Dear Seattle PTA and PTSA Leaders,
As you likely have seen by now in the local media, Seattle Public Schools is currently faced with a financial scandal. Last fall, the State Auditor Office (SAO) was called in to investigate potential fraud in the district. The SAO's report was released last week and they found a former SPS employee responsible for $1.8M in questionable spending and fraud. It is extremely disappointing to learn this problem could exist within the district. A criminal investigation is underway. The School Board has posted documents on their section of the SPS website. To see the SAO's report, click here: http://www.sao.wa.gov/auditreports/auditreportfiles/ar1005180.pdf. To see the SAO's supporting documents, click here http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/flatpages/local/auditdocuments.html.
In addition to the SAO's work, the School Board hired lawyer Patricia Eakes, formerly with the King County Prosecutor's office, to do a separate investigation to determine who knew or should have known about the problems. A copy of this report is on the School Board's section of the SPS website. Click here to see the reporthttp://district.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/school%20board/Final%20Investigative%20Report%20_Eakes.pdf?sessionid=c407944fd3738934ffa032cbe0cdb89e. To read the School Board's comments, click herehttp://district.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/school%20board/BackgroundAndSundquistStatement_Final.pdf?sessionid=c407944fd3738934ffa032cbe0cdb89e.
The School Board hopes to take quick and decisive action. They will meet Tuesday in a private Executive Session. Further discussion will take place at Wednesday's School Board meeting. Wednesday's meeting will be televised and streaming online. Click here http://www.seattleschools.org/area/ibc/index.xmlfor more information on the broadcast of the meeting.
In addition to these investigations, the district and School Board are working to improve internal audit functions and increase whistle-blower policies. To read additional steps the School Board and SPS is taking to rectify the situation, click herehttp://www.seattleschools.org/area/auditresponse/SPS_Response_to_SAO.pdf.
President, Seattle Council PTSA
I am writing to let you know that a Mayor’s Town Hall for Queen Anne and Magnolia residents is scheduled for March 1st. The location is Catharine Blaine Elementary School cafeteria in Magnolia and the event will take place from 5:30-8:00p.m.
I hope you’ll spread the word to your organization’s membership about this event and encourage them to attend. It’s a good opportunity to ask the Mayor any question you would like and there will be also be City Departments (i.e. Parks, SDOT) staffing tables.
Schedule for the event
5:30-6:30p.m. Information tables staffed by community groups and City departments
6:45-8:00p.m. Q&A with Mayor Mike McGinn
I look forward to hearing from you.
Neighborhood District Coordinator
City of Seattle, Department of Neighborhoods
The Queen Anne Elementary Open House is this Wednesday, March 2nd, at 6:30pm at the Lincoln Building. If you know anyone that might be interested in enrolling their child in QAE next year, please encourage them to attend to find out more about us.
In Olympia on Monday, several of our families had fun while taking a stand for education. Kids enjoyed getting faces painted, making signs and climbing trees in the park before the rally. They marched in the "parade" to the Capitol building and waved their signs. Families had the opportunity to meet Mary Lou Dickerson and Reuven Carlyle and voice their concerns. Hopefully the Washington State legislature heard the message of prioritizing education. QAE PTSA would like the thank those families that took time out of their busy schedules to represent all of our students!
Seattle Public Schools
District IV Community Meeting
with Director Michael DeBell
Saturday, February 19, 2011
9:00am - 11:00am
4001 21st Avenue West
Seattle, WA 98199
(next to Fisherman's Terminal)
Please join School Board President Michael DeBell for coffee and an informal, drop-in community meeting to discuss public school issues and opportunities
District IV includes Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Ballard
SPS School Board
Hopefully you are all getting excited about our upcoming QAE Explorers Launch Party on March 25th! If you haven't already registered to attend what promises to be a wonderful evening celebrating our inaugural year and FUNdraising for our second (art teachers, more computers, etc), here's the link to our online registration: /auction.html Registration deadline is March 10, so get your tickets NOW!
Arrangements are underway, but we have some jobs that still need volunteers to fill them. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. There are jobs for every level of commitment, from sending a few pics to our videographer, to bid runners, to clean up! See the list of unfilled jobs here. Pick a job, any job and join the fun!
Thanks for all you do!
PTSA Volunteer Coordinator
Kids are using these magnets as fake tongue studs, lip studs, nose studs, etc. Please avoid purchasing these “non toys”. Swallowing them has caused serious internal problems. This is not an urban legend – we’ve checked.
Here is the picture of the magnets that have been all around school recently.
Dear Seattle Public School families and families with young children:
Please respond to this survey as soon as possible. Responses received by 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 16th will be shared with the School Board during the budget work session that evening and will help guide budget decisions. We will continue to accept responses to the survey through Friday February 18.
