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Monday, December 21, 2015

Monday Message

Pajama Day
Pajama day will be on Wednesday, December 23rd. Please remember to wear school appropriate footwear!

Winter Break
School will be closed for winter break from 12/24/15-1/3/16.  December School will reopen on Monday, January 4th, 2016.

Save the Date and a Call for Countries!
Our fourth annual International Night will be on Friday, January 29th. It is an amazing evening of delicious food and sharing so much about the diversity of our community.  All are welcome. Also, please consider hosting a table that represents your culture. This involves bringing a small display to represent your culture or nation! The countries we have represented so far are...
Dominican Republic
Please email if you are able to host a table!

Book Fair and Literacy Night!
The book fair and literacy night were tremendous successes. Thank you to all who came, supported, and volunteered. Pictures to follow!

Box Tops Winter Contest
Winter box top contest begins the day we return from vacation!  Please label bag/envelope with child's name as well as child's teacher. This is the first year we need both names as two separate contests are going on.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday Message

I hope you had a good weekend!  Thank you to all of the volunteers who are making the book fair run!

Book Fair 
The book fair is open! It is located in the school library the hours are...
12/14: 2: 15 - 3:30PM
12/15: 2: 15- 3:30PM
12/16: 2:30- 6:00PM
12/17: 2:15- 3:30PM
12/18: 2:00- 3:30, 6-8PM

Family Literacy Night
Is this Friday, December 18th from 6-8pm. Parents must supervise their children during this event. There will be celebrity readers, a performance from the amazing storyteller Len Cabral, craft activities, and amazing raffles! The Emily Miranda from the Watertown Public Library will be there setting students up with library cards. Please bring proof of address for this (a bill or license) Please join us for this great event!

Spirit Day Wednesday 12/23, Spare Change Day Friday 12/18!
Spirit Day on Wednesday 12/23 is a  Pajama Day. Students can wear pajamas! Also we will be collecting spare change from students on Friday, 12/18.  The change will be used to buy book fair books off of teacher wish lists! P

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Book Fair, Picture Day, Coding, and Progress Reports!

There is so many good things happening-I had to write another post this week!

-A reminder that picture re-take day is tomorrow, Wednesday, December 9th

-This week the Lowell school students are CODING! In honor of the international "hour of code" students will be learning more about computer science this week and coding in their library classes. I had an opportunity to watch a kindergarten class coding on Monday! To learn more about this event visit

-First term progress reports will be going home this Thursday for students in grades 1-5. Parents of PreK and K students should receive an online invitation from Teaching Strategies GOLD to access their child's report.

-Our Scholastic Book Fair starts next week. The book fair is a great opportunity to buy books and gifts and support our school. We still need more volunteers to help. If you can offer some time please click here to sign up. The book is open:
Sunday 12/13 Public Sale: 10am-1pm 
Monday 12/14: 2: 15 - 3:30PM 
Tuesday 12/15: 2: 15- 3:30PM 
Wednesday 12/16: 2:30- 6:00PM 
Thursday 12/17: 2:15- 3:30PM 
Friday 12/18: 2:00- 3:30 &  6-8PM

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday Message

There are a lot of updates this week!

I also want to remind everyone of our Lowell Facebook page. It is a Facebook page and not a Facebook group. This means that it's purpose is to provide updates about events and in the moment happenings of our school. Any specific questions or comments about your student or about school should be directed to the right staff member via email or phone.  Please follow us on Facebook if you can and enjoy the updates and pictures of our great community.

Toy/Clothing Drive
The girl scout toy and clothing drive is still going on until December 18th! The girl scout troop appreciates all of the donations of winter clothing and now are hoping to get some more donations of new, unwrapped toys! Drop boxes are in the main office

Family Literacy Night
Please join us for family literacy night on Friday, December 18th from 6-8pm. Our book fair will be open and there will be a lot of amazing and engaging activities for students of all ages!

PTO Meeting
The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) will meet this Tuesday, December 8th at 7pm in the Lowell library. All are welcome!

Picture Retake Day
Picture retake day is Wednesday, December 9th. Students who would like to have pictures re-taken should just return their original photos. Students who were absent may have their picture taken for the first time.

Parent Coffee Dates
The remaining (we have already had grade 1 and grade 4) principal parent coffee dates for the rest of the year are on the calendar on the main Lowell website and they are below. They are in the Lowell cafeteria from 8:20-9am and it is a time to learn about grade level specific curriculum, assessment, and more.

1/7/16-Grade 3 Parent Coffee
2/4/16-Grade 2 Parent Coffee
3/3/16-Grade K Parent Coffee
4/7/16-Grade 5 Parent Coffee

Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Message

I hope you had a nice long weekend! We are so happy that it is a full week after a November filled with days off and early release!

Meetings This Month
The Parent-Teacher Organization meets monthly to plan events and work on fundraising for the school. All are welcome at any meeting. The PTO will meet on Tuesday, December 8th at 7pm in the Lowell library.

School Site Council
The School Site Council is a group of parent and teachers that meet to analyze school data and discuss school goals  in relation to school improvement. All are welcome at any meeting. School Site Council will meet this week on Thursday, December 3rd at 7pm in the Lowell library.

