Jog-A-Thon fundraising is building steam as more families get registered with Pledgestar, our online fundraising platform. If you haven't signed up yet, please take a few minutes (it only takes 10) to get your child registered. If you have any questions about how to sign up you can find answers on the Jog-A-Thon site.
If you are already signed up, consider sending out more requests. The more emails sent, the more funds raised. Currently, Ms. Belcher and Ms. Goldman have the most students registered in their classes. To date we've earned just under $8,000. We would love to see 100% participation. The money raised by the PTSA goes into many important programs that our school would not be able to afford without their help. But, that requires you! We need your help getting the word out and gathering donations so we can meet our goal of $40,000. Mission: Possible is the theme. Let's show these kids what's possible.
Quick ask: we need a few pop-up tents to use at the Jog-A-Thon. If you have one we could use, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
The first General PTSA Meeting of the school year will be on Tuesday, October 9th from 6:30-8pm at the Queen Anne Community Center.
It's open to all parents and the community -- please come to hear about what's going on at our school. We'll talk about plans for the year, review what's getting funded, the adventures of busing, adjusting to John Marshall and more. There will be time for questions and anything else you want to discuss.
The PTSA is planning to make childcare available at the meeting. Reserve a childcare spot here:
Hope to see you there!
New Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau is embarking on a district-wide Listening and Learning Tour to better understand the concerns of our families.
Given the recent reductions in staffing that left QAE (and other schools) scrambling, the listening tour is a good opportunity to share our concerns. The closest to our area is Ballard High School on October 4th, 7-8:30pm.
See the Superintendent Juneau's Listening Tour site for more information and other dates.
Student Picture Day is tomorrow -- Tuesday, Sept. 25th! In addition to being able to order photos of your cute kid, individual pictures are used in the yearbook and for the Seattle Public Schools database.
Students who are absent or want to retake can do so on Retake Day later in the Fall.
You should have received a printed form in your child's orange folder. You can return it with cash or check on the 25th. Or you can prepay via credit card. To prepay for your pictures online:
Note: if you have more than one child at the school, you'll need to submit a separate order for each kid.
If you have questions, please contact Yuen Lui Studio at 1-800-347-4667.
As families have seen on various outlets, including the email sent today by Janine – SPS enrollment was low and many schools are being impacted in losing teachers and reorganizing classes. QAE is one of the many schools being impacted. We would have had to say good-bye to Ms. Bonnie as our newest 2nd grade teacher and it would have impacted all of our classrooms through a reconfiguration of 2nd grade (would have need to created many split grades that would have had a cascading effect from K to 5th).
The impact to our student community seemed too great. The PTSA started exploring options with school staff. The team dived into all options ranging from doing nothing to revising the entire PTSA budget to do something. It is with great gratitude to Bonnie, Megan and Helene for volunteering a creative solution of job sharing and personal sacrifice that allowed us to arrive at today’s solution. We are impacting the least amount of students, a class gets to have 2 great teachers, we lose no teachers from our QAE family and PTSA helps bridge a gap to continue to support our students.
But this action is also met with the knowledge that many other schools are in a worse situation. Schools do not always have the resources or ability to have so many pieces come together. During the fundraising season, the PTSA may come to you with asks fo money but today we are asking for your time: please lend your voice to the other schools in our community that need our help.
This is absolutely unacceptable and we need our collective voices to be heard on how this impacts our communities. Please consider editing and sending a version of the note below and spreading the word to all of your friends within SPS to write them. Any letters can be sent to email@example.com. We need to galvanize and flood them with letters to show them how displeased we are.
See the SPS summary of the staffing adjustment as well as their FAQ about the process.
Another way to advocate is to attend one of the upcoming Superintendent listening tours. The closest to our area is Ballard High School on October 4th.
Sample Letter to Send to the SPS Board
This is just an example, please write your own or edit as you see fit. Note the underlined sections that should definitely be edited.
