Wintertime Ramble this Friday, Dec 15

Calling Bryant walkers and bikers: our last walk/bike event of 2017 will take place Friday morning, Dec 15.

What: Wintertime Ramble
Where: Top Pot Doughnuts in Wedgwood (6855 35th Ave NE).
When: Friday, Dec 15, 7-7:30 am
Who: Bryant walkers and bikers and their parents
How: NEW FORMAT — come for donuts and coffee, visit with friends, get merry, then head to school with your parents as you please. In the past the Bryant Bike Fairy has led the bikers en masse to school, but she is not going to do that this time.

It’ll be dark so make sure you have lights or reflective gear so we can ride and walk safely.

Bryant PTSA Board Meeting Minutes – November 2017

Bryant PTSA Board Meeting Minutes
November 14, 2017
Bryant Library

Welcome and Introductions, Julie Ohrazda & Kim Love

Approve September Board Meeting Minutes

Officer/Standing Committee Reports

  1. Treasurer’s Recap Report (7:10-7:15) Nelly Goodnoe & Brita Willis
    1. Annual campaign collected $111k in donations thus far/should be 158k with fulfilled pledges
    2. Q4 contract under budget
    3. Spirit-wear tracked online through square, 6k total thus far
  2. Fundraising Chair Report (7:15-7:20) Leeann Huntington & Sara Fenzel
    1. Next year we will try combo of pledge cards and on-line donation ability
    2. Will gather requirements for on-line payment methods next month
    3. Create more clarity around pledge cards
    4. Prize for 100% classroom participation next year = pizza party. Feedback was this year’s goal was too vague
    5. Will coordinate pledge card with movie night: turn in your pledge card and PTSA will pay for your popcorn
    6. Thank teachers ahead of time next year with donuts, also have luncheon a week earlier
    7. Amount now is 111k, set to be 158k compared to last year’s 116k at this time last year
    8. Lower fundraising in general across the school system
  3. Volunteer Coordinator – verification fee request (7:20- 7:25) Ann Marie Paterson
    1. New vetting procedure: if you are not a WA state resident for at least 3 years then you are background checked on a national level by a service hired by the district. This is at a cost of $31/person. Will soon be recruiting UW students that will more likely be from out of state. Request for fund in reserve for reimbursement for these background checks. Challenge is other schools that do not have the ability to establish this type of fund and potential volunteers that are likely out of state/homeless/recent immigrants/etc. Payment is due via credit card, which is also a challenge.  This is clearly an equity issue. Volunteer Coordinator will speak to District Board Member at Zoka office hours to discuss equity conversation that occurred at this meeting. Comments, thoughts, and concerns are welcome to add to conversation.
    2. Motion to set aside $300 to cover funds for college students applying to volunteer and fit into above category. Motion approved.
  4. Legislative Chairs Report (7:25- 7:30) Shelley Prosise & Jean Charette
    1. Co-legislative chair from Eckstein invited us to co-host an event at Eckstein on November 30th at 7pm titled: “Are our schools amply funded?” Co-sponsor entails having name on flyer and helping to market the event. Possible funds needed for flyer.
    2. Variety of resolutions at assembly:
      1. Mental health needs of children
      2. Trauma informed care
      3. LGTBQ inclusion
      4. Increasing access and affordability to secondary and higher education
    3. 663 people responded to survey that led to these top four issues
    4. Looking for feedback and thoughts around on these top four issues. Proposal to have another meeting to discuss this further and how we can address these concerns.
  5. Bryant Leadership Team (7:30-7:35) Kim Love
    1. Discussed calendar for early release days. Calendar is being finalized soon. If you have questions about calendar, see Kim Love.
    2. Discussed building goals and what we would like to accomplish as a building including
      1. Engaging more families is a big topic. Especially for lunchroom volunteer recruitment. Ideas included a video series showing what the role of lunchroom volunteer is. Not understanding the role is a big barrier for volunteers.
      2. Also changing Curriculum Night to more of a connections opportunity between families rather than a one-way conversation. More concrete plans coming soon.
  6. Principal’s Report (7:35- 7:45) Dan Sanger
    1. BLT is focusing on 3 primary goals:
      1. Implementing new literacy curriculum with fidelity. Challenges come from assessment increases yet general perception is that this is a thoughtful program.
      2. Becoming more culturally competent as a building. This is a major component of the literacy curriculum.
      3. Meet students where they are on their individual learning progression.
    2. BLT has set of tasks-
      1. Create a budget
      2. Create a professional development calendar.  On early release days teachers get an additional hour of work and assessment time. The other hour is for professional development.  This is a new and exciting development that is coming out of committees. Committees are really focused on meeting primary goals set out by BLT. The umbrella of all committess is belonging and inclusion. This is streamlining quite well with what the district is planning and the district goals.
    3. Announcement: new choir teacher! Article in Bryant Weekly. Choir will happen on Mondays.

