Preview of Fall Enrichment Schedule

The Fall 2017 enrichment class schedule is now available to view and download on the Enrichment Course Descriptions page! Please note that this is only a preliminary schedule and that some class days and fees may be subject to change.  The final class schedule, fees and detailed course descriptions will be available on September 8, 2017.

Save the Date!  Online registration will open on Tuesday, September 12 at 7:00 PM. Fall enrichment classes will start on September 25th and run through December 8th. Check back in September for more details and the link to register.

Questions?  Contact the Enrichment Coordinator at .


Welcome Back Letter from Principal Kischner

Dear Genesee Hill Families!

Welcome to the start of the 2017-18 school year at Genesee Hill, our second year in our new building! This is my tenth year with the Schmitz Park/Genesee Hill community, and I know I can speak for everyone to say that we are especially excited to be firmly established in our new building and ready for all the innovation that can come with being settled in our collaboration and our systems. Genesee Hill is a great learning community for kids, and we look forward to getting this year started!

I can’t possibly include everything I want to you to know about in this letter so I am going to limit this mostly to immediate information that all families need to know to get ready for the First Day of School on September 6th.

First, though, I want to use this opportunity to boast openly about one bit of news we received this summer that we are especially proud about because it says so much about who we are and what we do at Genesee Hill. In June, we graduated a fifth grade cohort that represented some of the best work we have done as educators in collaboration with families. This was a cohort that began at Schmitz Park setting a new benchmark from the start. With them, we grew from three Kindergarten classrooms the previous year to four, and they amounted to fully double the size of every other Kindergarten cohort that had come through Schmitz Park since it opened in 1962. That was a learning curve to begin with, but at Kindergarten Orientation we could clearly see the real imbalance: the cohort was 68 percent male!

Despite many different initiatives, we struggled to get good traction with the kids and by the end of their second grade year we started talking about making a move that would disrupt the trend and refocus the student on developing strong learning behaviors. The move we decided to make was to create a “Boys Class” for Third Grade. This would be a class of 16 boys, and the math worked out that in creating this class the other three classrooms would swell to 30 perfectly balanced with fifteen girls and fifteen boys each. The move was controversial because it appeared to shift a lot of resource in favor of the 16 boys in Ms. Williams’s class, but it proved to focus our work as educators on the work we were doing for all of the kids. We pledged that we would commit to being very intentional about returning the kids of fully mixed classrooms for fourth grade.

There is a lot more to this story, but I want to jump to the present. At the end of June, we received the preliminary results back from the Smarter Balanced Assessment to the news that 100 percent of the fifth grade girls had met or exceeded standard in ELA (English Language Arts). 100 percent isn’t a figure we see very much in this business, so it is a pretty huge point of pride. To understand the growth this represents, 77% of these girls met/exceeded standard at the end of third grade. What’s more, the boys posted the same growth, from 71% at/above standard at the end of third grade to 94 percent at the end of fifth grade! Their math results were similarly strong.

This is a story that I feel is important to understand about our journey as a school because it speaks to the success we have had managing our substantial size (we will open with about 725 students in September, the largest elementary school in Seattle) and working together to address the needs both of individual students and whole cohorts at the same time. It speaks also to our growing focus on teaching learning behaviors, students learning to be masters of their own learning, and growth mindset. This is ongoing and exciting work, and we have a staff at Genesee Hill dedicated to pushing into new frontiers. This year, you will first notice teachers’ implementation of new literacy (ELA) curriculum from The Center for Collaborative Classrooms (CCC), new science units, and a return to our roots with Singapore Math. By the end of September, you will start hearing about GH^2 (Genesee Hill Genius Hour) . . . teaser alert!

