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Speaking of student musicians: Monday’s the big night for OLG singers at Seahawks game

A week and a half ago, we told you that the Our Lady of Guadalupe School 4th- and 5th-grade chorus had been invited to sing at halftime of the Seahawks’ Monday Night Football game tomorrow. OLG music teacher Ann Sager sent a reminder today that the big night is almost here, adding, “We’ll also sing a few patriotic songs during pre-game on the stages at either end of the stadium” – so if you’re going to the game, watch for them then/there! According to the school website, there’s been lots of logistics for this – they have to be there hours ahead of time to rehearse – and Ann’s page also includes this answer to a frequently asked question:


Ryan M. of the Seahawks did a search on something like “god bless america seattle children’s choirs” and my OLG School Music webpage popped up. I chronicle my daily classroom lessons and we’ve been practicing “God Bless America” for our own Veterans’ Day Assembly. It pays to have a web presence!

The Seahawks didn’t invite anyone else. To confirm how cute and musical we were, I sent him our video; he was blown away! He presented it to the higher-ups and by the end of that same day, it was a done deal.

That’s the video you see atop this story, by the way. The Seahawks are playing Atlanta at 5:30 pm Monday; the game is on ESPN.

HOLIDAY PARADE: See who’s crossing the bay to march on Friday

(In 2012, the Sealth Band had a guest conductor! Photo courtesy Bruno)

Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, brings the downtown My Macy’s Holiday Parade as usual – and the participant list shows that both local high-school marching bands are in it this year, Chief Sealth International High School and West Seattle High School. You’ll also see the Salty’s (WSB sponsor) nutcrackers. The parade starts at 9 am Friday, and the route is fairly simple:

The parade steps off at 7th Avenue and Pine Street and travels west to 5th Avenue, south on 5th Avenue to University Street, west on University Street to 4th Avenue and north on 4th Avenue and ends at Macy’s.

Anyone else from West Seattle set to be in the parade? Let us know so we can watch for you too!

PLAYFIELD PROGRESS: Gatewood closer to goal; plus, one student’s Sunday sale to help

The Gatewood Elementary playfield project has hit a milestone – and one student has a fundraiser Sunday to help cover the rest of the gap. First:

(Photo: William Wright Photographer)

From Linnea Westerlind:

Thanks to generous donations from our school families and West Seattle community, we have raised $40,517.45 for a new Gatewood Elementary playfield! Principal Kyna Hogg announced the total to our kids at an assembly this morning. To celebrate this fundraising effort the kids got to wear pajamas and have an all-school dance party today.

We are so grateful to the support of community and want to say thank you! We are within reach of our goal to raise $50,000 to complete the full playfield project. We are continuing to take donations via our online site: gatewoodplayfield.org and by donations of checks or cash to the Gatewood Elementary School office. We can’t wait to see our 400 elementary and preschool kids enjoying an amazing new outdoor play space soon!

One of them will be Gwen, whose mom Elissa e-mailed to tell us about her planned fundraising sale this Sunday:

Our daughter Gwen is in the 2nd grade at Gatewood. Her favorite thing right now is collecting little Japanese puzzle erasers; she has dozens of them. She also is really passionate about donating her money to help Gatewood build a new playground and soccer field. So she came up with the awesome idea to sell brand-new erasers, in the package, to help raise money for the playground.

We squared things away with Wildwood Market to give Gwen a venue for selling the erasers. She’ll be at the store on Sunday, Nov 19, from 1 pm to 4 pm, or until she’s out of erasers. If she sells all the erasers we bought for the sale, she can make a huge contribution to the playground fund. Even better, her handsome dad works for a company that doubles charitable contributions, so your eraser money will go twice as far.

Erasers will be $2 each or 3 for $5, and they’re brand new, unopened, official and genuine, direct from the US Iwako distributor (the real deal). Get there early for the best selection, we have a mix of little animals and little rubber desserts. 100% of the eraser money will go straight to Gatewood on Monday morning, and Dad’s company will follow up with a matching grant.

