Advocacy Update: Bryant Elementary needs parents’ voices now!

Please join the Bryant school funding email campaign by sending an email to the SPS School Board Directors (an email template and contact info are below).  

Background

  • SPS and the School Board are considering balancing the budget shortfall through cuts to school funding.
  • If SPS and the School Board make further budget reductions, our school would likely continue to grow in students while staff resources are cut.  This could have have significant impacts to our school including in the following ways:
    • If changes to staffing formulas are made, class ratio sizes could increase.
    • If administrative staff, such as the Assistant Principal, are cut or reduced in hours, operational and program resources would be impacted;  
    • If funding is further reduced for specialist staff (exemplified by the librarian, music, art, and PE teachers) and other critical staff, the school will have fewer teachers and staff available to serve a significant number of students. 
  • As families seek stable school resources and a quality, competitive education for their students, we must advocate during the School Board/SPS budget decision process happening now for no further cuts to student-facing positions, impacting critical, specialist staff and classroom ratio sizes.

Action

  • Please add your voice to the message by sending an email to the SPS School Board Directors by Monday, January 23rd (or before).  A suggested email template is below. Please feel free to add your student’s personal story, highlighting impacts to them from budget cuts.  The email addresses to send your email to are below.

Send the email to the SPS School Board Directors at the contact information here:

liza.rankin@seattleschools.org

Liza Rankin, District 1   

lisa.rivera.smith@seattleschools.org

Lisa Rivera Smith, District 2   

chandra.hampson@seattleschools.org

Chandra N. Hampson, District 3   

vsmaritz@seattleschools.org

Vivian Song Maritz, District 4   

mrsarju@seattleschools.org

Michelle Sarju, District 5

leslie.harris@seattleschools.org

Leslie S. Harris, District 6   

brandon.hersey@seattleschools.org

Brandon K. Hersey, District 7   

advocacy@bryantschool.org

And CC: the Bryant PTSA Advocacy team   

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Bryant School Funding Email Suggested Text

Dear SPS School Board Directors,

253 Bryant elementary parents and caregivers signed onto a Bryant PTSA letter to District 3 School Board Director Chandra Hampson in December, asking her to ensure Bryant receives full funding this year based on SPS policies and formulas for enrollment-based funding.  Further, we urged her to work to ensure that the projected SPS budget shortfall is not covered by cutting critical school staff and increasing student-teacher ratio sizes.

I email today to echo this call, particularly as you develop the funding policies which will impact next year’s budget.  Bryant is growing in enrollment and needs more student-facing positions along with a stable budget, not additional cuts creating further gaps in education resources and instability in school administration.  Since the school continues to have significant numbers of students, cuts will only require fewer teachers and staff to serve those students.

Budget cuts are having serious impacts at the school. In the case of the library funding cuts due to outstanding funding allocations from SPS this year, student library checkouts have been reduced to half, impacting the students’ independent reading opportunities and early development of good reading habits. 

[Please add a sentence or two telling the School Board your family’s story about any impact to your student from school resource cuts (e.g. any impacts to your student/s from teacher cuts, education program cuts, and/or the reduction of the Assistant Principal to half time since last year…).

I urge that, during the current budget decision process, the SPS School Board and SPS Administration make no further cuts to student-facing positions and that the critical staff positions, including the Assistant Principals, are fully funded.

Specifically, I ask for:

  • No changes to staffing formulas so that class-ratio sizes increase.
  • No further cuts to administrative staff, including the Assistant Principal position. 
  • No further funding cuts to specialist staff (exemplified by the librarian, music, art, and PE teachers) and other critical school staff.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Add your name, your child/children’s school, and your relationship to the student at Bryant

_________

1 https://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/seattle-school-enrollment-levels-off-but-district-still-faces-budget-woes/#:~:text=Seattle%20is%20projecting%20a%20budget,%24156.8%20million%20the%20following%20year

MLK Day of Service: Jan 16

Volunteers and Donations needed

4th annual hygiene kit service activity

MLK day Monday 1/16 from 10:00am-11:30am

Outdoors under the Bryant Elementary basketball courts

 

What is a Hygiene kit?

