Seattle Schools in the News

 From SPS Communications:
Seattle Public Schools will be asking staff, students, families for feedback on schools through an annual phone and email survey. Questions will include topics such as effective communication and school safety.
The District will email or call all families the week of Jan. 13 and do a second round the week of Jan. 20. The calls and e-mails will be in the home-language spoken.  The family survey on our schools will be administered through School Messenger.

The student and staff survey are paper based and will occur between Jan. 6 and 17. 

We appreciate your participation in this year’s family survey. If you have any questions please email

Fifth-graders at Thornton Creek have joined the discussion on the new Seattle game show, "What's Up with Bertha?"  (If you missed it, Bertha is the world's largest tunneling machine that is now stuck under the Viaduct. Why?  No one knows or, if they do, are revealing the answer.)

From the Times:
When Bertha, the world’s largest tunneling machine, got stuck a few weeks ago, a fifth-grade teacher at Seattle’s Thornton Creek Elementary seized the chance for his students to play history detective.

“They had just learned about the Great Seattle Fire when Bertha got stuck under the Seattle Waterfront,” said Todd Bohannon, and suddenly they had a mystery that made their study of state history immediately relevant:  what was blocking Bertha’s path?

Some ideas from the students?  A downed flying saucer (no),  a haunted boat, rail cars, melted railroad tracks, a boat (plausible because a boat did crash and sink there in 1918) or a boulder deposited by a glacier.

Also from SPS Communications:

In January, Seattle Public Schools will be hosting six College Goal Washington events. 

College Goal Washington is a series of statewide events that provide free information and assistance to students and families who are applying for financial aid for post secondary education by helping them complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Financial aid experts and trained volunteers will be at each event to walk students through the FAFSA process.
The FAFSA is an essential first step in accessing college financial aid. It is required for most scholarships, grants and loans.

College Bound Scholarship seniors must complete their FAFSA by Feb. 1 in order to meet the priority funding date.

College Goal Sunday dates and locations are listed below:
• Thursday, Jan. 9 (6-7:30 p.m.) at Chief Sealth International High School
• Monday, Jan. 13 (2:30-6 p.m.) at Franklin High School
• Thursday, Jan. 16 (2:30-6 p.m.) at Cleveland High School
• Wednesday, Jan. 22 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) at Roosevelt High School
• Wednesday, Jan. 22 (5-8 p.m. at Rainier Beach High School
• Thursday, Jan. 23 (6-7:30 p.m.) at West Seattle High School

The Seattle Public Libraries will also be hosting three College Goal Washington events at the following locations:
• Saturday, Jan. 11 (10 a.m. to 1  SPL Lake City Branch
• Saturday, Jan. 25 (2-6  SPL Rainier Beach Branch
• Saturday, Feb. 1 (1-6  SPL West Seattle Branch 
The library events are open to all SPS students. For additional details and a list of the things students and parents need when completing the FAFSA visit

Ballard High School's Video Production program continues its excellence.  This is a great example of a small program growing into something really big.  Kudos to the Ballard staff, especially teacher/program creator, Matt Lawrence, for their hard-work and good job kids.

From the Times, comes a story about the "Ballard touch."  Meaning, a fully-realized story with structure (and not just random video edited together).  

"You're never going to see a Ballard movie without story structure, " said Issiah Hoban Halvorsen, a fresheman at NYU who recieved a $186,000 four-year scholarship based in part on the portfolio of work he produced at Ballard.

Want to see some of this award-winning work?  You're in luck because in Feb. student videos will be shown at screenings at Ballard High on Feb. 8th and Feb. 13th at 7 p.m.  Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults to benefit the program. 


Anonymous said…
I signed the move-on petition about later start times a while back, and just got this email about it: Hello SSL-Seattle supporters

In December, Seattle Public School administrators indicated that they need the School Board to vote that assessment of starting secondary schools later is a priority or no further work will be done.

Please write to School Board members ASAP to urge a yes vote on making assessment of changing start times a priority and voice your support of later start times for secondary school to be implemented in fall 2014.

Their address is They will be voting on this at a January board meeting.

Please invite your friends, family, and coworkers to also add their voice to ensure that the process we have begun is not stopped in its tracks.

Signed: Please start later!

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