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The Wildchat: 5/30/2023

May 30, 2023

Mission Complete: Thank You for an Amazing Spring Fling!

Thank you to everyone is our community that so generously supported our Spring Fling Block Party and Auction. Our goal was to raise $80,000 and, so far, we’ve raised over $100,000 to support essential staff and services at Whittier Elementary! We are so grateful to have such an engaged, welcoming community to enrich our Wildcats.

If you weren’t able to purchase your Wildcat’s aviator photo, there is one printed photo available per student. To purchase yours, select your preferred package from the online Aviator Photo purchase page, checkout, and show the front office your receipt when you pick up photos from Monica and Rebecca. Photos will be available until Friday, June 2nd.

There are also a handful of hosted party tickets and items still available for purchase. And if you didn’t get a chance to participate in our Fund the Need campaign, it’s not too late! You can still contribute here.

Please also consider amplifying any donation, including Fund the Need and financial contributions above an item’s designated retail value, to any corporate matching programs (Whittier PTA’s 501(c)3 Federal ID is Federal ID #91-1479413). Please reach out if you need any help submitting your corporate match.

Thank you so much for choosing to support Whittier Elementary and the Whittier PTA during this year’s Spring Fling! Would you like to help make next year’s Spring Fling a success? Please contact to learn more about how you can help!

Upcoming Happenings

Keep your calendar up-to-date! Sync using Konstella (Visit “Calendar” and click on “Sync to My Calendar”)

Reel by Kellie Pecoraro

Thank You, Spring Fling Committee Volunteers!

Thank you to our incredible Spring Fling Committee for their generous donation of time, talent, and commitment to make this event a reality:

  • Anjean Vanden Bosch
  • Ashley Cannon
  • Ashley Schiavone
  • Brie Gardner
  • Courtney Sievers
  • Elliot Scher
  • Emi Matsumoto
  • Emily Gross
  • Emily Robertson
  • Glenda Elley
  • Gwen Weed
  • Jess Templeton
  • Jess Twardzik
  • Joa Pope
  • John Shaw
  • Joni Larson
  • Kellie Pecoraro
  • Laura Zingg
  • Liz Young
  • Melissa Ivancevich
  • Mendy Minjarez
  • Rebecca Grandin
  • Renee Hartnett
  • Sara Lukas
  • Shannon Louma
  • Tina Lilley

Volunteers Needed for Blacktop Painting Day – Friday, June 23rd!

The blacktop is getting a refresh! Thanks to the hard work of our 4th grade leadership team, we are able to repaint the hopscotch, four square, tetherball, basketball, kickball and US map areas, and even add a WORLD MAP! But we need LOTS of helping hands. 

Painting day is FRIDAY, JUNE 23rd. 

Please sign up for shifts below! It’s fine if you can’t make all of a designated shift or if shifts overlap. Please make sure you have up-to-date volunteer status before you arrive.

Email Cindy or Emily with any questions.

Mark Your Calendars for Drag Queen Story Time!

Come join us for a special story time on Thursday June 22nd at 6pm. Popular Seattle drag queen, Aleksa Manila will be stopping by Whittier to spend an evening with us to read stories and have some fun! Drag Queen story time is all about love, acceptance, inclusion and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models! During story times like this one, kids will be able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where everyone can be their authentic selves! Come join in the fun!

Last Chance to Opt-in to the Family Directory! Info Due 5/31

Whittier PTA is developing a Family Directory for students and families to use this summer. The Family Directory is an OPT-IN print directory providing family contact information. It is intended to foster communication within the Whittier community (e.g., arranging playdates, childcare swaps, family get-togethers, birthday party invitations, etc.) It’s a great way to stay in touch with families you met at Spring Fling!

The directory can only be compiled with the information YOU PROVIDE. The PTA cannot access the contact information you’ve provided to the school. If you would like your contact information included in the directory, please see below:

Directory information and artwork submissions are due by Wednesday, May 31. Questions? Please contact

Volunteers Needed for Field Day!

Join the team and volunteer on June 16 between 11:10am-2:10pm! (Please note you must be an approved SPS volunteer.)
Sign-up here!

2023-2024 PTA Board Seeking Volunteers for Essential Position!

We are seeking two volunteers to act as Co-Secretary for next year’s board. This role primarily records meeting minutes and is perfect for a family new to Whittier or just getting involved in the PTA. For more information or to volunteer, please contact

Thank You, Wildcats!

The Wildchat: 5/16/2023

May 16, 2023

Make Your Class Your Wingman!

Has your class gotten Spring Fling tickets? It’s not too late! Buy your tickets today and plan a pre-funk, after party, or designated meeting spot with your class!

It’s a pretty tight race among the grades, but we can still fight for 75% participation! Come celebrate your community and support the PTA’s final fundraiser of this school year this Saturday, May 20th!

Take me to BID or lose me forever! Here’s just a small preview of what’s in this year’s Silent Auction, available both online and in-person, starting at 5pm on Saturday, May 20th. Check out the full catalog here!

  • Watching Outdoor Sports in Seattle: This Class “bucket” is actually a collapsible wagon filled with everything you need to stay dry, warm, cool, or shady during any outdoor sporting event!
  • Worm Bin from Mr. Pule: If you’re a new Wildcat, you might have heard of it. If you’re an experienced Wildcat, you’ve probably been outbid on it. Don’t miss it this year.
  • Pickleball Basket, Tournament and Picnic: Whether you are new to this fast growing sport or a pickled veteran, the Whittier Staff “The Real Dills” are challenging you! This package includes a basket of 6 paddles and balls to play, as well as some of our favorite pickles and picklebacks to get your competitive juices flowing. On tournament day, we will coordinate and meet up for a pickle picnic and games, kids and parents welcome. Split with another family of ballers or treat yourself and friends. Kids and families encouraged to play in this round robin pickleball tournament and picnic.
  • Class Art: From framed collages to custom serving trays to little libraries, don’t miss your chance to win a one-of-a-kind piece!
  • Dick’s Delivery – Hangover Hamburgers: Buy a ticket to this sweet hosted un-party and, the morning after the auction Sunday May 21st, 2 Dicks cheeseburgers, 2 french fries and 1 vanilla milkshake will be delivered to your front door between 11am and 12pm.
  • Movement is Medicine: Elevate your self-care routine with this incredible gift set that combines style, fitness and relaxation, including a Brooks Running gift card and 5-class package to Barre3 Ballard. 

Don’t Forget: We Fling Rain or Shine (but hopefully shine)

Come dressed in your best aviators and be ready to rock this outdoor Block Party Top Gun-style!

Thanks to PTA Hospitality and our Wildcat Community for an Amazing Staff Appreciation Week!

We flew high with our Staff Appreciation celebration! A big thank you to Kathleen Donahoe and Emily Grosse, and the rest of the Whittier PTA Hospitality team for coordinating a week of amazing events to match the awesomeness of our Wildcat staff. Go Wildcats!

What is Drag Queen Story Time?

Drag queen story time is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children. A drag queen generally reads 3-4 children’s books and may sing songs or lead kids in a craft activity. Through a fun and fabulous literary experience drag queen story time celebrates learning and play, encouraging kids to celebrate gender diversity and all kinds of difference, while building confidence in expressing themselves.

People of all ages should be free to express themselves however they want, free from the constraints of prescribed gender roles. In other words, there’s no such thing as “girl clothes” and “boy clothes,” or “girl toys” and “boy toys.” Drag queen story times teach children that there are many ways to express themselves and their gender, and they are all OK! Drag is an art form that is rooted in diverse LGBTQ communities, which support equality, justice, and respect for all people. Given that LGBTQ people are present in every community, it’s important that children are exposed to these aspects of our shared history and culture, in age appropriate ways.

