Garden Buddies Begins with Carrot Harvest!

Our PTSA Garden Buddy Committee, Pamela Kuhtz and Mark Benoit have been busy cleaning up the garden from the summer growing season, and getting beds ready for fall planting. Last week they hosted Ms. Bodine’s class out in the garden to harvest the carrots her class had planted last spring.

“Hey, these beans are the same color as my shirt!!!”
“How come this cucumber is so much more crunchy than at home?”

This year the Garden Buddies will work with our third grade teachers to create meaningful ways to interact with the popular Plant Growth and Development science unit.

From Principal Sanger: Staffing cut

Dear Bryant Families,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you to convey the sad news I received Monday from the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning at Seattle Public Schools, and I ask in advance for your patience and support. At Bryant we have experienced lower enrollment than projected, which has led the district to reduce our teaching staff by 1 position.

Annually, at the beginning of the school year, Seattle Public Schools undergoes a staffing adjustment process to monitor enrollment at every school and to adjust staffing levels relative to actual student enrollment. Staffing adjustment decisions are made to match student needs with limited staff resources. In this process, adjustments are made in staff levels at schools to reflect the number of students actually enrolled in a program, grade and school, as opposed to forecasted/ projected enrollments. While enrollment projections are usually accurate at the district level, a wide range of factors can influence the final number of students enrolled at a grade, program and school level.

Once receiving student enrollment counts for each school, the district then reevaluates staffing across schools, making adjustments up and down based on each school’s enrollment. Please know that effort was taken to assess all factors for staffing adjustment decisions at all schools. Staffing adjustment recommendations are developed by a team composed of members from Budget, Human Resources, Enrollment Planning, School Operations, Capital Planning, Special Education, Advanced Learning and English Language Learning departments, who use current enrollment numbers in determining staffing adjustments.

Additionally, Enrollment Planning also takes into account other factors in staffing allocations, including projected changes, expected attrition, historical trends in enrollment for each school as well as unique factors affecting each schools’ enrollment. Each school is carefully reviewed for any factors which could impact the classroom.

Because Jessica James has the lowest seniority of teachers on staff, she will be displaced from Bryant. She will retain her contract status with Seattle Public Schools and will be given a position at a different building. Jessica’s last day at Bryant will be Friday, October 16th. This adjustment means that Mr. Matthias will return to 2nd grade that following Monday and be the classroom teacher in Room 306 for the remainder of the school year. As many of you heard during curriculum night, Mr. Matthias had recently stepped into the role of Intervention and Extension Coordinator. Although his departure certainly makes that work more challenging, our staff is excited about that model and committed to addressing the needs of all students. We are having internal discussions about how we might best reconfigure current staffing and repurpose our paid tutors in order to address these supports.

I know this can be a difficult experience for students, and we will do everything we can to support the students in Ms. James’s classroom as they make the transition to their new teacher. Mr. Matthias, Ms. James, Ms. Pearson and I have scheduled a meeting with these families to discuss this transition.

Thank you again for your continued support of our staff and instructional program here at Bryant. We will keep you posted about any new developments as they occur.

Sincerely,
Dan Sanger
Principal
Bryant Elementary

From the school: Intervention & Extention Team Goals

Hello Bryant Community,

It was wonderful to briefly share some of our exciting plans for the Intervention and Extension Team with you at Curriculum Night! Because families are so inundated with information about the start of the new year, I thought it might be beneficial to summarize some of what the Intervention and Extension Team goals are this year.

The primary goal of the team is to work closely with the Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) at Bryant to identify and offer targeted and personalized support to students who are either approaching standard or are performing above standard. We look forward to collaborating with our talented teachers to design interventions that support students who need review of concepts, re-teaching, and additional assistance, as well as creating extensions and enrichment experiences to support students who may already be performing above grade level benchmarks. Read more

From the community: Girl Scout Troop 680

Is your daughter is going to be in 3rd, 4th or 5th Grade? If so, Girl Scout Troop 680 has a great opportunity for your daughter and their DAD! Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Through a myriad of enriching experiences, such as 3 yearly camping trips, community service projects, and environmental stewardship,  girls and their Dad’s, have a great time while learning and spending time together. Read more

Important school dates

  • Friday, October 9th: School Day (previously marked as staff development day, now reassigned as a school day to make up for the delayed start of school)
  • Tuesday, October 13th: Individual Picture Day

District makes recommendations for bell time changes

The District is presenting Superintendent Nyland’s draft recommendation on bell time changes  for the 2016-17 school year at community meetings through Mon, Oct 5. The proposal has most elementary schools, including Bryant’s, school day going 8am to 2:10pm. Preview the presentation and the proposed bell time changes and read up on the research and implementation timeline at the District’s website. Monday’s meeting is at 6:30 at Jane Adams Middle School. The Seattle School Board will be voting on the Superintendent’s recommendation in October or November. Email questions and comments to arrivaltimes@seattleschools.org.

Green Team applications due Monday

Do you have a budding young environmentalist at home? If so, we hope you will encourage him or her to apply for Green Team! This is an important job in our community and we’re excited to be able to expand it to include students as young as first grade this year. In Ms. Salisbury’s absence, Ms. Pearson will be out in classrooms recruiting new members this week.