Bowman Elementary School
Tuesday, April 11th, 2017
These wonderful, warm days of spring are a treat after an unpredictable winter. Hopefully the snow and ice are through for the year. Our current anticipated last day of school is Thursday June 22, 2017 - however this is subject to change until approved by the School Committee.
I wanted to share some updates from various parts of our school. First, our modular classrooms continue to be in progress. They most likely will not be completely finished until after the end of the school year, as the contractors will not be able to finish the site work and the water hook-up until after school is out. We are excited about adding the new space and know that it will help to ease our tight support staff spaces.
We have successfully managed the first two days of computer-based testing for fourth grade MCAS. Students report it is a lot of fun and seem much more excited about testing on computer than by pencil and paper. Kudos to Beth Glick, Lisah Rhodes, Lindsey Ong and Betsy Lamore for your work making sure that things go smoothly. Next year it is likely that Grade 5 will also be on computer.
A special shout out to the Bowman Spring Fling Auction organizers. The auction was a fun night out with parents and faculty. Thank you to all who could attend, to all who donated - the proceeds help with all our events and special projects and are greatly appreciated.
Bowman continues to be very active in Lexington and wider Diversity Initiatives. Four staff members were at the Bystander Training sponsored by LICA and the Human Rights Committee on Saturday and another 7 staff members attended the HGSE Reimaging Integration for Diverse and Equitable Schools conference on Saturday as well. It was great to have the opportunity to both share what we are doing, and to learn more about how other schools and school systems are thinking about creating schools for equity.
We will have our two-session workshop for parents on Talking with Children about Race on April 27 and May 11 for students in K-5. We still have slots available. If you would like to sign up to participate, please sign in through the following link.
We hope you can join us for these important discussions.
Spring is the time of year that new Kindergarten students begin to register. We want to remind parents of our current students with children who will be five by September 1 to register at our Central Registration so that we can count you in our numbers and have your child participate in all the orientation activities. If you are not sure what to do, please feel free to call our main office and Mrs. Jean Bitton can help you with procedures as these have changed.
The Bowman Bear Blog is still going strong. We are excited that the Bear will be going on a family visit soon (an auction item). We have over 125 posts from this year. The Bear Blog is a great way to get a glimpse into the curriculum in a variety of classrooms.
We hope that you have a wonderful April vacation. Just a reminder that school is closed Friday April 14, 2017 and will reopen on Monday April 24, 2017.
Thank you for your support of our school!
Wednesday, March 1st, 2017
Good Afternoon Parents and Community,
With this beautiful weather, it seems like Spring is here -- and yet we know it is just a tease. We have a very busy month of March -- so hang on to your hats...
Disco Bingo is this Friday Night. A special Thank You to our master of ceremonies, Joshua Curhan, who will lead off the night in my stead. Bowman faculty and I will be presenting at the Harvard Graduate School of Education - Alumni of Color conference on Friday and Saturday around the work we have been doing to create an inclusive school and to implement a Dismantling Racism curriculum. We are both excited to present and excited to be sharing the work that we are doing.
Our next parent meeting "Discussions on Diversity" will be held on Thursday March 9, 2017.
We are hoping that many of you can join us. We will be sharing our most recent thinking and work around the Dismantling Racism curriculum, sharing about the work that we have been doing around understanding the implications of our current times for those who are Muslim, immigrant and otherwise targeted, and talking about the concept of "unconscious bias" and how early it can begin.
Kindergarten Orientation for the entire town of Lexington will be held at Bowman School on Thursday March 16, 2017.
This important meeting for parents of incoming Kindergarten students will be held in the Bowman gym. If you know of families who have recently moved to town, please encourage them to join us. Families were mailed information if their children's names were included in last year's census - otherwise families will need to call Central Registration at 781-861-2580 EXT 68100 for information about registration.
