Author Archives: bfdayptsa

Come Discuss the Future of B.F. Day

Monday, February 8 is the 2nd PTSA General Meeting of the year, and we’re using this time to have a community discussion about the future direction of our school. Please come to the Library from 6:30-8:30pm to learn and brainstorm about the near- and long-term plans for B.F. Day. Free childcare will be provided (in the lunchroom) by volunteers from Hallows Church.

Here’s what will happen at this event:

  • Principal Jaskot will talk about his vision for an arts-infused STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focus at BF Day, as well as talk about staff efforts to create a three-year academic plan to support this vision.
  • A parent group that held focused discussion with parents in the Fall will present their findings about what our community likes (and dislikes) about B.F. Day.
  • The PTSA will talk about the upcoming budget-setting process, which includes a parent survey. In particularly, we’ll talk about the core music/performing arts program we fund.
  • As a group, we’ll have an open discussion about this possible focus direction for BF Day.

This is a great opportunity to help shape the future direction of B. F. Day, and we hope to see a lot people there. If you have any questions about the event, please email Steve Albertson (PTSA President).

2016 Winter Before and After School Activities

 

before and after school

BF DAY Before and After SCHOOL ACTIVITIES  

Winter 2016

*Registration period is Monday 1/4 – Friday 1/15/2016, unless noted otherwise
*Enrollment forms for Paper Registration will be included in child’s folders or online at http://ow.ly/RTPR8
*Fill out paper form ONLY for classes noted ‘Paper Registration.’
*Questions about individual classes, scholarships or general registration can be directed to parent contacts.

Classes Offered:

YOGA
Grades K-2 Mondays; 2:50-3:50 Library
Let’s get bendy, go upside down and engage the natural enthusiasm of kids in this energy releasing yoga class. Classes aim to enhance your child’s body awareness, balance and coordination, as well as build strength. Mind-body activities help children develop sensory integration skills, self-awareness and self-esteem.  Breathing techniques are incorporated that help children self-soothe and regulate their minds. We’ll play games, and take fabulous yoga adventures to Amazon rainforests, Arabian deserts, and outer space. Self-expression is highly encouraged and laughter guaranteed as kids build strength, increase flexibility, and focus and concentrate.  Max 12 students. www.fueledbyyoga.comCost: $115 for 9 weeks, 1/25-3/28 (no class 2/15); make checks payable to Heather Hested
Paper Registration; parent contact: Vinita Sidhu vinsid@gmail.com 
SCHOOL OF ROCK ‘Rookies’
Grades K-2 Mondays; 2:50-3:50 Music Room
‘Rookie’s’ inspires kids to find their inner Rock Star!
