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Hazel Wolf K-8 PTSA Statement on Racial Inequities and Injustice

The deaths of George Floyd and too many others weigh heavily on all of us, including the PTSA at Hazel Wolf. We are also in the midst of a pandemic crisis that is also impacting our vulnerable communities disproportionately during this time. This is a time to pause, to listen, to contemplate, and – most importantly – to stand up and take action.

Generally, the work of the PTSA is not controversial: it’s about fundraising to support tutoring, playground equipment, overnight camping trips, and pancake breakfasts. We are proud at Hazel Wolf to have funded grants for art, music, PE, and engineering; to have helped with the Read-A-Thon and Back to School Nights; to have held annual auctions and restaurant nights. All of this work, which involves hundreds of hours and dozens of volunteers, is directed to enhancing the quality of life for students and teachers, as well as to providing valuable community building.

Sometimes, we are called to step up our efforts at community building in more complex ways. The Hazel Wolf PTSA last year decided that “increasing awareness of racial equity” would be our primary area of focus for the 2019-2020 school year. We publicly declared that we would focus on making decisions using a racial equity lens, by listening to students and parents of color and by offering community, staff, parent, and student education opportunities. We meant it, even as we acknowledge that the focus, if it is to be meaningful, requires stepping out of traditional comfort zones, and taking actions as well as saying words.

Last October, the students of Hazel Wolf K-8 E-STEM School in north Seattle held a peaceful protest. The students, supported by the PTSA’s Racial Equity Committee (REC), were protesting the use of the N-word and other racial slurs at school, and asking for accountability around what happens to those who use the slurs. Our principal, Ms. Nelsen, and other administrators, teachers, and staff, as well as dozens of family members and siblings, listened to and cheered for the students who spoke out. The peaceful protest lasted about 15 minutes in front of the school and received some coverage in Seattle media.

The protest and the coverage evoked a lot of emotions. There was shock that racist incidents happened at Hazel Wolf. There was dismay that the protest was mentioned in the news. For some, the students’ descriptions of racist incidents were a wakeup call. For others, it was nothing new. The recent murder of George Floyd, one in a tragic series of similar events, has brought great grief to our community. As parents and as PTSA members, we work hard for the betterment and safety of our beloved children.

Among 46-year-old George Floyd’s words while dying were a call for his deceased mother, a wrenching reminder of the bond of family that we all share. We also know he leaves behind a 6-year-old daughter who has lost her father in a public, painful way.

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are all names in the news these days due to racist violence—they are also folks like us with moms and dads and children. The recent protests not only here in Seattle but across the country and the world have reminded us in daunting ways of the work to be done to heal our community from the trauma of racism. As happened after our peaceful October protest, the recent deaths and reactions are shocking to some, old news to others.

We know that a PTSA cannot solve these problems. We at Hazel Wolf also know that we cannot look aside. We cannot shrug our shoulders. We will continue to do the work we have done successfully in the past: supporting the needs of our teachers and students, through the traditional and valuable events and grants. More than that, though, we will take seriously our responsibility to create equity for our black students, our immigrant students, our students of color. We will continue to support Black Lives Matter at School and Black History Month, as we have done every February. We have also offered to support professional development for our teachers (who, as is true at most schools, are predominantly white) around racial equity trainings. We will support efforts to bring in more black and other teachers of color, who are role models for all our students. We will fund our Family Support programs, which provide food and other supplies to our low-income families. We will recognize that many of our low-income families are families of color, due to the systemic and entrenched history of racism that has created tremendous disparities in health care, education, employment, and more.

The REC has created an online Community of Practice for white women to focus on anti-racism work. The REC is also offering an online Community Gathering and Healing Space for black parents and caregivers. As we learned from Erin Jones, our guest speaker at the January General Session, we have so much more in common and we must continue to make progress as a united front – with authenticity and appreciation for each other as human beings. We, as the REC and PTSA, are grateful for the way our whole school community has not just talked (though talking is important) but is also walking the difficult path toward racial justice.

Sincerely,

The Hazel Wolf K-8 PTSA Board and Racial Equity Committee

Support our community with household donations – through Friday, Dec. 18

We are accepting donations to the Winter Household Drive to support those in our HW community who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. While keeping cultural diversity in mind this winter season, we are focusing our Winter Drive on household supplies instead of food. Each grade is assigned one type of item.

