Lowell Elementary

Lowell Elementary School


Lowell Elementary School

Lowell Elementary is a magical place where students from all over the world with a diversity of strengths and challenges come together with staff each day to learn and grow academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. Lowell’s attendance zone includes students who live on the west side of Capitol Hill and students who live in downtown Seattle (South Lake Union/Belltown, south to the International District).

Our school population includes students on track to meet and/or exceed standard; students with mild to significant disabilities; students who together, speak over 30 different languages; students eligible for free/reduced lunch,  students/families who are homeless and/or in traditional housing, and students who are advanced learners. We are truly an urban school, with all that an urban school has to offer.

Inclusion is a core value for our school staff and community. Lowell is an SPS “Early Adopter” school, working with the Novak Group focused the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), including implementation of Restorative Practices. We use the Common Core standards to guide our instructional practices and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to guide our work in supporting student social, behavioral, and emotional learning. To be responsive to the needs of the whole child, our work is structured through an Integrated Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS).

Here are some things that our staff prioritizes as we work together to support Universal Design and inclusion:

  • Intentional and detailed comprehensive scheduling that supports inclusion, including grade-level “WIN” (What I Need) time for differentiated learning opportunities
  • Students engaged in core content with clear learning objectives linked to grade level standards
  • Co-teaching and co-planning 
  • Focus on student engagement and positive relationships
  • Flexible methods and differentiated instruction
  • Adult collaboration, including intentional grade-level release time for peer observation, data analysis, professional learning, and planning
  • GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design) strategies

We strive each day to close the Opportunity Gap, see our work through an equity lens, and dedicate ourselves to forming positive relationships with each student and family who walks through our school doors.

Our History

Lowell building
  • 1890: School opened and was named the Pontius School
  • 1891: Renamed Columbia School
  • 1910: Renamed Lowell School honoring James Russell Lowell, 19th century poet, scholar and diplomat from Massachusetts
  • 1973: New playground facilities installed making Lowell the first school in the nation with a play area designed to allow equal access for students with disabilities
  • 1997-2011: The Accelerated Progress Program (APP) and programs for students with significant disabilities operated in the building
  • 2011-2012 we became a neighborhood and downtown area school, serving a diverse student population


Approximately 365 students attend kindergarten through grade 5 classrooms at Lowell Elementary. We also welcome many AM and PM preschoolers enrolled in our developmental preschool, medically fragile preschool, and Headstart preschool programs.

For the 2023-24 school year we have three kindergarten classrooms, three first grade classrooms, three second grade classrooms, three third grade classrooms, three fourth grade classrooms, and two fifth grade classrooms. We will add additional kindergarten and first grade sections in 24-25.

Special Education services include a Resource Room, two Focus programs, two Distinguished classrooms (referred by the District as “Distinct”), and one Aspire classroom for students with significant disabilities (medically fragile).  We have three special education preschool programs, including extended day programming (PCIS), serving different student groups in the AM and PM.

A significant percentage of our students are multilingual, come from all over the world, and represent many races and ethnic groups. At this time, we have students and families who speak Amharic, Portuguese, Apache, Tagalog, Russian, Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Chuukese, Tigrinya, Somali, Oromo, Vietnamese, Farsi, Thai, French, Toishanese, Lingala, Fula, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Mandingo, Marathi, Sindhi, Marshallese, Maya-Quiche, and Oromo.

Our Mission

At Lowell Elementary School, we guide students’ academic and emotional success and self-efficacy by creating an inclusive and equitable community. We collaborate to build trust through universal practices while holding high expectations for each of our learners.

Our Vision

At Lowell, our students are joyful and resilient critical thinkers who advocate for themselves and others and solve problems facing their communities.  

  • We teach and learn from each other in an environment that is consistently inclusive, safe, and anti-racist, centering black and brown voices and experiences.  
  • We develop and nourish partnerships between our school staff, families, and community to ensure students’ strengths and interests are encouraged and empowered so that they have full access to the highest levels of learning. 
  • We center the voices and experiences of Black and Brown staff members to build trust and repair harm through restorative justice.