Mar 29

Thank you rock stars! You really rocked it!

Our annual PTSA Pathfinder Auction made over $91,000!

This was truly a community effort and a huge thank you goes out to everyone. From our tireless parent volunteers that worked all year to make this one night happen, to our staff for donating their time to host group events, for making space in their day for class art and for letting us take their picture for “an idea” we had to help promote the auction. To our kids for making priceless art that raised over $17,000. To David and Lisa for performances that continue to go above and beyond. To all the Fund-A-Need donors that gave over $12,000 to put toward a new sound system so our kids’ voices can be heard. And last but far from least, to all the rock stars that brought down the house Saturday night.

Each and everyone one of us gives in our own way and together we really rocked it!

Thank you,

Ginny Woo and Laura Murray
2017 Auction Co-Chairs

Nov 03

Join Newly Formed Diversity Task Force

colored-fabricOn the heels of the SEA sponsored Black Lives Matter event on the 19th, we as your PTSA
Board continue to discuss issues of diversity in our school and how best to meet the chal-
lenges of addressing those issues.

The following is a statement from PTA National taken from their Inclusivity and Diversity Policy:

PTAs everywhere must understand and embrace the uniqueness of all individuals, appreciating that each contributes a diversity of views, experiences, cultural heritage/traditions, skills/abilities, values and preferences.

The recognition of diversity within organizations is valuing differences and similarities in people through actions and accountability.

These differences and similarities include age, ethnicity, language and culture, economic status, educational background, gender, geographic location, marital status, mental ability, national origin, organizational position and tenure, parental status, physical ability, political philosophy, race, religion, sexual orientation, and work experience.

Therefore PTAs at every level must:

  • Openly assess beliefs and practices to assure inclusiveness and guard against discrimination;
  • Make every effort to create a PTA board and membership that is inclusive and reflective of its community;
  • Encourage that all PTA activities at the school be planned by a committee which is representative of the population;
  • Foster programs and practices that eliminate bias, prejudice and misunderstanding within their communities;
  • Become acquainted with the leaders of the many diverse groups in the community and collaborate with them to increase parent, family and community involvement;
  • Educate its leaders and members to the needs, cultural beliefs, traditions and family structures of the population they serve; and
  • Propose change wherever discriminatory practices are perceived.

We, your Pathfinder PTSA board are determined to meet these standards through focused work done by a task force that will report back to the board.

Myself and a handful of other interested parents have agreed to be on this task force but would love to have more parents join us so that we can have, represented in the discussion, a balanced informed dialogue that will help us be standard bearers of the above criteria.

Please consider joining us in this important conversation, I would love to hear from you.

Thank you,

Odetta

(Follow this link to read the entire policy)

Oct 27

Direct Give Raises $22,400!

Thank youThank you for making Pathfinder PTSA’s annual Direct Give such a great success. You certainly embraced our theme of “Getting Out the Give” this year. We had 147 donors – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even the kids themselves – who contributed to the campaign.

By raising nearly $23,000, we will be able to deliver on support to our kids and teachers all year long. Kids will be able to go out to the garden with Tara and listen to Roger tell stories at Monday Morning Meeting. Teachers will be supported with funds for professional development, creative approach, and classroom supplies. Community events, like the Science Fair and the Pathfinder Olympics, will go on!

All of this is thanks to you. Pathfinder is fortunate to have such a supportive community. We couldn’t do it without you.

Oct 26

How to Stay Informed at Pathfinder

graphic of a megaphoneAre you still figuring out how to find answers to your questions about music, sports, after school programs, lunches, field trips, snacks, buses, testing, etc. etc.? You are not alone!

The good news is that there are several ways you can access information about what’s up at Pathfinder K-8.

Here’s a handy list of ways to stay informed. Whether you want information delivered to your email inbox, or you’d like to be able to find what you are looking for online, or in hard copy, there are many outlets for the information you need.

Happy reading!

Questions about PTSA Communications at Pathfinder K-8? Contact Gillian Maguire using our Contact Us form.

Sep 05

Save time – Fill PTSA forms online

PTSA red and black compass SQUAREShop for Spirit Wear, join the PTSA, submit your information for the Family Directory, and sign up to volunteer, all online now!