Why is Drag Queen story time necessary?

Drag queen story times help children develop empathy, learn about gender diversity and difference, and tap into their own creativity. These story times can also be life-changing and ultimately life-saving for LGBTQ kids and teens, kids with LGBTQ parents or family members, and anyone who feels different because of their identity or interests or who may not otherwise see themselves reflected in the broader culture. Come experience a fun, inclusive, creative, and unique story time with us!!

Drag Queen Story Time with Aleksa Manila!

Thursday, June 22nd

6-7:30pm at Whittier

Come join us for a special story time on Thursday June 22nd at 6pm at Whittier. Popular Seattle drag queen, Aleksa Manila will be stopping by Whittier to spend an evening with us to read stories and have some fun! Drag Queen story time is all about love, acceptance, inclusion and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models! Come join in the fun!

Reminder: Check out our Calendar page (or Sync Your Calendar on Konstella) for all of the end-of-the-year event details!

Send Your Student Directory Submissions!

Whittier PTA is developing a Family Directory for students and families to use this summer. The Family Directory is an OPT-IN paper directory providing family contact information. It is intended to foster communication within the Whittier community (e.g., arranging playdates, childcare swaps, family get-togethers, birthday party invitations, etc.). The directory can only be compiled with the information YOU PROVIDE. The PTA cannot access the contact information you’ve provided to the school.

If you would like your contact information included in the directory, please see below:

  • Kindergarten Families:
    • Complete this Google form,, OR
    • Complete the 2022-23 Family Directory form that will be sent home with your student in Tuesday’s Kid Mail (a.k.a. your student’s backpack).
  • Grade 1-5 Families
    • A draft of your student’s class directory page will be sent home in Tuesday’s Kid Mail (a.k.a. your student’s backpack), using information shared in last year’s directory. Please review and mark any updates.
    • New families can complete the Google form: Return to your student’s teacher or the office by Wednesday, May 31.

Call for Student Artists! Students are invited to submit artwork for the Family Directory cover. The form was sent home in this week’s KidMail and can be downloaded for at-home printing:

Directory information and artwork submissions are due by Wednesday, May 31.

Questions? Please contact

Thank You, Wildcats!

The Wildchat: 5/2/2023

May 2, 2023

Don’t forget! Staff Appreciation Week: Dress Like Your Teacher, Bring a Flower

Whittier PTA’s Staff Appreciation Week continues! We’ve already gotten ready for take-off with a coffee cart and today’s inflight snack service. Tomorrow’s festivities will include a catered lunch provided by Barking Dog.

How can you join in on the celebration? Show your Wildcat Staff appreciation by:

  • Dress Like Any Staff Member: We’re asking our Wildcats to dress like any staff member on Thursday! Grab glasses, make a name badge, carry a special pencil–whatever reminds you of your amazing Wildcat staff!
  • Bring a Flower: For our final day of Staff Appreciation week, we’re asking all students bring a special delivery (flower(s)) for their teacher. Whether it’s a garden cutting or purchased flower, the PTA will help collate the flowers into vases to celebrate our staff. Bring it with you at drop-off where PTA volunteers will collect them for delivery.

Spring Fling Class Art Preview – May 5th!

The PTA’s First Friday Fun event for May is a special Spring Fling Class Art Preview! Come see each room’s collaborative art piece on display for the FIRST and ONLY time before the big auction! Join us on the blacktop after school on Friday, May 5th, from 2:25 – 2:45pm. Please plan to greet your Wildcats at your usual pick up locations before returning to the covered area. You won’t want to miss seeing the art in person!

Have you bought your Spring Fling tickets? Help your class reach 100% participation! Buy your ticket (and make sure other class parents have, too)!

Save the Date and Sneak Peek: This Year’s Hosted Parties

One of Spring Fling’s most loved traditions is selling tickets to our community’s Hosted Parties. These events, hosted by Whittier community members, have limited tickets available and can only be purchased by participating in our Spring Fling Silent Auction! Here’s a sneak peek of some of this year’s Hosted Party catalog:

*Please note dates could shift due to, you know, life stuff and capacities are limited for many of these events!

Psst–It’s not too late to host a party yourself! Parties of all kinds and sizes are welcome! Sign up today!

What Else Happens at Spring Fling?

This year we are striving to have items available to purchase at a wide variety of price points. In addition to all of our classroom buckets, art and the myriad of silent packages, there will be a Wine Wall and Golden Ticket opportunity.

And, of course, this year’s event is also a celebration! Expect music, tasty beverages, food trucks, and more.

So remember to preview one-of-a-kind Class Art on Friday, sign-up to host a party for Whittier, or help with your Classroom Bucket (if you haven’t already)! All Spring Fling proceeds support the Whittier PTA’s funding for essential staff and services at Whittier! Go Wildcats!

Sign Up: Trivia Night – May 18th, Whittier Library!

JOIN US FOR A STUDENT-LED TRIVIA NIGHT & help raise funds for a SPECIAL playground project!

An amazing group of 4th graders is hosting a trivia competition on MAY 18th, from 6 – 7:30pm, in the Whittier Library. All are welcome!

This 4th grade leadership team is raising funds for supplies to repaint the four square and basketball areas, touch up the hopscotch and US map, and even add a world map to the blacktop! 

Trivia Night Details:

  • An adult must register their team on our Sign Up Genius and be available to supervise their team on game night. Additional family members are welcome to watch.
  • Teams can be a max of 6 players, and made up of any combination of ages – kids and adults. Questions will vary to include all levels.
  • Suggested donation – $5 per person. A donation box will be available on game night, however no fee is required to play or attend.
  • There is only enough room for 8 teams, so register soon! Once you reserve your team spot, we will be in contact for more information.

There are a few volunteer positions available, too, if you’d like to help! Sign up! Email Emily Grosse or Cindy for more information!

Thank you!

Emily Grosse (parent project coordinator) AND the 4th Grade Playground Team: Ada, Greta, Sydney and Zoe

Drag Queen Story Time with Aleksa Manila!

Thursday, June 22nd (6-7:30PM)

Come join us for a special story time on Thursday June 22nd at 6pm. Popular Seattle drag queen, Aleksa Manila will be stopping by Whittier to spend an evening with us to read stories and have some fun! Drag Queen story time is all about love, acceptance, inclusion and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models! During story times like this one, kids will be able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where everyone can be their authentic selves! Come join in the fun!

PNW Parent Ed Presents, “Building Your Child’s Superpower of Stress Resilience”

We know that children and adolescents are reporting higher and higher levels of stress. We are partnering with PNW Parent Education ( for a FREE online presentation titled “Building Your Child’s Superpower of Stress Resilience” with Dr. Laura Kastner, PhD.

Tonight, Tuesday, May 2, 2023 at 6:30-8pm(If you can’t make the date/time work, register anyway as all registrants will receive an email with the recording following the event.)

Register via eventbrite:

Order Yearbooks by May 15! 

The 2022-2023 Whittier Elementary yearbook is a full-color book of special memories of students and staff.  Our goal is that every student receives a yearbook, whether or not a family is able to purchase one. When you order, you will have the option to donate a yearbook for a student or staff member.   

Order your copy now through May 15, 2023! The books will be shipped to the school in mid-June. $20 per book 

Help our Office Restock Snacks!

