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The Wildchat: 3/26/24

March 26, 2024

Community Input Needed: Math Intervention and Extension Opportunities for 2024-2025 School Year

Seattle Public Schools does not provide funding or a systematic structure for math intervention. This school year, Whittier has been working with the Math Agency to support scholars in becoming strong, confident and independent math learners. Since the Fall, the Math Agency has been supporting 35 Whittier learners aligned with the Math Agency’s mission to close educational gaps in math in public schools. In January, Whittier began piloting a program in partnership with the Math Agency to support 12 Extension learners as well (students identified as performing above grade level), as the District mandates but does not fund advanced learning support.

During the 2023-2024 school year, Whittier was not charged for Math Agency support. The service has been offered for free to provide the Math Agency with performance data. Going forward, the Whittier PTA is being asked to fund the Math Agency at Whittier.

As we create the 2024-2025 PTA budget, we as a community need to determine if we will continue to fund the Math Agency. The level of funding could be the largest line item in our budget, surpassing the flexible staffing grant Principal Watters uses to close the gap in district funding for Nurse Marissa; our literacy specialist, Ms. Trilby; our Specialists, Mr. Buck, Ms. Steph, and Mr. Pule; and our librarian, Ms. Newcomb.

We are hosting a special community meeting with the Math Agency on April 1st. The purpose of this meeting is to inform the community of the Math Agency’s mission, student support structure, and to-date results at Whittier. Discussion will also include qualitative impressions from the teachers, families, and students that the Math Agency has served. Then, on April 16th, the PTA community at large will vote on Math Agency funding.

Key Dates:

Mark Your Calendars for These Events & Happenings!

Psst–All these dates are included on our Konstella/Google calendars. Click on “Sync my Calendar” on Konstella‘s Calendar page or click the +Google Calendar button on the bottom of our Calendar page

School Budget Conversation with Principal Watters

If you missed last month’s budget conversations with Principal Watters, we encourage all members of our community to watch this virtual version to better understand how Whittier’s budget works and the PTA’s role. As SPS’ budget woes continue, we’ll need to be more transparent and proactive in understanding the important role our PTA plays to close funding gaps within SPS’ funding model. If you have any questions, please reach out to Principal Watters and check out the resources we’ve gathered for you here.

Move-a-thon is 4 weeks away!

We’re getting HYPED for this year’s Move-a-thon! On Friday, April 26th, all wildcat scholar-athletes will have 30 minutes to shake and groove their way around the course on 13th Ave NW. This fundraiser asks our Wildcat community to seek donations from family, friends, and community to support their Wildcat as they run, walk, jog, dance, or move around Whittier! Here’s how to participate:

Learn more about Move-a-thon, including this year’s run map (we’re headed outside the playground this year!), here.

Volunteer Opportunities!

It’s a great time to get involved! Support our amazing community (and meet some great people while you’re at it). We have lots of opportunities at all commitment levels for both this and next year!

  • We’re looking for 1-2 volunteers to help our Yearbook Chair to put together this year’s all-school yearbook. If you’re interested, please email us.
  • Look out for future Move-a-thon and Spring Fling volunteer sign-up links!

We need two rockstar volunteers to fill Board Positions for next year – EDI Co Chair and Treasurer – and you could be the perfect fit! 

  • EDI co-chair: Co-leads the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee which helps support, create, and promote a respectful culture of inclusivity so that members of our community feel welcome and able to engage. Examples of task roles include arranging community education and annual reviews and guidance for the PTA standing rules. 
  • Treasurer: This essential position requires someone with accounting or bookkeeping experience who can manage the financial books and records, track the budget, prepare reports, and prepare necessary tax forms. Without volunteer support, Whittier PTA will have to pay an outside bookkeeper, which means less funds going towards staff, services, and programs for our Wildcats.

If these skills and interests match yours, please consider volunteering for our wonderful community. Email us for more information. Thank you!

Get ready to Follow the Call of the Disco Ball at Whittier PTA’s Spring Fling Block Party and Fundraiser on Saturday, May 18th.

We’re hard at work planning class art and buckets, decorations, food, and more for our final fundraiser of the 2023-2024 school year. We’re aiming to raise $60,000 at this year’s event to support essential staff and services at Whittier Elementary.

