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The Wildchat: 10/4/22

Fall Fundraising Takes Off!

This week we start racing down the runway to reach our $90,000 Fall Fundraising goal! If you feel like you’re encountering turbulence with the details, here’s what you need to know:

  • Pints for Purpose (10/5): Chat with friends (and make some new ones) at this social event with a fundraising bent at Wheelie Pop Brewing. Pop by anytime between 3-10pm and Wheelie Pop will donate $1 per pint to the Whittier PTA.
  • Annual Give (10/5-10/28): Traditionally our biggest fundraiser of the year, this fundraiser acts family and community members to directly donate funds to support the Whittier PTA’s annual budget. Receive thank you gifts at certain donation levels and don’t forget to accelerate your donation by using any employer match opportunities. Look for a flyer in your scholar’s Takehome folder with more information!
  • Move-a-thon (10/7): This fun event during the school day asks Wildcat scholars to walk, jog, run, unicycle, or move any way they’d like around the school blacktop. Family, friends, and community can sponsor Wildcat scholars with per lap or flat donations to help the Whittier PTA fund essential staff and services this year. All students participate, regardless of donation, and we’re seeking volunteers to help make the event a success. Be sure to set-up your Wildcat’s donation page and share it today! Donations can be collected through 10/14. If you’d like to submit a cash or check donation, grab an envelope from the Front Office. (Psst – Want to add your Wildcat’s photo to their donation page? Check your email for a confirmation from 99 Pledges–a link to edit your page is included.)

We’re aiming to raise $250 per student through Annual Give and Move-a-thon to reach our Fall Fundraising goals and ensure our operating budget for this year. Learn more about the PTA and what we fund.


Embrace and Engage in Diversity Learning at Home

Are your children ready to be part of the global community? Want to help the kids in your life embrace diversity and learn to welcome everyone? True inclusion is a lifelong process. Here’s how to get started.

  1. Investigate your own biases and privileges. Getting acquainted with our personal blind spots is the first step to helping the kids in our lives grow up with wider eyes. If you catch yourself acting out of ignorance, fear, prejudice or unacknowledged privilege in front of younger people (or they point it out for you!), apologize and talk about what you’re can do to learn and change.  
  1. Get curious! Create opportunities for kids to interact with many different kinds of people. Intentionally cultivate friends from different cultures. Offer to share one of your own traditions; ask if they can share one with you. Visit museums, galleries and restaurants with cross-cultural perspectives. Seek out diverse neighborhoods, schools, organizations and youth programs. We will help publicize family friendly events around Seattle.
  1. Keep it simple! Tailor conversations to kids’ age and ability. Listen to what the child is actually asking and give simple, straight-forward answers. You may have a whole presentation on cerebral palsy ready, but they may only want to know how their friend is going to get her wheelchair up your front steps for their play date. If they need more detail than you can give, you can offer to help them find more complex answers from books, experts or knowledgable friends. Which brings us to…
  1. Be open to not knowing. Kids can ask hard (and blunt) questions! It’s ok to say you don’t know an answer and offer to find out together. Or to ask for some time to think before answering. Or to come back later and say you didn’t like how you answered a question and you want to try again. Model an open mind and a growth mindset, which leads to…
  1. Seek out multicultural media. Want the kids in your life to more about other people, cultures, and ways of living? Check your media influences: Whose stories are you seeking out? If you put your playlist on shuffle, are there tracks from lots of different perspectives or only people with backgrounds similar to yours? Diversify the books, movies, podcasts, shows, and music you share with kids so they are exposed to different stories, artists and ways of viewing the world.
  2. Talk about differences and similarities. And celebrate both! Make it a game to brainstorm a connection for every distinction.
  1. Get cultured! Encourage the kids in your life to learn about their own heritage(s). Ask questions, aid their explorations, support their journeys of self-discovery. Respecting their own cultures can lead to respecting others’. Kids who are confident of themselves and their stories don’t need to exclude or put down others.
  1. Stop it! Intervene when you see prejudice, discrimination and unkindness happening. It sends a clear message to kids: Intolerance will not be tolerated.

It’s Walk & Wheel Month!

Don’t forget to join Mr. Pule in our Walk & Wheel Month-long Challenge! Be sure to fill out your calendar for every day you choose to avoid your car and walk, bike, bus, unicycle, park/walk to school! Be sure to turn in your calendar by 11/4/22!


Attention All 5th Grade Families!

