Wolf Pack Wins Reflections Art Contest

Washington State Parent Teacher Association Reflections Art Contest update!

Out of thousands of entries from across the country, only about 200 are given awards. And one of them went to a member of our Wolf Pack!

Sending a BIG congratulations to 8th grader Micah K.! His photography entry “Ella with Paint” in the 2019-20 Reflections art contest won the Washington state middle school photography category and earned a Merit Award in the national contest! This is the first artist to represent Hazel Wolf at the national competition!

This year’s theme was “Look Within.” Hazel Wolf K-8 had students at all grade divisions enter work in two of the six arts categories (photography and visual arts). We sent 17 pieces to the Seattle City Council (14 visual arts and 3 photography). Two of those pieces were finalists and were judged at the state competition in March. Five received “honorable mention” awards.

CONGRATULATIONS to Micah K. and to all of our student artists. They did a great job with their work this year.

“Ella with Paint” by Micah K.

Join the PTSA Board!

There are several Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) board positions opening for the 2020-21 school year, and if you’ve ever thought of joining the board, now is a great time as we plan for the next school year and how the PTSA can play a meaningful role in our school community.

Three executive board positions are opening, including: Co-President, Vice President of School Community and Vice President of Operations; as well as some really interesting coordinator roles to get you directly involved with the students, staff, and community (E-STEM, Equity, Legislative, Membership, Staff Appreciation/Homeroom Reps, Student Extensions, and Staff Support). Also, we are still looking for volunteers to lead the charge in planning next year’s auction.

Descriptions of the roles can be found here.

Contact Adrienne Kortas if you have any questions, to share your interest or to nominate someone for one of these roles!

PTSA General Session Online Meeting – April 29

Hazel Wolf parents, staff and students are invited to join the Spring General Session online meeting from 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, 2020, to hear important Hazel Wolf K-8 Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA) updates, including voting on a budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal school year, voting in new executive board members, discussing the current state of “remote instruction” and coming together as a community to celebrate all we’ve accomplished in this wacky school year.

This meeting will take place remotely via Zoom. Zoom Meeting ID: 913 1327 3259 and Password: 011956.

We invite everyone to join us to better building community that allows all students to thrive. You do not have to be a PTSA member to attend.

We hope to see you there!

Legislative Update, Call to Action

Federal Rule Change: School and Summer Meals

The USDA is trying to change rules about who can access free or reduced-price school meals. This would be especially hard on Seattle kids because our high cost of living offsets incomes, allowing some more middle-income families to get subsidized school meals.

Additionally, if fewer kids in a school qualify for subsidized meals, the school can lose its Title 1 status. That means a major loss of funding and supports that help reduce class sizes and provide wrap-around services. In our neighborhood, Olympic Hills and Northgate Elementary schools currently qualify for Title 1.

Technically, a comment period on a proposed rule is not a voting exercise. However, hearing from a large group of parents can make a difference. Submitting unique comments is better than form letters, for those who can send something personal. In addition to the harm this would cause locally, here are some key points:

·  The Regulatory Impact Analysis failed to include the rule’s impact on the School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program

·  The draft rule fails to analyze long-term impacts and associated costs, including potential for reduced high school graduation rates, adult earnings, and community health impacts

·  The draft rule fails to account for impacts to Title 1 schools in high-cost areas. Loss of Title 1 funding and supports could be catastrophic to the educational objectives set by Department of Education for these schools.

The reforms were announced on January 17, 2020. For additional details about these proposals, see: School Meals Reform FactsheetSummer Meals Reform Factsheet and USDA Sets the Record Straight on Proposed School Meals Flexibilities.

The comment period will be extended 30 days and ends April 22, 2020. This extension will allow schools, state agencies, stakeholders, and others who are working tirelessly to ensure children have food to eat while schools are closed the opportunity to provide valuable feedback. Please submit comments via regulations.gov.

