Dear Grand Ridge Families:
Welcome to February, where both love and rain take center stage! I’m not too sure about you, but I am considering investing in a kayak or canoe so I can start paddling to school. It is soggy out there but then again, it’s what keeps the Great Pacific Northwest so beautiful!
If you see our Parapros out and about, please thank them for always, always being out there to support your kids when they are outside in the dark and the rain and the wind. Our Paras greet our students first thing in the morning, spend all recesses outside with them so they can get their wiggles out and then send them off to their homes at the end of the day and they do this regardless of the weather outside. I have had the pleasure most recently to spend recesses outside (along with our Assistant Principal, Ms. Sehlin, our PBSES Coach and our Counselor) when we had to fill in for a shift or two and let me tell you, it can be cold, wet and windy. Our Paras truly deserve to be acknowledged for the work that they do, as we could not run the school without them!
INSTRUCTIONAL HIGHLIGHTS & LEARNING
I have had the ongoing pleasure of visiting our classrooms and seeing our School Improvement Goal of Literacy come to life! It has been very uplifting to watch students, grades 1-5, take a concept like text features (captions, headings, sub-headings, glossary, index, Table of Context, etc.) and not only be able to identify these features but then turn around and use the features in their own writing. The instruction is so deep anymore; students are not merely responsible for identifying text features but for understanding when/why an author would use them and how it enhances/supports the readers’ experience. Once the students understand this, they have a better chance of using text features, for example, in a powerful way in their own writing. Our students go far beyond the surface level when it comes to learning; they are learning with meaning and then application, the deepest kind of learning there is! They are applying and then sharing with others, making them a connected community of learners. That’s what learning is all about and it is happening right here at Grand Ridge!
· Professional Development: In order for our students to learn what they need to learn, our teachers are right there alongside them setting the example as lifelong learners. Your Grand Ridge staff is committed to continually refining and growing their instructional practice and this has happened several times already this school year. We gather, as a staff, several times a month to learn and grow together. Since our School Improvement Goal is focused on Literacy for the next three years, we have had professional development to support that goal.
o F&P Calibration Conversations: We have spent time as a staff looking at how we are assessing students using our F&P assessments. Teachers are watching videos that show students reading and then scoring those students using an F&P scoring sheet and then having conversations so they can calibrate their thinking. Calibration Conversations are a powerful place to begin having those foundational assessment conversations so we can make sure we are all in alignment with one another. This has been a great experience for our staff and we will be continuing these conversations with the teachers of our incoming kindergartners so that our students are supported in the most systematic way possible.
o Parent Panel, Year 2: We had the honor and privilege of once again hearing from some of our parents about their personal experiences with schools as a student, many in countries other than the United States. This panel allowed us to identify barriers to deep and meaningful partnerships and connections between home and school. The school-to-home partnership is so important to the Grand Ridge staff, as there is powerful learning taking place all the time here and we want to be able to share the good news and then draw close and partner to support if a student is struggling. The Parent Panel left us with some good strategies to make those powerful connections moving forward.
o Professional Book Study: Our Grand Ridge staff is currently reading How Dare the Sun Rise, a powerful look at one young immigrant’s journey to the US and the barriers she faced. Our staff meet in groups and discuss the reading and the impact that this type of experience might have on a student in our classrooms. The discussions have been rich, reflective and heartfelt, as our staff recognize that our students arrive at our doorstep as a result of many varied journeys. We are here to walk alongside your students, to support them and help them to grow. Your Grand Ridge staff are a committed bunch of individuals who want what is best for your children and they work tirelessly every day to get the job done.
· Gratitude Journals: Our School Counselor, Mrs. Judith Fernstrom, is currently working with a couple of classrooms on writing in Gratitude Journals. She works with the classrooms over several weeks to write down three things every day that the student is grateful for. It has proven to be a powerful tool and truly changes one’s outlook when you are acknowledging all around you that you can be grateful for. In today’s climate, it is easy to get into the habit of focusing on what isn’t going right and to stay in that space but how reassuring it is, upon completing a page in the daily Gratitude Journal, to see that there is much to be thankful for. I have asked Mrs. Fernstrom for my own Gratitude Journal and have begun to use it on a daily basis and I can tell you, there is a lot of goodness out there in the world. What would you put in your Gratitude Journal? Talk to your child/ren about this and keep the conversation going!
Until next time,
What is Girls on the Run?
Girls on the Run is an after-school program that uses running to give girls the tools to celebrate their bodies, honor their voices, recognize their gifts and activate their power!
