Dear QAE Families,
What a wonderful community we have at Queen Anne Elementary. As I work on the last minute gifts to wrap in a box I think of the most important gift that so many parents give – the Gift of Time. I am so appreciative of the gift of time that so many of the parents here at QAE give every week. There are many times that we ask for volunteers for specific tasks and events – THANK YOU!!! but there is a mighty core group of volunteers that are plugging away every single week. I realize this gift of time to the school and the PTSA is something more treasured than anything I can wrap up under the tree. I wanted to thank these weekly volunteer warriors and can’t wait to see you in 2020 and kick off a whole new year:
Jody Stewart – she helps collect, answer and coordinate with the individual classroom coordinators in their class news.
Classroom Coordinators – The classroom news is one of the most important emails we get all week. Thank you to all our classroom coordinators that help take time each week to collect, coordinate and share! Here's the entire list: Justin Ward, Lindsay Coetzee, Maria Clabeaux, Jill Randall, Sydney Mintle, Rebekah DuBeau, Stacie Farrar, Sharon Breiner, Dana Pelleg, Lisa Christensen, Mary Gilliam, Erika Bloch, Veronika Ziegler, Siri Ito, Brett Adler, Tamara Convertino, Brandi Casto, Jamie Ross, Genevieve Kitsch, Jenny Feldman, Marna Metcalf, Jody Stewart, Rosa Alvarez, Nick Papadopulos, Rick North and Jenny Feldman.
Cindy Reiner / Kelly Essemier – so important to our staff, teachers and parents we are asking for payment or reimbursements. This team is working every week to update our books and process our check requests.
Mark Stewart – plugs away at the weekly Rocket Readers, social media and cleaning up our web page. In this day and age where there is a deluge of information Mark is so important in keeping us informed.
Shalini Nilakantan / Lisa Christensen – If there are events or not they are constantly thinking of events upcoming events, planning for future events, or cleaning up all the popcorn from Popcorn Fri-Yay!
Mary Rea, Jenn Lovin and April Jenks – the auction isn’t till March but there is a steady amount of work that happens every week. There is great organization and momentum in these weekly meetings.
And what kind of PTSA President would I be if I didn’t make a plug where we ask you to remember to make your donation to our Annual Fund Drive? Every few dollars make our goal of $60,000 possible--you can help us Raise the Rocket and get your tax-deductible donation in before the end of the year! And if we don’t reach our goal I’ll come back in the new year and remind you again. 😊
Thank you for being a part of the Queen Anne Elementary community — this is a busy time of the year for everybody and I wish everybody the holiday magical wish of a few minutes where you can take a breath, kick back and enjoy your beverage in peace.
Welcome to a new series of “FRI-YAY” community events right after school! Our first FRI-YAY fun is coming up this Friday, Oct 25th, right after school for 20 minutes (rain or shine) outside by the gym. Tasty, fresh-made POPCORN will be for sale for $1 a bag. For our bus riders, Kids Co. and Enrichment students we’ll have popcorn pre-sales at lunch which will be delivered to their backpacks before end of day (please remember to have your kiddo bring $1 cash on Friday). We’ll munch popcorn and celebrate the weekend ahead! (All proceeds go directly to fund PTSA community events)
Our first All School PTSA meeting takes places on Wednesday, October 16th from 6:30-8pm at the school! We'll be in the Chiilzone/cafeteria area!
It's a great way to hear about what's going on at the school, including the PTSA's plans for this year—we’ll check in on plans for community event this year, elect new board members and more. All are welcome, would love to you see and hear you at the meeting.
Games Club will be available during the meeting. Reserve a space here:
Dear Queen Anne Elementary Family,
Welcome! What an amazing 3+ weeks of school with an incredible QAE school community of students, families, teachers and staff. The QAE PTSA vision is to support this community and to support each other to help make our child’s potential become a reality and to help provide a powerful voice for our children. QAE PTSA is a volunteer-run organization and we appreciate all of your volunteering efforts!
Before I jump in, I wanted to remind you that our first big event and fundraiser of the year is this Friday--our beloved QAE Jog-A-Thon! We're at $22,000 towards our goal of raising $40,000 and need your help to meet that goal and support our kids. Setting up a PledgeStar account is a snap — take a few minutes to set it up now. Whether you post your PledgeStar link to your social media or dial up your grandparent for a donation — every dollar raised helps! And we'll see you on Friday at the school!
If you are new to QAE or back again I wanted to share the focuses we have this year. These were built on parent and staff feedback the Board received at the end of the last school year:
Funding staff positions. The PTSA assists in funding our in-class tutors for Kindergarten and 1st Grade, playground supervisor, additional math specialist time, allocation for someone to help with particular paperwork and a Social Emotional Learning focused tutor.