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.

Here is the link to the Sign Up Genius to help us put together a lovely morning – https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e44a8a729a0fac61-october

Please drop off items to the office by 12pm on Wednesday, Oct. 19th. – look for a Staff Appreciation collection box. Let the office know if your items need to be refrigerated. Email hospitality@whittierptaseattle.org if you have any questions. THANK YOU!



From the Community: Ballard’s Oldest Cub Scout Pack Now Recruiting

Cub Scout Pack 100, operating since 1938 and chartered by Ballard’s Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, is now recruiting K-5 boys, girls, and parents for 2022-2023. Become a Cub Scout now!

All boys and girls from K-5 are invited to join Pack 100 and begin their quest to build the world’s fastest Pinewood Derby car, to have fun outside, to participate in service opportunities, and to earn special recognitions and awards.

Cub Scouting means “doing.” Everything in Cub Scouting is designed to have the Cub Scouts participating in fun activities used to achieve the aims of Scouting—character development, leadership development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. When asked what she enjoys about scouting, one of our 1st grade Cub Scouts said “I love to go on adventures and be in nature!”

For more information, visit http://www.pack100ballard.com/, or send an email to join@pack100ballard.com.


Thank you, Wildcats!

’22-23 Specialist Schedule

At Whittier, students rotate which Specialist they visit every two days (AA/BB/CC). Classes visit the same Specialist class two days in a row before rotating to the next. Holidays are skipped over (resuming wherever classes left off in the rotation) so no classroom misses specialist instruction. Classes start the school year rotation with the Specialists below. If you’re looking for more specific direction on where your classroom is in their rotation, teachers often provide Specialist schedules to their classroom families.

When preparing for your rotations, please be sure students have gym shoes for their PE rotation and masks for Performing Arts (for singing).

TIMEA (PE)B (Art)C (Performing Arts)
8-8:40am
(Wed: 8-8:35am)
Childers (5th)Keener (5th)Provence (5th)
8:45-9:25am
(Wed: 8:40-9:15am)
Shellenberger (1st)Hansen (1st)Worotikan (1st)
9:30-10:10am
(Wed: 9:20-9:55am)
FocusOgle (4th)Richmond (4th)
12:10-12:50pm
(Wed: 10-10:35am)
DiTullio (K)O’Leary (K)O’Rourke (K)
12:55-1:35pm
(Wed: 11:50am-12:25pm)
Baldi (3rd)Peterson (3rd)Paul (3rd)
1:40-2:20pm
(Wed: 12:30-1:05pm)
Parekh (2nd)Leming (2nd)Mayo (2nd)
(This rotation began on Wednesday, September 14, 2022).

Join the Whittier PTA for Pints for Purpose

Join the Whittier PTA for tasty drinks while supporting Whittier! Between 3-10pm on Wednesday, October 5, Wheelie Pop Brewing will donate $1 per pint or tasting tray purchased at their brewery (1110 NW 50th Street) to the Whittier PTA. Wheelie Pop has indoor and outdoor seating, is family friendly, and they’ll have Burger Planet on-site (and Trailbend next door) if you want to grab food while you’re there. Let’s come together and celebrate as a community!

The Wildchat: 9/20/22

Welcome Back, Wildcats!

Important To Dos for New & Returning Wildcats

  • Create your Paypams account to pay for lunch, if needed. (You’ll need a Student ID number to set-up an account; you can find your student’s ID number on The Source. Learn more about meals at Whittier this year.)
  • Breakfast and lunch menus will be posted regularly here. Check out September’s menu and this year’s a la carte menu.
  • Lost items? Lost & Found rack can be found outside the gym doors daily (for students). Parents can also check out the rack on Fridays at pick-up (sometimes outside the main entrance).
  • Class Communication – In addition to emails from teachers, each class has 1-2 Room Reps to help share class news and info. Want to become a Room Rep? Email volunteers@whittierptaseattle.org with your name and classroom teacher to sign-up or learn more.
  • Join Konstella and/or make sure your child has been added to their classroom. Yes, yes sign-up or login to this platform that’s basically announcements/event info/family directory. Use default notification settings so all important announcements, news, messages, and events are emailed to you (so you can avoid logging in, if that’s your style). And visit the “Calendar” page to subscribe so all event information is connected to your native Calendar system. Then you can just check in if you want to reference the digital family directory or social forums. Learn more about Konstella, including step by step instructions for adding them to their classroom.
  • Become an approved SPS volunteer (if you’re not already) so you’re ready to volunteer during school hours. If you’ve been an approved SPS volunteer in the past, you’re usually approved for two years. Sign into the SPS volunteer portal to see your current status and contact Monica with any questions.
  • Look for emails from teachers with links to Amazon Wish Lists for helpful items to support your classroom or shop these Wish Lists to support Nurse Marissa and the Front Office.