Subject: Unacceptable displacement of teaching staff
Dear Superintendent, School Board and senior SPS staff,
I am parent of two SPS students - a second and fourth grader at Queen Anne Elementary. I am incredibly frustrated to see that SPS is displacing staff from approximately twenty different schools and majorly disrupting the lives of teachers, families and communities as a result. The impact on students at Nova and Interagency is even greater given the disproportionate impact on them.
I understand that there is a correlation in number of students and revenue and with the 1.4% enrollment decrease, you need to find ways to cut cost. Is there a reduction in staff or other major cost cutting efforts happening at the JSCEE? Why are schools bearing all the reductions in revenue? This is absolutely unacceptable.
Also, you are already in violation of the McCleary ruling on classroom sizes which as you know should be a maximum of 17 students for K-3 and 25 students for 4th grade and up. At my kids' schools, they have more kids in their classrooms already so combining classrooms will only put SPS further away from appropriate class sizes.
You need to do better for teachers, families and communities. How will you retain top talent when teachers can easily go to neighboring districts that are more effectively managed where they can make more money? How can you shuffle kids around after school has started which is hard for all of them but especially for neuro-atypical children in our system?
At work, if I were to consistently miss projections and disrupt hundreds or thousands of customers regularly, I would have been fired long ago. Please take us off this annual enrollment projection roller coaster and find ways to keep communities intact.
[ Your name ]
Earlier this afternoon Principal Roy shared the following e-mail with the student community. The PTSA wants to underscore the thanks given to Ms. Dudley, Ms. Palumbo and Ms. McCormick for helping us work through this difficult situation. We are relieved that there will be no reduction in existing classrooms at QAE!
Dear QAE Parents/Guardians,
Each September, Seattle Public Schools examines initial school enrollment and makes staffing adjustments district-wide. This year, SPS enrollment is significantly below projections which impacted many schools across the district. Queen Anne Elementary is one of several SPS elementary schools directed to make staffing adjustments. This means we must adjust our staffing by one full-time teacher. Our next step is to determine how to best do this while having the least impact on students.
In light of losing a full-time teacher, which would force a reorganization of almost all of our classes, the staff came up with a unique approach that minimizes the impact on our children. We thank Ms. Bonnie Dudley, Ms. Megan Palumbo and Ms. Helene McCormick for their dedication to supporting our students in crafting an innovative plan.
After consensus with the Building Leadership Team (composed of staff, PTSA Executive and parents; K – 5th grade teachers and Career Ladder Teachers) and QAE staff, here is our plan:
What does this mean for your child?
Ms. Bonnie, Ms. Palumbo, QAE staff and I will work closely with students and parents in the 2nd grade class to navigate this unexpected change. All students will continue to have great teachers and continue learning alongside their current classmates.
I want to express my appreciation and support to every QAE family, our incredible QAE staff, our BLT and PTSA. Collaboratively working together has been essential during this process. We will get through this change over the next few days, and most importantly, we will get through this together as a supportive QAE community.
Janine Roy, Principal
QAE 2018 Reorganization FAQ
When a school has to reduce a teaching position, how is this done?
When a teacher needs to be displaced in a school, we are contractually required to ask for volunteers and if none emerge, then the least senior classroom teacher is automatically displaced. At QAE, we had three volunteers which allows us to keep classes intact:
Are we at risk of losing any additional staff/resources?
No. Staffing adjustments are only made at the beginning of the year at elementary schools.
Could we have made cuts/savings in other places to save this position?
No. Schools are allocated separate budgets for staffing and supplies. Supply budgets cannot be moved to cover staffing needs, nor would they be sufficient to meet these costs.
Were enrollments down across all Seattle Public Schools?
Enrollment at the elementary level is down across the district. Schools are impacted differently based on their boundaries, housing trends, etc.
How does this compare to other elementary schools in our area?
Other elementary schools in the Queen Anne community had a difference between their projected enrollment and actual enrollment as well.
Did we take all the students off our waitlist?
Yes, all interested families were accepted at QAE this year.
Join QAE PTSA in the brew-room of Rooftop Brewing on Sunday October 7th anytime between 5-8pm to celebrate start of school year and top off the weekend. Enjoy sampling Rooftop's fall line up and reconnecting with parents, welcoming new ones, lamenting bus schedules, etc.
