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Lowell Elementary School: Symphony of Learners, Living in Harmony
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News and Events

1st Dine Out Event of 14-15 is September 30th

ine out at Witness

Date: September 30, 2014
Time: 4:30-7:30pm
Location: 410 Broadway East

The owner of Witness, Gregg Holcomb (parent of a former Lowell student) has generously offered to donate 50% of all proceeds to Lowell during this Dine Out event. So... Come join the Lowell community, meet new friends and families, and help raise money for Lowell to support various activites and programs on campus.
5th Annual Back to School with The HistoryMakers

On Friday, September 26, 2014, Lowell students and staff will participate in The HistoryMakers 5th Annual Back to School program in which 400 leaders will visit 200 schools throughout the U.S. to inspire students to COMMIT to their own educational excellence.

The HistoryMakers, a national, non-profit educational organization, is committed to preserving, developing, and providing access to an archival collection of thousands of African-American video oral histories. With over 2,000 oral history interviews with both well-known and unsung African-Americans, The HistoryMakers is the nation's largest African American oral history collection of its kind.

The goals of the Back To School with The HistoryMakers program are to put Black Leaders (our HistoryMakers) in direct contact with young people all across the nation in efforts to accomplish the following:

·         Encourage commitment to student achievement, parental involvement, increased test scores, high school graduation, and successful college entry and matriculation.

·         Respond to the Obama Administration’s call for service in a real and meaningful way.

·         Bring African American leaders into schools to see things firsthand and speak to and hopefully motivate students directly.

·         Bring additional resources into the public school systems such as The HistoryMakers digital archive (www.thmdigital.thehistorymakers.com) of oral history interviews.

·         Raise awareness of the achievements of accomplished African Americans in their local communities.

Lowell intermediate students (grades 3-5) will be joined by two local HistoryMakers:  executive leadership professor, speaker, author and poet Dr. Gloria J. Burgess (returning for a second year to Lowell after serving as our first HistoryMaker last year) and physicist Dr. Warren W. Buck.

Learn more about The HistoryMakers here: http://www.thehistorymakers.com/


First Week of School Message: Dr. Smith

First Week of School Message

Message from Dr. Smith

The start of the 2014-2015 school year has been a great one. I am excited and energized because I work with such a dynamic staff and faculty. As I facilitate class meetings, observe instruction, engage in conversations with students, families, and teachers, I am energized about the possibilities and successes that await us this school year as we take our “boutique” school to new levels of excellence. We are growing. Last check our enrollment count was 284 students.

As I stated during the First Day Tea with families and during the Kindergarten Kick-off, this year it’s about Crossing the Line! As a staff we are making personal and collective commitments to challenge the status quo and to pass over mediocrity to have better results, better relationships and more opportunities—an uncomplicated understanding that should feed our every endeavor—consistently pushing us to give the extra effort in every task, action and effort we undertake.

As we complete the first full week of school, I have challenged the staff and faculty to ask ourselves two questions each day:

1. What did I do or say that had a positive impact on the life of a child?

2. How did I Cross the Line today to make a difference in the life of a child?

New Faces on Campus

There are a few new adult faces on campus this year. Please join me in welcoming these people to Lowell:

Jacquie Bowen (nurse)

Caroline Glusenkamp (special education teacher)

Nathan Hoch (5th grade teacher)

Na’Ceshia Holmes (principal intern)

Liz Kuykendall (kindergarten teacher)

Megan Miller (instructional assistant)

Mia Richkind (speech language pathologist)

Joy Southworth (reading specialist)

Alex Zigman (physical therapist)

On behalf of the Lowell community, I welcome each of these dedicated professionals to the Lowell Dream Team!

Staffing Update

We are still in search of a half-time resource room special education teacher. This is a new position.  The position has been advertised and will remain posted until filled. In the interim, we will work on securing a substitute. If you know of anyone that may be interested in this position, please refer them to the district website to submit an application.  

