo
Mrs. Moriarty
Ms. Levine

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Message

The busiest month of the school year is underway. MCAS testing, conferences, and our reading challenge!

7 Wishes for $7,000
The live event at Donahue's Friday night was a great success. We are still awaiting final totals. Thank you to all that contributed and help plan. The funds raised go right back to our school!

Early Release
There will be half days on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week for conferences. Dismissal is at 12:15 on each of these days and lunch will be served.

Lowell Lowdown
The Lowdown will be up on our website today or tomorrow. It is a new version of the Lowdown and there is a lot of useful and interesting information included in it. Please check it out!

Last week's blog post about MCAS testing did not include the dates for grade 5 testing. The corrected dates are below
Lowell Testing Schedule:
Grade 3:
March 20th - ELA Session 1 - Reading 
March 21st - ELA Session 2 - Reading 
March 22nd - ELA Make up - Reading
Grade 4:
March 19th - ELA Long Composition - Writing 
Grade 4 and 5:
March 26th - ELA Session 1 - Reading 
March 27th - ELA Session 2 - Reading 
March 28th - ELA Make up - Reading & Writing

More information can be found on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Message

Hello! I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  Today Lidia DiIeso, a Cunniff teacher, began a five week principal internship at the Lowell. We are happy to have Lidia with us as she studies school leadership. You may see her with me directing traffic, or she may reach out to our parent community as she takes on some projects here.

Important PTO update!

We encourage ALL our Lowell families to participate in our 7 Wishes campaign both online and at our live event on March 8.

Join the auction fun at and support our school and together we can break all fundraising records for the Lowell.   Many items are well under $50.00 and with close to 150 items you are sure to find something that suits both your family budget and taste.  

*Over $13,000 value in auction items  
*Over the $7,000 has already been raised 
*Lots of incredible deals still
*Online bidding will end Wednesday 3/6 at 5:00 PM 
*Some of the items will have Final Bidding at the live event on March 8th at Donohue’s, 7 PM.
*Ms. Kaplan will MC our Live Event at Donohue’s on Friday March 8th for a fun evening filled with raffles, wheel of chance, and more. No admission and free appetizers.

100% of the money raised goes directly back into our school for our children. Help us fill these wishes and more!

MCAS Testing
MCAS is fast approaching. The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System is a state-wide mandated test that 

  • test all public school students in Massachusetts, including students with disabilities and English Language Learner students;
  • measure performance based on the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework learning standards;
  • report on the performance of individual students, schools, and districts.
Lowell Testing Schedule:
Grade 3
March 20th - ELA Session 1 - Reading 
March 21st - ELA Session 2 - Reading 
March 22nd - ELA Make up - Reading
Grade 4
March 19th - ELA Long Composition - Writing 
March 26th - ELA Session 1 - Reading 
March 27th - ELA Session 2 - Reading 
March 28th - ELA Make up - Reading & Writing

More information can be found on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education:

Early Release Days
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (13th, 14th, and 15th) of next week will be half days for conferences. Dismissal will be at 12:15  pm and lunch will be served. 

Conference appointment slips will be coming home this week. Conferences are occurring throughout next week.