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A Message from Principal Mary Sepler March 29th, 2018

Dear Families,

It’s amazing to think we’re already upon spring break! There are so many wonderful things happening here at Lowell and in our district.  Our Author’s Celebration this week was inspiring, and we thank the many teachers, guest authors and volunteers that worked so very hard to bring that gift to our students.  We hope that through this more inclusive practice each student recognized the young author within themselves this week.

Human Growth and Development:

Parents of 5th grade students received a letter in the mail regarding this spring’s human health and development courses.  As stated in the letter, our Lowell fifth graders begin their Human Growth and Development unit at the end of April.  Families are often curious about what materials and information is shared with students in this class.  Three specific lessons are taught.  Please find a link to these lessons below.   The lessons are developed from two different curricula in wide use in Washington state—FLASH and KNOW. For families who would like to learn more about these two resources, you can find FLASH and KNOW here:

https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/locations/family-planning/education/FLASH.aspx
http://www.k12.wa.us/HIVSexualHealth/pubdocs/KNOWGrades5-6.pdf
Last year we piloted a new way of teaching the Human Growth and Development lessons to our fifth-grade classrooms. We invited a guest presenter to partner with our teachers in the delivery of this content. Using a guest presenter allowed our teachers and school nurse to observe the model lesson and, also be available to connect with students who had more in-depth questions. We were so pleased with lessons last year that we have invited the same presenter to return this year.  Please find the three lessons and videos at this link:

http://lowell.bellinghamschools.org/5th-grade-human-growth-development/

Each year, we host a district-wide family engagement event for families to learn about our Human Growth and Development learning opportunities; families who attended the meeting last fall (in October 2017) were able to meet our presenter, Christine Hagstrom, and be introduced to her work. Christine has completed the coursework to be a trainer in the KNOW curriculum and works as a Community Health Educator for Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood.

We know that the most valuable learning children experience about these important personal topics often happens with their families. In school, we strive to give students the basic information they need to keep themselves healthy and well as they grow. We hope that you take this opportunity to look over these lesson plans, watch the videos, and let us know how we can support you in having important ongoing conversations with your children.

As always, families may opt their child out of the Human Growth and Development lessons. Please let me or Peggy Carr, our health services secretary, know if that is your choice and we will help you with that process.

Salmon Fry Release Tomorrow!

Each student at Lowell will walk down to release our salmon fry into Padden Creek tomorrow.  Although we’ve ordered sunshine for this big event, we may get rain.  Please send your child prepared to walk in the mud by the side of the creek and, also, prepared for possible wet weather.

Many thanks to Wendy Scherrer our amazing salmon scientist!

Lowell Mountain Bike Club:

We are excited to start small with our first Lowell Elementary Mountain Bike Club! Skill level (beginner-advanced) will be assessed but the focus for everyone is to have FUN and create a supportive environment to learn and build confidence on our bikes.  Sign-ups will start the week after spring break and will be through the 6Crickets website.  Rides are led by qualified leaders under the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition(WMBC) strict standards.

Our PE Teacher, Kathy Norwood, and Lowell parent, Andrew Aiken, are two ride leaders that your child may know.

Dates & Times: Mondays, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14, 5/21, 3:00-5:00 pm.

Grades: 3-5 (boys and girls)

Limit to 8 kids

Locations: TBD

Costs: FREE Please let us know if you need a bike to use.

($60 optional membership fee to Whatcom Mountain Bike Club-local nonprofit organization)

In preparation of you can be thinking about the following:

All participants will need:

Know how to ride a bike
Parents need to be sure that all rider release forms (receive after sign-up complete) are returned to prior to the first session as well as their signed code of conduct!
Please have your child’s bike checked out by a qualified bike mechanic at one of our great bike shops in town. Have them check the brakes, drivetrain, tires, headset, shocks (if applicable) and overall condition of the bike.
Mountain Bike or BMX bikes with functional front and rear brakes.
Helmet (No Exceptions) Please tell us if you need a bike or helmet to participate.
A bike tube that is the right size for their wheel (check at bike shop).
Hydration pack or water bottle (non- glass)/Snack, most kids really need water and a snack on the trail. Please think about what your child might need and pack appropriately.
***Parents are welcome and needed on all rides***

 

A Note from Common Threads:

Happy Spring! We’re delighted to be back in the garden! Students are cultivating and planting garden beds with peas, lettuce, broccoli, radishes, and much more! Come celebrate school gardens at Common Threads’ 4th annual Dirt Fest on Wednesday, April 18th: Join the Common Threads team for a community-wide garden party at Parkview Elementary 2:30 – 4pm. PLUS, dine out at Goat Mountain Pizza 11am – 2pm & 5 – 8pm. For more info, please contact me: marit@commonthreadsfarm.org.

Spring Break Next Week:

Just a reminder, our spring break is next week and there will be no school between April 2-April 6.  We will see everyone again after break on Monday, April 9.

Take care everyone. Wishing for sunshine for our fry release tomorrow!

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