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    School Closure Update by Principal Schwentor
    Posted on 05/11/2020

    School Closure Week 9 Updates/Information

    Falcon Families,

    I hope you all were able to enjoy time this weekend in the sun and celebrate our moms! I was able to have a Mother’s Day lunch with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law yesterday. We started a tradition about 3-4 years ago where the moms, just the moms, have a quiet lunch together. However, this year COVID-19 presented a few challenges. Because my mother-in-law is in the highest risk category, I haven’t physically seen her in almost 8 weeks. She doesn’t go out in the community, except for short walks, and our favorite restaurant is closed for dine-in. So, we coordinated a lunch at her house, I picked up our favorites from Tutta Bella, we maintained the appropriate amount of social distancing, there was lots of hand sanitizing, and we were able to eat and talk (uninterrupted) for a couple hours. It was lovely.

    Dinner with my co-workers was a tad bit different, yet still lovely. They are the reason I am a mom…sometimes a frazzled and frustrated one, and still a mom. Parenting is the hardest "job" I have ever had and definitely the most rewarding.

    This last week we distributed more laptops to our middle school students and continue to provide support to get families connected to Schoology, the internet and online learning. Our teachers to continue to adjust small group sessions in order to see more students, as well as creating more space for students to connect with each other. We continue to work through changes, challenges, and assist families with issues and concerns. Please continue to reach out to your students’ teachers, Ms. LaRosa or me.

    New information will be italicized below.

    TOPS Spring Auction:

    Hello Falcon Families!
    As most of you may already know, our annual Spring Auction, Cabaret, will be an online event this year with bid items posted starting May 21st and donations opening May 13th! We hope to raise as much money as we did last year, and we need your help to meet our goal of $120,000. Auction proceeds provide significant funding to critical school programs like art, music, and PE---just to name a few!

    In the next week or so, we will share the link to the Online Auction Site where you will bid on, donate via our virtual "Raise the Paddle", and purchase items like the ever popular orthodontia package, weekend getaways, and more! You can use this link to register ahead of time and take a look at items that will be available. We have lots of fun items and experiences to bid on that will become available over the course of the Online Auction. Many of these fun items and experiences were generously donated by current and past families from our TOPS community and businesses in the Seattle area that support our school. We are also delighted to share that we do have some teacher experience packages for the students!

    We understand this is a challenging time for our community and the world and many of us may be struggling. We are hopeful that through a successful auction we will be better positioned to provide direct support to the TOPS community as we navigate an uncertain future. We also sincerely wish we could all gather as we have for years to celebrate TOPS and show our support in fellowship. While that is not possible this year, we are hopeful that next year we'll be able to come together again. In that same spirit of community, we hope that you will and encourage you to support and patronize businesses that are supporting our school during these hard times.

    We look forward to a banner year for this Online Auction and thank you all for your continued support of the TOPS community! A big thank you to all those ticket holders who offered their "tickets" as donations. Every donation, big or small, counts!

    If you have any questions please contact our Auction Co-chairs, Trevor Lalish-Menagh and Erin King at and

    Thank you!
    Your Online Auction Committee

    TOPS 2020 Talent Show - Friday May 15th

    • Just record your performance using your camera or phone, make a video, and submit to by Tuesday, May 12th.
    • Your video should be less than 4 minutes and students will need to introduce themselves in the beginning of the video with name, grade, and what they are performing.
    • All videos submitted will be reviewed and then posted to TOPS 2020 Talent Show YouTube channel on Friday, May 15th, an email will be sent when the videos are published to the channel. Default privacy setting on videos will be "public and unlisted" (meaning you can only access with a direct URL and will not be in public search result) unless families requested to change it to "private".
    • Have Fun TOPS! Can't wait to see all your talents! Questions? Email Stacy and Chris

    Tutoring Resources:

    The resources below are from former TOPS families and/or Seattle Public School students.
    • Learn in Shelter Tutoring Resources:
    • “Together Tutoring”. It provides free 30-minute virtual tutoring sessions to Seattle Public School students. Many of the tutors are college students from schools such as Stanford, Cal Poly, and Loyola Marymount University.