Young rockers learn song structure, pitch, rhythm, basic theory and musical teamwork through a combination of fun, music-based games and concepts while exploring Rock & Roll instrumentation.  Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keys, Vocals and great songs will be played. The class is geared toward 6-7 year-olds but open to K kids that are excited to participate. Cost: $179 for 8 weeks, 1/25-3/21 (no class 2/15)
Online Registration at https://seattle-sor.frontdeskhq.com/courses/84298 .
Parent contact: Chelsey Hays chelsey.hays@live.com
 KEYBOARD CLUB
Grades 2-5 Mondays; 2:50-3:50 Cafeteria
Kids will have the opportunity to play their favorite songs and music on electric keyboards. Radio hits, movie and television themes are made so easy, that our participants will be playing them after the very first class! The club is a combination of keyboard piano lessons and a musical learning workshop that uses a clever visual method to teach the basics of music reading and piano playing. Each participant has his/her own keyboard supplied during the class.  Headphones, books and other materials are also included. Cost: $160 for 8 weeks, 1/25-3/21 (no class 2/15)
Online Registration at http://www.musicalmindspianokeyboardclub.com/
Parent contact: Julie Graber jegraber@yahoo.com
 SEWING
Grades 2-5 Tuesdays 2:50-4:20 Cafeteria
“Do you have a young sewist at home bugging you to teach them how to sew? Join our after school sewing program and not only will they learn the basics of machine sewing, but also how sewing can be a wonderful expression of their creative mind! Each session we will make everything from designing and creating a monster to zipper pouches, pillows, PJ bottoms, and messenger bags…the list of sewing fun goes on and on! No experience is necessary and all supplies are provided. Cost: $180 for 10 weeks, 1/19–3/29 (no class 2/16); scholarships available
Online Registration at http://madesewing.com/collections/after-school-programs
Parent contact: Gayle Perez gaylecperez@gmail.com
 CHESS CLUB
Grades 1-5 Tuesdays 2:50-3:50 Room 305
The Chess Mates program focuses on chess as a teaching tool. Learning and playing chess helps children build future life and work skills. All students and skill levels are welcome. A parent volunteer is most welcome with tuition waived for their child/student. Cost: $87.50 for 10 weeks, 1/19–3/29 (no class 2/16);
Online Registration at http://www.chessmates.org/bravo/chooseschool.php
Parent contact: Gayle Perez gaylecperez@gmail.com
 BASKETBALL
Grades K-2 Tuesdays 2:50-3:50 Gym
‘Hoops’ for aspiring young players combines fundamental skills instruction with organized team competition.  Players will focus on individual skills such as passing, dribbling, shooting, rebounding, and defending while learning how to work with a team. Boys and girls of all skill levels are encouraged to join. Children will improve their overall physical fitness, develop sportsmanship, athletic integrity and gain an understanding of the game of basketball. Cost: $100 for 8 weeks, 1/19–3/15 (no class 2/16)
Online Registration at http://www.1on1basketball.com
Parent contact: Anna Cortese astanek73@yahoo.com

