See what they built! Thanks to Susie and the K-5 STEM PTA for sharing that slide deck of photos from a pre-holiday project they thought you might want to see:
The K-5 STEM PTA challenged classrooms to create a team-based, collaborative structures for our first annual Gingerbread House Engineering Expo. We had participation from 11 class teams and the results were creative, artful, festive and FUN! Teachers had no limits except their imaginations and each team was given a “starter kit” of materials. Many classrooms continued with themes they have been studying, including geometry, architecture, native bird species and literary themes. All participating classes received an award for their work such as “Most Epic Implosion,” “Most Spellbinding,” and “Best Ecosystem.” Great job, STEM owls!
P.S. In case you’re not already quite well aware – STEM and all other Seattle Public Schools are on winter break until Monday, January 5th.
Catching up with more local school-related news: Ten students from West Seattle Elementary School were among the participants at the citywide Girls On The Run 5K earlier this month. The photo shared with us also includes teachers, parents, and community volunteers who serve as running buddies, including accompanying their assigned “buddy” in the 5K after weeks of preparation. GOTR isn’t just about running – it’s also about empowerment and character development, helping build self-esteem. Those involved with GOTR at WSES include teachers Colleen Farrell, Amber Simonton, and Hannah Ory, along with afterschool coordinator Alex Cali. As mentioned here on WSB before, GOTR runs on plenty of volunteer power, so if you’re interested in getting involved (WSES is one of six West Seattle schools involved), go here to find out how.
Congratulations to the West Seattle High School girls-varsity basketball team – head coach Sonya Elliott shares news of a big win last night, over Lakeside – ranked 9th in the state and playing on their home court! – 59-43. Next up for the Wildcats, a home game against Ingraham tomorrow night (Friday, December 19th), 6:30 pm.
(View from the new camera as of a few minutes before we published this)
If you want to check in on the progress of the new elementary school on Genesee Hill, you don’t have to walk/bike/run/drive/send your drone over … a live webcam is now up and running on the site. See it here. The school’s now projected to open in fall of 2016 as the new home of the current Schmitz Park Elementary program (what then happens to THAT campus is apparently back to being “undecided”); construction has been under way for more than three months now – demolition of the old GH Elementary started in early September.
Last week, we shared a request from student researchers, asking you to take a quick survey for their project. Today – this followup, including the photo and a hearty “thank you”:
Thank you West Seattle Blog and all of your readers for your help with our research project. The Holy Rosary Gator-bots received over 680 responses to our survey in 3 days! The participation from so many readers was impressive, but what impressed us most was the level of detail provided by the readers. The Gator-bots spent a good portion of last Saturday going through the responses. Based on the responses, the Gator-bots realized that there are opportunities to enhance the way everyone learns about new Technology. So they modified their original hypothesis for the project based on your guidance!
Yesterday they presented their research and modified hypothesis to a panel of judges as part of the First Lego League regional competition in Auburn. Thanks to WSB and the survey respondents, the Gator-bots received a trophy for their research through crowdsourcing and were asked to continue their research because they were invited to attend the Semi-Finals in January! Look for an update on the Gator-bots in January!
Thank you WSB and West Seattle. We feel blessed to be part of such a wonderful community.
On Friday evening, December 12th, Denny International Middle School hosted our annual Posada celebration. The evening was filled with great food, dancing, and fun! Thank you to all of the families and staff who came to make this such a culturally rich and memorable time!
A special thank you to all of our volunteers, including: Ms. Salcedo, Ms. Amaral, Ms. Olsen, Mr. Garcia, Ms. Brown, Ms. Bowie, Ms. Rangel, Mr. Rodriguez, Manu, Sheila, Kevin, Sommer, all of the Proyecto Saber scholars, Mirabella and the Chief Sealth dancers, and the one and only DJ Vagos!
This is the last week of school for Denny and other Seattle Public Schools pre-winter break – after a one-hour-early dismissal on Friday, no classes for two weeks.