Who is it for?
Girls on the Run is for 3rd-5th grade girls of ALL fitness and ability levels. The only requirement is to believe in GIRL POWER!
Grand Ridge Elementary
Dates: March 3rd- May 19th
Days: Tuesdays and Thursdays
Cost: Fees based on a sliding scale
For more information or to register, visit our website at www.girlsrun.org
Contact Laura Gabica at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have a child that will be 5 on or before August 31, 2020 and you live within the Grand Ridge attendance area? If so, we invite you to join us for a parent only Kindergarten Information Night on Wednesday, February 5th from 6:00 - 7:00PM in the Grand Ridge Multi-Purpose Room.
Due to space constraints, Grand Ridge Kindergarteners will attend school at either Challenger or Endeavour Elementary schools. The building assignment is based on your property address and will be made by our district transportation department.
Remember to Vote and Return Your Ballot - ISD Levy Renewal
We’ve got just a few days left to vote in the 2020 levy election. Return your ballot by mail or in a ballot drop box by next Tuesday, February 11.
To see what’s funded by this levy, check out this short video that highlights some of the many important programs and services funded by levies, including mental health counselors, school security, extra-curricular activities and many more. While you’re at it, you can check out all of our videos about the important things funded by the levy.
Coronavirus Update – Guidance from Public Health Seattle and King County
While the immediate risk to the general public in Washington and the United States is still considered to be low, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all travelers from China, including school students, staff, and volunteers arriving in the U.S. AFTER February 2, 2020 at 2 pm stay at home away from others and monitor their health for 14 days. If you get a fever or develop a cough or difficulty breathing during this 14-day period, avoid contact with others. Call your doctor or healthcare provider to tell them about your symptoms and your recent travel.
There is no recommendation for people showing no symptoms arriving before this time to restrict their activities. All travelers from China who arrived BEFORE February 2, 2020 at 2pm can continue to attend school.
The normal precautions during cold and flu season to prevent the spread of germs apply.
You can find more about conronavirus at the links below or call the Washington State Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127 and press the # key.
National School Counseling Week is our opportunity to honor and celebrate the unique contribution of counselors in our schools! Counselors are integral members of our learning community who work with students to remove barriers to learning by addressing students’ academic concerns, post-secondary options, and social/emotional skills. They help students identify their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents and set healthy, realistic, and optimistic aspirations for themselves. Counselors work in partnership with parents as they face the challenges of raising children in today’s world and collaborate with educators to create an environment in which students can realize their potential. During National School Counseling Week, our Counseling Specialists will be visiting schools and taking photos and videos that illustrate special themes for each day of the celebration, including Lend a Helping Hand, Offer Encouragement, Show Appreciation, and Be the Change in the World. You can follow the fun on social media with the hashtag #NSCW2020. Be sure to thank your school counselor for all they do to support our students, families, and staff every day!
Letter Writing Week is here! During the week of February 10th-14th students will participate in a school-wide letter exchange organized by the second graders. Everybody gets to write and receive letters, and the second graders will be the “Grand Ridge Postal Service”. Parents are encouraged to send mail to their children by properly addressing envelopes and placing letters in one of the blue mailboxes located at the end of wings or outside the office. Please see the example below for addressing the envelopes. Happy letter writing!
Family Engineering night is Wednesday, February 12th from 6:00-8:00pm. It is a chance to have interactive STEM experiences and enjoy learning TOGETHER. The hands on activities promote the engineering process, scientific thinking, and an opportunity to learn and play as a family. Go to the Grand Ridge PTSA website (grandridgeptsa.org) to sign up to ensure we have enough materials for everyone!
Highly capable testing for second grade students will continue March 10 through March 13. Students who are identified as “most highly capable” will be invited to enter either SAGE or MERLIN in the 2020-21 school year. Second grade students attending private or home-based schools are invited to participate. Contact your neighborhood school for more information about how to participate. More information about the Issaquah School District Highly Capable Program and testing for second grade students is available on the Highly Capable Issaquah School District webpage.
3rd - 5th Grade Smarter Balanced Testing Dates
Smarter Balanced Assessments - Practice Opportunities at Home
We are encouraging all families to set aside some time to help your student practice for the Smarter Balanced Assessment coming this May for grades 3, 4 & 5. The Smarter Balanced Assessment is a system of valid, reliable and fair next-generation assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts/Literacy & Math. Please use the following link to access the Practice & Training Tests (for ELA, Math and WCAS (5th grade science - see below):
Click on the icon for Practice and Training Tests, sign-in as a Guest, and select your child's grade level when prompted.