The state of Washington funds only half-day kindergarten (there are a few exceptions to this for high poverty schools). For many years our district has added funding for a further half day to ensure there would be one full day kindergarten available in every school. Over the years schools added "pay for K" programs as more and more families wanted full day K for their children. For the 2010-11 school year, we implemented a standard $207 per month Pay for K program across the district. Students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch receive tuition waivers.
With the severe budget crisis, we are considering various options to balance the budget and one is related to Kindergarten services. We want your feedback about these options. Thank you.
This Saturday, February 19th, is the next race in the Magnuson Park Series. This series offers a 5K, 10K and 15K option every month. The cost is reasonable IF you sign up ahead of time, double if you sign up the day of the run. If you are interested in running the February version of the race I would love to hear from you. I will absolutely be there if we have anyone else going but will likely head elsewhere if no one is interested. The link is here for information.
On a related note: If you are interested in a little trail run, either at Discovery Park or a little more adventurously at Cougar Mountain, sometime during Mid-Winter Vacation, please let me know. I can get email pretty much anytime so just use my school email to reach me. email@example.com
We are continuing to run many days at school and a significant number of kids are still going strong. Our first 100 miler, Jackson Lee, has been taking a little break to rest his weary legs but others are taking up the challenge. Love to have any volunteers help with during recess times.
MIDWINTER CAMPS: FEB 21-25: Theatre Crafts (K-3 grade) and For the Gleeks (4-8grade) with extended care available for only $4.00 per hour!
SPRING BREAK CAMPS: APRIL 18-22: The Very Hungry Catterpillar (K-3 grade) and Being Funny & Having Fun Onstage (4-8 grade).
SUMMER CAMPS: Spend your Summer in the sun with Stone Soup Theatre’s SummerStage 2011. Three beautiful outdoor locations for ages 3-20: Meridian Park (Wallingford), Seward Park (South Seattle), and Marymoor Park (Redmond). Offering week-long, full (9am-2pm) and half day (9am-12pm) camps running June 27 – Aug 26, 2011! New this year: Under the Sea and Super Hero Camp (ages 3-4), Theatre Crafts, Harriet’s Secret (for Harry Potter fans) and Comedy, Comedy. Plus, Teen Programs (ages 10-20): A 30 Minute Comedy of Errors and 15 Minute Hamlet. Or, sign up for some of our all-time favorites: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Dracula and The Hobbit. All the programs end in a performance. Extended care (AM and PM) available at the Meridian School in the Wallingford location.
Check our website for class descriptions, dates and registration details http://www.stonesouptheatre.org
Arlene Martinez - Vickers
Stone Soup Theatre
Directed by Eve Hammond
WINTER 2011 Classes:
Creative Drama (ages 5-7)
The Hobbit (ages 7-11)
Tuesdays 4pm -6pm
A 30 Minute Comedy of Errors (ages 10-15)
For The Gleeks
Thursdays 4pm - 5:30pm
The McDonald PTA has arranged for piano lessons through Music Lessons on Wheels to be offered Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Lessons will be held in the school cafeteria near the KidsCo room.
Play. Read music. Compose. We can’t promise that every student we teach will turn out to be a little Mozart, but Music Lessons on Wheels can promise that an exciting piano adventure awaits your child. Whether engaged in traditionally formatted private lessons or our beginner’s twinned lessons format (designed to teach 2 children at a time, each with his or her own instrument) our approach delivers action-packed lessons that will introduce key concepts and develop the musician in your child.
Join the families at BF Day, Bryant, John Stanford, Laurelhurst, the Meridian School and over 25 other locations in helping us to bring the joy of making music to your child. We are ready to begin an 8 week session with lessons delivered weekly beginning on Monday, March 7th. When enrollment exceeds capacity, we’ll introduce another lesson day. Don’t hesitate to let us know if Mondays/Wednesdays will not work for you – there are often other options!
Visit our website at: http://www.MusicLessonsOnWheels.com or phone Jeanne for more information at 206.818.4780. Register here or email Martina at PianoLessonsMLOW@gmail.com. She will help schedule a lesson time for your child.
8 twinned lessons (2 children together for 30 minutes) $160
4 private lessons (30 minutes – more traditional format) $140, invoiced monthly
*there is a 1-time $10 registration fee
This information is also in our Before/After school web section.
Come attend Focus Day as we rally on the Capitol steps and meet with legislators and staff, leave notes, receive updates from policy-makers on key issues and network with other PTA advocates. PTA volunteer advocates can make a difference when they come to the Capitol in large numbers.
Online registration, agenda (stuff for kids too!), march route and parking information at: http://www.wastatepta.org
If you plan on attending, please email Jenice Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can coordinate a carpool, meeting legislators together and so on.
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The Rocket Reader newsletter is sent weekly by the PTSA.