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News and Events

Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) Update
SBAC testing for third through fifth grade officially begins March 30th, 2015. Testing will continue through May 29, 2015.
Students will be taking the following tests:
·          English/Language Arts (ELA) -- addresses reading and written expression Common Core Standards
o   Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) – addresses students’ reading and comprehension of text, as well as written expression skills in the areas of mechanics (e.g., spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar), and sentence and paragraph writing.
o   Lesson and two Performance Tasks (PT) – addresses students’ ability to read, and potentially watch a video, on a specific topic and then answer multiple-choice and short-answer questions, as well as skills for writing connected text (i.e., writing longer text organized by paragraphs).
·         Math -- addresses all Math Common Core Standards
o   Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) – addresses students’ computation and problem solving skills
o   Lesson and a Performance Task (PT) – addresses students’ ability to apply mathematical concepts to a situation
We will be posting a full testing schedule March 30th. This is the first year of administering this test and the testing schedule may have to be adjusted as we move through the testing window.
Parents will receive a testing notification letter the Friday before the week in which their child will be involved in testing. This letter will give specific dates and times for the testing, as well as a description of the tests students will be completing.
Please prepare your student for testing by ensuring that he/she gets a good night’s sleep, eats a good breakfast, and hears words of encouragement from family members.
Thank you for your partnership.
Whittier STEM Fair is on Thursday, March 26 from 6-8 pm

The Whittier Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Fair is coming up on Thursday, March 26th from 6-8pm. Is your young scientist or engineer still looking for ideas?  Check out resources for parents and students at our STEM fair website http://whittiersciencefair.weebly.com/student-and-parent-resources.html
Our STEM Fair features guest scientists/engineers and we are always looking for new ideas.  Parents, if you have a careers in science or engineering and are willing to be a guest at the fair, please contact Judy Nelson jnelson@fhcrc.org to sign up for your very own display.

PTA General Meeting on Thursday, March 19

Please join us for the next PTA General Meeting.  

The agenda is as follows:
6:30 - Social time
7:00 - Meeting called to order
7:02 - Approval of January General Meeting Minutes 
7:05 - Guest speaker, Sherry Carr, Seattle School Board, Director, District II
7:35 - Treasury Report
7:45 - Voting
  • Funding Proposal for Nature Bridge (5th grade field trip)
  • Budget Reallocation
  • Instrumental Music
  • Whittier Elementary Ask
This meeting is one of the more important PTA general meetings, since your vote will help determine how money is going to be spent in the upcoming year in terms of school support. If you want your vote to count, please make sure that you are a paid member of the PTA.  

If you are unsure or would like to sign up, please email Chris Keener, PTA Membership Chair at chris@pgwg.com.

We look forward to seeing you there!

The Principal's Paw Print (formerly the Wave) is now available online

The newsletter from Whittier's principal has a new name, the Principal's Paw Print (formerly called the Wave).

Hard copies will be going home with kids this week in Kidmail, but we wanted to let you know that the newsletter will also be available online. You can find the February edition here.

Shop at Fred Meyer and Raise Money for Whittier

If you shop at Fred Meyer, please sign up for the Community Rewards program. You still recieve your personal rewards points/gas points but Whittier also recieves a donation.  

Here's how to set it up: 
Go to www.fredmeyer.com and click on "Rewards" in the menu. If you already have an account, log in and click on "Community Rewards" to link your current acount.

If you don't have an online account, you click "sign up" and can type in your account number or phone number  to create an account and link it to the Community Rewards program.

You will be prompted to enter in our organization number 85919 and this will ensure Whittier PTA gets credit. 

You will receive an email to activate your account.

It's an easy way to support our school.

Revised Assembly/Concert Dates and Upcoming Events for Whittier Instrumental Musicians

The Whittier Instrumental Music Concert and assembly have been rescheduled! The evening concert will be on Friday, February 20th at 7:00 pm at Whittier. The students will also be performing for the Whittier student body at an assembly during the school day on Thursday, February 19th.

Here are all four upcoming instrumental music events:

Thursday, Feb. 19 (approx. 2 pm, exact time TBD): Assembly performed by all Whittier instrumental musicians, under the direction of Mr. Davidson. This is the dress rehearsal.

Friday, Feb. 20 at 7:00 pm: Evening Concert (performance includes all Whittier instrumental musicians, and the Jazzcats Jazz Band). Musicians should plan to arrive early (6:30 pm for strings, 6:45 for all others).

Friday, Feb. 20: Afternoon field trip to Salmon Bay; Jazzcats Jazz Band only

Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 7:00 pm: NW Regional Band Concert at Ballard High School; Advanced Band (2nd year) students only.  Second year elementary band students will be performing under the direction of Mr. Davidson, together with other 2nd year band members from Loyal Heights, North Beach, Viewlands, and Greenwood. The concert line-up will also include performances by the Middle School Bands from Whitman, McClure and Salmon Bay, as well as Ballard High School. Mr. Davidson will follow up with details for Advanced Band members closer to the concert date.  