The Whittier front office stocks snacks for students and classrooms is running low. Please help us restock for the rest of the school year. We have an Amazon Wishlist or resources can be dropped off to Ms. Watters directly at the gate in the morning.  

Thank you, Wildcats!

The Wildchat: 4/18/2023

April 18, 2023

Back to Reality: Post-Spring Break Updates & Reminders

  • Thank you to everyone who participated in Prides of March! In addition to serving our Ballard Health, Luther Memorial let us know that Whittier’s donations will help their community fed for 2 months. Go Wildcats!
  • It’s Bike Unit at Mr. Pule’s PE Palace!
    • Students may bring their own helmet and their own bike (please label!) which can be stored at the gym during their PE week. School bicycles and helmets are also available.
    • Is your Wildcat a Rusty Rider/Learner and looking for extra practice? Mr. Pule is offering bike practice sessions after school between 2:40-3:15pm today (4/18), Thursday (4/20), 4/25, 4/27, 5/2, and 5/4. Students should bring their own helmets and parent supervision required during the session.
    • Want to have your Wildcat’s bike have a look over? Whittier students receive a free safety check (air tires, minor gear, and brake adjustment) at JRA Bike Shop between April 1 – May 5. Please plan 1-2 days ahead for this check-up. Any additional required work will be 10% off, along with helmets. This shop is also owned by a former Whittier parent!
  • After School Enrichment Programs are full for the Spring quarter but, we still need volunteers to make these programs happen! This includes our Vendor Supervisor role: an on-site volunteer who is on-call should any program vendor have a question or need assistance while programs are running. This is the perfect role for someone with a younger child they’d need to bring along or wants some independent time after school one day! For more info, please contact or to sign-up, visit
  • Today marks the start of Clay Days with Mr. Buck! He’s seeking volunteers Tuesdays-Thursdays during art rotations April 18-20 (B), April 25-27 (C), and May 2-4 (A). Email Mr. Buck to volunteer or for more info!
  • It’s time to order your yearbook! The 2022-2023 Whittier Elementary yearbook is a full-color book of special memories of students and staff.  Order your copy now through May 15, 2023! The books will be shipped to the school in mid-June and cost $20 per book. To order, visit:
  • Reminder: Lost & Found racks can be found right inside the front doors. Have your students check the racks for lost items (especially hats and gloves!) as the seasons start changing.
  • Are you a Kinder family? Reminder that this month’s Soup and Salad Staff Appreciation lunch is hosted by K families this month! We are still in need of K families to sign-up to bring soup, salad, and other items to the main office by 8am this Thursday, April 20. Please sign up here! Questions? Please contact
  • Join us for our PTA Board Meeting today! Click the link in the ad below to join the Zoom meeting at 7pm tonight. All are welcome and encouraged to attend!
  • Buy your Spring Fling Ticket! Learn more about this amazing event below and get ready to take-off on May 20!
  • Spring time is loaded with events! You can easily add Whittier events to your digital calendar. Join Konstella to add Whittier PTA’s calendar (click “Calendar” and then “Sync to my Calendar”) or visit our Calendar for the latest.

Searching for Whittier Spirit Gear?

Whittier Spirit Gear is always available in a ton of styles at our Bonfire online store:

Styles include paw print, Wildcat profile, and “Class of” designs.

Enjoy a cup of coffee on us! Stop by the library right after drop-off on April 21st for a casual hang with some PTA members. Great way to learn how you can get involved or share your ideas for community building with us. Got questions? Email

Get Excited for Our Silent Auction!

Our procurement team has been working hard to deliver an amazing auction catalog this year that will be available for bidding during Spring Fling! Here are some highlights so far:

  • Club Husky Tickets to the Apple Cup + Parking Pass: The Apple Cup is back at Husky Stadium this year on Saturday, November 25th (time: TBA). This is a big rivalry game between the University of Washington & Washington State University! You can bid on 4 Club Husky tickets + a Parking Pass (Padelford lot)
  • Art by Local Artists, including Leah Nadeau! 
  • Brooks is Back: Get your spring self ready with Brooks gift cards in the auction again this year!
  • Reptile Zoo Experience: Did your family love Reptile Man? Win 4 tickets to Reptile Zoo to see those amazing critters close up for a fun family day trip!

Psst–it’s not too late to donate! Auction donations are due May 5. Submit one today!

Whittier PTA Presents

Staff Appreciation Week 2023 – May 1st – 5th

We’ve been GEARING UP all year for this! The first week in May is National Staff Appreciation Week, and the Hospitality Team plans to shower our staff with gratitude each day! M/T/W events are hosted by the PTA, and TH/FRI events invite the students to participate.

  • Monday, May 1st Ready for Take Off Coffee and Donuts will be served to staff in the morning.
  • Tuesday, May 2nd Lunch on Board Catered lunch from Barking Dog will be served to staff in the lounge.
  • Wednesday, May 3rd In Flight Snack Service A snack cart will make its way through the halls, delivering refreshments to our staff.
  • Thursday, May 4th Outfit the Crew Wildcats are invited to dress like any staff member: Mr. Ogle’s signature tie? Bunny ears for Ms. Childers’s lops? A Hawaiian shirt to be a mini Mr. Pule? Have fun!  
  • Friday, May 5th Special Delivery Wildcats are invited to bring a flower(s) to school, from your garden or the grocery store, which will be collected at the gate in the morning and put into vases for all of our teachers.

Email with any questions!

Golden Acorn Award Nominations – DEADLINE May 5th

This award recognizes volunteers who have given outstanding service to children in the Whittier community. The recipient(s) of this award will receive loads of Wildcat appreciation, a Golden Acorn pin, special recognition at a General PTA meeting, a contribution in their name to the Washington State PTA Financial Grant Program, and their name engraved on the Golden Acorn plaque in the lobby.

Please help us recognize and reward the amazing individuals within our school and community who meet the criteria for this award. Email your nomination along with a brief explanation of why your nominee deserves this recognition by May 5th, 2023 to

A note for our 5th Graders/Incoming Whitman 6th graders!

Thursday, April 20th, incoming 6th graders will be able to register online for their electives.  Instructions on how to register online through your student’s SOURCE account can be found on the Whitman Website 6th Grade Registration page.  Online elective registration will be open from Thursday, April 20th – Sunday April 30th  and will close at 9pm.  If you have any questions, please e-mail Elaine Way, Registrar at

Thank you, Wildcats!

The Wildchat: 3/28/2023

March 28, 2023

Spring After School Program Registration – Thursday, April 6 at 3pm!

Whittier PTA is excited to coordinate additional After School Program opportunities for Spring! Planned program offerings include:

  • Mondays (5/1 – 6/12, no classes 5/29) – 2:25 – 4pm:
    • Mighty Coders (Grades 3-5): Coding for Kids
    • Bricks For Kidz (Grades K-2): Lego Engineering for kids
  • Tuesdays (5/2 – 6/6) – 2:25 – 4pm:
    • Gamer Group w/ Mr. Buck (Grades K-2): Board Games, card games
    • Robotics (Grades 3-5): Learn how to make a robot
  • Wednesdays (5/3 – 6/7) – 1:10 – 2:30pm:
    • Mode Music (Grades K-2): Intro to music for kids
    • Chess Wizards (Grades 1-5): Learn chess, play with friends
  • Thursdays (5/4 – 6/8) – 2:25 – 4pm:
    • Gamer Group w/ Mr. Buck (Grades 3-5): Board Games, card games
    • Jump On Languages – Spanish Immersion (Grades K-5): Learn Spanish in a fun, interactive setting

Note: Whittier Wildcat Players will continue its program through Spring Quarter, but registration is closed for the program’s duration.

