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The Wildchat: 2/13/24

February 13, 2024

TONIGHT!

Volunteer Opportunities

2nd grade Celebrates Whittier Staff

Thanks 2nd grade families for your donations to Whittier’s January staff appreciation. Whittier teachers and staffed enjoyed a salad bar, as well as homemade bread and butter- Whittier families are the best, as is our staff!

Upcoming Events

Family Dance & Game Night - Friday, March 1 (6-8:30pm)

Put on your dancing shoes for the Whittier Dance & Game Night Friday March 1st at Whittier. The party begins at 6:00pm and will wrap up at 8:30pm. Grab an early dinner and come ready to play, twist, shake & party with your Whittier family & friends. You bring a water bottle & we’ll provide a treat to go with it! Stay tuned for a volunteer sign-up sheet to help provide these tasty treats!

Sign up to coordinate Class Art or Buckets for Spring Fling!

Hello, classroom families! 

We need your help! Our Spring Fling event is coming May 18th, and it’s a flurry of fun to prep for the fundraiser.

We’re looking for volunteers to help coordinate CLASSROOM ART and BUCKETS, which will be auctioned off during Spring Fling. Classroom art and buckets are a fun short-term opportunity to get involved and help the school raise crucial funds.

CLASSROOM ART

We need 1-2 people (if you want a helper) per room to lead their class in making a collaborative piece of art that will be auctioned at the event. We will help you brainstorm crafty ideas, source supplies, and coordinate with your homeroom teacher to lead your class in making art (usually one or two sessions working with the kids). You do not have to be an artist to volunteer! Check out last year’s projects and some inspiration to help you get started!

Sign up to lead a classroom art project by February 29

CLASSROOM BUCKETS

We are looking for one volunteer from each class to coordinate a themed bucket to be auctioned off at the Spring Fling. The volunteer will pick the theme and recruit other parents from the classroom to contribute items and/or money. Ideas for buckets could be anything! (ex: Family Game Night, The Art of Lego, Ballard Beer, Backyard Pizza Night.) We are also happy to provide ideas for buckets that have worked well in the past.

Sign up to coordinate a class bucket by February 29

More details on the event and ways to get involved coming soon! Reach out with any questions. Thank you!

Laura Zingg-Wadsack, Class Art Coordinator, & Mendy Minjarez, Class Buckets Coordinator

Save the Dates for important Spring FUNdraisers!

Whittier's District 2 School Board Director, Lisa Rivera Smith, Resigns

Alongside District 4’s Director, Vivian Song, our District 2 community’s School Board Director, Lisa Rivera Smith, resigned on January 30th amidst scrutiny around both Song’s and Smith’s residency outside of their district boundaries. Both Lisa and Vivian were strong, practical voices on the School Board and responsive to our community’s concerns and feedback during their terms.

What happens next? Seattle School Board’s remaining directors will appoint new directors to take their place. School Board directors are elected to ensure they represent their district, in addition to advocating for the entire school community. Vivian and Lisa, in their collective public resignation letter, wrote the following regarding these future appointments:

“We urge our colleagues, who will be hand-selecting replacements, to appoint directors that fit the profiles voters overwhelmingly chose in city-wide elections when they elected us – ones who are committed to partnership with our labor unions, who favor a portfolio of schools that reflects the diversity of our students, who are able to understand the operational implications of significant changes to school programs and budget cuts, who are responsible fiscal stewards of capital funds, who champion climate justice and resiliency, and who are people of color, ideally representing the Latinx, Native and Asian communities.” 

If you’re concerned about your voice being represented by a newly appointed school board director, make your voice heard. Contact the remaining school board members letting them know what a School Board Director that represents your community prioritizes (like fully funding all schools, including Literacy Specialists, School Nurses, Social Workers, and Art, and providing more flexible funding to schools so they can meet the unique needs of their school community):

Check out this podcast for interviews with Vivian and Lisa to learn more about how Seattle School Board districts work.

Workshop: Supporting and Raising Mixed-Race Children

Thursday, March 14th – 6pm-8pm at Whittier

Recognizing the distinct strengths and needs of mixed-race children is crucial for creating inclusive environments and fostering positive identity development. This workshop is designed to help not only parents and caregivers within mixed-race families but also all members of our community in discovering practical strategies to support and nurture mixed-race children.

  • Facilitated by Families of Color Seattle in partnership with the Whittier PTA EDI Committee
  • Free childcare provided for kids ages 3+
  • Workshop is free for all community members.

Questions? Please contact the EDI team.

After-School Opportunity: Join the Whittier Ultimate Frisbee Team!

There are a few spots available for 3rd – 5th graders on this year’s Ultimate Frisbee team! The Whittier Ultimate Frisbee Team is run through DiscNW and coached by Whittier parents. Practices are on Wednesdays from 2:15 to 4:15 at Loyal Heights playfield starting February 28th through May 8th. Games are on Saturdays at fields around Seattle starting March 9th through May 11th. More details are here. 

We’re also seeking a 3rd-grade parent who is interested in coaching, which means we can have an additional team and more kids can play! Interested families can sign up here.

Take Advantage of PTA Membership Discounts!

Did you know your membership with a Whittier Elementary PTA automatically makes you a member of the Washington State PTA? That means you are entitled to a number of benefits and perks, including a host of members-only discounts with local and national vendors… arranged just for you! 

This year’s new discount providers include Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, which offers a special members-only rate to attend a guided tour of the state-of-the-art facility, and Cheddar Up, a terrific e-commerce platform that offers WSPTA members 40% off an annual plan. Additional discount providers include Avis/Budget car rental, FedEx Office, the Corporate Shopping Company, Full Circle Virtual Care, Great Wolf Lodge, the Seattle Symphony, the Tacoma Dome, and the Washington State Fair. We’re also happy to continue our partnership with TicketsatWork, a fabulous service that gives members access to 20-70% off on movies, hotels, shows, concerts, theme parks, and more. Don’t plan your family vacation without first looking at TicketsatWork! 

Contact Membership to learn how to access these discount codes with your membership information or become a Whittier PTA member today! It’s never too late to join.

From SPS

Lift and Sing: SPS Kicks Off Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and SPS recognizes the contributions of all Black people – past and present – who continue to blaze a trail! Learn more about SPS’ support of Black Lives Matter Week and this year’s annual flag-raising ceremony.

From the Community

WISE Camps

Ignite your child’s passion for learning and elevate their summer! WISE Camps are offering two camps this summer, STEAM Academy and Wise Adventure, between July 15-26th at their Bellevue site. Learn more and register.

Do you have a community opportunity, event, or announcement relevant to the Whittier community you’d like to share? Submit a request to include it in the next Wildchat!

Thank You, Wildcats!

Wildchat: 1/30/24

January 30, 2024

Volunteer Opportunities

Our community makes Whittier amazing. Please consider a volunteer opportunity; lots of time commitments and types (in-person, one-time, remote, and more) are available!

Questions? Contact us!

Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars! Lots of opportunities to learn and connect with your Wildcat community!

Click here for Zoom meeting link (password: wildcats).

Click here to join Session 1’s Teams meeting.

Looking for 5 Budget Committee Volunteers

Hello Whittier Families!

I’m looking for 5 volunteers to be part of the PTA Budget Committee this year. We have the opportunity to meet in Feb/March to look at this year’s budget and make recommendations for next year’s budget. I would love to see some new faces who want to get involved with the PTA and better understand the budget. Please email me directly if you are interested.

