A newsletter from Washington Elementary and Washington PTA
May 8th, 2017
At the end of this year, our staff will work to build classes for the next grade level comprised of heterogeneous mixes of students who can successfully grow and learn together. I value your knowledge of your child. If you would like to provide input regarding your child’s learning needs, please go to the Washington website under the Parents link to download a “Parent Input Form 2017 2018”. It should be returned to the main office by Friday, June 2nd. Forms are also available at the front desk.
Tuesday, May 9th - Thursday, May 11th: Scholastic Book Fair
Wednesday, May 10th: PTA Board Meeting (9:30 a.m.)
Thursday, May 11th: Spring Fling (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
Friday, May 12th: TEACHER WORKDAY- No School
Sunday, May 21st: Washington Family Night at Triangle Rock Club (6-8 p.m.)
Message from PTA President Leigh Hines
Dear Washington Families:
Thursday, May 11, 2017, will be my last General PTA meeting as your elected President. It has been my pleasure to serve our PTA board this year. Thank you for your trust and support this year. I may have been the person in public leading the meetings, but the glue that holds our outstanding PTA together year after year is our fantastic executive board, committee chairs, and parent volunteers. We are one phenomenal PTA together.
I want to thank our 5th-grade parents who may be leaving us this year. Thank you for rolling up your sleeves and ensuring that WES PTA and our school thrives. We are all bonded by the common goal of wanting the best for our children, and through your commitment and dedication to our school, I firmly believe we have one of the best schools in the nation. Your presence will be missed. My best to all of you as you begin a new school chapter in your lives.
On July 1, a new fiscal school year begins for our PTA, and your new elected leadership will take over. The General Election for our four officers will take place on May 11.
This year’s nominating committee are presenting the following slate of officers for election for the 2017-2018 School Year.
Emily King as President of WES PTA
Amy Thomas as Vice-President of WES PTA
Jessica Dixon as WES PTA Treasurer
Kim Olds as WES PTA Secretary
Per our by-laws, the floor is now open for any other nominations for these four elected officer positions. Any other nomination may be presented before our vote on May 11, 2017.
The next six weeks at WES will move at a lightning pace. Continue reading our newsletter for more information on some things that we will be doing in May to thank our teachers at WES for the wonderful job they do on a daily basis. We will definitely be in need of volunteers for our Spring book fair, EOG proctors for our upper grades and Field Day volunteers, which is always a highlight for our children.
I look forward to seeing many of you in the hallways during these last few weeks of school.
Teacher Appreciation Week: WES #ThankATeacher Campaign
Day after day, our WES teachers deliver the best education for our children. Nationally, May 8th - 12th is National PTA Teacher Appreciation Week.
This year, we want to thank our WES teachers from our heart. We encourage you and your children to send in a card, a special drawing, or handwritten note to any teacher or administrator you would like to thank during this special nationally recognized week. Take the time to thank them for their dedication and hard work this year. Notes and cards can be sent to school with your child anytime between May 8th and May 11th.
Snack and Beverage Station for WES Staff on Thursday, May 11
The Staff Appreciation Committee is hosting a snack and beverage station in the lounge for teachers and support staff on Thursday, May 11 to celebrate the week. We are filling the lounge with their favorite snacks and beverages. We also hope to give away a few restaurant gift cards to some of the places the staff mentioned in a survey where they like to dine.
Donation of snack, beverages, and restaurant gift cards or certificates can be found at the following link. www.SignUpGenius.com/go/20F0944A9A62FA6F85-donations
Thank you for helping make this week a success for our Teachers and Staff at WES.
Spring Fling is THURSDAY!
SPRING FLING IS THIS THURSDAY, MAY 11 ~ 5:30-7:30pm
Join us for performances and activities to showcase some of our fabulous electives at Washington! Learn about Aeronautics, Chess, and Science Olympiad… even go on an African Safari. Students in music, drama, dance, and P.E. electives will perform, and student work from art electives will be on display. We will hold our last general PTA meeting of the year and elect new officers for 2017-18, and the BOGO Scholastic Book Fair will be open. D’Burritos and JAM Ice Cream food trucks will be open at 5:30. Mark your calendar and don’t miss it!
Scholastic BOGO Book Fair: May 9-11
Students will visit the book fair once for purchasing during the school day. The book fair will also be open before school and during Spring Celebration on May 11! All books are buy one, get one free! Stock up for summer reading! To volunteer, go to: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0944a9a62fa6f85-bogo
Shop our Amazon Smile site for Mother's Day and help our PTA!