Along with the SBA, fifth grade students will also take an additional assessment in science, called the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS). The WCAS will assess all three dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards. For more information about this assessment follow this link:
If you have additional questions about the Smarter Balanced Assessment, please see the ISD website:
Family Trips During Assessment Windows
As we have done in the past, family trips taken during assessment windows will be marked as Unexcused. This is because the data collected during these assessments informs our practice and supports your child's learning. Naturally, our preference is for families to travel during vacation periods outlined by the ISD. If your family needs to travel outside of those windows, please be aware of two things:
Absences during assessment windows are marked as unexcused
Per State Law:
5 or more unexcused absences in a month require a letter and a petition to be filled with the courts.
10 or more unexcused absences in a year require a letter and a petition to be filed with the courts.
Things to note:
Any absence is marked unexcused if you do not call prior to the absence.
A child arriving 2 hours or more after the start of the day is not a tardy. At that point, it is considered an absence.
Pre-Arranged absence forms are posted on our website. They are due to the office at least one week BEFORE the first day of the absence. Forms received out side of that window may not be received in time for processing and could result in an unexcused absence.
Pre-Arranged Absence Request forms may not be completed retroactively.
ATTENTION PARENTS OF 5TH GRADERS TRANSITIONING TO MIDDLE SCHOOL IN 2020-2021
SUMMER TIME = SPORTS PHYSICAL TIME
Will your student be participating in the ISD sport programs offered at middle school? If so, mark your calendar and schedule their sports physical during the summer after June 1. Students entering 6th grade that plan to play sports are required to have a physical dated after June 1. A physical date in June, July or August is valid for the entire school year.
If you normally schedule your child’s physical around their birthday, we suggest you consider postponing until summer. Fifth grade students planning to play ISD sports who get their physical prior to June 1 will be required to get a second physical at parent expense. For more information on middle school sports and the required physical form check out the ISD Middle School Sports webpage at https://www.issaquah.wednet.edu/family/sports/MSsports or call the middle school office. The office team will answer all your questions.
5th Grade Camp
Mon-Wed April 27-29th
Open Enrollment Begins February 1
Per ISD Regulation 3131 regarding In-District Student Transfers, students and their parent(s)/guardian(s) may apply to transfer to any District school other than their neighborhood school during open enrollment through the month of February for the following school year. For complete information on the open enrollment process, including applications, please click here.
For Our ELL Families
The annual ELPA21 assessment is an online assessment given between February 3- March 27 to all students who qualify for English language development (ELD) services.The ELPA21 summative assessment measures students' English language proficiency in reading, listening, writing, and speaking. Results from this test determine which students are eligible to continue receiving ELD services.
Please contact your student’s ELL teacher with questions regarding specific dates for testing.
Kindergarten Registration for the 2020-2021 School Year Begins Online Starting February 3.
The window to register your child for kindergarten for the 2020-2021 school year begins February 3, and must be completed by March 6. Students who are turning 5 years old by August 31, 2020, are eligible for enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year.
Please visit the ISD New Student Enrollment website to begin enrollment February 3. The link will be live at that time. Once the online portion is complete, you will be required to visit your neighborhood school to pick up additional forms that must be completed in order to finish the enrollment process.
Additional Kindergarten information available at this link.
Dyslexia Family Engagement Forum - February 6
Families interested in connecting with the Issaquah School District regarding support for students with dyslexia are invited to a community forum hosted at the Administration Building at 5150 220th AVE SE, Issaquah from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The purpose of the forum is to facilitate two-way communication, collaboration, and shared learning related to supporting students with dyslexia. Two additional forums will be held on March 5 and May 21. Families are welcome to attend one, two, or all three meetings. The February 6 session will include active listening opportunities and time for families to share their stories, interests, and learnings with ISD staff.
The annual Father-Daughter Valentine Dance is once again coming to the Issaquah Community Center on Saturday, February 8, 2020.
Grades K – 2, 4:00-6:00pm
Grades 3 – 5, 7:00-9:00pm
$29 per adult; $24 for Issaquah Residents; $45 at the door
Register with Issaquah Parks & Recreation at www.issaquahwa.gov/register or 425-837-3300.
