The School Garden Needs Watering Help From Now Through The Summer

The Garden needs you! Warmer than usual weather means the garden is dry and thirsty.  Regular watering means we can use less water and have healthier plants.

Sign up here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040545aba72ea64-school

Please share this sign up with friends and neighbors.  It’s a relaxing way to spend an hour and the real plus is you can harvest a bit of lettuce, herbs, or sweet peas for your evening meal.

Morning and Evening options available starting in July.

Thank you,

The Garden Committee

Permanent link to this article: http://sandpointelementarypta.org/2015/05/24/the-school-garden-needs-watering-help-from-now-through-the-summer/

Urgent Advocacy Alert! Funding at Stake!

Dear Sand Point Parents,

Two years ago, School Staff, Principal Warren and Parent Volunteers Worked to secure a $318,000 Families and Education Levy award from the City of Seattle starting the ’15-’16 school year (renewed annually for three more years). We received our monetary award letter in February 2015 and had our budget approved in March. The agreed upon goal between the City and the school were to use funds to (1) increase the social and emotional needs of our students (2) provided a balanced reading and math program over the next 3-years. The award would also pay for ELL Teacher, instructional supplies, and our Family Support Worker.

However, in recent weeks the City has reduced the funds by 70% due to administrative changes in leadership (Principal leaving). Rather than strengthening our educational program, this will put us in a position to reduce our exceptional staff by 1.5 as well as re-evaluate proposed hires such as a School Counselor.

As a community, we love our staff and have worked hard to fundraise for new positions at the school. It’s frustrating to have our elected and public officials award tax dollars only to defund before we’ve even started.

In speaking with community advocates, we’ve learned the most effective method of making a difference is to contact our elected officials.  We’re asking your help this week to campaign by sending letters, emails and calling the officials to petition the change.

Attached is a form letter for you to send to the contacts listed below. Please do so.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact a PTA Board Member, replying to this message or contacting President Chandra Hampson at 206-618-1456. We thank you for advocating for our kids!
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City of Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning and Levy Information: http://sandpointelementarypta.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=a4449a021b871fc9fe6674e75&id=691e5d527e&e=6601e5fa64

Families and Education Levy Oversight Committee Members:
http://sandpointelementarypta.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=a4449a021b871fc9fe6674e75&id=1f8c291929&e=6601e5fa64

CONTACT LIST OF OFFICIALS AND DEPARTMENT MEMBERS:

Dr. Larry Nyland
Superintendent, Seattle Schools, Levy Oversight Committee Member
Office of the Superintendent
MS: 32-150
P.O. Box 34165
Seattle, WA
98124-1165

Email: superintendent@seattleschools.org
Phone: (206) 252-0180
Fax: (206) 252-0209

Mayor Edward B. Murray, Levy Oversight Committee Member
City of Seattle
PO Box 94749
Seattle, WA  98124-4749

Email Form: http://sandpointelementarypta.us6.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=a4449a021b871fc9fe6674e75&id=d867cfefcf&e=6601e5fa64
Phone: (206) 684-4000

Senator Patty Murray
2988 Jackson Federal Building
915 2nd Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98174

Email Form: http://sandpointelementarypta.us6.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=a4449a021b871fc9fe6674e75&id=3a14a542be&e=6601e5fa64
Phone: (206) 553-5545

City Council
Tim Burgess
Council President, Chair-Education and Governance Committee, Member-Levy Oversight Committee, running for re-election 2015 for at-large Position #9
Seattle City Council
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Email: tim.burgess@seattle.gov
Phone: 206-684-8806
Fax: 206-684-8587

Bruce Harrell
Councilman, Member-Levy Oversight Committee, Vice Chair-Parks Committee, Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods, running for re-election 2015 in District 2
Seattle City Council
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Email:  bruce.harrell@seattle.gov
Phone:  206-684-8804

Jean Godden
Councilwoman, Education and Governance Committee, Chair-Parks Committee, running for re-lection 2015 in District 4 (our district) against Provine, Maddux, Pacheco and Provine
Seattle City Council
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Email:  jean.godden@seattle.gov
Phone:  206-684-8807

John Okamoto
Councilman, Education and Governance Committee (appointed to take Position 9 this year)
Chair, Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency
Seattle City Council
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Email:  john.okamoto@seattle.gov
Phone:  206-684-8802

