Dragon Tales: General Meeting 1/23, Valentine’s Dance 2/10

[This post is a copy of the Dragon Tales newsletter sent 1/15. Sign up on this page to receive Dragon Tales in email.]

Welcome to 2018!

We’re excited to share a little news about upcoming events. For the latest updates, follow the PTA on Facebook and at www.lowellelementary.org. If you ever have school-related news or events to share, email lowellparents@gmail.com.

A hearty, heartfelt thank-you to all our donors!

A big shout-out to all the community members who donated money to Lowell this fall. The PTA received many donations, from both individuals and local businesses, all of which will make a big difference for our kids. Thank you for supporting the Lowell community!

If you’d like to help writing thank-you cards to donors, please reply to this email. (We’re hoping to meet up and work on them somewhere fun and kid-friendly, like Optimism Brewing.)

PTA General Meeting, Tuesday, January 23, 6 to 8pm

Please join us for mid-year reports on what’s happening at Lowell. RSVP here so we know how much pizza and childcare to plan for!

PTA members (and anyone who signs up at the meeting) will receive one of these cool window decals pictured above, designed by former Stranger senior designer (and Friend of Lowell!) Mary Traverse.

Everyone is welcome. You do not have to be a member to attend. Food provided at 6pm, meeting starts at 6:30pm in the Lowell library. Free childcare available.

Valentine’s Day Dance, Saturday, February 10, 5 to 7pm

Show us your moves! All families are welcome to come to Lowell for the annual Valentine’s Day Dance. We’ll have delicious food and lots of activities plus a DJ and more.

We could still use more help with this fun event, if you want to get involved please email Giavonni Brooks, our PTA Co-President, at giavonni.brooks@gmail.com.

National African American Parent Involvement Day, Feb. 12

A small group of teachers is coordinating Lowell’s activities for this national one-day event, giving African American parents, families, community members, professors, and professionals a chance to visit Lowell.

We are looking for parents who can help coordinate or participate in this effort. If you’re interested or know anyone in the community who might want to help, please email Ms. Laura at lmschulz@seattleschools.org.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • Cookies with Colleen, Wed 1/17, 8 to 8:25am in the library
  • PTA General Meeting, Tue 1/23, 6 to 8pm, at Lowell
  • Day between semesters (no school), 1/31
  • Valentine’s Day Dance, Sat, 2/10, 5 to 7pm, at Lowell
  • Mid winter break (no school), 2/19–23

Sign up soon for after-school programs! Scholarships available

Eric Luu helps coordinate enrichment programs provided by Miller Community Center at Lowell, and he just emailed the latest numbers for Winter Quarter after-school programs. He says that scholarships are still available, but that many classes don’t have the minimum yet (5 students) and might be canceled.

See his email below for the list of classes and more information on how to sign up:

Dear Lowell staff and families,

Thank you for supporting our growing program at Lowell Elementary. Fall quarter provided us with valuable insight towards what we should be focusing on to improve the program. Feel free to email me with ideas or feedback. All comments are greatly appreciated and will contribute to sculpting a valuable program for our community.

The first subject I want to enlighten everyone about is the availability of our scholarships. Through the Miller Community Center, qualifying families may receive up to 90% financial aid on all Seattle Parks and Rec programing. I’ve attached the scholarship form to this email. [note: or find links to the form, including translated versions, here]

To Apply:

  • Print out the ScholarshipForm (in grayscale) or come pick one up from Miller Community Center at 330 19th Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98112
    • Forms will also be given to Lowell Elementary for easy access [note: or find links to the form, including translated versions, here]
  • Fill out form. Return to the form directly to Miller Community Center with an attached 1040 Income Tax Form (good until June 22, 2018). Incomplete forms without all necessary paperwork will not be accepted and will delay the process.
  • Miller Community Center will notify all applicants once we receive confirmation for the scholarship office.

If you are planning on using scholarship funds for Winter Enrichment, please turn the form and your 1040 Income Tax Form in ASAP. Miller Community Center will be closed on January 1st.

Scholarship forms may take up to 2-3 weeks to process. If you are currently on our scholarship programs, please note that funds will be replenished at the beginning the 2018. These funds may be used by anyone who qualifies for our scholarships and is on a first come first serve basis.

It’s been roughly 3 weeks since registrations have opened. All our classes are currently open for registration with a few classes meeting the minimum required to run.

Classes will be canceled by January 5th if minimums are not met. Make sure to apply immediately (or email me back to let me know you’re interested and need some time). Please note that this minimum will be strict and we will not run any classes that don’t meet the minimum.

Please review the following information for Winter Enrichment:


Dragon Tales: After-school enrichment & mid-year check-in

[This post is a copy of the Dragon Tales newsletter sent 12/20. Sign up on this page to receive Dragon Tales in email.]

Happy holidays!

Hope your family is enjoying the break. We wanted to get in one more Dragon Tales for 2017—just sharing the scoop on after-school enrichment and checking in on how the year is going so far. Thank you for reading!

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.

How’s your school year going?

Whether you have a story about an amazing teacher, questions about the school or curriculum, or suggestions about fun events or activities you’d love to see for our community, we want to hear from you!

We also want to hear any concerns you have about recent news stories on Lowell, how the school addresses social-emotional learning and safety, or how the district and school support your child’s teachers. Maybe your child is struggling with bullying or with math—and you want to know what resources are available.

If you have anything to share with the PTA, please reply to this email.

Seattle Parks & Rec after-school enrichment

Thanks to parent Chris Sondreal for sharing this roundup below. (As he says, “Our 3rd grade son has really enjoyed attending 3-4 days a week during the fall.”)