Providing staff and classroom support. Funding staff professional development, training days for learning new curriculum and positive discipline, and discretionary funds teachers can use to enhance their classroom or curriculum. And math curriculum for the 4th and 5th grade classes.
Bringing in special guests for assemblies and events.
Families of Color, which seeks to create a welcoming community for children and families of color, and to integrate cultural competency at QAE.
Gather in the Garden, which uses the QAE Learning Garden to integrate basic earth sciences and community stewardship for our students and families.
Classroom Coordinators, who keep you connected to what’s happening academically and socially in the classroom.
In addition, we sponsor a host of additional support to build community and have fun through events, support Project Based Learning, and generally make QAE the most fun elementary school in Seattle! This is all made possible through the hard work of volunteers and through funds raised each school year.
How does PTSA pay for the above initiatives: The PTSA holds fundraising events just three times during the school year. Our estimated total fundraising goal this year is $250,000.
Jog-A-Thon – Powered by our students by reaching out to our family and friends for pledges.
Explorer Fund Drive – Powered by our parents to help answer a call by our school, teachers and students.
Auction – Powered by the whole community. A social evening that helps bring together our parent and teacher community to socialize and raise the dollars needed to fund this year’s operating budget. (Save the Date – Friday, March 13, 2020)
Here’s how you can get involved:
Complete the back to school checklist! This includes ensuring we can contact you for all of these great events, among many other things. qaeptsa.org/checklist.
Volunteer. Whether you volunteer in your child’s class, in campus groups, or through the PTSA, there are many ways to be involved. We are looking for a team to plan our annual auction but there are opportunities on every level of time commitment and interest. Start at the PTSA volunteer page or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attend a PTSA event. We organize community events (Family Games Night, Jog-A-Thon, etc) throughout the year, so please join us. We keep all school and PTSA dates on the calendar.
Donate. Fundraising enables us to support our students. We organize three annual fundraising events: Jog-A-Thon (October 4, 2019), Explorer Fund Drive (Dec. 2020), and Auction (March 13, 2020).
Read the Rocket Reader. Our weekly e-newsletter publication includes essential school and PTSA information and important dates. The email address you provide through the Directory will be added to our distribution list courtesy of QAE PTSA. Please contact email@example.com if you are not receiving the Rocket Reader.
Look for more information at qaeptsa.org, in the Rocket Reader, and in your student’s orange folder in the coming weeks. We look forward to meeting you and thank you for your support.
QAE PTSA President
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get information? Do I need Facebook?
We try to communicate in different ways to reach all parents – Rocket Reader emails, weekly Class Coordinator emails, student orange folders and Facebook postings. Some forms of communication will reach you faster than others.
Facebook – I see two QAE facebook accounts. What’s the difference?
There are two pages that shares school information. Queen Anne Elementary PTSA – primary posts are the official dates and to-do's pushed by the PTSA and the Board initiatives. QAE Community Discussions – closed group of QAE community family members where all individuals are welcome to post questions, discussions and support each other.
The after-school enrichment registration process is different this year – why is that?
After many years of running the enrichment program with a team of volunteers it was brought to the Board that the program had gotten larger than the parent volunteers could manage. The after-school program is now being run by Kids Co. It does look similar because we provided them all our previous providers for them to contact for set up.
QAE PTSA Board Meeting vs. General Meeting –What is the difference?
PTSA board meetings occur once a month for committee updates, discussions on ways to improve, execute, and vote on upcoming requests and needs of the communities. All are welcome but only board members have a vote on motions during the Meeting.
General Meeting – PTSA holds three all school meetings each year to share with the community financial updates, committee updates or any motions that require an all membership vote I.e. the main PTSA Budget requires a general membership vote. All are welcome and usually kids club is available for students.
I have an idea and want to start something new?
Great! We are open to new ideas and parent led initiatives. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can figure it out.
What’s coming up?
Email email@example.com and we'll do our best to help.
As we start the year, there are a few volunteer positions where we could use your help. QAE relies on volunteers to make our school flourish. We'd love you to join us! If you're interested in any of the roles or have any other questions, please reach out to PTSA President Sandra Nanney at firstname.lastname@example.org
Auction Focus Group - call it an auction, fundraiser or spring social but once a year we host an event where QAE comes together to socialize and raise money for our school. We want to change it up this year but before paying for deposits we want to get a group of parents together to brainstorm ideas. Would you be willing to meet as a small group for coffee? Or after work drink? FYI - we don’t have a Auction Team Lead yet. We have plenty of volunteers but not someone to marry it all together. If you are interested in leading PLEASE reach out to Sandra Nanney @ email@example.com
Legislative Director - do you like following the news? Do you read the voter pamphlets from cover to cover? This role might be right for you. Looking for someone that will inform our school of legislation that would impact our school community. Did you know that PTAs were created to advocate for the child. Please let us know if there are things we should advocate!
