Islandwood is next week! November 13–16

It’s going to be a little quieter around school next week when our fifth-graders take off for Islandwood, a 250-acre outdoor learning center on Bainbridge Island. This extraordinary program is offered to elementary school students throughout the Puget Sound region.

This is not just a camping trip, as the Islandwood team reminded us at a recent parent-info night: Islandwood is school, and the work our students do there is completely integrated with the Lowell fifth-grade curriculum. Our fifth-graders will have the chance to learn about a variety of science topics, develop a sense of environmental stewardship, connect with and learn about the wildlife of our diverse bioregion, and work together to solve problems as they learn.

Our fifth-grade classes from Lowell are heading to Islandwood November 13-16! Even if you are not a fifth-grade parent, you can support our campers by donating a pillow, a blanket or sleeping bag, or a set of basic toiletries. (We could probably use five each of those.) Contact Ms. Laura if you can help—especially if you have any connection to a business that might be able to help—or if you missed the info night and have questions about the upcoming trip.

Veteran’s Day Assembly and Reception, Thursday (11/9)

Lowell would like to invite veterans in our community to come and be honored at an assembly and informal reception this Thursday, November 10. (There is no school on Friday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day.)

Veterans and their families are invited to attend a short reception at 2:15pm, followed by a school assembly from 2:50 to 3:20pm, where we will sing songs and a student will lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Veterans are invited to speak about their experiences if they wish.

For more information, email

A successful (and literate) harvest!

Thank you to everyone who came out Thursday for Harvest Festival/Literacy Night! We had about 100 people there for salsa lessons, pumpkin art, banh mis, free books from Ms. Katherine, and a fun, diverse lineup of literacy activities all over the school. Special thanks to all of our translators and Mr. Skeffington for hosting with a newly donated wireless microphone.

FYI, Ms. Katherine still had many books left at the end of the night—so she’s got enough for any kids who couldn’t make it to still get a free book. She’ll be making that happen in the library over the next couple weeks.

A pumpkin cat preparing to pounce….
(Thank you to M.C. who shared this great picture with us!)

Every cafeteria should have a dragon

Many thanks to Chris Sondreal (Theo’s dad) for the high-powered hefting and drill-bit mastery involved in getting our Lowell Dragon alighted (alit?) on the cafeteria wall. Make sure you check it out sometime!

According to a longtime student who was kibbitzing nearby, many “FIRE” tickets may get affixed to this eventually. Those reports are unconfirmed.

Dragon Tales: Harvest Festival, Chipotle “Dine Out”

[This post is a copy of the Dragon Tales newsletter sent 10/22. Sign up on this page to receive Dragon Tales in email.]

This Thursday at 5:30pm, it’s “Fall into Literacy and Fun!”

Also known as “Fall Harvest Festival” and “Literacy Night,” this is a great chance to hang out with other parents and staff, take a dance lesson with Coach T, eat free banh mi sandwiches (from the delicious Lan Hue), create some pumpkin art, and find cool ways to inspire your child to read—including a book giveaway!

Our fabulous teachers and staff have put together a ton of fun reading-based activities—story time with Mr. Skeffington, word games, music, art projects, and “Reader’s Theater” (perform as your favorite character!).

(Lan Hue has also promised to put the jalapeños and a bottle of Sriracha on the side—so you can have a completely non-spicy banh mi. Veggie options, too.)

See you this Thursday, 10/26, 5:30 to 7pm! Get there early, the dancing starts at 5:30.

Volunteers needed: If you can help set up or clean up, email

Continue reading “Dragon Tales: Harvest Festival, Chipotle “Dine Out””

The pride of the fleet!

We put out the call a little while back when the Lowell Food Pantry refrigerator had apparently given up the ghost—and now we’ve got a brand new one, the H.M.S. Frigidaire, pictured below humming away in the cafeteria!

Thank you to everyone who scrambled to find a fridge and look for alternate solutions—and a GIANT THANK-YOU to donor Kathy Cochran, who stepped up and got this beautiful new fridge.

If you’re not familiar with the Food Pantry, this is an ongoing program at Lowell, operated in partnership with the University District Food Bank. Each Friday, volunteers meet in the Lowell cafeteria after the start of school and help distribute weekend-meal bags for Lowell kids. Since over 60% of our students receive free or reduced cost lunch, and approximately a third are housing-insecure (living in shelters or other temporary housing), the Food Pantry is hugely important to us. For some of our kids, these food bags are their only reliable food over the weekend.

(If you’d like to volunteer to help the Food Pantry, contact

Want to help spread the word about Lowell?

When you’re talking to people outside of our school community, it often helps to have some quick facts about Lowell.

Our school has changed a lot in the last few years—it now *is* the downtown elementary school, with approximately a third of our kids living in homeless shelters or transitional housing (although that number fluctuates, given the instability of that population). Feel free to share this flier anywhere to help inspire support for Lowell.

Download the flier.

Dragon Tales: Picture Day, “Cookies with Colleen”

[This post is a copy of the Dragon Tales newsletter sent 10/15. Sign up on this page to receive Dragon Tales in email.]

Time to say cheese!

Don’t forget: Student pictures are this week! Monday (10/16) for pre-K and special ed, Tuesday (10/17) for the rest of K–5. If you haven’t received a picture packet, you should receive it Monday, or you can get one from the office.

As always, you can follow PTA news on Facebook and at—and if you ever have school-related news or events to share, email

Pies, pies, and more pies! Bring yours on 11/17

Do you love to bake pies? On Friday, November 17, we’ll be having our 4th Annual Pie Giveaway, sending pies home with every staff member at Lowell before the Thanksgiving holiday.

This event was created by Lowell parents who wanted to find a fun way to say “thank you.” You can bake or buy pies to contribute, any kind or flavor you like. (We need about 80 pies total!)

If you’d like to participate or have any questions, please email Andrea at or Jen at Thank you, Andrea and Jen, for coordinating this great event!

Continue reading “Dragon Tales: Picture Day, “Cookies with Colleen””