Fall’s Main Events

(Want to automatically add these events to your digital calendar? Subscribe on Konstella or our website.)


We Need Volunteers!

Our incredible work can’t be accomplished without Whittier volunteers. We have several key PTA positions and committees seeking volunteers in order to make this year’s planned events and support schedule a reality, including:

  • Co-President
  • Vice President
  • Programs Chair
  • Communications Co-Chair
  • Reflections Art Contest Chair
  • Classroom/Room Reps (2 per class)
  • Reflections committee members
  • Fall Carnival committee members
  • Membership committee members

Volunteering can span any level of commitment or skill set; we have all kinds of positions available. If you’ve submitted a volunteer interest survey in the past, please contact us to let us know you’re still interested and, if so, what kind of volunteer position or commitment you’re looking for. WE NEED YOU, WILDCATS!

Renew Your PTA Membership (or Join for the First Time!)

All PTA members have to renew their memberships at the beginning of each school year! PTA members can vote during board meetings which impacts PTA budgets, priorities, and more. Learn more about membership and renewals. Questions? Contact membership@whittierptaseattle.org.


Announcing Our Fall Fundraising Drives: Annual Give & Move-a-thon

It’s time to kick off another year of FUNdraising! The Whittier PTA aims to raise $130,000 this year to support its operating budget that provides essential staff and services, community events, and more for the Whittier community. As a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, the Whittier PTA aims to only raise what’s needed to fund its budgeted commitments, including flexible staffing grants we commit to the prior school year.

This year, fundraising is split into two main funding periods: Fall (Annual Give, Move-a-thon), where we’ll aim to raise $90,000, and Spring (Spring Fling Block Party & Auction) with a $40,000 fundraising goal. Annual Give is an opportunity for families to directly donate while Move-a-thon’s per lap donations are easily made on behalf of families by their supportive community.

Annual Give, kicking off 10/5 alongside our Pints for Purpose event, is an opportunity for each family to give donations of any size to help support your Whittier community. Help meet our $250 per student Fall Fundraising goal through online donations and employer matching. Families can receive thank you gifts for their donations. Learn more about Annual Give, thank you gifts, and make donations on our Annual Give page.

We know there are a lot of opportunities to give your family might be considering this Fall. Learn more about what the PTA funds and why you might want to choose the Whittier PTA for your gifting. If you’d like to have a voice in the PTA’s budget priorities, please join us and attend upcoming PTA board meetings to make your voice heard. We’d love to have you!


What does the Whittier PTA do?

Through fundraising and the help of parent volunteers, the PTA provides school grants, outreach, organizes special events and activities, hosts parent education events, plans and coordinates teacher appreciation activities, and supports enrichment opportunities for all students. This means our scholars have more time with specialists, our community can be more connected, and we can support the needs of our students and community in ways we couldn’t otherwise. The Whittier PTA is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit (Federal ID #91-1479413).

Your contributions fund many programs and services THIS YEAR:

  • Essential Staff Positions & Support (60%)
    • Time with Key Support Staff and Specialists
    • Professional Development
    • Staff Appreciation
  • Enrichment (23%)
    • Grade-Level Curriculum Enrichment
    • Library Books and Supplies
    • Guest Artists and Authors
    • Funding Proposals
    • Reflections Art Contest
    • Global Reading Challenge
  • Family Events and Resources (13%)
    • Community Engagement
    • Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Committee 
    • Scholarships
    • Family Communications Platform
    • Family Support Services
    • Safety
  • Operations Costs (4%)
    • Insurance
    • Bank and Licensing Fees
    • General Supplies and Printing
    • Accounting Software

Teachers’ Lounge Makeover

A million thanks and kudos to the F.A.C.E. (Family and Community Engagement) committee for their incredible work to makeover the Teacher’s Lounge to benefit our teachers and staff.

