A newsletter from Washington Elementary and Washington PTA
April 3rd, 2017
Recognition for the great teaching and learning that is happening at Washington GT continues to mount! Washington GT’s art teacher, Sonya Drum, is the Magnet Schools of America Region 4 Teacher of the Year!
Ms. Drum will represent our region consisting of North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee at the Magnet Schools of America conference in Los Angeles in April. Ms. Drum is one of 8 magnet teachers being recognized for this honor nationally. Ms. Drum and I will be in Los Angeles April 26 - May 1 representing our whole staff for achieving the Magnet School of Excellence award and for Ms. Drum to receive her teacher award.
Make sure to mark your calendars for the whole family to attend the African American Cultural Festival at Washington GT: Shades of Greatness on Tuesday, April 25th from 5:30-8:00 pm. Celebrate our school’s rich diversity through food, dance, authors, singers, and hands on activities! This cultural celebration is a continuation of our efforts to learn about and recognize the many contributions and rich culture of our wonderfully diverse school community. Two years ago our Indian families held the Holi celebration and last year our Latino families led the Latino cultural celebration. I can’t wait for this year's event!
Wednesday, April 5th, 9:30 a.m.: PTA Board Meeting
Friday April 7th: Spring Picture Day
April 10-14: Spring Break- No School
Thursday, April 20th: FINAL DUE DATE for Yearbook Orders
Saturday, April 22, 9 a.m.: Earth Day Courtyard Clean Up at WES
We are still on the look-out for parents interested in joining our Communications & Recognition Committee for next year as well as helping out with our wonderful Shining Star Fundraiser!
Communication & Recognition Committee is responsible for this wonderful newsletter, social media posts, updating our website, and working with our MemberHub team to help all of our parents and teachers stay connected to the latest news and events related to our PTA. Does your child love their yearbook? We are also in need of a parent interested in helping design the Yearbook for next school year. This committee also gets to work together on Staff Appreciation events to celebrate our wonderful staff!
Shining Star Fundraiser is our one and only fall fundraiser! We spend monies raised in the fall during the current school year to fund teacher grants, professional development, staff appreciation, PTA Events, and much more! In you are excited about raising even more money next school year, let us know!
You can email current PTA Vice President and member of the Nominating Committee, Emily King, for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Earth Day at Washington-April 22
Join the PTA Courtyard Committee on Earth Day! On Saturday, April 22 from 9-12 p.m., we will be laying mulch, weeding and sprucing up the courtyard and school grounds. Come for the whole morning, or just an hour. Bring your gloves, rakes, and other gardening tools & celebrate Earth Day by helping us make our school environment beautiful! Many hands make light work- bring the whole family and we will see you there!
An important piece of legislation is being considered in the NC Senate called HB13. In our last newsletter, we summarized the bill's effects on Wake County Public Schools if it is not passed. Wake County PTA Council recently passed a position statement in support of the passage of HB13. We encourage all PTA members and families to contact their State Senators to ask them to vote for HB13. Without a fix to the unfunded class size mandate, budget cuts will require the elimination of teacher positions in art, music and PE in order to pay for the additional K-3 classes needed to comply with the new law. Help to save our specials by advocating for HB13!
Wake County PTA Council Position Statement on HB13
Wake County PTA Council believes that every child must be provided with a well-rounded, high-quality education, which will ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential and become productive members of society.
Wake County PTA Council also believes that specialized instruction in physical education and the arts, such as music, literature, dance, drama, and visual arts are central to learning. Infusion of the arts in elementary, secondary, and continuing education curricula is key to the development of students and an important element of a well-rounded, high quality education. Wake County PTA Council also believes that the teaching of the arts and physical education must be done by qualified teachers who are trained in these specialized fields.
Last year, the NC General Assembly passed its budget with a section that limited class sizes for grades K-3 starting with the 2017-18 school year. Unfortunately, the unintended consequences resulted in an unfunded mandate that would require thousands of new K-3 teachers in public schools across the state, and more than 400 teachers in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) alone.
WCPSS does not currently have the facilities for these 400 new elementary classes, nor do the certified teachers for these classes exist. To pay for 400 additional classroom teachers, WCPSS may have to eliminate classes like art, music, PE, media, technology and others. Also, WCPSS estimates it would need to build more than 20 new elementary schools to house the additional K-3 classes needed to accommodate the 400 additional teachers, further straining the budget for 2017-2018 and future years.
Wake County PTA Council supports the passage of HB13, which would adjust language in the North Carolina budget, giving school districts the ability to exceed class size limits by six students per class in K-3. The passage of HB13 would allow for the retention of arts, music and other cultural arts programming, as well the retention of qualified educators to teach these classes.