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News and Events

"Dessert with Doug" chat June 4, 6:30 p.m.

After our wide-ranging discussion at our last meeting, I’m looking forward to continuing our conversation on all things Wedgwood at our next "Principal chat" — an informal meeting to visit and discuss specific topics pertaining to our school.
 
To accommodate parents who work during the day, we will hold this meeting at 6:30 p.m. on June 4 in the Wedgwood library. We would also like to offer an opportunity to submit a topic you would like to learn more about. Please email me your suggested topics at dcouellette@seattleschools.org by Monday, June 1. And whether you have a specific topic to suggest or not, please join me on Thursday, June 4 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the Wedgwood Library.

Survey results: Cutting events, new WE ARE classes

We hear you! Thank you to the 60 respondents to our PTA/WE ARE Survey earlier this year.
 
Based on the survey:
  • We'll improve our communication so parents can quickly get information.
  • We'll cut the number of all-school PTA events from eight to five by dropping Pumpkin Carving Night; combining science and math/game night; and cutting the Spring DJ dance party. Please click here for more detail on the PTA's response and event cuts.
  • WE ARE will continue to offer Sports and Fitness classes, will look to expand its Performing Arts classes and work to offer new classes in Language Learning and Computers. Please click here for more detail on WE ARE's response.
The PTA has funding for the three events that are slated to be cut. However, our volunteers' time is limited. We are currently looking for event chairs for many of next year’s top-priority events, including the Kindergarten Social, the Fall Dance, Lunar New Year (co-chair) Teacher Appreciation, Science Night, and the Spring Carnival.
Our preference is to first find leads for these events and then, if we have parents interested in leading one of the events slated to be cut, we can add them back. If you are interested in leading ANY of our PTA’s 2015-16 events, please contact Kristin Gilbertson or Liz Huehnergarth ASAP so we can start working on next year’s event dates with you.

 
Science Night coming up May 13; egg drop is ON

The annual PTA-sponsored Wedgwood Science Night is coming up on Wednesday, May 13 from 6-8 p.m. Thanks very much to those who stepped up to volunteer! Thanks to your efforts, we will be able to hold our celebrated annual egg drop.
 
We still need more volunteers to help with things like set up, welcoming community volunteers, setting up the UW mobile planetarium, and other jobs. Please click here to sign up.
 
Whether you're volunteering or not, you won't want to miss this amazing evening of hands-on science enrichment. Wedgwood students and parents will be at school presenting amazing science projects, kids can participate in the traditional Wedgwood Egg Drop with Fire Station 9, and the Pacific Science Center will be here with their Physics on Wheels exhibit. Watch the Weekly and kidmail flyers for more information.
 
How can we participate?
  1. Be a student or community presenter. Kids can set up a poster in the cafeteria displaying a science project they did at home or in class. Parents can do a project with their kids or set up their own as well. Share your science with our community!
  2. Enter the egg drop competition (more details coming home soon).
  3. Help make the night run smoothly by signing up to take a volunteer job. Please click here to sign up.
  4. Just show up and have a blast!
If you have any questions, would like to volunteer, or make a suggestion, please contact Science Night Chair Liz Huehnergarth.

Wedgwood April character focus: Problem solving

This month, the Wedgwood school community is focusing on Problem Solving. This is a critical skill in learning how to work with individual, small, and large groups of people. Additionally, problem solving skills are essential in building healthy relationships rooted in Caring, Respect, and Responsibility (Wedgwood’s Big 3 character traits).
 
Like any academic skill, social-emotional skills require teaching. Effective problem solving takes strategies, practice, and patience.
 
In each of our classrooms this month, we will be empowering students to solve problems positively and independently  by introducing the Problem Solving Wheel… a tool containing tried-and-true strategies to resolve conflicts. Classrooms will be contextualizing these, discussing and role-playing what they can look like in action (and helping students realize each technique may not work on every type of problem — we have to strategize our responses).
 
