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    Subject: PTA Newsletter - Jan. 28, 2015
    Date to send: 1/29/2015 at 6:00 AM

    January 28th, 2015; Volume 2, Issue 2 

    PTA Presidents' Letter 
    It is hard to believe we are halfway through the year, and what a busy one it’s been!  In addition to all the learning taking place in the classrooms, there have been assemblies and instrumental performances, robotic competitions, successful Wacky Wednesday and after school programs, art, music, and Wildcat Giving, just to name a few.  There are so many things that happen at West Woodland everyday because of the amazing community of teachers, staff and parents.  Thank you for all that you do to make this school such a welcoming and exciting place for our kids to come to every single day.

    Looking towards Spring, there is a lot to look forward to. Here are a few of the things coming up soon:

    School Tours 
    West Woodland will be conducting School Tours on Tuesday, Feb 24th 7-9 pm and Thursday, Feb 26th 9-11am. Please share this information with your friends and neighbors who will be coming to West Woodland next year.

    Reserve a School Tour Time Now

    We need parent volunteers to help with these tours (Who better to show off our school than the families that go there?) We provide scripts with all the talking points you might need, and our guides will lead in pairs, so we can team you up with a more experienced tour guide if you like. You can also participate by helping stuff information packets on Friday, February 20 at 2pm.

    Sign Up to Help with School Tours
    West Woodland Talent Night
    The 5th annual West Woodland Talent Night will be taking place on February 6 from 4:30-8:30pm.  This is always such a popular event for both kids and families.  This year we have over 50 acts performing on stage, and even more participating in the Lego Expo and Art Gallery. We hope you will all come and see the wonderful talent on display at West Woodland.
    West Woodland Gala
    Our West Woodland Gala is scheduled for Saturday April 25th, once again at Leif Erickson Lodge in Ballard. In addition to being a great party and a lot of fun for our West Woodland parents, it also serves as our secondary fundraiser. This year we’ll raise the last $25,000 needed to cover our annual PTA budget.  So mark your calendars, as it’s sure to THE event of the year.  More information will be coming from the team bringing you the Gala very soon. 
    Shop for West Woodland
    The Shop for West Woodland program is in full swing.  Did you know that West Woodland benefits from the shopping you do everyday?  For example:  By collecting your Ballad Market receipts, signing up for Fred Meyer rewards or Amazon Smile, West Woodland receives a percentage of all that you spend at these locations.  For more information on all of the programs available, or how to sign up, please visit the Shop for West Woodland page on the school website.

    Wishing you a Happy New Year, and we hope to see you at any of our upcoming events!


    Richelle Dickerson & Kirsten Mullins

    PTA Co-Presidents, 2014-2015

    PTA Board Members 2014/2015

    Co-Presidents:  Richelle Dickerson, Kirsten Mullins
    VP of Fundraising: Colby Underwood
    Treasurer: Dara Foti, Julie Gregg
    Secretary: Shaynee Snider, Darcy Perrault
    Legislative Liaison: Christina Witteman, Linda Joss
    Membership Coordinator: Paul Cutting
    Communications Coordinator: Tiffany Tarrant
    Volunteer Coordinator: Carrie Schneider, Georgette Semroc
    Enrichment Coordinator: Angie Heinrich
    Arts Friday Coordinator: Annie Rodak
    Web Producer: Milissa Regan
    Teacher & Staff Representatives: Maryilyn Loveness, Colby Dresbeck, Theresa Healey
    Kids Inc. Representative: Ann Eastwood

    PTA Board & Community Meetings - Recaps
    *Official PTA Board meeting minutes can be found in the main office located on the front desk.

    January 15th Community Meeting - Recap
    The January meeting sponsored by the West Woodland PTA brought community members together to hear about new plans for the school’s rain garden and a discussion of internet safety. First, though, Rachel Gardner shared some quick information about her work with passive fundraising for the school. The PTA hopes to raise $7,000 this year through this arm of our fundraising (up from $5,000 in previous years). Passive fundraising can involve both small and large community businesses through such avenues as collecting Ballard Market receipts, Box Tops for Education, the Fred Meyer rewards program, and AmazonSmile. She is also exploring shopping nights with local businesses that would return proceeds to the school. If you know of any local businesses that would be interested in partnering with West Woodland for such an event, please contact Rachel via email at
    Our rain garden will be undergoing an overhaul! West Woodland is one of the first schools in the district to have a native plant garden and a rain garden, which was planted in 2010. The Seattle school district is using rain gardens to try to minimize the overflow of water from storms that ends up in the storm system and contributes to pollution of the Puget Sound. 

