All posts by Genesee Hill PTA

Sponsor Highlight – The Carroll Law Group

The Carroll Law Group, PLLC, is located in West Seattle and focuses on helping our clients with legal issues about the most important things in their lives—their families. We also work to preserve their livelihoods and their future plans. Our advice and representation covers areas including divorces, parenting plans, child support orders, property divisions, domestic violence protection orders, adoptions, third-party guardianships, estate planning, employment issues, and resolving tax disputes. Find out more at https://c-lg.com/.

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End of Year PTA Survey

The GHE PTA Board wants to hear what’s important to you! As we close out this school year, we want to hear from as many community members as possible about their opinions of our PTA’s events and programs.

Your input will help inform the work of the PTA Board as we kick off a new year. It will take only a few minutes to let us know what you think in our survey here. The survey is open to all Genesee community members – teachers, staff, parents, guardians, students, family, and neighbors. So share with everyone you know in the community!

We want to hear from you!

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GHE Virtual Book Fair

Calling all readers! Genesee Hill PTA is partnering with the local bookstore Paper Boat Booksellers to offer a virtual book fair. The fair started June 1st and will run through  June 14th, and Genesee Hill Elementary will receive a credit of 25% of all sales to spend on books for the school library. From reticent readers to bold bibliophiles – all are welcome to fill up on books for the summer! Check out the fair here.

If you’re looking for ideas for books to buy, SPS created this fantastic summer reading list with options for each grade. Also, the book fair has wonderful librarian-curated lists for different categories. Enjoy!

The Fine Print:

  • All purchases on Bookshop will be shipped from the wholesaler’s warehouse directly to the purchasers (or to gift recipients). There is not an option for in-store pickup. Please allow 7-10 days for shipping for books in stock.
  • There is a shipping charge for all purchases, but Bookshop also discounts most books between 8-10%, which covers much of the shipping costs.


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June GHE PTA Newsletter

While parting is such sweet sorrow, we are proud to close out the school year with one final fun and informative newsletter. This edition is packed with timely details on the final happenings of the year including our virtual book fair, Move-A-Thon, and celebrating Juneteenth. You’ll also find a membership update and a rousing interview with GH’s Hayley Craig. Learn more about how our budget works and give us feedback with our end of year survey. We hope you have found value in the monthly newsletters this year and we look forward to bringing you fresh new content in the fall. 

If you want to read more, we also have a page on our site that houses the Newsletter archive. If you have a topic that you would like to see spotlighted in an upcoming newsletter, or have a question you’d like to have addressed, please reach out to communications@geneseehillpta.org.

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Virtual Move-A-Thon

The Move-A-Thon activities will be virtual this year, but you still get your chance to earn the infamous plastic feet throughout the week. Activities will be released on June 1st, with the FINISH LINE on Friday, June 4th at the Genesee Hill playground from 4-6 pm! Masked participants can pick up their earned ‘feet’ along with ice cream for participation. If your grade earns the most feet, your whole grade will earn a Pajama Day at school – thanks Principal Kischner! RSVP here for the Finish Line Event.

Here’s how it will work! On Tuesday, June 1, an all-school email will kick things off by sharing the checklist for earning plastic feet. The activities for earning feet will include running for a certain number of blocks, riding something with wheels for a certain number of blocks, and exercises you can do anywhere, like push ups, squats and jumping jacks. Do the activities at home or in a park with friends. Track your earned feet on the checklist with a maximum of 10 feet possible! Gather pledges as you go and direct friends and family to donate on our Move-A-Thon donation page. Let’s get moving!

The PTA has donated $8,000 to the school for supplies for every child. This ensures that each child is able to start school and maintain the year with fresh supplies. We hope to raise the funds for supplies with the Move-A-Thon this year. You might even see our very own Genesee Hill Fox at the Finish Line doing a workout to earn those feet… will you beat the Fox?? 

THE FINE PRINT

Earning Feet  

Because we are doing virtual activities, this years feet earning is all honor system! Bring your checklist to the “Finish Line” tables on Friday, June 4th, 4-6pm to show our volunteers how many you’ve earned. If you forget your checklist, we will have extra printed for you to fill out. Make sure you ask Friends and Family to donate as well to cheer you on! The grade with the most participation earns an extra Pajama Day at school.

Activities

Students have all week to complete any of the challenges on any day.if you are unable to run, bike, do pushups – Substitute any of the activities for 15 minutes of your own preferred method of movement to earn a foot. The goal is move your body for fun.

