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    Principal Pearson Welcomes Families to 2018-19 Year!
    Posted on 08/25/2018
    Back to school

    Dear Montlake families,

    Welcome back! I hope you had a restful and relaxing summer and are feeling ready for the school year to begin. My family and I took a trip to Boston and Maine in early July, and since then I’ve been busily moving things into my new office and getting to know teachers and families in the Montlake community. It was great fun to welcome our new kindergartners during Jump Start this week, and I’m looking forward to meeting those of you I haven’t yet met very soon!

    I’m delighted to introduce the following new staff members:

    • Lael Foster, Kindergarten
    • Martie Binkow, Fourth/Fifth grade Teacher
    • Katie Croff, Fourth/Fifth grade Teacher
    • Deirdre McShane, Greenhouse/Science Teacher and Math Interventionist
    • Christina Sparker, Occupational Therapist
    • Laura Russell, Speech Language Pathologist
    • Lori Badruswamy, General Music Teacher

    The Boren Sisters: Now that they are officially gracing our stairwells, I feel as though I should also introduce the Boren Sisters, two giant puppets created by artist Wayne White and donated to our school via our phenomenal art teacher Jennifer Lundgren after this year’s Seattle Art Fair (see link to article from the Seattle Times here). As you may already know, Louisa and Mary Ann Boren were early settlers in the Seattle area, and in the wonderful way that art has the capacity to spark thoughtful conversation, we are hoping to use their presence here as an opportunity to learn more about Seattle’s early history and the Duwamish and Coastal Salish people who occupied this land before they arrived.

    Please join us for an open house on Tuesday, September 4th from 11 am to noon. Class lists will be posted at that time, and families are welcome to take a peek into their classrooms and say hello to teachers during that time. If you are unable to attend, please emailtlwalker2@seattleschools.org and she will send you the name of your child’s teacher at the end of the event. Creating balanced classes is important to us, and some of the factors that teachers consider as they put them together include gender, academic ability, behavior, special needs, student-teacher fit, and peer relationships. Thank you for understanding that we will not make changes once these lists are posted.

    The first day of school is Wednesday, September 5th for grades 1 through 5, and Kindergarten students will begin on Monday, September 10th. Kindergarten families will have a chance to meet with their child’s teacher during the first three days of school at Family Connections meetings (September 5th, 6th, and 7th). A sign-up genius will be sent out through school messenger later today with more details. The Montlake PTA will provide coffee after drop-off on the first day of school, and there will be a short all-school assembly on the bricks by the Greenhouse.

    Our Bell Times will be the same as last year:

    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

    7:50 am warning bell

    7:55 am students with teachers

    2:25 pm dismissal

    Wednesday

    7:50 am warning bell

    7:55 am students with teachers

    1:10 pm dismissal

    For safety reasons, the main entrance door will be locked between the hours of 8:30 am to 2:00 pm (M, T, TH, F) and from 8:30 am to 12:45 pm (W). The gates to the playground will also be locked during the school day. If you arrive to volunteer or collect your child during those hours, please ring the buzzer to the right of the door and our office staff will let you in. From a safety perspective, it’s very important that you stop by and sign in at the main office before volunteering or visiting your child’s classroom. This not only allows us to say hello, it also helps us account for everyone in the building in case of an emergency. One of our main front office goals this year is to make improvements in this area, and we appreciate your help in keeping our staff and students safe.

    Supervision begins on the playground at 7:40 am, and you are welcome to drop off your child in the mornings any time after that. Students will hear a warning bell at 7:50 am, which is the signal for them to line up and wait for their teachers to come outside and get them.

    This year, our end-of-day dismissal process is changing slightly. Dismissal will take place on the playground at 2:25 pm (2:20 pm for Kindergartners). Teachers will walk their students out to the playground to greet whoever will be in charge of them after school. For parent pick-up we ask that you wait outside on the playground to receive your child(ren). If your child is attending Launch or After School Enrichment classes, those teachers will also receive them on the playground where they will take attendance before re-entering the building to begin their classes. We realize this is a change from last year’s dismissal process, and we appreciate your support in helping us make this adjustment. This summer we have been collaborating with Launch’s new Director (Christine Stark) and After School Enrichment Coordinator (Matt Coldwell) to talk about ways to lessen the confusion that sometimes exists for students at the end of the school day, and our hope is that this new process will help. As always, we welcome your feedback.

    That’s all for now, aside from wanting you to know that my door is open and I’m never too busy for a meeting or phone call. I’m delighted to be here and really want to get to know you. Thanks for all you do to make Montlake such a special place, and on behalf of our amazing staff, we look forward to welcoming you back soon!

    Julie Pearson, Principal

    jepearson@seattleschools.org