Dates: 1/8/18 through 4/6/18

Each of these classes does have an activity fee. You’ll have to hunt around on the Seattle Parks and Rec website and find “Childcare and Out-of-School Time” and then specify the Lowell location to read more details. Please note that not every single class received enough signups in the fall, so whether every class goes forward may depend on interest.


Or call Miller Community Center to sign up: (206) 684-4753

Classes currently listed:

3:35pm African Drumming (3rd- 5th)
3:35pm Basketball (K-2nd)
4:45pm African Drumming (K-2nd)
4:45pm Gym Games (3rd- 5th)

3:35pm Build It! Lego (K-5th)
3:35pm Jewelry Making (2nd – 5th)
4:45pm STEM Powered Girls (2nd – 5th)
4:45pm Nature / Eco Crafting (K-5th)

2:20pm Collage Art (K-2nd)
2:20pm Silly Science (3rd-5th)
3:30pm Group Games (K-5th)
4:40pm Arts & Crafts (K-5th)

3:35pm Rhythm & Dance (K-2nd)
3:35pm Spanish (K-2nd)
3:35pm Martial Arts (3rd – 5th)
4:45pm Rhythm & Dance (3rd-5th)
4:45pm Martial Arts (K-2nd)
4:45pm Spanish (3rd – 5th)

3:35pm Anyone can be an Artist (3rd-5th)
3:35pm Enrichment Explorations (K-5th)
4:45pm Anyone can be an Artist (K-2nd)
4:45pm Enrichment Explorations (K-5th)

Important Upcoming Dates

  • First day back to school, Tue 1/2
  • PTA Board Meeting, Tue 1/9, 6:30–8pm
  • MLK Jr. Day, Mon 1/15, no school
  • Day between semesters, Wed 1/31, no school

Seattle Music Partners: “Community Night” Concert, this Wednesday 12/6, 6-7:30pm!

This Wednesday, December 6, all families are welcome to join Seattle Music Partners in the Lowell cafeteria as all four SMP elementary schools (Leschi, Lowell, Madrona, and Bailey Gatzert) come together to play in their first concert of the year!

The elementary school band and orchestra will each play a couple of songs, accompanied by students in the Middle School Music Project.

(From SMP: “Students should bring their instrument and sheet music, and wear their new SMP t-shirt. If you are able, please bring a potluck dish to share.” Send questions to Meaghan at meaghan.leferink@gmail.com.)

Dragon Tales: Lowell needs you!

[This post is a copy of the Dragon Tales newsletter sent 11/26. Sign up on this page to receive Dragon Tales in email.]

Dear Lowell PTA members and parents,

We need help.

We want Lowell to be as strong as it can be. Other PTAs in the Seattle area have dozens of active volunteers, boards of 12 to 15 people, and many parents taking leadership roles in membership, community outreach, fundraising, before- and after-school enrichment, legislative advocacy, facilities planning, teacher support/classroom coordinators, and technology.

This involvement has a huge impact on the success and well-being of students and teachers at those schools.

The Partners at Lowell School PTA has few volunteers and a board of just nine individuals, working really hard to provide basic support for things like school events, food pantry and office volunteers, dine-outs, rug cleaning, teacher classroom grants, communications, and more. Our PTA has also been advocating with the district regarding the bus situation and other ways we can help our teachers in the classroom, plus fielding inquiries from our neighboring PTAs regarding partnerships.

We’re all excited to help Lowell grow and thrive, but a small group can only do so much. We know we don’t have the resources of other schools, but we definitely need as much as help as we can get!

There are so many opportunities for people in our Lowell community to take on a leadership role. Some of them are below, but you might also have ideas of your own.

Just reply to this email to find out more about getting involved.

Board Participation Grant

The PTA wants to make sure that any parent at Lowell who wants to serve on the board and advocate for families and students has that opportunity. That’s why we started the Board Participation Grant this year, for parents who want to help on the board and take on a leadership role, but who could not otherwise because of financial constraints.

Grant funds can cover costs for childcare or transportation, for example. We can also accommodate remote participation via Skype. If you are interested or have questions about this program, please reply to this email.

Chair and Leadership Positions

Volunteers for any of the following positions can also serve on the PTA board, but it is not a requirement. If you’re interested and want to learn more, just reply to this email.

Annual PTA Auction Chair and Committee. The annual PTA auction has traditionally been our biggest fundraiser of the year, and it urgently needs a chairperson. In previous years, we’ve raised almost a third of our budget from this one event. It is a moderate-sized event, but super fun, and takes a very organized and passionate chair (and/or committee of friends) to pull it off. Experienced auction volunteers from other PTAs would be able to provide advice and guidance if needed.

Individual Event Coordinators. This is a great opportunity if you’re new to Lowell or PTAs in general and want to try coordinating on a smaller scale. We need volunteers to help run a number of small events in the spring. This can be a “Dine-Out” for Lowell event, the annual move-a-thon student fundraiser, running an outreach booth at Pride, or other at-school socials.

Membership and Outreach. A vital membership base is so crucial to Lowell’s success. If you have any interest in recruiting members or leaders, and/or reaching out to communities at our school who have difficulty participating for whatever reason, we would love to have your help.

Your area of expertise. If your area of expertise is education/enrichment programs, volunteer coordination, legal advocacy, technology, or working with other PTAs or community groups, we can use your help. Please reply to this email.

Continue reading “Dragon Tales: Lowell needs you!”

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.