Registration details and links for Spring Quarter will be updated and posted on Thursday, April 6 at 3pm here: If you have any questions or concerns about the registration process, please contact

Spots are limited, so be sure to ask to be on the waitlist if classes are full.

The Whittier PTA only coordinates building reservations and hosts registration links for these independent enrichment providers. Please note: Whittier Elementary and Seattle Public Schools are not affiliated with or connected to the Whittier PTA Programs offerings or these individual program vendors. The enrichment providers will be managing registrations and schedules independently for each program.

Prides of March: Final Week to Contribute!

Our school’s month of giving drive ends this week! As a reminder, we’re collecting donations for the Luther Memorial Church Food Pantry and Ballard High School Teen Health Center. Click here for more information on what and how to donate.

And don’t forget to participate in this Friday’s final dress-up day: Neon Day!

Seeking Day-of Event Volunteers!

more information & sign-up

Wine Donations for Spring Fling Wine Wall

At this year’s Spring Fling we have the addition of a Wine Wall! We are seeking donations of bottles of wine $20+ to fill up the wall. If you have contributions or connections, you can contact Shannon Luoma (206-856-6708) and drop off at her home. Thanks!

Neurodiversity Affinity Group – Parent Gathering

Please join the Whittier Elementary Neurodiversity Affinity Group for a parent gathering March 31st at Barking Dog at 7pm. This will be a casual get together to support each other navigating the joys and challenges of parenting a neurodivergent child.

Key Positions Require Volunteers for ’23-24 PTA Board

The Whittier PTA funds essential staff and services, programs, and more for the Whittier community. From flexible staffing grants to ensure we have a Literacy Specialist (Ms. Trilby) and our amazing Specialists (Mr. Pule, Mr. Buck, and Ms. Steph) to community events (Family Dance and Game Night, Reptile Night) to enrichment (Massive Monkees, After School Programs), the Whittier PTA needs volunteers in board positions to make it all happen.

Please see our currently available positions here. Questions? Please contact

From SPS: LGBTQ+ Mailing List and Families Dinner

We are trying to reach as many LGBTQ+ families as possible for our mailing list. We sometimes offer events and opportunities for connection/community for LGBTQ+ parents and also parents/guardians of LGBTQ+ or gender-expansive kids. We have a families dinner coming up on Saturday, May 6 at Camp Long from 4 to 7 pm. To join our mailing list and receive updates, please fill out this form!

What EDI is Working on This Week

Supporting Gender-Diverse Youth in our Community

Whittier PTA recently Co-Sponsored a Workshop called “Supporting Gender-Diverse Youth-What can our Community do?” A few very important take-a-aways from the workshop: Being Transgender is NOT a new or trendy thing! You can be a safe person in a child’s life who sees them, validates them, and supports them. We hope to continue learning and growing as a community to be a safe and supportive environment for gender-diverse youth. Please take a look at some terminology below:


  • Transgender – an adjective that describes a person who does not identify as the gender they were assigned at birth.
  • Cisgender – an adjective that describes a person who identifies as the gender they were assigned at birth. 
  • Transition – any step(s) a person takes to affirm their gender identity; this may or may not include changes in one’s name, pronouns, physical appearance, taking hormones, undergoing surgery, among many other things. There is no one way to transition.
  • Gender identity – a person’s internal sense of their own gender. This does not have to match “biological sex,” though it often does as most people are not transgender. 
  • Gender binary – the concept that there are only two genders (male and female)
  • Non-binary – describes someone who does not identify within the gender binary. 
  • Misgender – the act of referring to someone in a way that does not reflect that person’s gender identity. For example, using incorrect pronouns, calling someone by an old name, using an incorrect prefix (e.g. Mr., Ms., ma’am, or sir). Misgendering can be especially painful for trans individuals because it drags forth a history of not being seen as who we truly are. 

This piece of district policy focuses on the rights of our gender diverse student population and helps us understand our responsibilities as staff. Superintendent Procedure 3211SP:

Finally, here are some resources for LGBTQ+ Youth:

Thank You, Wildcats!

The Wildchat: 3/13/2023

March 13, 2023

We Need Volunteers for Required Positions on Next Year’s Board!

Calling all parents who are interested in getting involved with the PTA! If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity, please email Mendy Minjarez at

We are looking for board members, event organizers, and general volunteers for various roles for both this and next school year. Please see here for a chart detailing the roles that are open for next year, including job descriptions and estimates of how much time is needed.

Following COVID the PTA needs an infusion of new members and volunteers! Please consider joining us…we are a fun group of parents who are motivated to make our school and community a better place!

Click above or here to purchase!
Want to host but need help coming up with an idea? Email for help brainstorming, or if you’re ready to go, submit your idea here!
Click above or here to donate online! Questions? Contact

We’re also still seeking Class Bucket coordinators for two more classrooms: DiTullio and Provence. And congrats to our community–all Class Art coordinator spots have been filled!

Click for survey link! Questions? Please contact Jared, Programs Chair!

Library Book Drive Continues Through May!

Please consider donating a book to our library collection! All donated books will be shipped to our school processed and ready to be added to the shelves!  Email Ms. Newcomb if you have any questions. This link will take you directly to the Whittier book wishlist. Thank you in advance for supporting our library!

What EDI is Working on This Week

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

  • Thursday, March 16 from 6-8pm
  • Adams Elementary School (6110 28th Ave NW)

Join presenter Sam Cristol, M.Ed. (they/he), program coordinator in the Health Education Office at Seattle Public Schools for an interactive workshop to build literacy and speak affirmingly about gender-diverse identities. 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 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.

  • Childcare will be provided for children ages 3+ for this in-person event.
  • Snacks and drinks will also be available.

Co-hosted by Adams Elementary PTA, Loyal Heights PTA, Licton Springs PTA, Whittier PTA, and Friends of Salmon Bay.

PNW Parent Education Presents “Consent At Every Age: Why and How We Need to Talk to Our Young People About Consent”

Join PNW Parent Education as we partner with Jo Langford, M.A., to bring you Consent at Every Age: Why and How We Need to Talk to Our Young People About Consent. Virtual talk is on March 29 from 7-8:30pm. Register at 

With our evolution both culturally and technologically, a new awareness is emerging about why and how we need to speak to our young people about consent. In this talk with Jo Langford, M.A., we will take a deep dive into all things consent, including:

  • A comparison of passive and affirmative consent
  • A breakdown of the biggest hurdles and potholes young people face with regard to consent, and how we can counterbalance them.
  • Definitions and discussions of concepts such as true consent, virginity and rape culture
  • Primers on gender issues, adolescent brain development and best practices for negotiating consent with screens
  • Tips and tricks for parents, a healthy dose of Q&A and a few fun games

Questions? Contact PNW Parent Education!

A Recommendation from our Community: Seattle Families of Multiples Consignment Sale

A giant kids consignment sale is coming March 25, 2023 from 9-11:30 am at Shoreline Community College. Free admission and no registration required. Sponsored by Seattle Families of Multiples, this spring sale features gently used clothes, toys, books, baby gear, bikes, and more. Learn more about the sale

Join the Holi Festival of Colors on 3/25!

Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates spring, connection, and the triumph of good over evil. Join the celebration with traditional music, dance, food, and color throwing at the Phinney Center from 1-3pm on March 25th! Folks from all religions, cultures, backgrounds, and ages are invited to participate. For tickets and more information visit:

Thank You, Wildcats!

Wildchat: 2/28

February 28, 2023

Family Dance & Game Night THIS Friday!

Put on your dancing shoes for the Whittier Family Dance & Game Night, Friday March 3rd. The party begins at 6:00PM and will wrap up at 8:30PM, so grab an early dinner and come ready to play, twist, shake, and party with your Whittier family and friends. There will be a sweet treat snack offered but bring your water bottle to stay hydrated. Please note adult caregivers must supervise Wildcat students and siblings during this event.

We are seeking volunteers to help with this event! We need 18 volunteers to cover shifts (6-7:15pm, 7:15-8:30pm) and 10 volunteers to bring 2 dozen cookies each. Learn more and sign-up:

Join us in-person at the Whittier Library from 7-9pm for our monthly board meeting!

Seeking Community Donations for our Spring Fling auction!

As part of our Spring Fling Auction & Block Party (Saturday, May 20, from 5-9pm), we organize a silent auction. The main driver for our $40,000 fundraising goal, we rely on donations from our community to help raise these needed funds! We’re reaching out to our community to build our auction catalog and would love help or donations in the following categories:

  1. Vacation home/second home experience donations. The Spring Fling committee is looking to wow the donations (and fundraising) this year by amping up the vacation get aways! Have a second home or vacation property that you would donate a weekend stay to a Whittier family? You can set dates, limits or any restrictions. Drop us a line and let’s connect!
  2. Calling all artists! The Spring Fling committee is asking artists to donate a piece of their beautiful work. This could be art already made, a custom piece that you curate with the winner for their home or maybe it is a lesson to share your knowledge. Whatever form it comes in, artists, we need you in our community!
  3. Business connections. Do you have a connection to that awesome spot in Ballard you love? Or maybe a friend that has an amazing small business that we can highlight as well. Donations big or small, we love them all! Help us connect to someone you know that could help make this year’s spring fling even better!
We are seeking Class Art volunteers in the following classrooms: O’Leary, Parekh, Paul, Peterson, Richmond, Childers, Provence, Keener, SPED We are seeking Class Bucket volunteers in the following classrooms: DiTullio, Worotikan, Mayo, Richmond, Keener, Provence, SPED

Click here to join the Zoom meeting.

Celebrating our HospitaliYAY

The PTA Hospitality Team works year-round to bring community and fun to Whittier, with a focus on gratitude and celebration. This year, Hospitality has taken the form of monthly First Friday Fun (FFF) and Staff Appreciation (SA) events. We want to take a moment to share what we have accomplished so far! This wouldn’t be possible without ALL of our Whittier families – Your donations of time and resources help to realize our projects and your joyous participation makes it worthwhile.

More fun events to continue this Spring! Special thanks to the office and staff for offering space to implement our creative ideas.

Sincerely, this year’s PTA Hospitality Team: Emily Grosse, Kathleen Donahoe and Courtney Sievers
  • Sept ’22: FFF – First day of school Cheers and Tears welcome / SA – Staff Lounge remodel reveal
  • Oct ’22: FFF – Move-a-Thon event / SA – Fall Breakfast (provided by 5th Grade)
  • Nov ’22: FFF – Cover Whittier with Gratitude, a chalk activity on the blacktop / SA – Hearty Power Bowl Lunch (provided by 4th Grade)
  • Dec ’22: FFF – Cookies & Candy Canes giveaway / SA – Festive Cookie Bar (provided by 3rd Grade)
  • Jan ’23: FFF – Whittier Wishes 2023 Banner, a group craft activity / SA -Stock the Lounge (provided by 2nd Grade)
  • Feb ’23: FFF – Valentine’s take-home treats / SA – Banh Town catered lunch (provided by the PTA)

Calling All 1st Grade Families: March Staff Appreciation!

Whittier Staff is CEREAL-OUSLY the best!  Each month a different grade provides goodies for Staff Appreciation. 1st Grade families are up for March – Let’s show the staff how LUCKY we are by treating them to a CEREAL AND MILK BREAKFAST BAR!  Sign up HERE!

Please label all items “Staff Appreciation 3/16” and drop off at the office by 1pm on Wednesday, March 15th. The hospitality team will pick up items there, to be set up early morning on Thursday the 16th. Email if you have any questions. Thank you!

What EDI is Thinking About This Week

Let’s Talk Consent!

Talking about consent starts early and never stops. Talking to your kids about consent can be uncomfortable or overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Kids who understand the importance of consent:

  • Feel empowered to confidently make decisions about their bodies
  • Feel comfortable talking to trusted adults about these topics
  • Know the importance of setting and respecting boundaries

Check out these videos made by 10-13 year olds to talk about consent and more!

Register and learn more at

Reminder: Support Our Library’s Book Drive!

If you haven’t had the chance to participate yet, we’re still requesting donations to help Whittier build our collection of diverse books! Part of our partnership with Bound to Stay Bound Books in the “Support Our Library” program, please consider donating a book to our library collection. You even have the option to add a donor plate and donate a book in honor of a child’s birthday, special occasion, or a staff member! All books will be shipped to our school processed and ready to be added to the shelves! The program will go through the end of May. Email Ms. Newcomb if you have any questions. This link will take you directly to the Whittier book wishlist. Thank you in advance for supporting our library!

Thank you, Wildcats!

The Wildchat: 2/14/2023

February 14, 2023

Happy Valentines’ Day!

Whittier needs YOU!

Our Wildcat experience and Whittier community happens because of family volunteers. We’re seeking volunteers for:

  • Spring Fling Classroom Bucket Coordinator (1 per class; Classrooms needing volunteers – DiTullio, Worotikan, Leming, Mayo, Richmond, Keener, Provence, SPED)
  • Spring Fling Class Art Coordinator (1 per class; Classrooms needing volunteers – O’Leary, Parekh, Paul, Peterson, Richmond, Childers, Provence, Keener, SPED)
  • Spring Fling Wine Wall Coordinator: Help collect donations and coordinate a Wine Pull event at this year’s Spring Fling! Contact Spring Fling Co-Chairs, Courtney Sievers and Renee Hartnett, with any questions.
  • Spring Fling Emcee: We’re seeking an outgoing personality to help make announcements during the event! Contact Spring Fling Co-Chairs, Courtney Sievers and Renee Hartnett, with any questions.
  • After School Program Volunteers: Help with transition care to make our after school programs a reality!
  • PTA Budget Committee: We’re still seeking volunteers to join our budget committee! This volunteer role is a time commitment of roughly 3-6 hours and is a great way to get involved for the first time!
  • Food Bank Coordinator: Pick-up bags of food at Ballard Food Bank and drop them off at the front office between 8-10am on Thursday for distribution to our families. Contact for more information.
  • 2023-2024 PTA Positions: Whittier’s PTA plays an important role in providing essential staff and services–and we can’t do it without caregivers like you! We have TEN vital board positions and SEVEN non-board positions we need to fill for next school year. There are positions at lots of time commitments levels, skill sets, and remote/in-person style work. To learn more, contact

Upcoming Events

Save the Date Spring Fling Fundraiser – Highway to the Wildcat Zone!

First and foremost, SAVE THE DATE MAY 20th for this year’s SPRING FLING FUNDRAISER – Highway to the Wildcat Zone! (Yes, that means this year’s theme is Top Gun!) For those new to Whittier, this is the PTA’s final fundraising effort of the school year, with a goal of raising $40,000 for essential staff and services (and, bonus, a great way to build community)!

