News and Events
A list of quick updates as to what is happening to prepare for our September opening:
· Construction is on schedule (more or less). Teachers should be able to access the building the week of August 18th. Contractors, construction workers, and custodial staff will fully occupy the building the month of August to ensure that all the furniture is assembled, technology is installed, and all building materials are placed/stored in appropriate places.
· Tempted to ask me what the classes will look like at each grade level? As our numbers continue to grow week by week, our sections keep changing. I’ll get that information out to families in mid-late August once things settle down in the enrollment process. With this understanding, I ask that you be patient and wait until late August before asking about class assignments.
· Student class assignments are a staff decision. The class placement process occurred within our grade level teams with administrative and specialists input. Both academic data and social/emotional needs were considered when class assignments were developed. Note: Class assignments, along with a welcome letter from the teacher, will be mailed to families on Friday, August 15, 2014.
· Welcome New Staff:
o Nathan Hoch (5th Grade Teacher)
o Na’Ceisha Holmes (Principal Intern)- new position
o Elizabeth Kuykendall (Kindergarten Teacher)
o Yvone Miller (Instructional Assistant)
o Joy Southworth (Reading Specialist)- new position
o Celine Vasquez (Instructional Assistant- ACCESS)- new position
o Caroline VanderHaar (Special Education Teacher, Medically- Fragile)
- Thank you to staff and families who participated in the interview/ selection process. Additional information about our new staff members will be included in the Welcome Back letter sent to families in mid-late August. We have an amazing group of people joining our Lowell family!
· All classrooms K-5 will be using the newly district-adopted text resource Math in Focus. As mentioned in an earlier communication, the most important component of a math program is strong instruction. The textbook is just a tool and very much secondary to the skills of the educator. All students will receive a math program that is balanced and commits to strong computational skills as well as focused work in the application of math in real world problems/situations.
· Our school instructional hours are 9:30-3:40 – the playground will officially open at 9:10 each morning. There is no supervision before this time.
· Upcoming Dates to Know:
o August 5: Building Leadership Team (BLT) Retreat / 9:00-4:00pm / Edgewater Hotel
o August 11: Main Office Opens for the 14-15 School Year (date subject to change based on construction/renovation schedule)
o August 12-15: Seattle Public Schools Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) / 9:00-4:00pm / Garfield High School
o August 15: Class Assignments Mailed to Families
o August 25: New Staff Orientation / 10:00-12:00pm / Lowell Library
o August 26: First Day for Staff
o August 26: “Welcome Back” School Picnic / 5:30-7:30pm / Lowell Playfield + Playground
o September 3: First Day of School (Grades 1-5)
o September 5: Kindergarten Kick-Off / Time: TBD / Lowell Library
o September 8: First Day of School (Kindergarten)
Kinder Families Update-
1. Due to building renovations and construction, Lowell is not participating in Jump Start in August for incoming students and their families. In lieu of this, kindergarten teachers will be scheduling Home Visits with all families individually in mid-late August, as part of WaKIDS.
2. Kindergarten Slow Start: In an effort to welcome our incoming kindergarten students into a calm and settled school climate, and to allow additional home visits/family connections to occur, Kindergarten will start on Monday, September 8. Kindergarten students will NOT begin on Wednesday, September 3 with the first through fifth grade students. The “Slow Start” is part of WaKIDS and has been approved by SPS.
3. A Kindergarten Kick-Off will be scheduled for all kindergarten students and their families on Friday, September 5th at Lowell. This will allow students to see their classrooms, have a school tour, practice outdoor and lunchroom routines and introduce themselves to other students and families in a supportive, relaxed and social setting. It will be a great way to get ready for the start of school on the 8th.
Enjoy the remainder of the Seattle summer (and see you soon)!
Dr. Marion Smith, Jr.
It’s difficult for me to believe there is only one week left in the school year! As I reflect on the year, I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve as your principal. I remain excited and energized because I work with such a dynamic and dedicated staff and faculty. As we end our second year together, let us not forget that learning is an every-moment-of-every-day experience. School may be over until September but each of us, young and old, continues to learn on a daily basis. I wish you all a very happy and safe summer holiday. I wish you and your family time together to be creative and to have fun.