Lowell Parent Nutrition Workshop
There is a parent nutrition workshop for all Lowell families tomorrow, Tuesday, December 1st from 5:30-7pm. Childcare IS provided! There will be presentations, cooking demonstrations and sampling for parents and fun activities for kids.

Family Literacy Night
We are so thrilled to announce we will be having a FREE family event on Friday, December 18th. Our first annual literacy night will have celebrity readers, a performance from storyteller Len Cabral, the book fair, and more! Save the date!

Lowell Parent Survey
There is still time to complete the Lowell parent survey! The link is here Lowell Parent Survey

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Message

It was great to see so many of you at parent-teacher conferences last week. I also want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving!

Early Release Wednesday
Dismissal will be at 12:00pm NOT 12:15pm. Lunch will not be served and there is no LEDP.  Please be on time for pick up.

Lowell Parent Survey
We are up to 96 responses but need more! Please fill out this important survey if you have not yet filled it out. Lowell Parent Survey.

Toy and Warm Clothing Drive
Our local Girl Scout troop has organized a warm clothing and toy drive to benefit Penelope's Place, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. There are posters around the school with details and boxes to drop of donations are just inside the front doors. Donations will be accepted through December 18th.

Celebrating Kindness
The Lowell school is focusing on one of our four core values this month, kindness! We had a great kindness assembly two weeks ago and students have been receiving kindness paw prints (Lowell leopard paw prints!) to recognize acts of kindness they have shown. Each day the kindness paws are put up on the bulletin board in the main lobby. Here is the board last week.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Message

I hope you had a lovely weekend. It is parent-teacher conference week at the Lowell.  I always share this brief article summary(see below)  because I think it is a helpful reminder of how to make the most of a parent-teacher conference.

Lowell Parent Survey
The Lowell Site Council has created the first Lowell parent survey in six years! We are thrilled to be able to collect important feedback from all families. Our goal is to collect responses from EVERY family at the Lowell. Details are below.

Where can I find the survey?
The survey can be found here: Lowell Parent Survey and is also on the Lowell website homepage. The survey is also available in Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian in paper copy form and will be given out at conferences/

When can I complete the survey?
The survey can be completed on your own time by using the link above. Also, the computer lab will be open for parents to use to complete the survey during all parent teacher conferences. There will be many reminders to complete the survey over the next two weeks.

Why should I complete the survey?
Your voice is so important to school improvement and to your childrens' learning.  It only takes ten minutes and will give us insight and data to move forward and improve our school.

Early Release Days
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week are early release days. Dismissal is at 12:15, lunch will be served and there will be LEDP for those enrolled. There will be NO Courses for Kids.

Making the Most Out of Parent-Teacher Conferences
“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.

PTO Updates
The Chateau fundraiser for the Lowell is this Wednesday!  The flyer can be found here:

The gift card program has launched, place your holiday gift card order by December 11th at Most major brands are available and it costs you nothing extra to order.
You can pay online or via check made out to Lowell PTO.  PLEASE REMEMBER TO USE CODE: 8L14DL7B26791.  Directions on how to order are located here:

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Message

It has been a great first 8 weeks (or so) at the Lowell.  I have been wanting to share these photos from the professional development day (election day). Teachers were engaged in learning so many new things to pass on to our students. Our teachers took courses in Math in Focus curriculum, Picturing Writing curriculum, making curriculum connections to school gardens, teaching to strengths, Google in the classroom, the power of play, and many more topics.

Interest Form
As you know, our Lowell Community Volunteer Program "launched" last week. Please take a moment to click here and fill out this volunteer interest form!

PTO Meeting
Tomorrow night there will be a PTO meeting at 7pm in the Lowell library.

No School Wednesday, November 11th
There will be no school on Wednesday, November 11th in observance of Veteran's Day.

Conferences Next Week
Parent-teacher conferences will take place next week on Monday night and then on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons.  You should have received your conference appointment slip last week.  There will be early release days Tuesday-Friday next week. Dismissal will be at 12:15 pm and lunch will be served to students on those days. I will put out more information about conferences later this week.

Parent Survey
A very important survey will be available during conference week and the week after. This survey is for ALL Lowell parents to complete. The survey was created by parents and teachers working together on School Site Council.  We hope to have all families fill out one survey. More information will be coming next week, along with the survey link.

Friday, November 6, 2015

End of Week Message

It has been a busy week so I wanted to send an end of week message!

LCVP Launch Week
This was the official launch of our new and improved Lowell Community Volunteer Program.  We will still be getting this off of the ground next week but I wanted to take a moment to thank Lowell parent and volunteer coordinator extraordinaire, Nici Smith (you probably have seen her at her little LCVP table)! The LCVP is back and bigger than ever and it is due to her hard work and organization. Part of what we want to do at the Lowell is recognize our volunteers for all that they do-so we would like to recognize and thank Nici!

PTO Updates
The next PTO meeting is on Tuesday, November 10th at 7pm in the library.