Look for tickets to go on-sale in early March, but until then, help ensure this event is a success by:

  1. Become a Classroom Art Coordinator for your Classroom: Volunteer to organize your kiddos class Art Project to be auctioned off. You do not need to be artistic! You just need to be excited about working with the kids in your classroom and organizing the logistics with their teacher to do so. More details and signup link
  2. Become a Classroom Bucket Coordinator for your Classroom: Volunteer to help organize and curate a themed bucket with the parents in your kiddos classroom to be auctioned off. More details and signup link
  3. Donate an item or experience for silent auction: Do you have a vacation spot you would be willing to donate a weekend to, or connections to sporting events, rounds of golf, or new fun ideas to add to the mix? Email Brie Gardner to get your item added.
  4. Host a Party – Parents, teachers, and community members host parties and set the number of tickets available for would-be attendees to purchase! These are hot items at the event, anywhere from 4 to 20 people pending experience. Mom’s & Margaritas, Wine Tasting & Pairings, sky’s the limit, we’d love some new ideas! Email Sara Lukas if you are interested in hosting a party.

Thanks in advance for your participation! We are excited to make this event happen! Contact Spring Fling Co-Chairs, Courtney Sievers and Renee Hartnett, with any questions.

Virtual Budget Presentation with Principal Watters

We asked and you voted! Our community requested a virtual presentation led by Principal Watters focused on Whittier’s current and forecasted budget. Please join Principal Watters for a presentation and Q&A on Wednesday, March 8 from 7-8pm over Zoom.

Upcoming Budget Vote: March 21

On March 21, the PTA will vote on next school year’s budget. All members of our community will have the opportunity to share their voice during this meeting, but only PTA members are able to vote to approve next year’s proposed budget. If you’d like to share your voice, be sure to attend next month’s community meeting. If you’d like to vote, please become a PTA member today.

What can YOU do to celebrate, learn, and support during Black History Month?

What can YOU do to celebrate BHM?

  1. Support Black owned businesses in our community! List of restaurants:
  2. Follow Black authored accounts on social media, like Ibram X. Kendi, Austin Channing Brown, Doyin Richards, and Layla F. Saad.
  3. Read, watch, listen and learn from black centered media:
    • Code Switch: Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race with empathy and humor. We explore how race affects every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, food and everything in between. This podcast makes all of us part of the conversation — because we’re all part of the story.
  4. Remember that many people have multiple marginalized identities. For example, when thinking of ways to support the Black community, don’t just think of Black men. Black women face the stressors of both racism and sexism. And Black people who identify as LGBTQ often experience marginalization at the intersection of racism, homophobia, anti-trans sentiment. Here are a list of Organizations supporting LGTBQ+ people of color that YOU can support too!
  5. Read with your kids and talk about the topic/book with them! Book list for children’s books
  6. Visit the Northwest African American Museum
  7. Watch this video to learn about the history of Redlining and Segregation in Seattle

Attention: Norovirus Spread in Seattle Community

Nationwide, norovirus case positivity rates are the highest they’ve been in at least a year (CDC). This highly contagious virus spreads easily. Here are some tips to help keep your family (and our community) safe:

Preventing the spread of norovirus:

  • Norovirus is the most common cause of what people often call “stomach flu,” “24-hour flu,” “stomach bug”, and “food poisoning”. It causes violent vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping for typically around 24 hours, followed by another 1-3 days of feeling gross and lethargic with poor appetite.
  • Despite the “flu” moniker, norovirus is completely unrelated to influenza. A flu shot DOES NOT protect you from norovirus, and getting norovirus DOES NOT mean you no longer need a flu shot. Taking antibiotics will not help, as it is a virus and not a bacterium.
  • Norovirus is present in the feces, vomit, and saliva of an infected person, and infection occurs when the virus enters the mouth and gets into the stomach–most commonly from food contamination or putting hands in/near mouth. Symptoms usually start 1-3 days after exposure.
  • Norovirus is is very tough to kill. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes DO NOT kill norovirus, and it can survive for weeks on surfaces or in clothing. 
  • The most effective way to control the spread of norovirus is regular, vigorous hand washing with soap and water, and drying thoroughly with paper towels–especially before eating AND after pooping.
  • To disinfect surfaces, spray with a bleach solution (5-8% concentration), and leave surfaces wet for 10 minutes. For unbleachable surfaces, saturate with Lysol spray (NOT disposable wipes). Be aware that not all Lysol products are formulated to kill norovirus. Check the label when in doubt.
  • Contaminated clothing / bedding should be washed on hot using the longest wash cycle, and dried on hot. If this is not possible, they should be stored in a garbage bag for at least a week after being washed.
  • Try to quarantine someone who is actively vomiting to a bathroom or other room that can be easily disinfected floor-to-ceiling. Keep them away from sofas, beds, and other hard-to-disinfect surfaces.
  • Children or adults who have been ill with suspected norovirus should stay home for 48 hours after the last bout of vomiting. The virus can be present in feces for weeks after symptoms have resolved, so it’s critical for someone who has recently been ill to be especially diligent about hand washing. 
  • More information on outbreak prevention here and here (CDC).

Caring for someone with norovirus:

  • Usually, a norovirus infection does not require medical attention. However, there is a risk of dehydration from extended vomiting and diarrhea, especially with younger children.
  • Wait an hour after the last bout of vomiting to give any liquids, and then start with small sips every 15 minutes. Drinking while the stomach is actively inflamed can exacerbate vomiting.
  • If able to keep down liquids, Pedialyte (drinks or popsicles) is better than water for electrolyte replacement.
  • If someone is constantly vomiting and unable to keep down any liquids for more than 4 hours, the risk of dehydration is a lot higher, and they should go to the ER and get IV fluids. Also look out for a dry mouth, or crying with no tears, as these are also indicators of dehydration.
  • Once vomiting has begun to resolve, smalls cups of warm, clear broth are a great way to start getting nutrients into the body.
  • More information on norovirus treatment here (Mayo Clinic).

Ms. Jo’s Food Drive

We’re excited to announce that December’s Drive for Ballard Food Bank, to honor Ms. Jo’s strong belief that all people deserve access to safe and healthy food, raised over $5000. We are so grateful to our community for supporting the Ballard Food Bank and celebrating Ms. Jo’s longstanding fight for food justice. 

Fall Fundraising Update

With employer matching still coming in, PTA is excited to announce we’ve reached our Fall Fundraising goal! This fundraising will help support the essential staff, services, and programs for next school year. We’re so excited to round out this year’s fundraising needs with our upcoming Spring Fling event on May 20!

Helping Hands Drive

Thanks to our family’s incredible contributions, we were able to give over $3000 in gift cards to Whittier families in need after December’s Helping Hands Drive. Thank you, Wildcats!

Thank you, Wildcats!

The Wildchat: 1/31/2023

January 31, 2023

After School Programming is returning to Whittier Elementary this February! Register February 3rd!

Registration for all clubs will go live Friday, February 3rd at 3pm; registration information will be available here when registration opens: Spots will be given on a first-come, first-served basis, so please be sure to mark your calendars! If you are interested in financial assistance, have questions, or would like to be a volunteer hero, please contact Jared at


  • Prices range from $50 – $230 depending on the club
  • Spots are limited, so be sure to ask to be on the waitlist if classes are full.
  • The Whittier PTA only coordinates building reservations and hosts registration links for these independent enrichment providers. Please note: Whittier Elementary and Seattle Public Schools are not affiliated with or connected to the Whittier PTA Programs offerings or these individual program vendors. The enrichment providers will be managing registrations and schedules independently for each program. 