Clearly, there is a lot to talk about, so here are some quick bullet points of information families need to know BEFORE school starts, in somewhat chronological order:

  • No school supply purchase needed: Once again the Genesee Hill PTA is supporting our efforts to reduce cost and hassle by purchasing supplies in bulk and convenient sets for teachers. Your child needs only a backpack, water bottle and, if bringing lunch from home, a lunch box. Please see the attached letter from PTA President Christine Kraynek about how you can help the PTA continue this great work.
  • In-school medication needed BEFORE school starts: Please see the attached letter from our great nurse, Sue Heffernan, regarding new procedures around medical information and student medication. She needs your help to get this fully organized before the first day of school. Follow these links for Medication Authorization Form and the Student Health Information Form.
  • First annual Back to Business Day is Thursday, Aug. 31, from 9 am to 6 pm: This is an optional day supported by the Genesee Hill PTA to help parents take care of all the paperwork for the start of school before school starts. Parents can watch the video regarding sexual harassment that is required to register as a volunteer (you only need to watch this video once) and renew their Washington State Patrol check (required every year). Fifth grade parents will even be able to write a check toward the class trip to Islandwood on November 27th. We hope many parents will find this drop-in time useful ahead of the rush of the school year, but participation is entirely optional.
  • Bell times change substantially this year: 20-minute later dismissal time four days a week and a 75-minute early release on Wednesdays (please note, this Wednesday release was stated incorrectly on the Seattle Public Schools calendars that families received last week).
    • Mondays: First bell at 7:45, tardy bell at 7:55, dismissal at 2:25.
    • Tuesdays: First bell at 7:45, tardy bell at 7:55, dismissal at 2:25.
    • Wednesdays: First bell at 7:45, tardy bell at 7:55, dismissal at 1:10 (**all Wednesdays EXCEPT the first day of school, 9/6 – dismissal at 2:25)
    • Thursdays: First bell at 7:45, tardy bell at 7:55, dismissal at 2:25.
    • Friday: First bell at 7:45, tardy bell at 7:55, dismissal at 2:25.
    • All days: Supervision starts at 7:30 (playground for grades 1-5, front toy yard for Kindergarten)
    • Breakfast service starts at 7:30 in the cafeteria.
  • Getting to school: Every morning, well over 1,000 people converge on our school – please do your part to keep this routine safe and efficient for everyone. If you would like to participate in a Walking School Bus route, please contact Sara McDougall (and come to Back to Business Day to get your volunteer paperwork taken care of). If you are dropping a student off by car in the morning, ALL drop-off traffic must go to the drop-off zone on Genesee east of 51st street. There must be no drop-off traffic on Dakota or streets leading up to Dakota (i.e. 50th or 49th). As a community, we must be good neighbors and keep the streets leading up to the school safe for pedestrian traffic. We understand SPD will be present to help enforce traffic rules. When Kindergarten starts on Monday, 9/11, please keep both sides of 51st beyond the bus zone available for Kindergarten families to park and walk their children to the front play yard. A helpful map is available on the PTA website.
  • Get organized for after-school child care and Enrichment: The Genesee Hill PTA has a long tradition of supporting kid and families with great opportunities after school. This year, Study Club will start on Monday, 9/11, and Enrichment classes will start Monday, 9/25. Registration for Study Club will start this Monday, 8/26, at 7:00 pm. See the attached list of classes and contact Chau Pho-Tung at with questions. In addition, Hiawatha After-school Care (Seattle Parks/ARC) continues to operate at Genesee Hill and Schmitz Park (call 206-684-7441). We have also received word of a new option operated by Island Time Ministries with potential school bus service within the Genesee Hill zone at 41st and Andover (contact ; inclusion here is not an endorsement).
  • Classroom assignments will be posted on Friday, September 1st: If you want to know who your child’s homeroom teacher will be, drop by the front windows of school starting the morning of September 1st where lists will be posted (usually by 9 am).
  • Come meet new staff on the First Day of School: Since we know it won’t be raining 😉 on the first day of school (grades 1-5), please join us on the playground. Students will greet their new teachers on the playground and proceed into school (look for raised signs with teacher names). After the students are inside, parents, grandparents and guardians please join us for a parent coffee in the cafeteria. For those of you who still remember our opening Flag Ceremony at Schmitz Park, we will still have an all-school ceremony before dismissal to kick the year off together. We are looking forward to everyone getting to know our new staff joining our team:
    • Constance Thomas, Assistant Principal
    • Theresa Njoku, Library
    • Shawn Cudney, PE
    • Michael Washington, Kindergarten
    • Erin Munavu, 1st Grade
    • Jennifer Kwintner, 3rd Grade
    • Per Junkerman, 4th Grade
    • Shirley Smith, 4th Grade
    • Lauren Fuller, 5th grade

