Category Archives: PTSA

2017-2018 Tour dates announced

Lovely families – are you curious about your local Family School? Do you want a closer look at how the oldest continually operating Seattle public school works and thrives? (Next year is our 125th birthday!) Come and see how wonderful B.F. Day Elementary school is.

Our New Family tours are the following:
December 8, 2016 at 9:00am
February 8, 2017 at 9:00am
February 16, 2017 at 5:30pm

The evening tour coincides with our Take Your Parent To School Night and will be a vibrant (and busy) evening with students and teachers showing off all their remarkable achievements.

Come and visit, we’d be so happy to show you around. Also, don’t hesitate to get in touch: newparents@bfdayptsa.org  RSVPs encouraged, but not required. Also, kids are welcome to the evening tour.

PS: Please share with anyone that is interested in BF Day, or invite them to The Future Parents of BF Day Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/FPBFD/

Thank you!

 

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Welcome to BF Day 2016-2017!

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Welcome from the President:  

Dear B.F. Day families – Welcome Back! We are gearing up for the new school year and are thrilled to see you back at school. Your PTSA is here to create bridges and connections between Families, Staff, Teachers and Students as well as our greater Fremont community. We consider it an imperative to be transparent, to communicate, to lead with the best interests of our student learners in mind.

  • Do you have any questions? Email us anytime, or grab us on the playground.
  • Do you want to help? We have a plethora of things for people to help out, and we know you’d be perfect for it.
  • Do you have new ideas? Pitch them to us – no idea is too small, or too big. We want to hear them all.

Let’s get this year started. We are so happy that you are here.

-Daniella and the entire 2016-2017 BF Day PTSA Board

PS: You can find the entire school supply list here

PPS: Family Coffee/Tea on the first day of school – 7:50 am in the library.  See you there!

May 9: PTSA General Meeting

Monday, May 9 (6:30-8:00p in the Library) is the final general PTSA membership meeting of the year, and it’s an important one. PTSA members who attend will vote on the proposed budget and new board officers for next year, as well as a revision to the PTSA Standing Rules. Please attend if you can.

Budget
You’ll find the proposed budget here. This budget was drafted and discussed by the PTSA board, and incorporates input from Principal Jaskot and the teaching staff, as well as the data submitted by the membership in the survey sent out earlier this year. Items of note for your review:

  • We propose income (fundraising) of about the same amount as this year (nearly $80,000).
  • Proposed increase for an expanded music/performing arts program (more of what we did this year)
  • Expansion of the Writers in the Schools program to include all grades
  • Increase in funding for family support
  • Support for an all-school field trip to see Mr. D’s play next Spring!
    Professional development funds for teacher training

Take a look! Only PTSA members can vote, but input from all parents is welcome.

Board Officers & Other Roles for Next Year

At the meeting, we’ll formally vote on the current slate of board officers. As is often the case at the May meeting, we don’t have every role filled yet, but will between now and the Fall. If you are interested in any of the open roles, please contact Steve Albertson.

  • President: Daniella Kim has graciously agreed to serve!
  • Vice President: Open. Assists President and performs President’s duties in President’s absence. Attends all board meetings, and participates in PTSA decision-making.
  • Treasurer: Rosie Donovan (2nd term!  Yay!)
  • Secretary: Open. Takes minutes and records all business transacted at each PTSA meeting (board and general membership) . Participate in board decision-making and other duties as assigned.

Other PTSA Roles: We are a community of “doers”, and there are lots of ways you can get involved in short-term roles or longer-term responsibilities. I guarantee you there is something you can do that is valuable and will work within your time constraints and interests. Here is a full list of roles you can choose from, and below are some that are either filled or for which we need more volunteers:

  • Fundraising: Steve Albertson (seeking help with Direct Drive in the Fall, Easy Everyday Fundraising and grant-writing)
  • Communications: Becky Smith (seeking tech-savvy help for web site, email newsletter and other systems)
  • Enrichment/After School Programs: Adrienne James (seeking other to help)
  • Advocacy/Legislative Chair:  Help organize parents to advocate for (or against) policy and District issues that affect us. This year, the PTSA has worked to prevent reductions in our enrollment boundaries, and fought against teacher reductions.
  • Membership Chair: Open. Collect PTSA membership forms (data entry), mostly during September/October.