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 THE DRAMA CLUB
Grades K-2 Tuesdays 2:50-3:50 Music Room; Grades 3-5 Thursdays; 2:50-4:20 Library
‘Save the drama for this Mama!!
Julie Bragg (aka Katie’s Mom) is continuing the drama program for BF Day. The Club is a fun mix of Improv, Creative Visualization, Basic Theater Styles, Character Creation and Development and Scene work.  Each class creates an original Theatrical Piece to be presented to friends and family at the end of each session. It is a great time for all!!Cost: $80 for 8 weeks, 1/19-3/15 (no class 2/16) or 1/21-3/10; scholarships available;
Make checks payable to Julie Bragg
Paper Registration. Parent contact: Adrienne James tirecapades@yahoo.com
Before School CHORUS
Grades 3-5, Wednesdays 7:35-8:30am Music Room
BF Day chorus continues with Laura Ouimette.  The morning class has no cost thanks to a grant from the Music in Schools Chorus Program.  Class size is limited to 35 students, to be coordinated with the parent contact and teacher.  Students should plan to attend each session and will be dismissed from the class at 8:30am to line up with their homeroom on the playground.  Class continues for full school year and students may join throughout month of January. Classes: 13 weeks, 1/06-3/30;
Paper Registration. Parent contact: Gayle Perez gaylecperez@gmail.com
 CREATIVE CODING
Grades 3-5, Wednesdays 2:50-4:20 Computer Lab
 Creative Coding teaches your child the joy of computer programming by helping them write their own custom computer games and animations!  Beginner students will learn the fundamental elements of coding using MIT’s Scratch to create their very own computer game. Advanced coders (students with previous Scratch experience) will use a mix of coding challenges techniques, and hacks.  Kids increase their coding skills, speed and proficiency. Through the “brain exercise” of coding, coders build intelligence like athletes build muscles. They develop stronger problem solving skills, confidence over technology, and emotional persistence. http://www.creativecoding4kids.com. Max 12 students. Cost: $257 for 9 weeks, 1/20-3/16
Online Registration at www.creativecoding4kids.com
Parent contact: Vinita Sidhu vinsid@gmail.com
 TENNIS
Grades K-5, Wednesdays 2:50-3:50 Gym
TGA Premier Youth Tennis is bringing the tennis court to BF Day!  TGA, in national partnership with the United States Tennis Association, co-designed a tennis enrichment program that focuses on athletic, academic and character development for children.  In addition to professional tennis instruction, your child will take part in a combination of physical fitness for health benefits and academics such as math, science, language and social studies for educational development. TGA’s mission is to empower our students with the tools to be successful on the tennis court and in life. Cost: $120 for 8 weeks, 1/20-3/09
Online Registration at http://greaterseattle.playtga.com;
Parent contact: Sheryl Marks sherylmarks2003@yahoo.com
BOARD GAME CLUB
Grades K-5, Wednesdays 2:50-3:50 Room 305
We are in a golden age of board games, and there is a wealth of great games for kids. Come join the B.F Day Boardgamers to play old favorites or learn to play a new game with instruction from our volunteers. We have a number of games including cooperative games, Euro games and Risk\Reward games.  Collectable card games are less emphasized.  Game donations or loans are greatly appreciated and will be handled respectfully as part of our charter.  When signing up, please let us know what games your child likes to play or if it is a new hobby. Cost: $30 optional donation to PTSA for 11 weeks, 1/20-4/06 (no class 3/23)
Paper Registration. Parent contact: Bart Thompson bart@bartthompson.com
 LEGO engineering
Grades K-5 Thursdays; 2:50-4:20 Cafeteria
What can you do with over 20,000 pieces of LEGO®? In our classes, explore concepts in physics, architecture, mechanical and structural engineering. Find inventive solutions in a fun-filled context. Students work individually, in teams, and as a group throughout the sessions. A short discussion and demonstration of the day’s topic starts each meeting. Children are given a design/building assignment while Instructors provide individual assistance and instruction and facilitate challenges, performance testing, and modifications to projects. Classes are divided into two levels by age, so be sure to specify in registration. Cost: $139 for 8 weeks, 1/21-3/10
Registration at play-well.org/classes
Parent contact: Anna Cortese astanek73@yahoo.com
OOM YUNG DOE
Grades 2-5 Thursdays; 2:50-3:50 Gym
Oom Yung Doe is a martial art that features the “8 Taught As 1” program. Eight martial arts are integrated into a single curriculum and students experience unique health and conditioning benefits. Students can feel stronger, energized, and more relaxed.  Confidence is achieved through practical self-defense skills. Cost: $200 for 10 weeks, 1/21-3/24; make checks payable to Oom Yung Doe
Paper Registration. Parent contact: Vinita Sidhu vinsid@gmail.com
 WORLD DANCE with Marissa
Grades K-2 Thursdays; 2:50-3:50 Music Room
Winter session of World Dance will feature a variety of cultural dances from all over the great continent of Asia…from Bollywood to Balinese! Students will create a booklet of coloring pages illustrating various cultural aspects of each country. Dress up, dance videos, stories and instruments from these cultures will also be part of the children’s World Dance experience! Join us! http://worlddancewithmarissa.weebly.com/  Cost: $120 for 10 weeks, 1/21 – 3/24; make checks payable to Marissa Baratian