Special Committee Reports

Special Orders

New Business

  1. Grant summary, Nelly Goodnoe
  2. Grant request (sub time & volunteer coordinator), Nelly Goodnoe
    1. Motion to increase budget for sub days. Motion approved.
    2. 2 K classes and 4 1st grade classes asking for payment for Splash Math. Motion to change budget line item from A-Z  reading to Classroom Software.
  3. Teacher assessment days’ budget request, Julie Pearson (absent)
  4. School of Excellence survey results, Julie Ohrazda
    1. Create a culture and climate to include all families.
    2. In line with BLT and District goals.
  5. Winterfest format (8:25- 8:30) December 14th, Kim Love
    Instead of just music, idea to make it a literacy and music focus. Sing along a possibility for each class and possibly choir will perform a little bit. Author visit will occur before music piece. Idea of inclusion and community participation came up in order to recruit more members. Idea to get 5th graders to have a bake sale. More concerted effort to get people to come. Parents can drop off kids and shop book fair during the Winterfest.
  6. School Supply Initiative, Kim Love
    Instead of supply list coming home from kids, have PTSA buy supplies and parents give money for supplies. Kids would only be responsible for backpacks and lunchbox. Idea is to get a little extra money to donate to other schools. Will save money overall.
  7. Laser childcare for General Mtgs, Kim Love
    1. Request to LASER to provide childcare for general meetings and speaker nights. LASER requests that we provide pizza. Motion to set aside $600 for pizza funding for LASER speaker nights.
      Motion approved.

November 30th Eckstein Event

December 14th Winterfest.

Bryant PTSA General Meeting Minutes – October 2017

October 10th, 2017, 7pm
Bryant Lunchroom

Welcome and Introductions, Julie Ohrazda & Kim Love   

Approve June General Meeting Minutes (approved)

Officer/Standing Committee Reports

  1. Treasurer’s report (Nelly Goodnoe & Brita Willis)
    • Brita reviewed projected budget.
    • $161k collected from Annual Campaign last year to be used this year.
    • See attached report. Copies distributed at meeting as well as posted on-line.
  2. Volunteer Coordinator’s Report  (Tammy Shorr & Janie Booth)
    • 160 Volunteer packets filled out, they have been distributed so that parents can reach out to interested volunteers.
    • Two volunteers to run the Reflections Committee,
    • Still looking for Artist in Residence as well as Bryant Blast volunteers.
    • Still a gap in playground/recess that needs to be addressed.
    • Leadership encouraged to ask parents about volunteering at Bryant.
  3. Fundraising Chair Report – (Leann Huntington & Sara Fenzl)
    • Annual campaign launched on the 9th, we are currently slightly below other years.
    • Some glitches in cards that were distributed which is causing a delay. Hoping the lower numbers can be attributed to this glitch.
    • Leann emailed committee heads to remind them this is a blackout period for reaching out for anything other than Annual Campaign in order to funnel all communications towards encouraging to give to Annual Campaign.
    • Campaign started a little earlier in order to cause less disruption in Halloween Party planning for room parents, which may also be contributing to the lower numbers.
    • Annual Campaign is the only direct ask to parents, the rest of fundraising is directed towards community building. 80% of funds are garnered in Annual Campaign.
    • Past campaigns have been focused on grade level participation with a grade level pizza party for grade that has the most cards turned in. Last year was a 94% turn in rate, this year trying for 95%, and reward will be a school-wide popsicle party. This is meant to motivate older grades that typically have lower rates.
    • Also considering a Bryant Café happy hour for parents post- Annual Campaign.
  4. Bryant Building Leadership Team  (Kim Love)
    • During the BLT meeting, Team went over building’s professional development calendar, overview of school year, and discovered points of focus and goals are for the year.
    • Goals are leaning towards engagement, much like PTSA goals.