Wildwood is at 9214 45th SW.

TONIGHT: See ‘Moana,’ help West Seattle High School’s ASB

Late add to the list of what’s up today/tonight due to a mail mixup – Take the family to see “Moana” at West Seattle High School. It’s free to get in – and then you can buy treats to support the school’s ASB! 7 pm; bring your own chairs/blankets/etc.; the movie will be shown in the Commons, so enter from the parking lot. WSHS is at 3000 California SW.

GRATITUDE: Donated plants brighten Fairmount Park Elementary courtyard

The photo and report are from Fairmount Park Elementary principal Julie Breidenbach:

Fairmount Park Elementary School would like to thank Jay Potratz and West Seattle Rite Aid for the donation of fall plants that helped to beautify our indoor courtyard. Parent volunteers did the planting today and students commented how these beautiful fall plants that brought some much-needed color to our courtyard. The decorative cabbage plants were a huge hit with the younger students who wanted to know how those plants tasted in comparison to the cabbage they purchase in grocery stores.

(Got school news to share with your peninsula-wide neighbors? editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!)

FOLLOWUP: Friends of Roxhill gets $100,000 grant for EC Hughes playground project

(Playground at EC Hughes, photographed last June)

A big boost for Friends of Roxhill Elementary‘s plan to improve the EC Hughes Elementary playground before Roxhill kids move in next school year, since the playground isn’t part of the school district’s modernization project … the city has awarded Friends oF Roxhill the $100,000 Neighborhood Matching Fund grant they were seeking for the project. That of course doesn’t cover the entire project – Jenny Rose Ryan from Friends of Roxhill tells WSB, “Our community match is almost $60K, and all of that is professional service and other donated time from our leadership team (all members of Friends of Roxhill Elementary). We will accept anything anyone wants to give or pledge in support of the project.” You’ll hear more soon about opportunities for community involvement – for example, she says, “we’re painting a mural as part of the project and would love help from E.C. Hughes neighbors to design and paint it, for example.” We first reported last June about the group’s playground-improvement push.

P.S. Friends of Roxhill does have a fundraiser tomorrow that you can help with – a tasty one, at that – they’ll benefit from a percentage of the proceeds all day at Zippy’s Giant Burgers in White Center (8 am-9 pm Thursday).

VIDEO: West Seattle High School hosts ‘State of the District,’ with other local spotlights

A prestigious showcase last night for West Seattle High School, chosen to host the annual event centered on the Seattle Public Schools superintendent’s “State of the District” speech. Dr. Larry Nyland’s speech was only part of it – students and community leaders were showcased too. We recorded the entire event on video:

Among those welcoming the people who gathered in the WSHS Theater, after a reception outside (our top photo), was Chief Sealth International High School student Lashaunycee O’Cain:

(She is also an artist, featured here earlier this year.) Other students featured included Juan Betancourt-Old Chief, a Chief Sealth IHS Šǝqačib senior:

He was part of the event’s spotlight on Native American Education Identity Safety and spoke of how “welcoming” the Šǝqačib classroom is. Teacher Boo Balkan Foster explained that the name means “to raise hands,” signaling, “I hold you in the highest esteem.”

More local recognition: During the superintendent’s speech, Denny International Middle School was one of three SPS middle schools whose African-American students were lauded for leading the state in math proficiency: “They’re leading the way, and we’re learning from them.”

Another speaker was former King County Executive Ron Sims, who spoke stirringly about teachers who shaped his life.

Among those in attendance, West Seattle/South Park School Board director Leslie Harris, below with newly re-elected board colleague Betty Patu:

This may have been Dr. Nyland’s last “State of the District” speech, as the board is launching a search for a new superintendent, with the help of a consulting firm whose contract is on the agenda for tonight’s board meeting.