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B.F. Day Movie Night – Friday!

A reminder…B.F. Day’s first ever family movie filmnight takes place tomorrow night (Friday, December 4 at 7:00) in the gym!  We’ll be watching “Inside Out”, a PG-rated animated film about a girl who moves to a new city and has to face her emotions (Joy, Fear Anger, Disgust and Sadness) as she determines how best to navigate a new city, house and school. You can read more about this movie here, including specific information about suitability for young kids.

Your entire family is welcome to come to this free PTSA-sponsored event.  Bring a comfy blanket or sleeping bag to sit on (we’ll also have chairs). We’ll have popcorn to munch on.  Doors open at 6:30, and the film starts at 7:00 (ends at approximately 8:40)  Parents, you must accompany your kids – this is not a drop-off event!

 

BF Day Boardgame Club

BF Day Boardgamers is a new after-school club at BF Day.  We are a small group of parent volunteers who love playing games and would like to host a learning, social, and fun after-school experience.

We are going to start out small with three meetings in December to sort of “play test” our ideas and format.

Our objectives are:

  • Create a fun, and engaging environment that promotes the learning process.
  • Growth in friendly and healthy competition, gracious winning, and respect for
    fellow players.
  • Engage logic, math, communication, and problem solving strategies.
  • Engage reading comprehension, converting read materials into action and
    applied strategy.
  • Experience true teamwork.

 

We’ve all been told that making mistakes is how we learn. A game setting is a perfect environment to make mistakes. It engages the learning process by getting feedback from your peers, seeing other options to a problem, and good old fashioned trial and error. A game gives us the freedom to fail without harmful consequences.  And that, is how we learn.
Oh, and by the way, it’s massive fun, too.

 

  • December 1st – Introductions, Goals and Club Charter.
    Catan Jr, Exploding Kittens, Splendor, Sushi Go, Forbidden Desert, more.
  • December 8th – Ticket to Ride with Card Kingdom
    Card Kingdom is bringing extra copies of the game and will lead game play.
  • December 15th – Favorite Free Play
    We’ll be playing Ticket to Ride and other favorites from our first meeting. Experienced kid players invited to lead games.

Each Player must bring:

  • An open mind and an adventurous spirit
  • A focus and readiness to learn how a game works
  • Respect for your fellow players
  • Respect for the physical game; its board, cards and all pieces.

Each Player will receive:

  • An invitation to experience new and challenging games
  • Mentorship in finding winning strategies and problem solving
  • Respect from all Players
  • A rewarding, fun hour of social interaction

Enrollment for BF Day Boardgamers:
Meets:         December 1st, 8th, 15th. 2:50-3:45 pm
Room:         305
Grades:       1st – 5th.  18 student maximum.
Cost:           There is no cost to join BF Day Boardgamers. Please consider supporting BF Day PTSA in whatever way you are able.

Please email carol.magallanes@gmail.com if you would like to enroll your student!

Square1 Art

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Square1 Art catalogs and order forms went home on Tuesday. We have a tea short deadline this year, so if you would like to place any orders, do not delay! The orders need to be in by Monday 11/16/2015.


Return the order form to the office with a check or cash, or place your order at Square1art.com. Any questions at all, email or call Carol!
Carol.magallanes@gmail.com
206-383-4125

Direct Drive Has Started!

DirectDriveDirect Drive is the name for B.F. Day’s biggest fundraiser, which runs for two short weeks this year from November 2-13.  We don’t ask you to sell wrapping paper or cookie dough – we make a big ask just once a year, and B.F. Day families always respond. This year, we are working to raise more than $50,000 (up from $36,000 last year) for programs and services that benefit all B.F. Day kids.

On Monday, November 2, every B.F. Day student will bring home a gold envelope in their folders with a pledge card and information about how to participate (and donate if you can). Fill in your pledge card and return it to the school by the 13th. Please see the FAQ below for more information about Direct Drive.

In a nutshell, you can contribute by

  • Writing a check, payable to B.F. Day PTSA
  • Donating online
  • Having your company match your gift
  • Returning your pledge card – even if you aren’t able to donate – to be eligible to win prizes (and maybe popsicles)
  • And, thanks to the generosity of two B.F. Day parents, for every pledge card returned, $10 will be automatically donated to B.F. Day PTSA!  Turn it in!

All donations are tax-deductible. And greatly appreciated.

Thank you B.F. Day Families!


Frequently Asked Questions
How does Direct Drive Work?
How will my donation be used?
How much should I give?
What can I get just for returning my pledge card?
Can I write a check?
Can I donate online?
Can I donate stock instead of writing a check?
Is my contribution tax deductible? Will I receive a receipt?
My company will match my gift. What do I need to do?
How secure is the information I provide?
How do I make my donation at a future date, or in installments?
Is this B.F. Day’s only fundraiser?
Who should I contact with questions?