Thanks! Michelle (PTA Treasurer)

Safer Internet Day: February 6, 2024

Explore The Smart Talk, a free tool that helps families set digital safety ground rules together. Developed in collaboration with the National PTA and Norton, The Smart Talk helps children and families feel safer and more empowered in their digital lives.

Tomorrow is the Great PTA Sign Up Day!

The Washington State PTA invites you to join our local PTA tomorrow to reach their statewide goal of 5,000 members signed up in just one day! Whittier currently has 136 members–we would love to reach even more families. Tomorrow is the perfect day to sign up! Read below for some information from the Washington State PTA:

  • Did you know when you join the Whittier Elementary PTA you also become a member of the Seattle Council PTA, Washington State PTA, and National PTA?
  • You’ll have access to special discounts offered through WSPTA and National PTA – just some of the many benefits of membership!
  • Be a part of something bigger – the more members we have in the Whittier PTA & Washington State PTA, the greater legislative voice we have on issues affecting children.
  • Being a member helps you stay connected with what’s happening at Whittier and allows you to vote at monthly PTA meetings.
  • If you haven’t yet, please join us and sign up today!

Follow the Call of the Disco Ball and Move! to Fund Programs at Whittier

Fundraising at Whittier is essential to maintain the staff and services our school community needs. Due to the Seattle Public Schools funding model, Whittier receives one of the smallest per student flexible funding allocations across SPS, with the expectation that our PTA community will fundraise for our unfunded school needs.

What is flexible funding? These are unearmarked funds provided to school administrators to pay for needs specific to their school that are otherwise unfunded. In the past, we’ve used flexible funds to support staffing, to extend differentiated learning, and towards staff to reduce class sizes. PTA budget funds our literacy specialist, our PCP specialists (art/performing arts/PE), and other staff. Additionally, with funds raised, we are able to pay for enrichment programs for all students, including Raz Kids Reading and IXL math apps, as well as a host of assemblies and residencies, such as Massive Monkeys, Reptile Man, Nature Vision, and more.

This Fall, we raised over $83K from annual give! Great job Wildcats! To meet the annual PTA  budget, we will be holding two more fundraisers this Spring:  Move-a-thon (with a fundraising target of $15,000) and Spring Fling ($60,000) for a combined goal of $75,000.

April 26th – Move-a-thon

A fundraiser driven by students reaching out to their neighbors and extended family for donations for each lap run on the blacktop.

May 18th – Spring Fling: this year’s theme is Follow the Call of the Disco Ball!

A fun, block party-style, community event where classroom art will be on display and for sale, themed classroom buckets will be auctioned off and a variety of hosted parties will be available for purchase. Past hosted parties have included items such as First Day of School Brunch, Whiskey Tasting, Backyard Movie Night for Kids, and more!

Stay tuned for more details on these fundraisers in the coming weeks!

Other ways to get involved with fully funding Whittier:

Gaga Ball Pit Update

We are so excited to announce we’ve got an estimated delivery date for our playground’s new Gaga Ball pit–pieces should be arriving on Thursday, February 29th!

Thanks to everyone who offered to help with the install so far. Please see this sign-up sheet to help coordinate the little prep work we need to complete before delivery and/or the more concentrated effort immediately following delivery. Lots of roles and many don’t require any construction or power tool experience/know-how!

Reach out if you have any questions, ideas for how to make the process smoother (we’ve never installed a Gaga Ball pit before!), or if you need more information. 

Save the Date: Spring Fling 2024

The Spring Fling is Whittier’s yearly event that raises necessary funds for essential staff and services at our school.  This includes staffing grants to support literacy and art programs, scholarships, teacher discretionary funds, school-day enrichment, and much more. 

Details

  • Date: Saturday, May 18 5:00-9:00
  • Location: Whittier Elementary Block Party (13th Ave NW)
  • Theme: Follow the Call of the Disco Ball! Come dressed to shine in sequins and silver, or disco glitz and glam to get you in the groove! No sparkles? No problem, come join the party as you are.
  • Auction: All bidding will be done online again this year.
  • More Fun: Once again you can expect to see live music, food trucks, and a bar at the party!

Stay tuned for additional details!

Friday, March 1st at Whittier (6-8:30pm)

Put on your dancing shoes for the Whittier Dance & Game Night Friday March 1st. The party begins at 6:00pm and will wrap up at 8:30pm. Grab an early dinner and come ready to play, twist, shake & party with your Whittier family & friends. You bring a water bottle & we’ll provide a treat to go with it!

Save the Date!

The Whittier PTA 2024 Move-a-thon is Friday, April 26th! 

This event supports the 2023-24 Whittier PTA budget–student enrichment, staffing support, equipment upgrades, and community events. Students raise personal sponsorships from family, friends and/or neighbors. More details to follow on Move-a-Thon schedule, fundraising information, and volunteer opportunities.

Psst - Feel like you're missing announcements or info? Make sure you've joined Konstella, Whittier PTA's primary way to keep you up-to-date. If you've already joined, check you've joined your student classrooms to make sure you get grade- or class-specific information!

Introduce a Girl to Food Science: February 10, 2024

Join us for the 8th annual Introduce a Girl event organized by Women in Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington! This year’s theme is Food Science, and Introduce a Girl is completely free!

This STEM outreach event is geared towards girls and gender-expansive youth ages 5-15. Students have the opportunity to explore science and technology through a variety of interactive demonstrations and hands-on activities. Our theme this year is food science! This event is free for all participants and is a great way to get youth excited about STEM!

Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, February 10th, 2024
  • Time: 12 pm – 3 pm
  • Venue: University of Washington HUB Lyceum

Register to reserve your tickets. A parent/guardian will need to register all students participating in the event.

For more information, visit the Introduce a Girl website.

Do you want to join a Spanish Afterschool Program next fall?

¡Hola! We are thrilled to announce that registration for our Spanish Afterschool Program (hosted at the PNA) for the upcoming Fall will open soon. If you’re a new family, sign up on our inquiry list on February 1 and we’ll reach out to you once registration is open. 

If you want to give your child a head start in Spanish exposure in a fun and interactive environment, this program is perfect for you.

Registration Timeline

  • February 1 at 9AM
    • New families can join the inquiry list posted on our website.
    • Registration for current families will open.
  • February 12
    • Our team will start contacting families on the inquiry list to offer available spots in our Spanish Afterschool Program.

Learn More

Thank You, Wildcats!

The Wildchat: 1/9/2024

January 9, 2024

WELCOME TO 2024, WILDCATS!

Have you Signed Up for After School Programs?

Sign-ups for After School Programs, coordinated by Whittier PTA, launched yesterday afternoon. Learn more about After School programs, including the schedule and how to register. Programs begin January 22nd, so sign-up today!

Upcoming Events

Still getting back into the swing of things? Be sure to note these upcoming events:

  • 1/9 (TONIGHT): PTA Meeting from 7-8pm over Zoom. All are welcome!
  • 1/12: MLK Assembly during school hours
  • 1/15: No School – MLK Day
  • 1/18: Third Thursday Staff Appreciation hosted by 2nd grade families
  • 2/13: New Family Info Night from 6-7pm at Whittier open to all prospective and incoming families
  • 2/13: PTA Meeting from 7-8pm. All are welcome!

Calling All Second Grade Families!

Each month a different grade provides goodies for Staff Appreciation. 2nd Grade families are up for January – and we are setting up a hearty winter lunch, to power the staff though these dark days.