Wildcat Players Musical (4-5) with Miss Steph – Cast A (2:25-4pm from 2/13-6/9)*Gamer Group (K-2) with Mr. Buck
(2:25-4pm from 2/28-4/25)
Ultimate Frisbee with the WUF Gang (Disc NW) (2:15pm-4:15pm for 1-1.5 hours, exact timing TBD from 3/1 – 5/20) at Loyal Heights Playfield**Gamer Group (3-5) with Mr. Buck
(2:25-4pm from 3/1-4/27)
Spanish Immersion with Jump on Languages
(2:25-4pm from 2/27-4/24)
Wildcat Players Musical (4-5) with Miss Steph – Cast B (2:25-4pm from 2/13-6/9)*

*Whittier Wildcat Players Musical audition sign-ups will be on a sheet outside Ms. Steph’s classroom starting January 30th. Auditions will be held on February 6th and 7th. 

**Transportation assistance not available. Offsite activities are independent and are not subject to Whittier PTA, or Whittier Elementary guidelines and standards. Please contact Disc NW directly for any information regarding their program.

Questions? Contact Jared, Whittier PTA Programs Chair.

Spring Fling Committee Needs You!

The 2023 Spring Fling committee is seeking additional volunteers to help with the planning of the event on Saturday, May 20th! Open roles include an event MC, someone to help with food and beverage, as well as just general committee members to help out with other tasks. No prior experience necessary, we can help walk you through the details of what needs to happen. We have a fun and dedicated committee and would love to have you join us! Current committee meeting schedule is as follows:

  • Thurs Feb 9th – Zoom meeting
  • Thurs March 9th – In person meeting
  • Thurs April 6th – Zoom meeting
  • Tues May 2nd – In person meeting

Additional committee work to happen in between these meetings. Please reach out to Co-Chairs Courtney Sievers ( or Renee Hartnett ( if you are interested or have any questions.


  • Neurodivergent
  • Multiracial/ Multicultural
  • Create a group for a community not yet listed!

Affinity Groups play a vital role in ensuring an inclusive school environment where all are valued, included, and empowered to succeed.

Piloted last year, we are expanding the affinity groups offered based on community feedback.

If you’re interested to join an affinity group or learn more, please complete this form:

Part of the Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s goal of making Whittier a community where all children and families are supported to be their authentic selves.

Understanding SPS: Budgets, School Enrollment, and Fiscal Policy

If you haven’t heard, Seattle Public Schools is facing an impending budget crisis. SPS is predicting a $127.3 million dollar budget deficit for the 2023-2024 school year (compared to this year’s $10 million dollar projected deficit). While there’s discussion of using rainy day funds to improve the shortfall and some potential legislative wins (that could infuse $37.8MM into budgets next year), short-term solutions and small legislative gains don’t address the continued deficit projections for the years ahead.

During their third budget work session of the school year, the SPS School Board reviewed their initial budget balancing concepts. While budget plans for next school year won’t be confirmed until July 6, current plans primarily include reducing Central Office spending next year by $20-$36MM and reducing school-level spending by between $9-$11MM. What’s school-level spending? This budget work session first identifies cuts to “Cert Core” staffing (or 0.5 FTE allocated to schools with significant enrollment for an additional counselor, librarian, nurse, or teacher), increasing sizes of K-3 classrooms, reducing school discretionary funds and Assistant Principal support, and another $1.9MM in “school programmatic changes.”

Remember–Whittier’s current budget from SPS doesn’t fully fund the staff and services needed for our Wildcat scholars, including literacy support, a full Specialist schedule, adequate nursing and social worker staffing, sustainable teacher discretionary funds, and more (in fact, we weren’t assigned the allocated part-time Assistant Principal this year due to “budget”). Whittier PTA, through generous community fundraising, fills this gap–and it’s likely that SPS’ “school-level” reductions slated for next year will mean an even bigger gap to fill.

Washington State funding, representing roughly 60% of SPS’ total funding, uses enrollment for its allocations. The downsides to enrollment-based funding is that it neither considers the minimum cost of running a school of any size or in higher costs areas (the facility’s costs, essential staff required for the facility and by law, etc) nor does it help schools or districts find funds to “bounce back” from declining enrollment.

When examining SPS’ own school line-up in our broader North-end area, the challenges of this model become obvious. (With a few exceptions) schools featured in the chart below are all Tier 4 schools per SPS’ own weighted funding model and should have similar per student spending. However, the minimum cost of running a school drives up the per student funding dramatically, meaning schools with more enrollment (like Whittier) have to help more students with fewer dollars to spend on each one compared to their under-enrolled counterparts.

SchoolJanuary 2023 Enrollment2023 Budget AllocationPer-studentTier
McGilvra220$2.5 millon$11K4
Montlake181$2.5 millon$13K4
Northgate189$3.0 million$15.8K3
Sand Point161$3.2 million$19.8K4
Stevens169$2.7 million$15.9K4
Sanislo179$3.1 million$17K4
Viewlands 273$3.7 million$13K4
Licton Springs K896$2.7 million$28K4
Sugiyma HS31$1.1 million$35KN/A
Queen Anne Elem202$2.4 million$11.8K4
John Hay276$4.0 million$14.5K4
Cedar Park 202$2.3 million$11.3K4
Madrona K5215$2.8 million$13K4
Sacajewea202$3.6 million$17.8K4
Decatur208$2.1 million$10K4
Middle College HS53$2.1 million$39KN/A
Whittier363$4.1 million$11K4

While not considered for next year’s budget, the School Board’s budget work session did address the idea of school consolidation for the ’24-25 school year. They discussed a “system of well-resourced schools” and identified its process to begin work on school consolidation would begin “next fall” (although no specifics were provided during the work session).

Should SPS consider proposals to combine schools? If they’re considering combining under-enrolled schools, like Licton Springs K-8, with surrounding neighborhood schools (like Adams, Whittier, and Whitman), they wouldn’t be alone. While these conversations aren’t popular, proposals to examine opportunities for low-enrolled schools are happening nearby–Bellevue School District recently heard proposals to combine neighborhood schools with higher enrollment than some SPS schools. However, SPS appears to be going in the opposite direction: Northgate Elementary construction continues to provide space for 650 students, but the school’s current enrollment is only 189. Similarly, Montlake Elementary’s planned $64.8 million dollar construction project (still in its permitting phase) is planned to provide space for 500 students despite the school’s current enrollment of 181 and Stevens Elementary that sits 0.4 miles away with an enrollment of 169.

Whittier faces an enrollment challenge for next year–SPS’ current budget model requires Whittier enrollment to increase by 25 net students or we’ll face increased staffing challenges next year. Our School Board and District leaders face big decisions ahead; as a community, it’s vital we share our voice if we have an opinion on how SPS faces this budget reality. Share your voice by contacting our School Board Director, Lisa Rivera Smith ( or 206-475-1817), provide feedback to SPS directly using the Let’s Talk tool, and attend and provide testimony at School Board meetings and budget work sessions. Key meeting dates to make an impact:

Want to learn more? For an amazing overview from Principal Watters of how Whittier’s budgets and funding are structured, both year over year and in comparison to other SPS schools, we encourage you to watch this recording of last week’s Community Meeting (skip to 12:08 – 35:53). You can also contact Principal Watters with questions or join the conversation at our next PTA meeting.