Sally Bagshaw
Councilwoman, Chair-Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods, Vice Chair-Education and Governance Committee, running for re-election 2015 in District 7
Seattle City Council
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Email:  sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov
Phone:  206-684-8801

Nick Licata
Councilman, Chair-Finance Committee, Chair-Budget Committee
Seattle City Council
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Email:  nick.licata@seattle.gov
Phone:  206-684-8803

Mike O’Brien
Councilman, Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency Committee, running for re-election 2015 District 6
Seattle City Council
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Email:  mike.obrien@seattle.gov
Phone:  206-684-8800

Tom Rasmussen
Councilman, Chair-Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency Committee, Parks Committee, Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee
Seattle City Council
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Email:  tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov
Phone:  206-684-8808

Kshama Sawant
Councilwoman, Vice Chair-Public Utilities and Neighborhoods, Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency Committee, Parks Committee, running for re-election 2015 District 3
Seattle City Council
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Email:  kshama.sawant@seattle.gov
Phone:  206-684-8016

City of Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning Staff:
Holly Miller
Director
Department of Education and Early Learning
PO Box 94665
Seattle, WA 98124-6965

Email: holly.miller@seattle.gov
Phone: (206) 233-5118

Isabel Munoz-Colon
K-12 Investments Manager
Department of Education and Early Learning
PO Box 94665
Seattle, WA 98124-6965

E-mail: Isabel.Munoz-Colon@seattle.gov
Phone: 206-684-7657
Fax: 206-233-5142

District 46 State Legislators:

Senator David Frockt
46th District State Senator
10215 Lake City Way, Suite K Seattle, WA 98125

Email: david.frockt@leg.wa.gov
Phone: 206-729-3225

Representative Gerry Pollet
46th District State Representative
10215 Lake City Way, Suite K Seattle, WA 98125

Email: gerry.pollet@leg.wa.gov
Phone: (206) 729-3234

Representative Jessyn Farrell
46th District State Representative
10215 Lake City Way, Suite K Seattle, WA 98125

Email: jessyn.farrell@leg.wa.gov
Phone: (206) 729-3240
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Sample Letter:
<DATE>

<YOUR FULL NAME>
<YOUR HOME ADDRESS>
< CITY, STATE, ZIP>

<RECIPIENT NAME>
<RECIPIENT TITLE>
<RECIPIENT ADDRESS>
< RECIPIENT CITY, STATE, ZIP>

RE: Severe Reduction to Sand Point Elementary Families and Education Levy Award

Dear <NAME>,

It has come to my attention the City of Seattle’s Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) has made unexpected and severe changes to Sand Point Elementary Families and Education Levy Grant. As a concerned parent and citizen of Seattle, I’m writing to express both my frustration and plead for reconsideration of a rash decision.

Two years ago, our school staff, Principal Warren and parent volunteers worked to secure a $318,000 Families and Education Levy award from the City of Seattle. We received our monetary award letter in February 2015 and had our budget approved in March. The agreed upon goal between the City and the school were to use funds to (1) increase the social and emotional needs of our students, and (2) provide a balanced reading and math program over the next three-years. The award would also pay for an ELL teacher, instructional supplies, and our Family Support Worker. However, in recent weeks the City has reduced the funds by 70% due to administrative changes in leadership (Principal leaving).  Rather than strengthening our educational program, this will put us in a position to reduce our exceptional staff by 1.5 as well as re-evaluate proposed hires such as a School Counselor.

Our parent community has been in search for answers on the reasons and rationale behind this decision. Why would our city officials and steward of tax dollars, award then retract, funding to a school that was identified early on as a “really good applicant, and subsequently pre-awarded funds for the 2015-16 year? There is growing frustration among citizens in Northeast Seattle by the lack of transparency and consistency in the protocols used to oversee the disbursement of the funds as well as the oversight of them.

We have since learned these decisions were associated with the heartbreaking news by our beloved principal, Dan Warren, to resign and follow his family to the east coast. To be hit with the news of our principal’s departure immediately followed by the loss of significant levy funds as a result has left the school community baffled by decisions inside City Hall.  It would be unethical to hold our principal hostage to retain levy funds; hence we are seeking solutions for retaining the full award.

