Lowell: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Lowell Public School system, administered by the Lowell School Committee, offers a strong commitment to literacy, technology, and multiculturalism. Its 23 elementary and middle schools stream into Lowell High, a progressive facility organized around the concept of "small learning communities." Lowell High's eight "academies" range in focus from fine arts to engineering; qualifying students may also enroll in the prestigious Latin Lyceum which offers a four-year classical college entrance program. In 2000 Lowell Public Schools was selected for the Teacher Career Advancement Program, a pilot grant program aimed at attracting and retaining highly qualified educators. In 2003 Lowell committed more than a million dollars to professional development and updated classroom materials as part of a new mathematics initiative. Lowell also offers alternative education and adult education.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Lowell public schools as of the 2004–2005 school year.

Total enrollment: 14,708

Number of facilities elementary schools: 16

junior high/middle schools: 7

senior high schools: 1

other: 5

Student/teacher ratio: 13.1:1

Teacher salaries average: $55,140 (2003)

Funding per pupil: $8,407 (2003)

An extensive choice of charter and private schools, as well as the Greater Lowell Technical High School in nearby Tyngsboro, supplements the public system.

Public Schools Information: Lowell Public Schools, 155 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA 01852; telephone (978)937-7604

Colleges and Universities

UMass Lowell, formerly Lowell University, dates back to the 1890s. The 1975 merger of Lowell State College and Lowell Technological Institute created the current campus; in 1991 it became part of the University of Massachusetts system. UMass Lowell offers a range of undergraduate, doctoral and professional degrees to its 12,000 students. Its colleges are closely allied with the local community as part of a commitment to public service.

Middlesex Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts, offering 78 degree and certificate programs as well as non-credit courses and career training. Bachelor's degree completion is offered in partnership with Salem State College.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Samuel S. Pollard Memorial Library, Lowell's public library, is located in historic Memorial Hall. The newly reconstructed facility boasts elaborate interior and exterior architecture and includes a series of massive murals commemorating the Civil War. The library's collection includes 236,000 volumes as well as CDs, DVDs and microfilm; special collections focus on local history, genealogy and historic newspapers. As part of the Merrimack Library Consortium the Pollard Library has access to 1.5 million books at 35 locations.

Special interest libraries include the Lowell Law Library, located at the Superior Courthouse, and the libraries of the city's hospitals. UMass Lowell supports the Center for Atmospheric Research, which uses physics and other sciences to study the phenomenon of dynamism; Centers for Industrial Competitiveness and Sustainable Production; the Toxics Use Reduction Institute; and the Institute for Visualization and Perception Research. The University's Center for Lowell History holds a collection of historical photographs and other artifacts, and its Research Foundation explores many areas of physical science, communication and economics. A Research Library at the New England Quilt Museum is open by appointment to serious researchers on that subject.

Public Library Information: Samuel S. Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA 01852; telephone (978)970-4120; fax (978)970-4117