Families of Color co-director - Equity, diversity and the ongoing community dialogue to better educate ourselves and our children. Do you have the desire to further the conversation? Our amazing Leader, Kay Dumlao Doherty, is hoping to have a partner to help further the conversation and share the goals of making sure we take the time to connect and educate.
Fundraising Director - QAE PTSA hosts 3 fundraising events a year. As fundraising director you will review numbers and updates with the groups running the events. Support and brainstorm where needed. Usually the event teams are really focused on the execution to come to the boring board meetings :) Many years the fundraising director will run 1 of the 3 events themselves.
Assistant Treasurer - are you good with check requests? Or tallying numbers? Our co-treasurers would like to round out the team with an additional person. Full transparency - Kelly Essmeier, our assistant treasurer for 1 year and now treasurer for her 2nd year will be graduating from QAE. She is hoping to pass on the knowledge to the next team so we have good transitions.
We can add a lead to any position you are interested in. The President roles would appreciate a Co-President or a Co-Vice President to join them at the table. If you are interested please reach out to Sandra Nanney at firstname.lastname@example.org
We wanted to share results of the PTSA Family Survey, but first off -- please join us at the final PTSA General Meeting of the year on Tuesday, June 11th at 6:30pm at the Queen Anne Community Center. It's important we hear from you about the proposed budget and priorities for next year! Plus, hear about how the final construction work is going at QAE on Boston St and the timeline for moving over the summer! Games Club will be available for your kiddos during that time - sign up for slots here!
We thank all those in the community who answered the Family Survey last month. Here's how the community ranked the priority areas:
With that guidance we applied that mindset when looking at the budget allocations for next year. We spread the budget into the following general categories:
Please keep in mind the budget is still being finalized by the Board, so there is potential that the percentages may change slightly. But the board really looked at making the decisions based on your feedback.
To be fiscally responsible we cut all categories of the expenses down from this years budget and from previous year because we raised less total dollars versus prior year.
This year you helped raise $230k (THANK YOU!!!) based on the three primary QAE PTSA fundraisers as well as "passive" donations:
If your company is able to match funds we ask you to consider submitting a matching request for QAE. If your company pays for your volunteer hours please remember to tally up your QAE volunteer hours to submit. Every penny adds up!
Why are we talking about next years budget now?
The regular PTSA fiscal year starts on July 1st. And historically we take a vote at this last general membership meeting of the year to give the Board the ability to move forward with planning and spending. We will re-present the information with any suggested updates at the first general meeting of the school year, typically in October.
Why did we raise less money this year?
QAE had fewer families/students at the school versus last year. Although the per dollars raised per student were similar from the direct fundraisers we had fewer students at the school vs. prior year. So less total dollars.
Can we make changes at the general membership meeting?
Yes adjustments can be made in the majority of the categories. There is a particular chunk in the staffing budget that we cannot touch at this point because we have signed an agreement with SPS to commit to staff.
We hope to see you on Tuesday at the Community Center to discuss and vote!
Please join us on Tuesday, June 11th at 6:30pm at the QA Community Center for the final PTSA meeting of the year! We'll be voting on next year's budget and hearing from Janine about our move back to Queen Anne. Help us us plan for a great year at our newly expanded campus!
As we move back to Queen Anne into our expanded building, it's time a great time to get involved in the QAE community!
Are you an accounting wiz? Experience doing social media or marketing? Or eager to find out how the WA Legislative decisions affect QAE? No matter your interest, the QAE PTSA Board would love to hear from you!
No PTSA Board experience is necessary, and this is a fabulous way to get involved in shaping the future of your children's school. Thanks for considering! Please contact email@example.com or talk to any of the current officers if you're interested or have any questions!
Here's where we could use help, but we can find a role that works with your interests and schedule!
Like many of you, we as the QAE PTSA Board have been processing the news of the group of Queen Anne Elementary teachers leaving for Magnolia Elementary. We recognize this is a wonderful opportunity for these teachers to be part of a starter school. As one parent shared – these teachers are seeds going into the world to grow these communities and children. And we will certainly miss them, celebrate them and wish them tons of success.
