Build community and have fun!

We’re bringing back the grade-level grants!

The Bryant PTSA is offering grants for you to hold an event for families in your grade level. Bryant PTSA will grant up to $500 to each grade level to build engagement among its families. The money is intended to help fund events for families to meet and form connections with each other, in the hopes that stronger social relationships will translate to a stronger school community for our children.

Some ideas for FUN ways to spend your grant:

  • Hold a potluck cookout at a local park where you provide the burgers/hot dogs
  • Host a game night at a community center or at school
  • Host a movie night with free concessions (the PTSA has movie licenses that would cover this!)
  • Put on a talent show
  • Host a summer-time event to get families together outside of the school-year

Download the grade-level grant info sheet, or email ptsaexec@bryantschool.org for info today.

Bryant PTSA Board Meeting Minutes – December 2019

December 10, 2019

Welcome / Approval of Last Meeting’s Minutes Whitney Griesbach Ann Sonnen
The minutes from November’s meeting were approved.

Region 6 Presentation Heidi Bennet, Region 6 Advocacy Director
Rescheduled for next meeting.

Treasurer’s Update Nick Barrett
Updates about the Annual Campaign:

  • $184k pledged, $157k collected. This is in line with what we raised last year, and covers this year’s budget.
  • We also had a high participation rate (7 classes got 100% participation). We did keep the campaign running longer to help several classes get to 100%. However, we did hear anecdotally students were mixed about the free recess—we may add additional incentives next year.

Additional treasurer updates:

  • We filed an extension for our taxes (officially due Nov 15).
  • Notable funds: instrumental music has raised $5000 and is targeting $8000.
  • Update on use of unallocated funds: from a starting point of $10k, $5400 have been now allocated (for multicultural night, teacher subs for teacher evals, math books, new embosser, and Quickbooks).
  • School supply funds need to be kept separated.

Principal’s Update, Heather Snookal, Assistant Principal
Thank you for the funding allocation for the teacher release. Kindergarten took ½ day Monday and went through every student with academic support, and first grade took second half of day. By the end of the week all grades will have received ½ day to work with academic support. There has been a very positive teacher response.

Recently contacted the district behavioral support department to help us for some situations where we’ve tried everything and it still is not working. We are therefore entering a 6 – 12 week partnership, beginning this Friday, with the district behavioral support department. They are going to help us with some targeted support for a case load of students, and these learnings can translate to other students.

The district has selected us to be a pilot for how to run the advanced learning program, specifically how we can help highly capable students who stay are their schools (since Bryant has a high population of such students). We’ll know more Friday. No timeline for implementation.

Art supply ask from Ms Whipple: $2000 (itemized list). This ask will be discussed further, both for how to do it this year and planning for next year (roll it into supplies? Art budget?). We currently have $4600 left in unallocated budget. Partial approval of the request: $1000 from unallocated to fund art teacher supplies was approved.
New traffic patterns are working well.

Committee Reports

  • Fundraising (Sara/Allison)
    No update
  • Membership (Tara/Rebecca)
    No update
  • Volunteers (Renee/Kathleen)
    • New leads found for several positions (yea!)
  • Advocacy (Sam/Adele)
    (Not present—at conflicting meeting with politicians)
  • Teacher Representative (Jessica/Chara)
    • Report cards are going to look different this year. Both content and format have changed.
  • Equity (Kim)
    • Four co-chairs. 25 other people have also expressed interest. Very early stages (no mission statement yet), but we want every family to feel like they belong and welcoming.
    • Bryant equity facts: 15% of families identify as
      multiracial, 14 languages are spoken, there has been a racial equity team (comprised of staff) for the past 3 years. We’re hoping to help bridge what’s happening at the building level with what is going on with families.
    • Thursday night there is a North End PTSA partnership meeting with other groups working in this space. We hope to bring back learnings from other groups for what is working. We’ll have a signup sheet at the Multicultural night on Friday.

