Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Making Higher Education More Affordable

Yesterday, President Obama signed a historic piece of legislation aimed at reforming higher education and the student loan system. According to President Obama, these reforms will make college more affordable and enable more Americans to earn a college degree.

The White House Blog has posted a great video featuring Dr. Jill Biden, a life-long educator, that answers many questions families may have on this legislation.

To read more, and view the video, click here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Superintendent's Corner: Professional Learning Communities in the Lowell Public Schools

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Chris Scott's Superintendent's Corner:

The work that we have done in the district to establish professional learning communities which focuses on collaboration at every grade level in order to improve student achievement is the key to our school reform efforts. Educators are given the opportunity to collectively pool their professional skills in order to analyze the data and determine the most appropriate instructional strategies for their students.

We are establishing the “cycle of inquiry” at every grade level so that educators have the opportunity to have professional conversations about teaching and learning. We believe that we will be able to continue to move our district forward because our focus has been and will continue to be on building internal capacity through the on-going promotion of healthy professional learning communities.

This work has received both national and state recognition by the American Federation of Teachers [AFT]. Please refer to our district’s blog: where this story is posted, as it appears on the front page of the AFT Massachusetts journal The Advocate March 2010.

As many have heard me say “Lowell Public Schools is the coolest Urban School District” and we have many reasons to be proud – this successful initiative is just another example.

To see the full issue of the Superintendent's Corner as well as previous copies, please visit our website at

If you are linking to this blog through our website, the actual address is:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Informing and Engaging Our Parents and Families

Today's eSchool News features an article about the new ways schools are using technology and social media sites to reach out to and inform parents.

According to the study from the Pew Internet and American Life project, while 99 percent of American adults access news daily, only 7 percent use just one media platform to do so. The majority—six in ten Americans—use a combination of online and offline sources.

How can we capture parents attention to inform them about important school news?

The gist of the article is that schools should use a variety of platforms to meet and engage today's stakeholders.

Read the article here.

Open Lowell Pools This Summer

Would you like to see the city's pools open again this summer for Lowell's children?

Eastern Bank and the City of Lowell are teaming up to raise $50,000 to open the swimming pools in Lowell for the summer. For every dollar you donate, the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation will match it, until the goal of $50,000 is met. Your donation will give families and children a safe place to go during the hot days of summer, and help create jobs for local lifeguards.

Head to the Eastern Bank website for more information or to make a donation.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Great Debate

The Lowell Public Schools was again mentioned in a major publication last week when Newsweek published an article about the "Great Debate," entitled, Are Teacher's Unions the Problem or the Solution? The debate featured Kate McLaughlin, Bailey School Teacher and Executive Vice President of the United Teachers of Lowell.

Check out the article.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Reading Streak

Everyone knows about the importance of reading to and with your children. But how committed are we to reading each and every night? One father and his daughter had a long streak of reading together. Read the incredible story in today's New York Times by clicking here.

Our Literacy and Instructional Specialists continuously review and revise summer reading programs when necessary. How much will your child read this summer? Have you made it a family goal to read together?

LHS Headmaster Search Continues

The business community is helping the Lowell Public Schools in search for Headmaster at Lowell High School.

Click here to see the recent article in the Lowell Sun.

Friday, March 19, 2010

2010 Kathryn Stoklosa Knowledge Bowl Winner

Congratulations and Kudos to the Daley Middle School Knowledge Bowl Team and Coaches.

A great round of competition last night featured the Daley, Wang and Sullivan Middle Schools in the final match.

After a number of close rounds, the Daley School earned 1st place. This year’s second place team was the Wang School and third place went to the Sullivan School.

The coaches of this year’s winning team are Ellen Louise Naser and Marsha Downey. Members of the Championship Team included Nana Adu, Kaley Bachelder, Francesca Cigliano, Alex Karabatsos, Hannah Karabatsos, Meghan McAnespie, Jeremiah Menyongai, Tyler Sar, Ralph Skinner and Thomas Skinner.

The Lowell Public Schools wishes to congratulate and thank the students, staff and parents of the Daley School and all participating schools.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What's Happening on LET 22?

Lowell Educational Telelevision

LET 22 Viewing Schedule and Monthly Newsletter can be found by clicking here. This month's newsletter even features a snippet about this blog!

Have you seen the new advertisement for our blog and other Lowell Public Schools happenings on LET 22?

LET 22 is your source for School Committee Meetings, school happenings and an exciting new "Reading to your Children," series. Check it out.

Kathryn P. Stoklosa Knowledge Bowl Update

Knowledge Bowl 2010 Semi Final Matches were held on March 15th and 16th.

The Wang and Robinson Schools, Semi Final Winners, and the Sullivan Middle School, the highest scoring team, go on to the Finals on March 18th.