I would like to take this time to thank the Lowell staff and faculty, the Partners at Lowell School (PALS) PTA, our community partners and all who have made this school year so productive and enriching for our school community. A particular thank you to Diane and Christi who keep it all together in the main office. The phone never stops; the foot traffic is endless; requests, questions and paperwork come at them from all angles and they just battle on with a smile. Unfortunately, it has to be said there are days and weeks when those of us who rely so much on these two ladies may take it all for granted as we busily get on with our own business. Therefore let's take this moment to stop and think about how much they do for us and how much we do appreciate them.
This has been an exciting, challenging and transformative year. Get ready ... Year 3 is coming fast and we have positioned ourselves to be THE downtown elementary school in Seattle, as touted by Bryan Cohen of the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog: http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2014/04/lowell-reinvents-itself-as-the-elementary-school-for-capitol-hill-and-downtown-seattle/
For those of you in the know, this deserves 2 claps, 2 slam dunks and a Yee Haw!
Looking Ahead to 14-15
Bell Schedule: Starting in the fall, our school will start at 9:30am and students will be dismissed at 3:40pm. This change in bell time is a result of changes to transportation for the 14-15 school year, which the School Board approved in late February.
Title I Designation: With almost 50% of our student population eligible for free and reduced lunch, we will qualify for additional federal funding as a Title I school. This additional money, around $27,000 for the school year, will be used to provide targeted supports and interventions in the area of mathematics.
WaKIDS: Kindergarten students and teachers will participate in WaKIDS. After 3 years of implementation, use of WaKIDS (Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Schools) is growing steadily. It is used by 1800 Kindergarten teachers and 38,443 Kindergarten students across the state. WaKIDS participation will be required for all Washington school districts in the 2017-18 biennium.
What is WaKIDS?
WaKIDS focuses on the whole child, the family and the community in its three-part structure:
Assessment: Using Teaching Strategies Gold (TSG), teachers assess entering Kindergarten students in the fall across 6 domains (fine & gross motor, language & literacy, math & cognitive skills).
Family Connections: Teachers meet 1:1 with incoming Kindergarten students and their families during the first few days of school to establish a positive, collaborative rapport.
Early Learning Collaboration: Early learning professionals and Kindergarten teachers share training and data to align instruction and support smooth transitions for children.
More information about WaKIDS will be sent home as we get closer to the start of the new school year. Important Date to Know: Kindergarten students will begin the 14-15 school year on Monday, September 8, 2014.
Here are a few additional items for your consideration as we end the school year:
Reading over the Summer
Reading during the summer months may make a critical difference in your child's progress in the fall. The Lowell Reading Challenge invites students to read at least 10 books over the summer (two of them non-fiction). Those who do will receive a special prize from their teacher in the fall.
Research is very clear that books read at home should be EASY! If your child wants a more challenging book, read it aloud to him or her. Reading aloud to children of ALL ages is a great strategy that builds vocabulary, and is just plain fun! Talking with your child about books also improves your child's comprehension. Possible questions: What has happened so far in the story? What do you think the character will do next (and why)? What are you wondering about the book/story now? What is the problem in the story and how is it getting solved? In fact, the more you engage your child in meaningful conversation in general, the more he or she will improve his/her thinking.
If your child is not an eager reader, encourage ANY reading--comic books, sports statistics, series books, joke books, magazines, online stories read aloud (http://kids.aol.com/KOL/1/KOLJrStories) -- or interactive app books (http://digitalmediadiet.com/?p=897). Taking turns reading or listening to one another read aloud develops vocabulary as well as a love of reading.
Principal for the Day: Take 3
Congratulations to 3rd grade student, Ahmed Mohamed, who was selected to be the final principal of the day this school year. Ahmed is excited and ready to lead Lowell during the final week of school.
Student class assignments for the 14-15 school year will be sent to families the second full week of August, along with a Welcome Letter from the teacher and recommended supply list.
Increased Art, Music and PE Instruction
Exciting news! Each of our specialists will increase their hours and direct instruction with our children next year. As part of a central region initiative to support arts-infused instruction, Creative Advantage, both Robyn Jordan (visual arts teacher) and Michael Anderson (general music teacher) have been funded to increase their time on campus and will serve as co-leads of our School Arts Team.
In addition, our school-based budget has enabled us to increase Kyle Hoffman (PE teacher) from part-time to full-time status.