Hygiene kits are new 1 gallon zip loc bags filled with a variety of packaged snacks and useful products that will bring warmth and hope to a person in need. We organize and deliver these kits to the Miller Community Center in Capitol hill, which provides shampoo, soap, and hot showers to local residents. The kits get passed out to folks after their shower. Last year, the Bryant community donated 205 kits!

What the event will look like:

The whole family is welcome. We’ll have several tables set up at the basketball courts with loads of new items ready to organize into kits. There will be music, a letter writing station, and free Starbucks coffee for volunteers.

How to help:

  • PURCHASING items ASAP directly from this registry (simplest way) or bringing some in on your own https://www.target.com/gift-registry/gift/bryant-service-kits
  •  HANDWRITING notes at the note/drawing station at the event
  • LOANING out your folding table for the event – we’ll need many tables to help organize all the items email A
  • SORTING the items out during the event with your fellow community volunteers.

Useful items include new socks, new gloves, packaged snacks, nail clippers, cotton swabs, masks, lip balm, lotion, sanitizer, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, band aids, cough drops, hand warmers. No razors. Soap and shampoo is already provided at the Miller CC. Feminine products are welcome – they will be organized separately and placed in the women’s restroom.

Thank you for acting fast! contact Alexis Landry with any questions landry.alexis@gmail.com

PTSA Advocacy Alert Update

In December, 253 Bryant Elementary parents and caregivers formally signed on to a Bryant PTSA letter to School Board Director Chandra Hampson regarding outstanding SPS funding this year for our school  In the letter, we urged School Board Director Hampson to advocate to Seattle Public Schools (SPS) to ensure Bryant elementary school receives staff funding in accordance with the current enrollment level at the school this year.  This includes funding the librarian position fully along with additional specialist teacher funding.  The letter highlights the impacts from funding cuts on the school, including reducing student library checkouts in half this year.  Additionally, in the letter, we requested information on how SPS plans to address projected budget shortfalls.  We urged that to address the shortfall, SPS does not make cuts to critical staff and services that impact school operations and student-teacher ratios.  
 
In addition to sending School Board Director Hampson the letter, we also invited her to a community forum to discuss the issue and we currently await her answer.  In the meantime, over the month of January, SPS and the School Board begin drafting next year’s school budgets so it will be an important time for families to be engaged and active in this decision process.  Please stay tuned for further advocacy updates! 
 

Lion King KIDS: Casting Workshop & Parent Meeting

Hello Lion King Families!

We are looking forward to seeing all of you on Monday, December 5 at 6:15pm for the Student Casting Workshops and the mandatory Parent/Caregiver Meeting. Please read this entire email which includes important logistics information for Monday and a letter from Seattle’s Performers describing the casting workshop process and deadline for solo videos.

  • Entering the building: On Monday eve, please enter the school through the doors at the SW corner of the building (through the gate in the fence on the playground side of the playfield).  You will need to sign-in your student at drop-off and sign-out your student at pick-up.  
  • Parent/Caregiver Meeting: After drop-off/sign-in, please head up the stairs to the Library for the Parent/Caregiver meeting where you will also sign-in.  The meeting will last approximately 45 minutes. After the meeting, you can wait for your student outside the cafeteria or leave and return later to pick up.  Caregivers are not allowed to watch rehearsals unless they are one of the four volunteer chaperones.  
  • Chaperones: We still need three (!) volunteer chaperones for Monday evening (12/5), and two for the second workshop (Monday, 12/12).  Click here for the Sign-Up Genius. 
  • Scripts: Your student will be receiving their script on Monday night. Please write your student’s name in their script. It is important that students do not lose their scripts — if lost, your family will need to purchase an additional script.