Our fantastic team of volunteers has improved our forms and made them easier for you to use. By completing the forms online you will reduce your form-filling burden, and speed up administration for us. Hard copies are also included in the First Day Packets. Check out these features online:

Sep 01

Hello and welcome from your PTSA Board!

pathfinderPTSA tinyDear families,

We, your Pathfinder K8 PTSA Board, are excited to welcome you to the 2016-2017 school year at Pathfinder K-8.

For those new to Pathfinder K-8 you will soon discover that you are part of an amazing school community. We educate children here in a way that is unique to other Seattle schools and a major component in making that happen is you. In fact, the parent involvement at Pathfinder is so vital to our school’s success it is sometimes called the “Parent Machine.” For nineteen years a tradition of educating our children by choice at Pathfinder has been cultivated, nurtured and maintained by YOU. You are our most important resource as a PTSA.

Sometimes I hear people say “I can’t join PTSA because I don’t want another commitment right now.” I absolutely understand that! We respect your time. We respect that families ALWAYS come first. We are volunteers. Joining PTSA entails filling out a form and paying membership (scholarships available). Honestly, that’s it. You don’t have to do anything after that. Your fees go to the PTA local here in Seattle, to support the work of all local PTA/PTSA’s. It’s the only time your PTSA will ask you a to write a check that doesn’t go DIRECTLY back to your students’ education at Pathfinder. Those fees are detailed at this link from the Washington State PTA website. You then get to sit back and enjoy the benefits of your dollars at work including discounts at Barnes and Noble, Great Wolf Lodge, Fed Ex, Wild Waves, and Seattle Storm to name a few.

Volunteering and contributing to the programs that you want to see maintained at Pathfinder, such as camping, After School Program, tutoring, arts, workshops, field trips…activities that other schools often do without, can look a hundred different ways. Ongoing throughout the year it’s monetary, because without our fundraising efforts we cannot support these amazing programs. Every SINGLE dollar that is given is essential. There is no such thing as a financial gift that is too small and Direct Give, starting in the Fall is the best example of that. AND it’s more than that. My first year at Pathfinder, as a single parent, I could not contribute financially. I was able to show up in the classroom, one day a week, as a chaperone for field trips, to help out on photo day. Some folks slip in and help take the staples out of the pictures on the bulletin boards. Others change the reader board so that we can communicate better with you. And some are at their desks entering data or maintaining the website, never set foot in the school, but their efforts are equally important. There are countless ways to contribute. THEY ALL MATTER. The difference you make is a difference. There is no measure of how important based on hours spent, size of the check written. WE DON’T DO THAT HERE.

So welcome and welcome back. You are a valued member of the parent machine. Yes, your PTSA Board is at the helm directing the efforts, it’s true. But without you we have nothing to do, nothing to direct! It is our pleasure to be here, part of this amazing thing we do to educate and support each child in the Pathfinder community. Thank you.

Odetta Owen – Pathfinder K8 PTSA President

Odetta Owen, President

 

Aug 31

We want you!

We Want You!There are opportunities to serve on the 2016-2017 board!

1. Treasurer – custodian of PTSA funds/tracking and recording all financial transactions/working with outgoing treasurer/monthly budget report at PTSA board meetings/executive committee board member/background in accounting practices as well as finances in non-profits helpful – Requires approximately 1-3 hours per week. Contact Jennifer Babuca at jb@babuca.com.

Feel free to also contact PTSA President, Odetta Owen using our Contact Us page with any questions!

Aug 31

2016-17 school year calendar

image by flickr user, PG.NETO, licensed CC 2.0.

image by flickr user, PG.NETO, licensed CC 2.0.

Did you know?

The school year calendar for 2016-17 is now published on the Seattle Public Schools website.

A printable PDF of the key dates for the 2016-17 school year is also available here.

Aug 23

Pathfinder Jumpstart FAQ 2016

pathfinderPTSA tinyWelcome to Pathfinder!

You have questions, lots of questions . . .

Here are some of the answers.

Pathfinder PTSA and K-1 Teacher, Genya Scharks, who is a staff representative to the PTSA, collaborated to prepare this FAQ in the hopes of answering some of your many questions.

