West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Nicole from the Chief Sealth International High School PTSA for word on this:
On Thursday, June 4th from 8:00- 9:00 pm, Elijah Allen-White ( Sealth Student) will be the featured student DJ for the KNKX 88.5 FM jazz24.org Evening Jazz Show with jazz host Abe Beeson. Tune in and listen or if you miss the show you can hear it online at jazz24.org.
By the time Seattle Public Schools‘ unexpectedly hybrid year ends on June 19th, it’ll announce how next school year will look. Today’s announcement says three scenarios are being considered:
Seattle Public Schools this week begins an intensive three-week project designed to create an adaptable plan for the 2020-21 school year and student re-entry this fall.
The project – “Learning Plan – Returning to School Fall 2020” – is comprised of four “engagement teams” which will consider a wide range of factors as they deliberate over seven meetings between June 4-16.
The teams will present their recommendations to the project leadership group, which will announce a decision on June 19, 2020. At that time, the decision will be communicated to staff, students and families.
Three scenarios will be explored by the engagement teams:
• Pre-kindergarten to 5th grade students attend school in-person full-time; students in grades 6-12 on an A/B schedule, receive part in-person learning and part remote learning;
• PK- 12th grade students on an A/B schedule, receive part in-person learning and part remote learning;
• 100% remote learning.
Engagement teams will be tasked with determining an adaptable plan that:
• Mitigates and minimizes the spread of coronavirus;
• Keeps students and staff safe;
• Prioritizes access to learning for students furthest from educational justice;
• Provides services through a racial equity lens;
• Enables staff and students to return to learning;
• Supports social-emotional well-being and safe environment interactions;
• Supports families through this transition.
The planning process will be guided by the tenets of Seattle Excellence, the district’s strategic plan, and will explore safety requirements, delivery of remote instruction to various student groups, and budget constraints. The process will include feedback gathered in recent staff, family, and leadership surveys.
Engagements teams will prioritize staff and student health and safety, following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and public health agencies, while continuing to focus on high quality teaching and learning.
The four representative engagement teams are comprised of school leaders, parents, SEA members, partners, students, and central office staff. Each team will be comprised of approximately 18 members (details are still being finalized).
The project’s swift timeline is purposeful, in order to provide educators with as much time as possible to begin preparing. Staff will receive the final decision for re-entry plans before they depart for the summer.
This year’s last day of in-person SPS classes was March 11th.
Now that it’s June, it’s graduation month – or, if you don’t know anyone in the Class of 2020, surely you have some other reason to celebrate, so here’s a way to do it with flowers, as announced by the West Seattle High School PTSA:
Brighten up your days with a beautiful spring bouquet while supporting the WSHS PTSA and our local farmers! The PTSA is partnering with Hmong Flower Farmers to offer beautiful bouquets to honor our graduating Seniors. If you don’t know a senior, buy one for yourself or an essential worker in your neighborhood! Order by June 4th (Thursday) for pickup at the high school on Saturday, June 13th, 10 am-noon. If you can’t make it in person, we will deliver for you for an additional $10 (within West Seattle only please). Cost per bouquet is $20 pickup/$30 delivered. Proceeds benefit the WSHS PTSA. Learn more and place an order today!
We’ve seen many heart-tugging videos with schools’ staff showing students how much they’re missed – and vice versa. This time, though, it’s not just the students who are missed, but also their parents/caregivers – because cooperative preschool is for them as well as their little ones! Jen Giomi sent the clip, explaining, “South Seattle College Cooperative Preschools managed to keep the program intact and move to online operations for all of spring quarter, a heavy lift for sure. Here is a link to a video that we made for our community to express our gratitude. We are so grateful to our community and the legacy of all of the Co-op Preschool families in the community.”
Thanks to Shawna for the tip: While Louisa Boren STEM K-8 would usually be kicking off Pride Month right about now with the annual GGLOW OWLS Family Dance Party, that’s not possible this year, so instead they’re having an online party and an ice-cream-truck pop-up. The Full Tilt Ice Cream truck will be outside the school (5950 Delridge Way SW) 5:30-7:30 pm tonight. All welcome to come buy ice cream – should be perfect weather for it.
In English and Spanish, that’s a new video message from Denny International Middle School staff, made for its students, but potentially of interest to the wider community too. Three weeks are left until this most-unusual school year ends on June 19th.
Caps, gowns, signs, and more are now in the hands of Chief Sealth International High School seniors, after a drive-up event at the school today – a chance for staff and seniors to see each other, at a distance, for the first time since campuses closed 2 1/2 months ago:
Along with the caps and gowns, honor cords and other items were picked up, plus the Class of 2020 received cheers:
Among those there to cheer the seniors – Chief Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer and Sammy the Seahawk:
And the “Lunch Ladies” were there too:
Among the surprises for seniors – special cookies:
The well-wishing extended even to four-legged volunteers:
The district is planning “virtual graduations,” and the dates/times are now online – Sealth will be at 8:30 pm June 17th.
