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    Strong Start Week

    Falcon Families,

    Whew! Thank you for your patience and flexibility on Friday.  We were excited and amazed with the attendance of our students! Thank you for a great start (with tech bumps and hiccups)! We received emails and calls for tech support to help get students logged into their computers and access to teacher classrooms via ZOOM links. Please double check the emails I sent on Thursday for ZOOM links to teacher online classrooms. Middle School students start with their 2nd period electives tomorrow. Check the email with the links. All middle school students were sent the same email as parents and should have the links in their school district email accounts. 

    The BELL SCHEDULE starting September 14th (not this week) is linked here from the TOPS Website.


    Tuesday, Sept 8th

    Wed, Sept 9th

    Thurs, Sept 10th

    Friday, Sept 11th

    Strong Start grades K-8, 8:30-10:30 am

    Grades 3-8 can still pick up laptops, 9am-3 pm, Courtyard

    Family Connections 1:30-3:30 pm

    Tech Support with Nick, 2-3:30 pm

    Strong Start grades K-8, 8:30-10:30 am

    Grades 3-8 can still pick up laptops, 9am-3 pm, Courtyard

    Family Connections 1:30-3:30 pm

    Tech Support with Nick, 2-3:30 pm

    Strong Start grades K-8, 8:30-10:30 am

    K-2 iPad distribution with times TBD. Look for additional email.

    Family Connections 1:30-3:30 pm

    Tech Support with Nick, 2-3:30 pm

    Strong Start grades K-8, 8:30-10:30 am

    Grades 3-8 can still pick up laptops, 9am-3 pm, Courtyard

    Family Connections 1:30-3:30 pm

    Tech Support with Nick, 2-3:30 pm


    Update Steps for Student SPS Devices

    Please do the following this weekend to support your student:

    1. Plug your device into power
    2. Turn it on
    3. Connect to the internet
    4. Restart it and have your student log in
    5. Leave it on for an hour or two to receive new software updates before logging off

    It would be ideal if you could do this at least once over the weekend and also start it up as early as possible before school starts on Tuesday.

    Downloading ZOOM to desktop:

    • From the START menu (little waffle icon on the bottom left) click on Software Center. This is where SPS approved apps are. Click ZOOM to install. 
    • Once installed click to open. Click the SETTINGS icon menu in the upper right corner. Choose VIDEO which is the second option. Choose INTEGRATED WEBCAM from the first drop down menu. 

    Learning Management Systems:

    • K-5 will utilize Seesaw. (
    • 6-8 will utilize Schoology.
    • We will be working with staff, students and parents to provide tutorials and on-going support.

    What is Seesaw?

    Seesaw is an online portfolio platform adopted for PreK-5th grade for student engagement. With this online tool, SPS teachers can empower students to create, reflect, share, and collaborate using photos, creating videos, drawing text, posting PDFs, and adding links. Seesaw brings teachers, students, and families together in a learning loop to deepen student learning.

    Students access Seesaw through the Student Portal (Clever) See notes below.

    Logging into Clever and getting into other apps:

    1. Start at the SPS website > Students (tab at the top) > Student Portal 
    2. Clever opens and I opened Clever by clicking on OPEN WITH ACTICE DIRECTORY
    3. Clever opens to show Web Apps.
    4. Clicked on Seesaw to open. 
    5. Select other apps as appropriate. Students can log onto directly into Schoology and the Source from Clever.  The Source will require students to enter their username and password.  Schoology does not.

    Student Usernames and Passwords:

    • Usernames:  When logging onto a district computer the username is the number “1” “first initial” “middle initial” “last name” (ex: 1alschwentor).  Troubleshooting:  sometimes the username requires the at the end but typically NOT if you are logging in from an SPS computer.
    • Passwords
      • Grades K-4: birth month and day (April 10th would be 0410)
      • Grades 5-8: birth month, day and year (04102009) UNLESS your child in grades 6-8 changed their password. 

    Tech Support with Nick Schirmer:


    • We had an amazing turnout for laptop pick up.  Over 80% of our students in grades 3-8 have a district supported laptop. 
    • We are contacting families this week who have not picked up a laptop.
    • Families opting to use their own devices must sign and complete the attached form. BYOD FAQ_Online.pdf  and Student BYOD agreement.pdf 
    • I know many of you were frustrated on Friday with the tech issues encountered with thousands of students and staff using the SPS bandwidth.  Please be patient.  Restart, log-on and update.  This will keep the computers moving faster and require less maintenance. 
    • Alternate times and dates can be arranged.  Please email, or

    SPS Technology Support Webpage.  This webpage has a video link for signing into Seesaw as well as other district-wide support videos.

    iPads for K-2:

    • Devices should be in building this week and we will prep for a distribution schedule on Thursday. K-2 families please look for an email from me on Wednesday with a schedule.
    • If your K-2 student does NOT have access to any device please email and we will work to get you connected until the iPads arrive. 