Sign up HERE: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0E44A8A729A0FAC61-47018552-january

Please drop off items to the office by 10am on Thursday, Jan 18th. Let the office know if your items need to be refrigerated. Please clearly label all items “Staff Appreciation 1/18.”

Email Hospitality if you have any questions.

THANK YOU!

Download the 2023-2024 Whittier Family Directory!

The 2023-24 Whittier student directory is now available for download! Many thanks to all the families and Wildcat artists who participated. Look for the link in the Announcements section of Konstella. We recommend bookmarking this link to access the most current version, as the PTA makes updates throughout the year.

The PTA compiles the student directory each school year in coordination with families who wish to opt in. Families can use the directory to arrange playdates, birthdays, and other fun! Opting in is voluntary. We only share the information you provide. If you would like to add or update your student’s contact info, it’s not too late! 

Please email us with any questions! 

From SPS

Join the Equity and Race Advisory Committee

Are you interested in furthering racial equity within Seattle Public Schools? We are looking for diverse, equity centered community members to join ERAC. 

ERAC meets virtually once a month on the second Monday from 5-6:30 p.m.. Members discuss current issues within SPS, review data, and make recommendations to the Superintendent.

Learn more and apply here.

Online Parent Education Course to Help Support Student Learning

Empower yourself to support your child’s education by enrolling in Family Connectors University. The 10-week class offers parents and caregivers effective strategies to support student learning and growth in Seattle Public Schools (SPS). This family-friendly class, hosted by SPS and North Seattle College, has been running successfully for more than 10 years.

Learn more and register here.

New Student Enrollment

Are you a family with an incoming Wildcat or know someone who’s considering Whittier? Registration for the 2024-2025 school year opened on January 2nd. Enrolling students early helps SPS have more accurate headcounts, impacting financial planning for next year. Learn more about enrolling new SPS students here. Prospective and incoming families are also encouraged to attend Whittier’s upcoming new student info session on 2/13.

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

From reading with your child, finding a volunteer opportunity, taking time for a conversation or attending an event, here are a few ideas to honor the life, legacy and sacrifice of Dr. King, Jr. on January 15th and throughout the year.  

The Seattle Martin Luther King Organizing Coalition is planning a celebration with workshops, a rally, and march in Seattle. Learn more here. This is a great reading list if you’re looking for some children’s books on Dr. King Jr’s life and legacy. NAAM will be hosting a full day of activities from 10-5. Consider checking out the A Kids Book About Series – there are dozens of titles to explore around race, inclusion and to help kids see how they can make an impact in their communities. A kids Book about Philanthropy is a new favorite. Many nonprofits in the area offer special volunteer projects to celebrate – you can explore more here

Thanks for the Hospitality!

Thanks to families and our amazing Whittier PTA Hospitality team for supporting our teachers during Third Thursday Staff Appreciation!

Membership News: The Great PTA Sign Up Day!

On January 31st, Washington State PTA will hold its Great PTA Sign Up Day. They have a goal of signing up 5,000 members (new or renewals) across the state’s many PTAs. Click here to sign up.

We encourage you to join for the first time or renew your membership from years past. Joining the PTA is a way to show your support for Whittier and the hard work of our students, teachers, and parents. Your dues go to Whittier, Washington, and the National PTA to advocate for children in our community, state, and country. Every membership contributes toward this advocacy. Please feel free to reach out if you want to check your membership status; there are many lapsed members from last year who still have yet to renew. Remember, membership lasts for one school year, and you can renew your membership at any time during the school year.

Thank you to all of you who have signed up for membership so far this school year! Please email us with member status questions or any general comments or questions about PTA membership.

Save the Date for our annual Spring Fling, May 18!

We are excited to announce the return of our block party fundraiser this year. This parents only event is a great opportunity to meet other Whittier parents while raising funds for the school.

We are seeking additional volunteers to help with the planning of the event. If you are interested in joining the planning committee, please email Brie. Our first meeting will be this Thursday, January 11th at 7:00pm via ZOOM. New volunteers are welcome and encouraged! Please email with any questions.

Gaga Ball Pit Update

The Gaga Ball Pit structure has been ordered! This 20′ wide octagon should be able to accommodate 20+ Wildcats for fast rounds of Gaga Ball includes a weather-ready mat to keep the play surface clean and protected, along with an ADA-door ensuring accessibility whenever it’s needed.

We’ve heard from several caregivers willing to help with the pre- and during installation tasks. Thank you! When we have our delivery timeline confirmed, we’ll reach out with next steps. 

In the meantime, please keep an eye out for a future fundraiser led by some 5th graders to help fund accessories. Thank you for your support! Contact us with any questions.

It is Legislative Season in Olympia!

Washington State’s Legislature is starting their 2024 session (a 60-day “short session”) on January 8th. We will keep you in the loop about how to advocate for our Wildcats!

Joni the WA State PTA for an in-person Focus on Advocacy Day on January 15th in Olympia. This day is a chance to meet with other parents, PTA members from other districts, and hopefully meet with elected officials (or their staff) and learn about how to advocate for our students. Find out more here. If you plan to attend, reach out to our legislators ASAP for a meeting (but we have heard the day is fun even if you do not get a pre-scheduled meeting). Their offices can be reached at:

  • Senator Noel Frame:(360) 786-7670
  • Representative Julia Reed: (360) 786-7814
  • Representative Liz Berry: (360) 786-7860

Over the next two months we will send more information about how to advocate for our students in Olympia. The WA State PTA will support the priorities they focused on last year. We do not anticipate there will be a big emphasis on new K-12 education funding during this session, but it provides an excellent opportunity to lay the groundwork for next year’s longer budget session.  

If you are interested in learning more, please contact advocacy@whittierptaseattle.org

Thank You, Wildcats!

The Wildchat: 12/5/2023

December 5, 2023

Blue and gold after-school programs banner.

New After-School Programs Coming in January!

We are excited to share a lineup of fun clubs coming this winter!

  • New! Coding With Kids – Scratch Game Development (Grades 3-5)
  • New! Dungeon Master Academy (Grades 3-5)
  • Chess Wizards (Grades 1-5)
  • Introductory Spanish (Grades 1-5)
  • Bricks4Kidz – Jurassic Worlds (Grades 1-2)
  • Gamer Group with Mr. Buck (Grades 1-2 and 3-5)

Registration opens on January 8. Classes will be held weekly after school from January 22 – March 21. Families will need to create a  6crickets account before registering. Learn more here.

This Season's Important Reminders

  • Lost and Found is overflowing! Remind your Wildcat to look for items before winter break, when we’ll donate unclaimed items to start 2024 fresh!
  • December 15th is a 1-hour early dismissal, so be sure to collect your Wildcat at 1:25pm.
  • Winter Break runs from December 18th through January 1st. We’re excited to see our Wildcats back on January 2nd!
  • Save the date to sign-up for After School Programs on January 8th.
  • The first PTA meeting on the new year will be on January 9th at 7pm. All are welcome!
  • There will be no school on Monday, January 15th, in observance of MLK, Jr. Day.
  • Email digital gift cards by clicking here
  • Donate funds via PayPal (please add a message noting “Helping Hands”)
  • With your help, we’ve reached our goal for Target gift cards! Thank you!

We've Exceeded Our Goal - Thank you for Giving!

