Category Archives: Local

Lunch available for students at 26 school sites beginning March 16

Starting March 16, 26 schools will begin serving lunch for all SPS students from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Monday through Friday for the duration of the school closure. Grab and go meals are available for students, but students cannot stay at the school to eat them because of “social distancing”
guidance from state and local health agencies.

Students do not need to be present to get a meal. A parent or caregiver can pick up meals for the number of kids he/she has at home. If a person needs mobile accessibility support, staff are available to assist. Information on the 26 school sites and specific meal pick up information for each site can be found on the SPS site. The page can be translated into several different languages from the “Select Language” drop down in the top right corner of the page.

Please note SPS does not need volunteers for meal distribution since it is working to avoid community congregations.


Food assistance for families in need

As many of you are aware, closure of Seattle Public Schools means more than just a postponement of learning for students. Many families rely on the schools for child care, meals and other community support. Members of the Genesee Hill community are proud of the strength of our community, and we’d like to step up the level of strength and support during this uncertain time. We are taking donations that will be used to purchase Safeway gift cards for distribution to families that rely on the school for food assistance. If you would like to participate, please donate here. The PTA Board will purchase the gift cards on a weekly basis for the duration of our school closure and give them to Principal Kischner for distribution. Thanks in advance for this support and all other means of support our community is providing during this time and stay healthy and safe!


We Need Your Input On New School Name

This past week, Mr. Kischner sent a letter to parents and the school community and neighbors asking for feedback in helping to name our new school.  The district will ultimately make the decision on the name but we would love to give them our preferred considerations and have until April 26th to do so.  If you would like to participate, please register your preference (vote) here.

The Building Leadership Team has forwarded four names for consideration:

  • Genesee Hill Elementary School: Genesee Hill is the name of the original building, which opened in 1949.
  • Genesee-Schmitz Elementary School: Genesee-Schmitz recognizes the shared identity and history of the neighborhood and the two schools.
  • Dietrich Schmitz Elementary School: Dietrich Schmitz was the longest-serving member of the Seattle School Board in history, serving 32 years and multiple times as President.
  • Thelma DeWitty Elementary School: Thelma DeWitty was the first African-American teacher in Seattle, working first in West Seattle at the Cooper School.

You may also drop off or mail a hard-copy of your preference to Schmitz Park School, 5000 SW Spokane St., Seattle 98115.  We ask for just one vote per household.  This survey will close at midnight on April 26, 2015, and the results will be used to finalize a recommendation for the Superintendent’s report to the School Board of Directors.  Please note that while we would like to move forward to finalize the naming of the new building, we are also continuing to watch enrollment numbers that could affect the long-term plans for both our current and future school sites.


Social Thinking Parent Group

super flex

Would you like your child to have an opportunity to practice with Social Thinking concepts?  Lisa Schubert, a parent of a kindergartner at Schmitz Park, is organizing play groups for kids who are socially shy or have trouble ‘staying with the group.’  While Lisa is familiar with the Social Thinking curriculum, she says, “What we do with these groups depends on the families who sign up.”  She imagines paired play dates and small group gatherings for kids to practice communication and social skills and a chance for parents to share resources.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Lisa at or 206.276.1188.


West Seattle Community Invited to Submit Name Suggestions For New School at Genesee Hill

The West Seattle community, along with Schmitz Park Elementary families, staff and Genesee Hill School alumni, are being invited to submit suggestions for the name of the new school building being constructed to replace the old building on the Genesee Hill school site. This Seattle Public Schools Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) project was approved by Seattle voters in February 2013. The Schmitz Park Elementary program is scheduled to move into the new building at the Genesee Hill site in September, 2016.


“We hope to select a name that honors our legacy as Schmitz Park Elementary, while building a new tradition, in a new location, on Genesee Hill,” said Gerrit Kischner, Principal, Schmitz Park Elementary.  If you wish to nominate a name, including the current Genesee Hill School name, please email it to All nominations need to be received by March 31, 2015.  Please include the criteria for why the name should be selected.  Seattle Public Schools’ School Board naming procedure states that the naming of new buildings should be selected based upon: (a) geographical location or local community name; or (b) distinguished individuals who have served the local community, state, or nation, whether in education or other fields.

Once names have been received, a committee that includes a representative from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society will compile the names. The community will then be asked to vote for their preferred name. The results of the poll, along with other submitted information, will be used to make a recommendation that will be sent to the Seattle Public Schools superintendent for review and consideration. The superintendent would then make a recommendation to the School Board for approval. For more information, please visit

You can view the School Naming Process & Timeline here.

Naming Committee Members:

Cheri Carl, PTA Communications Chair and SP Parent (naming process lead)

Jim Abernethy, Community Member

Clay Eals, Southwest Seattle Historical Society Executive Director

Emily Giaquinta, PTA Legislative Co-Chair and SP Parent

Alice Thavis, SP Parent

Mark Wainwright, SP Parent