Take a look at all the positions, and when you see one you’re interested, either contact the people already working in these roles or email Steve Albertson (PTSA board president). And come to the May 9 meeting to learn more! See you then.

Volunteer for Walk and Roll (April 8)

There are stilwnrshoe2016l some slots open to volunteer to help with Walk and Roll for Fitness, B.F. Day’s annual all-school fitness walk and fundraiser taking place all day on the grass playfield on April 8. Help count laps, provide water, and cheer on the kids. It’s a ton of fun.

To volunteer, click here. Contact Kristin Anderson at kanderson11@comcast.net if you have any questions.

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).

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!

 

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

——————–

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]

First Day Parent Coffee

imagesAs you’ve hopefully seen, school will officially start this Thursday (September 17)  now that there is a tentative agreement between the District and the Seattle Education Association. Time to get those backpacks ready…school is once again here!

Please join us for coffee and snacks on Thursday morning, from 8:30-9:30 in the Library. Principal Jaskot will talk about the year ahead and answer questions, you’ll hear about programs and priorities from the B.F. Day PTSA, and you’ll get to meet other B.F. Day parents after dropping the kids off.  It’s a great way to ease into the first day of a new school year. We hope to see you there!

Spring Enrichment Class Enrollment (now!)

Enrollment for Spring after-school enrichment classes is happening now!  Below is all the information you need to sign up.  Please note:  Creative Coding for Kids and Little Wings are full.

We still have room in our other classes:

Soccer:
Join us at BF Day Elementary for After School Soccer. Skilled and experienced instructors will conduct an exciting one hour session each week right after school.  We will learn basic fundamentals, rules and strategies of the beautiful game, and have fun scrimmaging while focusing on teamwork, sportsmanship, and FUN! 2nd – 3rd Grade: Tuesdays 2:50-4:00March 24 – May 26 K – 1st Grade: Thursdays 2:50-4:00March 26 – May 28 Cost: $110 Registration is online.  To register, please go to:
http://seattle-washington.1on1basketball.com/programs-listing/after-school

Tennis:
TGA brings the tennis court to you, making it convenient and affordable to learn and play in a fun and safe environment.  Kid-friendly instructors help students develop tennis skills and knowledge, while using the sport to teach valuable life lessons like honesty and sportsmanship.  Sign up today to experience all the fun and excitement of tennis class with TGA!

Class meets Mondays from 3:00-4:00March 30-June 1.  The cost for this class is $120.  To sign up, go to www.playtga.com/greaterseattle

Crazy Cakes:
Crazy Cakes is beginning a new session on Thursday, March 19.  Who doesn’t love playing with frosting and bringing home a small cake as well?  All grade levels welcome!  The cost for this 8-week series is $120.  To sign up, fill out the attached sheet and bring it into the main office at school with a check made out to BF Day PTSA.

 

 

Little Wednesday Classes (March 25)

Little Wednesday activities are scheduled for March 25, which is an early-release day.  Come join us for one of our fun classes:

1. Recycled Robots with Kids Create!
Come join us for an afternoon of ultimate scrounge art, as we use metal scraps, tin cans, broken toys, wires and other amazing junk to create ROBOTS!  Students will use duct tape, wire, and assisted hot glue to engineer an amazing robotic sculpture.  Sign up quickly, this one’s always a big hit!  Open to all grades. This will be held in the art room.  Class is $22.  Sign up online at www.kidscreate.org

2.  Lego building with Fun Assembly Required!
Come join Fun Assembly Required for a Medieval LEGO building adventure.  Kids will learn to construct cool castles and will also learn techniques for building trees, rocks, water and other landscaping features to add detail to their creations.   Open to all grades.
This will be held in the gym.  Class is $25.  To sign up, fill out and return the attached form to the main office, with a check made out to BFDay PTSA.

3.  World Dance with Marissa Baratian!
Join World Dance with Marissa for an African dance and culture experience filled with traditional Guinean rhythms and dance, West African drums and fabrics, cultural stories and a craft project. World Dance with Marissa combines creative movement and cultural dances from around the world, broadening children’s awareness of their global community. In addition, World Dance gives back a percentage of profits to Guinea Kids Education Fund to support school children in West Africa. For more information about World Dance please visit http://worlddancewithmarissa.weebly.com/

This class will be held in the music room.  Open to all grades.  Class is $25.  To sign up, fill out and return the attached form to the main office, with a check made out to B. F. PTSA.