University of Washington Teacher Candidate Interns

Toni O’Neal (1st grade teacher) is our Ackerley Project Coordinator and she has played an integral role in working with the University of Washington to secure teacher candidate interns for this school year. Since the first days of school, these teacher candidate interns have been hard at work each day learning and working alongside their mentor teachers:

Rebecca Lefferts (working with Carly Nelson, Grade 3)

Allie Orme (working with Autumn Mittelstaedt, Grade 1)

Jessica Wahlund (working with Toni O’Neal, Grade 1)

Kera Lena Begeman (working with Kelly Lusnia, Grade 3/4)

In addition we have a City University Teacher Candidate:

Karen Giroux (working with Amy Forhan-Stocks, K-3 Special Education)

Mondays with Marion

I will continue to host informal conversations regarding any issue you feel needs to be addressed. I encourage you to attend and to bring potential solutions to any concerns, so that we are able to leverage our best thinking. My purpose is to listen with the intent of making our school a better place to play, learn and grow for our children. Please note meeting dates are subject to change. Refer to the Friday Flyer to keep informed of any changes. A few upcoming dates:

October 6, 2014, 6:00-7:00pm / Library

November 3, 2014, 9:35-10:35am / Library

December 1, 2014, 6:00-7:00pm / Library

Curriculum Night

Curriculum Night is scheduled for Tuesday, October 7, from 6:00-7:30pm. 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.

Fall MAP Testing

To obtain additional baseline academic data for our students in the areas of math and reading, and to assist with grade-level instructional planning, grades 1-5 may participate in Fall Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing. In addition, all grade 2 students will participate in literacy testing during the following: Sept. 28-Oct. 30. Speak with your child’s teacher, if you want to know more about these tests.  

New Math and Reading Curricula

All SPS Elementary Schools will implement a new math curriculum this school year: Math in Focus.

 To ensure an uninterrupted block of time for math instruction, we have implemented the following school-wide schedule for initial math instruction:

9:45-10:45 (60 minutes)

After reviewing diagnostic assessments and coordinating with colleagues, grade K-2 teachers will facilitate centers-based instruction; grades 3-5 will facilitate instruction based on a “Walk-to-Math” approach as/if needed. More information on our “Walk-To” instructional framework, as part of our Advanced Learning Opportunities (ALO) Plan and Spectrum framework will be communicated in a future Friday Flyer. NOTE: Instruction and learning is fluid. As a result, our instructional framework and instructional practices in classes will shift with the needs of our students.

In Literacy, Lowell has partnered with McGraw-Hill Education to serve as a 14-15 field test site. We are so excited to field test a new English Language Arts (ELA) Common Core State Standards literacy curriculum, Reading Wonders.

As a field-test site, we have received all materials (grades K-6), initial training, and will receive follow-up professional development (on-going supports) throughout the school year from our literacy and curriculum specialists to address our implementation needs.

Want to learn more about Reading Wonders? Check it out here. Click below to view this presentation:


ELL Services

With our boundary change, growth in enrollment and identified student needs, Lowell has been identified as an English Language Learners (ELL) service site for the 14-15 school year. What does this mean? ELL- identified students will receive support services during the school day from an ELL instructional assistant. In addition, we will receive on-going supports from the district ELL Department to work with staff on language acquisition, professional development, and translation/interpretation needs. As I learn more, I will communicate information to you.

“Learn to Earn” with Umpqua Bank Continues

This year Lowell will continue its partnership with Umpqua Bank’s “Learn to Earn” Program to promote financial literacy. Twice a month, bank representatives and volunteers will visit the school to accept students’ deposits into special savings accounts that can be opened with just $1. There are no minimum deposit amounts and statements are mailed home quarterly. Information about specific Banking Days and Times is forthcoming.

The Student Voice

Continuing this school year will be “D3: Desserts and Discussions with Dr. Smith.” Twice each trimester a different group of students will have an opportunity to meet with me in an informal yet structured setting to discuss what is happening at Lowell, from the student perspective. Students, nominated by their teacher(s), will be provided a safe space to speak openly, while offering solutions and different perspectives about a variety of issues and topics faced on our campus. Light snacks and refreshments will be served.

 Drop-Off and Pick-Up

Classes begin promptly at 9:30am. Children arriving after 9:30am must report to the cafeteria, sign in, and pick up tardy slips from the late arrival table. Please do not drop off children before 9:10am as supervision is not provided before then.