The PTA hospitality team extends special thanks to: Cindy, Rebecca and Monica, Mr. Chris and the custodial team, Lisa Rivera Smith, Elliot S, Tina L, Kellie P, Jess Twardzik, Jess Templeton, Melinda N, Julie O., Ron S., Peter A., Will G., and Laura Z. Extra shout-out/thank you to this project’s leads: Courtney Sievers, Kathleen Donahoe, Leah Lansberry-Austin, Emily Grosse, and Kate Scher.

Paws Up for a Cooler Fence!

After months of planning and ordering and hours of pushing, hammering, and installing, both the 13th and 14th Ave NW fences have been beautified! We hope families enjoy the colorful cup design as much as we do!

Special thanks to Tina Lilley, Jess Twardzik, Megan Wildenradt, Kate Scher, and others who contributed to this project.

Curious about the cups?


“Undoing Racism and Teaching Equity to Our Children”

On Tuesday evening September 13th the Whittier PTA attending a training led by Families of Color Seattle (FOCS) entitled, “Undoing Racism and Teaching Equity to Our Children.”

The training focused on the history of systemic racism and discussed how it affects our lives today. Participants had a chance to learn, discuss and reflect on race, systemic racism, privilege, and how our own upbringings have shaped our views around racism. The Whittier PTA will continue to learn about and discuss the topic of racial inequity and how it shows up in our community, continue to work to address specific goals that pertain to this topic, and hope to offer more workshops and trainings for the community this school year. Some takeaways we’d like to share from this training:

Want to get involved? Contact our EDI (Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion) Committee!


How Communication Works at Whittier

Whether you’re a seasoned Whittier veteran or a new family navigating the wheres, how’s, and what’s of school communication channels, it can be challenging. Here’s a summary of where to get updates and how to make sure you’re subscribed in the right spots.

WHITTIER NEWS

Whittier families, students, teachers, and staff stay connected and build community through a network of communication channels:

  • Whittier Elementary Website – evergreen info and official school calendar
  • Whittier PTA Website – upcoming events, announcements, meal menus, and more
  • Texts from the Front Office – time-sensitive announcements and reminders
  • Emails from Principal Watters – generally on Mondays, these are important sources of official school info and happenings
  • Wildchat Newsletter – emailed every other Tuesday, this newsletter wraps up SPS, Whittier official, PTA, and community info
  • Takehome Tuesday/KidMail flyers – paper flyers placed in take-home folders occasionally
  • Konstella – online community forum (see “Primer” article for more)
  • Whittier PTA Instagram/Facebook – this info overlaps with Konstella content, but can be helpful as a place for reminders (if you need them)
  • Grade-level Facebook Groups – informal community discussions specific to your Whittier student’s grade level
  • Updates from the Nurse Marissa – website with evergreen and health-related updates specific to our school nurse and community

FROM YOUR TEACHER(S)

  • Email and/or text messages – Teachers will identify their preferred communication method, but some use email and experiment with a new platform allowing them to text directly
  • The Source – SPS’ platform to share student attendance, assessment scores, Elementary Progress Reports, Schoology Access Codes and other information.
  • Schoology – a place for teacher’s to share and receive assignments and communicate about classwork

FROM SPS

  • Emails, phone calls, and text messages – all caregivers of registered students receive emails (generally from publicaffairs@seattleschools.org) and phone calls/texts using contact info provided at registration
  • SPS social media – urgent and not-so-urgent news is offered on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
  • SPS website – evergreen district-wide info, including information about school meal accounts
  • Covid-19 updates – SPS is currently updating its dashboard platform, but says it will be available soon
  • District School Board Directors can be great sources of news and information. Ours is Lisa Rivera Smith and another useful member to follow is Vivian Song Maritz.

What is this thing? A Konstella Primer

Konstella is the platform we use to create classroom-specific forums, an opt-in digital family directory, an events calendar, and circulate announcements to the Whittier community. It’s available on desktop or a mobile app, which you can choose to visit never (and sign up for email notifications and subscribe to our calendar) or whenever. If you’re new to Konstella (or signed up for it years ago and haven’t used it since), here are some basics:

  • Classrooms: When you sign-up for Konstella, you’re asked to join a classroom. If you’ve signed up in the past, you’ll need to add your child to their classroom this year. Once you’re part of a Classroom, you can message other families in your classroom. This might be where your Classroom Reps message you about volunteer opportunities, teacher gifts, and other stuff.
  • Calendar: This is updated to contain the most current event set for the year. It’s linked to the PTA Google Calendar, so if you subscribe to either calendar, you won’t miss out on anything.
  • Announcements: Both event listings and general announcements will show up on your “Feed.” When you sign-up, you can choose to have these announcements sent to your inbox so you don’t have to login to see what you’ve missed.
  • Directory: Search for a specific user or browse family info by classrooms. This is the info you’ve allowed to be visible when you signed up for Konstella (and can always be modified in your settings).