LASER Update (from Kevin)

  • Discussions about repurposing the main LASER room. We serve 165 kids, with a waitlist of 60 kids, so hoping we can remain part of the school. Historically LASER has been around 90-120 kids, but we were able to bump it with repurposing.
  • District is projecting higher enrollment. Overall this is good. But this impacts the space needed for classrooms. This might not happen next year.
  • This will be discussed at January’s meeting.

New Business

  • Art Docent Program, Whitney Griesbach and Ann Sonnen
    The new website has been taken down and there are discussions happening at the board level.

8:25 Adjourn

Bryant PTSA Board Meeting Minutes – October 2019

Welcome / Approval of Last Meeting’s Minutes
The minutes from June’s general meeting were approved. Whitney Griesbach

PTSA Goals for 2019-2020
A brief review of the goals set by PTSA for the 2019-2020 school year. There will be a focus on inclusivity and transparency. Whitney Griesbach

Approval of 2019-2020 Budget Nick Barrett
Overview of 2019-2020 budget. Highlights:

  • $315,000 sources of cash (increase of $55k due to increased funds from Annual Campaign)
  • $300,000 in expenses (increase of $40k due to increase in , and $53,000 carryover and surplus

The budget was approved.
Bryant currently has an enrollment of 583 students.

Changes to Standing Rules

Standing rules had 2 minor changes:

  • Update to new board members (#23)
  • Changes to registration (#10-#11)

These will be updated on the website.

Principal’s Update Charmaine Marshall
The update was primarily focused on how Bryant will meet the needs for students across the spectrum, both those who need additional support and those who are advanced.

  • Completed hiring two new support staff, who are already providing assistance to students at both ends of the spectrum.
  • We’re looking to do more professional development for all teachers. As a neighborhood school, we want to meet the needs of all students, including those who are highly capable. So we need to be able to train our teachers to be able to support students across the spectrum. Students will be targeted for the support they need. There is some discussion at the district level around reintegrating HCC at neighborhood schools. We want to be able to provide that support now for the students here.
  • Our PTSA requests will be based on professional development and supplemental materials, especially around math instruction.
  • For SBA Test, 3rd grades (current 4th graders) in Math, 50% are exceeding. We are one of the higher performing schools in the area. With targeted support, we can bring up the 8% that are L1. Literacy is similar.
  • Achieving this will require a continued focus on these core skills: 1 hour for math, 1.5 hrs for literacy per day.
  • With the additional instructors and tutors we are helping students who are either struggling or need more advanced help.
  • Doing a new Multicultural Event in December—looking for 3-4 people for the steering committee

Committee Reports

  • Fundraising
    • Kicked off Annual Campaign yesterday.
    • Students getting a free recess for 100% participation (students AND teachers VERY excited)
    • Need sign ups to update percentages for the board
  • Membership
    • No updates
  • Volunteers
    • Still looking for Bryant Blast leadership
    • Reflections leadership has been found, but this will be their last year, so looking for a mentee who will then be able to take this on next year
    • Able to find enough parents for picture day, but will need more volunteers for retake day and class pictures. Also need someone to head this process. Free pictures/packages to parent helper.
    • Volunteer interest survey indicated interest by additional parents to volunteer.
  • Legislative
    • Election coming! Everyone should vote.
    • Leg Assembly is October 26/27. Let us know if you have an issue you want to communicate to the assembly, as they determine the agenda for the year.
    • New dates will be scheduled for meet and gree with State Senator David Frockt, and State Reps Gerry Pollet and Javier Valdez
  • Teacher Representative
    • New interventionists have started working with groups this week and they are really meeting the needs of those kids who are working with them, while also allowing increased focus for teachers with the rest of the students.
  • Communications
    • New rules for photographs/images. Trying to limit the number of images of children on social media as it’s difficult to control the distribution of those images.
    • Lots of emails for lots of different functions; trying to improve that workflow so it’s much easier to distribute information (and prevent them from being missed).
    • Global events calendar. We know the dates, but we also want to identify when that information needs to be distributed to the different channels.
  • Building Leadership Team (BLT) Update
    • Discussions around how different staff will be used
    • Discussions around new multicultural events

New Business

Community Engagement Update Clare Kealy

  • Mom’s Night Out was a success
  • • Boo Bash is coming!
    • 1 week from Friday
    • Trying to create a fall event (similar to the Bryant Blast in the spring) to foster community
  • Speakers also coming
  • Volunteer event with Green Seattle Day on Nov 2, 9am-12pm at Magnuson
  • Grade level community engagement has continued — $500 per grade for all-inclusive event. Doesn’t need to be in the spring.