Our dismissal time is 3:40 pm. Every minute counts during our instructional day, so we discourage early pick-up of students after 3:15 pm. If you arrive for an early pick-up prior to 3:15 pm, you must sign the student out in the main office. Otherwise, you should meet your child at the wall near the playscape for students in Grades 1-5. Kindergarten students are dismissed in the playcourt area behind their classrooms.

Our after-school dismissal procedures have been refined and they are going well. We are pleased with how our teachers, staff, students, and families have responded to help us ensure students get on the correct bus routes home or are placed in the right hands after school. A special “shout out” to those who have worked with us regarding bus transportation.

Special Reminder: When dropping off or picking up your child, please do not block the personal driveways of our neighbors. Let's be good neighbors!

Should you have questions, comments, concerns, or want to talk, I have an open door policy, so feel free to stop by the school. In addition, I may be reached by telephone (206-252-3020) or by e-mail (mjsmithjr@seattleschools.org).

Your partner in education,

Dr. Marion Smith, Jr.


Volunteering at Lowell

Volunteers are very important to the school. There are some important steps that MUST be completed to volunteerl:

1. Fill out the volunteer application form in the office (also sent home in student folders).
2. Bring a copy of your driver's license to the office for a background check.
3. (New) Take the online training "Adult Sexual Misconduct Prevention-Online Course."  http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=307222

We look forward to seeing you on campus!

Advanced Learning Testing

If you woud like your child considered for Advanced Learning (as defined by Seattle Publilc Schools), fill out the form at http://bit.ly/1xPt2pj by October 2. Testing will be done later in the fall.

Information about Seattle Public Schools Advanced Learning process and testing was sent home in the First Day Packet and is also available in the school main office.
Chinook Book Sales

Your child will bring home an envelope to collect orders with a descriptive letter attached. Chinook Books are full of incredible savings throughout the Puget Sound region. You make up the cost of the book just by using the coupons at businesses you already frequent. The best part? Lowell gets 50% of each sale! Each student who turns in their order form by October 13th will be entered in a raffle to win two passes to the Pacific Science Center. The classroom that sells the most books will celebrate with a pizza party. If you have any questions or have a great idea to boost sales, contact Lowell PTA member Brenna Pink at brenna.pink@yahoo.com.
Back to School Events
It's almost time to head back to school, and there are two events coming up to know about.
We need volunteers! Lowell PTA has organized a classroom set up/building clean-up day for Tuesday, Sept. 2 from noon until 4 pm.  We have many teachers that are just now setting up their classrooms due to the construction that has been happening this summer. Please come for any amount of time that you can! There will be lots to help with.
The Lowell PTA is also sponsoring the annual "Back to School Welcome Tea" in the cafeteria on Wednesday, Sept. 3. Drop by after you drop off your kids for coffee and muffins, meet some of the PTA board members, and hear from Dr. Smith about this upcoming school year.
Back-to-School Picnic

Please save the date for our Back-to-School Picnic! 

August 26, 2014 (6-8pm)

Lowell playground and field (cafeteria in case of rain)

There will be pizza, drinks, nibbles, and entertainment! Bring a blanket or chairs and frisbees, balls, or other things to play with. Come catch up with old friends, make new ones, and get ready for school. We hope to see you and your family there!

August 1, 2014 Message

Lowell Families,

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 or Family Connections Conferences with all families individually in mid-late August/early September, 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 Seattle Public Schools.

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.


End of School Year Message from Dr. Smith

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.

Classroom Assignments

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.

Progress Reports

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 mjsmithjr@seattleschools.org. 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.