Q. How does Direct Drive work?
A. On November 2, every student will receive a Gold envelope in his or her classroom folder. This envelope contains information about the Direct Drive campaign, as well as a pledge card.   Parents complete the pledge card, and return them to the classroom between November 3 and Friday, November 13. Donations can be paid all at once by check or credit card/PayPal (online at www.bfdayptsa.org), or you can indicate a date in the future when you plan to donate. Contributions are 100% tax-deductible, and can be matched by many companies in the Seattle area. Our goal is to have 100% of the cards returned, whether or not you donate.
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Q. How will my donation be used?
The District and the State do not provide full funding for things B.F. Day parents have said they care about, like music, technology, curriculum enhancement, community events and classroom supplies. The PTSA budget for 2015-16 is $75,000. Most of these funds were earmarked for those “extra” programs and services that directly benefit our children in the classroom. Here’s where the program-specific funds go:

ProgramFunding2015Arts: Music/Performing Arts teacher, tile project
Teacher/Staff Grants: School supplies & class needs
Classroom Grants: Field trips & grade-level grants
Support: scholarships & assistance
Enrichment: Writers in the School
All-School Events: Monthly events for families
Volunteering: Coordinator stipend
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Q. How much should I give?
A. If you are able to give, we ask that you consider making a gift that is meaningful to you and your family. We suggest $250, recognizing that some families will contribute more and some are unable to contribute at this time. All money donated helps ensure that quality instruction and enrichment opportunities will continue throughout the school year at B.F. Day.
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Q. What can I get just for returning my pledge card?
A. We want to make this kind of fun, so there are three other benefits you’ll get if you turn in your pledge card:

  1. Thanks to the generosity of two B.F. Day families, for every pledge card received, $10 will be contributed to the PTSA. Even if you can’t contribute, you’ll be supporting B.F. Day just by returning your card.  How can you pass this up!
  2. Every pledge card returned will be entered into a raffle to win some cool prizes:  we have three $25 gift cards donated by the wonderful people at Top Ten Toys, and free “tuition” (for one child) to the Winter After-School activity/class of your choice. The schedule for Winter programs will be available soon.
  3. Classrooms with 70% participation (70% of pledge cards returned) win a popsicle party. The 2 classrooms with the highest percentage of pledge cards returned get an additional recess!

Q. Can I write a check? Who do I make my check out to?
A. Yes! Make your check payable to B.F. Day PTSA, include it in your gold envelope with your completed pledge card, and return it to your classroom using your child’s folder.  Or, drop it in the PTSA mailbox in the B.F. Day office. You can also mail it to:

B.F. Day PTSA – Direct Drive
3921 Linden Ave N.
Seattle WA 98103
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Q. Can I donate online?
A. Yes. Click on the “Donate” button on our web site (bfdayptsa.org). Our PayPal system will accept all major credit cards, or you can use your PayPal account if you have one.
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Q. Can I donate stock instead of writing a check?
A.  Not yet, but we’re working on it. If you’re interested, email Rosie Donovan (treasurer@bfdayptsa.org), PTSA Treasurer for more information.
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Q. My company will match my gift. What do I need to do?
A. Terrific! Many Seattle area companies – Microsoft, Adobe, Boeing, Google, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others – match employee donations, and we’re already set up to receive matches in their systems. Be sure to indicate on the pledge card that your company matches, and make sure you apply for those funds.  If we’re not listed in your company’s matching system, let us know and we can help.  In general, here’s the information you need to provide them:

B.F. Day PTSA (might say “B.F. Day PTS King County 6 15 85”)
3921 Linden Ave N.
Seattle WA 98103
treasurer@bfdayptsa.org
Our tax ID# (Employer Identification Number) is: 91-1348668