West Seattle schools: National tutoring program Reading Partners now in action here, too – and you can helpDecember 14, 2014 at 9:19 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 2 Comments
Southwest Precinct Community Police Team officers are usually the ones you’ll call about a chronic problem or concern in your neighborhood, rather than seeing them show up in an emergency situation. On Friday, we caught up with two of them in a setting aimed at solving a different problem – literacy challenges.
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
Intense night of early-season high-school basketball last night as West Seattle High School hosted Chief Sealth International High School. Above, fans rushed the court after the WSHS boys pulled out an overtime win, 56-47, in the last game of the night; the WSHS girls also went home with a win, 83-40.
CLICK/SCROLL AHEAD for 17 more photos, plus summaries from both games:
Librarian Craig Seasholes already was planning to work with fourth and fifth graders – and then he got word of a special visitor:
Tanya Parker (above left) is the International Program Manager at Code.org and also an engineer on its product team.
Students heard about her work and also did some work of their own, programming with computers and iPads, working with drag-and-drop programs that could show them the underlying code, too. West Seattle’s school-board representative Marty McLaren was there to see them work.
Hour of Code isn’t a single day or a single hour, but it’s focused on this particular week (which happens to be Computer Science Education Week) this year, as explained on its website, which says it’s “a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries” – not just kids, but anybody “4 to 104.” The main point: Learning something about coding isn’t just for people planning to focus on computer science – it can help us all with problem-solving and with being ready for just about any field of work.
(Dr. Larry Nyland, photographed in High Point by WSB’s Patrick Sand on December 1st)
At a special meeting tonight, the Seattle School Board voted 5-2 to make interim Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland permanent. Here’s the announcement from the district:
The Seattle School Board has selected Dr. Larry Nyland as the permanent superintendent for Seattle Public Schools. Nyland has held the interim role since last summer. The 5-2 vote, allows Board President Sherry Carr to negotiate a new contract with Nyland, which the board will vote on January 7, 2015. If approved, Nyland’s contract would be extended through June 17, and would switch from interim to permanent at the end of June 2015.
“I have chosen to evaluate Dr. Nyland not only on his last 17 weeks in Seattle Public Schools, but his past 40 years in education,” said Sherry Carr, Seattle School Board President, applauding his career successes and need for stability in the district.
“We have a lot of work to do to support systems, and to better support students, said Interim Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland. “I look forward to working with them. Thank you.”
This stirred some controversy in advance because instead of conducting a search, or at least announcing they would not do a search, the board revealed the proposed hire via a meeting agenda published just before the long Thanksgiving weekend. Dr. Nyland appeared at a previously scheduled forum in West Seattle the following Monday (WSB coverage here); just before that forum, the district announced it would move the hiring vote back one week, to tonight, to give the public a chance to comment.
Victory tonight for West Seattle High School‘s girls-varsity basketball team in their first home game of the season, 72-19 over visiting Kennedy Catholic HS. In the photo above, #4 is Lydia Giomi, the Wildcats’ top scorer for the night, with 16 points. Tied for second with 12 points each were Gabby Sarver and Emily Fiso.
Next opponent for the WSHS girls – coached by Sonya Elliott and assistants Ashley Ioane and Karyn Golgart – is Nathan Hale, also at home, 7:30 pm Wednesday (after the 5:45 JV game); the Wildcat boys play Hale at home tomorrow, same start times.
Two notes from Westside School (WSB sponsor):
(Photo courtesy Westside School)
TOY DRIVE THROUGH WEDNESDAY: Added to our West Seattle Holiday Guide, in the section where you’ll find opportunities for giving:
Since 2004 Westside School’s Kindergarten classes have championed a Toys for Tots drive. Over the past ten years they have collected more than 1,800 toys for children in our local community. This year Westside School was named an Official Toys for Tots Drop Site. NEW, unwrapped gifts may be dropped off through Wednesday, December 10th. Westside School is located at 7740 34th Ave SW.
OPEN HOUSE ON SATURDAY: If you’re school-shopping for 2015-2016, Westside would love to see you tomorrow:
Westside School is holding an All School (PreK – 8th grade) *Open House* on Saturday, December 6th from 10 am until noon. This is a great opportunity for prospective families to tour the school and speak with the faculty and staff (no reservation required). The application deadline for the 2015-16 school year is January 14th. Westside School is also offering parent tours during the school day by appointment.