An important notice for current Bowman families about incoming K students…
If you are registering a Kindergartener at Central Registration AND you will have a current sibling at Bowman, your incoming Kindergartener should be registered at Bowman, even if your address was redistricted last year. The district is committed to keeping families in one elementary school. It is important that you let Central Registration know about your current child at Bowman - or they will send your incoming Kindergartener to the redistricted school. We have no lists of sibling children at Bowman. Kindergarten Screening for individual children will be done at individual schools in May. You will receive information about this at K Orientation. Questions? Please reach out to me, our staff or Central Registration.
This year's MCAS dates are later. There will be no March testing dates. Please see the attached letter, as MCAS for all subjects will begin in April. It is important to remember that MCAS is one snapshot in time of a child's performance. At Bowman we use many different sources of data to help us understand your child's strengths, challenges and next steps. Your entire child is important to us. We strongly encourage you to help us keep a low profile perspective on MCAS. It is just one more way for us to get information about how well we are teaching and whether or not our children, in aggregate, are experiencing challenges.
As our weather is unpredictable, we want to remind parents that we will be expecting children to continue to wear long pants and to bring jackets. If the weather is warm enough, they will be free to take jackets off. Our children go outside daily unless the temperature is below 18 degrees. We appreciate your help in sending children with clothes for the changing weather.
As many of you may have noticed, our new modular classrooms have been placed on their foundations and work is progressing well. When finished the modular building will contain two classrooms and two sets of bathrooms. Occupancy for our modulars is still not set. It will not be before April vacation. While our mods are in place, the plumbing is not yet hooked up to the water main. This will most likely happen during April vacation, as they need to shut down the water to complete the task, and it can take several days for the water to be run and tested once it is turned on again. We are eager in our anticipation of these extra spaces! Thank you Lexington!
We look forward to seeing you at our Discussion on Diversity Evening on the 9th.
Enjoy the warmer weather -- until the weekend!
Friday, January 13th, 2017
Good Evening Parents and Guardians,
With a mid-January thaw, it is hard to believe that just last weekend we were having a major snow storm.
I'd like to take this time to provide some updates and to remind you of some upcoming events.
Our second Discussion on Diversity evening will take place next Wednesday, January 18 in the Bowman Library from 7-8:30PM. We hope you can join us. Please RSVP with the link so that we can plan for numbers.
At this meeting we will continue to discuss our work with our new Dismantling Racism curriculum, talk about recent events in our community and have the opportunity to talk about questions and concerns that you may have about how to support your children.
At Site Council this morning, we spent time discussing a number of topics that I wanted to share with you.
Central Registration - the district is gearing up to centralize registration for all new students. What this means is that all new students to the district will be registered through an office in our Central Administration building, be assigned to schools and then come to meet the school team. The team is getting ready to go on line in February and to be ready for all Kindergarten Registration for next year. Information will be coming out at Kindergarten orientation and will be mailed to parents from census information as in the past.
Modular Updates - Construction on our two modular classrooms has begun and contractors are currently working on foundations. We anticipate that over the February break they will be working on the water main that needs to be connected. Here at the school we are working on what furniture and equipment we will need to order for these rooms. The goal of adding modulars is to provide some much needed relief space for our programs, not to add additional classrooms. While the actual modulars may be used as classrooms, given their proximity to other classrooms, the classroom spaces that are then vacated will most likely be used for additional Music, Special Education and English Language Learner spaces.
Curriculum Updates and Initiatives - We also discussed a number of different projects and initiatives that are on-going at Bowman. We discussed our on-going Dismantling Racism curriculum and how the structure we are calling "Serious Talk" is opening up spaces for students to discuss issues and concerns in a structured and supported environment. We also discuss the work that our Literacy Coaches are doing with our faculty around comprehension, perspective taking and developing an understanding multiple viewpoints in Reading. And as we discussed pilots that are beginning at Bowman and around the district using various universal screening tools to look at how we engage in early identification of students who might have potential challenges with learning to read.
Finally, I am very excited to report that our Bowman Bear Blog is receiving lots of visits - over 15,000 page views so far. A special thank you to teachers who have hosted the Bear in their classrooms and to Mrs. Claffey who gave our Big Bear her first vacation! The Bear Blog is a great way to get a glimpse of some of the curriculum implementation in classrooms each week. Check it out at bowmanbearblog.blogspot.com
January is always a busy time in schools. We have a number of exciting events coming up. In addition to our Diversity Discussion on Wednesday, consider joining us for some of these upcoming events.
