Lowell Public Schools Doors Open 2016-2017 - First Wednesday of every month at 10am



This past Wednesday marked the first tour date in a 10 month Doors Open series, an effort by the Lowell Public School system to increase transparency and community involvement. The schedule for each school’s tour is at the end of this article. This month, we visited the Molloy, Bailey, and Daley Schools. I'll cover the Bailey School in this post. Check here for the Molloy and here for the Daley.

The Dr. Gertrude M. Bailey School is in the Highlands section of the city at 175 Campbell Drive, and is headed by Principal Kim Clements. Every Wednesday is school pride day, so Kim was wearing her blue Bailey  shirt, as were all the other teachers we met. The Bailey teaches grades PreK through 4, with 1-2 sessions for PreK, and 4 sections each in grades Kindergarten through 4. There are also 3 classrooms for children with autism.


Kim showed us bins of recyclables that the students will use as a part of the K2 pilot of Boston Modules. They’ve seen a huge boost in language skills when kids go hands-on while they work on education units.


A line of kindergarteners shuffled through, big eyes and toothy smiles, many of them wearing new Bailey blue t-shirts. The teacher said that this early in the school year, they’re working with the kids to set up routines like waiting your turn, standing in line, and staying seated in the cafeteria. It looked like controlled chaos.


Kim tells us the teachers are creating wish lists. The school needs more space - they’re using every bit they have, with shelves of books in the corridors and classrooms full of kids. She praises the custodial staff, and says that the building needs maintenance on leaking skylights and a boiler that flooded the first floor and lifted all the tiles. It sounds like the building work isn’t custodial, but rather needs to be scheduled and done by the school system.


The PTO is active, and will hold its annual ice cream social soon. They’re asking for indoor recess games for the kids, because each year the games get worn out with so much play.

I’m curious to find out how funds are allocated, and what the limits of allocation are. Among other expenses, teachers and staff have to be paid, the building has to be supplied and maintained, and classroom supplies would be purchased somehow. Teacher friends in other districts always seem to be picking up school supplies above and beyond the level of reimbursement. Where can the PTO step in to supply important items for teachers and kids?

All of this occurs to me after the whirlwind of the tours is over. I'll see if I can find out as I learn more about Lowell's schools.


The Doors Open tours of Lowell Public Schools will take place every First Wednesday at 10am. Arrive early at 155 Merrimack Street, 4th floor, to get checked in. Bring your photo ID. Please call or email to RSVP so they can reserve the right amount of transportation - asheehy@lowell.k12.ma.us or 978-674-2162.

9/7/16 Molloy Career Academy, Bailey, Daley Schools

10/5/16 Sullivan, J.G. Pyne, Leblanc Schools

11/2/16 Butler, Shaughnessy, Cardinal O’Connell Schools

12/7/16 Peter W. Reilly, Stoklosa Schools

1/4/17 Bartlett Community Partnership, Robinson Schools

2/8/17 Christa McAuliffe, Murkland, Greenhalge Schools

3/8/17 Moody School, E.N. Rogers STEM Academy

4/5/17 McAvinnue, Pawtucketville Memorial, Dr. An Wang Schools

5/3/17 Morey, Abraham Lincoln Schools

6/7/17 George Washington, Laura E. Lee Schools

Documents from the tour

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