Beth Armitage's blog

Welcome back to school!

Happy New Year, Salmon Bay!!

School Closed for Winter Break!

School is closed for two weeks.  Have a wonderful break.  See you on January 3rd... 2012!!

So Close!!

We are so close to our Direct Giving goal! Only $700 to go.  We have until the end of the year.  Will you be the one to put us over the top?

Two Thursday 12/15 Events!

Middle School GEOGRAPHY BEE 1:00pm, Auditorium  If you have never had the sheer fun of watching the Salmon Bay Geography Bee—don’t miss it. 

FOSB (Friends of Salmon Bay) Parent Meeting Thursday 12/15/11 @7:30pm, Library See you there!

November 10, 2011 FOSB Meeting Minutes

11/10/11 7pm

Present: Suzanne Waller, Karine Dammer, Beth Armitage, Susan Motte, Caitlin Racey, Kelly Bryant, Andy Grow, Lance Adams, Jen Miller, Amy Stackhouse, Dorothy Jacobsen, Monica Porter, Barb Smith, Keith Mc Laren, Melanie Shelton, Karen Fossum, Lisa Dunn, Linda Clemon-Karp, Sophia Clemen-Karp, Andrea Robinson, A.J. Silva, Linda Kjarstad, Michelle Pearson, Bridget Goglia, Jane Davies, Katherine Ropp, Jodi Russell, Sarah Kopf

Introductions were given.

Election of new Directors: Linda Kjarstad, Michelle Pearson, and Bridget Goglia were unanimously voted in as new directors.

Treasurer’s Report

· Katherine Ropp, elementary treasurer, reported on the all school mini grant process.  The finance committee brought forth a list of grants to be recommended for funding. The committee reviewed the grants in two groups, elementary and middle school. The group collectively decided on the all school grant. Decision was reached by consensus within each group.

· A question was asked regarding applications that were not funded. There were some grants which were not recommended for funding. The committee did receive more requests than available funds, so not all applications could be funded. Examples were given. If individuals would like additional details or have questions, they can contact Katherine Ropp.

·  A motion was made to fund mini-grants as selected by the finance committee. Motion passed.

(Note: A list of funded mini-grants are attached below)

· Direct Giving Update  (Report from Kate Banta Green)

· $7235 in pledges to date, 40 donors, and median gift is $100.

 Secretary’s Report: minutes were not posted due to technical difficulties. Please accept our apologies. We do place a high priority on getting the minute notes posted but it was not possible in the transition between outgoing and incoming secretaries.

Principal’s Report:

· District Capacity committee: Jodee is member of this committee. The district is currently discussing which projections to use regarding enrollment. The district is growing.

· Jodee has communicated to the district that we will already be increasing capacity next year (as part of our planned expansion) without the use of portables. The early capacity management draft did show 3 portable classrooms to be placed at Salmon bay.  Jodee has worked to update our correct capacity information with the district and shared that portables would be problematic at our site because of the already planned playground project.

· Math: a parent asked about testing (map, msp) and commented that she was surprised that there was testing at Salmon Bay. Given that it was an “Alternative School”, she was surprised to hear this. She would like to know about “opting out”, how does one do that? And does it hurt the school, or the child in any way to opt out?  Jodee answered that anyone can opt out at any time. It needs to be done in writing to Jodee and the child’s’ teacher. 

· Teachers are working to track math curriculum. They turn in calendars each month tracking math instruction, what was taught and which specific curriculum used.  

· Math committee: Received seed money from the mini-grant process ($250) to have family math nights and help to develop a math culture in the student body and in families.

· Concern has been expressed regarding intermediate grade level math scores. The Building Leadership Team has developed Literacy and Math goals in Elementary School and Middle School. Copies of goals and strategies planned to achieve these goals are on the district website (Continuous School Improvement Plans).

· Jodee requested that Beth put links to OSPI grade standards and SB’s CSIP on the Salmon Bay website (note: CSIP is at and OSPI at

8th grade project discussion

Jodee shared that after much discussion, staff has decided to not make the 8th grade project mandatory this school year. Letters were sent to the middle school families discussing the decision. The plan is to revise the 8th grade project and bring it back next year in a more manageable format. The project will still continue, but will be voluntary.

Many parents spoke of their disappointment and frustration regarding this curriculum change.  A teacher also spoke about the fact that this project was not successful for all students and negatively impacted some individuals.  General comments and thoughts shared include:

· Parents spoke of being very upset, saddened and disappointed by the news of this change. Parents also spoke of being caught off guard by this news. Several individuals expressed that the communication should have been handled differently.

· Some parents asked that the decision be reconsidered. Parents offered to help and recruit others to support the project if that would allow it to move forward. 

· A student shared that there wasn’t a strong reason to complete the project due to lack of recognition or reward.  If a student completes all the work, perhaps some type of credit or recognition should be given.

· A parent expressed concern that the kids that really need the skills are not going to choose it as an option. These students won’t be as prepared for high school.

· A parent addressed this particular class and shared the impression that things have been watered down for this class.  This class also missed the 6th grade historical project.

