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The Wildchat: 11/07/2023

November 7, 2023

There's Still Time to Shine!

Screenshot 2023-11-06 at 8.24.45 AM

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

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

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

How to Make a Donation

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

Why Do We Need to Fundraise?

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

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

Thank You, Wildcats, for an Amazing Fall Festival!

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

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

TONIGHT! Supporting Gender-Diverse Youth Workshop

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

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

Mark Your Calendars! Other Upcoming Events

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

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

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

4th Grade Families - November Staff Appreciation

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

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

Reminder: Join Us for This Year's PTA Meetings

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

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

Creative Advantage brings Community Artists to the Forefront

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

A Welcome Banner that Reflects All Wildcats

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

What's Next?

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

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

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

Community Safety Concerns in our Neighborhood

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

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

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

Tell your kids! Reflections Art Contest Call for Entries!

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

Thank you, Wildcats!