No charge for the event and it is open bar, but space is limited so please RSVP to reserve your spot.
When: Sunday, Oct. 7th, 2018, 5-8pm
Where: Brew Room at Rooftop Brewing, 1220 W Nickerson St. Brew Room is located beneath the main pub area and is indoors! We'll be hanging amongst the giant barrels used to brew.
RSVP now for QAE Octoberfest!
Octoberfest is for adults only, so line up a babysitter or call in the grandparents. We hope to see you there!
If you're into beer, here's a list of what Rooftop will have on tap for our group (don't worry, non-alcoholic options will be available too):
Stargazer Red IPA
This Red IPA features five different hop varieties atop the roasty goodness of Victory Malt. Darker than your average IPA, this beer begs to be enjoyed under a clear night sky. Winner of 2017 WA Beer Award Silver Medal in the Imperial/Double Red Category!
The Great Pumpkin Pale
Real roasted pumpkin, over 20# per barrel, in a nice pale ale. Not a knock you over the head spiced dark ABV bomb - but real beer and real pumpkin, and REAL delicious.
Makeda Coffee Porter
Our beloved coffee porter, brewed with NaPali blend from local micro roaster, 7 Roasters. The coffee is boldly-flavored, syrupy, deeply-caramelized, and smoky. The Coffee blends perfectly with the chocolate and dark malts in our Porter.
Pilsner Style Ale
Pilsner Style Ale is a light, not-too-hoppy beer in the style of a Czech-Pils. Built to please those who enjoy the lighter side of life but still want a little flavor in their beer.
QAE Curriculum Night - Thursday, Sept. 27th, 6:30-8pm at John Marshall
For new QAE families, Curriculum Night is an annual SPS evening information session for parents. This year, QAE parents/guardians will begin in the John Marshall auditorium/cafeteria at 6:30pm for staff introductions and an overview of our five pillars and QAE foundational elements, such as Project Based Learning (PBL), social emotional learning and innovative technology. Then parents/guardians will move to your child’s classroom where your child’s teacher will provide a presentation from the grade group team on academic programs, social emotional learning and supporting your child at home.
We begin in the John Marshall auditorium/cafeteria at 6:30 pm for staff introductions and an overview of QAE pillars. A 20-minute presentation will be offered by each classroom teacher in their room at 7pm and repeated at 7:30pm to accommodate families with more than one child. Beginning at 7:30 pm, Janine Roy will be available in the cafeteria to answer any remaining questions.
Games Club Available
We have a limited number of slots available for Games Club during Curriculum Night. You can drop your kids off for fun while you focus on Curriculum Night. Sign up here. Slots are limited and are by reservation only.
Reposting what Principal Roy shared -- lots of good info! Open the PDF to read or view the embedded version below (may not be visible on all browsers).
Now that school is underway, let’s get ready to help our students support the things we love about QAE! The Jog-A-Thon, our only student-driven fundraiser of the year, is just around the corner! Next week in your child's orange folder, look for a flyer with details about the jog-a-thon and easy instructions to get your student started with online fundraising in 10 minutes or less.
If you'd like to volunteer on the 11th, an online signup sheet will be coming soon!
Parents and family can purchase adult size jog-a-thon t-shirts for $10 each to show their QAE spirit while supporting the PTSA. As always, each student will receive a Jog-A-Thon t-shirt at no cost, celebrating their efforts. Purchase your shirt on the Jog-A-Thon page by Wednesday, 9/20.
New this year:
*New school = new course!
*We are looking for QAE parent-run businesses to sponsor this year's Jog-A-Thon. As a thank you for your support, you’ll get your business’s logo on this year’s Mission: Possible t-shirt. Contact Nicole Forrest at firstname.lastname@example.org
SPS is working towards adopting a new science curriculum. In this process the science adoption committee is asking for your participation. Please encourage your friends, family and community members to share their thoughts. We need all voices to weigh in on their ideas regarding K-8 science.