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

Want to help make this year’s event a success?

  • Buy Tickets Here
  • Sign Up to Host a Party Here!
  • Donate a pair of season tickets or a weekend at your vacation home! Email us!
  • Or, Donate Here!

To learn more about the event or ways to contribute, please contact us.

Whittier Winner in the National PTA Reflections Art Contest

Whittier Wildcat, Vivienne Robertson, was selected as a city winner in the National PTA Reflections are contest for her film production “Bob and the Awards.” This year’s theme was “I am hopeful because…” and you can learn more about this annual contest here. Congratulations and amazing work, Vivienne!

Thank you, Whittier PTA and Volunteers, for making the Gaga Ball Pit Happen!

Our Wildcats have been loving the new Gaga Ball Pit! Thank you to the Whittier PTA for co-funding this equipment in partnership with Whittier. Special shout-out to our 5th grade crew that saw this project through from initial proposal to unloading the truck to installing the mats. And a huge thank you to our caregiver volunteers: James Grandin, Sasha Wadsack, Erin Lancione, Jess Twardzik, Melissa Ivancevich, JP Herscher, David Curran, and Pete Austin for helping with the build and install!

Thank You, Families, For Our March Staff Appreciation!

Thank you to our 1st grade families for helping the PTA Hospitality team celebrate our staff this month! And thanks to Kathleen and Emily, our Hospitality team, for coordinating these appreciation opportunities each month!

Thank you, Whittier Kids!

A huge thank you to our amazing partner, Whittier Kids, for providing free childcare for our Workshop (Supporting and Raising Mixed-Race Children) earlier this month. We appreciate you facilitating this important event!

Whittier Wildcat Evening at the Ballpark: 5/31

Order tickets here. To receive your tickets, please include contact name, email address, and number of tickets purchased. Tickets will be emailed in May to the email address provided. All orders due by April 19th!

Please contact Katie with questions!

Great Job Wildcats! Let's Keep Up Those Donations!

Paws Up for Wildcats!

Thank you to our Whittier families who have already donated clothes to our Big Blue Bin.

With spring starting to bloom, if you have any clothing donations, please bag them, and place them in the bin.

They also accept small toys and books. Your old clothes go a long way for children with disabilities.

Save the Date: Staff Appreciation Week (May 6-10)

We love our Whittier teachers and staff! In addition to our on-going appreciation activities, we participate in a full week of appreciation hosted by the Whittier PTA. 

Whittier PTA hosts most of these appreciation events, but students are invited to participate for two activities during this week:

  • Monday (5/6): Bring flowers to morning drop-off! A Room Rep or PTA volunteer will collect flowers to make arrangements for staff.
  • Friday (5/10): Dress like a staff member day! Don glasses, specialty shoes, a lanyard–whatever reminds your student of a Whittier staff member!
We’ll send reminders as Staff Appreciation draws closer. If you have any questions or would like to help, please contact the Hospitality team. Go Wildcats!

From Our Community

Summer Camp Opportunities

  • Camp Read-a-rama: Singing, dancing, hands-on activities (that can be a bit messy) and more encourage a love for reading and curiosity. And at the end of each Read-a-Rama, every child chooses a free book for building their very own at-home library. These are literacy-immersion programs for children ages 4 – 11. Learn more and register >>
  • UW is offering 10 different youth programs for 4-5th graders, including block programming, photography, writing workshops, musical theater, engineering, and 3D design. A few are offered remote and the rest on-campus. Learn more and register >>

Age-appropriate strength and conditioning classes at CrossFit Phinney Ridge

CFPR’s Youth classes teach kids fundamental CrossFit movements, but with a focus on form and fun! Our age-appropriate strength and conditioning classes can help your already sporty child be stronger, faster and more agile. And it can help build confidence and body awareness in children who just want to have fun moving their bodies. Every movement will be scaled to each person’s ability, and we’ll play games that will be fun but also fitness-oriented! Ongoing classes every Wednesday (SPS early-dismissal day): 

  • Ages 7-11
    • 2:30-3:05 p.m.
    • $170+tax for a 10-class punch card
  • Ages 11-15
    • 3:15-4 p.m. 
    • $215+tax for a 10-class punch card

For more information or to purchase a 10-class punch card, email

Thank you, Wildcats!