Want more help? Check out our full Konstella guide.


Whittier Community Events & Happenings

Have an event or activity you’d like included in an upcoming Wildchat? Submit requests for future PTA communications or contact communications@whittierptaseattle.org.


Thank You, Wildcats!

Important Strike-Related Resources

Whether you’ve been clued in or you’re feeling a little lost, the Whittier PTA has assembled some important information to help you understand (and make it through) this strike.

HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION?

Channels of direct communications from stakeholder groups:

SEA:

SPS:


School Board Directors:


Seattle Council PTSA:


Seattle Special Education PTSA:

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?

  • Contact your School Board representative (our rep is Lisa Rivera Smith). She is your voice, so let her know what you think is the best path forward. Here’s a letter template/sample.
  • Whittier teachers and staff will be picketing outside of Whittier starting at 7:30am on Wednesday.
  • Whittier teachers and staff, along with SEA, are organizing a food drive to benefit the Ballard Food Bank from 11am-3pm on Friday, September 9, in front of Whittier. High demand items include: non-perishable food items and hygiene products (dry shampoo, tampons, etc). Gift cards to Fred Meyer are also being requested to be provided to Whittier families in need of support (to be distributed by Ms. Monica and Ms. Rebecca). Learn more on Konstella.
  • There is a district-wide Facebook group organizing community efforts as they relate to the strike.

I’M LOOKING FOR COMMUNITY SUPPORT

CHILDCARE

SCHOOL DAY MEALS

SPS Culinary Services is offering free sack lunch meals beginning Wednesday, Sept. 7, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. for pick-up at Whittier near the main office. This is available for all students. Parents, and guardians may pick up meals for students. Students do not need to be in attendance. Looking for help picking up meals? Want to offer to help drop-off meals to a Whittier family? Contact outreach@whittierptaseattle.org.

OTHER SUPPORTS

  • Mental Health Supports 
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources 
    • Crisis Text Line – free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text from anywhere in the USA to text with a trained Crisis Counselor. 
    • The Trevor Project–Crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people ages 13-24; 24/7 opportunities to chat online, text or call 
    • The GLBT National Youth Talkline–Youth serving youth through age 25; Provides telephone, online private one-to-one chat and email peer-support. 
  • Domestic Violence Support 
    • ADWAS – Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services empowers Deaf and DeafBlind survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment to transform their lives, while striving to change the beliefs and behaviors that foster and perpetuate violence. We provide comprehensive services to individuals and families, community education, and advocacy on systems and policy issues. 
    • DAWN–protects women and children from domestic abuse, providing shelter, support and empowerment  https://www.dawnrising.org/get-help/ 
    • The National Domestic Violence Hotline–A general 24-hour domestic violence hotline 
    • New Beginnings–One-on-one advocacy, counseling, legal support, youth and parent groups, educational training/prevention. 
    • Northwest Network–Offers support to LGBTQ survivors, as well as youth programming, community education, and professional development for youth-serving providers 

Move-a-thon 2022

Move-a-thon 2022

Support our Fall fundraising with a Fall Move-a-thon, “Wildcats on the Runway,” on Friday, October 7th! This annual, community favorite fundraising event asks families for per lap donations from friends, family, and community to raise funds for essential staff and services, community programs, and more. In conjunction with our Annual Give campaign, we’re aiming to raise $90,000 this Fall.

Putting the FUN in FUNdraising

This event supports the 2022-23 Whittier PTA budget–student enrichment, staffing support, equipment upgrades, and community events. Students raise personal sponsorships from family, friends and/or neighbors (see details below).

Our overall fundraising goal this fall is $90,000 or $250/student between participation in our Annual Give and Move-a-thon. Donations are NOT required to participate but will support all students, staff and community members.

Running Schedule

3rd8:45 – 9:15am
K9:25 – 9:55am
2nd12:05 – 12:35pm
4th12:40 – 1:10pm
1st1:15 – 1:45pm
5th1:50 – 2:20pm

How does the fundraising work?