Finish Line – Friday June 4th, 4-6pm

Masks required for playground entry. Please stay 6‘ apart from your classmates while on campus. All tables and lines will be spaced out 6’ from other students and tables. There will be separate Group A (AM), Group B (PM) and Group C (Remote) lines to separate cohorts. Feet and pre-packaged ice cream will be handed out by parent volunteers with masks, gloves and sanitizer. If you cannot make the Finish Line at the time listed, please contact Amanda Baker at bakerdesigner@gmail.com for alternate distribution.


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May GHE PTA Newsletter

May the 4th be with you as you dig into the latest edition of the Genesee Hill PTA Newsletter! From community member shout outs, to Teacher Appreciation Week, to an exclusive interview with Access Staff Member extraordinaire, Craig Garretson – this edition highlights many treasured members of our school community. Also, get the meaty details on upcoming events including a dine out opportunity at Lady Jaye, a weeding event with the Dandelion Initiative, and the Move-A-Thon. There’s even a community question on the CHAMPSS program and an overview of some pertinent bills that were passed this legislative season.

We also have a page on our site to house the Newsletter archive. If you have a topic that you would like to see spotlighted in an upcoming newsletter, or have a question you’d like to have addressed, please reach out to communications@geneseehillpta.org.

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May 23 Dine Out at Lady Jaye

Our May Dine-Out event will feature Lady Jaye in Alaska Junction on Sunday May 23, from 2 – 7:30 PM.  Genesee Hill will receive 20% of all sales on this day. This includes takeout orders, dine in, gift cards, drinks and the Lady Jaye special Take and Bake. Lady Jaye makes everything super easy with their excellent online ordering system.

Their seating reservations opened on May 1st!   Make sure you book your spot early.   The times and availability are limited and they do have to turn people away. Click here to reserve a table and here to see the menu and order some of their delicious items!

Key Details for May’s Dine out

  • Event Date and Time- May 23rd 2pm-7:30pm.  This includes walk-ins and pickups.  They STRONGLY recommend placing all orders and reservations online. All orders need to be made by 7:30 pm.
  • They have limited seating. Tables can be reserved here starting May 1st. Patio reservations (6 outdoor tables) availability: 2pm, 3:30pm, 5:30pm and 7:30pm.
  • Take and Bake Option – There will only be 50 of these items available for pick up on May 23rd.  Order here starting May 10th.  There will be two options.  Both options feed up to 4 people for $60.00
    1. Braised brisket over roasted garlic mac & cheese topped with buttermilk biscuit breadcrumbs
    2. Three cheese roasted garlic mac & cheese with smoked Vashon Island tofu burnt ends
  • Lady Jaye has a lovely list of to-go cocktails.  The pricing varies from $25-35 and each is equivalent to 3-4 drinks.
  • The Lady Jaye General Store has tasty items for your kitchen such as their house rubs, local raw honeycomb, and farm-made caramel sauce. Add a couple onto your take-out order!
  • Gift cards can be purchased that day and 20% will go to the school.

We hope you’ll support our school and a local business while enjoying this delectable food. Invite all your friends too!


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Staff Appreciation Week

Staff Appreciation Week is May 3-7. There are many ways we can show our appreciation to the amazing teachers and school staff who have worked hard – and creatively! – to teach and support our students during this school year.  Read below or check out the flyer for details.

We love our teachers a Latte! Staff can stop by Hotwire coffee any day this week for a drink of their choice. How You Can Help: donate any amount via PayPal (paypal.me/dawnfranklin1) or Venmo (@Dawn-Franklin-6) 

Sign up here to help shower our staff with gifts of gratitude.  Deliver gifts to the school between Monday, May 3rd and 10am on Thursday, May 6th.

Teaching is a work of heart! How You Can Help: click here to head over to our Jamboard to have your student leave a heart filled note to our staff 

Let’s sing out our praises for our amazing staff. Snap a photo of your student with a note of thanks to be included in our video to staff. Send photos to Noirin at hapachik@mac.com by Wednesday May 5. Click here for photo ideas (video edited for student privacy). 

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April GHE PTA Newsletter

From the school schedule to the weather – there is plenty of change happening this week! Amid all the action, your Genesee Hill PTA Newsletter is here to serve as your reliable source for the latest happenings in our school community. This April edition includes volunteer appreciation, a spotlight on the budget, an important budget advocacy tool, an interview with GH’s resident problem-solver, Dana Cochran, and so much more! Use the “Download Document” button above to access the newsletter, find a quiet moment in this busy week, and enjoy this delightful read.

We also have a page on our site to house the Newsletter archive. If you have a topic that you would like to see spotlighted in an upcoming newsletter, or have a question you’d like to have addressed, please reach out to communications@geneseehillpta.org.