State Legislative Session Closes

The Washington State legislature adjourned “sine die” on March 12. To support COVID-19 efforts, the Legislature appropriated $200 million, of which $25 million was set aside in a new unemployment account created to support employees who need these benefits during school and business closures and time off to care for themselves or affected family members. On the final day of session, several amendments were adopted, including one that gives the State Board of Education the authority to grant waivers for students in the class of 2020 or before who are on track to graduate but are affected by school closures.

A pdf with a full recap from the Washington State PTA on education-related budget and legislative items is here

Support and Resources for Hazel Wolf Families During COVID-19 Closure

Below is a list of immediate support resources for Hazel Wolf families during the COVID-19 school closure:

  1. For help with basic food needs, medicine for sick children, and basic utilities contact Principal Debbie Nelsen directly at dnelsen@seattleschools.org
  2. Ongoing support with groceries contact PTSA Tracy Buckingham at familysupport@hazelwolfk8.org
  3. School sites with meals for all students 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Friday. There are 26 meal sites total. These sites will be a hub for resources. The three closest to Hazel Wolf:
    • Olympic Hills Elementary School, 13018 20th Ave NE. Enter/Exit through door near the southwest corner of building facing NE 130th Street drive-up area.
    • Eckstein Middle School, 3003 NE 75th St. Enter/Exit from courtyard area near portables through cafeteria doors on east side of building.
    • Nathan Hale High School, 10750 30th Ave NE. Enter/Exit through main entrance door on west side of building facing 30th Ave. Cafeteria will be down the hall on the right.
  4. Financial Resources for Washington Residents Impacted by COVID-19: https://dfi.wa.gov/coronavirus-financial-resources
  5. Seattle Public Schools Family Resources and updates: For written translations of the Seattle Public Schools webpage, use the “Select Language” drop down feature found on the upper right corner. https://www.seattleschools.org/district/calendars/news/what_s_new/coronavirus_update/resources
  6. King County info about the coronavirus: https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/communicable-diseases/disease-control/novel-coronavirus.aspx
  7. Free two months of internet: Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, Internet Essentials will increase speeds from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 for all customers in response to emergency measures associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19). This speed increase will happen automatically – no action is required by customers. In addition, new customers will receive two months of free service. https://www.internetessentials.com/  
  8. City of Seattle utility discount program: Customers financially impacted by COVID-19 are urged to set up payment plans with either Seattle City Light or Seattle Public Utilities by calling 206-684-3000 or sending an email 24/7. https://www.seattle.gov/humanservices/services-and-programs/affordability-and-livability/utility-discount-program
  9. Mayor stops evictions (temporarily): Mayor Durkan signed an emergency order: temporary moratorium on residential evictions, to keep Seattle families from losing their homes as a result of impacts from coronavirus. This begins immediately in the City of Seattle for any residential eviction action related to the non-payment of rent. Tenants required to continue pay their rent if they are able and should work with their landlords on payment plans if they are experiencing financial hardship. 
  10. Health insurance (those without insurance): Washington State Health Benefit Exchange offers limited-time special enrollment period for qualified individuals who are currently without insurance.   The special enrollment period runs through April 8 and will allow uninsured individuals 30 days to enroll in health insurance coverage through Washington Heathplanfinder. Until April 8, individuals seeking a special enrollment must contact the Customer Support Center between 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at 1-855-923-4633; TTY: 1-855-627-9604, or a local certified broker or navigator. https://www.wahbexchange.org/new-customers/who-can-sign-up/special-enrollment-period
  11. Educational Programming on SPS TV: Starting Monday, March 23, Seattle Public Schools will be providing educational programming on SPS TV. These videos will feature Seattle Public Schools educators in short segments to support optional learning in a variety of subjects and grade levels. We will also be offering aligned, printed materials at school lunch distribution sites for families who do not have access to TV or internet. https://www.seattleschools.org/district/calendars/news/what_s_new/coronavirus_update/resources/sps_tv
  12. Childcare: Seattle Public Schools is partnering with our five of our child care partners who operate at up to 12 Seattle school sites to re-open their child care spaces next week: https://www.seattleschools.org/district/calendars/news/what_s_new/coronavirus_update/resources/child_care. The University YMCA also will run a special day camp during school closures: https://hazelwolfk8.org/2020/03/17/registration-open-special-ymca-program-starts-wednesday-march-18/

This information also is available in Amharic, Tigrinya and Spanish.