No School on Wednesday
There will be no school on Wednesday in observance of Veteran's Day

Enhanced Lockdown Parent Meeting
Thank you all who attended last night's enhanced lockdown parent meeting. The powerpoint from the event can be found here

Help in Garden Needed!

The Lowell Learning Garden needs volunteers this Sunday, from 1-3pm to prepare beds for daffodil planting, to add soil amendments to beds, as well as, to help with weeding and pruning.  Judy, our wonderful garden expert, will bring leaf bags and pruning tools.  It would be helpful if some of us could bring:

- rakes for leaves (I will bring one)
- gloves
- spading forks  

Please RSVP to if you think you can help out.  If you're able to join, please let us know what you are able to bring.  Feel free to bring your children; they can help, or play together nearby!

Hope to see you Sunday, for a couple of enjoyable hours, outdoors in the garden, with new and old friends. Thank you for considering to help out!

Kathleen McGah
LCVP Parent Rep. and Volunteer

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday Message

Exciting News
It was so wonderful to see so many of you at the Halloween Party on Friday night and to see so many parents in classrooms volunteering or visiting on Friday!

On that note I am so excited that the Lowell Community Volunteer Program (LCVP) is re-launching! We have had this program in place for five years and garden volunteers, office and library help, and International Night all came about because of it.  Be on the lookout this week for communication about this program. For now I want to give you a sneak peak of our brand new web page that has been dedicated to this wonderful program that is so valuable to our teachers and support staff.

Lowell Community Volunteer Program Website

No School Tomorrow
There will be no school tomorrow, Tuesday, November 3rd, for town wide voting and teacher professional development.

Important Events This Week
Grade 1 Parent Coffee-Thursday, November 5th at 8:20 am
Please join me in the cafeteria to learn more about grade 1 curriculum, assessment, and more!

Lowell School Wide Emergency Protocol Parent Meeting-Thursday, November 5th at 7pm
There will be a meeting for all Lowell parents in the gym to learn about our Enhanced Lockdown drill that we will be practicing as a school in the coming weeks. Watertown Police and the district's Critical Incident Team will be presenting.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Message

Hello! It is an exciting week at the Lowell. We are having our first all school assembly on Tuesday afternoon followed by our first cross age buddy time! Students will meet their "buddies" and do a get to know you activity.  Pictures to follow!

Site Council This Thursday
There will be a site council here this Thursday, October 29th at 7pm in the Lowell library. It is an open meeting so all our welcome.

Spirit Day
We will have a crazy sock spirit day on Friday! Wear your crazy socks and tights.

Halloween Party-Friday, October 29th
The PTO sponsored Halloween Party is this Friday from 6:30-8:00pm in the Lowell gym and cafeteria. It is a free event and children may wear costumes, but please leave costume weapons at home.

No School-Tuesday, November 3rd
There will be no school due to a professional development day on Tuesday, November 3rd.

Grade 1 Parent Coffee-Thursday, November 5th
There will be a parent coffee on Thursday, November 5th at 8:20 am in the Lowell cafeteria. All grade one families are welcome to come learn more about curriculum, assessment, and all things first grade!

Enhanced Lockdown Parent Meeting-Thursday, November 5th
All parents are invited to attend a meeting at the Lowell with the district Critical Incident Team and Watertown Police to learn about our new way of responding in an emergency. This is an adult only meeting and will be in the gym at 7pm.

Bake Sale Help Needed
There will be a bake sale during voting at the Lowell school on Tuesday, November 3rd to benefit our fifth grade end of year events. Fifth grade parents, we need more bakers! Please email Pam and if you are able to contribute baked goods or your time!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday Message

I hope the weekend was great! The message today is all about upcoming dates to save. It is a busy time of year!

Upcoming Meeting Dates to Save
School Site Council: Thursday, October 29th at 7pm

Enhanced Lockdown Parent Meeting: Thursday, November 5th at 7pm/
This will be a meeting for all parents to attend to learn about WPS' new procedures for emergency response. This is a Lowell school only meeting as the other schools are having or have had their own meetings.

PTO Updates
Fifth Grade Parent Meeting: Tuesday, October 20th at 7pm

Halloween Party: Friday, October 30th from 6:30-8pm.  Volunteers are still needed! Volunteer sign up:

The Lowell Book Fair is scheduled for the week of Dec. 13th. This year we will have a public Book Fair Sunday Dec. 13th, 10-1 so spread the word to all your friends and family. All are welcome.
We need volunteers to work the fair, sign up here:

School Committee Debate
There will be a debate of all of the candidates running for Watertown School Committee on Thursday, October 22nd from 7-9 at the Watertown Middle School auditorium.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Weekly Message

I hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend!

Picture Day
Picture Day is on Friday, October 16th. Picture envelopes should be returned to the classroom teacher. There will be retakes for students absent or for students who would like another try at school pictures.

PTO Meeting Tonight
PTO will meet tonight at 7pm in the library. Our librarian, Ms Steim, as well as the Boys and Girls Club will be there. All are welcome. We had a great turnout at last month's meeting!

