Principal’s Corner

Principal's Communications
March 3, 2017

Morning Parents, Families, and Staff,

It has been a busy week here at Wedgwood as we return from the break and settle back into our systems and routines. I wanted to send out a few updates:

PBIS and the Golden Shoe Award:

For the past several weeks our Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) has focused on hallway expectations and having an orderly system that respects the learning environment of all students. To celebrate students and classes modeling excellent hallway behaviors we awarded our first Golden Shoes yesterday at our monthly PBIS Assembly. The Golden Shoe is an award given regularly to a K-2 and 3-5 class with the most staff nominations based on hallway behavior. Congratulations to Ms. Papke's 1st grade class and Ms. Wahl's 3rd grade class for receiving April's award. We are keeping out eye our in the hallways and will choose two new classes soon. For photos of the Golden Shoe Awards, check out my Twitter account below.

This week, our focus is turning to the bathrooms - where we had been seeing an increase in behavioral issues before the break. The bathroom is a key location where students have to display the Wedgwood Way (Caring, Respectful, Responsible) completely independently. Thursday and Friday, Administration has been meeting with each classroom at the bathroom, reviewing and modeling the expectations, and then practicing (voice volume, hand washing, trash). This has been a positive opportunity to clarify the expectations and for students to express positives and opportunities for better self-management based on their experiences with the bathrooms. Following this school-wide teach-to, we will be monitoring behavioral referral data and having individual conversations with students still struggling to show the Wedgwood Way independently in the bathroom.

Wheelie Shoes:

We have been seeing an increasing number of students wearing wheelie shoes to school and wheeling around the hallways during the school day. This raises safety issues and makes following our hallway behaviors challenging. Wheelie shoes should NOT be worn at school. If a student wears wheelie shoes to school, we will keep and extra screwdriver in the office to assist them in removing the wheels while on campus or attempt to call home to see if another pair of shoes can be provided.

5th Grade Promotion:

Because of the snow day, the last day of school has been moved to Monday, June 26. After talking with the 5th grade team, I wanted to let you know we have decided to keep 5th Grade Promotion as scheduled on the morning of Friday, June 23 (the exact time is TBD). We will keep you updated through emails and the Wedgwood Weekly, but I wanted to let 5th grade families know now for their planning.

Thanks and have a great weekend!

Doug Ouellette | Principal

January 26, 2017

Morning Wedgwood Families,

Today is my first day back this week after fighting the flu, and I want to share a couple important items, so this may be a bit longer email than usual.

Wedgwood Celebration of Light

First, I want to thank all of our families, PTA members, and staff who have been helping visualize, coordinate, and launch our Celebration of Light event on Friday, February 3rd from 6:00 - 8:00pm. Our hope this year is to take favorite elements from our annual Lunar New Year Celebration and combine them with new opportunities to share our cultural heritages and experiences for all of us to learn more about each other as a school community. We have had a great turn out of food and activity table family volunteers, done in a sort of "science fair" style, as well as some traditional favorite like the Lion Dancers. Please make sure to put Wedgwood's Celebration of Light event on your calendars and I look forward to learning and celebrating with you there!

Wedgwood Supports Dunlap Elementary

In conjunction with our Celebration of Light event, I wanted to share another way our school community can help support students here in Seattle. As part of our celebration, we are taking this opportunity to also show our support for Dunlap Elementary 5th Grade, who is working to raise $10,000 to be able to share an Islandwood Camp experience this spring. Similar to our annual 5th grade camp experience here at Wedgwood, for Dunlap 5th grade:

The Islandwood experience is an essential component of the science curriculum. Students connect classroom learning with real life experiences that serve to contextualize and deepen their learning. The curriculum directly supports our science units in ecosystems, environmental science, and food science. Students will have a whole new way to express their learning and to feel like scientists. They will enjoy hikes, sing songs, and experience science in a whole new way. Islandwood builds community, develops leadership skills and promote self-confidence. When the students return from Islandwood, the excitement and pride is astonishing. This is truly a growing experience: academically, socially, and emotionally. (provided by Dunlap teachers)

Dunlap staff will have a booth at our Celebration of Light event to share more information about their wonderful students and this outstanding educational experience. We are hoping that our generous community can show their financial support by donating at the event to support Dunlap students and making a substantial dent in the amount of money they are trying to raise. If you are interested in supporting Dunlap but unable to attend the February 3rd event, please contact the Wedgwood Office and they can support you.