Please contact Rosie Donovan (PTSA Treasurer) at treasurer@bfdayptsa.org for assistance.
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Q. Is my contribution tax deductible?  Will I receive a receipt?
A. Yes, your contribution is 100% tax deductible. You will receive a receipt by email in January 2016.
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Q. How secure is the information I provide?
A. All donations will be handled by the Fundraising Chair (Monica Spain) or PTSA Board President (Steve Albertson), in coordination with the PTSA treasurer (Rosie Donovan). Donations online are processed using a secure server hosted by PayPal, a well-known online payment system.
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Q. How do I make my donation at a future date, or in installments?A. Simply indicate this on the pledge card, and we’ll be in contact with you.
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Q. Is this the only B.F. Day PTSA fundraiser?
A. No, but it’s our biggest. We have several Easy Everyday Fundraising options that you can take advantage of all year.  In the spring, we will have our annual Walk N Roll event. And depending on the success of Direct Drive, we may also have an event in the spring to raise additional funds or just have a parent party.
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Q. Who should I contact with questions?
A. Monica Spain (directdrive@bfdayptsa.org) is the parent volunteer coordinating Direct Drive. You can also contact B.F. Day PTSA President Steve Albertson (president@bfdayptsa.org).
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Letter to SPS from the BF Day PTSA president regarding bell time changes

Hello, my name is Steve Albertson, and I’m the president of the B.F. Day Elementary School PTSA.
Thank you for accepting and considering the input from the families at B.F. Day Elementary School. In order to easily and quickly engage our school community, we chose to send out a brief survey and have summarized the results here.
The questions and the results are listed below.  We received 71 responses from appx. 286 families in a 36-hour period, for a response rate of 25%.
Summary: very simply, 77% of responding families said that a 9:40am start time and the 3:50pm end time would be WORSE for their family. 55 people provided personal and detailed comments that deserve consideration. They are all listed below.
Given these strong results, we feel confident in saying that the B.F. Day community of families ARE OPPOSED to the proposed 9:40am start time for our school.
Some general themes for reasons why families feel that the later start is a worse time include:
  1. It presents childcare challenges, with the most mentioned concern being the additional cost. It will also add complexity to work/family schedules.  Many families indicated that they would have to find childcare before and after school.
  2. The late start and therefore late end, would make it difficult for children to have enough time to do homework, participate in after school activities and engage as a family on weeknights.
  3. The late start and late end are not conducive for learning for children ages 5-11. Many children will be up early anyway (either because they naturally wake early or because they will have to leave early with their parents to childcare). Being in class until 4pm will be exhausting for young children.
  4. The data is lacking to support this option. Younger children wake earlier, should start school earlier. Older kids naturally sleep later and should start school later. Plus, older kids can be home by themselves in the morning and get themselves to school. Younger children cannot.
  5. The late start presents additional challenges for special needs children, which comprises more than 6% of our student population. The exact comment made was “Our son has significant special needs and is in the SM3 classroom. If the start/end time changed, we would need both before and after school care for our son, which would present a significant hardship. It is not easy for a special needs child to cope with the multiple transitions imposed by before and after school care.”
In addition, we are confused and frustrated that the exact bell times were not made more readily available to each school to comment on. The exact times were difficult to track down online and not directly linked to any of the materials about the open houses. When you modify an option (in this case when the option changes from no elementary schools starting at 9:40am to quite a few starting at 9:40am), you should make that very clear so people have the opportunity to provide feedback. Our survey shows that most of our families (69%) were not even aware of the proposed time change.
Sincerely, and on behalf of our families,
Steve Albertson, President
B.F. Day PTSA
206-201-1717
 
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*the actual survey comments are not available for public viewing.

Chinook Book Sales!

Chinook books are here!

Who on your holiday gift list wouldn’t love a free pizza from PCC, a free burger from Phinney Market, or a free ice cream cone from Bluebird Ice Cream? They aren’t hungry you say? How about a free coffee from Café Vita? Would they like a night on the town? They can choose from a free ticket options that range from the Pacific Northwest Ballet to the Rat City Roller Girls – nice!