Students can raise Move-a-Thon sponsorships online or in person as flat donations or per lap pledges.

  1. Set up an online donation profile for your Wildcat today to send an easy link to friends and family for credit card donations.
  2. Wildcats can pick-up cash/check pledge collection envelopes in the Front Office if they’d like to submit donations that way.

All donations are due by 10/14!

How can parents participate at the event?

We need MANY event and classroom volunteers to make the Move-a-Thon run smoothly: Volunteer sign-up sheet

Volunteers MUST complete the SPS Volunteer Application OR Renewal process in order to participate (see details below). Please allow one week for application approval. Your application will be valid for two years.

Questions? Contact Katie (lydenkatie@gmail.com)

SPS Volunteer Application Process

Before you begin, please have the following items ready:

  • Two references, including one personal or family reference.
  • Emergency contact name and phone number.
  • A digital copy of your government issued photo ID (e.g., a clear photo taken with a smartphone).

NOTE: All volunteers are required to complete an online Health & Safety Course (23 minutes) and show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. 

Meet the ’22-23 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

President
Leah Lansberry Austin

Co-President
Seeking Volunteer!

Vice President
TBA

Co-Secretaries
Jess Templeton and Jared Cortese

Treasurer
Renee Hartnett

Assistant Treasurer
Stacy Rose

Communications Chair
Kate Scher 

Communications Co-Chair
Seeking Volunteer! 

Fundraising Co-Chairs
Ashley Schiavone and Glenda Elley

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

Family and Community Engagement – Events Chair
Emily Grosse

Programs Chair
Seeking Volunteer!

Legislative Reps
Emily Barbee and Megan Wildenradt

Membership Chair
Tricia Schalekamp

Family and Community Engagement – Outreach Chair
Sara Lukas

Volunteer Chair
Mendy Minjarez

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Committee Co-Chairs
Susan Hernandez and Melissa O’Keefe

PTA Non-board Positions 

Website Editor
Seeking Volunteer! 

WildChat Editor
Kate Scher 

Spring Fling Chair
Courtney Sievers and Renee Hartnett 

Move-a-thon
Katie Lyden 

Spirit Gear
Tina Lilley

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

Get Back to Business on September 6!

On Tuesday, September 6, it’s time to get back to business! Join us on the Whittier Playground to celebrate the new school year!

Yuen Lui will take school pictures and the Whittier PTA will be on hand to provide back-to-school resources and information about our wonderful community. Full details/schedule to follow and a later date will be provided for those who can’t make it. Stop by and see us!

Picture Day Schedule

Families, we hope you can make it during your assigned time slot, but if it doesn’t work for you, come when you can!

  • Last name A-E: 1-2 p.m.
  • Last name F-J: 2-3 p.m.
  • Last name K-O: 3-4 p.m.
  • Last name P-T: 4-5 p.m.
  • Last name U-Z: 5-6 p.m.

(If your family can’t attend the event, no worries–you can take school photos during a class picture make-up day later in the Fall.)

The Wildchat: 6/14/22

Whittier Celebrates Pride Month!

In a jam-packed month, Whittier families may feel like their focus is being pulled in many directions. But during this month, we also celebrate LGBTQIA2+ Pride and our diverse Whittier community, alongside SPS. LGTBQIA2+ is an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two-Spirit, and other affirmative ways in which people choose to self-identify.At Whittier, our celebration takes on many forms. From teacher-led discussions and projects, ensuring LGTBQIA2+ representation in our library through our student-led book drive, establishing gender neutral bathrooms and safe spaces in our school, and even Principal Watters’ glorious collection of Pride shirts she’s wearing every day this month. Want to continue the conversation at home? SPS has created a collection of K-5 gender books, lessons, and videos have been posted to the SPS Health Education webpage. Earlier this month, SPS raised rainbow and transgender flags outside the SPS Central Office to kickoff their Pride celebration. SPS will also be participate in the Pride Parade later this month. Join the Seattle Public Schools contingent as students, staff, and families march together with pride alongside our school bus float. The parade starts at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 26. SPS will be in the staging on 4th Avenue prior to the start time.   Come early to make posters, hand out candy, and enjoy the cheering crowd. The parade route moves north along 4th Avenue between Union and the Seattle Center, where the party continues with a family-friendly festival including music, booths, food and fun! For more information about these events, contact Lisa at llove@seattleschools.org. We are so proud of our Whittier community and appreciate the opportunity to celebrate every Whittier scholar as they are. Go Wildcats!