MONDAY NIGHT: 9 schools in 1 room @ West Seattle Education Fair

Nine schools are participating in this year’s 2017 West Seattle Education Fair, and tomorrow is the night you can come talk to all their reps in one room, 7-9 pm at the Alki Masonic Center (4736 40th SW) in The Junction. You’ll find details in our calendar listing; just drop in during the Education Fair and find out more about any or all of the participating schools, which cover from preschool through 8th grade. Free to attend; all welcome; easy access, with parking for vehicles and bikes, and buses running nearby. (WSB is a sponsor.)

FOLLOWUP: Gatewood Elementary Playfield Project progress

Thanks to Linnea Westerlind for the photo of Gatewood Elementary students and mascot today outside West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), where she reports they had a “fun, soggy time” talking to people about the Gatewood Playfield Project (featured here earlier this week). Less than a week into the campaign, they are about a quarter of the way toward their goal of $50,000 to replace the rutted playfield so the students – and neighbors, outside school hours – have someplace decent to play. This new video shows you what it’s all about:

The video was put together, with dozens participating in a shoot during yesterday’s day off from school, by alumni dad and local videographer Barry J. White, who donated his time. Want to help? Here’s how.

SINGING FOR THE SEAHAWKS: Our Lady of Guadalupe students to perform at next game

Those are the 4th and 5th grade singers from Our Lady of Guadalupe in West Seattle, singing “God Bless America” – which they’ll be singing at CenturyLink Field at halftime of the Seahawks’ next game, their November 20th Monday Night Football game against Atlanta. The news comes from Brian Callanan, who says OLG’s music director Ann Sager announced that the team had invited the chorus to sing “to honor our veterans.” So if you’re going to that game, be sure to cheer extra loud for a musical “home team”!

CONGRATULATIONS! Chief Sealth International High School athletes’ college signings, awards

(From left: Mackenna Cameron, Elijah Jackson, Quinn Wiley. Photo courtesy of Kristin Arvidson)

Big news about Chief Sealth International High School athletes! First, three seniors have signed for college, and a ceremony preceded last night’s fall-sports banquet – the report is from Colin Slingsby:

November 8th was the early National Letter of Intent (NLI) signing day for seniors across the country. Chief Sealth International High School celebrated three senior student-athletes on their signing day prior to the fall sports banquet. In a high school sports climate where many elite athletes transfer schools, these three seniors proved that great results can be attained by staying loyal to their community; all three attended the complete pathway of Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School, and last night were able to proudly announce their collegiate destinations.

Elijah Jackson signed his NLI to play basketball at Eastern Washington University. Throughout high school, Elijah has been a two sport athlete excelling in both track and basketball. Elijah placed in the top 8 in three events in the state track meet last spring. He was voted all-league honorable mention in the last basketball season.

Quinn Wiley signed her NLI to run track at San Diego State University. Also a four year varsity soccer player, Quinn has been a standout on the Chief Sealth track team for four years, qualifying for state both in relays and individual events. She’s also been a regional qualifier as a participant in her elite summer track program.

Mackenna Cameron signed her NLI to join the women’s crew team at the University of Washington, a perennial national contender in crew. Mackenna came to the sport late, and through participating in the summer rowing program at Green Lake found her unique talent for the sport.

Congratulations to these three outstanding Chief Sealth student-athletes!

Also last night, Nicole Sipila from the Chief Sealth PTSA reports, individual seniors were honored:

Also, congrats to the below Seniors for excellence in their respective sports.

Derek Huynh for Golf, Logan Jackson for Football, Zhen Williams for X-Country, Chandra Burnham for Swimming, Chloe Myers for Soccer and Samra Tino for Volleyball

P.S. Speaking of the PTSA, their Sealth fundraising auction is coming up in a little over a week – November 18th – more info here.

YOU CAN HELP: Gatewood Elementary playfield campaign officially begins

(Rendering of design for new playfield)

As previewed in our coverage of last month’s Morgan Community Association meeting, the Gatewood Elementary PTA is raising money to fix the school’s playfield, and the campaign has officially begun. Here’s the announcement:

The campaign runs through November 17 and aims to raise $50,000 from donations from parents, neighbors, local businesses and community members.