Take the survey here:
Principal Roy shared some updates about drop-off and pick-up at John Marshall:
Dropoff is available starting at 8:35am: please drive slowly into QAE Staff Parking off NE 68th street. Enter at west end and exit at east end. This is a goodbye and go exit, so drivers remain in cars and students exit out the car door closest to the building to ensure safety for all. A staff member will be there to greet students and keep the line flowing smoothly starting at 8:35am. Please drop off single file to ensure student safety and allow SPS staff to park.
To walk your child into the building, enter using the center doors at the front of John Marshall. Walking families, please stay out of the staff parking lot; this is for drop off only. Please walk with your child through the building to the playground; invite your child to show you hallway expectations so that they can practice what is expected in our building. Staff supervision on the playground starts at 8:35am, so please remain with your child until that time.
After School Pick-Up
To pick up your child from the cafeteria, park on a side street and enter through front doors (use center doors) and wait in cafeteria.
To pick up without coming into John Marshall, wait along NE 68th Street in the School Bus Zone. This zone is for parents and taxis and drivers must remain in their cars. Staff member will walk them to NE 68th Street. This is new! We are trying this thanks to parent feedback. We welcome additional feedback on this!
We've heard about some of the adventures that our families have had with buses to John Marshall during the first week of school. With our temporary location in Ravenna, many families who didn't previously ride the bus are experiencing it for the first time.
Here are a few tips that we've heard from veteran bus-riding families and from Janine and SPS:
Check the SPS Delayed Bus Page
The district maintains a page with update information about late buses. See the page here...
Talk to other parents on the QAE Community Discussions Group
If you're on Facebook, join the QAE Community Discussions Group. It's a community forum where parents are sharing updates on buses.
We've heard from parents that there are often delays during the first week of school that get better as the SPS transportation department finalizes routes and hires additional drivers.
Problems or questions?
Contact the SPS Transportation Department.
First day of Kindergarten is really happening! Let's celebrate this milestone with a casual reception with coffee and bagels in the John Marshall cafeteria after the bell at 8:55am.
Chat with fellow parents and get to know folks in the community. We'll have bagels and coffee.
For families who are observing Rosh Hashannah and won't be at school - we're sorry to miss you. Please contact the PTSA if there are any questions we can help with.
The QAE PTSA is hosting a Back-to-School BBQ at Woodland Park on Saturday, Sept. 15th! All QAE families are welcome!
Let's relax at the park and have BBQ lunch while our kiddos enjoy play and hanging with their school friends or making new ones! We have reserved Shelter 1 and Tables 1-14 at Woodland Park from 11am-3pm (see the map below). Look for the orange and purple decorations!
Lunch will feature hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers along with the sides! Please use the link below to RSVP for the BBQ -- this helps us plan for how much food we need! To help us defray the cost of the rental, food and drinks, the PTSA is suggesting a donation of $5 per attendee. Please note -- this is completely optional, all families are welcome!
RSVP now for the Back-to-School BBQ
Fun toys, bubbles and surprises provided, but please feel free to bring any toys and games your kids love.
Note -- all food and drink will be provided. Just come, eat and help us build our QAE community. We'll see you at the park on Saturday!
Can you help out at the BBQ?
We're looking for parents to help at the event. Please contact Seth Essmeier at email@example.com if you're able to help with any of:
If you have questions, contact parent volunteer Seth Essmeier at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us after drop-off on the first day!
If you're dropping off your 1st-5th grader for the first day of school tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept. 5th) please join the PTSA for a casual reception in the John Marshall lunchroom after the second bell. Reconnect with good friends, make new ones and share your summer stories among smiling faces while enjoying bagels and coffee.
Note: first day for Kindergartners is Monday, Sept. 10th. Look for details on a similar reception specifically for K parents!
Welcome to the Rocket Reader blog! The PTSA's collection of news & information relevant to QAE Families. This is also shared weekly in the Rocket Reader e-newsletter. Use the form below to sign up!
The Rocket Reader newsletter is sent weekly by the PTSA.