Dr. Chris Scott, Superintendent of Schools and Connie A. Martin, School Committee Member, will judge competition on March 18th. This match starts at 6:30, promptly, at the Benjamin F. Butler Middle School. Congratulations and good luck to all student participants and coaches.

Thank you to all families for their participation in the 2010 Knowledge Bowl.

In Our Own Back Yard

This is a quick reminder, that some of the greatest museums, art studios and cultural centers are right in our own back yard.

Many local artists and museums participate in the Lowell Public Schools Fine Arts Pathway.

Visit the Culture is Cool website to contact local artists, museums and cultural organizations.
Lowell's Museums

Lowell Public Schools Teachers to Host Fifth Annual Benefit for Breast Cancer Research & Awareness

Lowell Public Schools Teachers Kathy Woods and Kathy Ramirez will again host their Fifth Annual Comedy Night Event for Breast Cancer Research & Awareness.

This event takes place on March 18th, at 6:30, at Lenzi's, 820 Merrimack Ave., Dracut, MA. For more information, please email

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Over 200 Participants Already Registered for "The Refugee Experience: A Practical Training for Working with Newcomers"

Register Now!

The Refugee Day Training for educators, social service, mental health, medical professionals and other refugee service providers is fast approaching. Over 200 individuals across the Commonwealth have registered for this training! The event will take place at Middlesex Community College in Lowell on Friday, March 19 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.

In order for us to increase our understanding of refugee life and our capacity to better meet the needs of refugee students, the following organizations are partnering on this event: Lowell Public Schools, Middlesex Community College, Lowell YWCA, Department of Children and Families, International Institute of Lowell, and Lutheran Social Services of New England.

For more information and to register, please visit the Lowell Public Schools Home Page.

UMass Lowell, UTEC, LTC and Others Partner in Broadband Access Project

Could the entire Downtown Lowell become the newest Wi-Fi Hotspot?

Potentially, with the new grant funded project announced in the Boston Globe today.

UMass Lowell, United Teen Equality Center, Lowell Telecommunications Corporation and others are partnering in a project to expand broadband access. See the article on the Boston Globe website by clicking here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Citywide Parent Council Meeting Next Monday

Monday, March 22nd, 2010 at 7pm
Citywide Parent Council Meeting
Lowell High School Little Theatre

Showcase of Lowell High School Academies

Denise O'Connor, Coordinator of Smaller Learning Communities at LHS will present Academy Showcase, a video developed by the Lowell High School Communications Academy and give a brief overview of smaller learning communities.

The Citywide Parent Council encourages parents of middle school students to attend this informational session.

For more information call or email Joe Longtin, CPC Chair at 978-452-1846 or

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

AFT Advocate Features Article about Dr. Scott and Paul Georges and the work of the Lowell Public Schools

This month's AFT Advocate features an article about the Lowell Public Schools. The article summarizes Dr. Scott's work in Lowell and with the United Teachers of Lowell, beginning with the "school house visits" Dr. Scott began conducting two years ago with UTL President Paul Georges.

Last winter, a team from the Lowell Public Schools, consisting of teachers and school district representatives, traveled to an intensive training conducted by the AFT's Center for School Improvement Leadership. Professional Learning Communities across our district are a part of the culture in the Lowell Public Schools. Looking at student performance data in an extremely focused way in our PLCs is an authentic and meaningful approach. The Lowell Public Schools continuously holds such workshops that have trained hundreds of teachers and paraprofessionals across our district.

The goal of this work is to give teachers and others the tools to interpret student performance data and act on what they've learned about their students. The AFT article goes on to describe how teachers feel valued and have the support necessary to tackle the challenging work like never before.

According to 2009 MCAS testing data, students in Lowell showed more growth in Math than students in any other urban district in the state. As for student growth in English Language Arts, Lowell came out in the top third among urban districts statewide.

This is good news for the Lowell Public Schools, for the teachers and staff and families of Lowell who rely on us to best educate their children each and every day.

To read the complete article, click here.

Knowledge Bowl Update

At last night’s Katherine P. Stoklosa Knowledge Bowl Competition, the Stoklosa, Wang and Bartlett Schools participated in an Elimination Match. The Wang School took 1st place with a score of 210, the Stoklosa took 2nd with 195, and the Bartlett 3rd with 120 points.

The Wang and Stoklosa Schools will move into the Semi-Final Rounds next week.
Join us next week as we head into the Semi-Finals! On Monday March 15th the Sullivan, Robinson, and Wang Schools will compete and on Tuesday March 16th the Daley, Butler and Stoklosa teams face off to see who is headed to the Finals.

Our final match will be held on March 18th. The winning team from each Semi-Final Match plus the remaining team scoring the highest point total will compete to see which school will be named the 2010 Knowledge Bowl Champs!