Thank you, Wildcats!

Thank you to our Whittier community for your energy, investment, and effort to make the 2021-2022 an amazing success. We are SO proud of what we accomplished together this year, including:

  • Raising over $76,000 during our Annual Give fundraiser, over $83,000 at our Spring Fling block party fundraiser, and nearly $21,000 with our Move-a-thon FUNdraiser, for a total of almost $180,000 funds raised this school year to support our students, staff, family, and community. INCREDIBLE job, Wildcats.
  • Hosting eight First Fun Friday events to allow families to connect and celebrate safely together
  • Monthly staff appreciation hosted by each grade coordinated by PTA Hospitality and supported by our Whittier families and week-long teacher appreciation celebration coordinated by PTA Hospitality
  • Supporting the Massive Monkees residency and Specialist support
  • Funding five administrative and community funding proposals to serve our community, including Safety Patrol gear, groundskeeping supplies, and playground equipment
  • Organizing community engagement and family support, like Helping Hands and the Winter Sock Drive
  • Supporting school and student-led community efforts, including Whittier’s recent booster clinic, Kindergarten virtual tours, and March’s Prides of March community giving
  • Created, sold, and distributed Spirit Gear
  • We received the Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards for membership growth this year from the WA State PTSA
  • Providing Covid-related updates, summaries, and communication so families could feel safer and access vaccines and tests easier
  • Creating a printed school directory for families to connect over the summer
  • Installing a buddy bench and new playground equipment in collaboration with 2020’s Fifth Grade class
  • Publishing 18 Wildchats, Konstella announcements, Konstella calendar, and social media announcements to ensure families feel informed and connected
  • Hosting 10 PTA Board meetings and 4 Community meetings
  • Engaging in advocacy to connect our community with local stakeholders (Representatives Noel Frame and Liz Berry, SPS & SCPTSA Leaders, Schools First, North End FACE & Advocacy Chairs), driving support for this year’s levy proposals and directing bell time proposal feedback

We’re excited (and a little exhausted) but we can’t wait to make next year even better. The PTA is still seeking Whittier community members to join us in essential board positions next year. Many hands make light work; reach out to Leah, next year’s PTA President, for more information on open positions or to become part of our board.


Collect Your Lost & Found Items!This is the FINAL week to collect any Lost & Found items from Whittier! Look for the Lost & Found rack outside the main entrance at pick-up every day this week. Any items not collected by 6/17 will be donated. Thank you!

Needed: Caregiver Rep for Whittier BLT

Whittier’s Building Leadership Team (BLT) is seeking a parent/caregiver representative. This volunteer position is a two year commitment and the BLT meets for an hour and a half in the afternoon on the first Monday each month throughout the school year to discuss curriculum, building strategy, budget, and other school wide topics. The BLT is made up of  two parent representatives, the principal, an administrative representative, representatives from the different grade levels teachers, a representative from the Specialists and a learning interventionist representative.Please direct questions and interest to the current parent reps: 

Interested to volunteer but not sure if the BLT role is right for you? Reach out to vp@whittierptaseattle.org to learn about more volunteer opportunities!


Move-a-thon 2022: By The Numbers

Enjoy these Wildcat stats from the Move-a-Thon:

  • # of participating students: 350+
  • # of laps completed: 4112+
  • # of miles covered: 515+
  • $ raised at the Move-a-Thon for Whittier PTA to put to work in the 2022-23 school year: nearly $21,000

AMAZING! Thank you to our Wildcat community! Questions? Contact fundraising@whittierptaseattle.com.


Celebrating Our Fifth Graders

This year’s fifth grade class is filled with special scholars and young leaders destined to change the world. We are grateful for the way they’ve lead their Whittier peers throughout this year, including cheering them on during our first assemblies, supporting others during this year’s Booster clinic, and sharing their voices and concerns during PTA Board Meetings. 

This week’s celebration of our fifth graders includes today’s Adventure Day and a Promotion Ceremony for fifth graders and their parents on Thursday, June 16, during the school day. During this promotion ceremony, fifth grade families will have the opportunity to take photos at our our new photo booth, created for this fifth grade’s promotion.

Thank you to our fifth grade families for their service, Wildcat spirit, and stewardship throughout your tenure at Whittier. We know you won’t go far and you’ll always be welcomed in the Whittier community (after all, you’ll all still be Wildcats at Whitman!). Best of luck to our fifth grade Wildcats!