New Business

  1. Approving Standing Rules- (Kim Love)
    • Only change is standards of affiliation checklist and requirements.
    • Change read aloud by Kim.  Standing Rules approved.
  2. Approve General Budget (Nelly Goodnoe and Brita Willis).
    • Brita read items changed from spring budget approval including leftover funds allocation: 22k in reserve.
    • Playground supervisor position is moving from 2 to 3 hours per week.
    • Access to Britannica On-line funding approved.
    • 3k grants allocated to divide money per grade level to hold grade level events.
    • Budget is available for viewing on-line.
    • Budget approved.
  3. Playground Supervision:
    • As a board we discussed over email we decided to fund an additional playground supervisor for safety of children and difficulty in gaining parent volunteers.
    • Approved to increase playground supervision budget by 2k for this coming year as a one-time budget increase.
    • Playground supervision is funded in entirety by PTSA.
    • Volunteer Coordinators are working to explore different ways to fund playground supervision, and are in process of looking at how other school buildings are handling this issue as well as how to tweak the volunteer role within the school.  In consideration are increased numbers of school students and increased number of working parents in the school cohort as well as bell changes.
    • There are currently significant daily gaps in the lunchroom and recess.
    • Discussed potential disciplinary differences happening in the lunchroom in an attempt to control lunchtime chaos.
    • Discussed Best Practices for Lunch, with the idea that lunch should occur after lunch. Barrier to this recommendation is hand-washing requirements.
  4. Home Street Bank : Nelly Goodnoe.
    • Motion :We agree that Leeann Huntington, Lauren Abraham, Jennifer Mahlum are coming off accounts at HomeStreet Bank.  We agree that Kim Love, Nelly Goodnoe, Brita Willis will be new signers for Bryant Elementary PTSA accounts at HomeStreet Bank.”
    • Motion approved.
  5. School of Excellence (Julie Ohrazda)
    • We will move forward with program. Survey of 20 questions will be sent out to parents and staff after Annual Campaign. From survey a baseline will be established to come up with an Action Plan.
    • End of year we will take another survey to add to national database.
    • We will be offering Kids and Race program at Eckstein auditorium in coming months. Same program offered at View Ridge on the 17th.
  6. Building Security Concerns (Kelli Hessler)
    • Concern that main doors are left open all day and is requesting a locked entry with an intercom to gain entry. Has explored other schools and some area schools are doing this.
    • Suggestion to reach out to Thornton Creek that has adapted this system and how it has impacted staff since it is new to them.
    • Others feel that front door buzzer is not a deterrent. May be useful to look at statistics about effectiveness of buzzer system. This may also have an impact on volume of parents dropping off late kids, etc.
    • Kim Love suggested education about what to do when there is an emergency and how to make things safer and easier for reunification with families in event of emergency.
    • There is not a known policy by SPS for security at schools.
    • Possibility to have security director at Children’s to conduct a survey of school and make recommendations for increasing security.
    • Payment for security would have to be covered by Bryant/PTSA.
    • Discussion led to looking into an audit, discussing what are best practices for security, and engaging school as a culture in the idea of maintaining security.






2017 Reflections art competition: Within Reach



Our best turn-out ever! Bryant Elementary students submitted sixty-five entries to Reflections, a national PTSA art competition. Recently, three local art professionals narrowed their selection to twelve entries to be sent along to the city-level competition. It was a very tough decision and our judges spent many hours studying all entries. Bryant’s twelve selections moving along to the city-level competition were notified last week! All sixty-five entries will be featured at Bryant’s Family Art Night later in the school year! 

All Reflections participants and patrons of the arts are invited to view the city-level finalists on display at the Seattle Center Armory (balcony). Art will be on display between December 1, 2017 and January 7, 2018. Bryant artists are features as part of 20 Seattle schools represented at this exhibit!

Thank you and your child for supporting the Arts at Bryant!

Questions: contact Beth Jacob-Files & Kelli Hessler.

Save up and shop the Winterfest Book Fair

The Winterfest Book Fair will open for business in the Bryant Library starting Friday, December 8. There will be a broad selection of children’s books as well as adult titles. The library receives 25% of all sales! Stop by after school or your ASE classes, with extended hours Thursday during the Winterfest festivities! And be sure to check the teacher wish list shelves for great classroom gifts.

  • Fri, Dec 8, 6-8pm during Movie Night
    Mon, Dec 11, 2:25-4pm
    Tues, Dec 12, 2:25-4pm
    Wed, Dec 13, 1:10-4pm
    Thurs, Dec 14, 2:25-4pm & 6-8pm during Winterfest!

Can’t make it to the Book Fair at school? Shop at the University Bookstore in the U district, or shop online any time for their extended selection of books, art supplies and Husky gear. Use the code BES to benefit Bryant year-round!

Questions? Contact Elizabeth GeistKirsten AndersonJudy Haley or Kim Love


Walktober wraps up

Beautiful fall weather graced our Walktober events to celebrate Bryant walkers this year! Each Friday morning over 100 Bryant students visited one of our four walking stations, had a treat, visited with friends and neighbors, and headed to school together. We thank everyone who helped with the stations, as well as those who stopped by a station.

It is great to see a large contingent of Bryant walking to school – not only does it help cut down on car traffic during drop off, it’s also a fun to start the day with fresh air and friends. As the coming months grow darker and wetter, stay warm and happy — keep on walking to school!

October is WALKtober

October is Walk to School Month, and we will be celebrating our many Bryant students who make their way to school on foot! Each Friday in October (Oct 6, 20, and 27) we will be hosting “walking bus stops” surrounding Bryant from 7:30-7:40 to gather with friends, have a treat, and walk to school together.

Meeting points:

  • West Station 30th Ave. NE/NE 60th St.
  • South Station 33rd Ave. NE/NE 55th St.
  • North Station 32nd Ave. NE/NE 65th St.
  • East Station 36th Ave. NE/NE 60th St.

Live NW of Bryant? A walking school bus will run through the neighborhood, beginning west of Third Place Books, and make scheduled stops on the way to school. Contact Michele Solis for more details.