    Internet Access.  There are two services that SPS is currently sponsoring:

    • Comcast Internet Essentials (for families who will have a fixed address for at least 6 months) which is installed in the home.
    • SPS Cellular Hotspots (for families with no fixed address or moving frequently) which can be picked up at select locations.
    • Please email if you need additional support with internet access.

    Middle School: 

    • Students were assigned to PE, Art, Tech, Band/Orchestra.  Electives at this time will be semester long sessions.
    • Optional Enrichment “classes” offered during lunch breaks include:  Photography with Don, LYFE (Live Your Future Earth) with Mr. Lawrence, Leadership (ASB) with teacher to be determined.

    Daily/Weekly Schedules:

    Learning Pods:

    Please note that we are unable to accommodate placement requests for students who may be participating in “learning pods” this fall. While we are sympathetic to the desire of families to find creative ways to deal with the current crisis, considerable time and effort was spent creating balanced classes, and as a school we are committed to supporting an inclusive and equitable learning community for all. Please be assured that grade-level teachers will be working together closely to deliver similar instructional content for all students in each grade. Please do not ask teachers to group students in small groups to facilitate outside of school learning pods. 

    Class Supply Lists:

    • Posted on the TOPS website under the Academics tab.
    • Families needing supplies, please  We will ensure that all families have the supplies they need to engage in online learning!

    Translated Back to School Planning for Remote Learning Tool Kit

    Washington State Governors Office of the Education Ombud’s “Back to School Planning for Remote Learning” toolkit is a great checklist resource for families to prepare for school. These toolkits are posted in 15 languages and offer families a checklist and information on resources.

    School Meals: 

    • TOPS is a Lunch Distribution Site.  More info regarding additional sites across the district and guidelines will be coming. 
    • Lunch will be available everyday off Louisa (entrance to cafeteria) from 11:15 am to 1:15 pm.  It’s grab and go! You can get lunch for that day and breakfast for the next morning.

    Welcome Letter from our new Nurse, Miller Sherling TOPS Welcome Letter 2020.docx 

    Contributing to Families in Need:  If you are able and would like to help, first and foremost, thank you for your kind generosity.  We want to continue to support all TOPS Families.  You can help (and there is not such a thing as small help, everything counts) by sending Safeway, Kroger or Target gift cards to: 

    TOPS K8
    2500 Franklin Avenue E
    Seattle, WA 98102
    Att: Amy Schwentor

    Please be sure to include the gift card value on the items.  Thank you!!

    Online Family Directory:  

    The TOPS K-8 Family Directory is hosted on Membership Toolkit  This tool provides easy access to the contact information for other TOPS families. For access, just create a login and add your information.  You are in complete control of the information you display!  Here's how:   If you created an account last year, then you simply enter your email and password and follow the steps for updating your family’s information.  If you are new to TOPS or had not created an account last year, then follow the instructions below:

    Go to:

    1. Click Register >> Login
    2. Select Create Account
    3. Enter all the necessary information.
    4. Click 'Verify my email' and then check your inbox.
    5. Once you have verified your email address log in
    6. Update or confirm your Family and Student Information
    7. Complete the Directory/Publish Preferences.

    As soon as the Primary Account is set up, the Primary User can "invite" other email addresses to access the family account.  This allows a spouse, partner, or other close family member to have their own login, but still be linked to their family's information.

    Once these forms are complete, you will be able to complete the Volunteer Opportunities form and directory access will be provided.

    Please note: Access to the directory is limited to current TOPS families and staff. All new accounts will be confirmed before directory access is provided.

    Videos of the week:    

    Joke of the week: 

    Why did Humpty Dumpty have a great fall?  Answer:  To make up for a Hard Summer. 
    (Thanks to our new Aqel and Makarius 4th and 5th graders to TOPS!)

    If you have a great joke that you would like to share with the TOPS community (age appropriate), please send to me.  I do spend quite a bit of time each week looking for jokes & videos! 

    Don't forget to check out the TOPS website ( for more events, timelines, etc...   

    Stay home, stay healthy, be safe.