When Your Child is Absent..
A reminder that you do NOT need to call the school. If your child is marked absent then you will receive an automated absence notification via phone. If you receive this call and your child is not absent, then please call the main office.

Box Tops
The Box Tops contest is going on now! Please remember to label your box tops when turning them in!

To get quick updates about the Lowell, please like our JRLowell Facebook Page

Thursday, October 8, 2015

ChopChop Magazine for Lowell Families

Today a copy of the most recent ChopChop magazine will be sent home with your student.  Below you will find a letter from our superintendent and wellness director about this initiative. Happy reading (and eating)!

Dear  Lowell School Families,

We are pleased to announce that our Wellness Committee will be expanding the District-wide, 
healthy eating initiative this school year. This initiative will bring exciting events and helpful 
resources to all the families in Watertown, including:

● Continuation of the after-school cooking classes and gardening clubs for 4th and 5th graders

● Implementation of parent workshops and healthy eating events throughout the school year

● Reinforcement of a home-school connection on healthy cooking and eating by distributing 
the award-winning ChopChop: The Fun Cooking Magazine for Families. Thanks to a 
generous grant from Watertown Savings Bank and funding from the PEP Grant, every 
elementary student will receive a copy of ChopChop Magazine for the entire school year 
(Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer). 

● Distribution of lesson plans using ChopChop in the classroom will also be available to all the 

Based in Watertown, ChopChop’s mission is to inspire and teach kids to cook together with their 
families. We encourage you to look through the magazine with your children and pick a recipe to 
make together at home! 

Please take a few minutes to complete this online survey:  This survey is to help understand your 
family’s current eating habits and how often you cook at home. All answers will remain 
anonymous. There will be a follow-up survey at the end of the school year as well. Complete both 
surveys for a chance to win a Kitchen Essentials gift basket valued at over $100 and other 

Here’s to a healthy (and delicious) school year!


Jean M. Fitzgerald         Donna Ruseckas

Superintendent               Director of Wellness and Extended Services

Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday Message

I hope you all had a lovely fall weekend. I want to thank all of you that came to Back to School Night. I was able to visit almost every classroom and it was so great to see all of you in your student's chairs!
We had a great turnout at the first all elementary Color Fun Run yesterday. I had a blast spraying all of the runners with color, while spending time with former Lowell school graduates who are now in middle school and earning community service hours volunteering.  Some updates for the week...

No School on Monday, October 12th

School will be closed in observance of Columbus Day on Monday, October 12th.

Box Tops Contest
It’s time for our first Box Tops classroom contest of the school year!!
This year in addition to our classroom contests, we will keep a record of each child’s Box Tops
and at the end of the year the child who collects the most box tops will win a prize !!
Please note :
* Box Tops collected for our summer contest will not be included.
* Make sure to write your child’s classroom and your child’s name on your Box Tops
bag/envelope if you want them to qualify for the end of year prize.
Our first classroom contest starts Monday October 5th and the deadline will be Friday October
23rd.  The winning class and party will be announced the week of November 2nd
Please remember to 1) check the expiration dates 2) cut and put in a baggie or envelope
marked with your child’s name and classroom.
Thank you and good luck !!!

Michelle Munroe and Vivienne Kelly

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Message

Back to School Night
Back to School Night is this Thursday, October 1st from 6:30-8pm. It is a great opportunity to see your child's classroom and learn more about their class and experience. Individual conversations about students will happen in November at conferences.  We hope to have all parents and guardians attend. The schedule is as follows:
6:30-6:45 pm
Presentation from Ms Kaplan (Gym)
Visit your student’s classrooms 
Visit specialists (Café)
Visit specialists (Café)
Visit your student’s classrooms

School Site Council
The first Site Council meeting is TONIGHT. The Site Council researches all areas of the school, looks at data and current best practices in education to write school improvement goals. It is a public meeting so all may attend-we have great teacher representatives on it this year.

Grade 4 Parent Coffee
We will have our first grade level coffee this Thursday at 8:20 am in the Lowell cafeteria. Grade 4 parents are invited to come and learn about grade 4 curriculum, instruction, and much more!

Grant Writers Needed
We have a number of projects that we would like to pursue grant opportunities for at the Lowell. We are in need of volunteer grant writers. In the past, parent volunteers have written grants that have provided us with: a parent speaker series, garden construction, and much more! Please email Ms Kaplan if you are able to help!

Color Fun Run
The all elementary PTO color fun run is Sunday, October 4th.  The link to register is here:
It is shaping up to be a very fun event that will raise money for our school!

PTO Meeting
The next PTO meeting is Tuesday, October 13th at 7pm in the Lowell library.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday Message

I hope everyone had a great weekend! It was so wonderful to see so many families at movie night. Also, we had a great turn out at our new parent coffee. Thank you to all who attended!

Lowell Calendar
While we tend to post upcoming dates here, the calendar on the Lowell website also contains school and district events. As more events are scheduled, we will continue to add them to the website so that you can rely on the calendar there.

When Your Student is Absent
A reminder that we do NOT have an absence hotline at the Lowell, so parents do not need to call the school when your child is at home sick. If your child is absent, you will receive an automated call. If you receive the absence call and your child is school, then call the main office.

