Staff, families and community members are invited to attend quarterly community meetings on May 5, 7, and 9, for discussions and updates on the Seattle School District's Strategic Plan Excellence for All, development of the new Student Assignment Plan, changes being implemented to advance learning programs next year, information about upcoming levies, K-12 assessment strategies, as well as other key topics.
Interpreters will be available. Presentations, handouts, feedback and other information from previous community meetings are available in the Engagement section of the Strategic Plan Web page.
Tuesday, May 5, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Ingraham High School, Library
1819 N. 135th St.
Thursday, May 7, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Filipino Community Center of Seattle Public Schools
5740 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Saturday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to noon
John Stanford Center, Auditorium
2445 3rd Ave. S.
A Spanish festival was held at Whittier Elementary School Thursday night to honor the new Spanish classes offered there.
Spanish class was dropped from the regular curriculum, so parents and the PTA organized an all-volunteer class that meets before regular classes start. Beth Aguilar is the teacher. She also teaches Spanish and art classes professionally at Broadview-Thomson.
"I graduated from Whittier and still live right up the street," said Aguilar.
"Tonight is the chance for our school to celebrate our volunteer-based early morning Spanish class," said event organizer Anne Skalicky, a parent of Whittier 3rd grader, Pablo Martinez.. "I'm bilingual and lived two and a half years in Guatemala. I am married to a Chilean. Learning a new language early in life is important. It gets harder as you get older."
While many college students believe the appeal of studying abroad lies in partying and traveling far from parental restraints, West Seattle native Michelle Barker is using her time abroad in Northern Uganda to try and improve the lives of Ugandan society's most struggling.
The people of Northern Uganda continue to suffer after two decades of civil war in which the Lord's Resistance Army abducted young boys, forcing them to fight. Young girls were often forced to work as sex slaves, and many women were widowed. The armed conflict has had lasting, detrimental affects on all members of Ugandan society, but Baker was particularly compelled by the impacts felt by women.
"I would boldly say that each and every woman in Gulu has been emotionally or physically violated or abused," said Baker.
Now, with University of Colorado student Caitlin Long, Baker is attempting to establish a woman's soccer team in Gulu, Uganda. Both former players themselves, the two believe that soccer can spur positive empowerment and community building.
Second graders in the Lafayette Elementary classes of Dano Beal and Kathleen Diaz spent months working on a special display to commemorate the sinking of the Titanic.
In addition to a large scale model of the ship, the kids made separate displays using the personal information and likeness of many of the passengers. They also recreated newspapers of the day, which reported on the sinking.
Ayla Delaat of West Seattle has been awarded a Dean’s Scholarship for $1,500 for the 2009-10 academic year at Eastern Washington University.
The award is given to new incoming freshman who have demonstrated outstanding academic merit and achievements in high school.
Delaat will graduate from Seattle Lutheran High School this spring, where she has participated in softball, volleyball, band and cheerleading. She has also served as basketball manager and been involved with First Robotics and has been on three trips with the People to People student ambassador program.
At Eastern, she plans on majoring in engineering.
Delaat is the daughter of Peter and Susan Delaat of West Seattle.
Mayor Greg Nickels announced the 21 outstanding middle school students who have earned this year’s Scholar Award for service to their schools and their communities, eight of which attend schools in West Seattle.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the mayor’s Scholars Award and in celebration, all 189 past award recipients will be honored.
Each of this year’s students will receive $500 that can be used for education or donated to a charity. Criteria for selection include overcoming obstacles or meeting challenges, giving back to the community, and maintaining good academic standing.
“With this award, we recognize Seattle’s next generation of leaders,” Nickels said. “Service to others is the foundation of a strong community, and I’m glad we can help these promising young people with their education and service goals.”
Students wrote short essays about how they contribute to their community and how they would use a $500 cash award. In addition, students were required to provide several recommendations from adults familiar with the students’ service work.
This year's award recipients from West Seattle schools are:
Five seventh-grade girls were accepted into Splash this summer, a prestigious science program at Seattle University.
Tasha Addington-Ferris, Megan Antalan, Riley Bunch, Michelle Raney and Alex Valenti, will spend July 24 through August 18 at Seattle University studying environmental engineering, aerodynamics, mathematics and computer science along with 25 other girls.
In the competitive process, the students wrote essays and collected recommendations from their science teacher, Liz Olivere.
Student's in Seattle University's program do what America's top scientists do every day: perform experiments and gather data, analyze the results with charts, graphs, and computers, and ask questions about the significance of the outcomes.
They will work with scientists on research projects and learn about career opportunities.
Eric Shoner, a seventh-grader at Salmon Bay School, got a taste of state competition last Friday at the 2009 Washington Geographic Bee at Stadium High School in Tacoma.
Shoner, for whom maps have been a hobby since he was 3, was one of six contestants in his preliminary round who was perfect through the first five questions. He succumbed to the next three, however, and did not advance.
Of the 20 students in his group, only one made it to the final 10; 101 students from throughout the state qualified for the event.
The bee is promoted by the National Geographic Society and sponsored by nationally Google and the timber resources company, Plum Creek.
They live eight blocks apart, on either side of California Avenue --- the private-schooled sixth-grader and the Madison Middle School eighth-grader. When the dust had settled on the 21st annual Washington Geographic Bee at Stadium High School in Tacoma last Friday, these two West Seattle students had claimed two of the top seven places in the whole state.
Newcomer Mark Mockett placed fourth, while five-time veteran Sean Keller finished seventh.
Keller's total of five appearances in the state-level competition, beginning as a fourth-grader, is uncommon. At the earliest, his feat will not be matched again until 2011, and the most recent instance was 2003 or prior. The Bee is open only to grades four through eight.
The competition began with 101 students, separated into five groups. Alphabetically, they had come from Anacortes to Yakima, and from many places in between: from tiny Royal City, from distant Nine Mile Falls.
Coinciding with National Start! Walking Day on Wednesday, April 8, Sanislo Elementary School’s fifth graders will take a walkable field trip with Homewaters Project to explore the “tiny neighbors” in their school wetlands.
Homewaters Project, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization, provides field extensions of classroom science units. Homewaters designs investigations within walking distance of schools when possible, so that students discover the natural world in their own home place.
According to the organization, walkable field trips promote better health for students as well as for their watersheds: students engage in physical activity while discovering impacts of everyday actions on local water quality and ecosystem health.
Sanislo students and teachers are particularly excited about Wednesday’s "Tiny Neighbors" program, because this natural area is usually off-limits to students. The young scientists will observe and draw their surroundings, collect and study microorganisms up close, draw conclusions about water quality based on the types of microorganisms they find, and record and evaluate human impacts.