All matches are open to the public and start at 6:30pm at the Butler School. Thanks to the students, coaches, and families for their participation. We invite all families and community members to stop by and see another exciting student event at the Knowledge Bowl.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March is National Women's History Month

March is Women’s History Month

This is the thirtieth year that, as a country, we have celebrated women and their accomplishments, through Women's History Month.

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society.

Looking for ways to celebrate Women's History Month with your students? Visit the National Women's History Project.
Lowell recently celebrated Lowell Women's Week with events throughout the city.
Please see the website for more details.

Kathryn P. Stoklosa Knowledge Bowl

The 2010 Knowledge Bowl is well underway. The eight Middle Schools competed in Preliminary Rounds on March 1st and 2nd. Sullivan and Daley Middle Schools teams, first place finishers from each Preliminary Round, will meet in the Semi-Final Match. At last night's match the Butler School took 1st place with a score of 185, the Robinson School took 2nd place with 175 points, and the Pyne Arts had a final score of 150.

The Butler and Robinson Schools will move into the Semi Final
Rounds on March 15th and 16th.

This evening finds the Stoklosa, Bartlett, and Wang Schools vying for a spot in the Semi-Final Rounds. Congratulations to all students and their coaches for their hard work. Good luck to all! Stay tuned.

Kindergarten Registration is taking place now. Please see the link to the right for more information.

Monday, March 8, 2010

21st Century Communication for 21st Century Schools

The Pawtucketville Memorial Elementary School will be joining the Gertrude M. Bailey Elementary School as schools that have begun blogging in order to enhance their ongoing family involvement efforts. 21st century communication for our 21st century schools!

Check back later in the week for the exact web address for the Pawtucketville Memorial Elementary School Blog.

Kindergarten Registration is taking place now.
Click on the link to the right for more information.

Moody Elementary School Math Night A Smashing Success

The Moody School held another highly attended Math Night this past Thursday night. The event was well planned and implemented due to family and staff involvement. Events like this Math Night and other school based events are designed to encourage parent involvement and "are essential in maintaining a culture within a building where parents feel comfortable and welcome," according to Moody School principal Matt Stahl. "These events give parents ideas of things they can do at home to help their students be better prepared for the demands of our classrooms."

Mr. Stahl wishes to thank all parents, families and staff members for a successful Math Night.

Kindergarten Registration is taking place NOW!
See important information below.

Don't Forget to Register: The Refugee Experience will take place on Friday, March 19, 2010


A Practical Training for Working with Newcomers”

Friday, March 19, 2010, 8:30 am - 3:15 pm

To register, click here.

Addressing issues common in the process of becoming a refugee, entering and living in a new community, and accessing benefits.
Focus on understanding the emotional needs of newcomers and developing effective strategies to deal with the impact of dislocation and trauma.

Middlesex Community College
33 Kearney Square, Lowell, Massachusetts
(1st floor Cafeteria)
Please register by March 17.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Important Kindergarten Registration News

If you have a child born on or before September 1, 2005, s/he is eligible to start Kindergarten in September 2010. The following information is
important for you.


Date: March 1 – 31, 2010
Time: Monday through Friday
8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Thursday 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Please bring the following documents:

Evidence of Date of Birth
Updated Immunization Record
Proof of Address
For example; a current utility bill addressed to Parent and or Guardian
If applicable, student Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

For more information:

Family Resource Center
43 Highland Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Phone: 978-674-4321
Fax: 978-674-2148

Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Standards and Expectations for Technology Literacy serves as a guide that Instructional Technology Specialists and teachers use to guide us in the use of technology in the 21st Century classroom. Click here to see the guide.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Reading with Young Children: First Lady Obama Celebrates Dr. Seuss' Birthday

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, the First Lady read “The Cat in the Hat” aloud at the Library of Congress during the National Education Association’s Read Across America event. She was joined by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and many students who sported red and white striped hats in honor of The Cat in the Hat.

Don't forget to ask your elementary school child how their school celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday.

Check back here in coming weeks for information on an upcoming Lowell Educational Television video showing strategies to use when reading aloud with your own young children.

The White House Asks...

As part of a new citizen involvement series, The White House, via it's web site today, posed the question:

"What does a 21st Century education mean to you?"

Check it out. Go back in a few weeks and The White House will post citizen answers.

What does a 21st Century education mean to us? Food for thought. Please check back for examples of what a 21st century education looks like in the Lowell Public Schools. For more information, check out the information on our website regarding the Pathways Initiative.

To visit The White House site, click here.

MCAS Season is Almost Upon Us...

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is offering a parent hotline at 1-866-MCAS-220. In addition to this, visit the link here for MCAS "Question of the Day" information.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lowell Public Schools Unveils Yet Another Blog...

As part of our plan for increasing community and family involvement via the web, the Gertrude M. Bailey School will announce their new blog during the week of March 8, 2010.

Please check back here for more information next week.