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    Falcon Families,

    It’s October!  Hope you are all taking care of yourselves.  The weather is getting cooler and the leaves are beginning to change color.  All that amazing time you were able to spend outdoors will be shifting as the rainy weather increases and the sunlight decreases. 

    We are entering our 4th full week of school and we are seeing positive participation in online learning with varying degrees of student engagement.    We know this is challenging and we are working with staff to examine best practices for keeping students engaged in their learning.  Please check your students Schoology page (middle school) and Seesaw page (elementary) to ensure that your student in completing their school assignments.  Family Connection time is scheduled everyday for teachers to connect with families and families to connect with teachers.  '

    Thanks to all TOPS families who joined us at the TOPS Town Hall Wednesday evening.  We will continue to host monthly Town Halls on the 4th Wednesday of every month!  

    Please make sure to read the teachers emails sent on Friday and to determine when your elementary student will also participate in Small group time with their teachers.


    Monday, Oct 5th

    Tuesday, Oct 6th

    Wed, Oct 7th

    Thurs, Oct 8th

    Friday, Oct 9th

    Classes start at 8:30 am

    GSA meeting with Ms. Hanson, 12:15-12:55 pm

    National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept 15th -Oct 15th

    Classes start at 8:30 am

    Middle School LYFE meeting with Mr. Lawrence, 11:30-12 pm.

    Middle School ASB meetings with Mr. Castle, 11:30 am

    Curbside Checkout, K-3, 2:30-3:30 pm.

    Classes start at 8:30 am

    Recycled Art Mosaic Cards

    Students (Grades 3–8)
    3pm (see notes below)



    Classes start at 8:30 am

    Middle School Photo Club, during lunch. See Don’s notice below.

    Curbside Checkout, 4th-8th grades, 2:30-3:30 pm.

    Student Verification Forms Need to be completed. See note below.

    No School

    Staff Professional Development Day

    Lunch will still be Served! STOP by and grab lunch and breakfast of the next day. Lunch meals are FREE for anyone.

    New information is italicized below.

    Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA) Screeners: 

    • District-wide grade level screeners are being administered in 1st – 8th grades. 
    • Mathematics screeners in grades 1-5 will be administered in a 1-1 setting with students responding to mathematics prompts and questions. 
    • We are also wrapping up the administration of ELA screeners in grades 1-8 by Thursday, October 8th.  
    • More information regarding 6th-8th grade screeners and administration will be provided by grade level teachers.
    • Data gathered by the screeners will be utilized with other assessment data (formative and summative).

    Recycled Art Mosaic Cards: Free Virtual Art Workshop for SPS Students (Grades 3–8) GThorntonWorkshopFlyer (002).pdf 

    Student Verification Forms Update Deadline Extended to October 8th:

    • The student data verification form, sent out at the start of each school year, will be available in September online through the Source.The student data verification form gives parents and guardians the opportunity to update emergency and medical information for their student.
    • The online form replaces the paper form sent home at the beginning of each school year and offers a secure and green alternative to the paper-based process.


    • TOPS is working on a school-based plan when staff are out with illness or pre-planned absences. 
    • The online platform creates additional challenges when staff are out with unplanned illness, etc…
    • More information to come.

    FREE Meals for ANYONE: 

    Workforce Diversity: 

    • For the 2020-21 school year, Seattle Public Schools has hired significantly more staff of color. Recruiting and retaining educators and leaders of color is a key priority of the district's strategic plan Seattle Excellence.
    • Research shows that all students thrive when staff reflect the diversity of our community, make learning more culturally relevant, and celebrate the unique gifts of each student. To support students' social, emotional, and educational outcomes, the Seattle Excellence lays out concrete hiring goals for staff diversity each year.
    • This school year, SPS surpassed those goals by an average of 10% in each category:
      • 36% of all new classroom teachers were educators of color. The goal was 29%
      • 54% of all new school leaders were staff of color. The goal was 43%.
      • 55% of all new central office leaders, such as directors of schools, were staff of color. The goal was 44%.