Additional Recess Monitor Needed for Next Year
We need you for the 14-15 school year! We are looking to hire a second recess monitor to assist with recess supervision. Do you have two hours to spare each day? Do you know someone who is great with children, organized and who is available for two hours each day? If so, contact administrative secretary Diane Hutchinson (206-252-3020) to express interest in this paid position. The hours are 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (hours subject to a slight change due to final master schedule) Monday- Friday. Thank you in advance for spreading the word about this great opportunity.
Trimester 3 progress report grades will be sent home via kid mail on Thursday, June 19.
School Summer Hours
The school office will be open through June 27. The school building will be closed from July-mid August, as part of the major construction to be completed by the Seattle Public Schools Capital Projects to install a fire sprinkler system and to complete seismic, structural and electrical upgrades. The building will open again in mid to late August, after construction is completed. Specific dates and times will be communicated to families. The best way to reach me during the summer is via email at email@example.com. Phone messages are not checked over the summer. Please note that phone calls received after the office closes in June will be returned in August.
For those of you who are leaving Lowell, I wish you the best in your new school community. For those returning, I look forward to seeing you in the fall. Have a safe, relaxed and enjoyable summer vacation.
Your partner in education,
Dr. Marion Smith, Jr.
Join other families to socialize and exchange info about Special Ed-specific resources. Then stay to check out your student’s artwork at the Arts Showcase with the rest of the Lowell community
Come and experience great artistic work by Lowell students! Every artist in the school will be represented. Food, musical performances, and visual art exhibitions – it’ll be a VERY fun time!
National School Nurses' Day. With the celebration of our school nurses, I want to take the opportunity to thank Nurse Mariah and Nurse Diane for the person-centered and responsive service they provide to the students and families at Lowell. Our school nurses have a great responsibility in caring for the health and safety of so many children each and every day. Whether they are tending to a cut or scrape, or making sure a student receives necessary medication, or providing families with guidance and direction for a specific health-related issue, Nurse Mariah and Nurse Diane provide an invaluable service and support. Lowell is indeed fortunate to have such caring and dedicated professionals. All of us- and especially the children and families at Lowell- appreciate what you do.
Thank you for all you do for our children!
The agenda for this brief informational session is as follows:
"Moving Forward: 14-15 at Lowell"
- Context Matters (Rhetoric vs. Realities)
- Overview: Advanced Learning- Spectrum
- PK-5 Teaching + Learning Framework and Professional Development: Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration and Reading (WIC-R)
- School-wide Discipline Practice: Responsive Classrooms
The Lowell Elementary School Spectrum approach is guided by and will be implemented to address the following:
1. Provide a rigorous curriculum.
2. Provide an accelerated curriculum that focuses on student proficiency in grade-level expectations and one grade level beyond or more in reading and mathematics.
3. Bring district-identified academically-gifted or academically highly gifted students together through cluster-grouping strategies to form classroom rosters.
The Lowell Elementary School Spectrum approach will build heavily on the existing school-based Advanced Learning Opportunity (ALO) instructional framework and will incorporate the research-driven and evidenced-based WIC-R (Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration and Reading) methodology to accelerate and target student learning in math and literacy.
. Quickwrite Discussions / Intro to "Sociological Imagination"
· Reciprocal Teaching
Sponsored by Seattle Music Partners, the Carpe Diem String Quartet will perform a special in-house concert for the Lowell community on Friday, February 28, 2014, at 10:30am.
One of the most unique and sought-after chamber ensembles on the concert stage today, the Carpe Diem String Quartet performed over 90 concerts in 33 states across the USA in the 2011-12 season, most recently playing for an audience of over 4000 at the Redlands Bowl in southern California. Carpe Diem is a boundary-breaking ensemble that has earned widespread critical and audience acclaim for its innovative programming and electrifying performances. With programming that reflects its passions for Gypsy, tango, folk, pop, rock, and jazz-inspired music alongside the traditional string quartet repertoire, Carpe Diem has defied easy classification while quickly becoming one of America’s premier “indie” string quartets.
For more information on enrollment services, visit www.seattleschools.org/enrollment.
Message from Dr. Smith:
It has been quite interesting observing the Lowell and greater Seattle community get into the spirit these last few weeks celebrating the Seahawks season and Super Bowl win.
