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Principal’s Newsletter Sep 26

Principal’s Newsletter – September 26, 2021

Falcon Families,

TOPS Vision: We are creating a school that empowers students to be active participants, leaders, learners, and contributors to social justice.

The last week of September is here! I hope you were all able to get out and enjoy the fantastic weather on Saturday.  We spent a couple hours out in the rain today watching my oldest son’s soccer game. AND it poured on us. We have many rainy days ahead. So, just a reminder to have your students dress for the weather this week. Wear or bring coats/raincoats and be prepared to go outside during recess!

In honor of National LatinX Heritage month, I am highlighting Yuyi Morales.

Yuyi Morales “In 1994, Yuyi Morales left her home in Xalapa, Mexico and came to the United States with her infant son, Kelly, leaving behind everything she owned. Their passage was difficult and Morales spoke no English at the time, but she found solace and inspiration in an unexpected place―a San Francisco public library. Book by book, they unraveled the language and customs of their unfamiliar new land and found ways to make their home within it.

A poetic, personal memoir, Dreamers is a celebration of what immigrants bring with them when they leave home. A beautiful and powerful reflection with particular urgency as the status of our own Dreamers becomes uncertain, this is a story that is both topical and timeless.”

Please make sure to read the teachers emails sent on Friday. 

Upcoming Dates

Smarter Balanced Assessment:

  • September 27-28th Grades 6 & 7 this week.  English Language Arts (see attached letter below)

Early Release:

  • Wednesday, September 29th, School out at 2:10 pm

Curriculum Night

  • Wednesday, October 6th (ZOOM, 6pm-8:30, more detailed schedule to come)

Picture Re-take Day:

  • Friday, November 5th

Formative Assessments/Student Data Gathering

  • Smarter Balanced Fall Assessments Grades 4-8 (Sept 27-Nov 5th)  Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) letter 
  • State Required K-2 Early Literacy Screeners (happening now)
  • Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) for grades K-3
  • Fountas & Pinnell Reading Assessments

Washington State Healthy Youth Survey, Wednesday, October 27, 2021

  • Our school is participating the Washington State Healthy Youth Survey during fall 2021. The survey will be given to students in Grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 in large districts and students in Grades 6 through 12 in small school districts.
  • The Healthy Youth survey includes questions related to physical activity and diet, unintentional and intentional injury, substance use, sexual behaviors, abuse, risk and protective factors, and access to school-based services. Survey results are used by schools, communities and state agencies to plan programs to support our youth and reduce their risks.
  • Participation in the survey is voluntary and the students’ answers are anonymous.
  • Most schools will be administering the survey online this year. No privacy issues were identified in the E-survey pilot conducted in 2019. This year, schools and districts are being instructed to disable any recording, keystroke tracking, and video capture software on school-issued devices used to take the survey. They are also going to instruct students to do the same on personal devices used to take the survey before they begin. If you use any software to monitor the device your student will use to take the survey, please turn it off before they begin to ensure their honest participation.
  • Please read the attached Parent and Student Notification Letter for more information about the Healthy Youth Survey.

New Parent Group Starting:

  • Mission:  The Affinity Group for White Parents/Caregivers is a newly formed group of parents and caregivers at TOPS K-8 School. The group serves the following purposes: (1) education and continued learning for white caregivers about identity, systemic racism, internalized racist superiority; (2) discussions, building skills, becoming comfortable having uncomfortable conversations, and holding each other accountable; and (3) amplify the voices of TOPS Parents of Color Caucus (POCC), working in solidarity to support their work and goals with our privilege.
  • Vision:  The vision of the Affinity Group for White Parents/Caregivers is to be in community with parents and caregivers at TOPS K-8 School who are wanting to leverage their privilege to advance the social justice mission at TOPS using an anti-racist practice. We will unpack our white identities and conditioned superiority, strive to hold each other accountable, and lessen the labor of our peers of color in doing the necessary work to provide an equitable learning environment for our children.
  • This group is still in the organizing stages. Any parent or caregiver who wishes to engage in this work can join the google group by emailing

Reminder to Please Do Not Bring Four-Legged Furry Friends to Drop-off or Pick-up

Please DO NOT bring dogs onto TOPS campus or crowded sidewalks where students and families are walking.  Why you ask?  We have students with pet allergies, are afraid of dogs, and for some cultures wet dog noses and slobber is consider to be unclean see article “Is it OK to pat a dog? The question at the heart of a dispute over Islamic tradition”.  As a mom and a former dog owner, I love dogs.  I also have an 8-yr old who will walk a wide circle around a dog being held on a leash by their owner.

Masking, Water Bottles and Rainy Cold Weather Clothing

  • Please remind your student the importance of masking during lunch when they are talking to friends.  
  • Please remind students to bring a water bottle to school. 
  • The rainy and cold weather is coming. Please make sure your student has a coat, hoody or rain coat for the colder and rainy weather. We WILL be going outside for recess!

What I am reading

  • Fiction:  
    • Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff.  A new series by this prolific science fiction/fantasy author.  “Gabriel de Leon is a silversaint:  a member of a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending realm and church from the creatures of the night.”
    • Black Boy Joy edited by Kwame Mbalia.  “From seventeen acclaimed Black male and nonbinary authors comes a vibrant collection of stories, comics, and poems about the power of joy and the wonders of Black boyhood.”
  • NonFiction:  
    • Caste by Isabel Wilkerson.

Videos of the week

Joke of the week

  • I made a pencil with two erasers.  It was pointless.

Stay healthy, be safe, mask up! 


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