Add your email to receive notifications and updates for this blog

Monday, September 25, 2017

Lowell School Newsletter

This Week’s Featured Event

Change in School Start Time Forum

Superintendent Dr. Dede Galdston

Thursday, September 28, 8:35 AM

Lowell School Cafeteria

Read Full Newsletter, click link below:

Friday, September 22, 2017

1st Annual
The Heather Zarkadas Memorial 5K
Fun Run & Walk

Saturday, September 30, 2017, 11am
@ The James R. Lowell School, Watertown, MA

All proceeds from our Annual Fun Run & Walk to benefit
The Heather Zarkadas’ Children Education Foundation

Come join the fun!
Clock your own time!
Go at your own pace!

Register online @
(Until 9/28/17)

Mail or drop off registrations to:
FitZy’s Bar and Grille
451 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Attn: HZ5K

Monday, September 18, 2017

Lowell School Newsletter

This Week’s Featured Event

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

All are Welcome !
The evening will begin in the Gym
Greetings from Mrs. Phelan
Quick introduction to SEPAC


PreK - 2 Parents Visit the Classroom

Grades 3 - 5 Parents Go to Specialist Fair in the Cafeteria


PreK - 2 Parents Go to Specialist Fair in the Cafeteria

Grades 3 - 5 Parents Visit the Classrooms

The school year is now in full swing. As I walked around the building this week I could see the routines taking hold and the instruction moving from getting to know you activities into content rich lessons. I also saw students navigating the building with more confidence and comfort. The kindergarten is doing a fabulous job in the cafeteria. It is always one of their biggest challenges beginning the year. This is the first time they become responsible for eating lunch independently. It’s awfully cute watching them pick friends to sit with and chat with one another. Mr. Roberts supervises for all three lunches. He does a wonderful job guiding students through this very busy period of our day. Thank you Mr. Roberts. We are also fortunate to have a loving cafeteria staff  lead by Sevim Cinar.
The morning arrival routines have been going very well. There are a few areas we ask for your continued cooperation. Student safety is our top priority. Arrival and dismissal time is very busy. We understand many parents are bustling around trying to get children to multiples schools and themselves to work. The drop off line in front of the school is running smoothly. However, we have a few parents parking their cars in unauthorized parking spaces and walking their children to the front doors. Please remember to park only in designated parking areas, not on or blocking crosswalks. Cars should not be left unattended in areas where live drop off is taking place. This is to ensure the safety for all our students.
Last Friday I  had the pleasure of meeting many Kindergarten parents during the coffee hour. I was accompanied by Mrs. Connors, one of our Kindergarten teachers. I gave a brief overview of our school’s Improvement Plan and reviewed new teacher hires. Mrs. Connors spoke of the general milestones and trends to expect during the Kindergarten year. She also explained to the parents how much growth takes place in just the first six weeks. I want to thank Mrs. Connors for joining us, she truly did a fabulous job answering questions and making parents feel comfortable.
Thursday, I had the opportunity to visit classrooms for observations and I thought it noteworthy to pass on my observations. When I entered two of our recently created co-taught classrooms, I found the cooperating special educator leading the whole group lesson. In Mrs. Seward’s room, Mrs. Curtin was leading a phonics lesson focused on blends and digraphs. In Mrs. Antonellis’ room, Ms. Peck was teaching a writing lesson focused on author’s purpose and writing types. It was very exciting seeing our teachers working in such a collaborative way. Way to go Mrs. Curtin and Ms. Peck!
On Friday, our second grade teaching team ( Ms. Hudon, Ms. Seward, Mr. MacLellan, Ms. McDonough, Ms. Curtin, Mr. Kevane and Ms. Toledano) attended a full day professional development training in phonics instruction. WPS is using the Fundations phonics curriculum in second grade this year. This is the second year of  this curriculum initiative focus on word study. First grade teachers were trained last year, this year it is being expanded to include second grade. Foundations is a systematic phonic program which teaches early literacy skills.
Other exciting professional development news: On Wednesday afternoon Grades 3 - 5 attended professional development pertaining to Math in Focus and curriculum delivery. This professional development was presented by Elizabeth Kaplan our Math/Science Coordinator. Ms. Kaplan was at Lowell School this week supporting Grade 3 teachers in Science and Grade 4 teachers in Math. Grades K - 2 attended training in balanced literacy with Allison Donovan, our Literacy Coordinator on Wednesday. One topic they received training in was Interactive Read Alouds.
We held our first PTO meeting on Tuesday evening. Our President Nikki Muraca presented the budget, went over our main events, introduced executive members and grade level coordinators. There are still lots of opportunity to get involved and help support your children and our school. Due to inclement weather Nikki postponed Movie Night. It has been rescheduled for Friday, October 6th at 6:00 pm. Please join us!
This week we are hosting Back to School Night on Tuesday evening beginning at 6:30. I invite you to come to the gym first for a welcome and introduction to our Special Education Parent Advisory Council SEPAC. Parents of students in PreK - 2 will visit classrooms from 6:40-7:20. Parents in Grades 3 - 5 will visit the cafeteria to meet the specialists and supporting faculty.  At 7:20 the Parents from grades 3 - 5 will visit their child’s classroom. Parents in grade Prek - 2 are welcome to visit the Specialists Fair in the Cafeteria.
Wednesday will be our first Early Release Day. Students will have a modified schedule. Grades 3, 4, and 5 will have specials but K, 1, 2 will not. Grades take turns having specials on Early Release Days. The lunch schedule changes too. Students will go to lunch 40 minutes earlier on half days. Dismissal time is 12:15 in the regular pick up location.
I Look forward to seeing you all at Back to School Night.
Warmest regards,