Where can you find all of these great deals? In the Chinook Book coupon book or mobile phone app of course! The Chinook book offers deals on sustainable, local products and services that just can’t be beat. You’ll find great offers on cooking classes, entrance to the aquarium, the zoo and the Children’s museum, organic produce deliveries, weekends in the San Juans, massages, children’s books and consignment clothing… wow! There’s something for everyone and half of the price of the book or app stays with the BF Day PTSA – even better!

Chinook books and mobile apps are available in the office through the month of October! Stop by or send the form with your child with the number of books and or/apps that you need and your attached check made out to the BF Day PTSA and we will send the books home to you by the first week of November (or you can purchase in the school office if you want it sooner). Books are $22, mobile apps are $15, and combo packs are $30.

Don’t miss out on this great way to give the gift of savings and support the BF Day PTSA at the same time!

Potential Teacher Loss: What You Can Do

As Principal Jaskot mentioned in the Dayette this week and at the Curriculum Night meeting last night, due to lower than expected 1st grade enrollment numbers, the School District may force B.F. Day to reduce our 1st grade classrooms from 3 to 2. This move will make it necessary to move all kids from Room 305 (Ms. Ahron’s class) into the other two 1st grade classes, with some also moving to a new 1st/2nd grade split class. This review of enrollment numbers as of Oct. 1 is an annual process, and several schools will lose (or gain) teachers based on the number of kids in each school on this date.

We, the PTSA board and the building leadership, do not want this to happen, and we need help from our broad parent community to make sure the District knows our views. The District plans to announce their teacher reductions on Monday, October 5.  We need parents to contact District leadership today (Thursday, October 1) or tomorrow to have an impact.

Below are talking points about this issue that you can use to contact the decision-makers at Seattle Public Schools, and some tips for effective messaging. Please note that the District has not yet decided if this is to happen to B.F. Day – show your concern about the potential decision, and make your case.

Thank you!  Feel free to contact me, Principal Jaskot or other board members if you have any questions.

– Steve Albertson (for the board)
PTSA Board president

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Who To Email at Seattle Public Schools:

Communication Recommendations:

  • Send an email to each person on the list.
  • Use the talking points as guidelines, but use your own words (and your own personal stories) if you can.
  • Be respectful in your communication, recognizing that the decision to remove a teacher won’t be made until Monday, October 5and we may not be selected for this. We are “concerned about the upcoming decision, and we want to tell you why” is a good way to think about it.
  • Please consider blind-copyingpresident@bfdayptsa.org when you send the email so we can see what B.F. Day parents are saying and to whom (helps when we do follow-up communication with them).

Talking Points/Suggested Text:

My name is [      ], and I am a parent of a [   ] grade student at B.F. Day Elementary.  This week we were informed by our principal that due to lower than expected enrollment in our 1st grade classes, we may be forced to remove a 1st grade position and move the students from that class into other classes (including the creation of a split class).  I’m concerned about this possible decision because of the way it will negatively impact our school, and wanted to let you know why.

1.  We went through this last year – we shouldn’t have to experience it again.  We experienced the loss of a teacher last year, for similar enrollment reasons.  Losing a teacher in October is hard on students and on the teaching staff, and increases the perception of instability at the school. This, in turn, can lead to parents questioning whether to send their kids to the school, which can impact enrollment and can feed this negative cycle. We have strong momentum leading into this year, and the loss of a teaching position will hinder the progress we are making as a school.  The uncertainty about teaching positions due to enrollment shortfalls also makes it harder to attract and retain high-quality teachers.