Students will then have opportunities to use the Problem Solving Wheel’s techniques here at school to resolve conflicts (such as cutting in line, breaking the rules of a game, disruptive behaviors during learning time). Adults will be helping students refer back to the wheel as they are making decisions on how to solve problems.
 
We would encourage parents to join us in supporting students’ problem solving skills by printing off a copy of the Problem Solving Wheel, and having students refer back to it when solving problems at home as well.

PTA general meeting 4/28: Speaker, vote, childcare

Kim Estes of Savvy Parents, Safe Kids will be the featured speaker at our PTA general meeting at 6:30 p.m. on April 28 at the school. This important meeting will include voting on PTA officers and the budget for next year. Free childcare will be provided.
 
Kim Estes has been a parent educator for 17 years, specializing in child safety issues since 2006. She will talk about safety topics and provide simple tips, covering areas ranging from sleepovers and play dates, cell phones for kids, red flags parents should watch out for, and the "super 10" every kid should know.
 
At this meeting, PTA members will also vote on a budget and on officers for next year. A nominating committee has reviewed and approved a slate of officers; this slate will be brought to the general membership for approval at the meeting.
 
For the 2015-2016 school year, the recommended slate of officers is the following:
President, Davina Inslee
Vice president, Terri Green
Co-Treasurers, Kara Smith and Aki Carroll
Secretary, Sue Lee
 
Once again, the PTA is offering free childcare in the KidsTime portable, provided by the WE ARE staff, for children ages 5-12. Please sign up here. Children must be signed up ahead of time so the appropriate number of staff will be present. You can drop your kids off at 6:15 p.m., 15 minutes before the general meeting starts, and pick them up at 8:15 p.m., 15 minutes after the meeting ends.

Get your tickets for Family Night at Mariners game

It is time again to buy your tickets for Wedgwood’s night with the Seattle Mariners! Wedgwood Family Night at Safeco Field is coming up on Saturday, May 16, at 6:10 p.m.
 
Students, parents, families, faculty and staff are invited to purchase tickets at a special rate of $12 and watch the Mariners take on the Boston Red Sox. We have a large block of seats reserved for the game, so order your seats now and join us for a fun night at the ballpark! You should have seen your ticket order form in kidmail recently. If not, click on the following link to get a copy, and send in your order form and payment by April 24. Please click here for more information.

Dance the night away at Friday's spring dance
 
Calling all Wedgwood Marmots to come and show your school spirit at this year's Spring Dance on Friday, March 27 from 6-8 p.m. in the school cafeteria.
 
Wear your favorite jersey or team gear to this year's sports-themed dance, sponsored by the second grade. DJ Jambulance will be playing your favorite tunes to amp up the dance floor. Suggested donation for dance entry is $2 per person, $5 for a family. We will also be collecting food and toiletries donations for the Spring Food Drive to support the Lake City Food Bank. See you at the dance!

Auction thanks, and sweet news on fundraising

Thank you, thank you, thank you — to those who attended, those who volunteered, those who donated and all those who supported our big Auction Fiesta. The Wedgwood community came together on March 14 and really came through for our school.
 
Numbers are still coming in, but we are very excited to report that we have raised more than $60,000. Please keep an eye out for your invoice, coming home through kidmail with your oldest child. Don't forget, many employers will match your donations.
 
We'll have more details (and many more people to thank) next week.
 
A special thanks to those who provided the delicious desserts. The dessert dash alone made $2,526.50! Donors, your plates and utensils are on the table in the hallway.
 
One more note:

Some partygoers left their stylish margarita glasses behind. They can be picked up in the front office. 


Wedgwood's Auction Fiesta this Saturday

We hope you'll join us this
Saturday, March 14, at Wedgwood Elementary's annual PTA Gala and Auction Fiesta!
 
Wedgwood continues to be a shining example in our district of what can be accomplished for students when you bring talented teachers, a passionate staff, and a supportive community together. Our mission of building an inclusive community (by addressing students' social and emotional needs) while maintaining high expectations for citizenship and academics (by fostering curiosity, independence, and self-motivation) and serving all students' academic needs, is strong. And with your support, Wedgwood will step into an even brighter future in the year to come!
 