• When does school start/end?
The first bell rings at 8:40 and the tardy bell rings at 8:45. Kindergarten rooms are open at 8:25 to children. Please be sure to arrive by 8:45. It is very difficult for children to come in late.

Dismissal is at 3:15. Parents may pick up at the classroom. Teachers will then walk children to Blazing Trails and their school bus. Kindergarten students are never left alone. They are always handed off to another adult.

• Where do we park?
You may park in the parking lot across from the school or along the right side of the road coming into the school. The parking lot next to the field is used for buses. You may park in the center spots, but the buses travel around the outside circle. If at all possible, have your child ride the bus.

• How do I figure out which bus my child takes? Or, my child would have to walk 5 blocks to the bus stop – how do I make changes with transportation? Do I need to tell them whether my child is taking the bus or not?
The number to Seattle Public Schools Transportation is 252-0900. Please call them with any questions. You should receive bus information in the mail. If you haven’t received information and your child will be taking the bus, give them a call.

• How do I set up a school lunch account for my child? How do I apply for free & reduced lunch?
All children receive a lunch account and number. You can ask your child’s teacher or the lunchroom for this number. Teachers will be teaching their account number to any child buying lunch.

You can put money in the account by giving a check to the lunch room. They serve breakfast before school, so this is a great time to do it. You can also give a check to your child’s teacher and they can get it to the lunch room.

You can visit the Nutrition Services for the Seattle School District to put money on your child’s account online.

Free and reduced lunch applications can also be done on the site listed above. The lunchroom and office staff have applications too.

• What time is lunch? How long do kindergarteners have for lunch?
Kindergarteners eat lunch with the first graders at 11:15. They go out to lunch recess at 11:35. They can stay in and eat for a while if they are not finished.

• How do we find out what dietary restrictions there are for lunches, such as, anaphylactic allergies – and classroom treats?
We do not serve snacks with nuts, but there are no restrictions at lunch. There is a peanut free table for children with allergies. Children are not allowed to share any food to prevent allergic reactions. If there are any other specific restrictions, your child’s teacher will let you know (this is rare). When bringing birthday treats, the teachers will work with the parents of children with allergies to ensure there is an appropriate treat available. You do not need to worry about this.

• How does Pathfinder balance classes? Are changes made?
Pathfinder balances classes based on all of the available information including: gender, birthdates, ethnicity, and siblings already at Pathfinder. Changes may be made during the week of Jumpstart. You will find out your child’s permanent placement Thursday or Friday of this week.

• What is the attendance line phone number?
Please call the office if your child will not be at school. The number is 252-9712.

• How do I make a change in how my child will go home?
If you want to change your child’s pick-up plan, contact your child’s teacher before 8:00 am or tell them at drop off/send a note. Teachers do not always have time to check e-mail during the day. If your plans change after this, please call the office BEFORE 2:15 and a note will be delivered to the teacher.

How about what to do process-wise if someone else will pick my child up from school? Or the bus? Or how to take a friend’s bus to a play date?
Telling the teacher is the most helpful. You can call the office if school has already begun for the day. To take a friend’s bus for a play date, call (206) 252-9710 or stop by the office. They will write a “green card” for your child so they can get on the bus. This will be delivered to the teacher.

• How can we contact other families in our classroom? How can we keep our information confidential?
Teachers will provide a classroom contact list after the first few weeks of school. If you do not want your information to be given to other families, we will not include it. The contact list is only for classroom families. It is great for planning birthday parties and playdates.

Also, Pathfinder PTSA prepares a Family Directory that is distributed free of charge to every family. Look for the Family Directory form in your First Day Packet.

• I’m on the waitlist; when will I find out if my child is in at Pathfinder for sure?
The waitlist no longer exists for this school year.

• How can I help in the classroom?
Teachers love to have volunteers! We will start having volunteers in the room in early October. You will receive more information about volunteering at the end of September. If you are unable to volunteer in the classroom, but would like to help in a different way, please contact Karen Hogan Li, our Volunteer Coordinator, at karenhogan@rocketmail.com, or 954.294.6314 voicemail or text. Look for the Volunteer Form in your First Day Packets. Karen would appreciate if you would complete the short form online.