Thanks to all the company matches that will continue to trickle in, we would like to announce that we have hit our annual give goal of $80,000! Thank you to our entire community for your generosity! And if you can, please consider amplifying your donation by submitting your tax-deductible donation to any employer matching programs (Federal ID #91-1479413).

Since our community reached our Annual Give goal, the Whittier PTA will be working with Principal Watters to host an all-school party; more details to follow! Thank you again for supporting the Whittier PTA and Whittier community. Go Wildcats!

Become a PTA Member!

Last month, we kicked off the Whittier PTA’s membership drive. It’s not too late to sign-up for this school year! Here are a few reasons why it is valuable to join the PTA and become a member:

  1. Support your child(ren) as well as all Whittier children: Your dues, ideas, and feedback contribute to curriculum enrichment programs and events that create opportunities for our students.
  2. Make your voice heard: Vote on decisions and initiatives that shape our children’s education and school lives.
  3. Be a vital part of our school community: Collaborate with other members of the Whittier community to create a supportive and enriching environment for all learners.

If any of these reasons is compelling to you, or if you simply forgot to renew your membership for this school year (reminder that you have to renew every school year!), please join here. Scholarship opportunities are also available. 

Feel free to reach out with any questions at membership@whitterptaseattle.org. Thank you!

Calling All Handy Humans to Help with New Playground Equipment

Whittier PTA is excited to announce funding has been approved for a Gaga Ball pit to be installed on our blacktop! We’re aiming for a late Winter/early Spring installation so this year’s 5th graders have a chance to enjoy this popular activity. This new piece of 20′ diameter octagon will feature a swinging ADA door, rubber safety mats, and wooden sides. And we need your help to finish this project! 

We’re looking for any handy humans to help contribute and coordinate the following tasks: 

  • Pick up pre-ordered lumber and drop it off for prep (pick-up or long-bodied vehicle needed)
  • Cut lumber into required sizes, including a few angled cuts to support framing the ADA entry
  • Stain, seal, and temporarily store wood 
  • On installation day, attaching wood pieces to prepared components with electric drills
  • On installation day, help prepare blacktop (using push brooms)
  • On installation day, help lay down rubber mat tiles on prepared blacktop
If any of these tasks are in your wheelhouse, please reach out to Kate Scher; we’ll follow-up with a sign-up opportunity and details once delivery dates have been confirmed. We’re so excited for our Wildcats to enjoy a new recess activity in 2024! 

3rd Grade Staff Appreciation - Let's Stock the Lounge!

Each month a different grade provides goodies for Staff Appreciation. 3rd Grade families are up for December – and we are stocking the lounge with snacks, treats and beverages to keep our staff fueled into the New Year.

  • Sign up HERE 
  • Please drop off items to the office by Friday, December 15th. 
  • Please clearly all items “Staff Appreciation.”

We will set up the spread in the lounge for the staff on their first day back from winter break.  Email hospitality@whittierptaseattle.org if you have any questions. Thank you!

Amazing Work, Wildcats!

Our Wildcats worked together with local artist, BT, to create an incredible welcome banner, now hanging in our main hallway. Thank you to Mr. Buck and the Creative Advantage team for making this opportunity a reality!

From Our Community

Sign-ups Open for All Gender Youth Basketball

Seattle Parks & Rec Youth Basketball League registration is now open for ages 8-17. Fee is $120 for the season with practices starting in December and games in January.

Learn more and register >>

PROPS Youth Lacrosse registration is now open!

Volunteer run rec-program that is committed to being a supportive environment for all athletes. Emphasis is on good sportsmanship, effort, and fun. All new and returning players are welcome.

  • Grades 1-8
  • All players welcome; adheres to boys’ rules & equipment
  • PROPS Lacrosse is for youth in the Ballard High School, Ingraham High School, and Nathan Hale High School catchment zones
  • No prior experience necessary
  • US Lacrosse Membership required ($30)
  • “The Academy” for grades 1-2 is free; no equipment required. This level is skills training and non-contact.
  • Grades 3-8 season dues are $295, uniform cost approximately $100, and an equipment package (helmet, pads, gloves, stick, cleats, protective cup, and mouthguard) required. Financial aid is avaialble.
  • First time players can use loaner equipment.
  • Practices start in February and are twice a while at Whitman Middle School or Loyal Heights playfield. Games begin in March on Saturdays.

Learn more and register >>

Questions? Contact propslacrosse@outlook.com

Thank you, Wildcats!

The Wildchat: 11/07/2023

November 7, 2023

There's Still Time to Shine!

Screenshot 2023-11-06 at 8.24.45 AM

We're 50% towards this year's $80,000 Annual Give fundraising goal, so we've extended our fundraising campaign!

Your Wildcat received an Annual Give flyer and envelope on 10/31 in their backpack! We’re asking every Wildcat to complete the Annual Give form and return it in their envelope by 11/17. If you’ve already donated, thank you! Please check “Donated online!” on your form when you turn it in. If you haven’t, complete the form and make a donation online. Lost your form? Download a new one to print here.

Every Wildcat that returns their envelope by 11/17 will be automatically entered into a raffle to win either a signed Seahawks football or signed Seahawks jersey. And the first class to reach 100% participation by turning in all their envelopes will get a special cookie or donut celebration!

How to Make a Donation

  • OnlineOne-time and recurring payments available
  • By check (made payable to Whittier PTA): attach your check to the “Wildcats Shine” Response Card and return it in the yellow envelope via KidMail or in the mail slot at the school’s front entrance.
  • Employer Matching: Amplify your gift by participating in your employer’s Corporate Matching Program. Don’t know if your company offers employer matching? Visit our Employer Matching page to determine next steps.

Why Do We Need to Fundraise?

Whether you’re a seasoned SPS family or just joining the community, you may be confused about the role PTAs play in funding at SPS schools. SPS’ funding model relies on PTAs to support essential staff and services at schools, including contributing to staffing dollars for our school nurse, literacy specialist, our arts and PE specialist rotation, and more. Learn more about what Annual Give dollars will fund this year.

Whittier PTA has to meet its annual fundraising goals to continue supporting essential staff and services at the same level next year.

Thank You, Wildcats, for an Amazing Fall Festival!

Thanks to our incredible community for braving the cold in your creative costumes to celebrate Fall! From decorating pumpkins to taking photos to eating bear-shaped cotton candy to dancing in Mr. Pule’s transformed PE Palace, we had an unbelievable time connecting and laughing. A huge thank you to the 50+ volunteers who helped make this event happen: 

  • Chris Wilcynski
  • Leah Lansberry
  • Rebecca Grandin
  • Jill Muscatel
  • Owen McCabe
  • Sandy Hawley
  • Shannon Blackman
  • Katie Kreiger
  • Ellie Kim
  • Jeff Stone
  • Jennifer Foreman
  • Sara Lukas
  • Jess Templeton
  • Ashley Ward Gaspard
  • Courtney Hillman
  • Amanda Johnson
  • Erin Lancione
  • Angie Lundstedt
  • Kate Scales
  • Anna Reeve
  • Matt Reeve
  • Jeff Stone
  • Melissa Caviezel
  • David Curran
  • Ashley Sullivan
  • Matthew Sullivan
  • Larishna Catuncan
  • Emily Robertson
  •  Avery Zerbey
  • Chris Twardzik
  • Johnny Hartsfield
  • Courtney Miller
  • Caroline Gross
  • Megan Herscher
  • Sarah Okun
  • James Grandin
  • Eamon Ford
  • David Peabody
  • Rachel Wold
  • Brian Wold
  • Melinda Nett
  • Megan Wildenradt
  • Joni Larson
  • Alice Berman
  • Megan Herscher
  • Jared Cortese
  • The 37 families who donated desserts for our Cake Walk
  • Mr. Pule for helping set up the Glow Zone
  • Our amazing teachers and staff that helped us celebrate (complete with Bob Ross painting!)
  • A special thanks to Jess TwardzikMelissa IvancevichLaura Zingg, and Kate Scher for coordinating Fall Festival and making this event such a success.