New Bell Schedule for 14-15
Dear Lowell Elementary Community-
Seattle Public Schools has finalized bell times – our start and end times – for the 2014-15 school year.
Starting in the fall, our school will start at 9:30am and students will be dismissed at 3:40pm. This is slightly different than our current school year. For those students riding the bus, the arrival time at school will be 9:15am and the departure time after school will start at 3:50pm.
These bell times are a result of changes to transportation for the 2014-15 school year, which the School Board approved on Feb. 5. We know changing bell times is not ideal; however the District at one point had 27 different start times for schools and now has three standard start times. Creating streamlined start and end times will allow the District to save about $2.7 million in transportation costs.
The full list of bell times for all schools next year is posted online at: http://bit.ly/2014-15belltimes.
Senator Jamie Pedersen Visits Lowell
Capitol Hill resident and Washington State Senator Jamie Pedersen (43rd District-Seattle) will visit Lowell on Tuesday, May 27. After his campus tour and classroom visits, he will speak with a few classes regarding the State Legislature. Let’s welcome Senator Pedersen to our school community in true Lowell style...with Two claps and a YeeHaw!
More about Senator Jamie Pedersen:
SPECIAL ED RESOURCE MIXER: Thurs, May 8, 5:30-6:30pm

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

ARTS SHOWCASE: Thurs, May 8, 6-7:30pm

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!

Staff Appreciation
Message from Dr. Smith:
This week we celebrated and recognized various members of the Lowell school community during National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5-9) and National Nurses' Day (May 7).
Those who can, DO...Those who can do more, TEACH!
In honor of our teachers, each day this week there were a few "treats" provided:
Monday: Breakfast Treats (courtesy of Top Pot Doughnuts) 
Tuesday: "Snack Packs" via PALS PTA + Catered Lunch
provided by administration 
Wednesday: Recognition Certificates
Thursday: Gift Cards- Blue Moon Burger (courtesy of owner Charlie Olson) + Office Max
Friday: Catered Lunch provided by PALS PTA 
In addition to celebrating our teachers, May 7th was
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! 
Reading Wonders
Reading Wonders is coming to Lowell for the 14-15 school year!
Lowell will partner with McGraw-Hill Education to serve as a 14-15 field test site. We are so excited to field test a new English Language Arts (ELA) Common Core State Standards literacy curriculum, Reading Wonders.
As a field-test site, we will receive all materials (grades K-6), initial training and follow-up professional development (on-going supports) throughout the school year to address our implementation needs.
Want to learn more about Reading Wonders? Check it out here. There will be an all-staff initial training session in May, as we continue to launch our professional development for the 14-15 school year.
Click below to view this presentation:
Lowell EASE updates for May - June
 Lowell EASE - a fun and innovative after-school program at Lowell Elementary School!  
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.
Supporting Lowell Has Never Tasted So Good!

Eat for Education at Coastal Kitchen
Please join us on Tuesday, April 29th from 5PM – 10PM at Coastal Kitchen (429 15th Avenue East) to raise money for Lowell Elementary School!
PALS PTA is partnering with Coastal Kitchen, which will be donating up to 50% of their profits to Lowell Elementary School to help us support our student programming and maximize opportunities for both students and staff. This evening is an excellent chance to hang out, meet each other and support our local Elementary School which meets the needs of a diverse community in our city’s most eclectic neighborhood. 
Math Night + Families Info Session About 14-15 School Year
Math Night is Thursday, March 6, 2014, at 6:00-7:30 pm in the cafeteria. In conjunction with this event, Dr. Smith will facilitate a 30-minute information and feedback session for families at 6:30-7:00 pm in the library regarding initial thinking and planning as the school launchs into the 14-15 school year.

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
Spectrum coming to Lowell in 2014-2015
The Lowell Elementary School Spectrum Program (to begin in the 2014-2015 school year) will meet the needs of advanced learners through 1. Various modes of instruction, 2. High intensity experiences involving immediate feedback, questions, challenge and supports from teachers, and 3. A variety of activities and instructional practices.

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.