Con el corazón sentí gracias!
 
Doug Ouellette
Principal

Wedgwood March character trait: Cooperation

This month, the Wedgwood school community is focusing on Cooperation, an extension of our Big 3 Character Trait, being Caring.
 
Wedgwood Character Statement:
Cooperation is being willing and able to work well with others.
 
Character Book:
Our book this month is Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth. According to Goodreads.com:
 
Award-winning artist Jon J. Muth retells the favorite tale of a selfish community who is tricked into creating a delicious soup from stones. Three strangers, hungry and tired, pass through a war-torn village. Embittered and suspicious from the war, the people hide their food and close their windows tight. That is, until the clever strangers suggest making a soup from stones. Intrigued by the idea, everyone brings what they have until — together, they have made a feast fit for a king!
 
(This is an) inspiring story about the strength people possess when they work together.
 
In March, our focus will turn to Self-Control, and Being Frank by Donna Earnhardt.

Beach vacation, bowling parties, much much more

The countdown is on for Wedgwood's Auction Fiesta on March 14 — a fun-filled night where parents can come together for food and drink, socialize without being interrupted by kids, and land some fabulous prizes while supporting our school.
 
Remember, you can still get your early-RSVP discount and purchase your tickets for $40 each. (Tickets go up to $50 after Feb. 27.) Please visit our Auction web page and buy tickets via PayPal or click here for an RSVP form.
 
The Auction Committee and our generous community is putting together a fantastic event! Our Live Auction is going to have some amazing opportunities (trips, cruises, sports packages, dinners, etc.)  The full list and descriptions of live items will be available in our catalog the week of the Auction, but here are a few sneak peeks to entice you (and so you can practice raising your bid card!):
  • An amazing 1 week stay at an exclusive luxury beach resort in Baja, Mexico (just north of Cabo San Lucas)
  • Dinner for 6 prepared in your home by the Executive Chef of Barking Frog (and current Wedgwood parent) Bobby Moore
  • Husky VIP Football Experience including game tickets, sideline passes and a tour of the training facilities
  • We also have an amazing collection of raffle baskets and a wide array of "Teacher Features," which give kids opportunities including printmaking with our art teachers, kindergarten movie night, serving as Assistant Principal for the Day and much more. Teachers are still dreaming up new ideas and activities, but here's a list of some of the Teacher Features we have so far.

ONE DAY till Lunar New Year!

Wedgwood's Lunar New Celebration is this FridayOn Friday, wear your happy and lucky color RED to school and to the event and join us for an opportunity to celebrate with your Wedgwood community, watch exciting performances by the lion dancers and martial artists, enjoy music and dance from Wedgwood students, learn to make dumplings and to play traditional Asian games, make cultural arts and crafts and take a walk through the beautiful Asian-Inspired Art Walk. 
 
Help Create the Magic

Food Drive's final push. The food drive still has a few more days — it wraps up Feb. 20. The drive benefits the Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS), which has the only food bank in Washington that regularly distributes foods for Asian and Pacific Islander diets. See here for more details.
PTA meeting TONIGHT; please take survey

We hope you'll join us tonight from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. for our PTA general meeting. This meeting falls at the midpoint of the school year, so it's a great time to learn more about what we've accomplished so far. We'll hear a state-of-the-school update from Principal Ouellette, and we'll vote to approve a nominating committee for PTA officers for next year.

It's also a good time to plan for the remainder of the year, so we want your opinion on PTA events, programs and communications, as well as your thoughts on after-school classes at Wedgwood. Please click here to take a survey that will help us better meet the needs of Wedgwood families.

At our meeting, we'll also hear from a great guest speaker, Julie Hannan of Sparkle Spot Learning. Her presentation will address ways we can help our children with social emotional challenges. She will be discussing social skill development, friendship, and how we can best parent our kids through the challenges they experience in their social lives. Julie is a parent coach, tutor and former elementary school teacher. She leads friendship groups and specializes in social emotional learning.

