We ♥ Witness!

A big thank-you to Gregg and the whole Witness crew for a packed house and a fun night! We are hugely thankful for you donating 50% of your proceeds from the night.

Many of us will be back soon, to order all the things we didn’t get to last night. (It’s hard to choose betwen shrimp & grits and fried chicken & waffles….)

How to give testimony at the Seattle Public Schools board meeting

SPS has a page with instructions for attending and giving testimony at board meetings, but parent Liza Rankin has some additional pro tips, especially on reserving a Wednesday spot on the Monday before:

I usually type up a quick email ahead of time and then right at 8:01 hit send. If you send it before 8 they won’t count it. I find emailing boardagenda@seattleschools.org easier than calling in. You have to include name, phone, email address. My email is something like: 

“I would like to request speaking time for the board meeting on ________. My topic is ______.

email address”

You can have people reserve times who might not want to speak themselves, just to get the slots, but the catch is that to give your time to someone else, you must be present at the meeting. So say you signed up to speak but were giving your time to me, we’d both need to be there in person and go up to the podium together, and you’d say into the mic “I cede my time to Liza Rankin” and then I could speak. No one can speak twice, so if I was also signed up myself, that wouldn’t work. Testimony is scheduled to begin at 5:30pm and the list of speakers gets posted online by 5pm the night before the meeting.

You cannot discuss personnel in testimony, so they’ll stop you if you say “person xyz wasn’t helpful” or “our prinicpal xyz” but you can say “we were not consulted or given any notice about these changes from district or building administration” or similar. Even though each person only gets 2 minutes to talk, you can print out additional info for the board and bring it with you.

The next board meeting is this coming Wednesday, 11/15, at 4:15, so that means requests to testify need to be sent at 8am this Monday. This is a good venue for all sorts of parent concerns, from the situation with our buses to just how problems relate to negative experiences for kids.

Health Fair this Saturday (11/11) at Leschi Elementary

Just a heads-up to our community that Leschi Elementary is hosting a health fair on Saturday November 11, 2017, from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, with dental screenings for kids and free flu shots for all.

If you are uninsured, Public Health Navigators can enroll or re-enroll you into health insurance, and if you are eligible for ORCA Lift (new discount Metro bus fare), you can get a $10.00 pre-loaded card.

If you have any questions, contact Jennifer Marquardt, 206-423-2781.


Dragon Tales: “Dine Out” at Witness next Tuesday, Islandwood donations

[This post is a copy of the Dragon Tales newsletter sent 11/7. Sign up on this page to receive Dragon Tales in email.]

A busy start to fall!

There’s a lot going on at Lowell. Read on for updates about next Tuesday’s “Dine Out” night at Witness, Islandwood donations, and Lowell volunteer opportunities

As always, follow us on Facebook and at www.lowellelementary.org—and if you ever have school-related news or events to share, email lowellparents@gmail.com.

Witness “Dine Out” next Tuesday, 11/14, 5–10pm

Gregg Holcomb and the kind folks at Witness want to support our students by hosting a “Dine Out” fund-raiser, with 50% of the proceeds going to Lowell!

Please share the Witness “Dine Out” event on Facebook with family and friends—and RSVP, to encourage other folks to come out and join us!

We’re so thankful that another great Seattle restaurant and community partner has offered to share their proceeds for a night. If you’ve never been, you are in for a treat. Witness is a “Southern-influenced craft cocktail bar with Southern-inspired dishes,” on Broadway between Republican and Harrison. (And if you *have* been to Witness, you don’t need any more encouragement to come next Tuesday!)

As one Zagat reviewer said, “This place is five stars alone just for the chicken and waffles. WOW.”

Help out our Islandwood campers

As you may have seen on the blog, Islandwood is coming up fast! Our fifth-graders will be gone most of next week, exploring the 250-acre Islandwood campus and honing their scientific and problem-solving skills.

Even if you are not a fifth-grade parent, you can support our campers by donating a pillow, a blanket or sleeping bag, or a set of basic toiletries. Ms. Laura says we could probably use about five each of those, contact her if you can help or if you have any questions about the trip. (If you have any connection to a business that might be able to help, email lowellparents@gmail.com and we can try to help make that happen.)

Calling all volunteers!

As many of you know, we have a lot of opportunities for parents and community members to pitch in and help out at Lowell.

We are very happy to announce that Rob Lightner, a former SPS parent (his stepdaughter started college last year), has offered to pitch in as our temporary volunteer coordinator. Rob is great, and he’s run volunteer programs for the NW AIDS Foundation and 826 Seattle.

If you want to volunteer—or you know someone or some business or organization that would like to help out—please send them to lowellvolunteering@gmail.com. You can also see a list of some of Lowell’s current volunteer needs on the PTA blog.

Continue reading “Dragon Tales: “Dine Out” at Witness next Tuesday, Islandwood donations”

Islandwood is next week! November 13–16

It’s going to be a little quieter around school next week when our fifth-graders take off for Islandwood, a 250-acre outdoor learning center on Bainbridge Island. This extraordinary program is offered to elementary school students throughout the Puget Sound region.

This is not just a camping trip, as the Islandwood team reminded us at a recent parent-info night: Islandwood is school, and the work our students do there is completely integrated with the Lowell fifth-grade curriculum. Our fifth-graders will have the chance to learn about a variety of science topics, develop a sense of environmental stewardship, connect with and learn about the wildlife of our diverse bioregion, and work together to solve problems as they learn.

Our fifth-grade classes from Lowell are heading to Islandwood November 13-16! Even if you are not a fifth-grade parent, you can support our campers by donating a pillow, a blanket or sleeping bag, or a set of basic toiletries. (We could probably use five each of those.) Contact Ms. Laura if you can help—especially if you have any connection to a business that might be able to help—or if you missed the info night and have questions about the upcoming trip.

Veteran’s Day Assembly and Reception, Thursday (11/9)

Lowell would like to invite veterans in our community to come and be honored at an assembly and informal reception this Thursday, November 10. (There is no school on Friday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day.)

Veterans and their families are invited to attend a short reception at 2:15pm, followed by a school assembly from 2:50 to 3:20pm, where we will sing songs and a student will lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Veterans are invited to speak about their experiences if they wish.

For more information, email lowellparents@gmail.com.

A successful (and literate) harvest!

Thank you to everyone who came out Thursday for Harvest Festival/Literacy Night! We had about 100 people there for salsa lessons, pumpkin art, banh mis, free books from Ms. Katherine, and a fun, diverse lineup of literacy activities all over the school. Special thanks to all of our translators and Mr. Skeffington for hosting with a newly donated wireless microphone.

FYI, Ms. Katherine still had many books left at the end of the night—so she’s got enough for any kids who couldn’t make it to still get a free book. She’ll be making that happen in the library over the next couple weeks.

A pumpkin cat preparing to pounce….
(Thank you to M.C. who shared this great picture with us!)

Every cafeteria should have a dragon

Many thanks to Chris Sondreal (Theo’s dad) for the high-powered hefting and drill-bit mastery involved in getting our Lowell Dragon alighted (alit?) on the cafeteria wall. Make sure you check it out sometime!

According to a longtime student who was kibbitzing nearby, many “FIRE” tickets may get affixed to this eventually. Those reports are unconfirmed.