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Hello Bryant Play Families,

Seattle’s Performers is elated to be back in person directing the Bryant Play. We are very excited to be presenting Lion King KIDS this year! Our teaching team will include myself (Sandy Sonko) along with Danielle Rogers, Hannah Adams and Somto Mgbajiaka.

When directing a school play, we know that students will have various levels of experience in performing, and we want to make the casting process as fun and enjoyable as possible. We have been using our “Getting to Know You” style of auditions when we direct musicals at schools. In this style of auditions students get to play theatre games, learn songs and dances, without the pressure of a formal audition.  During these auditions, we are looking for the students to have confidence when acting during the games and be able to be a team player and follow instructions.

If your performer is interested in singing a solo in the production, please send a video of your performer singing a 20-second portion of a song of their choice to play@bryantschool.org no later than Monday, December 12th by midnight.

During the auditions we are going to split the students into small group stations of 12-15 and rotate between each of the teachers doing Acting, Singing, Dancing and Theatre games.

December 5th Schedule

6:15-6:45pm- Teacher & Student introductions

6:45-7:00pm- 1st group rotation

7:00-7:15pm- 2nd group rotation

7:15-7:30pm- 3rd group rotation

7:30-7:45pm- 4th group rotation

7:45pm- Closing All Group Circle

December 12th Schedule

6:15pm-6:30pm- Welcome

6:30-6:50pm- 1st group rotation

6:50-7:10pm- 2nd group rotation

7:10-7:30pm- 3rd group rotation

7:30-7:50pm- 4th group rotation

7:50pm- Closing All Group Circle

 

Thank You,

Sandy Sonko

Current (22’-23’) 5th Grade Families

Hello Current 5th Grade Caregivers,

The PTSA was overjoyed that this year’s 5th graders were able to return to Islandwood camp!  A lack of fundraising last year combined with the unavailability of grant funding forced the Bryant PTSA to hurriedly pay the Islandwood fees for all 5th graders this fall. To help offset that expense, the PTSA requests 5th grade caregivers donate $360/student HERE to help cover the cost of this year’s Islandwood trip and upcoming graduation celebrations. 

We ask that families consider the recommended per student contribution, but ultimately pay what they can. Thank you for helping give back to our school!

Sincerely,

The Bryant PTSA

PTSA Advocacy November Update

Last month, PTSA volunteers from across the state met at the Washington State PTA  (WSPTA) Annual Legislative Assembly to consider and vote on the adoption of new positions to be added to WSPTA’s policy platform.
 
This year, the assembly formally updated the association’s legislative platform. The Washington State PTA legislative platform is a two-year platform to mirror the Washington state legislative cycle. The top five issues become the association’s short-term platform and consist of its priority issues when advocating throughout the year. 
 
The Top 5 Legislative Priorities for 2022-2024 that were approved by the Legislative Assembly include:
 

Addressing the Student Mental Health Crisis
Addressing Critical Gaps in Education Funding
Preventing and Reducing Gun Violence and Suicide
Addressing Funding, Inclusion and Supports in Special Education
Building and Maintaining Safer School Facilities

 
As Bryant PTSA members continue to work together and with schools across the district at the state and school district levels to promote ample and stable funding as well as programs to improve the educational outcomes of students, we invite interested Bryant school community members to add your support and to get involved in advocacy efforts throughout the year. For those interested, please contact advocacy@bryantschool.org.

Annual Campaign Record Results!

The Annual Campaign reached record setting results this year:
98% Participation! 117% Fundraising Goal!
 
To recognize how hard students worked to remind their adults to participate, the PTSA has decided that ALL Bryant classes will receive an extra recess!  (Note: This is not something we have done before, but this year was particularly exceptional.)
 
Thank you to all families for their support and generosity this year.  Together, we make difference for ALL students at Bryant.
 
Special thanks to the Bryant teachers, the lunchroom volunteers, the Bryant Weekly Team, the website team, room parents, and Amy & Kathleen at the front desk.
 
Jenn, Michael, Nelly and Sara 
PTSA Fundraising Committee