But, honestly, we are a mix of emotions. We’re wondering some of the same things you may be – what this means for our school, whether we’ll be able to find teachers as wonderful as those who are leaving, why teachers and families would want to leave QAE.
These are complex issues, but we want to highlight a few things we’ve been thinking about:
There is a lot to process, but we feel excited about the long-term future of QAE. Maybe it's because we see Janine's dedication on a daily basis, the strong teachers who are staying or the truly incredible candidates who have been applying. We see new teachers eager to join QAE and drive it into its next phase as a learning community while honoring our Five Pillars and SEL approach.
If you have questions or would like to talk, please consider coming to a Caffeine with Janine after Monday Morning Meeting, reaching out to her directly or speaking with a PTSA Board member.
Ian, Reem, Sandra and the rest of the PTSA team
PS - If you have additional questions you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org (this will go to Sandra to consolidate)
PPS - If you know you are not returning to QAE next year, it would be tremendously helpful if you did the following:
Rescheduled to Tuesday, March 12th due to the Snowpocalypse! (Our apologies, we first had it listed as happening on Wednesday. It will happen on Tuesday, March 12th!)
What is Positive Discipline?
Will it work for my child/family?
How are teachers using it at QAE?
Please join us on the evening of Tuesday, March 12th for a brief PTSA General Meeting followed by an Introduction to Positive Discipline workshop by our new school counselor, Paulina Cuevas-Vega. This is a great opportunity to learn how to teach our kids important social and life skills based on encouragement and mutual respect. Please join us to hear the latest from the PTSA about our budget, updates about our move back to the expanded Boston St. campus and more. We'll keep the meeting short and jump right into learning about positive discipline! Get to know our new counselor and learn how you can apply Positive Discipline at home.
When: Tuesday, March 12th, 2019. 6pm - PTSA General Meeting; 6:30-8pm - Positive Discipline Workshop
Where: Queen Anne Community Center, 1901 1st Ave W
Reserve a spot for Games Club during the meeting:
About Positive Discipline
Positive Discipline is a program based on Adlerian Psychology principles, and designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful, and resourceful members of their communities. Based on the best-selling Positive Discipline parenting books by Dr. Jane Nelsen, the program teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults. Parenting with Positive Discipline means being kind and firm at the same time, which is effective long-term and helps children feel a connection — a sense of belonging and significance.
Paulina joined QAE in Fall 2018. Originally from Chile, Paulina most recently lived in China for 5 years teaching positive discipline. She has a psychology degree, a MA in Educational Psychology, a PK-12 school counseling license and 15 years of experience working as a School Counselor in local and international schools in the USA, Chile and China.
We're looking for a QAE parent who would be interested in helping out with our treasurer work. If you have experience in finance, great, but anyone who is interested can learn the ropes quickly! The position would be responsible for:
If you're interested, please contact our Treasur Kelly Essmeier at email@example.com
As we settle in to the school year, we thought it'd be useful to have a reminder about numbers to call and other helpful resources for QAE families.
Always let the school know if your child is going to be absent. Contact Catie Coyle, our new attendance/office assistant via the main QAE office phone number 206-252-2480 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. It's also useful to let your child's teacher know, particularly if it's a longer term absence.
Transportation Issues and Questions
Contact the SPS Transportation department at 206-252-0910 or visit their website. They have the most up to date info of buses and can actually access the drivers. Principal Roy also sends out regular updates via email and there's often discussions in the Facebook QAE Community Discussions group about bus status.
Lunch and Meals
Contact our wonderful Nutritionist/QAE Chef Nancy Buran at 206-252-3589. You can also view your child's balance and add money to purchase breakfast and lunch on the SPS's PayPams site. You can view the current menus for breakfast and lunch.
Lost and Found
Our lost and found located directly inside the main doors of QAE. Have your child take a look if they're missing something. You can also contact the main QAE office number if you have a question - 206-252-2480.
The main QAE Office should be contacted if you're hoping to use space in the building for something outside of regular school hours - 206-252-2480.
There's a number of ways you can keep up with everything that's going on at QAE. Some of it is managed by the school, others by the PTSA.
All these methods have you confused? We get it, there's a lot. If you're not receiving the information you need, feel free to contact the PTSA at email@example.com and we'll try to help. If you aren't hearing from Principal Roy or your teacher/coordinator, contact them to make sure they have the proper email for you.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
7:30am - Breakfast & Playground Supervision Begins
7:50am - Breakfast Ends, Opening Bell
7:55am - School Day Begins
2:25pm - Dismissal
Wednesday Early Release
1:10pm - Dismissal