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Concerns Over Next Year’s SPS School Budget Cuts

By: Victoria Bhegani, Legislative Chair, GH PTA Board 

On Monday, March 15, Genesee Hill Elementary staff voted to reject the school budget for 2021/22 on the grounds that the allocations from SPS were insufficient. In this proposed budget, the school will lose five FTE (full-time employment) positions in the coming school year. While the school staff did not disagree with how our principal, Gerrit Kischner, had drawn up the budget based on these cuts, they disagreed with the cuts themselves, particularly in light of the current pandemic. Knowing that the pandemic will still be with us when schools open- perhaps for full time in-person instruction in the fall- the staff questioned how cutting 5 FTE positions would affect the health, safety, and academic success of its returning students. The vote to reject the budget is a protest vote with no obvious remediation that could happen, but in taking this action, the staff at Genesee Hill Elementary school took a stand against the inequity of such an extreme budgetary cut at this time. Their decision was supported by our school administrators and the Genesee Elementary PTA Board. 

After the meeting, fourth grade teacher Mick Phelps wrote a letter to the Seattle School Board on behalf of the Genesee Hill Elementary staff. It explains how the current 2021-22 Genesee Hill Elementary school budget does not support students’ physical safety, provide adequate social and emotional supports for students, or equitably address the disparity of students’ remote learning experiences. At the end of the letter, the staff’s key ask is that the budget be amended and that SPS return its previous funding in order to support essential staff functions. Under the current budget, Genesee Hill Elementary, a school of roughly 600 students, will, among other staff cuts, have its nurse go from a 0.6 FTE to a 0.4 FTE, its office support staff, who perform the role of nurse when the nurse is not there, go from 2.0 FTE to 1.0 FTE, its librarian go from 1.0 FTE to 0.5 FTE, and its academic interventionists, who often support the learning needs of the school’s most vulnerable students, go from 3.4 FTE to 1.2 FTE. 

To support our staff’s advocacy, members of the Genesee PTA board sent the letter to the Seattle School Board directors and to the West Seattle Blog for publication. When asked why our PTA leadership took this action, board co-president Michelle Comazzetto said, “Sharing the letter with the West Seattle community will bring more awareness around school funding, and the difficult choices that school leadership has to make because schools are still not properly funded.  We think that the PTA needs to advocate for our staff and teachers, and because they have reached out to us to help them amplify their voices, we would like to help them with this call to action.”

Genesee Hill Elementary is not the only school in Seattle facing budget cuts next year. Neighboring West Seattle schools like Alki Elementary, Gatewood Elementary, and Madison Middle School are also in similar budget straits. In the face of growing awareness about the negative effects the pandemic has had on our children’s mental health and widespread concern that it has widened the learning gap between students- exacerbating already existent racial and socioeconomic disparities- the budgetary situation of public schools in Seattle is troubling. Is this the best we can do for our students and staff after a worldwide pandemic that has radically disrupted children’s lives, leaving many of them more isolated, lonely, and less connected to schools than they were a year ago? 

If you would like to advocate for Seattle Public Schools to have better funded budgets for next year, contact school district leaders. Personal emails are helpful but also please feel free to copy and paste this form below. 

Seattle School Board President Chandra Hampson

Superintendent Denise Juneau 

SPS Chief Financial Officer JoLynn Berge 

  1. SPS should restore 2021-2022 school budgets and when doing so its first priority should be to protect core staff positions (school administrators, counselors, nurses). Core staff supports the successful operation of schools and their roles do not change vis-à-vis student enrollment.
  2. SPS needs to be transparent and accountable about how it is using and plans to use the pandemic recovery money it receives from the state and the federal government. 

FORM LETTER 

Dear __________, 

As Genesee Hill Elementary families, we are gravely concerned about the cuts our and other SPS schools face in their current 2021-22 school budgets. In this time of pandemic, we worry over student and staff safety in school buildings, students’ mental health, and a widening learning gap that exacerbates already existent racial and socioeconomic disparities between students. In this challenging landscape the bleak budgetary outlook for many schools is troubling. That our schools can face these challenges this fall while having their staff winnowed away seems like an impossible ask. Surely our school district can do better for its students and staff and allocate schools with the resources they need to make the next school year a successful one. 

In light of the above reasons, we ask that you take action to restore 2021-2022 SPS school budget allocations and when doing so, prioritize core staff positions (school administrators, counselors, nurses). We also ask that this school district be transparent and accountable about how it uses the pandemic recovery money it receives from the state and federal government. 

Sincerely,

__________________

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