TONIGHT! Supporting Gender-Diverse Youth Workshop

How do our words and actions help support a gender-diverse community? This event will help all of us to be strong allies, regardless of our child’s identity, and to be prepared to have affirming conversations with our children, their peers, and community members about gender-diverse identities. Featuring presenter Sam Cristol, M.Ed. (they/he), program coordinator in the Health Education Office at Seattle Public Schools.

  • Tuesday November 7, 2023
  • 6pm-8pm
  • Whittier Elementary School (1320 NW 75th Street, Seattle, WA 98117)
  • FREE Workshop for Caregivers & Grownups
  • Childcare provided for kids ages 3+
  • Snacks and drinks will be available
  • Learn more: https://tinyurl.com/48psmpsj 

Mark Your Calendars! Other Upcoming Events

This Fall is going fast! Here’s what to plan for through 2023:

  • 11/7: Ballots due!
  • 11/7: Supporting Gender-Diverse Youth Workshop
  • 11/10: No School – Veteran’s Day
  • 11/14: PTA Meeting
  • 11/15: School Board Meeting (hear the latest on the SPS budget crisis and share your voice!)
  • 11/15: 4th Grade Hosted Staff Appreciation
  • 11/17: Gratitude Assembly (K-2)
  • 11/20-24: No School – Conferences, Thanksgiving, Native American Heritage Days
  • 11/21: Family Ice Skating at the Kraken Community Iceplex
  • 11/30: Book Fair and Literacy Night
  • 12/15: 1-hr Early Dismissal
  • 12/18-1/1: No School – Winter Break

Psst–be sure you’re connected to Konstella and in the right classroom(s) for the latest event postings, announcements, and for teacher appreciation conversations hosted by your Room Reps

4th Grade Families - November Staff Appreciation

Each month a different grade provides goodies for Staff Appreciation. 4th Grade families are up for November – and we are setting up a taco bar dinner, to power the staff though the start of conferences on the 15th and fill their hearts (and stomachs) before break. Sign up here

Please drop off items to the office by 12pm on Wednesday, Nov. 15th. Let the office know if your items need to be refrigerated. Please clearly label all items “Staff Appreciation 11/15.”  Email us if you have any questions. THANK YOU! 

Reminder: Join Us for This Year's PTA Meetings

Everyone is invited to join us at our monthly PTA meetings! Members can vote on important issues and everyone is invited to share their voice. Save these dates to join us from 7-8pm!

  • Tues, November 14 (in-person at the Library & over Zoom)
  • Tues, January 9 (Zoom)
  • Tues, February 13 (Zoom)
  • Tues, March 12 (in-person at the Library & over Zoom)
  • Tues, April 16 (Zoom)
  • Tues, May 7 (in-person at the Library & over Zoom)
Password is always “wildcats.” Questions about PTA meetings? Please contact us. 

Creative Advantage brings Community Artists to the Forefront

In 2022, SPS approached Principal Watters about participating in a new program called Creative Advantage, a city-wide initiative designed to support arts-focused learning in schools by connecting student learning experiences with community artists. As a pilot school, a dedicated group of staff, led by Mr. Buck, and parent volunteers have met regularly to craft a multi-year program vision. Navigating lots of ideas (and a little red tape), the team brainstormed a vision for this school year that kicked off last week. 

A Welcome Banner that Reflects All Wildcats

For the Creative Advantage team’s first project at Whittier, students will work directly with local artist Brandon Thomas (known as BT) and Mr. Buck to generate and design symbols and graphics representing their Whittier community. Students will draw their symbols on the final banner, which will surround custom lettering featuring the phrase “You Belong Here” and artwork created by BT. The finished sign will be mounted in the Main Hallway and is planned to be unveiled in time for Parent Teacher Conferences later in November. 

What's Next?

Driven by the Creative Advantage team, SDOT has also approached our school with an opportunity to help customize artwork installed to support 13th and 14th Ave NW’s transition into permanent School Streets. The team intends to use and extend Wildcats’ work from the Welcome Banner project to transform 13th and 14th Ave NW into trail and waterway-themed street art that celebrates our neighborhood’s history and present. Created in collaboration with a 13th street resident, Whittier parent, and designer, the team is working to ensure the final design celebrates our community with an everlasting sensibility.

The team also continues to plan two more arts opportunities, intended for this year: a visual art project for Whittier’s lower level stairwell and a potential guest residency to support Ms. Steph’s Africa unit in Performing Arts.

Thanks and kudos to Brennan Buck for his leadership and organization as Creative Advantage team lead. Go Wildcats!

Community Safety Concerns in our Neighborhood

You may have heard about criminal attacks targeting area middle- and high-school students in our neighborhoods. While SPS and SPD work together to help navigate a path forward, we want to be sure families stay alert, particularly during afternoon pick-ups from school and after care programs. 

Here are some safety tips shared by Ballard High Schools principal to help community members stay safe:

  • Talk with your family about personal safety.
  • If you see or experience a crime, call 911 immediately.
  • Stay alert to your surroundings.
  • Put away their cell phones while walking. Electronics should be out of sight, and jewelry worn discreetly.
  • Develop a plan before trouble occurs:
    • Crossing a street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.
    • If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking, do not approach it. Instead, turn and quickly walk in the opposite direction.

Tell your kids! Reflections Art Contest Call for Entries!

Help us spread the word to your kids and showcase your student’s creativity!  The PTA invites all Whittier students to participate in this year’s contest with the theme, “I am hopeful because…”  
 
Students can submit art in 8 categories: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, and Visual Arts.  There is a Special Artist Division for students who identify as having a disability and receive services under IDEA or ADA: Section 504.  Students may enter in the Special Artist division or the grade division most closely aligned to their abilities.  
 
Students can pick up a submission form in the office or use the downloadable form.  Present the submissions in person to the office or electronically to the Whittier PTA Reflections Program Chair by November 17th!  
 
For more information on the categories, visit the Washington State PTSA Reflections websiteor contact our Whittier PTA Reflections Program Chair.  

Thank you, Wildcats!

The Wildchat: 10/17/2023

October 17, 2023

This year’s “Wildcats ShineAnnual Give campaign is part of our Fall Fundraising Drive and one of Whittier PTA’s three primary fundraisers. To fund the programs and services we’re committed to support, Whittier PTA has set a Fall Fundraising goal of $80,000. This works out to a suggested donation of $250 per student.

However, we know this is a big ask—please do what is right for your family and know that ALL donations are appreciated. From $10 to $1000, EVERY donation fuels the school; and EVERY student, teacher, and family benefits.

In addition to the financial support, we are asking each family to sign up for one volunteer opportunity this year. On the annual give donation page, there is a drop-down menu to choose what event works best for you to volunteer at this year.

Please make your one-time or recurring donation here by October 28th. Learn more about how to make a donation via cash or check and the importance of participating in any Employer Matching programs.