It's not too late to take advantage of FREE childcare in the KidsTime portable, provided by the WE ARE staff, for children ages 5-12. Please sign up here. Children must be signed up ahead of time so the appropriate number of staff will be present. You can drop your kids off at 6:15 p.m., 15 minutes before the general meeting starts, and pick them up at 8:15 p.m., 15 minutes after the meeting ends.


Halfway point: what we've done, what's ahead

Dear Wedgwood Families,
 
As of last Friday, we are officially halfway through the 2014-15 school year. At this juncture in the year, our school community has much to celebrate and many exciting things planned for the rest of the year, but we need your input as we start making plans for next year: 
 
Celebrate
  • Mr. Ouellette: We have a warm and wonderful new principal who can even sing and dance!
  • Fundraising: Thanks to your generous support of our Annual Move-a-thon and our Pledge Drive, we have raised a total of $70,000 towards our goal of $110,000. A special thank you to our $1,000 challenge donor who helped us secure $2,925 from 21 families during the final week of our campaign. And thanks to everyone who supports us through key fundraising events as well as the Kids Used Books Sale and the SCRIP program. Please click here to continue reading.

Updated safety procedures before and after school

Please read the following note from Principal Ouellette:
Dear Wedgwood Parents and Families,
 
Before and after school are busy times here at Wedgwood, and we want to ensure the highest level of student safety during these activities and transitions. The overall goal is to make sure:
  • Adults in the building during school hours (9:10 a.m. – 3:40 p.m.) are easily identifiable and have a reason to be in the building (such as a pre-arranged meeting with a teacher or volunteering in a classroom.)
  • Students are not in the building unsupervised before or after school.
Therefore, the following updated protocols will go into effect starting Monday, Feb. 9:

Before School:
  • Students should only be in the building before school if they are having breakfast or going to the bathroom — adult supervision is provided in the cafeteria and on the playground. (See below for special procedures for rainy mornings.)
  • Unaccompanied students should enter at the front entrance and walk to the cafeteria or outside to the playground. Students accompanied by an adult should enter the playground through one of the gate entrances.
  • At and after 9:10 a.m., any adult inside the building should follow our procedures of signing in at the front office window and wearing a volunteer/visitor badge while they are in the building. Additionally, the adult should have a purpose for being in the building before school (such as a pre-arranged meeting with a staff member, volunteering in a classroom, or attending an assembly.)

Wedgwood January character trait: integrity

During the month of January, Wedgwood Elementary is focusing on Integrity, an extension of our Big 3 Character Trait, Responsibility.
 
Wedgwood Character Statement:
Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.
 
When we returned to school on Jan. 5, we gathered for our monthly Character Trait Assembly. We shared our school definition of Integrity and students brainstormed and shared opportunities both at school and at home to demonstrate integrity. Since this was also our first day back from the Winter break, we also reviewed our Wedgwood Playground Expectations video and discussed ways of showing integrity on the playground as well. If you have not had the chance to see our playground video, you can access it here on the Wedgwood website.
 
Character Book:
Our book this month is The Empty Pot by Demi. Please click here to read more.

Watch Wedgwood students perform at 3 fun events

There's music in the air! Families will have three opportunities to check out Wedgwood student performances this month.
  • Martin Luther King Assembly: Wedgwood will be holding its annual MLK assembly at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 16. The assembly, held in the cafeteria, will feature enriching music from all grade levels, poetry, and presentations from the students. Parents are invited, but space is limited, so be sure to get there early!
  • Fifth Graders at Eckstein/Roosevelt Outreach Concert: On Tuesday, Jan. 20, Wedgwood 5th graders will be singing a short program and large combined number with area elementary schools and Eckstein and Roosevelt. This is a great opportunity for students to see music in the programs they will eventually be feeding into, as well as a way for them to show off what they have been working on. Last year the concert was met with an overwhelmingly positive response from parents and administrators alike. Performers, please plan to arrive at Roosevelt High School's auditorium by 6:15 p.m. for a brief rehearsal at 6:30. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. for a great concert!
  • All-school winter concert: Wedgwood will be putting on an all-school Winter Concert on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at 6 p.m. in the Eckstein Auditorium. Each grade level will perform for a delightful evening. And there will be a special surprise guest! Students should arrive no later than 5:45 p.m. to be in place for the concert.

