QAE cares about our families and knows that there have been many experiences related to the Bell Time change this year. Members of our QAE PTSA reached out to our District and heard back from Pegi McEvoy, SPS Assistant Superintendent of Operations, who let us know that the District is accepting data from individual schools within SPS on the Bell Time issue.
QAE Bell Times Survey is an opportunity for us to communicate with our District and provide our QAE staff and PTSA data about the Bell Time issue as it relates to our community. There are only 11 questions on the survey and it should only take five minutes. The QAE Bell Times Survey must be taken by 1/2/17 by 10 p.m. so we can collate the data and communicate it to SPS.
The data will not be used to advocate for one bell time over another and will be shared with our community after the holiday break. This survey's main intent is to let you know that we care about you and value the needs of our community. Please note that whatever QAE's preferences, scheduling bell times is a complex process where the District will consider feedback from all schools.
Take the Bell Times Survey now...
Background & Other Ways to Share Your Thoughts
During the last contract negotiations between the District and the Seattle Education Association, the parties agreed to add 20 minutes instructional time each day as well as a one hour early dismissal each week to give teachers more time for collaboration and planning.
After receiving feedback from families, teachers and staff, the initial proposal is to add 10 minutes to both the beginning and end of the day. Under this plan, the 2017-18 QAE school day would begin at 7:45 a.m. and end at 2:15 p.m. The early dismissal would be every Wednesday afternoon at 1:15 p.m.
See this page on the School Schedule Recommendations for 2017-18 for more information. You can also share your thoughts directly with the District by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to the amazing Christina Thibault, QAE parent, who helped to craft the survey and to Ms. Roy for support and collaboration.
Christa Winquist & Ian Stewart
QAE PTSA Legislative Team
We know you need a few last minute gifts and stocking stuffers. How about some QAE Explorers Spirit Wear?! We have shirts for both kids and adults, fleece zip-ups, those awesome QAE scarves, mugs, and tumblers. Stephanie Reich will have the Spirit Wear store set up near the covered play area tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 16th, at the end of school (1:05 early dismissal).
If you order online tonight, Stephanie can deliver to your child's classroom before the end of the day tomorrow.
If you buy tomorrow at school, cards are preferred, but cash/checks accepted. You know the grandparents would *love* a mug and your child would look full of spirit in the New Year with an Explorer shirt!
View the Spirit Wear online store...
The Levy Cliff: SPS and School Districts statewide are approaching a "levy cliff", an upcoming reduction in how much money school districts can collect through local property tax levies. You may have seen Superintendent Nyland’s letter about it. In SPS the levy cliff is projected to mean a budget shortfall of $74 million dollars and has the potential to translate to 440 staff positions cut across our District and 98 schools. If the levy cliff happens, QAE would face a big reduction to next year's school budget.
What can we do?
1. Call our Legislators of the 36th District and Governor Inslee:
Did you know our Legislators do not get calls and emails in volume over the issue of fully funding public education in Washington State? We must send a respectful message that we care about the issue of fully funding public education and request a levy cliff extension for the 2017-2018 school year. Put it on your calendar to call once a week if possible. Speak from the heart. Pass this information along on FB, Twitter, and to other friends you know in the 36th District. 36th District Contact info:
2. Attend SCPTSA Community Budget Gap Meeting:
Seattle Schools staff will explain the budget numbers. PTA members and the community will have a chance to collaborate on actions we can take together to motivate the Legislature to act.
3. Attend Focus Day in Olympia:
Washington’s Paramount Duty, NAACP, and WEA are co-sponsoring a rally to demand that our state fully fund public education now!
Dr. Martin Luther King Day: Monday January 16, 2017 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Washington State Capital
416 Sid Snyder Ave SW, Olympia, Washington 98504
If you're interested in learning more about the levy cliff situation, check out these articles:
From QAE PTSA Technology Advisor Julie Smith:
This week QAE students got to practice all 5 of our pillars and rocked the Hour of Code! We had over 400 QAE kids join with tens of millions of kids around the world coding, helping other kids, tweeting our participation, and having fun.
Thank you to our amazing school community for your help, support, and participation - our kids were both excited and engaged throughout the day! Our fantastic volunteers made the day run incredibly smoothly (and thanks to those who made sure our volunteers and teachers were well fed!).
Special thanks to all the teachers for working this into their busy schedules, sacrificing the teachers' lounges, and helping to get our kids excited about learning these critical 21st Century Skills.
Now to continue the momentum...below there are a number of suggestions for how to continue to engage your children in coding and software development including resources and classes for both online, individualized and classroom/camp settings.
In addition the parent technology committee will be working with our staff technology committee to find more ways to continue to support these critical thinking and problem solving skills and tools in our classrooms. If you are interested in getting involved in the parent technology committee, please email email@example.com.
· Visit http://studio.code.org/ to continue the exploration!
· Early readers should check out: Course 1
· Readers should try: Play Lab, Flappy Code, and Courses 2, 3, and 4
· Scratch Jr’s iPad app is also good for 1st and 2nd graders
· Khan Academy is also a great resource for computer programming education
Winter Camps and Classes
All are welcome at Tuesday's parent education event on "Creating Community while Navigating Identity Politics." The talk will be facilitated by Amy Pak and Marquita Prinzing from Families of Color Seattle (FOCS). The event will take place from 6-8:30 pm at the QAE Library.
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.