Registration Open – Special YMCA Program Starts Wednesday, March 18

The YMCA has been working in partnership with Public Health, Department of Children Youth and Families, and local school districts to find ways to support working families who need child care.

Beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. the YMCA will offer full-day programming at most YMCA branches throughout King County, including the University YMCA, which runs Kid’s U, Hazel Wolf’s afterschool program.

The purpose is to provide a safe and nurturing place for youth while first responders and health care providers of direct services, and parents/guardians who need to work and do not have support systems readily available. 

To register for programming at University YMCA, visit: https://apm.activecommunities.com/seattleymca/Activity_Search?detailskeyword=372052 

Please note, YMCA is using a NEW registration process to allow flexibility for families by providing daily options. If you have any questions, please email registration@seattleymca.org.

YMCA PREVENTATIVE HEALTH PRACTICES

  • Anyone who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to remain home.
  • Wellness check will be conducted for all staff and youth before attending program, including a temperature check. Anyone with 100.0 F degree or higher will not be allowed to remain.
  • Ongoing cleaning will be scheduled during the day, especially in common areas.
  • Frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizers will be used.
  • Nightly disinfectant cleaning will be done as an additional measure.
  • During the program hours, youth will be organized in small groups (9 youth and 1 staff) and rotate for activities as part of social distancing and meet the developmental needs of youth.
  • Parents/Guardians will be dropping off and picking up at the entrance and not allowed to access the program space.

The YMCA is glad to be able to continue to support our community through this difficult time. If you would like to support the Y’s work, please consider making a donation at https://www.seattleymca.org/donate. This will help support families in need, homeless youth programs, and providing meals for youth. 

For more information about Kid’s U and Hazel Wolf’s afterschool programming, visit the Afterschool Programs page.

Black Lives Matter at School Follow-up

A message from Principal Debbie Nelsen:

“Dear Hazel Wolf K-8 Families, 

Last week Hazel Wolf K-8 made Black Lives Matter Week a priority. We took time away from some of our typical daily learning to embrace this important work and to teach our students about the importance of the history leading to this week, as well as steps moving forward.  

Across the grade levels and content areas, the staff provided students with rich opportunities to dig deep inside themselves to understand and reflect.

On Monday, the MS (as a whole) attended an assembly on the history of and necessity for Black Lives Matter Week lead by Erin Jones. To help with the continuation of this work, Ms. Jones shared with us not only the power point presentation with accompanying notes, but also included additional slides about the N-word and suggestions about learning teachers could do moving forward.

On Tuesday, each MS grade level attended a presentation with Erin Jones in which they participated in a variety of interactive activities. She shared her story, including personal experiences with racism and the reasons she has devoted her life to this work. She also spoke about the importance of words and how they are used. She led the kids in an activity where they used post-its to write down negative words/phrases they have been called and have called others and then collected them. This was followed by an activity where the students then wrote down all of the positive words/phrases they have been called, have called others, or would like to hear used. Those were collected at the end of each session.

Throughout the remainder of the week and continuing into an additional week, students participated in specific Black Lives Matter lessons in their classes as well as in long-term units incorporating Black Lives Matter themes. 

As part of our conclusion to Black Lives Matter Week, MS students gathered in the courtyard for a symbolic ending to the use of those negative words where the post-its are burned in front of them. In the MS, their positive words were turned into a “positivity garland” hanging throughout the hallways as a visual reminder of what they want to hear and say.

We thank you for the conversations you have had, and hopefully continue to have, with your child.  If you have feedback about any of the activities during Black Lives Matter week that you would like to share please let me know.

For additional information, including resources from Erin Jones’ talk “Black Lives Matter at School: The Power and History of Words” at the PTSA General Session Jan. 22, 2020, visit the Racial Equity Committee webpage.