1/20 Parent Meeting (formerly coffee, with admin) 8:45AM
1/25 4/5 Gr. Math Night, Cafe, 6:00-8:30PM
1/31 5th Gr. Concert, Gym, 7:30PM
2/2 Science Fair, Cafe/Gym, 6:00-8:30PM
2/8 PTA Meeting, Room 3, 7:00PM
2/9 Spaghetti Dinner, Cafe/Gym, 6:00-8:30PM
2/15 2/3 Gr. Math Night, Cafe, 6:00-8:30PM
Please stay tuned for more information about sign-ups through your child's teacher or the PTA for information about these upcoming events.
Have a wonderful long weekend.
Friday, December 23rd, 2016
Dear Bowman Families:
We want to wish you a very happy and healthy December break. We hope that you enjoy time with family and friends.
This is the time of year when I am reminded how fortunate I am to be able to work each day with amazing students, to spend time with caring and thoughtful families, and to be among the most amazing educators found anywhere in the country. I am grateful for our parent and community support that allow the Lexington Schools to shine. Thank you!
This vacation our Bowman Star Student Bear will be going on an adventure. We invite you and your child to tune in to the blog to follow his adventures away with our school nurse! The Bear is looking forward to many safe adventures on his FIRST EVER vacation away from school!
School will be closed December 24 - January 2, reopening on Tuesday January 3. We look forward to welcoming you back in 2017! School offices will be open for limited hours on Tuesday Dec. 27-30.
Have a great break and a wonderful celebration of the New Year!
See you soon,
Friday, September 9th, 2016
Good Evening Parents and Guardians,
We have had a wonderful almost full week of school here at Bowman and are excited to share with you some upcoming events and projects as we go forward this school year. We hope that you will read through this newsletter in its entirety as there are important arrival and dismissal information included as well.
We are excited to announce that our Bowman Bear Blog is up and running. In its first week, the Bear Blog has primarily focused on the Bear and the work of teachers. Going forward we are excited to announce that when the Bear visits classrooms for the week, we will be featuring the events and experiences of the classroom on our blog. We will be using the web permissions for photos to allow your child's inclusion in photographs. We will not be including student names. If you chose not to have your child included in web-based communication and would like to allow your child to be included in the blog, please contact your child's teacher in writing with permission. We hope that you visit the blog with your child frequently - feel free to respond! Our blog can be found at http://bowmanbearblog.blogspot.com Stay tuned to see who will be our first Star Student Classroom!
This week there have been some challenges in dismissals. We take the safety of your child very seriously. We really appreciate the time you took to fill out dismissal forms before the start of the school year. That data base is invaluable to us. We know that sometimes plans change. If your child has a TEMPORARY change of dismissal, we ask that you write a note to the teacher outlining the change. PLEASE do not use email to communicate these messages. If a teacher is out, or does not check their email before dismissal, your child may go to the wrong place. Phone calls to the office for dismissal changes should be for emergencies only. If your child's dismissal will be permanently changing, please visit our main office to get the BLUE FORM that will allow us to update our data base. We need a permanent dismissal schedule on file, not a week by week dismissal. Your child and your child's teacher need a consistent schedule to make sure that they get to the right place safely.
If your child is a walker in Gr. 3-5 and you are meeting them, please be sure that you have located a meeting spot that is somewhere near the Flag Pole. Children who are in rolling car pick up are expected to go through the rolling car line. If your plans have changed at the last minute, you must go to the main office so that they can be dismissed to you. We have a system in place for checking on who is allowed to pick up (more info you have given us) and the people who are at the Rolling Car pick up room or right outside this room do not have that information or authority. Thank you!