Needless to say, there is a lot of excitement in schools this week around the big parade on Wednesday, Feb. 5th. As you know, school will be in session and instruction will go on as usual. At the same time, we recognize that the Super Bowl win is a monumental event for Seattleites; as a result, school leaders have elected to excuse student absences tomorrow as a "parent approved activity." This change in plan is a direct result of discussion at a district leaders' meeting this morning about school leaders having the ability to excuse student absences based on State Law that provides for some flexibility for unusual circumstances. Please be sure to notify the office (206.252.3020) ASAP, if your family has made plans around the parade.
For those at Lowell on Feb. 5th, we will have our own celebration. I'm sure Seahawks-infused learning will be taking place throughout the building. In addition, starting at 11:00am the parade will be streamed live and displayed on our big screen during lunches and recess.
Lastly, please be aware that we have been informed that afternoon bus transportation may be delayed up to 1 hour at certain schools on this day due to unprecedented crowds expected to participate in the celebration festivities.
The Lowell community was excited to welcome Captain Mike Edwards of Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct to our school this week. Captain Mike has graciously offered to volunteer on the last Monday of each month to visit classrooms and to read to (and with) our students. This past Monday, January 27, 2014, Captain Mike, read to both kindergarten classes as well as to students in our special education classes. Captain Mike read the story, The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywald which spoke about working together. We look forward to having Captain Mike on campus each month.
The holiday break is a great time to give your child extra time to work on ST Math, the software program that uses visual games to teach math concepts. As part of the program’s homework feature, students can access specially selected educational games from home; the break gives students extra time to reach their current progress goal of 35%. Let's go JiJi!
Registration for all classes and activities will begin December 18th! Please remember to register early!
View the full brochure here.
On December 4, 2013, our very own Rania B. (2nd grade student) was Principal-for-The-Day. Among the many events (classroom observations, chatting with students, lunch supervision and selecting the next Dragon Allstars), Rania stated that a highlight was touring the Stanford Center where she was able to sit and meet with Superintendent Jose Banda.
The Lowell Elementary boundary will be expanded, including some students now assigned to John Hay in 2014-15. New boundaries apply to incoming kindergarten students and new residents to the attendance area. Students currently attending John Hay are grandfathered to remain, but will be assigned to Lowell if they apply during Open Enrollment through Sept. 30.
Additional information and FAQs will be posted online as information is updated to reflect Board decisions.
Click on the school name below to see the new boundary map:
• Fairmount Park (new!)
• Schmitz Park
• Green Lake
• John Hay
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT “GRANDFATHERING”
(1) continues as long as the services the student needs are available at the school;
(2) does not apply to students in special education preschool classes since they do not automatically roll up to K at the current school; and
(3) applies to resident students only. Grandfathering does not apply for attendance-area middle school students.
On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, Superintendent Jose Banda issued the State of the District Address, which included the release of approved individual School Reports and Continuous School Improvement Plans (C-SIP). A copy of these documents will be available in the main office and sent home with families in the next Friday Flyer (November 15th).
In addition, you may access the School Report and C-SIP on our school website in the “Additional Links” section. Having these documents is a great tool for each of us to have discussions about where we stand now, where we plan to be in the future and how we plan to get there.
It has been communicated to the Lowell school community that for the first time, testing data reported for Lowell does not include data from APP Lincoln—an advanced learning program previously affiliated with the building— (as was the practice in all previous years to date). As a result, this is the first year in which Lowell has an accurate snapshot of our students and their learning, based on state benchmarks. This is also the first year in which data for Lowell looks dramatically different than in the past. This shift in data and demographics has fueled a myriad of conversations and dialogue in the community. Nevertheless, this baseline data served as the foundation upon which student growth goals and school improvement plans were developed. We as a school community have positioned ourselves well to meet the goals we have for our children! We look forward to your support and collaboartion as we continue this collective journey.
We offer a variety of classes & activities for grades K-5.
Chess club has been added to the program.
Extended day pick-up is now offered.
Please see brochure for complete details.
We’ve been registered, now it’s time to GET FIT!
If you still have your order envelope at home, please return it to the office no later than Friday, Oct 18.
Thanks everyone for helping make this fundraiser a big success!
We are very close to reaching our goal of selling one book per student!
Lowell PTA's popular Chinook Book sale is happening now. Chinook Book contains hundreds of coupons for great discounts at local businesses and services. The time to buy your 2013-14 book is ending soon.Save money at Bartells, PCC, Cupcake Royale, Children's Museum, Pacific Science Center, Molly Moons Ice Cream, Woodland Park Zoo, EMP, ACT Theater, and hundreds of other local businesses, services and restaurants.Half of the sale proceeds go to Lowell, helping us pay for field trips, our Seattle Children's Theater drama program, technology equipment like iPads in our classrooms, an adapted music program for our special ed students, library books, classroom supplies, musical instruments and more.Books cost $20, smartphone aps are $15, or you can buy both for $30.