    Anna Portinga, from the garden committee, outlined plans for the rain garden’s transformation. In 2014 West Woodland received a grant from the Department of Neighborhoods to redesign the space. The school’s expanding population has put greater pressure on the garden, particularly while the field was closed, and kids playing in the space have worn down the previous garden. Our garden committee is finalizing working with a consultant on ideas that will renew the rain garden for its original purpose, as well as allow it to still be partially a space for kids. Plans to involve students in planting and maintaining the space will hopefully let them feel more invested in the reinvigorated rain garden. There will be many opportunities with this project for input and volunteers from the community for anyone interested.

    For the remainder of the evening the audience heard from computer lab manager Steve Sorensen and librarian Paula Wittmann on promoting internet safety with children. Communication is key to teaching kids how to safely and responsibly use the internet. Steve and Paula offered numerous tips on areas ranging from social media, to safely researching school projects, to limit-setting. Establishing and clearly communicating your family’s values regarding internet use when children are younger provides a framework for navigating later issues around screens that arise as they grow up. Sites such as,, and are some of the best for information and filters.

    Paula Wittmann also took time to go over the many online resources available through the school district’s website. Resources featuring topics ranging from geography, to typing, to children’s books from around the world are available for use by students and families. If you have not already explored them, take some time to do so.

    January 5th PTA Board Meeting - Recap
    Continued preparation for the gala was a central topic at the board’s January 5 meeting. The fundraising and event details of the evening will be executed by two separate groups, to better distribute the planning responsibilities. The board also began looking ahead to finding new candidates for positions on next year’s PTA board. Further information will be forthcoming in SNEAKS.

    A recent “Shop for West Woodland” night at Evo offered a discount to West Woodland families making in-store purchases that evening and returned 5% of sales to the school. Look for similar events with local businesses in the future to support our school. The Wildcat Giving program over the holidays was once again a success.

    Thanks to our community’s generosity, the school provided gifts for 11 families and raised $580 for transportation needs for our sister school, Viewlands Elementary, as well as $1,150 for the West Woodland family support fund.
    We have reached out to various state legislators to perhaps attend and present at a future community meeting. All are in session at this time, but several expressed interest in potentially joining us for either the March or May meeting. The board also voted unanimously to approve upcoming enrichment activities, including the January Wacky Wednesday offerings and rehearsals for the talent show.

    December 2nd PTA Board Meeting - Recap

    On December 1, the PTA Board convened to hear updates on multiple projects, including the planning for the upcoming gala. The gala will be held on April 25, featuring an Alice in Wonderland theme. This historically successful party will be a chance for the West Woodland community to connect and socialize, while raising funds for school needs. Tiered ticket pricing will allow families to donate toward the event before the night of the gala, hopefully raising a significant portion of the $25,000 goal before the party even begins!

    Other fundraising approaches may be less explicit but equally valuable. Rachel Gardner has been working to promote so-called passive fundraising activities, which bring additional money to our school with little to no extra work on the part of families. Simple steps such as using the AmazonSmile page when you shop through Amazon and saving your receipts from Ballard Market to drop off at school return money to West Woodland that can add up quickly.

    Board members also heard an update on the Wildcat Giving program, which was successfully under way with donations supporting multiple West Woodland families, the school’s emergency fund for families, and school buses for field trips for our sister school, Viewlands Elementary. In other information, online registration for enrichment activities has progressed smoothly, making the procedure easier for families and instructors alike. With a unanimous vote the board approved the winter-quarter enrichment activities and several PTA events.

    Principal Loveness ended the evening with her report. She discussed several developments around the school, including hiring for the job-share in Ms. Fulmer’s third-grade class and the new portable, which will provide extra classroom space. The infrastructure for the installation is being laid, although the exact arrival date is still unknown. That information will be shared with the community as soon as it is known. 

    Volunteer Voice

    A Special Thank You!
    • Thank you Michelle Brewer, Tiffany Tarrant and their team of volunteers for all their hard work with Wildcat Giving in December!
    • Thank you David Guthrie, Aaron Armstrong and helpers with organizing and running the December and January movie nights!

    Volunteer Spotlight :
     Karla Stanley

    Karla is the mom of Rachel (7th grade – Hamilton), Zach (5th grade), Nathalie (3rd grade) and Allison (future West Woodland student – 2 years old). 
       West Woodland runs on volunteers and we’d like to start recognizing some of the hard working parents who do so much around our school!  First up is Karla Stanley.  

    Karla has been helping out around West Woodland for the past 7 years!  She currently coordinates and manages all of our student, staff and class pictures (which she has done for 7 years!) and is a co-lead of the choir and chess steering committees (which she has been supporting for the past 4 years).  In addition to this she is involved with school tours, our West Woodland ultimate Frisbee team, TCB Day and volunteering in her children’s class rooms.  

    When she’s not busy helping out at West Woodland and carting her four kids around town Karla enjoys cooking and photography. Karla is welcoming, inclusive and always willing to step in and help get things done.  Thanks for all you do to support our school and organize so many of the great activities available to all our students!