There is a lot more share. Please plan on coming for Curriculum Night on September 14th (grades 1-5, specific times for grade levels will be forthcoming). At that time, we’ll provide plenty of information about how you can support kids this year at Genesee Hill.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone soon! Please let us know if you have any questions!

Gerrit Kischner, Principal,

Liz Dunn, Assistant Principal,

Constance Thomas, Assistant Principal,

Pam Jones, Administrative Secretary,


Back-to-Business Day

The first day of school is quickly approaching!

Swing by the Genesee Hill auditorium on August 31st, to fill out all required paperwork* for the upcoming year in one swoop. You can come any time – we’ll be there all day!

Back-to-school paperwork includes:

  • Volunteer forms
  • SPS/Genesee Hill Paperwork (Student Information Verification
    Form, Survey to identify Disabled Students, Health Registration Form, Family Education Rights and Privacy Form, Emergency Release Form and School Directory Opt in
  • PTA Membership

*If you are unable to make it, don’t worry! Students who do not have paperwork filled out will be sent home with the packet of forms at the start of school.


Registration for Fall Study Club Opens August 28, 2017

We are very excited to be able to offer Study Club for the 2017-18 year!

Fall 2017 Study Club (for grades K-5) will start on Monday, September 11 and run through Friday, December 15, 2017. *NOTE: Early Dismissal Study Club will  be offered on Friday, December 15, 2017. Download a preview of the Study Club schedule and class options here.

Online registration will open on Monday, August 28, 2017 at 7:00 PM and will remain open until the session starts (September 11th) or all spots are filled.  Register online here (link will be live on 8/28/17 at 7 PM).

Study Club will be offered Monday – Tuesday & Thursday – Friday from 2:30 – 3:45 PM. On early release Wednesdays, Study Club will be offered as two back-to-back classes from 1:15 – 2:30 PM & 2:30 – 3:45 PM. Families may register for one or both classes as needed. In order to maintain staffing levels, we ask that families commit to one or more days of the week for the entire session. Students participating in Enrichment classes can also choose to register for only pre- and/or post- enrichment days (from September 11- 23 and December 11-14, 2017). Early Dismissal Study Club will also be offered on Friday, December 15, 2017 from 1:30 – 2:30 PM or 1:30 -3:45 PM. Tuition is $12.50/day ($12.50/class on early release Wednesdays); $22.50/day per child for extended Study Club (early dismissal). A limited number of 5 class punch cards are available for $75/card. These punch cards can be used to attend Study Club on any date during the regular session. Punch cards will be honored on a space available basis and require a minimum of 48 hours notice.

We have terrific new Study Club team of instructors on board.  The team will be led by Erin Dolan, with support from Jill Langley and Marisa Woodget two days a week. We are also fortunate to have Kiki Elbel return to Study Club on Wednesdays and select Fridays this year.  All our Study Club instructors are also Genesee Hill parents and have a combined wealth of experience working with elementary school age children.  Your kids will have a blast in Study Club this year!

QUESTIONS? Please contact the Study Club Coordinator at .


Email City Council & Seattle Schools Board re: Two-Tier Bell Times NOW

UPDATE 6/15/2017:

The Council voted to approve the funding for a two-tier system. Here is a Seattle Times write-up on the vote: With Grant, Seattle Schools to Change Start Times


Genesee Hill Families!

We need you to advocate on behalf of Genesee Hill families and the community as a whole to support the City and Seattle Public Schools in funding a switch to two-tier start and ends times starting next year.

We need you to take action NOW because the City and the School Board are voting on this Wednesday, June 14th, which could either confirm the switch – or – lock us into three-tiers moving forward. We know at least two council members oppose the proposal and the School District has made it clear that if the Council does not approve the funding next week, they will revert back to a three-tiered schedule for the 2017-18 school year.