Spirit Day
Our first spirit day is this Friday! We have a spirit day once a month and this year we will be asking students to choose what spirit days they like! We will have a PAJAMA DAY this Friday for our first spirit day. ***Please remember to have your child wear appropriate shoes for recess-no slippers***

PTO Updates
The all elementary school Color Fun Run is Sunday, October 4th. Parent volunteers are needed! Please email Michelle Flanagan if interested!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday Message

This is the first Monday Message of the school year! I use this message to communicate with families every Monday. I usually like to include pictures from the week and an interesting article. As this is the  first Monday Message, it is "all business".

Breakfast Program at Lowell
Each school has a before school breakfast program from 7:45-8:15am.  The process for payment is the same as lunch payment and students who qualify for free/reduced lunch also qualify for free/reduced breakfast. Menus can be found on the district main webpage under "food menus". Breakfast is such an important part of student's learning! If you have any questions, please contact our food service director, Stephen Marshall at 617-926-7756.

Dismissal Forms
Dismissal forms were due last Friday. Please turn them in as soon as possible if you have yet to do so.

Dropping Off and Picking Up
Some gentle reminders about drop off and pick up.
-In the drop off car line, please pull all the way to down to the second crosswalk/last yellow cone.
-In the drop off car line, DO NOT DRIVE AROUND THE CAR IN FRONT OF YOU. Some cars have been doing this and it is extremely dangerous as there could be children crossing ahead.
-Do not block neighborhood driveways or fire hydrants.
-Do not park in staff parking lots.

Events This Week
-New Family Coffee: There will be a new family coffee at 8:20 am in the Lowell cafeteria on Friday, September 18th. This is a great time for families new to the Lowell (whether it be a first child in Kindergarten or have moved in from another school or district) to learn more about the school and meet others!

-PTO Meeting: The first PTO meeting of the year will be this Tuesday, September 15th in the Lowell libary at 7pm. It is a great opportunity to get involved and learn more about school All are welcome! We have some new, exciting things happening this year.
Our teacher representative at this week's meeting will be Mrs Walsh and we will be discussing fifth grade events.

-Movie Night: The annual movie night and ice cream social is this Friday, September 18th at 6:30 pm on the Lowell front lawn. It is such a fun family event! Ice cream will be served first and then the movie, The Incredibles, will be shown at dusk! Bring blankets and chairs to watch the movie. This is a FREE event. Children must be accompanied by parents as this is not a drop off event.

PTO Updates
-Summer Box Top Contest ends this Friday. Please remember to turn in all Box Tops by then and make sure they are labeled with your child's name!

-Color Run: The first annual elementary school wide color fun run is October 4th! Please register at

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

First Week Updates

It has been a great first two days, hot, but great! We have been checking temperatures in all of the classrooms today and they have been staying at a safe level for students and teachers. I have some small updates for you today.

  • New Family Coffee-DATE CHANGE
Our new family coffee will be next Friday, September 18th at 8:20 am. It was originally scheduled for this Friday

  • Notice day is this Thursday, so please look for important paper notices in your child's backpack. Free/Reduced lunch forms are coming home at this time as well.

  • I received a message from WPD Sgt Sampson asking me to kindly remind parents to NOT block driveways during drop off and pick up time.

  • When you come into the school, you will be buzzed into the lobby. ALL visitors must check into the main office. 
It has been so great to see all of you and spend time with your students. Please remember to follow this blog and "like" our JR Lowell Elementary page on Facebook!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Back to School!

It is finally time to welcome your students back to school! Teachers and staff have spent the past few days in wonderful professional development and preparing for your students. Our mission at the Lowell school this year is to always do what is best for children and to ensure that our students are happy, healthy, and safe.  Here are some details about the opening of school.

First Days of Schools
The first day of school for students in grades 1-5 is Tuesday, September 8th.  Our full school day begins at 8:15 and ends at 2:30. Students are allowed to enter starting at 8:05.

Schedule for prek/k students: 
Tuesday, September 8th:  Prek/k students have a previously scheduled tour on this day.
Wednesday, September 9th, 20115: 8:15 AM –12:00 PM (lunch, no extended day) Thursday, September 10th, 2015: 8:15 AM – 2:30 PM (full day, lunch, extended day) Friday, September 11th, 2015: 8:15 AM – 2:30 PM (full day, lunch, extended day)

Name and Teacher Cards
In order to get students to their classrooms on the first day, a reminder to please send your child to school with an index card or piece of paper with their name and their teacher's name on the card. There will be "all on hands" on deck in the main lobby to help students easily find their way and this card will help!

Coming Home
The day notice's go home in backpacks is Thursday each week of the school year. We do have some important notices going home on the first day of school (Tuesday for 1-5, Wednesday for preK/K) so please be on the look out!

Supply Lists
Here are the grade level supply lists!
Grade Level Supply Lists

New Families
If you are new to the Lowell community this year (whether it be first time in kindergarten or you have just moved to the Lowell), please join me for coffee on Friday, September 11th at 8:20 am (right after drop off) in the Lowell cafe. It will be a good time to meet and learn more about our community.

