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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


REMINDER
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.

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