MTSS: Targeted Support for Students

Over the past two years, Wedgwood has been working to implement a program known as Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). MTSS is designed to respond to students' academic and behavioral needs through an infrastructure of evidence-based, system-wide practices to ensure that students are achieving at high standards. This includes ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of instruction and intervention with rapid response to student needs.
 
MTSS, rooted in data-informed practices, explicitly offers a multi-tiered approach. Emphasis is on school-wide, differentiated universal core instruction. Tier 1 refers to the core curriculum delivered to all students that has a high likelihood of bringing the majority of students to acceptable levels of proficiency. Tier 2 provides supplemental instruction to those students who are not responding to the core instruction provided at Tier 1. Tier 3 involves the application of intensive instructional interventions designed to increase the rate of student progress. Tier 3 services may or may not include special education. Please click here for more.

Pitch into the PTA pledge drive

Our kids need your support!
So far, our pledge drive has raised only 10 percent of our $30,000 pledge drive goal. But there's still time to make a tax-deductible donation before the end of the year.

Between our Annual Pledge Drive, our Move-a-thon and our Auction, our PTA needs to raise a total of $110,000. We got the year off to a strong start with the Move-a-thon, but now we need to keep that momentum going.

Last week we shared some of the things donations pay for. Here are a few more:

  • $25 donated by 20 families will cover the cost of Science Night. These funds allow us to bring in cool exhibits that let our kids get their hands on real science.
  • $250 gets you two FREE tickets to the Auction!
  • $750 pays for a fun family dance night. Did you enjoy our Fall Barnyard Dance? A gift of $750 covers the cost for the food, the DJ and other related expenses. With an employer match, your gift could pay for BOTH the fall and spring dances! Click here to see if your company participates in the matching gift program.
  • $1,500 covers the PTA's annual investment in technology maintenance at the school. For our kids to access technology, it has to be working!

The Wedgwood PTA deeply appreciates your commitment of time and resources to our school in whatever way works best for your family. Thank you for your continued support. To give to the pledge drive online, click here.


Wedgwood December character trait: Gratitude

For December, Wedgwood Elementary is focusing on Gratitude, an extension of our Big 3 Character Trait, Caring.

At our monthly assembly, we introduced our Gratitude Mitten Project. Each student will use a mitten to share something they are grateful for at Wedgwood. All 500 mittens will be displayed in the entryway/hallways for us all to appreciate and enjoy!

Wedgwood Character Statement:
Gratitude is feeling and showing appreciation for what we have.

Our book this month is Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts. According to Goodreads.com: 

“All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. But Jeremy’s grandma tells him they don’t have room for "want," just "need," and what Jeremy needs are new boots for winter. When Jeremy’s shoes fall apart at school, and the guidance counselor gives him a hand-me-down pair, the boy is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that are much too small.

But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy comes to realize that the things he has — warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend — are worth more than the things he wants.”

We hope all of our students will take time to feel and show appreciation for all they have in their lives. Be sure to check out Those Shoes, and our Gratitude Mitten Project the next time you are at Wedgwood!

Wedgwood End-of-Year Pledge Drive

It is time for Wedgwood PTA's Annual Pledge Drive which
helps to fund things such as tutors, educational materials for students, professional development classes for teachers, and community-building events for the whole school

The Wedgwood PTA deeply appreciates both your commitment of time and resources to our school in whatever way works best for your family.  Thank you for your continued support.

Giving Thanks and Thanksgiving Break

As Thanksgiving approaches, we are giving thanks to everyone in our Wedgwood School community — parents, teachers, administrators, staff, tutors, custodians, volunteers, and visitors — who help our students achieve excellence. And of course, we are especially giving thanks for our fantastic kids.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving — the next edition of the Wedgwood Weekly will be on Dec. 3, 2014.

Enjoy the week off!