Chief Sealth International High School is the next local high school to celebrate its Class of 2020 in this year of coronavirus-canceled commencement ceremonies. 11 am-2 pm on Wednesday, CSIHS staff and seniors will see each other for the first time in 2 1/2 months during a drive-thru cap-and-gown pickup. CSIHS principal Aida Fraser-Hammer tells WSB, “Along with caps & gowns, the students will get their honor cords, awards and certificates, medallions, class photos, yard signs, and some special surprises.” Logistics are on the school website.
Thanks to Paula for the reminder. Despite the holiday, meal distribution is happening as scheduled today at Seattle Public Schools’ ongoing sites – that includes Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle), Denny International Middle School (2601 SW Kenyon), West Seattle HS (3000 California SW), and West Seattle Elementary (6760 34th SW), until 1 pm.
Even without traditional commencement ceremonies, the Class of 2020 is graduating, and that’s what an event outside West Seattle High School this afternoon was all about.
It was a drive-up/walk-up event to pick up caps and gowns.
Seniors and families were cheered as they drove through the lot:
(Video courtesy Clay Eals)
Students were reminded to vote for the Senior Class Awards, too:
Among the staff and volunteers there to cheer the seniors, WSHS principal Brian Vance:
In lieu of the usual gatherings, the district is arranging virtual events. In the meantime, you can also cheer grads in your neighborhood – look for yard signs –
P.S. Cap-and-gown pickup for Chief Sealth International High School is set for next Wednesday.
No commencement ceremony does NOT mean no celebration for the Class of 2020. The photos and report are from Seattle Lutheran High School (which is north of The Junction):
Seattle Lutheran High School principal Dave Meyer delivered signs and gifts to the Class of 2020.
After an incredible year, the Senior class were given signs and gifts to recognize their achievement and perseverance throughout an historical end of the school year. “Seattle Lutheran delivers,” said a parent.
By Judy Pickens
Special to West Seattle Blog
When school closures started in March, most of the 72 teachers leading Salmon in the Schools projects across the city immediately released their tiny fish into the wild on the chance that some might survive. In West Seattle, however, most salmon teachers found ways to keep growing their fish and to share releases electronically with their students.
Arbor Heights Elementary‘s tank tender Kristin Waitt Hutchinson spun into action as soon as the closure notice came. She quickly got a freshwater tank ready in her garage for the 150 coho fry she had been helping teacher Angie Nall care for at the school. Two months later, she brought the robust fish to Fauntleroy Park, where Angie shared the release as it happened with her students on Zoom. Read More
Another local PTA invites everyone in the community to bid – and dine!
The Gatewood Elementary PTA 2020 Auction is going virtual!
Silent bidding will begin on Monday May 25.
Live streamed event is on Friday May 29 @ 7 pm.
Please visit www.gatewoodauction.org and click the online auction link to register for the event. Everyone has to register for online bidding. Anyone can participate – registration is free!
A special meal from Elliott Bay Brewery is available for purchase to be delivered in West Seattle on Fri May 29. Please order by this Friday May 22 at www.gatewoodauction.org.
Kid-made art, restaurant gift cards, Pearl Jam poster, vacation homes, and more!
Questions – please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your support of the Gatewood Community.
– Lauren Fabella and Matt Hoffman
Gatewood Auction 2020 co-chairs
June 19th – one month from today – is the last day of the year for Seattle Public Schools. No decision yet about what school will be like in the fall, though the governor has said he’s optimistic that in-person classes will resume. In the meantime, SPS is asking its families and staff to answer a survey “to gather feedback on how things are going and inform additional supports and future planning.” It’s open through Wedneday (May 20th); the family survey is here, the staff survey here, the school-leader survey here.
Last December, we reported on the levy-funded plan for upgrading the Madison Middle School athletic field with artificial turf and lighting. A comment period related to the project has just opened; nearby residents were sent a notice (thanks for the tips on this), which is replicated on the Seattle Public Schools website:
Draft SEPA Checklist for the Madison Middle School Athletic Field Lighting Project
Public Comment Period: May 11-June 10, 2020
Seattle Public Schools has prepared a draft checklist in compliance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) regulations for the Madison Middle School Athletic Field Lighting Project. This document provides a site-specific environmental review of the project. The district seeks written comments on the draft SEPA checklist.
The “checklist” – a 113-page document – is here.. It includes project information, dated last month, including that the work is expected to be done this summer, lasting one to two months. (It also notes that an unrelated project is in the planning stage for Madison, a two-story, eight-classroom addition.) Here’s the key summary it contains:
SPS proposes to light the athletic field at Madison Middle School to allow for both SPS use and community use. The athletic field at Madison Middle School accommodates soccer and football activities, with a surrounding track. Light fixtures would be installed on six galvanized steel poles around the perimeter of the field. The poles would be 70 feet tall.
SPS and Parks propose to schedule events at the lighted field from dusk until 10 p.m. The proposal would not change the school enrollment or any other facilities on the site, but would allow increased use of the athletic fields for scholastic and non-scholastic recreational activities schedules to end by 9:45 p.m., with lights automatically turned off at 10:00 p.m.