Want to Join the PTA?

We’re recruiting the PTA’s board for the 2023-2024 school year! There are roles available across skills sets and time commitments. Help support Whittier in a real way! To learn more, contact

Can’t volunteer but still want to support the PTA? Become a member!

Advocacy In Action

The 2023 Legislative Session is in its 4th week where more than 1,000 bills have already been introduced.  These bills cover critical issues including reducing gun violence and increasing access to special education.  To follow the latest news, check out the WSPTA Blog for timely updates and bill tracking.  Other ways to stay informed and get involved include:

What the EDI Committee is thinking about this week!

Introducing….a new school-wide resource aimed at embedding EDI principles into the classroom year round! Rebellious Read Alouds by Vera Ahiyya.

Whittier staff are thrilled to be using the book Rebellious Read Alouds this year! It’s a compilation of picture book read alouds that are organized by different themes:

  • Our Names Are Important
  • Our Features Are Important
  • Our Disabilities Are Important
  • Our Families Are Important
  • Our Foods Are Important
  • Our Traditions Are Important
  • Our Identities Are Important
  • Our Histories Are Important
  • Our Actions Are Important

Within each theme, there are 5-6 picture books included that help teachers and students explore deeper conversations in age-appropriate and meaningful ways. These picture books feature characters that are diverse in many ways, and the texts are written and illustrated by people from traditionally marginalized groups. The books are a jumping off point for classrooms to learn, connect, and embrace the world we live in through rich conversations centered around these themes.


Friday, February 2 is a REGULAR school day
(revision from earlier school calendars)

Help Whittier Build a Diverse Library Collection!

In order to continue building our collection of diverse books as well as those titles and series that our students love, we are partnering with Bound to Stay Bound Books in the “Support Our Library” program. Please consider donating a book to our library collection. You even have the option to add a donor plate and donate a book in honor of a child’s birthday, special occasion, or a staff member! All books will be shipped to our school processed and ready to be added to the shelves! The program will go through the end of May. Email Ms. Newcomb if you have any questions. This link will take you directly to the Whittier book wishlist. Thank you in advance for supporting our library!

Volunteer to be a Classroom Bucket Coordinator!

As part of our Spring Fling fundraising, each class puts together a themed gift bucket to be auctioned off in the silent auction. Themes can be anything…think cooking supplies, picnic fun, wine tasting and accessories, pet related themes, family game night, self care or spa day, sports themes, backyard BBQ and more! 

Your job as the class volunteer is to pick a theme and solicit donations from your class to fill the bucket with fun items. You can collect items and/or money that you use to purchase items. The end result should be a fun bucket full of cool goods that someone will be dying to bid on to raise money for our Wildcats!

We need one volunteer per class to collect and deliver items and deliver by May 1, 2023. If you don’t feel like you are the person to make it all look put together, attractive and auction-ready don’t worry! We’ll help put it together for you! Sign up here:

If you need help thinking of ideas or have questions, please email Mendy at


For all SPS menus, visit

Thank you, Wildcats!

The Wildchat: 1/17/2023

January 17, 2023

Whittier Community Summary

  • Covid Update: Please help us minimize the spread of Covid at Whitter by monitoring scholars for symptoms and testing at home, keeping scholars home if they are exhibiting symptoms or not feeling well, and practicing good hand hygiene and wear a mask if you’ve been exposed. Please contact Nurse Marissa if you or your scholar tests positive.
  • 2023-2024 Enrollment Planning: SPS budget and enrollment planning starts in January. As part of Whittier’s planning, it would be helpful to learn about family’s plans for next year. Please take a moment to complete one survey for each scholar in your household. Also, if you know anyone planning to enroll at SPS or Whittier next year, recommend they register today.
  • Whitman Incoming Student Open House for 5th Grade Families: Tuesday, January 31 from 5:45-7:00pm at Whitman Middle School.

Upcoming Events

Whittier PTA’s After-School Programs Seeking Volunteers!

The Whittier PTA is excited to announce that After School Enrichment Programs are returning to Whittier! Please keep watch in the next couple of weeks for registration dates, and if you are able, please sign up for one of our volunteer positions below. Your help would be much appreciated. 

Volunteer Positions Yet To Be Filled

  • Programs Assistant (1-2 hr/week): Assist Programs Chair with administrative work, correspond with vendors and families, alternate for club representatives in an emergency
  • Class Representative (Once weekly between 2:25-3:00 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday): Meet students on the black top immediately after school, take attendance and hand out snacks, take them to their classroom at 2:55 PM (These positions need to be filled before we can set a Programs start date)

To learn more or volunteer, please contact

If you are interested in registering your child and would like to inquire about financial assistance, please email our Programs Chair, Jared, at to learn about our scholarship opportunities.

Seeking Budget Committee Volunteers!

Have you ever wondered how the Whittier PTA budget is put together? Now is your chance! Starting in the February/March timeframe, a committee will convene to develop the 2023-24 PTA budget. No finance experience required, just a willingness to help. Time commitment is between 4-6 hours. Please email for more information or if you are interested in signing up.

January’s Staff Appreciation: Hosted by 2nd Grade!

LET’S STOCK THE LOUNGE! Each month a different grade provides goodies for Staff Appreciation. 2nd Grade families are up for January – and we are stocking the lounge with snacks, treats and beverages to keep our staff FUELED for the New Year. Sign up here:

Please drop off items to the office by 8am on Thursday, JAN. 19th and clearly label all items “Staff Appreciation 1/19.” Email if you have any questions. Thank you!

Volunteer Needed: Ballard Food Bank Runner

We are seeking a volunteer to pick up food bags from the Ballard Food Bank and take them to the Front Office each Thursday between 8-10am. This role involves driving to the Food Bank, picking up the needed bags (as directed by the Front Office) and deliver to them to the Front Office for distribution. Please contact Tina ( if you’d like to know more or to sign-up!

PNW Parent Ed Presents The Emotional Lives of Teenagers: Raising Connected, Capable, & Compassionate Teens: a talk w/ Dr. Lisa Damour

Join PNW Parent Education ( for a FREE online presentation titled “The Emotional Lives of Teenagers: Raising Connected, Capable and Compassionate Adolescents” with Dr. Lisa Damour, New York Times bestselling author of Untangled and Under Pressure. Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at 12:00 pm. Register via eventbrite:

Seattle Special Education PTSA presents “Getting Results: A Guide to Special Education in Seattle Public Schools”

 Seattle Special Education PTSA published Getting to Results: A Guide to Special Education in Seattle Public Schools —

Written by PTSA volunteers and available in 10 languages, the Guide is an effort to demystify the special education system for families. To learn more about the guide and the Seattle Special Education PTSA, please visit:

Reflections Art Contest Update

Congratulations to all of the students who participated in this year’s Reflections Arts program! This year’s theme was “Show Your Voice” and Whittier had 11 entries in three categories. We are thrilled to announce that fourth-grader Vivienne Robertson’s film, “The Bob Movie” will advance to the Washington State PTSA Reflections competition this spring! Student artwork will be on display at Whittier this spring and student finalists will be honored during a Seattle council PTSA virtual meeting on Thursday, 1/19 at 7:30 p.m! Students will be recognized at 7:30 p.m., but are welcome to join the meeting earlier if they’d like. Zoom info here:

Congrats to Whittier filmmaker, Vivienne Robertson for advancing to the state round, and to all Wildcat artists for sharing your voice! You can view an online gallery of all student submissions here:

Thank you, Wildcats!