Tonight, the Seattle School Board meets, with hot topics including the sudden move to offer interim superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland the permanent job, plus a vote on boundary changes that have raised concerns for several West Seattle school communities. (See our Monday night coverage.) Whatever happens tonight, you have a chance to hear from West Seattle’s school board member Marty McLaren tomorrow, as the Lafayette Elementary PTA is hosting her at a public forum (6:30 pm Thursday, December 4th, free child care). While its announcement (after the jump) includes school-specific items, the forum is not limited to those topics, as Lafayette PTA president Katy Walum tells us anyone in the community is welcome – note they’re also expecting replies from state reps on statewide school issues:
Congratulations to West Seattle Elementary Chess Club members who did very well at a regional chess tournament before the Thanksgiving break. The fifth-grade team placed third overall and two students qualified for the state tournament, Rory Moriarty Carey and Jimmy Oto. Thanks to Ritchie for sharing the news.
(P.S. – You might recall that chess at WSES made news last spring, when the school was visited by international chess star Phiona Mutesi.)
Doubleheader meeting: Seattle Public Schools’ interim superintendent in West Seattle, as board delays permanent-job vote; Marty McLaren’s community chatDecember 1, 2014 at 6:11 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 11 Comments
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
6:11 PM: We’re at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, where Seattle Public Schools‘ interim superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland is about to start a “coffee hour” chat with community members. The district has just announced a one-week delay in the board’s vote on whether to offer him the permanent job – a sudden move that turned up in the agenda for Wednesday night’s board meeting. Under the new plan, the proposal will be introduced on Wednesday, then voted on during a separate special meeting one week later, 4:30 pm December 10th; details are on the district’s home page. (Comments? e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org )
Meantime, we’re covering tonight’s meeting (which will be followed at 7 pm by a community-conversation meeting with local school-board rep Marty McLaren, who is in the audience right now), and will add toplines as it goes.
6:31 PM: About 15 minutes into the Q/A, nothing about the superintendent’s job, but the first bit of news emerges:
Interim school superintendent in West Seattle tonight, two nights before sudden board vote on making him permanentDecember 1, 2014 at 2:16 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 7 Comments
What was originally billed as a “coffee chat” tonight in West Seattle with Seattle Public Schools‘ interim superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland is suddenly being seen through a different prism: The School Board has decided to vote Wednesday on offering him the permanent job, rather than conducting a search to find candidates. The district didn’t even make an announcement – instead, the planned vote simply turned up on the meeting agenda published just before the long holiday weekend; it was first spotted and reported by Melissa Westbrook via her Seattle Schools Community Forum website.
West Seattle’s board member Marty McLaren has offered her explanation of why she supports giving Nyland the permanent job; if you didn’t see it via her mailing list, you can read it on her website. McLaren writes of Nyland, a former Marysville superintendent, that “in his 16 weeks in his job, he has demonstrated strong leadership, integrity, vast competence in his role, and deep awareness of the importance of relationships, among other vital skills.” If you want to ask her about this, or other current issues – such as the boundary-change concerns – she will be having a community-conversation meeting right after the superintendent’s “chat,” same location, which is Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way) – his meeting is 6-7 pm, hers starts at 7.
And if you’re interested in signing up to speak at Wednesday’s School Board meeting, signups start at 8 this morning, as explained on the right side of this document.
At Chief Sealth International High School Friday night, it was a time to re-live memories on the court, and a time to honor a longtime leader:
Receiving the leis, that’s Mike Siva, who coached at Sealth for more than a quarter-century as part of a 36-years-and-counting career with the district. A tribute to Coach Siva and four rounds of basketball comprised the third annual Nels Enquist Alumni Basketball Game event – more ahead:
Music Boosters supporting the West Seattle High School music department sent word of this – tomorrow (Wednesday) is the last day to get in on it – and note that if you don’t need all that fruit, you can still help the students while donating your donation to feed those in need!