Open House for New & Prospective Students at Whittier

The open house for new and prospective students at Whittier will be on Thursday, February 26 at 6:30 pm. Please note that this is a parents only event. More to details to come.

Tips for Staying Healthy During Flu and Cold Season

Flu season has struck, and youth can be more affected than usual. Seattle Public Schools is taking a proactive approach to fighting colds and flu in our schools by sharing information to help you stay healthy.

The flu is transmitted by close personal contact. You can take the following steps to stay healthy during this flu season. Please use these tips to cut down your child's risk of getting sick and catching the flu:

  • Encourage regular hand-washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available and your hands are not visibly soiled.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Do not return to work or school until you are free of fever, vomiting and diarrhea for 24 hours without the aid of medication.
  • Drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest.
  • Get your flu shot. Even if the season’s flu shot is not directed at the current strain of the flu, receiving a shot can help shorten and reduce flu symptoms.

The flu has many symptoms, some of which may not be present. Here are the common symptoms:

  • fever*
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

*It's important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
If your child comes down with the flu, watch carefully for signs of complications. Seek medical attention if your child has difficulty breathing, appears limp or extremely weak, is confused or does not respond, has a fever over 104 or a fever that lasts more than 48 hours, or a very dry mouth with no urine output for 8 hours. Call your  child’s health care provider if you have any questions. Remember, children must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school.

If you have questions about whether or not your child should attend school due to illness, please contact your child’s school. Also, your school’s nurse is a valuable resource to discuss how to avoid the flu, recognizing symptoms, and how to speed recovery.   Please also see “When to keep your child home” on our Health Services website.

You can learn more about how to prevent the spread of the flu by visiting the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm

Nature Bridge Fundraising

Please help us fundraise for our 5th grade spring science camp at 
NatureBridge. At NatureBridge we will stay in Olympic National Park and spend our days on the trail engaging in hands-on science, team building and stewardship. Below our several ways you can help us fundraise with funds going to offset the cost for chaperones, extra programs at the camp and transportation to the Olympic Peninsula.

Buy Brown Bear Car Wash tickets 

  • Parents & 5th graders will be selling these before and after school in the lobby through 12/19. Tickets are $7 each or 3 for $20 with $3.50-$5.50 going to directly to our fun. Great stocking stuffer!
  • Buy car wash tickets online! Not at school or never have your checkbook? Buy online and car wash tickets can be mailed or delivered via kidmail to you for gift giving.

Make a direct donation online 
Share with out of town family and friends. 100% of your donation goes to provide scholarships and reduce the cost of this field trip to all families.

Whittier Illustrated Maps – still available! 
This charming and colorful map of the neighborhood surrounding Whittier Elementary features the businesses and landmarks we know and love, all drawn by the talented artists of Ms. Shoop's 2013 - 2014 4th grade. https://www.etsy.com/listing/190430002/illustrated-map-of-whittier-heights

Use coupon code "dontmail" for free shipping / local pickup.

Thank you for supporting us!!!

Whittier Elementary 5th Grade Class

New Volunteer Requirements- Everything You Need to Know
Seattle Public Schools has updated their volunteer requirements. Visit Whittier's Volunteer Page to learn all the details and determine what you need to to do to get your paperwork up to date.

Summary of the Walk to Math Discussion at the PTA Board Meeting

If you were unable to attend last week's PTA Community Meeting, there was an hour long discussion related to Walk to Math. The discussion led by Ms. Schweitzer and the math team, walked parents through how children were broken into classes and how things will move forward. You can view the PowerPoint presentation here. Many parents had questions after the presentation. These have been complied into one document and you can view the original questions and the answers by clicking here.

It was emphasized that the philosophy on homework is to reinforce previously learned skills. If your child seems to be struggling, stop and make a note of what your child is having difficulties with. Then write a note to your child’s math teacher to let him or her know. You should not have to explain or teach a new concept to your child. It is likely that other children have the same issue, and the teacher needs to know! 

What else can parents do to help their children in math?  Try some of the following with the homework:

*Ask your child to explain to you in full sentences, or in writing, the concepts they are working on, so that they are turning abstract numbers and concepts into full fledged ideas.

*Work with your child to model concepts in different ways, using real-life examples

Parking Safety Update

Traffic safety continues to be a problem around our school. Cars frequently park in the No Parking zones, which include the marked bus zones along 13th Avenue NW. (Incredibly, some drivers have been seen moving those safety cones out of the street and parking there anyway.)

Student crossing guards have noted that many cars park within 20 feet of a crosswalk, which impairs sightlines for pedestrians, and is illegal.


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Office: (206) 252-1650

Attendance: (206) 252-1652

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