Reading through recent reports and minutes from the May 12, 2015 oversight meeting, it is shown the Levy program is making a positive impact and gaining solid results. At the meeting it was also stated by Kevin Washington that “churn in leadership was expected.” Also documented is a comment by Carmela Dellino, DEEL, that “a significant number of new principals in awarded schools and overall it has been successful and they are now adopting the work of the levy.” The new hire committee has worked thoughtfully and proactively to include members of the levy oversight council into the interview committee for our new principal, and crafted an interview question to determine how principal candidates would uphold and move forward the work supported by the levy funds. Considering our school levy plan has not started, there is no information to indicate reason for concern on our new principal’s performance. Why is our budget being cut severely before allowing the new leadership to even begin implementation?

In the notes from the May 12, 2015 meeting, Ms. Munoz-Colon states “that once awarded, schools receive funding through the life of the levy unless they don’t reach certain performance goals or other targets.” Given how our program has no data, there seems to be no basis for a defunding our school.

You may not be familiar with Sand Point’s unique situation. Sand Point is situated in Northeast Seattle among a cluster of high-performing schools. We’re inside a high school grouping where most of our cohorts obtain supplemental funding by their parent communities. Most families in the area are upper-to-middle class families, except ours. Sand Point is a Title 1 school populated by children from quickly expanding affordable housing programs at Magnuson Park. Our school is uniquely diverse for the area and comprised of a large population of ELL students. Sand Point is clearly situated in a visible “opportunity gap” where our test scores rank noticeably lower than the neighboring schools. We are supported by an active community of parents and an established and involved PTA, thanks in large part to our Teachers, ELL instructors, and Family Support Worker.  As such, Sand Point is an ideal levy recipient for the Families and Education Levy, as we have capacity to deliver not only on the positive impact of added resources but comparison data to other participants on the impact parent and community involvement can have to achieve the intended academic outcomes.

This Northeast Seattle community is extremely disappointed by city officials on this decision and we’re asking you to help restore confidence by honoring the levy as promised. We are asking the Office of Education, City of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools to honor the Levy funds committed by the City and allow to Sand Point Elementary the chance to close the opportunity gap in our school. This will most certainly help our large population of low-income and ELL students achieve the goals of the levy committee; to “graduate from school college/career ready”.

A swift decision would be appreciated as it’s our desire to retain returning staff under the levy plan who are committed to the levy program goals and its success.

Sincerely,

<NAME>
<PHONE>
<EMAIL>

Permanent link to this article: http://sandpointelementarypta.org/2015/05/24/urgent-advocacy-alert-funding-at-stake/

Student Concert/Assembly on Wednesday, May 27 – 2:15 p.m.

Attention all Sand Point Students, Staff and Parents:

I am pleased to announce the Spring Concert/Assembly for our Sand Point instrumental music students at 2:15pm on Wednesday, May 27.

Our 4th and 5th grade instrumentalists have been working hard all year, learning new instrumental skills and repertoire, and they are eager to demonstrate these skills to you. Please set aside May 27 to support your friends, students and classmates and hear some excellent music.

Kathrynn Lyle

Permanent link to this article: http://sandpointelementarypta.org/2015/05/13/student-concertassembly-on-wednesday-may-27-215-p-m/

Staff Appreciation Week – May 4 – 8

We have amazing teachers and staff at SPE! Please help us celebrate their dedication to our kids by participating in the events listed below beginning May 4.

Monday The PTA Board will treat teachers to a delicious continental breakfast!

Tuesday Parents are requested to cater a fabuloso Cinco de Mayo lunch for staff and teachers! Please visit http://vols.pt/Ue8W4G to sign up.
Plan to have all food to the staff lounge by 11:00 a.m.

Wednesday Wear your teacher’s favorite color to school.

Thursday Parents are requested to cater a delicious potluck for staff and teachers! Please visit http://vols.pt/Ue8W4G to sign up. Plan to have all food to the staff lounge by 11:00 a.m.

Friday Students and parents are asked to write a note of appreciation to his/her teacher. Don’t forget the staff! You are also welcome to bring in a small gift card for your teacher. Refer to the “Favorite Things” list here,  2015 Staff Favorite Things, which also came home through KidMail for ideas.

All week:
* We need volunteers from each classroom to complete special classroom projects for their teacher.
* Poster paper will be hung in the hallway, across from the office – stop by to fill it up with compliments and notes of gratitude.
* We’re looking for volunteers from each classroom to sharpen pencils.

Questions or want to sign up via e-mail? Contact: Kris at kvanhouten209@gmail.com

Permanent link to this article: http://sandpointelementarypta.org/2015/04/30/staff-appreciation-week-may-4-8/

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