Enjoy the long weekend. I look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday!
Ms Kaplan

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Summer Updates

I hope you are all enjoying summer. I have enjoyed getting back to work this summer but definitely miss the building filled with staff and children.

It has been a busy summer! I have had the opportunity to work with lowell staff on hiring teams to interview and find great new members of our community.  Here you can read about who we will be welcoming to our school this year!

New Lowell Community Members 2015-2016

Placement letters will sent out very soon! The letters contain information about the start of school as well as your students assignment for the upcoming year. Please remember that your students placement is the result of a lengthy and thoughtful process.

I will be in touch again as the start of school approaches.  If you are on Facebook, please "like" the new JR Lowell Elementary School Facebook page!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Final Monday Message!

The last day of school is here! Thank you for all of the support you have given your students and the Lowell community over the past year. I wish you a safe and happy summer. I will be working for most of the summer and am always here for you, so please send me an email if you would like to touch base about anything.  I have some final, important updates for you.

Supply Lists
Grade level supply lists can be found here: Lowell School Grade Level Supply Lists
I will also be posting these on our webpage early this summer. Teams collaborated to come up with these lists, so the list is the same for every teacher in the grade level.

Placement For Next Year
Placement letters are mailed out at the beginning of August. At that time you will learn who your student's teacher for the upcoming year will be. This is the final step in a long and thorough placement process and the letters are mailed out in August to allow for the right placement for each and every student. Below you will find the makeup of grade level classrooms. I am in the process of hiring a fourth grade teacher and will be hiring highly qualified teachers for maternity leave positions as well. I will send out this information with brief bios of our new staff members later in the summer!

Kindergarten: Ms Altobello, Mrs Connors, Mrs Morrison, TBD (to fill in for Mrs Murray's maternity leave)

Grade 1: Mrs Cox, Mr Fiandaca, Ms Peca, Mrs Peterson-Eacott

Grade 2: Ms Hudon, Mr MacLellan, TBD/Mrs Seward (who will return from maternity leave)
Due to enrollment size in other grades, our current first grade is going from four classrooms to three. This will not result in over-sized classrooms, however. The class size will be 

Grade 3: Ms Park, Mr Shpritzer, Mrs Walsh

Grade 4: Mr Stezzi, TBD (vacant teaching position), Mrs Moriarty/TBD (to fill in for Mrs Moriarty's maternity leave)

Grade 5: Ms Garabedian, Ms Levine, Ms Sudbay

Box Tops
There will be a summer Box Tops contest! The top three students will win a prize! Please make sure you keep the boxtops together in a labeled bag!

Report Cards
If your child is not in school to receive their report card today, please email me over the summer to set up a time to come in and pick it up.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Monday Message From Ms Kaplan

Hello, Lowell families!

I hope you have had a wonderful school year. Today is my first day back to work after an extended maternity leave. I am so thrilled to be back at the Lowell! I look forward to seeing familiar faces this week as the school year winds down. I want to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to Allison Donovan for taking such excellent care of the Lowell this year. She did an amazing job and for that I want to thank her!

I will get right down to business as there is a lot of information to share...even though I would love to blog on and on about how much I have missed the Lowell!

Last Days of School
This Friday, June 26th is the last day for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students. It is a full day with LEDP after school. Monday, June 29th is the last day of school for students in grades 1-5. This is a half day with dismissal at 12:15. There will be NO LEDP on Monday, June 29th.

Garden Expansion
This weekend a group of volunteers worked to build two additional raised beds in the Lowell Learning Garden. This expansion will allow all grade levels to access the garden for curriculum related projects. Thank you to all of the volunteers for your help in building the beds.

Report Cards
Report cards for students in grades 1-5 will be sent home on the last day of school. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten report cards are accessed online. Please note that many organizations require your child's report card for registration. Please save the report card! If your child is not in school on the last day to receive their report card, you may pick it up over the summer. Please email me to arrange a time to pick up the report card. I will be working but the school is not open so I will need to know to expect you!

PTO Survey
The Lowell PTO is already beginning to plan for the 2015-2016 school year. Please use the following link to give feedback about PTO events: Lowell PTO Survey

Summer Reading
This Tuesday, Librarian Emily Miranda from the Watertown Free Public Library will visit classrooms to talk about the summer reading program. Monday, June 29th at 3:30 in the children's room of the library there will be a kick off event for the summer reading program. Author Jarrett J. Korsocska will be at the event.  Jarrett writes the popular Lunch Lady and Platypus Police Squad series. Here is a link to information about the event: Watertown Public Library Summer Reading Program

Coming Very Soon!
By the last day of school (6/29), I will send an additional blog post with the teacher and grade level configuration for the upcoming school year. I will also send grade level supply lists and post these lists on the school website. This is new this year and will allow families to get school supplies at their convenience. Placement letters, with your child's class assignment for the 2015-2016 school year, will be mailed out at the beginning of August.