The WSHS Music Department is currently selling 20-pound boxes of oranges or grapefruits, for $28.00 each. Funds raised will help offset student costs as both the orchestra and band will be traveling to perform in Disneyland this next May. Fruit can be purchased from any WSHS music student, or contact email@example.com by 11/26, for more information. Boxes can also be purchased for direct donation to the West Seattle Food Bank. The fruit will be delivered around December 5th.
1:48 PM: Via both SPD and a campus source, we’re told some West Seattle High School students have joined the walkout to show opposition to the Ferguson, Missouri, grand-jury decision. Some other schools in the city including Garfield and Roosevelt had hundreds walk out.
2:20 PM: We just missed the walkout but got some reader video we’ll add when back at HQ. Police we talked with just off-campus estimated about 75 participants and say it unfolded peacefully.
2:44 PM: Added the aforementioned video atop this story (recorded by a reader from the top parking deck at Admiral Safeway, looking west), plus our photo of the police who were still at California/Stevens when we arrived. Another texter said some had walked out at Chief Sealth International High School earlier today, but we have not confirmed that. The district’s message about the walkouts is on the SPS home page.
(Photo by Holli Margell)
Glass art as a holiday gift? That’s one way to support the playground project that Pathfinder K-8 has embarked on. Organizers explain: “Having been awarded significant grants from both the City and County, we are working to raise $50,000 in cash from our school families and broader community. We have a lovely donor recognition program that will be a lasting symbol and legacy
of your gift to our community. Please see the giving levels” here. Hint – the glass tiles are part of it; you can fund one (or more) with an inscription to forever be part of the new playground; see the design here.
Friday night, you’re invited to Chief Sealth International High School for a tribute, two alumni games, a tribute, and more! From girls’ head basketball coach Katie Jo Maris:
Chief Sealth’s 3rd annual Nels Enquist Alumni Basketball Game: THANK YOU, COACH MIKE SIVA!
“You Gave Me Your Time, The Most Thoughtful Gift Of ALL” – Dan Zadra
I would like to invite EVERYONE to join Chief Sealth International High School on November 28, 2014 to honor the great coach Mike Siva for everything he has done for Chief Sealth Athletics.
- Coached at Sealth 1984-2010
- Coach of the Year: Volleyball 2, Soft ball: Slowpitch 1, Fastpitch 2
- Volleyball: ‘93-‘94 Metro champs. Last public school to win Metro back to back. 3rd in state ’93 and 8th in state ‘94.
- Slowpitch: State 1993. Fastpitch was regularly in the play-offs.
- 36 years with Seattle Public Schools. A plus award winner, Alliance of Education only security specialist to win the award.
- Security at Sealth ‘79, ‘84-‘99, ‘99-Present. Currently the Southwest Division Technical Lead Specialists–Seattle Public Schools–security.
Details for the game:
ANY FUNDS FROM THIS EVENT WILL GO TOWARDS SEALTH’S HALL OF FAME AND ALUMNI RELATED ACTIVITIES. WE WANT TO RECOGNIZE THOSE WHO DESERVE IT AND GET OUR BANNERS BACK UP IN THE GYM!!
– $3 Adults 18+
– $2 11 yrs-17 yrs or any age with student ID
– FREE 10 yrs and under
4:00 pm – Doors Open
4:15 pm – Varsity Girls basketball scrimmage
5:00 pm – Varsity Boys basketball intra-squad scrimmage
5:15 pm – Alumni Player Check-in
6:00 pm – Women’s Alumni Game
7:00 pm – HONOR COACH MIKE SIVA
7:30 pm – Men’s Alumni Game
There will be concessions as well as Sealth gear available for purchase.
Please come and enjoy this event with your friends, family, current Seahawks and fellow alumni.
CSIHS is at 2600 SW Thistle.
Thanks to Roxhill Elementary library teacher Chris Robert for sharing the report and photos:
- Like Sanislo, Roxhill has received its shipment of $6,000 in books from its 2013-14 partnership with the Seattle Public Libraries funded by an Allen Family Foundation Grant. Many thanks to Sanislo Librarian Craig Seasholes and former Roxhill Librarian Pat Bliquez for securing this partnership.
