We are going to vote on our budget and standing rules Monday Sept 17th at the General PTA meeting. Here are draft versions.
Hello Dragon Families,
I am so glad to have students at school! We’ve been having a great time together! I wanted to share a little bit about our school improvement plans and how they fit with our district’s strategic plan.
The Seattle Public Schools Strategic Plan asks us to improve student-focused collaboration. We know that at Lowell, we need to do great work together because none of us alone can meet the needs of all the students we serve. We are using a process called Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (or MTSS) to accomplish this goal together. MTSS is a process in which we examine every student’s progress in reading, math, and social and emotional well-being. We do this work in teams 4 times a year.
In order to know how students are doing, we have an assessment calendar that includes measures for math, reading, and SEL skills. We’ve designed a consistent agenda for MTSS processes and expectations for data collection. We have developed a model for students to receive interventions based on the information we collect, and to cycle out of interventions when they’ve grown and are successful.
We’ve also blocked 40 minutes each morning for SEL instruction for each grade level. We will ensure that every student learns emotional self-regulation and social skills in their class with their peers. When students are having reading, math, emotional or behavior problems, we will help them a little more during other times of the day. We will partner with parents to make sure we know what works best for the student and that we are working together. We might do a reading group, a small math team, a check in and check out, a scheduled break, or a social group with our counselor or a teacher. We believe that if we work systematically and collaboratively, that we can understand the story, strength, and need of every student and meet the needs of every student at Lowell!
[This post is a copy of the Dragon Tales newsletter sent 6/5. Sign up on this page to receive Dragon Tales in email.]
It’s hard to believe school is almost over! There’s still a lot happening, though, before the last day of school on June 22. Read on for the latest….
Get moving for Move-a-thon, this Friday, June 8
Move-a-thon is this Friday, June 8! Hopefully you already got the information and pledge sheets, but if not stop by the office. This is our one fundraising event of the year that gives our kids a chance to pitch in and help Lowell.
If you want to volunteer to help, it’s not too late! Just email our valiant Move-a-thon coordinator (and longtime Lowell teacher) Kelly Lusnia, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Probably pretty excellent PTA General Meeting, June 12
Come to our last general PTA meeting for 2017–18, on Tuesday, June 12, 6:30–8:00 pm! Dinner is served at 6pm, and childcare is covered. It’s been a busy year (right? SRSLY!), and we should all celebrate.
If you want to be involved with Lowell next year, this is your chance to find out how you can help. There are many ways to pitch in, big and small. Our new principal, Dr. Sarah Talbot, will be there—so if you haven’t gotten to meet her, here’s your chance.
In case you missed it, here’s the hello email sent by Dr. Sarah Talbot, our new principal starting next year. We’re excited to welcome her to Lowell! If you have questions and missed today’s “meet and greet” in the library, feel free to find Nick or Maria, who interviewed Sarah as parent respresentatives on the hiring committee.
Dear Lowell Community,
I am thrilled to introduce myself as the newest member of the Lowell Community. I applied to Lowell because it is a unique and special place, and I am really excited to have the privilege of being chosen to lead here.
I bring with me 22 years of experience as an educator, and a broad experience across a variety of levels and kinds of schools. I have a doctorate in educational leadership from Seattle University. I’ve worked with students from pre-k to graduate level and have led in all levels of public schooling. This broad experience gives me an understanding of where elementary school is situated in the work of helping children gain the skills and knowledge they need to have the successful adulthoods they deserve.
Lowell is the perfect place for students to learn to lead in ways that are good for them and good for the people around them. Our schools are funded by our taxes so that our democracy can have a productive, educated electorate who lead our community and our nation. With a mix of families that is close to representing our nation as a whole, students at Lowell get a perfect chance to practice communicating across cultures and different life experiences. They have the opportunity to learn to build thriving relationships with the people in their community. This is a special place for students and the adults lucky enough to work with them; I can’t wait to get started.
I am finishing up the school year before I officially start at Lowell, but I will be announcing a few events for families and staff to get to know me and for me to get to know you. I want to have a deep knowledge of what our strengths are as a community and what our next steps might be. One of my goals will be to revisit our mission and vision; I want to include those qualities we truly want our students to leave our school with – I know I want them to have a sense of wonder, a joy for learning, strong relationships, and the academic skills to put those to good use. I can’t wait to hear what you and they want for their futures and to begin the joyous work of getting there.
We want to give huge thanks to the Montlake PTA, whose membership recently voted to donate 5% of their projected revenue in 2018–19 ($10,300!) to Lowell Elementary.
Montlake is just over the hill from Lowell, and the Montlake PTA wanted to help Lowell as a Title I (high poverty) school within the same Meany Middle School cluster—i.e., many of our kids are and will be classmates together at Meany.