Additional business

  • Additional business focused on different requests for more funding from the unallocated funds:
  • Request from Writer’s Celebration for a new embosser (“elementary” was spelled wrong on the current one). Cost is $100.06.
    • Approved
  • Need to follow up about art supplies. No vote.
  • Request for funds for Math Talk, a K-5 textbook to help with critical thinking around math. Would like to buy 10 additional copies so that we have 2 per grade level and for the interventionists to use. $600 for 10 additional copies.
    • Approved
  • Request for sub time to support a Data review with 3rd through 5th grade teachers to review math scope and sequence. ½ day subs for 2 days across 2 grades, for a total of 10 subs at $225 per day. Total cost of $2250. We want this interim data before we go into winter. This is a one-time ask, but we need a long-term plan for how to handle this in future years.
    • Approved
  • Request from PTSA for Quickbook subscription upgrade. This will allow us to keep track of all our funds, as this summer the Plus subscription changed to restrict the number of funds we can track. We need to go up to the advanced level of Quickbooks, which is $700 (for a new annual total of $1400). It would be a significantly harder job without it. Recommended by our CPA. We can also pursue some grants for the software and evaluate
    • Approved

Adjourn 8:30

Bryant PTSA Board Meeting Minutes – November 2019

November 12, 2019

Welcome / Approval of Last Meeting’s Minutes, Whitney Griesbach, Ann Sonnen
The minutes from November’s general meeting were approved.

Treasurer’s Update, Nick Barrett
The annual campaign was a success!

  • 92% participation, with donations of ~$184k (v. $180k in 2018)
  • As of 11/12 we have collected $137k.

Additional treasurer updates include:

  • We sent $6k to a local elementary school to help with their school supplies.
  • Our insurance policy was approved.
  • We are awaiting state update on filing of our 990 with IRS.

NOTE: We’re trying out not printing financials for the meeting, but we will put it on the web as soon as possible.

Principal’s Update, Charmaine Marshall
Fall parent-teacher conferences begin next week. Our first Multicultural Event is coming in December:

  • It was originally slated for Dec 12th, but because of a competing Eckstein music performance we moved it to Friday Dec 13th.
  • For the event we have two tentative professional performers, but are looking for more performers (if parents are interested let Charmaine know!). We are also planning on having an international potluck, with a sign up coming soon.
  • We are still organizing the event. We do not have many volunteers yet, but we do have a solid framework in place. Our meeting Monday Nov 18th is to finalize the details.
  • This would likely be an annual event.
  • We ordered additional flags (10 or 12 more) to represent our study body, and they have arrived. However, we need to do a work order to get them hung.
  • REQUEST: We would like $1000 to cover performances for the event: Roger Fernandez ($200) and Taiko drummers ($580+ travel for 20 minutes of drumming).

Approved Update on MTSS framework:

  • During the week of Dec 2-6, three interventionist specialists will be doing reading testing for level 1 & 2 students.
  • During the week of Dec 9-13, K-5 teachers will be doing a data review. This will inform our strategic planning for how to best support students who need more intervention and support (as well as level 4 students).

There have been continued conversations around reintegrating HCC at neighborhood schools. They are currently proposing three sites for pilot program, and Bryant is one of those sites because so many of our students are advanced learning eligible. They are coming on 13th of December.

Our literacy leads have been looking at our literacy program and reviewing materials for 4th and 5th grades for small group instruction.

  • Currently those grades do not have small group instruction.
  • We would like to continue small group instruction for older grades.