Later in the document, this is noted: “No public address system would be used at the athletic fields, and SPS will prohibit the use of portable speakers on the athletic fields.” The document also includes detailed analysis of factors from traffic to noise to soil, and graphics/maps. If you’re interested in commenting, here’s how:
Fred Podesta, Chief Operations Officer
Seattle Public Schools
PO Box 34165, MS 22-183
Seattle, WA 98124
Again, the deadline is June 10th. SEPA, by the way, is the State Environmental Policy Act, explained here.
Another school fundraiser has gone virtual. Westside School (WSB sponsor) has a silent auction online, plus a virtual live auction tonight. The announcement:
Due to COVID-19, Westside School’s annual fundraiser has gone virtual! The Wolves Stick Together Spring Fundraising Campaign (through tonight) features a virtual silent auction with many great items to bid on and the chance to support Westside School. Need some retail therapy? Check out Westside’s virtual silent auction here!
TONIGHT – 7:00-7:30 p.m.
The Wolves Stick Together Campaign will conclude with a virtual live auction, hosted by Fred Northup Jr., which will feature some great “live” items to bid on, and a chance to raise your paddle for Tuition Assistance! Grab a cocktail and join us at 7:00 p.m. Check out the event on YouTube.
Tuition Assistance Program
Westside’s Tuition Assistance Program is the biggest fundraising priority of the year and your support impacts the quality of education for every student at Westside School. This year, one in seven Westside families received tuition assistance. NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) projects that the request for tuition assistance will increase 20% over the next three years. With uncertain times ahead, supporting the Tuition Assistance program is more important than ever to Westside’s educational program and to Westside families.
Nine weeks have now passed since schools closed. These past two weeks, we’ve been featuring videos and events that have reconnected schools’ staff with their students and community members. This one is from Fairmount Park Elementary; Althea sent the link, explaining “here is the video message from FP staff to our school community … including any Falcons who have already flown from ‘the nest’! (Former students, families, and staff members!)”
One more school video to share – thanks to everyone who has been sharing them so the entire community can see them! This one features Madison Middle School staff, telling their students how much they’re missed.
Though students and school staff are apart, they’ve been finding ways to stay together in spirit, including the videos we’ve been sharing. Tonight – a video made by West Seattle High School students to show appreciation for teachers. (Thanks to Breanna for telling us about it!)
(WSB video and photos unless otherwise credited)
Sanislo Elementary is the latest school in West Seattle to “reunite” students and staff, at a distance, via a parade! Our video above shows participants just after they left the school on Puget Ridge early this afternoon. Some of the sights:
Even a classic fire truck!
And along the route, Chris got this video of some of the students on the roadside:
It was two months ago today that Seattle Public Schools announced its campuses would close for at least two weeks, which as everyone knows then became the rest of the school year.
We’re continuing to showcase teacher/staff appreciation events organized by local schools. This video was sent by Hope Lutheran School:
Sally Heit from Hope explains:
Hope PTH (Parents and Teachers of Hope) did to honor Teacher Appreciation week. We organized a Thank You Teachers’ parade May 7th. A parent had suggested it while only a few weeks into the ‘stay at home’ order, in hope that students could reconnect with their teachers.
We are over a month and a half into quarantining and morale of students and teachers is low, so we decided we had to do something! I organized shifts, preschool families first, then K5-5th, and then middle school. All staff were 8 ft apart, most with masks.
I can’t even tell you how uplifting it was for teachers to see their students! Not sure what to expect, we were shocked to see car after car drive through a tunnel of teachers to say hi, honk, shout, and show their thanks! Kids made signs, cars were decorated. It was a special morning for sure; tears were shed, but most importantly students and staff reconnected in person and knew they could make it the rest of the year. The feeling from the staff was palpable; they missed and loved their students
Sanislo Elementary on Puget Ridge is the next school having a parade so students and staff can see each other – at a distance – two months after schools closed. Above is a screenshot of the route – see it here full=sized – and here’s the announcement:
All of the teachers and staff at Sanislo miss you! We miss you so much that we have organized a Sanislo Staff Car Parade for this Monday, May 11th.
Sanislo Staff is going to leave the school in a train of cars at 1 PM. Please check out the map of our route so that you can plan accordingly. The orange numbers on the map show the order that we will be traveling through the neighborhood. Come out to your yard! We would love to see you!
If you live farther away from the school, or your house is not directly on our route, please know that we still really want to see you! Feel free to go to the closest spot on the route. We do ask that you continue to practice social distancing so if you see other Sanislo families around, please give a friendly wave and continue to keep a healthy distance.
If you are able, it would be amazing if you could wear your Sanislo t-shirts and make a sign for the teachers and staff. Most of all, we just want to see your smiling faces! Also, be on the lookout for a special surprise from us! We hope to see you on Monday!
We’re continuing to spotlight videos made in honor of local teachers/staffers. Nora Jindrich sent this one:
Hi! I am the sophomore class president at Seattle Lutheran. This is a video the class of 2022 made for our teachers during our virtual teacher appreciation week. I wanted to share it because it is not just for our teachers but for ALL teachers supporting us during this hard time.