Grand Ridge Elementary E-news

November 1, 2019

From the Principal

November 2019

Dear Grand Ridge Families:

Welcome to November! It is great to be here, as it continues to get more beautiful outside every day and the learning gets deeper and richer here at Grand Ridge! We have been able to celebrate Falloween as a community since I last wrote, and what a Grand Dance Party that was! It was wonderful to see so many families come together as a community to enjoy this PTSA-sponsored event. We also had our inaugural “Java with Jill” event, focusing on the topic of Inclusion, and while it was an intimate gathering, it was also one that built connections. PTSA will be looking at the timing of the upcoming “Java with Jill” event (January 2020!) so stay tuned!

Instructional Practices and Learning

The foundations have been laid and the next floor of learning is being built for your student/s. As I walk the hallways, greet students in the morning, pop in for a classroom visit or two, I see learning happening all over the place. Your students are being taught everything; from academics to social skills, from emotional resiliency to self-advocacy. Our Grand Ridge Staff is hard at work preparing your student/s for their futures! Keep reading for a few highlights:

· We have both a primary class and an intermediate class piloting one of our potentially new science curriculums. How exciting it is to be on that cutting edge of the latest instructional practice in the area of science education. We have had district staff here to visit and observe to see how the students are receiving the instruction and to talk with the teachers about the pros and the cons of the respective curricula. This is an exciting time for all!

· Social & Emotional Curriculum: All classes teacher our Second Step Curriculum and I had the honor of being in a 1st grade classroom the other day where the students were learning all about the character trait of Compassion. They were knocking my socks off with the depth of understanding and the vocabulary they were using to describe this term.

· We have a primary class and an intermediate class piloting co-teaching. Co-teaching falls under the bigger umbrella concept of Inclusion. Co-teaching is where a special education teacher and a general education teacher co-plan and then co-teach all students together. This is a learning year for us as we navigate how to make time for co-planning and how to best meet the needs of ALL students during this process. We look forward to expanding this concept to more classrooms in the future.

· Grizzly Gold! We have to have systems in place if we are going to have 725 students in our building and learning in all kinds of different spaces. We have common expectations for our common areas (be sure to check out the posters that are hanging throughout our building) and all Grand Ridge staff share in supporting these expectations for all students. Our students have demonstrated wonderful hallway behavior this year; staying to the right, Level 0 voice, eyes facing forward. This allows classes to transition quickly from one learning space to another so we can maximize our time together.

· Students from grades 1-5 are writing, writing, writing! And then they are sharing, sharing, sharing! I have had the absolutely joy of hearing several students share their writing and there are some accomplished authors in our midst. The use of rich language and the ability to paint a picture in a reader’s mind are just some of the ways that our writers are using their words to tell their story.

This is the month of Thanksgiving and I want to make sure that you all know just how thankful I am for the Grand Ridge community. Our students are truly GRAND and I am proud of the work they are doing. We could not do it without your support and we look forward to a continued strong partnership as the year marches along.

Until next month,

Jill Ravenscraft


Grand Ridge Elementary

Veteran's Day Assembly, Wednesday, November 6th at 9:30AM

If you are a Veteran and would like to attend our assembly, please email Erika Magnussen at for more information.

Site Council Representatives Needed!


Are you interested in being a Site Council Rep? We are looking for an Intermediate Parent Rep (this means you have a student in Grade 4 or 5) to serve on our Site Council for the 2019-2020 school year. We have 5 meetings/year (October, November, January, March and May) from 8:00-8:45 AM on a Tuesday morning. Calendar of dates will be provided to new member and can also be found on the Grand Ridge website.

If you are interested, please send me a paragraph explaining how you feel you could contribute to this council, made up of community members, PTSA members, other parents and staff members. We are a site-based collaborative team that works as a partnership to discuss issues that are timely in our community and in our school. We would LOVE to have you join our team. One rep will be chosen and all who apply will be notified of the decision.

Please have your submission completed and emailed by Monday, November 4th .

Thank you,

Jill Ravenscraft


Grand Ridge

From the Issaquah School District

THE VOICE MENTOR PROGRAM NEEDS YOU! Volunteers of Issaquah Changing Education (VOICE) is an in-school, volunteer mentoring program that pairs caring community members with Issaquah School District students. VOICE mentors work one-on-one with students throughout the school year. Some students may need academic help; others may need emotional support or a friend and role model. All benefit from a positive, supportive relationship with an adult role model. VOICE currently has 200+ students on the wait list. We need mentors! Can you help? Here's what’s involved:

  • Complete a screening process, including a mandatory, in-depth, pre-match training.
  • Time commitment of once/week (30–60 minutes) throughout the school year. Schedule and choice of school is flexible to accommodate mentor availability.
  • Optional supplemental trainings, plus support provided by your mentee’s school and the VOICE team.
  • Most importantly, develop a meaningful relationship with a young person and help them thrive.