Currently, all students in Seattle Public Schools fall into one of three-tiers for start & end times next year:

  • Tier 1: Elementary Schools (including Genesee Hill) start at 7:45 and end at 2:15;
  • Tier 2: Middle and High Schools start at 8:35 and end at 3:25; and
  • Tier 3: Select K-8 and some Elementary Schools from start at 9:25 and end at 3:55.

We have the opportunity to remove this 3rd tier and re-align start and end times to the following schedule if we can compel the City of Seattle and Seattle School Board to provide one-time funding, allowing for only two-tiers moving forward:

  • Tier 1: Elementary Schools would start at 8:00 and end at 2:30
  • Tier 2: Middle & High Schools would start at 9:00 and end at 3:50

These time frames are supported and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionmost importantly, they just make sense! Many K-8 and select elementary school parents have expressed concerned about their young children coming home from school after dark during the fall and winter months.

Please ACT NOW and send the following message to the Seattle City Council and School Board. For greater impact, please personalize with your own spin and subject line. If you have been negatively impacted by the change to three-tiers, please include a note as to what that impact has had on your child and family. (Email addresses are listed below.)


Dear Seattle City Council and Seattle School Board,

As a parent of Elementary-aged students attending Genesee Hill Elementary school, I ask that you fund the one-time cost of transitioning student start & end times to two-tiers for the 2017-2018 school year and beyond. This transition is in the best interest for all students of Seattle Public Schools.

Thank you,

Genesee Hill Elementary School Parent




Move-A-Thon 2016/17 Results

Our Move-A-Thon was a huge success! We raised $40K for our PTA General Fund. Thank you to the teachers, volunteers, children, parents, and sponsors (Part 1, Part 2). Our success is because of all of you!

Congratulations to Ms. Ferris’ class, who won the raffle for the Roller Skating/ Pizza Party!

Our top runners who won a FREE pair of running shoes from West Seattle Runner are:

K/1st Grade

  • Ayla Moore (Grasel) – 37 laps
  • Connor Schoeb (Funke) – 36 laps

2nd/3rd Grade

  • Sydney Bradbury (Williams) – 39 laps
  • William Frederick (Oschrin) & Tyler Martinez (Williams) tied with 41 laps

4th/5th Grade

  • Samantha Sherick (Veling) – 43 laps
  • Tyler Christman, Brock Moore, Hayden Rayner (Nelson) – 43 laps

Our top runners in each grade:


  • Makenna O’Connor (Cook) – 28 laps
  • Anna Lee (Funke) – 28 laps
  • Connor Schoeb (Funke) – 36 laps

1st Grade:

  • Ayla Moore (Grasel) – 37 laps
  • Alex Freeman (Piestch) – 34 laps
  • Nico Bazakas (Grasel) – 34 laps

2nd Grade:

  • Louisa Gliko (Aylesworth) – 31 laps
  • Azalea Hinson (Frazier) – 31 laps
  • Sophie VanDeWalle (Frazier) – 31 laps
  • Casey Laplante (Turner) – 40 laps

3rd Grade

  • Sydney Bradbury (Williams) – 39 laps
  • William Frederick (Oschrin) – 41 laps
  • Tyler Martinez (Williams) – 41 laps

4th Grade

  • Samantha Sherick (Veling) – 43 laps
  • Josephy Sherick (Veling) – 42 laps

5th Grade

  • Eile Swain (Nelson) – 36 laps
  • Brock Moore (Nelson) – 43 laps
  • Tyler Christman (Nelson) – 43 laps
  • Hayden Rayner (Nelson) – 43 laps


UPDATE: Move-A-Thon 2017/18

We have decided, based upon teacher/ parent feedback and the busy schedule at the end of the year, to change our Move-A-Thon back to the fall. The Move-A-Thon will be on Thursday, October 12, 2017. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or a member of our Move-A-Thon Team, or a future Co-Chair, please contact Athena at



Golden Acorn 2017

Every year, we award volunteers in the Genesee Hill community who go above and beyond to help out in and around our school. The state refers to this as the “Golden Acorn Award*,” but we’d like to officially welcome the new members to “the nut club.”