As a thank you, the Whittier PTA will work with our amazing Whittier teachers and staff to have a school party when we hit our $80,000 fundraising goal. More details to come!

Our Whittier community is amazing because of YOU. Please consider making a contribution and difference for our Wildcats. Paws up!

Raise Your Hand to Volunteer!

Come have some fun this Fall! We’re looking for some volunteers to help make our upcoming Fall Festival and other events this year happen.

  • Fall Festival needs LOTS of volunteers, including activity leads and day-of volunteers for this completely fun community event. Activity leads attend the event plus one evening meeting on 10/24; all other volunteers are just day-of. Learn more and sign-up!
  • Fall Festival is also looking for families to donate desserts for our Cake Walk! Learn more and sign-up.
  • The PTA is looking for volunteers to help in these roles:
    •  Spring fling Co-Chairs
    • Family dance and game night Co-Chairs
    • Ice skating party coordinator
    • Movie night coordinator
    • Science/STEM night coordinator
    • Nominating committee for 2024
    • An individual to help file our PTA taxes (Form 990 for a not-for-profit organization)

Want to learn more about PTA volunteer opportunities, have a question, or want to sign-up? Contact our Volunteer Chairs!

Are you interested to volunteer in the classroom? Be sure your SPS Volunteer Application is complete! Learn more here.

Have You Joined Your Konstella Classroom Yet?

Konstella is your go-to source for school-wide and grade-level announcements, along with information specific to your classroom. Create an account if you’re new to Whittier or haven’t joined Konstella yet. If you’ve used Konstella in the past, you’ll need to update your classrooms by going to Settings > Your Children > (Child’s Name) > (Last year’s classroom or “Not Assigned to a Classroom” > Select your student’s classroom. 

Psst – While you’re in Konstella, you can subscribe to our Konstella calendar or check out and subscribe to our Google Calendar.

The Low-Down on this Year's Fall Festival Menu

We are so excited to bring you even more food options this year! There will be two food trucks, El Gran Taco (view menu) and Delfino’s Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (view menu), with vegetarian and gluten-free options and meal prices ranging between $15-20 per person. Trucks will serve food from 4:30-7pm; popcorn and cotton candy will also be available for purchase. Learn more about Fall Festival here.

 

Help Make this an Amazing SOCKTOBER!

Mrs. Parekh’s 2nd grade class is collecting new socks to donate to The Bridge Care Center in Ballard. Spread the word to family and friends and start your collecting! Donation bins located outside Mrs. Parekh’s room (210) and in the front office. Our goal is to get 200 pairs! Let’s help all of our community have happy, dry feet this season!

Opt-in Family Directory

Hello Whittier families!

Whittier PTA is creating a directory of family contact info for arranging playdates, birthdays, and other fun! All Whittier families will receive a copy of the directory by email later this fall. 

We wanted to ensure all families had a chance to opt in. Opting in is voluntary. The directory will only include the information you provide. 

All entries are due Friday, October 20. 

No action is needed if you’ve already completed this year’s print or online form OR you opted into the directory last year and your information hasn’t changed.

Questions? Contact us!

Whittier PTA Reflections: Call for Entries

Call for entries to Reflections Art Program 2023-24. The theme is “I’m hopeful because…”

Get ready! All Whittier students are invited to participate by submitting one entry in one or more art categories. There is a Special Artist Division for students who identify as having a disability and receive services under IDEA or ADA: Section 504. Students may enter in the Special Artist division or the grade division most closely aligned to their abilities.

Submissions can be presented in person or electronically this year (but winning art will need to be electronically submitted to the Seattle Council PTA). The deadline to submit to Whittier PTA is November 1, 2023! Pick up a copy of the submission form in the office or use the downloadable form. For more information on the categories, visit the Washington State PTSA Reflections website or contact our Whittier PTA Reflections Program Chair.

5th Grade Families - October Staff Appreciation

FALL IS IN THE AIR!

Let’s thank the Whittier staff with a fall-themed breakfast spread. Each month a different grade will provide goodies for Staff Appreciation. 5th Grade families are up first this year. 

  • Sign up HERE
  • Please drop off items labeled Oct Staff Appreciation to the office by 12pm on Wednesday, Oct. 18th.** The Hospitality team will set up breakfast before school on Thursday, Oct. 19th. Let the office know if your items need to be refrigerated. 

Email hospitality@whittierptaseattle.org if you have any questions. THANK YOU! 

This Year's PTA Board Meetings

Everyone is invited to join us at our monthly PTA board meetings! Members can vote on important issues and everyone is invited to share their voice. Save these dates to join us from 7-8pm!

  • Tues, November 14 (in-person at the Library & over Zoom)
  • Tues, January 9 (Zoom)
  • Tues, February 13 (Zoom)
  • Tues, March 12 (in-person at the Library & over Zoom)
  • Tues, April 16 (Zoom)
  • Tues, May 7 (in-person at the Library & over Zoom)
Password is always “wildcats.” Questions about PTA meetings? Please contact us

Author Gary Gray, Jr. Delights and Connects with Wildcat Scholars

On October 6th, Whittier had the privilege of being author Gary Gray, Jr.’s first US stop on his tour to celebrate the release of his book, “I’m From.” Wildcats across grades gathered into two sessions on Friday to welcome and learn from Gray, a celebrated author and 3rd grade teacher. Armed with decidedly traditional clipboards and paper, composition books, and pencils, Whittier scholars were asked to notice, explore, and express through guided prompts and Gray’s sharing of his own history.

Gray’s literary work and presentation blended drawn and lettered art; two disciplines students often experience simultaneously but consider contextually different. By exploring expression as written and/or drawing, Gray’s playful presentation encouraged students, regardless of writing or drawing abilities, to express themselves. The presentation touched on a bevy of topics, from representation to writing as expression to the publishing process, and students were invited to draw, shout, ask questions and provide opinions. Wildcats made stick figure superheroes come alive with capes and quickly scribbled paragraphs of poems. With an emphasis on expression, Gray expertly paired the idea of having a “problem” (like, in his history, representation) with what to do about it.

Gray shared his own vulnerable history, including childhood photos and experiences, to help students safely explore the power of representation and words. Sprinkled in with comments about getting glasses and loving ice cream cake, real work to think through representation happened on the Whittier’s linoleum cafeteria floor on that Friday morning, letting Wildcats sit with the question of whether they, too, should make their own stories.

Thank you to the Whittier PTA, Principal Watters, and Gary Gray, Jr., for making this author visit possible not only at Whittier, but also at nearby school Viewlands Elementary. Go Wildcats!

Supporting Gender-Diverse Youth: What Can Our Community Do?

How do our words and actions help support a gender-diverse community? This event will help all of us to be strong allies, regardless of our child’s identity, and to be prepared to have affirming conversations with our children, their peers, and community members about gender-diverse identities.

In this interactive workshop, we will build our literacy and speak affirmingly about gender-diverse identities. We will learn skills and strategies to effectively support the young people in our lives. Together, we’ll walk through scenarios, review students’ rights in our schools, and learn why family support is the number-one predictor of LGBTQ youth health outcomes. Whether you’re the parent of a gender-expansive kid or just want to know how to improve your allyship to these communities, we look forward to learning with you.