Writing is the method we use to advance ourselves academically. It is not possible to write what we cannot think. Writing is a reflection of the thought process. It allows ourselves and others to understand what we know and don’t know so that we may work together toward better understanding. Writing about all academic subjects and sharing that writing with others helps us make huge academic leaps.
Teachers model effective learning process skills by discussing, writing, and editing along with and in view of their students. Students receive instruction in writing-to-learn strategies, the writing process, and timed writing. Students experience a writing program that stresses prewriting, drafting, responding, revising, editing and post-writing activities. This approach parallels the thinking process and allows students to clarify though and organize experience.  It provides a graphic representation of thought and enables students to review, revise, and extend thinking, often serving as a catalyst for cognitive jumps.
The writing strategies that are most necessary to the implementation of Spectrum at Lowell include Cornell notetaking, Learning Logs, letter writing, and essays. Students are taught Art Costa’s Model for Intellectual Functioning. They use these questions in their Cornell notes and in their learning groups. Helping students to develop these levels of Inquiry prepares students for more rigorous coursework. Guided by teachers, students involved in project-based learning (PBL) activities are led through a range of thinking processes which are based on the assumption that students need not acquire one type of thinking before progressing to another. In PBL groups, students work through the different problems or questions. Time is given for discussion that helps them to “pull their thoughts together” to reflect on how their work relates to major course concepts. Socratic dialogue is routinely used to help students engage in all levels of critical thinking, pursue understanding with mutual respect and be willing to be persuaded by arguments and/or evidence more powerful than their own.
Collaboration is promoted by providing a forum in which students are simultaneously nurtured and challenged. Whether they are working in study groups or sharing their writing in reader-writer workshops or readarounds, students know they can trust other students to both support their learning and to provide another source of feedback and new ideas. Students are taught to debrief their group efforts in Learning Logs, articulating both what they have learned and what they hope to do more effectively the next time they are together. Collaboration augments one’s learning and illustrates the power of synergy.
Reading provides a basis for instruction in the Spectrum program model. Students receive instruction in reading-to-learn strategies to access rigorous curriculum. Students are exposed to reading from a sociological perspective, as they read the words on the page (as they read and interpret the world in which they live).
WIC-R Methodology Overview:
·         Prewrite
·         Draft
·         Respond
·         Revise
·         Edit
·         Final Draft + Publication
·         Dialectical Journals
·         Learning Logs
·         Costa’s Levels of Questioning
·         Socratic Seminar
·         Project-Based Learning Units of Instruction
.         Quickwrite Discussions / Intro to "Sociological Imagination"
·         Group Projects
·         Study Groups
·         Jigsaw Activities
·         PREP (Prepare, Read, Evaluate, Practice) strategies
·         Reciprocal Teaching
·         Think Alouds
·         Reader Response
·         Vocabulary Building
Carpe Diem String Quartet Comes to Lowell!

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.

Open Enrollment for 14-15 starts Feb. 24th
Seattle Public Schools families who want to request a different school or program assignment for the 2014-15 school year should submit a “choice application” during Open Enrollment, which runs from Feb. 24-March 7, 2014.
Open Enrollment applies only to those families wanting their student to attend a different school or program – or to those who did not enroll their soon-to-be-kindergartener (or other new student) during the early enrollment process. Parents of students who are already attending Seattle Public Schools or participated in early enrollment will receive a letter right before Open Enrollment starts with next year’s assignment. 
“While our Student Assignment Plan focuses on placing students in their attendance area school, it also provides opportunities for families to request a different school or program for their student, such as Montessori, International, Spectrum or APP,” said Faauu Manu, John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence (JSCEE) Service Center Manager.
Students don’t need to participate in Open Enrollment unless a change of school or program is desired. All students who want to enroll in a different school/program must submit a school choice application, which will be available from Feb. 24-March 7, 2014. All forms must be returned either in person or online to Seattle Public Schools by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 7, 2014.
If there are more applicants than seats available for a particular school, program and/or grade, then certain tiebreakers are used to determine which students are selected. If there is not a seat available for an applicant, then that student is placed on a waiting list and contacted if space becomes available.
Students who do not apply during Choice Open Enrollment may still submit a choice application later. However, fewer seats will be available after Open Enrollment.
After Sept. 30, all waitlists dissolve and school transfers are not permitted, with few exceptions. (Exceptions may include a change of address, or if a student requires English Language Learner or Special Education services not available at his or her current school.

For more information on enrollment services, visit www.seattleschools.org/enrollment.
Seahawks Parade + Attendance
February 4, 2014
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.

Thank You, Captain Mike!

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.