Wedgwood Circulation Principal Chat 2/2

Going into this year, I knew the new bell times would have a variety of positive and possible negative impacts on our school that we would need to be mindful of as we worked through the year. One of those impacts has been on the Wedgwood Circulation plan. Over the course of this year we have seen a steady increase in traffic and students being dropped off by vehicles and a drastic decline in bike riding and walking to school - and this has put some strain on our circulation systems. I have been out for the past two weeks from 7:40 - 7:55am and have seen that the system is busy but working. Last week, we had a couple spikes in unsafe driving behaviors from 7:55 - 8:00am and I have been trying to stay our a bit longer and have address them. I think it's important that we not allow a few driver's poor choices to undermine our entire system, but that we take this opportunity as a community to share, identify opportunities for growth and improvement, and to problem solve together. I will be hosting a Principal Chat on Thursday, February 2nd from 6:30 - 7:30pm in the Library and invite parents and families that want to workshop our current circulation plan and look at ways of supporting improvements to attend. I have also invited my colleagues from the Seattle Department of Transportation Services to attend as well to give us an update on the sidewalk construction project on 83rd Ave and to provide insight/feedback on circulation improvement ideas that we generate that evening. I know this puts two evening events back-to-back, but I felt since this focuses on student safety, I wanted to meet and discuss as soon as possible. Looking forward to partnering with all of you.

SPS Nutrition Survey - We need your voice!

Finally, I wanted to include a copy of this month's School Lunch Menu which includes not only our daily hot lunch menu and a delicious Chicken Butternut Squash Curry recipe to try at home, but it also includes a link to an important survey from SPS's Nutrition Services Department. As a member of the Superintendent's Task Force on Nutrition Policy, I and my team are looking for as much student and family feedback as we can get from this survey to help inform our work to revise and innovate nutrition policies for the District and increase hot meal participation. Whether your child uses the hot lunch program (which is open to all students) or not, your feedback will be appreciated.

Thanks everyone and stay health/quick recovery!

Doug Ouellette | Principal

Morning Wedgwood Families,

December's PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports) focus is the final pillar of the Wedgwood Way - Responsibility. At Wedgwood, we define responsibility as "Knowing you job, and doing it all on your own". At our PBIS assembly today, our 1st Grade classes will be leading the learning around this important component to our Wedgwood expectations. One of the key areas that I will be reviewing with students today that they can show responsibility here at school is at recess, and we will review the following key expectations:

Be Safe -

  • Use equipment safely (such as going down the slide, jumping with jump ropes verses swinging them, keeping hands off students climbing on the Spider)
  • Play games that don't include sticks, pinecones, or other non-recess objects (chasing with sticks, throwing pinecones, and using non-recess items can create a physical and social-emotionally unsafe environment)
  • Moving Carefully (being aware of others while playing on the playground, and avoiding potentially slick or icy areas)
  • Playing games that don't include play fighting/battling or where someone is "it" (we encourage imaginative play at school, but since we don't allow fighting or battle at school we shouldn't pretend it. Also, in many cases the person identified as "it" is not self selected, but rather selected by a larger group which has social-emotional implications and students are still learning to be responsive to verbal and emotional cues when someone is uncomfortable with being "it" and wants the game to stop.)

Be Kind -

  • Include others in your game or activity
  • Make sure everyone understands the rules (this is one of the most frequent issues - everyone wasn't playing the same game with the same rules)
  • Be a good sport and make positive comments (verses putdowns and "trash talk")
  • If someone asks you to stop a behavior or action - stop the behavior or action

Consistency is a key component to student success with these playground expectations which should hold true before, during, and afterschool. Although there is not school supervision after school, the playground is left open for students and families to enjoy addition play time and making social connections with other students here at school. However, students need to be monitored by an adult if they are remaining on campus and we need your support in correcting behaviors that run counter to the expectations above. I would also encourage parents to consider volunteering on the playground so our students see adults modeling not only academic behaviors, but positive play behaviors as well.

Thanks everyone, and have a great day!

Doug Ouellette | Principal


Doug Ouelette

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Contact Info:
Phone: 206.252.5711 | 206.552-4726 (cell)  

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