The 2017/18 Golden Acorn recipients are Matt Cannard, Karen Kasameyer, Pam Linxweiler, and Katie Greenberg.

Our volunteer community is the glue that keeps our amazing programs running. Thank you!

From left to right: Matt Cannard, Karen Kasameyer,
Pam Linxweiler, Katie Greenberg

*A Golden Acorn Award is presented by a local PTA or council to a school or community volunteer in recognition of her or his dedication and service to children and youth. Since the beginning of this program in the 1930s, more than 54,000 Golden Acorn Awards have been presented to volunteers throughout Washington state. Recipients receive a certificate and pin, and a contribution is made in their name to the Washington State PTA Scholarship Program that benefits students.



Spotlight on Move-A-Thon Sponsors, Pt. 2

Nakean Media

Nakean Wickliff is father to kindergartner Craiggan. He is a local Seattle photographer specializing in outdoor portrait and landscape photography. If you need headshots, portraits, or just need to cover some wall space, he is your guy!  Check out his portfolio at



Hotwire Coffee | Flying Apron | Angela Cough and Jeffrey Silva

Angela and Jeffrey are parents to Samantha (3rd grade) and an incoming kindergartner. They are the owners of Hotwire Coffee ( and Flying Apron (

Flying Apron Bakery & Cafe is a GFCO certified and 100% dedicated gluten-free & vegan bakery & cafe. They pride themselves in using the best ingredients with an emphasis on non-GMO whole-grain flour alternatives, healthy oils and offer goods with sugar alternative sweeteners such as maple and agave.

Hotwire Coffee has been voted the best coffee in West Seattle for a number of years. Hotwire is an Internet cafe located in the heart of the West Side who prides themselves on hand-crafted espresso.


Sue Austin, co-founder of EvoFit (, is mother to Penelope (kindergarten) and Phoebe (1st grade). The EVOLVE by EvoFit program is designed specifically for women. The formula created by EvoFit of HIIT workouts, nutritional accountability, and a motivational and inspiring setting will help you evolve into the healthiest, fittest you.

Law Offices of Susan Carroll, PLLC

6041 California Ave. SW, Suite 101
Seattle, WA  98136
Phone: 206-452-5483
Fax:  206-452-5688


Rene Bibaud is mother to kindergartner Craiggan. Rene is a five-time world champion, former ESPN commentator for the sport of jumping rope and artist and coach of the renowned Cirque Du Soleil. She is an educator, motivational speaker, and entertainer with a special focus on fitness and specialty performances. Rene organizes jump ropes shows, workshops, and camps. Find out more at

West Seattle Runner

Owners Tim and Lori McConnell are West Seattle residents. They are long time supporters of all the schools in West Seattle and have donated shoes to the winners of the our school’s Move-A-Thon for the past two years.


SPS Capacity & School Location Community Meeting: June 1

Date: June 1, 2017 at 6:30pm
Location: Louisa Boren STEM K-8

Meeting Topic: Flip Herndon, Seattle Public Schools Associate Superintendent for Capital, Facilities, Enrollment Planning will present options to address capacity and enrollment issues that impact our school.

Why should I attend this meeting?

Seattle Public Schools formed a Capacity Management Task Force to address increases in current and projected enrollment, with a charter to prepare a report and set of recommendations to the Superintendent of Schools. An option under consideration by the District is the relocation of Louisa Boren STEM K-8 to the Schmitz Park elementary school building.