I look forward to seeing all of you and your students this week!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Message 6/15

Good Morning Lowell Families,

The Lowell students and teachers had a great time at field day last Thursday.  A big thank you to Ms. Donahue and Ms. Loguidice for organizing this special day.  Also, thank you to the many parent volunteers who helped run events, pass out fruit and keep an eye on kids during the faculty kickball game.  The students were very enthusiastic cheering on their teachers.  The K-2 teachers triumphed over the grade 3-5 teachers.

Grade 5 Move-up Day:
The 5th grade students did not go to the Middle School today for move-up day.  The trip was postponed due to the rain.  The students will visit Watertown Middle School on Friday, June 19th.  The students will be going first thing in the morning so it is important to be on-time for school.

Lowell Learning Garden:
The DPW came last week and removed the large yew bush on the right side of the old main entrance.   The garden will get two new raised beds to accommodate curriculum connected projects for each grade level.  Please email me if you are able to volunteer with the garden this weekend or if you are interested in helping out over the summer.

Have a great week!

Ms. Donovan

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday Message 6/8

Good Morning Lowell Families,

June continues to be a busy month at the Lowell.  Thank you to the PTO for putting on an amazing picnic last week.  It was wonderful to see everyone relaxing and enjoying the afternoon.

Reminder: Today and tomorrow there is no school for Kindergarten and PreK students.  We have screening for the kindergarten students that will be joining us next year.

PTO: Tuesday, June 9th at 7:00 is the final PTO meeting of the school year.

Field Day:  Thursday, June 11th is Field Day for the Lowell School.  Events will take place at Victory Field.  Students should bring a bagged lunch.  Students should wear sneakers and plenty of sunscreen.  Please contact Ms. Donahue if you are interested in volunteering.

Have a great week!

Ms. Donovan

Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday Message 6/1

Good Morning Lowell Families,

We have officially entered our last month of school.  Teacher's are busy preparing students for the transition to the next grade.  For our fifth grade students this means moving to the middle school and for our kindergarten teachers it means welcoming a group of new families to the Lowell School.

Reminder: Next Monday 6/8 and Tuesday 6/9 there will be NO SCHOOL for K and PreK students.  Teachers will be involved in screening for the incoming group of students.

Safe Footwear:  Now that the weather has become warmer, students have begun to wear flip-flops and sandals to school.  We have had several injuries on the playground due to kids running in improper footwear and from sandals breaking.  Students should have safe shoes for recess each day.

PTO End of Year Picnic:  This Thursday from 2:30-5:30 is the PTO End-of Year Picnic.  The picnic will feature a speed-pitch, games from Ms. Donohue, and a teacher dunk tank.

Field Day:  Thursday, June 11th is Field Day.  Please contact Ms. Donohue if you are interested in volunteering.

Have a great week!

Ms. Donovan

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"Tuesday" Message 5/26

Good Morning Lowell Families,

We are entering a very busy season of "End of the Year" events.  I want to give you some reminders of up-coming dates.

5/26 Tonight at the Middle School Mr. Carter will have an information session for parents of fifth grade students transitioning to middle school.

Thursday 6/4- PTO End of Year Picnic- 2:30 to 5:30

Monday 6/8 and Tuesday 6/9 No School for K and Pre-K students- Kindergarten and Pre-K screening for incoming kindergarten and pre-K students

Wednesday 6/10 7:00 PM Spring Concert at WHS

Thursday 6/11- Lowell School Field Day

The last day of school is Monday, June 29th.  It is an early release day.  Students will be dismissed at 12:15.

Lowell Learning Garden: The Lowell Learning Garden will be expanding.  We will be adding three new beds to the garden.  We would love to have parent volunteers to help.  Also if any parents have experience with carpentry, we will need help building the new beds.  Please let know if you are interested in this project.

Have a good week!

Ms. Donovan

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Message 5/18

Good Morning Lowell Families,

Spring is a busy season for Lowell families.  I know families are busy with activities outside of school.  In school students are working on projects and lots of special activities are being planned for classes.  If you plan to chaperone a field trip or volunteer on Field Day (June 11th), parents must fill out a CORI form.  CORIs take about two weeks to complete and are valid for three years.  Please fill out a CORI early if you plan to volunteer.

Early Release Wednesday, May 20th
This Wednesday, May 20th is an early release day.  Students will be released at 12:15.  Lunch will be served in the morning.  There will be no Courses for Kids (Circus class is not meeting).  The Recreation Department will run All Sports from 12:15-1:15.

Memorial Day
No School on Monday, May 25th for Memorial Day.

PTO Updates
Spirit Day- This Friday is a PTO Spirit Day.  Wear Red, White and Blue in honor of our veterans.  Students will attend the Memorial Day assembly at 9:00 on Friday, May 22nd.

Paint Night- On Tuesday, May 19th the Lowell PTO is having a fundraiser at the Paint Bar in Newton.  Please use this link to sign up:

Yard Sale- Thank you to all of the families who donated and shopped at the Lowell School Yard Sale this past Saturday.  A big thank you to Mary Lynds for organizing the event and all of the parents that volunteered to make the yard sale a success.  The yard sale raised over $1,500 for the Lowell PTO.

