Dear Brookside Families:
As you may have seen or heard in the media, the District is attempting to resolve a persistent problem with beaver dams in the creek next to the school.
The traps are being removed from the area. The District will be researching viable approaches to manage this situation. We appreciate community support and insights we have received this week.
This is my final Principal’s Message for the 2014-2015 school year. It has been a great year with lots of changes! Rather than curtail my thoughts, I decided to compose a much longer message…you do have the whole summer to read it.
We continued our shift into teaching the Common Core State Standards this year. I’ve been very impressed with they ways our teacher teams have really rolled up their sleeves and dived in to this new curriculum. In support of this work, Shoreline Public Schools has adopted a new set of curriculum resources for K-5 English Language Arts (Grade 6 had new resources this year). This decision was made after careful consideration by District and school staff as teachers piloted different programs over the past two years. Teacher trainings connected to these will be done during our teacher in-service days before the kids return.
State testing changed to the Smarter Balanced Assessment (or SBA). Before testing began, there was much doom & gloom around the new test and the general anticipation of much lower scores than previous state testing in Washington. Our scores are beginning to trickle back to us now. The only grade-level to fully post has been 3 rd grade. Although some students may have scored lower than they would on the MSP (the previous test), Brookside’s scores have been generally on par with other schools in Shoreline and considerably higher than Washington averages. I will provide more information to you on this in the fall when I have the full picture. A huge thank you goes out from our teachers and me to our testing coordinator, resource room teacher Jessica Bengston, for her patience and effective guidance to staff as we navigated this new tool and the technological infrastructure supporting it.
You should know that your child goes to a great school. One of the prime reasons for Brookside’s success is our strong staff of teachers and paraeducators. Unfortunately, six of our great staff members will not be returning next year. You may have already heard that Sandy Sanders and Laura Campbell both decided to retire this year after long and successful careers serving the students of Brookside and other schools in Shoreline. They each look forward to embracing their roles as grandparents and having retirement adventures with their spouses. Shoreline is in the second year of consolidating its self-contained Intensive Learning Supports program into Echo Lake Elementary School. Because of this, Angela Burke and Dona Williams will join the Echo Lake team for next school year. They have done such great work with their students and have decided to make the move as a team. Their students will remain at Brookside working with Therese Russell and Debbie Gowey until they complete 6 th grade. Sherry Shellman has done a variety of work at Brookside over the last seven years including 1-to-1 and small group assistance as well as student supervision. She will be joining the staff at Parkwood as they have more work hours to provide her schedule. Elizabeth Cox will also not be rejoining the Brookside team in fall 2015. Mrs. Cox has been an integral member of the 2 nd grade team and has done great work with her students since she joined Brookside in the 2013-2014 school year. However, she has decided to pursue other passions and interests that will take her out of the classroom. I feel honored to have worked with all five of these great educators in their final year at Brookside and we wish them each the best in their future pursuits.
Staff change over time is a feature of any elementary school. Although we are sad to see great teachers leave, this also provides opportunities for us to welcome other fabulous teachers into our family. We are very pleased to have Kim Stockamp return to Brookside for the 2015-2016 school year as a member of our Kindergarten team. Mrs. Stockamp began her career here then took a position on the Kindergarten team at Lake Forest Park elementary for the past several years and we are very excited to welcome her back. This leaves two open positions that I am currently working to fill. I did a great deal of paper screening that culminated into screening interviews at the end of last week. We will conduct our second round interviews this evening. I’ve been quite impressed with the quality of candidates seeking to join Brookside and know that we will find teachers who will do great work with our students.
Brookside is the fourth elementary school where I’ve worked. Each of them had their own character and assets. There are so many things that occur behind the scenes to make this school function in such a seamless way and allow Brookside teachers and paraeducators to focus on their work with students. This happens because of Brookside’s superb office staff that work in so many ways to serve our children and families including: Christy Gallotte (office manager), Corliss Liekkio (registrar), Elsie Mills (nurse), Kelly Akemann (family advocate), Theresa Hanson (Speech Language Pathologist) and Karen Greep (psychologist). Any school administrator will tell you that strong custodial support is essential; Brookside is blessed with the strong work ethic of our custodians Ranee Gigrich and Dan Wong who do so many things behind the scenes to keep our school safe and clean.
As I bring this message to a close, I want to be sure that you know how much our staff appreciate YOUR work with your kids and support for our school. Our students’ success is propelled to new heights because of your day-to-day work of parenting including things like ensuring homework completion, daily reading, and getting a good night’s sleep. The Brookside staff feels incredibly supported (perhaps “loved” is a more apt description) by our PTA. It has been great to work with the PTA under the leadership of Isabel Sanden who is stepping down as president this year. She has done great work on behalf of your children and passes the reins to her co-president this year, Anthea Vining. Thank you Isabel for helping make this a smooth transition for me this year. I am glad to have joined such a strong school community and look forward to our second year together as we work to build on Brookside’s success.
Have a Fun & Relaxing Summer!
Brookside Nepal Relief
In early May, you may recall reading that our students in Rooms 103, 104, &
105 desired to raise funds for their pen pals in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Thankfully, those children were not harmed in the recent earthquake;
however, their community is in a time of great need due to the devastation.
After a month of fundraising led by our second grade students and teachers,
we now have $933.96 to donate to the Red Cross for disaster relief in Nepal!
Thank you so much all of you who gave as well as to our students, staff, and
parents/guardians who helped coordinate this great accomplishment.
Bus Stop Conduct
I recently received a report from a concerned community member indicating
unsafe behavior among some of our students (and their younger siblings)
while waiting for the school bus. Our buses and their riders share the road
with many commuters and community members in the morning. Please
remind your children that all traffic and pedestrian safety rules are still in
effect when they wait for the bus; students should not enter the roadway or
block driveways. If you wait with your child, please be sure to help her/him
engage with other riders in safe ways as they await their ride to school.
Music Performance This Friday
Brookside’s fifth and sixth grader musicians will perform during the school
day this Friday so that all of our students may enjoy their musical
accomplishments. Our assembly will be on June 5th at 2:35 PM. Thank you
to Bob Phillips and John Ames for your great work with our budding musicians.
Thank you for our continued support,
Brookside Carnival Success!
I hope that you had an opportunity to join us at our annual carnival. It was really a great time with so many fun games and things to do. If you came early, you may have even seen a rather wet principal in the dunk tank! Thank you so much to staff and volunteers for making this event a great success for our Camp Orkila fundraising, including the superb event coordination of Josh Furman and Ellyn Saunders.
Alice In Wonderland – A Wonderful Musical!
I had the great pleasure of seeing the Saturday performance of The Amazing Ever-Changing Alice in Wonderland and must say that I was quite impressed with all aspects of the show directed by Melani Lyons and Rob Jones. It is wonderful to see so many of our students participating in such a high quality production on the Shorecrest stage. Thank you to our hard-working performers, Dandylyon Drama staff, and all of the many volunteers that made this production possible.A
Great Evening of Music…and a 2nd Round Coming!
Brookside fifth and sixth graders recently showcased their ever-growing instrumental skills at a concert on May 13th. Unfortunately, I was not able to be at this event, but I’ve been told that it was very well attended by many proud grown-ups who were very impressed with how their children sound playing together. Fortunately, our musicians perform again on June 5th at 2:35 PM so that I and all of our students may enjoy their schoolmate’s work. Thank you to Bob Phillips and John Ames for your great work with our budding musicians.
Thank you for your continued support,