  • Tuesday November 7, 2023
  • 6pm-8pm
  • Whittier Elementary School (1320 NW 75th Street, Seattle, WA 98117)
  • FREE Workshop for Caregivers & Grownups
  • Childcare provided for kids ages 3+
  • Snacks and drinks will be available
  • Learn more: https://tinyurl.com/48psmpsj 

PRESENTER

Sam Cristol, M.Ed. (they/he), program coordinator in the Health Education Office at Seattle Public Schools, whose role centers on improving schools for LGBTQIA+ students. As a queer and trans alumni of Seattle Public Schools themself, they are deeply passionate about making our district a place where LGBTQIA+ young people can thrive.

PTA Nominating Committee is looking for people!

We are looking for a few folks to help coordinate PTA Board Member Positions for the following school year (2024-2025).  This is a great opportunity to perform outreach, facilitate education about all available board positions, and find great candidates to fill those roles.  All PTA members are welcome to join the committee and if you aren’t a PTA member yet, you can still join.  We want your voice to be heard!

The primary duty of a Nominating Committee member is to find out which PTA officers and board members will be returning, figure out what positions are left to fill, and recruit potential candidates who are good matches for those spots. Time commitment includes a few meetings in November and a few in late winter.  Much of the work is done via email and in face-to-face communications with people. 

If you are interested in the committee, please contact Jess Templeton. Please include why you are interested in participating and any previous volunteer involvement you have had with Whittier (both school and PTA). If you are new to Whittier, that is great too, we just need someone who likes to talk to people and is looking to make an impact at our school! 

Thank You, Wildcats!

The Wildchat: 9/26/2023

September 26, 2023

Welcome back, Wildcats!

Here’s all the back-to-school logistics now that we’ve hit the ground running:

    • Latest News – There are lots of ways to make sure you don’t miss any Whittier news!
        • Look for text messages and emails from Principal Watters, the front office, or your teachers.
        • We round up all important notices from Whittier, SPS, and the community) in the Wildchat, released every three weeks throughout the school year.
        • Konstella is your go-to source for school-wide and grade-level announcements, along with information specific to your classroom. Create an account if you’re new to Whittier or haven’t joined Konstella yet. If you’ve used Konstella in the past, you’ll need to update your classrooms by going to Settings > Your Children > (Child’s Name) > (Last year’s classroom or “Not Assigned to a Classroom” > Select your student’s classroom. 
        • Check your student’s folder on Tuesdays for flyers from the PTA with notices about events, fundraising and volunteer opportunities, spirit days, and more.

    • Lost & Found: Whittier’s lost & found is in the main hallway between the front and blacktop entrances. Look for updates from Cindy on how parents can comb the racks to help students reunite with their items.
    • School Lunch: This year’s school lunch menus can be found on SPS’ Culinary Services siteClick here to create an account or add money to your child’s account to pay for school lunch. Learn more about free or reduced school lunch at SPS.
    • Please keep an eye out for more info about our Annual Give fundraising drive, launching next week. It’s your first (and biggest) opportunity to support your Whittier community through direct giving!

Spaces Still Available in Fall After-School Programs!

There’s still time to enroll in fun after-school activities! A limited number of seats are available in the following programs:

Create your 6Crickets account to register.

Programs are coordinated by the Whittier PTA in partnership with our enrichment providers. Please contact the Programs team with any questions.

Volunteer Opportunities

Want to meet great people, have fun, and help your Whittier community? The PTA has lots of volunteer opportunities at different commitment levels! 

  • Fall Festival Day-of Activity Leads: We need 6 volunteers to run awesome Fall Festival activities! This low responsibility volunteer gig includes attending one brief meeting on Oct 17 (7-7:30pm, over Zoom) and help set-up, facilitate, and clean-up their activity during Fall Festival. Choose your favorite activity to lead and contact us to volunteer or learn more:
    • Face Painting
    • Pumpkin Run
    • Apple Toss
    • Candy Corn Toss
    • Pumpkin Decorating
    • Cake Walk
  • We are looking for a Room Rep for our SPED classrooms. Contact us if you’re interested!
  • Support positions for our PTA:
    • Spring fling Co-Chairs
    • Family dance and game night Co-Chairs
    • Ice skating party coordinator
    • Movie night coordinator
    • Science/STEM night coordinator
    • Nominating committee for 2024
    • An individual to help file our PTA taxes (Form 990 for a not-for-profit organization)
Want to learn more about PTA volunteer opportunities, have a question, or want to sign-up? Contact our Volunteer Chairs!

Author Gary Gray, Jr. Visits Whittier - October 6

Wildcats get excited! Whittier PTA and Principal Watters invites Gary Gray, Jr., is a Black Canadian poet and educator who writes for young children and adults, to Whittier for an in-school presentation on October 6. The host of the podcast Its Personal and author of I’m From, Gray’s work focuses on celebrating culture and exploring identity.

A Black Canadian poet and educator who writes for young children and adults, Gray’s love for literature stems from told and untold stories within his hometown of Preston, Nova Scotia, the largest Black community in Canada. He and his wife have been international educators for more than ten years.

As part of this partnership, the Whittier PTA and Principal Watters’ is also sponsoring Gray’s visit to Viewlands Elementary.

If you would like to purchase Gary’s book that he will be discussing, Phinney Books has created a webpage just for us

When purchasing a book, please select to pick up the book in store, but know that the books will get picked up by Ms. Newcomb, our school librarian.  All books will be given to students the day of the event where they will get to meet Gary and have him sign it. The deadline for purchasing a book is Tuesday, October 3rd. Thank you!

Latinx (Hispanic) Heritage Month: September 15 - October 15, 2023

Friday, September 15, marked the beginning of National Latinx Heritage Month. We celebrate our Latinx community to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success.

SPS’ Ethnic Studies Department has compiled a variety of engaging resources for educators and families that highlight books, community events, and more. 

Upcoming Seattle-area community events include the Día de los Muertos Festival at Seattle Center and El Centro de la Raza’s Día de los Muertos Celebration and ofrenda exhibits. You can also stream KEXP’s Latinx Heritage Month’s weekly mix here.

 

SPS News

Have you heard about SPS’ “Well-Resourced Schools” meetings? This series aims to present updates and potentially gather feedback on SPS’ direction given the financial challenges it already faces (and its likely continuance). From school and program closures to larger class sizes, SPS’ response to its budget deficit affects us all. If you’d like to learn more: 

Upcoming Class Happy Hours at Chuck's Hop Shop (6-8pm)

K 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Thurs, Oct 5th
Tues, Oct 3rd
Thurs, Sept 28th
Tues, Sept 26th

Thurs, Sept 21st

Tues, Sept 19th

Bummed you missed yours? No worries! Reach out to your Room Rep (not sure who to contact for your classroom? Check out Konstella!) or contact Volunteers to plan another informal meet-up for your grade or class! 

Why Should I Join the PTA?

  • Our PTA creates connections
  • It’s true that it takes a village to raise a child—and our PTA can help you build that village to support your child. Your membership will connect your family, our school, and our community. We’re all in this together!
  • Meet and have fun with new people and families with kids your child’s age! We hold events throughout the year for families and caregivers to engage and grow in community with one another!  Grade level mixers, morning PTA coffees, the Fall Festival, and even PTA meetings are a few of the events happening this fall!
  • Strengthen the ability to support your child and serve all children and families in our community.  Our PTA supports a number of fragile families by ensuring all students have access to after school program scholarships, transportation, housing and basic necessities.
  • Joining the PTA locally also means you are a member of the larger WA State PTA—“the oldest and the largest nonprofit grassroots children’s advocacy association in Washington state” 

Our PTA supports your child

  • Our PTA supports your child with education, health, and safety programs.
  • We use your dues, ideas, and feedback to add curriculum enrichment programs to the school and host events that create opportunities for your child (ex. bringing in the Reptile Man, Massive Monkees, 5th Avenue Theater assemblies, after school programs, and more!)
  • We support funding of essential staff to ensure all of our children have access to art, performing arts, PE, and a literacy specialist.