Dine Out for Lowell- February 4th
The Lowell PALS PTA is excited to introduce our first Dine Out for Lowell event on Tuesday, February 4, 2014, at Barrio Mexican Kitchen and Bar (1420 12th Avenue, between Pike and Union). Treat yourself to a delicious meal at Barrio on February 4th; tell your server you’re dining out for Lowell, and a percentage of the price of your meal will go to fund valuable programs and services here at our school. Great food for a great cause!

Before School Hoops® by One on One Basketball
 Join One on One Basketball at Lowell Elementary for Before School Hoops®, an ideal introduction to the most dynamic sport in the world.   Our instructors will not only teach your child athletic fundamentals through progressive drills, engaging cardio and fun competitions, but we will use these fundamentals as a platform to teach life-skill lessons that reinforce positive attitudes about effort, respect, cooperation and self-control.  Before School Hoops® makes three guarantees: your child will learn, sweat and have fun!

ST Math at Home

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!
January and February Elementary After School Enrichment Programs
The current schedule for January and February’s Elementary After School Enrichment program is available.  All classes run January 6th to February 28th and are from 3:45 to 4:45 pm.  

Registration for all classes and activities will begin December 18th!  Please remember to register early!

View the full brochure here.


Upcoming School Tours
2014-2015 School Tours Schedule

Lowell is a hidden treasure in Seattle Public Schools!  You may have heard about all the great things happening at our "boutique" school. Here is an opportunity for the community to learn more about our dynamic school and to see it first-hand.  Spread the word!
* Tours for prospective Lowell families have been scheduled for Monday, January 13, 2014 and Monday, February 10, 2014. Tours will be conducted at (9:30-10:30 am) and (1:00-2:00 pm). These day tours are for adults only!
An evening Open House for families and students will be held on Friday, February 7, 2014 at 5:30 pm, in conjunction with a school-wide Culture/Heritage Night Celebration that will begin at 6:00pm.
Each tour will begin in the school library with a brief overview of the school presented by Principal Smith. Families will then break into small groups led by current Lowell parents and student leadership members to tour the school; this includes classroom visits during the daytime tours.
To make a reservation to participate in a school tour, please contact Christi McGrath, office assistant, at (206) 252-3020 or email her at crmcgrath@seattleschools.org.


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.
In addition, Principal Rania informed the school community that we will have a school-wide ice cream dance party, prior to winter break!
The next Principal-for-the-Day opportunity will be March 2014 (end of Trimester 2). 
School Board Approves New Boundaries for 2014-2015
At the Nov. 20, 2013 Board meeting, the Seattle School Board approved various boundary changes (Growth Boundaries) for 2014-15 as the first step in addressing overcrowded schools.

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:

Elementary/K-8 Schools

Fairmount Park (new!)
Schmitz Park
Green Lake
John Hay


(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.
2013-2014 School Report + Continuous School Improvement Plan (C-SIP)

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.  

Raise money for Lowell by eating at Menchies!
When you go to Menchies frozen yogurt between November 17-24, 20% of your purchase goes to support Lowell students! 
Share this flyer with friends and family - or just have them mention Lowell when ordering for Lowell to receive the 20%.
Lowell EASE updates for Nov.-Dec.
Lowell EASE - a fun and innovative after-school program at Lowell Elementary School!  
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.

Fit for Life Challenge with Jared from Subway!
Friday, October 25th, grade 3-5 classes will participate in a 30 minute assembly  in the cafeteria to kick-off Subway’s Fit for Life 15 Day Challenge. Our host will be Subway's own, Jared Fogle! 

We’ve been registered, now it’s time to GET FIT!

Chinook Book Fundraising Wrap-up
The Chinook books were sent home with your child on Tuesday, October 15th, for all orders that were received by Monday, October 14.

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! 

Chinook Book Fundraiser through 10/14.
 Save Money, Shop Local and Support Lowell:  Buy a Chinook Book!
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!
Proposed Growth Boundaries
 At the Tuesday, Sept. 17 School Board work session, draft attendance area boundaries revisions (Growth Boundaries) for elementary and middle schools will be presented to School Board directors.


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

Curriculum Night

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.

The HistoryMakers Project

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:

Upcoming Events
Additional Links

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