Mother's Day is Sunday, May 14 and Washington Elementary has some amazing moms! Shop at smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate to Washington GT Elementary School PTA! Amazon has a large variety of gifts that are perfect for Mother's Day including electronics, jewelry, clothing, and more! Go to smile.amazon.com/ch/56-1383300 today!
Washington Family Night at Triangle Rock Club: May 21 (6-8 p.m.)
When/Where: Sunday, May 21st | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Triangle Rock Club – Morrisville (102 Pheasant Wood Court)
Cost: $15 per person
What You Get: Two hours of indoor climbing at Triangle Rock Club Morrisville after hours, a harness rental, and staff assistance.
Other Details: Bring the whole family! Friends and family ages 4 and older are encouraged to climb. Non-climbers are free.
ATTEND AND WIN: TRC will sponsor a pizza party for the Washington Elementary class that brings in the most climbers!
SIGN UP FOR THE MAY 21st SPIRIT NIGHT HERE: TriangleRockClub.com/Washington-Elementary-PTA/
** Washington Elementary teachers can come to the climb night for free! **
** The teacher of the class with the most attendees will also receive a free Introduction to Climbing Class for two (with a two-week climbing pass)! **
See you there!!!
End-of-Grade Testing Information
We are still on the look-out for parents interested in helping out with our wonderful Shining Star Fundraiser!
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 for teachers and staff, 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!
Dress Code Reminder
As we enjoy the warmer temperatures, please review the dress code below to ensure students' attire meet the guidelines:
The WCPSS dress code (6410.1) for students does set standards for appearance and dress that are compatible with an effective learning environment. Some examples of prohibited dress include bare midriffs, strapless or spaghetti strap tops, flip flops, short or tight garments, see through clothing, sagging pants and exposed undergarments. Shorts or skirts should approximately reach the child’s longest fingertip when their arm is by their side. Other prohibited items include chains or spikes, messages that are vulgar or advertise items not permitted by law to minors, and may promote violence or intimidation. Head coverings of any kind (except those required by one’s religion or health needs) are also not permitted. The principal or their designee may require students to change their appearance and parents may be notified.
In part due to a strong public outcry from education advocates, parents and teacher, an amended version of HB13 was passed by the NC Senate and signed into law by Governor Cooper in April. The bill allows school districts to phase in class size requirements over the next two years and allows them to keep using teacher allotment flexibility for 2017-18 only. HB13 as amended by the Senate will lower maximum K-3 class sizes for this fall to 23 students. In the 2018-19 school year, maximum K-3 class sizes would range from 19 to 21 students. Also in 2018, average K-3 class sizes for districts would drop to between 16 and 18 students, compared to 21 this school year.
WHAT ISSUES REMAIN?
1) Finding new teachers. School districts will need to find thousands of teachers who are certified and experienced for these new classes starting next year. Without a serious effort, school districts across the state are likely to see significant shortages in licensed elementary school teachers next year and for years to come.
2) Creating new class rooms. The lower class sizes in K-3 grades will increase the number of K-3 classrooms needed. This is a serious issue for many local school districts across the state. Over the next few months, local school boards will need to examine ways to increase the number of classrooms they need next year and beyond. Renovating current space or building new schools will require additional capital funds from local revenues, mostly from increasing property taxes. It will take time to raise the money and construct the space. The short-term alternative to the newly required space needs could be to increase class sizes in grades 4-12 to free up class space, using undesirable space such as lunch rooms or sharing space (putting two teachers and their classes into one room).
Stay involved with your local school district as this issue develops over the next 4-6 months. Encourage our school board to resist larger class sizes in grades 4-12 as a solution. Keep talking to your NCGA representatives about restoring class size caps in grades 4-12.
3) Funding Specials. Funding for 2018-19 specials teachers was not included in HB13. The good news is that when senators passed the amended HB13, they pledged to supplement with new funding for specials (enhancement) teachers in 2018 when class sizes will be lowered again. Without this supplemental, new funding, school districts will be right back in 2018 fighting the same battle for adequate funding to keep class sizes at required levels while keeping their specials teachers.
NEXT STEPS: It is critical to ask our Senators to fund “specials” teaching positions now. This year, the Senate goes first in presenting the 2017-18 – 2018-19 biennial budget and House members have signaled that they will support adding this expenditure! Ask Senators to put the estimated $325 million in their proposed 2017-18 – 2018-19 biennial budget under development now. Ask them to fully fund our specials and invest in our children.