The Lowell School Site-Council will meet Tuesday, May19th at 7:00 PM in the Lowell Library.  We will finalize the School Improvement Plan for the 2015-2016 school year.

Have a great week and a nice holiday weekend!

Ms. Donovan

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday Message 5/11

Good Morning Lowell Families,

This week the students in grades 3, 4, and 5 will be taking the final round of PARCC tests.  Today students are completing the "End of Year" ELA test.  On Wednesday and Thursday, the students will take the "End of Year" Math tests.  I know students and staff will be happy to see the end of the state testing season.

Elections: On Tuesday evening at 7:00 in the Lowell Library there will be a PTO meeting.  Elections for PTO offices will be held at this meeting.  Please contact if you are interested in filling the position of Vice President or serving as a grade level coordinator.

Yard Sale:  This Saturday is the Town-Wide yard sale.  Please consider donating good quality toys, books and sports equipment to the Lowell Yard Sale.  Items can be dropped off at the Lowell Cafeteria between 4 PM and 7 PM on Friday, May 15th.  The yard sale is Saturday, May 16th from 7 AM-2 PM.  All proceeds benefit the Lowell PTO.  Please contact Mary Lynds at to volunteer.

Have a great week!

Ms. Donovan

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday Message 5/4

Good Morning Lowell Families,

This week is teacher appreciation week.  I believe that we have a lot to appreciate here at the Lowell School.  Our teachers are dedicated and care deeply about the success of our students.  Every day brings new challenges but the teachers at the Lowell School continue to work hard to make the Lowell School a welcoming and safe place for all children.

This weekend the Watertown Community Foundation sponsored "Watertown Helps Out" a day of community service.  In that spirit a small group worked to repair the fence around the Lowell Learning Garden that was damaged by this winter's snow fall.  Thank you to Gideon and Vivian Schreiber and Judy Fallows for helping to get the garden straightened up and ready for spring.

This Week:

On Tuesday and Wednesday the students in Grade 5 will be taking the Science, Technology and Engineering MCAS exam.  Students need to be on time for school.  Testing will begin first thing in the morning.  Next week students in Grades 3, 4, and 5 will complete the second part of the PARCC testing on Monday 5/11, Wednesday 5/13 and Thursday 5/14.

PTO Updates:

The next PTO meeting is Tuesday, May 12th at 7:00 PM in the Library.

The PTO is organizing a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon on Thursday, May 7th.  Please contact Pamela Dennison if you'd like to donate a food item, raffle item or money (checks payable to Lowell Elementary PTO):

Yard Sale: The Lowell School will be participating in the Town Wide Yard Sale on Saturday, May 16th. The PTO will be collecting sports equipment, children's clothing, toys, games, books, bikes, strollers. As you are cleaning out from this awful winter, please set your things aside to donate!
If your interested in helping out contact

Yoga Week:  Please the following link to access the flyer for Yoga Week. This week 100% of the proceeds from any yoga classes will go to the Lowell PTO.  

Box Tops: Mr. Shpritzer's class has won the Spring Box Tops contest.  The PTO collected over $700 for the school.

Have a great week!

Ms. Donovan

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday Message 4/27

Good Morning Lowell Families,

I hope everyone had a restful and relaxing week off of school.  It was wonderful to see the smiling faces return to school this morning.  The traffic in the drop and go lane seems to be a little lighter now that many people have returned to walking and biking to school.  Please remember to watch in crosswalks around the school for students that may be walking to school.  I have also noticed that many families are walking dogs to school.  I am a dog owner and dog lover but, please remember that dogs are not allowed on school grounds according to town ordinances.  If you are walking to school with puppies please try to use the sidewalks across from the building so that the areas in front of the stairs and ramps are clear for students.

Homework Club and Cooking Club:
The grade 3, 4 and 5 Homework Club will no longer be meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The cooking club for grades 4 and 5 will meet on Tuesdays for the next six weeks.  Students that have been selected for the cooking club received permission slips to be signed and returned.

Site Council
This Tuesday, April 28th, from 7:00 -8:00 there will be a site-council meeting in the Lowell School Library.  We will finalize the school improvement goals for the 2015-2016 school year and discuss action steps for each goal.

PTO Updates:
Please visit the Lowell School PTO website: for updates on PTO events and fundraisers.

Lowell School Yard Sale: If you are doing any "spring cleaning" consider donating items to the Lowell PTO's Yard Sale.  On May 16th, as part of the Watertown Town-Wide Yard Sale the Lowell PTO will be hosting a sale on the front lawn of the school.  The proceeds from the sale will benefit the Lowell PTO.  We will be collecting Sports Equipment, children's clothing, toys, games, books, bikes, strollers. As you are cleaning out from this awful winter, please set your things aside to donate! Please be on the look out for more information.

Box Tops: Correction: The Box Tops contest ends April 30th.  Here are the current class totals.    Thank you to all of the families who donated.  This is a great way for our PTO to earn money.

Fiandaca ~96
Pinsoneault ~51

Have a great week!

Ms. Donovan

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.

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.

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

Learn more about the Center on Media and Child Health on their FB group at

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.

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.

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 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! 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.  

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