The results are in… Mr. Stezzi’s 4th grade class is the winner of the ice cream party!  We had such great participation. The final results:  Stezzi 561
Hudon 411
McDonough 402
Fiandaca 266
Sudbay 243
MacLellan 225
Talamas 181
Levine 171
Park & Seward 157
Russell 147
Altobello 133
Richardson 115
Walsh 104
Connors 98
Peca 72
LaBella 61
Sphritzer 39
Antonellis & Garabedian 25
Zywocinski 16

Over the next 6 weeks I will be holding coffee’s by grade level. I want to give parents a chance to meet me and discuss what’s on your mind.

Friday, September 22nd Mrs. Phelan is hosting a Coffee for parents of First Grade.

8:30-9:30 in the Cafeteria

  • Thank you for taking the time to fill out all the forms we sent home the past two weeks. We know how tedious the process is. However, it is necessary. Thank you for your cooperation.

  • Students should not be dropped off at school before 8:00 a.m. unless they are attending breakfast or Extended Day. Students can not enter the building until 8:05.

  • You do not need to call the school if your child absent due to illness or late for school. The classroom teacher takes attendance in the classroom. If your child is absent you will receive a phone call confirming their absence.  
Calendar & Events
Dates: Event: Time/Location:
September 18th
Stacy’s out for day at PD
All Day
September 19th
Back to School Night
6:00 p.m.
September 20th
Early Release/ Teacher PD
12:15 p.m.
September 22nd
First Grade Parent
Principal Coffee
8:30-9:30 a.m. Cafeteria
Friday is Picture
Picture Day
All Day
September 25th
Instrument Distribution Night
6 - 7 p.m. WMS Auditorium
September 29th
Second Grade Parent’s
Principal Coffee
8:30-9:30 a.m. Cafeteria
October 5th
School Council
October 6th
Third Grade Parents Coffee with Mrs. Phelan
October 6th
Movie Night Sponsored by
Lowell’s PTO
Boss Baby
Front Lawn
Lowell School
6:00 PM
October 8th
No School
Columbus Day Observed
PTO Meeting
6:30-7:30 PM
October 13th
Fourth Grade Parent’s Coffee with Mrs. Phelan
October 18th
Early Release for Students & PD for Teachers
Dismissal Time
October 20th
Fifth Grade Parent’s
Coffee with Mrs. Phelan

You can now subscribe to the James Russell Lowell Blog, just type in your email address.