· It was pointed out by that the 8th grade project is difficult for some students. Students are at a disadvantage when they don’t have the skills to conduct a research project, do not have access to the Internet, and do not have parents that can help them.  A second parent agreed that the 8th grade project “is a very uneven experience”.  Without appropriate resources (support at home, internet access etc.), students cannot be successful.

· Concern was expressed that the project is punitive.  If students did not complete the research project last year, they were not allowed to go to 8th grade camp (another important part of the Salmon Bay experience).

· It was pointed out that while there is disappointment that changes were made to the project, a good plan is in place for the optional form of the 8th grade project and students are able to participate.

· A teacher shared that behind the scenes, teachers are talking about how they can help give the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders the skills they need and ensure that skill development in embedded within the curriculum. Research skills can be taught in all three years of middle school.

· Jodee summarized by saying that ideally the skills are built into the curriculum and that the goal is a comprehensive project - based curriculum in all three years.  A meeting will be held to give more information to students wishing to complete the 8th grade project this year. Jodee has also responded to all parents who have contacted her with concerns and will continue to talk with parents regarding this change.

Volunteer coordinator's report:

· A Dec. 2nd  Salmon Feed is planned. Ocean Beauty is donating the salmon, Starbucks is donating coffee. (Note: this event has since been postponed).

· Starbucks (located in Fred Meyer) is hoping to partner with Salmon Bay. A question was asked about the decision to partner with specific companies. A concern was raised about this being too “commercial.” We do have policies to address these types of donations.  Please email Megan or Caitlin if you have opinions or questions.

Alternative Schools Coalition Report

· Following the last meeting, Jodee Reed suggested a “wait and see” approach. There are a lot of questions that remain to be answered. 

· Another thought would be to make our own statement about who we are and what we believe.

· One school has applied to the state to be an Innovation School.

· Michelle Pearson, member of our Alt. Ed committee, shared: My understanding is that it would give “Operational Assurances for Hiring, Curriculum, and Assessment.

· Another parent shared thoughts on negotiating waivers from teachers… if they work in Innovation schools, they might have flexibility in what they teach.  Talked about Innovation Schools at legislative level.

· It is important to watch the budget: 2 billion is being cut. Calling for 10% cuts across the state. Some of what this means is:

   1. Eliminate busing

   2. Cut early learning program

   3. Cut full day K

· November 28th start of special sessions in Legislature.

· 3 Community meetings: Nov. 14, 15, 16, See the district website for details.

Emergency Preparedness Report

· Our school has an emergency plan. It is very important for both parents and teachers to understand this plan. Parents need to understand that policies regarding pick-up of students will be different following a disaster….parents will not be able to immediately rush to school and pick-up their student(s). Different check out procedures will be in place.

· If you notice the safety shed is open, please let staff know. There is money earmarked in the budget for emergency supplies. The Emergency Preparedness committee is working on a plan to update supplies as quickly as possible. We want to be supplied with everything that is needed to stay in the classroom for 24 hours.

Fundraising reports

· Auction there is an orange poster with jobs listed on wall outside of volunteer Coordinator’s office. Please sign up.

· UW bookstore Saturday, Sunday, and Monday November 18 to 21st. You can buy online.  Just choose Salmon Bay School and 25% of all proceeds this weekend go to SB. The teachers will have wish lists.  You can buy books your child’s teacher wants for the classroom.

Meeting adjourned. Submitted by Linda Kjarstad 12/12/11


2011 Funded Mini Grants

October 20, 2011 FOSB Minutes

Attendees: Jodi Russell, Sarah Kopf, Suzanne Waller, Kim Penfold, Caitlin Racey, Maria Kelley, Amy Stackhouse, Hillary Leonard, A.J. Silva, Michelle Pearson, Beth Armitage, Mary Torcaso, Andrea Heatherly, Katherine Ropp, David Sommerville, Linda Kjarstad, Megan Ratcliffe, Dave Middleton, Nicolette Jensen, Susan Motte, Kelly Bryant, Robin Lofstrom, Jen Millen, Melanie Shelton, Caleb Banta-Green


Introductions were given.



There was an envelope stuffing party for the direct giving campaign prior to the meeting. Thank you to everyone who helped.

FOSB elects directors two times each year during our May and November meetings. Individuals wishing to be elected directors at the November meeting should contact either Jodi or Sarah.



Hillary Leonard, Communications Committee Chair, passed out sticky notes to record ideas that the communications committee might want to focus on. She is open to any suggestions. Individuals may also contact Hillary directly.


Secretary's Report:

September minutes were approved.


Principal's Report:

Jodee Reed is sick. No principal report was given. 


BLT (Building Leadership Team) Report. 

·      A brief overview of the BLT was given. We have two parent representatives, Susan Motte and Beth Armitage. The remaining team members are staff/teachers.

·      A brief discussion of the CSIP goals was held. Jodee will be able to provide additional information at the next meeting.