THE PRESENT: The Gatewood Elementary playfield is in terrible condition with poor drainage that is prone to flooding and uneven ground that is no longer usable for sports or activities. Kids are choosing to play sports on the asphalt instead of the playfield.

THE FUTURE: Plans for the new Gatewood playfield include:
High-quality grass playing field and new irrigation
New track for running/walking/biking
Nature-inspired play spaces with logs, boulders and native plants
New wheelchair-accessible play area with a unique “Gatewood Gator” sculpture
Trees to provide much-needed shade

WHO BENEFITS: More than 400 Gatewood elementary and Cottage preschool students use the playfield every school day. Cottage’s summer program serves more than 50 kids. The new playfield and track will also be a fantastic new amenity for our West Seattle neighbors to use during non-school hours.

​FUNDING: The Gatewood Elementary PTA has been awarded a $100,000 matching grant from the city of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods. We need to raise an additional $50,000 to complete the project.

CONSTRUCTION: The PTA plans to complete construction on the new playfield this school year. The project is out for contractor bidding right now. The last day to submit a sealed bid is Monday, Dec. 4, at 11 a.m. Details available on request.

You can donate online at gatewoodplayfield.org. The PTA also welcomes business sponsorships – you can e-mail gatewoodplayfield@gmail.com for details, or if you have questions. The PTA notes that it “is a 501c3 nonprofit and donations are tax-deductible to the extent determined by law.”

CONGRATULATIONS! Alki Elementary named ‘School of Distinction’

Alki Elementary is one of eight Seattle Public Schools honored this year as “Schools of Distinction,” the only one in West Seattle. The district’s announcement explains that the honors go to “the highest-improving Washington State schools, staff, and their leaders for improved performance for all students,” as measured over a five-year period. Alki was lauded specifically for improvements in English-language arts and mathematics. This is the 11th year for the awards, overseen by the Center for Educational Effectiveness, described in its announcement as a ” a service, consulting, and research organization dedicated to the mission of partnering with K-12 schools to improve student learning.” See the full statewide list here.

NEW ON CAMPUS: Food trucks at South Seattle College starting next week

While South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) is known for its culinary program (among other things), there’s not much food on campus or nearby when lunchtime rolls around for its 1,000+ students and staff. So starting next week, a food truck will be on campus (near the Clock Tower) most weekdays. Lori Johnson of the Washington State Food Truck Association (WSFTA) explains that one of SSC’s sibling campuses, North Seattle College, started a food-truck program a month ago, and that caught the attention of SSC’s Administrative Services department. So they’ve been working with the WSFTA to bring food trucks to the Puget Ridge campus. Johnson says, “The new mobile dining program will begin November 13th, where vendors, who must be licensed to vend in the City of Seattle, can sign up for Mondays through Thursdays from 10 am to 1 pm.” The schedule is online and frequently updated. Interested food-truck proprietors can contact the WSFTA at 360-223-3801 or lori@wafoodtrucks.org.

West Seattle weekend scene: Kakehashi Project brings together students from both sides of the Pacific

Thanks to the Chief Sealth International High School parent who shared the photo and report:

Students from Okinawa visited with Sealth Japanese-language students at High Point library. The program is called Kakehashi Project – a week-long exchange to boost understanding with American high school students. This program has been around for years and is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan.

SIDE NOTE: CSIHS welcomes prospective students and their families – current 8th graders, in particular – to visit this Thursday night (November 9th), 6-7:30 pm.

FOOTBALL: Chief Sealth wins final game of best season in decades

Chief Sealth International High School‘s football season ended tonight with a 7-3 record, which the school describes as its best in more than 30 years. That was thanks to a win over Cleveland High School, 27-14. Though the Seahawks’ playoff push was over after last Friday’s loss to Seattle Prep, first-year head coach Ted Rodriguez‘s team had one more game to play to round out a full 10-game season, and that’s what happened tonight. They also won back the Chris Kato Cup, a trophy at stake in each year’s game against Cleveland, honoring the late Shuzo Chris Kato, former Sealth principal and Cleveland vice principal.