“I have come to learn that I only need to be a caring human being who enjoys spending time with kids. These are relationships that enrich my life as much or maybe more than my mentees’ lives” ~ Recent quote from a long-time VOICE Mentor with 3 mentees.

If you would like to become a VOICE mentor, please APPLY HERE To learn more: Email View our VOICE Website Call us @ 425.827.7222.

Communicating with Teachers At ISD Elementary School Conferences​

November 6, 2019 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Sunset Elementary School

4229 West Lake Sammamish Parkway SE, Bellevue, WA 98008

Parent Teacher Conference is an important opportunity to discuss your child’s progress at school, discuss plans for the student’s future and find solutions to academic or behavioral concerns if needed. This event will provide some suggestions on how to make the most of the conference and provide you with some resources as you prepare for the conference. You will also have an opportunity to sign up or learn how to sign up for the conferences on December 4 and 5 on Family Access. All Issaquah School District elementary school families are invited to attend. Mandarin, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Russian and Japanese interpreters will be available. Contact Lorna Gilmour by Nov. 4th if you need an interpreter in another language.

Are you registered to vote? A quick way to check and register online for 11/5 Election
Ballots for the November 5 election are being mailed out to registered voters on October 18, 2019! Do you know if you are registered to vote? If you’ve recently moved or changed your name (or just haven’t voted in a while), you probably need to re-register to vote. And, because general elections usually happen only once a year, it’s understandable if you’re not totally clear on your voter status or if you remembered to update your registration after your last big life event. Even if you’re pretty sure you have, there’s no harm in taking a minute to double-check and there is an easy way to find out! Simply follow this link to the VoteWA website and enter your name and birthday. It will verify your status, and offer you the opportunity to update your information if need be. October 28 is the deadline to use the online registration, but you can still register in person up to November 5. All of the details are on the website! You can also find important details about the November 5, 2019 General Election at King County’s Election Website.

City of Sammamish Seeks Community Input on Transportation Master Plan

Do you have transportation issues you care about? Traffic got you down? Let’s talk traffic! Please register to share your voice and learn more about the Transportation Master Plan on Connect Sammamish! Connect Sammamish allows citizens to participate in polls, surveys, and ask questions directly to City staff. The Transportation Master Plan (TMP) is a 20-year strategic framework to help improve how you get around town. Please register to share your thoughts on the TMP! You can ask a question or participate in our mapping feature. You will also find more information about the TMP and learn more about other projects the City is working on.

Vision and Hearing Screening on November 4th

Vision and Hearing Screening Day for Grades 1,2,3 & 5
Coming up on Monday November 4th!

Washington State law requires that all students in Grades K-3, 5 and 7 have their vision and hearing screened annually. This is just a screening and families will be notified by the nurse if your student should require further testing.

Two important reminders from the School Nurse regarding screening day:

  1. If you want your student excluded from having their vision or hearing screened at school, please send an email (do not leave a voicemail) to by Thursday 10/29 clearly stating the screening that you want them to be excluded from.
  2. If your student wears glasses, corrective lenses or hearing aids, be sure that they are wearing them or bring them with them to their screening on Monday November 4th.

2019-20 State Testing Windows

2nd Grade Highly Capable Testing Windows:

CogAT/TTCT: January 14 - January 17, 2020

IOWA: March 10 - March 13, 2020

3rd - 5th Grade

Smarter Balanced - ELA and Math: March 2 - June 5, 2020

5th Grade Science: April 13 - June 5, 2020

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.

From the ISF

Cultural Bridges Magazine

The new Cultural Bridges magazine is available and can be viewed here:

Dining for Kids

Join us on November 6th at Chinoise Sushi Bar & Asian Grill in Issaquah Highlands and Dine for Kids! Our Dining for Kids restaurant partners generously guarantee a portion of the day’s proceeds as a donation to the Issaquah Schools Foundation that provides multiple forms of support to Issaquah School District students, including food aid. More information about Dining for Kids dates & locations can be found here:

Shop for a Cause

Join the Issaquah Schools Foundation at the Golf Club at Newcastle November 14th and get a jump on your Holiday shopping! $3 from each glassybaby and 20% of all Kendra Scott jewelry sales will be donated back to fund programs and resources for Issaquah School District students. Enjoy an evening on the Terrace (indoor) of the Calcutta Grill with friends, neighbors, and colleagues, and rally together to shop for a cause!