News, schools, and views from a uniquely Lowell perspective
26th October 2007

Full moon draws folks to school?

posted in Education |

Maybe the huge moon hanging in the sky last night had something to do with it. With such an amazing orb overhead, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of things unseen, especially amid the cool air and crunching leaves. But even as I write these words, I know it was not the full moon that drew families out on a fall evening—it was the very real and methodical efforts of the Lowell schools.  My first stop was at the Freshman Academy at LHS, where 40 students and 30 parents had gathered to begin work on quarterly assessment projects. I noticed teens working in small groups with peers and tutors while parents sat nearby. Upstairs, I saw teens typing essays on computers with two English teachers there to help. The event, which was offered for the first time last night, had an encouraging turnout, and the plan is to hold similar workshops before the next three exam periods. One factor in the turnout is the ConnectEd program which enables school staff to call the homes of students. (ConnectEd is also being used to help with attendance and tardiness.)The parents I met were glad to be there and thrilled to have their students supported by tutors, teachers, project supplies, computers, and color printers.

From there, I drove a few blocks to the Murkland Elementary School where more than 100 people were enjoying “Family Math Night.” Each month the Murkland School, which has one of our highest populations of poor and minority students, sponsors a family event. Last night’s event included math games, snacks, and drawings for prizes. Again, staff was on hand to help with the activities. Perhaps what was magical about the evening (along with the amazing moon) was that the schools are doing a better job of reaching out to families—from our youngest students to our teens—and the families are actually responding. Together, we are creating an education community that recognizes school is important and learning is something we must all support.

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