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    Principal Talbot Update August 2020
    Posted on 08/12/2020
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    Hello Dragons,

    The school year is coming! It’s the most exciting time of the year, and we’re thinking about the many new and exciting things happening at Lowell.

    The theme of this year is “agency”. Agency is a term that writer Zoretta Hammond used to describe the combination of independence, connection to others, determination, and joyful curiosity that drives some students to learn at high levels no matter what circumstances they’re in. We know that this quality can be grown in our students, and we know that with busy families and far away teachers, our students need agency now more than ever.

    Agency is more that the skills students need to get themselves up and to a class meeting every morning. It’s also the excitement of getting to go to a class meeting! The joy of hopping online with friends to explore a new book, learn a new song, or play a math game together. We hope that this year we can work together to have high expectations for students. We know that means having high expectations for ourselves as well.

    We’ve been working this summer on getting better at our work, and it’s shaping up to be an exciting new online learning experience for our students this year! We have a new program where students will find their class work. Last year we all used Schoology, and this year, we’re switching to Seesaw. It’s a lot simpler to use than Schoology for our youngest students without losing any of the options for our more mature learners. We’re pretty excited to get started using it. Here’s a website where you can explore if you like:

    We plan to start school on September 2, but that is still under discussion as leaders consider adding extra professional development days at the beginning of the year. Our school board is meeting today to make decisions about schedules and other important details of our work.

    We will be getting devices for all our students at the start of the year. Grades K-2 will have IPads, and 3-5 will have laptops. The devices are scheduled to arrive in early September, but with supply chains heavily impacted by COVID, we may see delays. Students are welcome to use the devices they got last year or devices they already own at home.

    The district has hosted many wifi signup events this summer. More information about internet for students.

    We have a few new faces joining us this year, and a couple of familiar faces in new positions.

    • Johanna Jing will be joining our third grade team.Johanna is a recent graduate of the Seattle Teacher Residency.
    • Cathron (Cate) Johnson is joining us teaching in our preschool program.She joins us from Bailey Gatzert, where she worked in a similar position.
    • Lillian Tharp is also joining preschool from Bailey Gatzert, where she worked with Cate.She’ll be running our PCIS preschool program next year!
    • Angel Rozetta will be joining us as an Instructional Assistant from Bailey Gatzert’s preschool team as well!
    • Andrew Brown will be joining us as an Instructional Assistant from Decatur, where he’s been a Resource team IA.
    • Paul Tran will be joining the second grade team after gaining much wisdom in Ms. Comings and Ms. Rae’s classes.
    • Toby Steers will be our new Focus teacher in 3-5 after having substituted for Ms. Giroux in Focus K-2 last year!
    • Karen Adepoju will be our new nurse. She joins us from outside of schools in the medical field. She’s amazing!

    In other good news, we got not one, but TWO new grants to start up our School Based Health Clinic. We secured a grant from King County Health through their levy, which will allow us to build a sustainable partnership with Odessa Brown Children’s at Lowell! Additionally, the Kaiser Foundation has granted startup funds to allow us to serve adults in our clinic in partnership with the Country Doctor Clinic. There has been a lot of work on the space this summer, and we should be good to open sometime next year. We promise we won’t serve your child at the clinic without your permission and involvement – more about ways to sign up to use the clinic will be coming soon.

    It’s been said many times that these are unprecedented times. I would say that with these unprecedented times come unprecedented opportunities to become something we have never been before; help every child learn at high levels and thrive. Let’s do it together; let’s do it now.

    Be Well,

    Sarah Talbot, Principal
    Lowell Elementary School