·      Jodee is working with the teachers to analyze test scores, particularly math which has a lot of variability. They are working to determine if the variability is partly due to individual scores and what other causes may exist. Jodee has asked teachers to track what they are teaching and which curriculums they are using.

·       BLT chose to do MAP testing only 2 times this year.  New students to Salmon Bay will take the MAP test this fall; all other students will use their spring scores as the beginning baseline for this year.  MAP testing will resume in the winter and spring.  


Guest Speaker—Emergency Preparedness

JoAnn Jordan, Public Education Coordinator from the Seattle Office of Emergency Management, spoke on emergency preparedness. She presented information about what individuals should do during an emergency as well as an overview of school responsibilities. It is important to share information with parents so they know what to expect in an emergency. For example, different procedures will be in place for picking up students. 


Our Emergency Preparedness Committee will be meeting soon to continue working on updating our school emergency supplies. Many things are outdated. The initial focus will be on updating a “bucket” for each room and ensuring adequate water supply. If you are interested in joining the committee please contact Keith or Sarah.


Treasurer’s Report

Katherine Ropp, elementary treasurer, presented a recommended school grant process.

·       The finance committee created the application and guidelines which were distributed. There are three grants to be awarded: $4000 for elementary, $4000 for middle school and $5000 for all school projects. All teachers, staff and parents are welcome to apply. The due date is Wednesday, November 2nd.

·       A concern was raised that the quick deadline may be difficult for some teachers. Everyone agreed it was a short turnaround but that the committee wanted to distribute funds quickly. The deadline was also set to coincide with the upcoming FOSB meeting schedule so funds could be distributed quickly (this fall).  An evaluation will be held following the grant process so we can capture feedback to incorporate into any future school grant awards.

·       Motion to approve the grant application and process and distribution to teachers, and parents as well. Motion passed.

David provided a brief overall budget report. There is very little happening and everything is as expected. We have generated $2,000 income in the beginning of the year. We have a planned income of $123,000 expected this year. We have approximately $50,000 in the bank to cover our expenses until our major fundraisers, the direct giving campaign and our school auction, bring in more income.


Volunteer Coordinator’s Report

We may need to clarify with teachers how to access money. We are drawing income from several pots, budget line items, enrichment and mini grants.

Next Thursday Caitlin is having a party to give out auction tasks.  She has all the volunteers she needs for dance.

Please attend and volunteer at the Lets Play Salmon Bay event on Saturday.

Alternative Schools Coalition

Caleb has started a Google group. Send your email to Caleb is you want to join.  Zara shared information about state legislation regarding innovation schools. There will also be an application process in January and we will need to make a decision on whether to apply or not.


Playground Committee

Let’s Play Salmon Bay will be held on Saturday. Please join us! Thanks to all the volunteers who are helping. Every participant earns matching funds for our grant.


The next FOSB meeting will be held on November 10th.


Meeting Adjourned.  Submitted by Linda Kjarstad 12/13/11

2011 FOSB Mini-Grants

FOSB Mini Grants Awarded at November 2011 FOSB Meeting

AS Math Committee $250
AS Finding Kind Movie $250
AS Stage Curtains $2500
AS Emergency Supplies $2500
  Total $4000
ES Reading Subscription $599
ES Kindergarten Expansion $1000
ES Anti Bullying Curriculum $1300
ES Making History Project $800
ES Rug and Ball Chairs – 4th grade $300
  Total $3999
MS Japanese Class Supplies $650
MS CD player and audiobooks $443
MS Aloha Program $400
MS Ancient Civ. Books $586
MS 7th-8th novel unit $750
MS Spanish Class Supplies $300
MS Instant Audiobooks Library $251
MS Ipods for audiobooks $160
MS 32 headphones $460
  Total $4000

Salmon Bay grants-- Thank you to the community!

Last year some of the money given to Salmon Bay through Direct Giving or the school auction was used to fund grants.  You can see the results of this grant process around the school.  Among them are:

  • New stage curtains!  They are gorgeous!
  • Support for showing Finding Kind, as well as a school bullying curriculum
  • Classroom emergency supplies
  • Class supplies for Japanese class, Spanish Class, Making History Project, 7/8th grade novel project, kindergarten expansion, reading program
  • Technology projects: earphones, ipods for audiobooks, audio book library

Thank you to the generous Salmon Bay community!

Tonight is the Night! It's Opening Night For Tom Sawyer!!

Tom Sawyer– the second all school play performance that we have ever had.  Come enjoy the youngest to the oldest in the classic Twain tale.  Performances are at standing room only for Fri and Sat.  Thursday night is a good option for a seat.

Alt School Meeting re: the District's new "Creative Approach" schools: Thursday 12/8 @ TOPS 6:30pm

Thursday night, 12/8 at 6:30 PM, TOPS K-8 is hosting an opportunity to discuss the innovation school/creative approach school application process and how it will affect alternative schools in Seattle.  Caleb Banta Green, SB parent and co chair of the Alternative Schools Coalition, has worked hard to foster the discussion of what this application process will mean for our future and the future of alternative schools in Seattle.  Contact Caleb Banta-Green for info. 

Syndicate content