Book of the Month from the Principal – Lower Lab Values Responsibility in June

Brave Irene by William Steig

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According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of responsibility is 1) the quality or state of being in charge of someone or something, and 2) the quality of being dependable. This month, as everyone gets ready to leave the responsibilities of school life behind, and embark on some more carefree summer days, let us take a little time to think about what it means to have responsibility. It is not always easy. If one values responsibility, one probably also values love, courage and perseverance (Lower Lab’s value in April).

June’s Book of the Month is Brave Irene, written by William Steig, who also wrote Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (one of my favorite children’s books) and Shrek (well, everyone knows how popular Shrek is). Brave Irene, almost a fairy tale in nature, tells the story of a young girl, a dressmaker’s daughter. When her mother falls ill, Irene must travel through terrible winds and blizzard-like weather to deliver a ball gown to the duchess. Our heroine thinks of turning back several times as the winds and snow beat her down, but she is determined and follows through. She is brave and she understands responsibility. In the end, she is rewarded with admiration, gratitude and her mother’s pride.

Brave Irene gives us wonderful opportunity to discuss responsibility. Some good discussion may be yielded from the following:

  •   What would have happened if Irene was not brave? Can you think of another end to this story?
  •   Make a list of responsibilities as a student, as a son or daughter, as a brother or sister? How does your responsibility impact others?
  •   Can you think of a time when you were given responsibility? Did you like it or not like it? Why and how did you handle it?
  •   At what age should children have responsibility? Is it important? Why or why not?
  •   For older students, think about Winston Churchill’s quote, “The price of greatness is responsibility. What does this mean to you?

    Successful people have the ability to take on responsibility. Got responsibility? SGM 2017

A Note From Your Principal

Our awesome fifth graders are rockin’ the ranch on their senior overnight trip!!! We have been rock climbing, eating barbecue, swimming at the water park and horse back riding. Looking forward to a late night tractor ride and dance party. The only thing better than the picture perfect weather are the wonderful chaperones accompanying us on this trip. Special thanks to Claudia and Leslie for their hard work in organizing a most memorable experience for our soon-to-be graduates!
From the ranch,
Sandy Miller
Live…Love… Lab!


A Note from the Principal

Dear Lower Lab Families,

Unfortunately I am not able to attend the concert tonight.  However, I did see the afternoon concert and I can promise you that you are in for a special treat.  The children are FANTASTIC!  Enjoy every second of this tremendous performance.  A giant THANK YOU to an extraordinary music teacher – Ms. Kim, and always thank you to Gina, who helps make every performance a success.


Sandy Miller

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Book of the Month for May 2017 – Lower Lab Values Creativity

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

 IMG_5344Creativity, by definition, is the use of the imagination, new ideas or original thought, especially in the production of an artistic work.  Sounds great, but this word, creativity, can cause stress or even panic in some.  Having to create something new, from scratch, on a blank piece of paper, may be quite a challenge, yet we ask children to do it all of the time.  How could we consider the feelings of the child, how could we promote creative spirit?  This month, as Lower Lab Values Creativity, our Book of the Month, the dot will help answer these questions and also help us to engage the creative spirit in all of us.

This book written in a small format has a very big message, several in fact, as it tells the story of a young girl named Vashti who struggles with what she perceives is a total lack of artistic ability.  Art class ends and Vashti’s paper is still blank.  Through the guidance of a very thoughtful teacher, and one simple dot, Vashti finds her creative spirit and never looks back.

The Dot is about getting started, facing fears, having a good mentor and recognizing talent and creativity in atypical ways.  It also makes us realize the importance of our last month’s value – perseverance, and how everything is achievable with the right frame of mind.

Some good discussion may also be yielded from the following:

  • Think of a time when you struggled with a blank piece of paper (it could be lined paper). What made it so difficult?
  • Why do you think the teacher had Vashti sign her paper with the dot on it?
  • What does it mean to be creative? What makes someone creative?
  • How can you be creative in classes other than art?
  • What can you do if you see someone struggling with a blank paper?
  • For older students: The teacher told Vashti, “just make a mark and see where it takes you.” How else can this be interpreted? In what other situations could this be valuable to say?
  • If you like the dot, you may also like to check out the book Ish, by the same author.

SGM 2017

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A Note From Your Principal

Dear Everyone,
Welcome to the launch of Lower Lab’s new website. We hope you will find the design pleasing and easier to navigate.

All information can be found by using the menu bar. Please take a little time to explore. The design has some new features, such as a calendar with different viewing options. Another great feature is that all announcements for your child’s class can be found by going to the drop-down menu under “Class Posts” and then clicking on your child’s class. The For Parents page requires a little further tweaking, so please be patient for a day or so.



Sandy Miller

Note from the Principal

Great news for the Lower Lab Community!  Through Ben Kallos’ office and the Participatory Budgeting process, P.S. 77 and P.S. 198 will receive a $500,000 grant for a playground renovation.  Hooray for Lower Lab!!!!