– Thank you to the Friends of the Library for its donation of 2,500+ books to give away to Roxhill students. Books are covering the lunchroom tables, and students will select at least five books each when they come with their families for conferences … continuing through Tuesday.
– Author and illustrator Wendy Wahman visited, spoke, and drew with Roxhill 1st and 2nd graders. Ms. Wahman read her story “Snowboy 1, 2, 3″ and shared her process when illustrating books. Thanks to the PTA for funding this event.
– Roxhill’s Book Fair @ Barnes & Noble included read-alouds by Roxhill teachers, parents, and students. ([Above] is a pic of teacher Mike Nguyen.)
We appreciate receiving school news we can share with the wider community – both after events happen, and info ahead of time for potential coverage by a WSB crew – e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org any time!
P.S. Seattle Public Schools‘ Thanksgiving break is just a few days away – one-hour early dismissal on Wednesday, then Thursday and Friday off, back to school Monday, December 1st. (As mentioned above, elementary schools have conferences instead of classes in the days before Thanksgiving.)
Big fun and big giving Friday night at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor):
The West Seattle High School PTSA thanks the community for making the annual “Reaching for the Stars” auction a tremendous. success. The auction was held on Fri. Nov. 21. Principal Ruth Medsker and PTSA President Cathy DeVore welcomed guests and supporters, including Mayor Ed Murray and County Executive Dow Constantine (WSHS alumnus), pictured holding a member of the WSHS class of 2032:
If you missed the auction, you can still support WSHS students via the PTSA’s fundraising efforts – go here.
(Photo republished with permission)
Sanislo Elementary librarian Craig Seasholes is excited about a big gift for the young readers with whom he works – those boxes are part of a donation of nonfiction books worth $6,000! They’re courtesy of the Seattle Public Library/Paul G. Allen Family Foundation collaboration and Sanislo parents are invited to stop in the library during conference week next week for a closer look. Find out more on this Sanislo webpage.
Another chance to support a West Seattle school is two days away. From the Roxhill Elementary PTSA:
This Friday, November 21st, the West Seattle (and beyond!) Community has an opportunity to support Roxhill Elementary School.
From Open to Close (as well as online), a percentage of purchases made at Barnes and Noble will go towards the school.
Mr. Robert – along with Teachers and Parents – will be live-reading in the Children’s section [at the Westwood Village store] from 5 pm – 8 pm. Put on your pajamas and join us! Thank you so much!
The voucher number to use that day (in person or online) is on this PDF – 11509577.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
Culinary students at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) were working on this gingerbread house well into Tuesday evening – after having already put more than 100 hours of work into it – with instructors including Christopher Harris (left). This morning, college spokesperson Kevin Maloney says, it’s scheduled to be picked up for delivery to Costco‘s corporate offices, where it will be on display in the travel area.
ADDED: Here’s the SSC report with full details on the gingerbread project.
West Seattle schools: ‘Kindergarten technologists’ work with newly donated Snap Circuits at LafayetteNovember 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments
With public funding of schools falling short, community and corporate goodwill is more vital than ever to help students keep up. The latest example was shown off this morning in Landon Bell‘s kindergarten classroom at Lafayette Elementary in The Admiral District. The “kindergarten technologists” in our photos are using Snap Circuits (shown and explained here) to explore electrical engineering, creating working machines on circuit boards.
Lafayette got the Snap Circuits via a request on the crowdfunding site for teachers, DonorsChoose.org, one of 19 projects at 15 Seattle schools that were funded in a donation by AT&T, according to the announcement of this morning’s demonstration.
Many DonorsChoose projects are funded by individual community contributions, but as was the case here, the corporate community jumps in too – you might recall the Google announcement at Highland Park Elementary last month. Much other supplementary funding comes via events organized by schools’ PTAs (at Lafayette, last month’s Walk-A-Thon – with community sponsors including WSB – raised $60,000 in pledges).
P.S. If you’re interested in donating to classroom projects, DonorsChoose is searchable by zip code, and our quick check shows lots of current requests from local teachers.
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