The Louisa Boren STEM K-8 PTA has serious concerns about the consequences of this option:

  • In its current location, STEM is able to serve all of West Seattle. By contrast, the boundaries of Schmitz Park’s northwest location would negatively impact equitable access to the school for students in the community.
  • STEM is the only option school in the Denny Middle School service area, and has a geographic zone aligned with West Seattle Elementary. That geozone would change if the school moves to Schmitz Park, which means placement of students from the less diverse, more affluent neighborhoods of West Seattle would take priority over students living in the central and south areas.
  • The current capacity of the Schmitz Park building is 216 without portables. The public voted to approve the BEX IV levy, in part, to get children out of portables. Moving a school from an adequate site to one where 60% of students would be in portables disregards the wishes of the taxpayers and the goal of the District to provide permanent classrooms for West Seattle’s growing student population.
  • STEM provides a unique project-based curriculum. The high demand for this type of curriculum, as demonstrated by our projected 2017-18 enrollment of 539 (and waitlist of 189), will continue to grow and can only be accommodated at Boren. STEM’s Special Education families depend on the valuable services offered at the school – any disruption to these services is unacceptable.
  • Schmitz Park was designed as an elementary school and does not have the physical infrastructure to support middle school programs and activities.
  • A move to Schmitz Park will create logistical hardships for families living in the southern neighborhoods of West Seattle, increase transportation costs for the school district, and increase vehicle traffic in the residential neighborhood surrounding the location.

In November 2013, the Seattle School Board acknowledged the value STEM K-5 provides to the diverse student population in West Seattle by voting to permanently locate the school at Boren and expand it to K-8. Since then, the school has continued to thrive and grow, expanding the programs and
services it offers to the community.

To remain accessible to all families who want a project-based STEM education for their children, the Boren building remains the right location for Louisa Boren STEM K-8.

To stay updated on this topic visit, follow Louisa Boren STEM K-8 PTA on Facebook, or send email to:


Spotlight on Move-A-Thon Sponsors, Pt. 1

 Kevin Broveleit / re206ps

Kevin is father to Joelle (1st grade) and Dora (3rd grade).  He is an active part of the school community, contributing countless hours to the Annual Auction, classroom volunteering, and many other activities. Kevin has been working in real estate since 2003 and specializes in helping people buy and sell real estate mostly in West Seattle, but also in the greater Seattle area. For more information visit

West Seattle Bowl

Established in 1948, West Seattle Bowl ( has become part of the fabric of the West Seattle Community. Owners Mike Gubsch and Andy and Cheri Carl (parents to 3rd grader Ryan) believe in giving back to the community and support fundraising efforts and local schools through discounts for charity bowling events and in-kind donations. Annually this support totals nearly $100,000.  This is the 5th year for their Kids Bowl Free Program, which gives kids two free games of bowling, every day, all summer long. Click here for program information and to sign up. They hope to see you on the lanes.

Western Specialty Contractors

David Kimble, father to Liam (2nd grade), is the manager of the Seattle branch of Western Specialty Contractors ( The company has been a generous sponsor for our school for several years.


 West Seattle Natural Medicine

Dr. Adrianne Cook is mother to Kinder Austin Saltzman and 4 year old Phoebe. Dr. Cook practices as a Primary Care Naturopathic Doctor at West Seattle Natural Medicine Clinic with a focus on nutrition and optimizing health. Her specialty is treating adults with digestive issues, fatigue, thyroid disorders and hormone imbalance. West Seattle Natural Medicine Clinic sees patients of all ages and is credentialed with most major health insurances. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her family and catching up on sleep.


Matthew & Casie LaBella / West Seattle Foot and Ankle Clinic

The West Seattle Foot & Ankle Clinic was established in 1979. Their goal has always been to provide the highest degree of foot and ankle care possible while treating patients as a whole. In addition to helping their many patients, Matt and Casie are parents to Jesse (4th grade) and Lucy (2nd grade). Casie has been generous with her volunteer time in the classroom and at the school, where she has co-chaired the Passport program.

Julie Ambrose, MSW, LICSW

Julie Ambrose is mother to Jackson (3rd grade) and Josie (2nd grade) Ambrose. She owns the Morgan Junction Building, a mental health clinic housing 11 therapists with a wide range of specialties. Julie herself specializes in Individual and Family Therapy for teens and adults; focusing on treatment of anxiety, depression, school-related problems, relationship issues, and life transitions. In her free time she enjoys running, hiking, reading, cooking and sharing food with family and friends. For more information on her practice, you may visit