2.  Removing a teacher impacts the entire school, and B.F. Day has enough challenges already:  Among all the other elementary schools in the Hamilton Service Area, we have the highest percentage of students qualifying for the Free and Reduced Lunch program, the highest percentage of Special Education (including an SM3 program) students, and the highest percentage of English Language Learners.  We are also a Spectrum school with advanced learners requiring differentiation in every grade. As a community, we embrace these aspects of our school, but know that this population mix presents challenges that less-diverse schools don’t face.  Losing a teacher disrupts the entire school, and makes it that much harder to help everyone succeed.  We worked hard to recover from a teacher loss last year. B.F. Day should not have to experience this again this year.

3.  This is a symptom of bigger enrollment issues, and we should be working to strengthen B.F. Day, not weaken it by removing resources:  Our school is currently under enrolled, and we have space to accommodate additional students that are currently over-crowding other nearby elementary schools.  Enrollment data from 2014-15 suggests that students who live in the B.F. Day attendance area are being allowed to enroll at neighboring schools, even those that are over crowded and seeking portables to accommodate the additional students. In a school district that is out of space nearly everywhere in the North End, the District should be making great efforts to help drive more students to B.F. Day instead of making it less attractive to parents by removing teachers and increasing instability at the school. A strong B.F. Day helps solve our capacity problems, and you do not strengthen a school by removing a classroom.

4.  A teacher reduction may be short-lived:  At Curriculum Night tonight, our principal walked us through the enrollment numbers in our primary classrooms. We jointly worked through various scenarios that included combination classes in Kindergarten/1st (K/1) or 1st/2nd (1/2).  In either scenario, removal of a 1st grade classroom and shifting students to other classes would shrink our K or 2nd grade capacity to near zero, meaning that any new students who come in during the year in those grades(a frequent occurrence) may necessitate overage pay to existing teachers (for teaching bigger classes), or re-opening another class to get the per-class numbers to within District guidelines. Also, since B.F. Day already has another combination classroom at Grades 4/5, and we are anticipating that no school will be asked to house more than 2 combination classrooms, no other classroom configuration options were considered. Why disrupt the teachers and students at two grade levels given the mobility rate of our school? Why place primary classrooms at their maximum capacity when class size reduction efforts place the goal closer to 23 students?

We believe this process of making staffing changes in October is harmful to students and school communities everywhere, not just at B.F. Day.  Given our population, the broader enrollment issues facing the district, and the fact that we experienced a teacher loss just a year ago, our school should not be a candidate for losing a classroom position. We urge you to take these issues into account as you make your teacher allocation decisions for the October 5 deadline.

Sincerely,
[Name, email, phone]

Volunteer opportunities

volunteer

BF Day needs volunteer help! Please note the below volunteer opportunities. There will be more opportunities during the year, these are the most pressing/urgent at this time.
Library volunteer opportunity:
 
Mr. Hammer needs volunteers on an ongoing  basis starting right away.  Even small increments of time would be very helpful.  Mr. Hammer would like to set up a brief training for a group of volunteers who can help process new library materials.  Anyone interested can contact volunteer coordinator, Lisa Calavetta at volunteer@bfdayptsa.org
 
 
Audubon F.U.N. program volunteers:
 
The Seattle Audubon is bringing its  Finding Urban Nature (FUN)  science program to BF Day 3rd graders again this fall.  We are looking for volunteers to lead small groups of children in outdoor science projects on school grounds.  Training is provided by Seattle Audubon.  Anyone interested can contact volunteer coordinator, Lisa Calavetta at volunteer@bfdayptsa.org
 
Similar to last year, the four fall lessons will be happening on Wednesdays, from 9-10am. The time commitment will be from 8:45-10:05 to allow time for materials collection and prep. They will take place on the following dates:
October 14
October 21
October 28
November 4
 
TRAINING
Volunteers who have done the fall program in the past are not required to attend another training – although you are always welcome.  This fall’s FUN training is Saturday, October 10th from 9am-12pm at the Hazel Wolf E-STEM School in Ravenna.  All new FUN volunteers are required to attend this training or make arrangements  for a make-up training. (Please note that the four fall lessons are different from the spring sessions so if you volunteered in the spring, it is recommended that you come to the October 10th training.)