Our PTA amplifies your voice

  • Your membership enables you to vote on how our PTA dollars are spent each year.
  • Joining the PTA gives you a voice in decisions that affect you, your child, and all children by giving your feedback on education policy the collective bargaining power of not just our own PTA members, but millions of PTA members nationwide. (You could be more explicit here and add that only members can vote on issues?)
  • Strengthen your ability to support your child and serve all children and families. Your membership dues fund advocacy efforts that change policies and laws in our city, our state, and on Capitol Hill.

Beyond all of this, your PTA membership gives you access to a host of discounts! PTA Memberships last for the school yearjoin or renew today!

 

Opt-in Family Directory

Whittier PTA is creating an updated directory of family contact info for arranging playdates, birthdays, and other fun! The directory will only include information you provide. Opting in is voluntary.

Questions? Contact Laura.

Whittier PTA Reflections: Call for Entries

Call for entries to Reflections Art Program 2023-24. The theme is “I’m hopeful because…”

Get ready! All Whittier students are invited to participate by submitting one entry in one or more art categories. There is a Special Artist Division for students who identify as having a disability and receive services under IDEA or ADA: Section 504. Students may enter in the Special Artist division or the grade division most closely aligned to their abilities.

Submissions can be presented in person or electronically this year (but winning art will need to be electronically submitted to the Seattle Council PTA). The deadline to submit to Whittier PTA is November 1, 2023! Pick up a copy of the submission form in the office or use the downloadable form. For more information on the categories, visit the Washington State PTSA Reflections website or contact our Whittier PTA Reflections Program Chair.

5th Grade Families - October Staff Appreciation

FALL IS IN THE AIR!

Let’s thank the Whittier staff with a fall-themed breakfast spread. Each month a different grade will provide goodies for Staff Appreciation. 5th Grade families are up first this year. 

  • Sign up HERE
  • Please drop off items labeled Oct Staff Appreciation to the office by 12pm on Wednesday, Oct. 18th.** The Hospitality team will set up breakfast before school on Thursday, Oct. 19th. Let the office know if your items need to be refrigerated. 

Email hospitality@whittierptaseattle.org if you have any questions. THANK YOU! 

This Year's PTA Board Meetings

Everyone is invited to join us at our monthly PTA board meetings! Members can vote on important issues and everyone is invited to share their voice. Save these dates to join us from 7-8pm!

  • Tues, October 10 (Zoom)
  • Tues, November 14 (in-person at the Library & over Zoom)
  • Tues, January 9 (Zoom)
  • Tues, February 13 (Zoom)
  • Tues, March 12 (in-person at the Library & over Zoom)
  • Tues, April 16 (Zoom)
  • Tues, May 7 (in-person at the Library & over Zoom)
Questions about PTA meetings? Please contact us

Conversation: "How can we Support Our Gender-Diverse Youth"

Please Save the Date for Tuesday, November 7 from 6-8pm! Engage with others in our community to gain information about gender diversity and learn practical skills to better support gender diverse youth. This conversation will be facilitated by Sam Cristol, M.Ed. (they/he) who is a program coordinator in the Health Education Office at Seattle Public Schools. Whittier will be hosting this event and inviting neighboring schools to join.

From the Community

Community members have some events and announcements to share!

Opportunity for families to host a student for spring semester! There are two international students who are waiting to be connected to a host family from January-June. Our students have their own health insurance and cover all their personal expenses. They will attend the high school closest to their host family. A host family simply puts another plate on the table and welcomes the student into their family!

If interested, please contact Shawna Busey, text 253-273-8453, or learn more here

Eduarda is a 17 year old girl from Brazil: I am a kind, happy and outgoing girl who wants to enjoy and learn a lot about culture, history, life, perspectives… everything! I love painting, taking pictures,cooking, travel, go to the beach and stay with my family/friends. On my program I would like to join volunteering works with kids because I want to make the difference and I love younger children.

Lucas is a 16 year old boy from Brazil: I am a very happy boy and I like to make people laugh. My favorite place is the beach, nature, and skiing. At school I like to help the teachers with little children. I love all kind of sports, including soccer. I have a big dog that is a Cane Corso and I live with my parents and my little brother.

The Bellevue Jazz & Blues Music Series is celebrating our 16th year of celebrating community and the creative power of music. offer our local area students and their families complimentary tickets to either one of our headliner shows at Meydenbauer Center Theatre:

Thank You, Wildcats!

Meet the ’23-24 PTA Board

Meet the Board 

The Whittier PTA is powered by dozens of parents and staff members who do everything from helping to organize and run events, raising funds, planning parent education events, shaping our school’s EDI efforts, and coordinating community outreach. Leading their efforts are the members of the Whittier PTA board, who each oversee a different facet of the PTA’s work. We’re such a fun bunch, you might just be tempted to join us next year. (You’ve been warned. Just kidding, but only kind of. We’re always on the hunt for more parents who want to help make Whittier even better for everyone.) And if you see us at school or around the neighborhood, come say hi! We love getting to know the families in our community.

PTA Board

Co-Presidents
Renee Hartnett & Courtney Sievers

Vice President
Jess Templeton

Co-Secretaries
Emily Robertson & Melissa Ivancevich

Treasurer
Michelle Nemeth

Assistant Treasurer
Stacy Rose

Communications Chair
Mandy Nelson

Fundraising Co-Chairs
Ashley Schiavone & Glenda Elley

Family and Community Engagement Co-Chairs
Kathleen Donahoe and Courtney Sievers

Family and Community Engagement Chair – Events
Meg Pietz

Family and Community Engagement – Outreach Chair
Emily Schweiger

Programs Chairs
Jared Cortese & Jen Foreman

Legislative Reps
Jon Overman & Molly Firth

Membership & Volunteer Chairs
Leah Lansberry Austin & Anjean Vanden Bosch

Hospitality Co-Chairs 
Kathleen Donahoe & Emily Grosse

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Committee Chair
Kiana Swearingen

Members at Large
Nicole Kaczmarek & Joa Pope

PTA Non-board Positions 

Website Editor
Kate Scher 

WildChat Editor
Kate Scher 

Student Directory
Laura Zingg

Room Parent Coordinator
Sara Lukas

Spring Fling Chairs
Seeking Volunteers!

Move-a-thon
David Peabody 

Ice Skating Party Coordinator
Seeking Volunteer! 

Family Dance & Game Night Co-Chairs
Seeking Volunteers! 

Spirit Gear
Mendy Minjarez

Tech Support
John Shaw

Movie Night Coordinator
Seeking Volunteer! 

Science/STEM Night Coordinator
Seeking Volunteer! 

Nominating Committee for 2024 Board
Seeking Volunteers! 

Fall Festival Chairs
Jess Twarzik, Melissa Ivancevich & Laura Zingg

An Individual to Help File our Taxes (Form 990)
Seeking Volunteer! 

What do all these people do? See our Board Position Descriptions for a detailed description of job duties.

Willy Wonka, Jr. presented by the Whittier Wildcat Players!

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