SATURDAY: Can you be part of building the Sanislo Sprouts Learning Garden?

(Sanislo Elementary students, Judah Nellis and Charlie Kestler measuring an old garden bed during first Sanislo Sprouts event)

So much happening tomorrow, it’s a good thing the next round of possible snow isn’t supposed to arrive until late tomorrow night! We’ve already previewed several major events. Here’s another one that could use your help, happening tomorrow morning at Sanislo Elementary on Puget Ridge. From Rebecca Evans:

The idea was of a school garden, STEM outdoor-learning program, sparked through teacher suggestions in a survey we ran at the end of last year, and a few fellow Sanislo parents recently began seeking ways to make it a reality. Before we knew it, there was an outpouring of support for this idea. Our principal, district projects coordinator, Pathfinder’s Earth Project, and a non-profit organization, Washington Green Schools have partnered with our garden committee and the PTA to literally build us a garden in an afternoon. Washington Green Schools offers two “Days of Service” a year wherein they help make green projects, like school gardens, come to fruition with the help of sponsors like construction companies and corporate donors.

It’s going to be a beautiful space, designed to facilitate hands-on learning, science exploration and curiosity! We also want to use our garden space as an opportunity to explore gardening in a way the matches our school’s diversity by growing herbs and vegetables that resonate with our school’s families and global food culture. We hope to generate produce that can be shared at snack times and harvested by our student community. We are so excited for the endless possibilities this brings for the students of Sanislo.

Our Day of Service will be held on Saturday, November 4th from 9:00 am to 12 pm. This is a family-friendly, all-welcome, garden-building event. Children are encouraged to take part in building their school garden. There will be volunteers from local businesses, Abbott Construction, Washington Green Schools, Pathfinder, Trinity Church and Sanislo Elementary.

We are so fortunate to have support from local partners to create the space, and hope more join in over time so we can create sustainability for years to come.

Sanislo is at 1812 SW Myrtle.

School-shopping? 2017 West Seattle Education Fair set for November 13

If you are considering independent schools for next school year, fall is prime time for fact-finding and decision-making. And that’s why this year’s West Seattle Education Fair is coming up a week from Monday, 7 pm November 13th at the Alki Masonic Center in The Junction (4736 40th SW). It’s one-stop shopping for information about multiple independent schools – both secular and parochial – in and around West Seattle, pre/K-8, with staff members there for one-on-one conversations. Free to attend; all welcome. The list of participants is still being finalized, but in case you hadn’t already seen this in our calendar, we’re mentioning it here – WSB is a sponsor.

YOU CAN HELP: Got any of these items needed by Chief Sealth IHS students?

From Lisa:

Chief Sealth International High School sends a big thank you to our wonderful community for sending in donations of gently used clothing, school supplies, and toiletries. Your generosity helps our homeless, foster, and low-income students.

We’re currently looking for donations of:

new socks of all kinds — athletic, men’s & women’s dress, warm and casual
new women’s panties and men’s boxer-briefs in all sizes
new or gently used hooded sweatshirts, raincoats, and winter coats
new or gently used gloves and mittens
new or gently used athletic pants and shorts
business wear for young women — blazers, skirts, dress pants, dresses and tops
business wear for young men — suits, jackets, white shirts and ties

You may drop off donations at the school office Mondays – Fridays, 8 am – 4:30 pm. If you have any questions, please email Lisa Conley, parent volunteer, at lisalconley@hotmail.com. Thanks for thinking of our students!

Chief Sealth IHS is at 2600 SW Thistle.