With our many challenges and high turnover rate (in addition to 65% of Lowell students qualifying for Free and Reduced Lunch, upwards of 30% are homeless and 40% leave within the school year), Lowell doesn’t have the ability to fund-raise within our school community at the level of Montlake and other schools, so this gift really makes a big difference.
Let’s all keep working towards the day that all of our schools are funded adequately—but in the meantime, thank you to the Montlake PTA for showing solidarity and helping us work toward equitable funding!
[This post is a copy of the Dragon Tales newsletter sent 5/2. Sign up on this page to receive Dragon Tales in email.]
It’s hard to believe there are less than eight weeks left of school! But we’ve still got a lot of stuff coming up.
This Thursday (TOMORROW!): Dine Out at Southpaw for Lowell
We’re very excited to get Lowell love this Thursday from Southpaw, the cozy pizza place near Seattle U created by chef (and James Beard award winner!) John Sundstrom.
Enjoy some delicious wood-fired pizza and soft-serve ice cream on Thursday, and a portion of the proceeds will go to Lowell! Southpaw is right on 12th Avenue, between Spring and Marion (926 12th Ave).
As one reviewer says: “It’s the very first pizza I’ve had in Seattle that comes even close to the pizza I grew up with in NJ. Wow! I’m blown away.”
Appreciate your teachers (always, but especially) next week!
Our teachers are the heroes of our school. They give so much, all the time, to make sure that our kids have what they need. So we want to thank them!
Thanks to Ms. Shelby working together with the music teacher at Stevens, the Tractor Tavern will be hosting a Monday Night Square Dance fund-raiser for the Lowell music program!
It’s a Traditional Square Dance and Two Stepping night with an instructor who teaches you how to swing your partner to and fro. All skill levels welcome!
Here are the details:
Mon Apr 23 2018, 8:00 PM (Doors 7:30 PM)
Tractor, 5213 Ballard Avenue NW Seattle, WA 98107
$7.00, Ages 21+
[This post is a copy of the Dragon Tales newsletter sent 3/27. Sign up on this page to receive Dragon Tales in email.]
Happy spring, everyone!
A big thanks to all the families who came out to Morfire for our Dine-Out event earlier this month. We raised nearly $1,000 for Lowell Elementary. (And the kids loved the cotton candy machine!)
Heritage Night this Thursday at Lowell, 5–7pm
Teachers and students have been working hard to put together this event for families. Please join us! In addition to the potluck dinner (feel free to bring a favorite dish to share), we’ll also have pizza for the kids. Here’s the schedule:
5 – 5:30 Tour
5:30 Drum circle to call dinner
5:30 – 6:30 Potluck dinner
6:30 – 7 Performances in the cafeteria by Lowell Students and the Gansago Drumming Ensemble
5th Grade Promotion Party
The 5th Grade Promotion Party is looking for parent coordinators! Ms. Laura posted this message in the Lowell Parents group on Facebook, just passing it along in case you missed it:
“This is a friendly ask from the 5th grade team at Lowell regarding 5th grade promotion. In the past, parent volunteers have planned a picnic lunch at volunteer park for the 5th grade class, and helped with graduation set-up, food and decorations. I know it’s just March, but I wanted to put it out there for interested families to start thinking about. Promotion to middle school is a big deal and deserves to be celebrated! We cannot make this day special without the help of families. Let me know if you are interested/ able to help!”
You can email Ms. Laura at email@example.com.
[This post is a copy of the Dragon Tales newsletter sent 2/25. Sign up on this page to receive Dragon Tales in email.]
Welcome back after Mid-Winter Break!
Hope your family has enjoyed the break! And once again, thanks to all the families that came to the Valentine’s Dance earlier this month. If you took a photo in the photo booth, watch for a print sometime after break. (Thanks to Chris Sondreal, Theo’s dad, for donating the printing and all-pro booth skills.)
THREE DAYS! THIS WEEK! Dine-Out to support Lowell at Morfire, March 1–3
Capitol Hill’s own Thai hot pot restaurant, Morfire, will be donating 20% of all proceeds from Thursday, March 1 to Saturday, March 3.
WHAT?! That’s amazing, and we’re so thankful to Morfire. No fliers or reservations necessary, just come with the family, enjoy some delicious Thai hot pot or small plates, and support Lowell Elementary! You can see their whole menu here.
Check out the event on Facebook so you’ll get a reminder—and, even more importantly, so you can easily share with friends. The more people go to Morfire those days, the more money Lowell can raise.
New interim principal
All families received a notice earlier this month about Dr. Stump taking a leave of absence until further notice. The PTA board has been involved with and following these developments very closely. If you have questions about this change or want to share thoughts or information about your child’s experiences at Lowell this year, come find a PTA board member at pickup/dropoff or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll have an experienced interim principal starting tomorrow, Jo Lute-Ervin. She’s the recently retired principal of Kimball Elementary School, and she has since subbed for and with principals at several elementary schools around the district.