We are excited to have so many options of places for students to go after school, and to have a bus that can take them to so many. We wanted to alert you to the fact that not all programs follow the school calendar. This week we have had students going on the bus to programs that have not yet started. We do not have information on your child's program start & end dates or holidays. Please be sure you watch these schedules carefully. We found out this week that some places that children can be dropped off do not have dedicated staff when they are not in session, and therefore students who are dropped off by the bus may find themselves completely without supervision. It is important that you let us know which program your child is attending if they take the after school activity bus. We recommend that if your child is K-2, you consider going with your child the first couple of times to make sure that they (and you) understand a program's level of supervision, before you simply have them dropped off. Please talk with your child about how they should handle a situation in which a program might be cancelled unexpectedly. Thank you for your time and attention to children's safety!
A quick word about arrivals -- please remember that there is no drop off before 8:15AM, all students need to be supervised at school. When you are dropping off, please remind your child to get out of the car anywhere along the sidewalk. Only our youngest children should need car door help. Even in rainy weather, we ask your child to hop out as soon as they can, even if they are not right at the door. In this way we make sure that all children enter school in a timely fashion. Thanks for your help!
We wanted to remind you again of some upcoming events.
9/14 at 7PM at Bowman is our first PTA meeting
9/16 at 6PM is our Bowman School Picnic
9/22 at 6:30 is our Curriculum Night Parents ONLY (a schedule will go home Monday)
9/24 School Committee Forum at Bowman on the Buffer Zone Policy
10/3 Rosh Hashanah (No School)
10/10 Columbus Day (No School)
10/12 Yom Kippur (No School)
10/29 Bowman Fun Run (a 5K race and a children's race around Bowman)
11/17 will be our StoryBook Character Day
For StoryBook Character Day - a reminder for those of you who are new to Bowman, Bowman School encourages you to consider using a favorite storybook character as your child's theme should he or she be choosing to dress up for Halloween. While we do not celebrate Halloween at school, your child can then "recycle the costume" later for our StoryBook Character day. Children are encouraged to dress as a character in their favorite storybook on November 17, for a whole school day of celebrating reading.
More information will come out about all our events. So mark your calendars!
We hope you have a wonderful weekend and have fun following our Bear Blog!
Friday, September 2nd, 2016
Good Morning Families,
We hope that you all had a great first week of school. It has been a delight to have children back in the building. It makes us all smile. On Thursday we sent home a general information letter by "family count". Family count means that there is one letter for each family, rather than each child. Usually the youngest child takes home the letter.
The notes home contained important information about school, district and state policies. If you did not receive the letter, please check in with the office on Tuesday for a copy.
We also wanted to invite you to view our new Bowman Bear Blog! As returning families know, our Star Student Bear visits different classrooms each week -- in honor of something special that the class has done. This year you can follow the adventures of our Bear as he travels from room to room, and learn a little bit more about life in the classroom or specialist space he is visiting.
We are very excited to share this new way to learn a little bit more about what goes on at Bowman School. Earlier in the week you can see how the bear got ready to start a new year, and today you can see what a Bear does when no one is around!
Please visit the blog at
We have a great new year planned and are excited about having many ways to share our students' good work with you.
Friday, August 5th, 2016
Dear Parents and Guardians,
First, we hope that you are having a great summer!
On Monday August 8, 2016 your child's placement letters will be mailed out through US mail. Please allow a couple of days to receive your letter.
This year we are going electronic for our emergency contact and dismissal forms. In your packet you will receive a URL for our new contact page to provide us with dismissal information and permissions. It is critical that when you receive your child's placement that you complete this document (one per child) so that we have your child's safety information BEFORE the start of school Our electronic response system will also allow us to better work with our PTA to provide directory information in a more timely fashion as well.
The information form will be available until August 29, 2016 at 10PM through the following URL. After that time, you will need to change arrival/dismissal and emergency contacts with a hard copy form in the main office.
You must enter your child's teacher to complete the form. We will be checking periodically to see that all forms are completed and appreciate your help in making sure that we know how your child will be dismissed and have your permissions on file.
We are excited about the upcoming year and cannot wait to welcome back your children on Tuesday August 30, 2016.
Enjoy these beautiful last weeks of summer,