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    Hello Families, 

    Happy Earth Day.   I hope you enjoyed your weekend and ready for a busy school week.  I am PROUD to be a Whittier Wildcat!  The following awesome activities are happening this week to help students learn how to protect our planet.  

    • Bike Week Awesomeness:   Students are learning how to use bicycles safely and appropriately.  Hopefully they will grow up to be safe and responsible riders. 
    • Save our Salmon and Protect our Streams:  The Kindergarten classes are learning about the importance of keeping our storm drains clear.  Students and teachers are marking Whittier storm drains and engaged in other activities.   
    • First Grade Field Trip to the Arboretum and UW botanical gardens.  Students will learn about species that currently live in out PNW wetlands.
    • Garden Club with Ms. Clark - Ms. Newton's first graders helped Ms. Clark plant some bulbs and wild flowers in the front during recess.  All classes will have that opportunity this spring.  If you would like to donate any spring or fall bulbs and old gardening shovels or spoons drop them off at the front office.
    • Fourth Grade Field Trip are going to the Cedar River Watershed!  Fourth graders are learning where our water comes from.  

    These field trips are sponsored and supported by the funds by our PTA.

    We LOVE our volunteers at Whittier Elementary!  The Whittier staff has collaborated to celebrate our volunteers all week!  Your make our school a special place for all kids.  The staff and students have designed banners and created a special token to celebrate you this week.  

    • Monday - We are so FORTUNATE to have so many AWESOME volunteers!  Fortune Cookies and Coffee
    • Tuesday - Volunteers - Thank you for your InvestMINT, CommitMINT and engageMINT !   Mints and a Beverage with Mint! 
    • Wednesday - What in the WORLD would we do without you?  World Tea Party/Starter Herbs for your Garden
    • Thursday -  Thank you BERRY much!  Berry Lemondade! 
    • Friday -  Whittier Volunteers are SODALIGHTFUL.  

    Speaking of Volunteers - The PTA is hosting an opportunity for parents to learn more about teenagers and screen time.  Please join us Thursday evening in the Cafeteria.  The topic will be "Growing up in the Digital Age."  Families will be viewingScreenagers and a special guest will be joining families to discuss how to provide healthy guidelines for your pre-teen as they grow up.  You can learn more about this film through  This is important information for families moving on to Middle School. 

    State and District Assessments are Coming Soon:  

    Our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders will be taking the Smarter Balance Assessment (SBA) in April and May. We designed a testing schedule to minimize disruptions to the daily schedule. The SBA tests students in reading, writing and in math. Each section is estimated to take approximately 90 to 120 minutes. Your child’s teacher will be sending you testing specifics in their classroom newsletters.

    Seattle Public Schools requires all schools to administer the SBA for grades 3 through 11. The data collected is a valuable tool for teachers and districts to identify needs. Students will be able to work beyond the time allocated to finish their test, if the allotted time is not enough.  

    To learn more about the SBA or to find practice tests, please visit the SPS website. To find SBA information on the main page go to: Performance and Accountability> Assessment and Testing> under “State Assessments” click on “Smarter Balance Assessments”.  From here you will find important information and links, including links to practice tests.

    On the days when your child tests, a good night’s sleep and hearty breakfast is always helpful. In addition, we do not want students or families to take on any stress or anxiety around this test. It is taken once a year and is a single data point. We use this test to inform our teaching and determine student needs. All we ask is that students do their best and then move on.

    Please feel free to contact your classroom teachers for specific details around days and times, 

    Also - A big shout out to Ms. O' Leery's classroom for winning the Golden Spatula.  Responsible, Safe and Respectful behavior in the cafeteria.  

    Thanks for all you do to make our school a special place for kids.  If you have any questions let us know.