    Superintendent’s Reopening Plan Task Force

    • Seattle Public Schools is recruiting students, families, and community members for the Superintendent's Reopening Plan Task Force for the 2020-21 school year. The task force will monitor the progress, implementation, and effectiveness of the remote learning model and advise the Board and superintendent on possible revisions and continuous improvement. The deadline for nominations or applications is Oct. 7, 2020.
    • Task Force Application
    • Contact:

    Encourage Productive Struggle during student online learning.  How you can help!

    • Encourage kids to engage in productive struggle by giving them space and time to struggle with difficult assignments and praising them for their persistence. Research shows that when students solve problems that are challenging, but still within their abilities, they deepen their learning. Allow students to wrestle with problems before intervening. 
    • When work is completed, try to avoid praising your child for “being smart;” the studies show that praising a child for inherent qualities tends to make them risk-averse and discourages trying new or challenging things. You want your kids to continue to push themselves, and praising hard work is more effective for building endurance and tenacity.

    Online Video on/Video off: 

    • We always want to see your students.  ALWAYS.  We miss them and their peers miss them.
    • AND we know student comfort level with being onscreen varies.  We understand.
    • Please encourage your student to be present at the computer and engaged in the lesson even if they choose to leave the screen off.  Teachers are asking students for feedback and participation. 

    Library Updates:

    Middle School Supports:

    • Math Website to support parents.
    • Remind your middle schooler to log-on at 8:30 am each day to for advisory (M,Th) and electives (T, W, F)!

    Middle School Updates:

    • Photo Club starting this week on Thursdays during lunch.  Join the TOPS Photography Club with Don!
      • We will meet Thursdays at lunch time to discuss weekly themes, critique student photographs and create a slide show for our school community. Some of the themes we explore will be our school experience at home, social justice, elements of art, covid 19 and others.
      • Check out this video last springs video elective created for an example of what we will be doing.
    • LYFE (Live Your Future Earth) meetings sponsored by Mr. Lawrence will begin the week of September 28th.  Tuesdays, 11:30-12pm
    • Associated Student Body (ASB) meeting on Tuesdays with Mr. Castle, 11:30-12 pm.  Mr. Castle emailed the ASB officers.
    • Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) meetings on Mondays, 12:15-12:55 pm with advisor Ms. Hanson.

    Attendance:  Daily attendance will be taking for synchronous classes.  Student is considered present if:

    1. Logged on to class meeting – synchronous learning together; OR
    2. Evidence that student has logged on to Schoology/Seesaw etc; OR
    3. Evidence that student has worked with a Specialist/IA;  OR
    4. Asynchronous work – evidence of participation in a task or assignment; OR
    5. Daily interactions with teacher to acknowledge attendance (including messages, emails, phone calls or video chats)

    Tech Support:

    Hiding “Self-view” on ZOOM for kids who don’t want to see themselves on screen.

    Raz Kids Accessible through Clever Portal:  K-5 students can access RAZ kids on their Clever site.  Check it out on the district website through the Student Portal.

    Support for Families and Remote Learning:

    Tech Support Centers Across the District:

    Contributing to Families in Need: 

    • We received our allocation from the Right Now Needs Fund.  These funds can help with utilities, rent, food and more.  However, they are limited in amount and we have more families asking for assistance than in the spring.  
    • 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.  Any help families can provide would be appreciated (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.  A huge shout out to all the families that have contributed!

    What I am reading:

    • Fiction: I am an active Young Adult novel reader.  I just finished The Rithmatist by Bradon Sanderson.  Highly recommend this text for any student who like geometric shapes and magic.  I am now reading Wicked as you Wish, by Rin Chupeco.
    • Non-Fiction:  This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewel (interview of the author, Tiffany Jewell, by Teaching Tolerance is linked here) and Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad.

    Videos of the week:    

    Joke of the week: 

    Q:  Why did the horse cross the road?  A:  To get to his neeeeeeighbors.

    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.