    Link to SPS At Home Learning Resources Elementary Page:

    This resource includes links to all the SPS lessons on SPS TV as well as downloadable packets for students and families. If you are in search of additional lessons, this is a great resource for parents. SPS At Home Learning

    Teacher Appreciation Week:

    Was a hit! Here is a link to the video put together by TOPS families/students and sent to TOPS staff.
    Some quotes from our staff:
    • “Wow, that was wonderful”
    • “That was so special! I miss seeing all those faces.”
    • “Such a great video.”
    • “That was so beautiful, it made me cry! THANKS TO ALL FOR PUTTING THIS TOGETHER. It definitely makes it all worthwhile.”
    • “Delightful! Thank you students & families!”
    • “How very lovely.”



    Sessions are run by Nick Schirmer and are listed below for this week:
    10-11 am on Friday, May 15th

    Elementary Trimester 2 Progress Reports:

    Will be available in the Source on May 14th, 2020. The Source is an online platform where families access their student’s daily attendance, assessment scores, elementary progress reports, and secondary student grades. Please see the letter sent by Seattle Public Schools for additional information.

    TOPS Middle School Grades:

    Seattle Public Schools has announced that middle school grades for fourth quarter will be pass/fail. Standards-based assessment and feedback from teachers is an integral part of learning. TOPS middle school teachers will continue to provide this important feedback for assignments and publish these grades onto the Source. We want students and families to see the work being submitted, evidence of moving forward towards grade-level expectations, and preparedness for the next grade. Grades in the Source will be updated regularly and accessible through the end of the school year. As educators, we feel that it is important to hold students accountable, provide feedback for continued growth and communicate with their parents about their progress consistently in order to encourage a healthy work ethic.

    TECHNOLOGY for Remote Learning Support:

    • Elementary:
    o Phone number to call for support: 206-413-2700
    o Email:
    o Chromebook Instructions: 2020_ChromebookInstructions_translations.pdf
    o Tech Support Flyer 2020_TechSupport_Flyer.pdf
    o Parental Link Support Article:
    Middle school laptops Phase 2 distribution is complete. Middle school laptops will continue to be available. Please contact Jill Biondolillo ( if you would like to pick up a laptop on Fridays.

    SEL Messaging from Kathy Hanson:

    Letter to Families from Kathy Hanson 5-8-2020


    Additional Resources for you and your family sent by TOPS Staff

    (These links and more can ALL be found on your elementary student’s Schoology page under the courses of PE, Library, and Art.):
    • PE Video from Don and Eric (Flexibility):
    • Read Aloud from Nick Schirmer, Leave Me Alone
    Pirate’s Perfect Pet:
    • Link to Student Art at Home:
    • K-5 Drama Schoology Page can be found in Nick Schirmer’s Library Course on Schoology

    Family/Student Access to buildings:

    I’ve had several questions about students gathering materials/items they left at school when we left abruptly in the middle of March. At some point in June, families/students will be given access to TOPS to gather materials left. When I have the confirmed timing of this, I will communicate with families.

    Right Now Needs Funds:

    We have access to additional funds to support families. Please contact me, Alex LaRosa, or Kathy Hanson.

    Get Involved with Site Council:

    Greetings TOPS Community! Are you interested in being part of the team of community members that help to budget for, plan and lead programs, events and activities for our school community? If so-please consider running for an open position on Site Council for 2020-2021. Meetings are typically the second Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7:00pm. Recently we have been holding them virtually via Zoom. When school is open we have them in the TOPS library. Please see the list below of open positions and let me know if you have any questions about the time commitment, roles or responsibilities. Please consider adding your time and talents to this group of TOPS community members! Please email me, Amy Astle-Raaen, Site Council Secretary, at with any questions. You can also reach out to your current grade band representative as well.

    Open seats for the next academic year:
    • Kindergarten-(Current representative Trevor Menagh- If you have an older child at TOPS and a younger sibling coming into Kindergarten next year this is a great position for you!)
    • 3rd grade- (Current representative Amy Astle-Raaen)
    • 4th grade- (Current representative Ted MacGovern)
    • 5th grade-(Current representative-Michael Saffitz)
    • 6th grade- (Current representative Ian Dickson)
    • 8th grade-(Current representative Tina Shereen)
    • Parents of Color Caucus Representative-(Please reach out to Teri Gaines for more information.)

    Open Leadership Positions:
    • Site Council Chairperson
    • Site Council Treasurer
    • Site Council Communications Chairperson

    Video of the week: 

     Working at home starring Jimmy Fallon:

    Don't forget to check out the TOPS website ( for more events, timelines, etc...  
    Stay home, stay healthy, be safe.