Seattle Public Schools superintendent to present ‘State of the District’ in West Seattle

October 29, 2017 7:36 pm
|    Comments Off on Seattle Public Schools superintendent to present ‘State of the District’ in West Seattle
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Thanks to the parent who tipped us that, while it hasn’t been widely announced yet, notices are circulating for Seattle Public Schools superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland‘s “State of the District” speech, to be presented in West Seattle this year. The district calendar confirms the event is planned for the West Seattle High School Theater (3000 California SW), 5-7 pm on Tuesday, November 14th. Nyland has been superintendent for two and a half years but might not be for much longer. His state-of speech last year was at Franklin High School.

FOOTBALL: Chief Sealth Seahawks’ successful season hits a playoff roadblock

That video clip follows the one and only touchdown managed by the Chief Sealth International High School Seahawks in their first and last playoff game of the year tonight at Memorial Stadium.

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

The Seattle Prep Panthers eventually overwhelmed Sealth, 33-8.

The Seahawks came into the season game with a 6-2 record under first-year head coach Ted Rodriguez.

But Prep’s defense kept them scoreless in the first half, which ended with the Seahawks down 24-0 after the Panthers got two TDs in the span of less than half a minute shortly before halftime.

That lone Sealth touchdown came with a little over five minutes left in the third quarter, and a two-point conversion followed. But that’s where the comeback stopped.

The Seahawks’ season isn’t technically over – they have to play one more game to round out a 10-game season, but who and when are not yet settled. What is settled: This was Sealth’s best football season in many years.

WEST SEATTLE SCHOOLS: Why attendance-area boundaries might change for Genesee Hill, Lafayette next fall

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Some families who currently live in the Genesee Hill Elementary School attendance area may find themselves in the Lafayette Elementary School attendance area starting next school year.

Boundary changes are being considered for those two schools to take some pressure off GHES, West Seattle’s most-populous elementary, already 10 percent above capacity just one year after opening.

The changes – if any – would take effect next fall, starting in the 2018-2019 year, and could affect some current GH students, depending on what kind of “grandfathering” – if any – the district decides to allow.

All this was discussed at GHES this morning, as principal Gerrit Kischner and district officials led an early-stage briefing for families during a “coffee with the principal” event in the lunchroom.

GH opened in fall 2016, built for a capacity of 650 students, after the program’s years with a village of portables at Schmitz Park Elementary, but it’s already stuffed with more than 710. “We’ve continued to grow and grow even though our boundaries have shrunk,” Kischner noted.

He was joined at the meeting by Lafayette principal Cindy Chaput and, from district HQ, associate superintendent Dr. Flip Herndon and enrollment planning director Ashley Davies.

“We’re already over the capacity of the building” and “there’s no additional space,” Davies began. She showed a slide with Genesee Hill’s “right-size capacity” and current over-enrollment, while Lafayette is underenrolled – “right-size” at 550, currently at 394. (The calculations for “right size” do include Lafayette’s current portables, Davies said in response to a question. Some of those portables are used only part time, principal Chaput said, adding that “we have four empty classrooms” right now and she saw no problem with adding more students – right now.)

If nothing changes, Genesee Hill would grow to 807 by 2021 while Lafayette would still have room, at 437.

So the district reviewed five “potential scenarios” as Davies described them to try to balance things. They’re looking more seriously at three of them, and those are what were shown. Read More

SAFETY ALERT: Students followed off bus ‘in a suspicious way’

Thanks to Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark for sharing this letter that he and Chief Sealth International High School principal Aida Fraser-Hammer sent to families tonight, so that we can share it with the wider community:

Dear Denny and Chief Sealth Families:

We are continuing to actively share any safety information related to any of our scholars when they are out in our community on their way to and from school.

Today, three middle school scholars were getting off the Metro bus at 35th Ave. SW and SW Elmgrove St. An adult male followed them off the bus and continued following them in a suspicious way. A neighbor observed this and called the police, who responded right away and are now investigating. We are very proud of how our scholars responded to this situation and appreciative of the neighbor who called the police.

Please be assured that the safety and security of our scholars is a top priority at both Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

THURSDAY MORNING NOTE: The helpful neighbor’s wife has added more information via this comment.

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