Buddy Bench Installed!

We are so excited to complete our final playground improvement of the year. Donated by the Fifth Grade class of 2020 (and tirelessly coordinated by PTA President Tina), this Buddy Bench will be a great space for Whittier friends to connect for years to come. Go Wildcats!


The Work Continues: Continuing the Fight Against Gun Violence

We thank the incredible teachers, staff and leadership at Whittier for their steadfast dedication to making our school a safe and joyful space for our kids every single day. 

As we continue to grapple with the recent devastating acts of violence, we feel called to ACTION.  Gun violence is a public health crisis. It impacts each of us but it’s important to remember that it does not impact us equally. Read more about how gun violence impacts communities in Washington.

We CAN fight against this. Please take less than 1 minute (YES, really!) to complete these 3 quick and meaningful actions TODAY.

  1. Contact your LEGISLATORS: Text BOLD to 644-33. Our legislators are getting increased feedback from people all across our state and their opinions vary greatly. We need to be LOUD and we need to email and call our legislators on a regular basis. Get started by texting BOLD.
  2. Sign up as an advocate: To stay informed on ongoing advocacy efforts and continue to learn more about the complexities of gun violence, sign up as an advocate. The Alliance for Gun Responsibility is on the frontlines of this work here in Washington and is a great place to start. Learn more here
  3. DONATE: Every dollar counts to fight gun violence. The more funds advocacy organizations can raise, the more progress we will see and the more pressure we will put on congress. Give today.

Eager for more information? Montlake Elementary has put an amazing comprehensive list together of many more ways you can learn and get involved over the summer. Questions? Ideas? Contact advocacy@whittierptaseattle.org


Library Books Now Overdue!

Have you found a wayward Whittier library book in your house? Please send it with your Wildcat or drop it at the Front Office for collection. They were due last week!


Booster Clinic Success!

An ENORMOUS THANK YOU to Nurse Marissa, Dr. Chanelle Roberts and the Docere Center for Natural Medicine, caregiver volunteers, Principal Watters, Whittier teachers and staff, and our Wildcat students for making our Booster/Vaccine clinic a success! In four hours we were able to boost or vaccinate 189 Whittier students. It was amazing to see Wildcats support one another with cheers, helpful gestures (like sharing a stuffed animal), and kind words. We are so proud of everyone’s hard work to help keep our community safe!

Looking for vaccine or booster clinics? SPS is hosting a couple more this year! Learn more.

Yearbooks Are Arriving!

2021-2022 Yearbooks are arriving! 5th graders will receive theirs early (during their adventure day). Other grades should expect their yearbooks to be distributed on Thursday or Friday. 


Whittier Playground WILL be open this summer!

Enjoy and please help us caretake this space when you’re there!

Family Directory Distribution

Your Whittier Family Directory is coming home soon! Thanks to our amazing volunteers, especially Amy Bryan and Todd Simonson, for putting this together. Be sure to use this amazing resource this summer!

Next Year’s Class Assignments

Returning to Whittier? Expect to receive information about next year’s class assignments on Wednesday, August 31. Have a great summer!

Psst! Want a sneak preview of next year’s event and school calendar? It’s already up on Konstella!


Know a Family Considering Whittier? Register today!

Do you know a neighborhood family considering Whittier? Encourage them to register today! Teacher and classroom assignments are being made early this summer, so future Whittier families shouldn’t delay in registering (even if they’re still deciding between Whittier and another school). 

Note: If you’re new to the Whittier community or Seattle Public Schools, there’s no need to re-register. Unless you’ve chosen to transfer district schools, your child will automatically continue at Whittier (or their next school) next year.

Don’t Miss Whittier Updates This Summer!

The school year is out, but our community is still organizing, connecting, and planning! Stay connected to friends, events, and updates:

  • Join Konstella. Once classroom assignments are released, we’ll update our Konstella classrooms so families can connect with one another. And next year’s calendar is already up! Don’t forget–Konstella has a digital directory so you can find family contact information over the summer (or message them directly). We also use Konstella to make any important announcements and updates.
  • Join your grade-level FB group (scroll down for links for each group) for opportunities to informally connect with other Whittier families in your grade.
  • Follow Whittier PTA on Instagram or Facebook. We broadcast updates here, too, so you won’t miss a thing.


Thank you, Wildcats!