Printable order form available here.Order forms and payments must be returned to school by Monday October 14th. Checks should be made payable to PALS PTA.
Great Businesses, great discounts, and great programs for our school: what could be better?Thanks for supporting our kids and teachers through Lowell PTA!
Additional information on the Growth Boundaries Project, including maps of the draft revisions, data and Frequently Asked Questions, will be posted on the School Board website and also on the Growth Boundaries website http://bit.ly/GrowthBoundaries by Wednesday, Sept.18.
Ways to provide input and suggestions include:
* Attend a community meeting (session listed below).
* Comments and questions can be emailed to GrowthBoundaries@seattleschools.org. All comments will be reviewed, provided to board members and summarized. New questions will be added to the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Growth Boundaries website.
* Participate in the “Walk the Boundaries” project. Information and instructions are available on the district website.
There will be a Community Meeting on Monday, September 30, 2013, at 6:30-8pm at the Meany Building Lunchroom (300 20th Avenue East). Plan to attend, if your schedule permits to be part of this important dialogue and hear first-hand, and to share your thinking, about proposed Growth Boundary plans.
Why is this important for us at Lowell?
Proposed plans for Lowell:
· Implement a Spectrum program on campus
· Boundaries would extend west to both waterfronts
A complete review of the proposed Growth Boundaries presentation may be found here:
Curriculum Night is scheduled for Thursday, October 3, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. At this event, teachers will share with families an overview of their class, instruction, and priorities for the school year. Individual conferences will not take place during this time. Curriculum Night is for teachers to showcase what is happening in the classroom and to share their plans for the school year.
New Math Curriculum
This school year we have an opportunity to utilize a Common Core-aligned math curriculum, My Math (McGraw-Hill), as we deepen our teaching practices to address the rigors and complexity of Common Core State Standards. All K-5 classes will receive resources and professional development throughout the year from Jenny Arlt from McGraw-Hill School Education. Learn more about My Math at https://www.mheonline.com/mhmymath
To ensure an uninterrupted block of time for math instruction, we have implemented the following school-wide schedule for math:
· Grades K-2: 12:45-1:45pm (60 minutes)
· Grades 3-5: 1:00-2:00pm (60 minutes)
After reviewing diagnostic My Math assessments and coordinating with colleagues, grades K-2 teachers will facilitate math instruction in a centers-based instructional model; grade 3-5 teachers will facilitate math instruction based on a “Walk-to-Math” model, with supports being provided by a math specialist (Mr. D.) or special educational generalist (Ms. Janie). More information on the “Walk-To” model, as part of our Advanced Learning Opportunities (ALO) Plan, will be communicated in a future Friday Flyer.
Friday, September 27, 2013, the Lowell community will have the honor and privilege to participate in The HistoryMakers project. A presentation is scheduled for grade 3-5 students (but is open to the entire school community) and will begin at 10:30am in the cafeteria. Our featured guest will be business consultant, business professor and poet, Dr. Gloria Burgess
The HistoryMakers is a not-for-profit organization whose central mission is to conduct video oral histories of 5,000 HistoryMakers over the next five years and to establish an archive of unparalleled importance. With Back to School with The HistoryMakers, African American leaders go to local schools to share their lived experiences in order to provide instruction and inspiration to students. Many of our nation’s youth are forced to succumb to school districts that fail to address the issues of apathy, underachievement, and delinquency in schools. The values of education have always been at the core of The HistoryMakers’ mission, and it is their mission to engage the HistoryMakers to inspire young people across the nation. As a result, throughout the year HistoryMakers visit local school communities and classrooms across the country to provide a living example for today’s youth.
More information about The HistoryMakers is available here:http://www.thehistorymakers.com/
See detailed class and registration information for Fall 2013.
See detailed class and registration information for Fall 2013.
Moving forward, we are working to review and finalize class assignments as needed, based on updated enrollment information received from PowerSchools. Thank you for your patience in this process. Be advised that all students enrolled prior to July 1, 2013, were assigned a class and received notification via postal mail of their assignment along with a Welcome Letter from their teacher.