STEMPOSIUM: SAVE THE DATE
WHAT: Showcase of STEM learning hosted by teachers and students from the Issaquah School District. Teachers and students through interactive booths and demonstrations share how they learn STEM skills and knowledge through classroom projects, afterschool clubs, and student competitions. In addition to teacher/student booths, there will be various STEM related industries invited to share their work in the area of STEM.
WHEN: February 13, 2020 - 5:30-7:30 pm.
WHERE: Issaquah High School Commons – 700 2ndAvenue SE, Issaquah 98027
Everyone is welcome to attend! More information and event program can be found here.
Issaquah City Council Approves Designation and Zoning for Schools at Providence Heights
The Issaquah City Council voted 5-2 at its January 21, 2020 regular meeting to approve land designation and zoning at Providence Heights as Community Facilities CF-F. We are thankful to the City Council and look forward to working with our municipal partners, the residents of Providence Point, and other neighboring communities to mitigate the impact as much as possible as we build these much needed schools. For additional information, including next steps, please click here.
Snow Make Up Days - Last Day of School to be Announced in Spring
A reminder to our families that school closure make up days will be added to the end of the school year. Because we are still in the winter season, it is possible more snow or weather will come our way that may result in school closures or delays. We will announce that last day of school in E-News and on our website later this spring when we are past the possibility of snow and hazardous conditions on the roads or at our buildings. *Specific information for seniors will be communicated to students and families by their high schools.
La Casita is the February Dining for Kids partner. Join us Wednesday, February 5th and La Casita will donate a portion of your bill to Issaquah Schools Foundation. These funds go to programs and resources for Issaquah School District students, including food & snack support during the school day. More info: http://isfdn.org/dining-for-kids/
Spread the Love 2020: Make a Contribution in Your Teacher's Name!
The Issaquah Schools Foundation loves to support our teachers! The Foundation began by providing grants to educators in the Issaquah School District, and because of YOUR donations we are able to continue this great work! This February, share the love by expressing our appreciation for the teachers of the Issaquah School District! Donate in honor of a teacher and what they give to us every day. Make your contribution here (https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=issaquahsf&id=35 )and include your teacher’s name and personal message. We will let them know of the gift you made in their honor. You can view the list of all teachers honored here! (http://isfdn.org/spread-the-love-2020/)
1. Plugged-In Parents: How to keep kids safe, happy and healthy in the digital age
When: Monday Feb 10th, 7-8:30pm
Where: Issaquah High School
Even the most in-tune parents could use some extra tips for keeping up with the fast-changing media landscape. Local mental health therapist specializing in technology fixation and youth screen time use, Jocelyn Skillman, partners with nationally acclaimed Common Sense Media to deliver a comprehensive presentation addressing the biggest concerns parents of elementary and middle schoolers have: managing screen time, getting a cellphone, cyber bullying, social media, apps, and more. In this thought-provoking discussion parents will learn how to use media in balance as a family, find quality content, set expectations around healthy use to prevent conflict, and raise kids to be media savvy consumers and creators. (For Parents of K-8)
2. Help! My Teen is Dating. Real Solutions to Tough Conversations.
When: Monday Feb 27th, 7-8:00 pm
Where: Issaquah High School theater
The Issaquah Schools Foundation is providing funding for a parent education seminar around dating safety. Gain essential skills and strategies for addressing awkward and yet vitally important discussions with your child.
This interactive seminar is changing the way parents and their children are approaching, discussing, and handling decision-making regarding dating, intimacy, parties, and safety. In one hour, parents will discover essential steps for helping their sons and daughters with making safer choices. (Parents Only)
School-wide Pajama Day!!
The Grand Ridge Student Council would like to invite all students and staff to
join us on Friday, February 7th for a school-wide Pajama Day!
Feel free to wear your cozy pajamas, slippers (only for inside), and big smiles to school on Friday!
We look forward to sharing our school spirit with you!
Grand Ridge Student Council
February 5.....6:00, 5th Grade Spelling Bee
February 5.....6:00 - 7:00PM Parent Only Kindergarten Information Night, Grand Ridge Commons
February 6.....6:00PM, 5th Grade Concert
February 7.....Popcorn Friday
February 10-14....Letter Writing Week
February 10....Parent Wiser event: Plugged-In Parents
February 12...After School Movie - Ramona and Beezus
February 12....6:00 - 8:00, Family Engineering Night, Grand Ridge Commons
February 14....Box Top Deadline
February 17-21....Mid-Winter Break
February 24....Nomination Deadline for PTSA Awards
February 27......6:00PM Book Swap
February 28.....Grizzly Guys, 1:40 Second Recesses