News & Events

The Whittier Spring Sing and Art Expo on Thursday, May 28 from 6-8 pm

Announcing the Whittier Spring Sing and Art Expo!
Our wonderful Performing and Visual Arts teachers, Ms. Steph and Ms. Narducci, are hosting a Spring Sing and Art Expo on Thursday, May 28th from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
6 p.m. - Art Expo
Every Whittier student will have one piece of art displayed in the Whittier Halls
7 p.m. - Spring Sing featuring Whittier's 3-5th grade students (Whittier Gym & Lunchroom)
Featuring two songs per grade, one dance number and a grand finale

Popsicle Play Date for New Families Today! 6:00-7:30 pm
Whittier's Annual Popsicle Play Date for incoming families for the 2015-16 school year is today, May 26 from 6 pm-7:30 pm on the playground.

Come and meet new families as well as existing families at the school. It is a chance to ask questions of veteran parents and students. 

Whittier Movie Night is June 5th at 7 pm

The votes are counted for our movie night and the winner is
: NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM is the winner (runner up: Diary of a Wimpy kid will be shown in the Fall).

The kids did a great job participating - Thank you!  Extra thanks go out to the Student Council for helping with the count!  
Come join other families as we screen Night at the Museum on a big screen in the lunchroom on June 5th at 7:00 pm. Bring popcorn and water for the kids or any snacks that they enjoy. Wear your PJs or bring a blanket and some stuffies. We hope to see you there! 

PTA General Meeting Tonight, May 21 at 7 pm

Reminder- Please attend the PTA General Meeting - Thursday, May 21st
Please join us on Thursday, May 21st for the next Whittier PTA General Meeting.  Social time begins at 6:30pm in the library, with the meeting beginning at 7:00pm. The agenda is as follows:
7:00 Meeting Called to Order 
7:02 Approval of March Meeting Minutes (click here to review) 
7:05 Treasurer Report 
7:10 Sugar-less Schools - Suzanne Harrison and Lisa Duggan 
7:30 Update from Principal Schweitzer 
7:40 Whittier's New Access Program  - Ms. Schweitzer and Jennifer Mannheim 
8:00 2015-2016 Budget Presentation and Vote  
8:15 2015-2016 PTA Executive Board Votes and Board Appointments 
8:25 Upcoming Events 
8:30 Meeting Adjourned
Don't forget, if you want your voted to be counted, please make sure that you are a paid member of the PTA.

Schoolhouse Rock Live! Musical Performance by Whittier Students this Week!

The pop culture phenomenon is coming THIS WEEK to the musical stage performed by Whittier students and directed by Ms. Steph. Please join us for one or both performances at Whittier Elementary on Thursday, May 14th and Friday, May 15th at 7pm.
Tickets can be purchased night of or before and after school in the lobby:
THIS WEEK: Tuesday May 12th and Thursday, May 14th
Tickets prices are $10 for 12 years old and up, $7 for 3-11 years old and Free for 2 years old and under. Cash or checks made out to Whittier Elementary are accepted. Scholarships are available so please contact Ms. Steph at if you need information.

2015-16 School Year Calendar Approved

The 2015-16 school year calendar was approved by the Seattle Public Schools School Board Executive Committee on May 6, 2015.

Important dates include:

  • Sept. 9: Start of school
  • Dec. 21-Jan 4: Winter break
  • Feb. 15-19: Mid-winter break
  • April 11-15: Spring break
  • June 23: Last day of school

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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) – addresses students’ computation and problem solving skills. 
  • 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
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 to sign up for your very own display.

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 receive your personal rewards points/gas points but Whittier also receives a donation.  

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

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.  

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

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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Attendance:(206) 252-1652

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