Wedgwood November Character Trait: Responsibility

For November, Wedgwood Elementary is focusing on our third Big Three Character Trait —
Responsibility. 

At our November monthly assembly, and in our classrooms, students are learning our Wedgwood character statement and discussing what Responsibility looks like at school, in the lunchroom, in the classroom, and particularly on the playground. 

At our Assembly, we premiered our new Playground Expectations video about how to use the playground here at Wedgwood. Students learned about our five key expectations for the Playground, and watched our new Student Council Officers model positive behavior. We encourage all of our families to view and familiarize themselves with these playground expectations as well (follow this link to the Wedgwood Playground Expectations video on our website) so we have consistency before, during, and after school to ensure student safety at all times. (Please click here to continue reading.)

Putting Names to Faces in Wedgwood's Front Office

Now that you and your kids have really settled into the school routine, we thought it was a good time to tell you a bit more about the (mostly new) crew in charge of Wedgwood Elementary's administration and front office.

We've got five new staff members this year and are welcoming back one veteran employee. Both our full-time and part-time front office positions are paid for with School District funds. (Please click here to continue reading.)
An 805-mile Move-a-Thon! Pledges due Friday

Wedgwood students kicked it into high gear at Friday's Move-a-thon, walking, running and moving a total of 6,438 laps, or 805 miles. That's the distance on the Pacific Crest Trail from Crater Lake National Park to the Canada border, or more than 30 marathons! 

That's not even including Principal Ouellette's mileage: He walked five laps with each grade, so 30 laps in total! A total of 451 kids participated; with an average distance of 1.8 miles per kid in only 20 minutes. 

And how much money did they raise? Pledges total more than $49,000 and counting. 

Please turn in all pledge money by this Friday, Oct. 31. Place checks inside your child's pledge envelope, complete PayPal online donations on the Move-a-thon page, and write total payments on the front of the pledge envelope.

Remember, if your child wants a shot at the raffle prizes, pledges must be turned in by Friday and he/she must turn in at least $100. You still have time to bump your kid's earnings if they're not quite there! 

Raffles and awards will be announced next Monday, Nov. 3 during the school day. Thanks to all participants and volunteers. Please e-mail Danelle Edie, Susan Mills or Lis Sullivan with any questions or feedback about this year's event. 

Follow-up to Wedgwood Curriculum Night & 1st PTA General Meeting

On September 30, 2014
:
  • Mr. Ouellette presented information on the changes that will be happening at Wedgwood as a result of educational reforms at the national, state and local level. A copy of his Powerpoint presentation is available here. Mr. Ouellette will be providing an even more detailed update to our school community on February 11, 2015, at 6:30 pm. Additionally, Wedgwood is working on providing every student, K-5, with access to a District-approved keyboarding program that can be used both at school and at home.
  • In a record eight minutes, the PTA conducted its required business. If that was a little too fast, you can click  here for copies of the approved revised budget and by-laws.
  • The community learned that, thanks to a grant written by PTA board member Katie Traverse, new sidewalks will be built in front of our school and on some adjacent streets this summer. The grant funds include resources that encourage safe walking and biking routes to school through FeetFirst and Cascade Bicycle Club. Please click here to take a brief survey about how your family gets to school.

Note from the Principal

Welcome back Wedgwood Students and Families! We are so excited for the start of the school year and to hear all about your summer adventures!

Wedgwood has a dedicated community of students, teachers, and parents who continue to make our school one of the most successful academic programs in Seattle Public Schools. Once again, our students performed incredibly well on the state’s Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) Tests. The numbers in the chart (see left) represent the percentage of Wedgwood students who met or exceeded the standards for their grade level.


Our collaborative teaching teams (PLCs), focused on instruction and monitoring students' progress, have ensured our strong performance in these areas. These teams will continue their critical collaborative work this year as we work to strengthen and grow our Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) here at Wedgwood to ensure targeted academic support for both our struggling and advanced learners. Congratulations to everyone for their hard work!

I look forward to seeing all of you during this, our first week of school – I’ll be in the hallways so stop by and say hello!

Doug Ouellette
Principal, Wedgwood Elementary


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