Committee Reports

  • Fundraising (Sara/Allison)*
    • Big thank you to everyone for the Annual Campaign success!
  • Membership (Tara/Rebecca)
    • No update
  • Volunteers (Renee/Kathleen)
    • Going to send emails to committee chairs to have them send to us to post in weekly and on FB page.
  • Legislative (Sam/Adele)*
    • We had an election!
      • King county almost hit 50%, which is much bigger than usual for off-year election.
      • New school board directors.
  • Legislative assembly Oct 26-27th.
    • Presentation about the history of PTSA, updating of resolutions.
    • “Legislative chair” is now called “advocacy chair.” (We can make the update formally at the next general meeting. It will need to be approved as part of the Standing Rules.)
  • Teacher Representative (Jessica/Chara)
    • Teachers are busy preparing for conferences, identifying what data points to share. Most helpful when parents come with questions and willingness to share what’s going on at home.
    • Working with aids
    • New report cards that are standards based. More relevant to what we’re teaching.
  • Community Engagement (Clare/Jen)
    • No update
  • Community Service (Seema Bhende)*
    • More efforts to do community service. First event Nov 2 for Green Day Seattle. Allotted and filled 30 spots. Magnuson Park planting (295 plants) and clean-up.
    • Next event will be Martin Luther King Day, Jan 20th. Looking to do a service event for 150 people. We are starting to crowd source ideas for what we can do. Bryant has been offered as a venue.
      • Some schools do work at the school (painting, etc.)
      • If we do it offsite, there are more restrictions (age of children, food service). United Way King County hasn’t posted their activities yet.
      • Are there any suggestions that can accommodate a larger group?
        • Grounds work has been successful in the past—could coordinate with garden team. Clean out leaves, cut back growth, pick up trash.
        • Interior work: Cleaning or refurbishing railings or doorway by entrance, but this might have other building complications.
        • Whitney: could we start a Google doc for people to submit ideas?
        • Seema: yes!
        • Other ideas: HIP, Mary’s Place, Food Life Line.

New Business

  • Equity Committee Formation, Ann Sonnen
    • Kim Rakow Bernier is forming a new committee around equity. Initially it will be focused on equity and shared belonging at Bryant. Looking for new members, and leadership. Whitney Griesbach
  • Exec/ Committee Liaison Support, Brita Willis
    • As vice president, Brita has been reaching out to committee chairs. She has been working on the help doc, succession plans, and providing other support.
  • Additional
    • Please sign up for staff dinners during conferences. Whitney sent out a sign-up genius (not everyone received it so she will resend).
    • No update on crossing guard at 65th and 32nd.
  • Adjourn 8:15

Dec 4: Important Bryant School Play info and action items!

Please read this email carefully and in it’s entirety. In order for your student to participate in the Bryant School Play, Seussical, we need 3 things from you in the next 2 weeks:

  1. Please fill out this google form by December 8 with all the info the we and the Seattle Performers’ staff will need for your child to participate.
  2. The first casting workshop and crew meeting is on Monday, December 9th from 6-8 in the lunchroom. There is a second workshop for only performers (no crew) on Thursday December 12, also 6-8 in the lunchroom. These are mandatory workshops when students will work with Seattle Performers staff playing games, singing, and dancing so that they can cast the show. Also on Monday December 9th, following drop off of your students in the lunch room at 6pm there is a mandatory parent meeting in the library. You will get all the info for what it means for your child to participate in the school play and have an opportunity to get your questions answered.
  3. Stay tuned for a link to the website where you can pay the fee. The fee is $195. This helps to cover one script for each student; the fee to Seattle Performers to hire a producer, directors, technical director, and other production staff; materials to build the set and props; rental of AV equipment; materials for costumes; renting the play practice and performance space within Bryant Elementary, renting production equipment, and printing the program. Also included with this enrollment fee is a t-shirt for your child and a quarter page ad in the play program.

If you cannot swing the entire fee, we will accept whatever you can pay. We do not want the fee to be a barrier for any students’ participation.