• Will the kindergarteners be coming across 8th graders?
Yes, but they are always wonderful with the younger kids. We do not eat lunch or have recess with the older kids, so we do not have a lot of interaction with them but they will run into each other in the halls.

• Where is lost and found kept?
There is a large wooden bin for lost and found in the lunch room. Please write your child’s first and last name on everything: sweaters, lunch box, and coats. Missing items will find their way back much easier with a name.

• What happens during a lockdown? Shelter in place? Will I be notified? Can I come into the school? Why is the school locked?
When a lockdown happens, all doors are locked and children are moved to a nonvisible spot in the room. They remain there quietly until it is safe to go back to normal activity. During a shelter in place all external doors are locked and children remain in the building but go about their day as usual. No one, including parents, are allowed into the school during these times. The school is locked because there is a possible threat in the neighborhood and we want to keep the children safe.

• How do we find out about general school information?
The office e-mails out the Hot Sheet and the Compass to share information. If you don’t have e-mail, your teacher will get it to you in paper form. Your teacher will also be sending home newsletters. The school website is pathfinderk8.seattleschools.org/ and the PTSA website is pathfinderk8ptsa.org/. You can also follow the Pathfinder PTSA on Facebook, at this public page: facebook.com/pathfinderk8ptsa. These are great places for information.

• How do I get added to the Pathfinder Community Communication and Earth Project Facebook groups?
These are both moderated closed Facebook groups for Pathfinder community members. You must request admission to the groups. Go to Facebook, and search for Pathfinder School Community Communication Tool. If you are interested in the Earth Project, search for Pathfinder Earth Project. Request admission to the group. Within a few days, you will be added to these closed groups.

Pathfinder PTSA has a Facebook page, visible to the public and offering school and PTSA related information: facebook.com/pathfinderk8ptsa/

• I have other questions! Where do I go?
Your child’s teacher is a great place to start. The office can often answer questions too – Danielle Otey and Lani Huston are our fabulous office staff. Your classroom clan coordinator (room parent) is also a great resource. If you have a question, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are all here to help you!

For more answers to your questions:
o Pathfinder Parent Handbook included in your First Day Packet, and on the school website.
o Pathfinder Family Directory distributed by the PTSA usually in December
o Pathfinder K8 School Website: pathfinderk8.seattleschools.org/
o Pathfinder PTSA Website: pathfinderk8ptsa.org/
o Seattle Public Schools Website: seattleschools.org/

For more details on how to stay informed at Pathfinder K8, check out this page of information!

Jun 13

New budget, new PTSA officers!

playground compassAt last week’s year end celebration the budget for 2016-2017 and next year’s executive committee were overwhelmingly approved. You can review next year’s budget. It is no longer “proposed” but actual!

Officers for next year:

  • Odetta Owen – President
  • Sarah Steinke – Vice-President
  • Sigrid Brunet – Secretary
  • Jennifer Babuca – Co-Treasurer
  • (one position still remains, an additional co-treasurer, maybe YOU)

We happily welcome back Gillian Maguire (Communications), Susan Elderkin (Fundraising), Suzi Zurek (Membership), Tasha Mosher (Earth Project), Chris Kindem (Middle School Liaison) and Cecelia Lehmann (Legislative).

We are thrilled to have Karen Hogan Li (Volunteer Committee) and Holli Margell (Bullying Prevention) Jules Strong (Autism Liaison) join us and grateful to Ceceila Lehmann for taking on Wreaths next year along with Legislative. Welcome Maureen Clark who will be Co-Coordinating the Earth Project with Tasha Mosher.

Lari Garrison and Greg Goldstein return in the capacity of Autism Liaison and Safety Committee Liaison respectively.

Pat Hanulick, Chris Kindem, and Flip Fortier remain with us as our Financial Review Committee and Kelly Guenther and Lisa Wharf join us as in the capacities of marketing and consulting respectively.

We would love to have a co-chair for Legislative, especially during the Wreath season! We are excited to see what next year brings in the life of PTSA and Pathfinder!

-by Odetta Owen, PTSA President, miss_oo@hotmail.com

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