You can buy that item from the Target wishlist or you can buy it elsewhere locally. Target Wish List: https://www.target.com/gift-registry/gift/HWwinterdrive

ITEM LIST:
K – laundry detergent
1st grade – paper towels (if not available, soap bars like Dove)
2nd grade – toilet paper (if not available, baby wipes)
3rd grade – dish soap
4th grade – deodorant
5th grade – shampoo
6th grade – conditioner
7th grade – toothbrushes
8th grade – Nutella

We will keep track of donations based on a point system with items costing about $5 equal to one point. We’ll do our best to keep track fairly. The winning grade will win a virtual DANCE PARTY with Principal Debbie Nelsen! We will announce the winning grade after the break to allow time for all shipments to be delivered.

You can have items shipped to Tracy Buckingham the PTSA Family Support Lead (Target registry automatically ships to her) or drop off at her house. Please email Tracy for drop off info and any questions: familysupport@hazelwolfk8.org. Thank you Wolfpack for your support!

Parent Education Seminar: Coping During Online Learning – Wednesday, Dec. 16

Join the Hazel Wolf K-8 PTSA and two trauma-based pediatric therapists on Wednesday, Dec. 16, to discuss coping strategies and to know when to ask for more help or support for yourself and your children.

K-4th grades: 5 – 6 p.m.
Register: https://bit.ly/3kOdZXe (Ctrl + Click to follow link)

5th-8th grades: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Register: https://bit.ly/2ITRlPY (Ctrl + Click to follow link)

Please submit your questions in advance!

Congratulations to our Wolfpack Readers for completing the Read-A-Thon!

Now it’s time to add up your minutes read, collect your pledges and turn in your forms!

Forms and pledges can be turned in and participation bookmarks will be distributed at the school this week on December 2 & 3 (Weds & Thurs) from 2:30pm-4:30pm at the library book pick-up.

You can also email forms to fundraising@hazelwolfk8.org. Sponsors can make their donations online through December 6, here: https://hazelwolfk8.ejoinme.org/2020ReadAThon 

Winning fundraisers and raffle winners will be announced soon!

Read-a-Loud with Mystery Reader – Mon, Nov. 23

Join us next Monday for another Read-a-Loud and this time with a special guest Mystery Reader! Who could it be??? Find out on Monday, Nov. 23 at 6:30pm for K-2, 6:45pm for 3-5 and 7pm for 6-8. Register at: https://bit.ly/38mKs4k.

We had a great turn out on Monday evening at our Read-a-Loud with Dr. V for the Read-a-Thon Kick-off– so many engaged and smiling kids. Hope to see you at this next event! 

It’s not too late to participate in this year’s Read-a-Thon and get your kids reading over the break. The PTSA has some great incentives and prizes. If you missed the info in the Principal’s emails, get all the details, key dates and the packet download here: www.hazelwolfk8.org/read-a-thon

Read-a-Thon — November 16-28

Do you want to get your child more excited about reading and help them meet a goal? The PTSA has some great incentives for this year’s Read-a-Thon to get kids reading!

Reading dates are November 16-28. It’s ok if you start a little late, you can still participate! Check out the Read-a-Thon packet that contains all the program details, sponsor sheet, reading log and a bonus coloring activity sheet.

The PTSA has also designed the program this year to increase reading participation!

  • Every participant will receive a special edition HW bookmark.
  • The class with the most participants (top class per grade level) will get a cookie coupon for each student in the winning class.
  • Top fundraiser per grade level will receive a book of their choice and a Super Reader Goodie Bag.
  • Last but not least– if your child reaches their recommended grade-level reading goal, they will be entered into a raffle to win an awesome prize– a $50 shopping spree at Math ‘n’ Stuff or Third Place Books with Dr. V. There will be one raffle prize per grade level.

To be eligible for prizes, please return forms and collected pledges in person at Hazel Wolf on December 2nd or 3rd from 2:30-4:30pm or by emailing to fundraising@hazelwolfk8.org.

Packet PDF, sample pledge letter and key dates can be found at: www.hazelwolfk8.org/read-a-thon.

Check out books from Hazel Wolf Library: Tuesday, November 17th is the last day to put library books on hold to check out before the break! Here is a how-to guide. This week is extra special as there will be ten “Golden Tickets” placed in random books. There’s only one way to be a winner… you have to check out some books! Book pick-up will be on Thursday, November 19th from 2:30-4:30.

Get ready to Read-a-Thon: Packet pick up Thurs. & Friday, 2:30-4:30pm this week

It’s nearly time for the annual Hazel Wolf Read-a-Thon! Check out this video to meet our new librarian Dr. V and get more details about this year’s Read-a-Thon:

The Read-a-Thon reading period starts November 16 and goes through November 28.

Come to the HW library book pick up at school this Thurs. or Fri., Nov. 12 or 13 from 2:30pm-4:30pm and get your Read-A-Thon packet and meet Dr. V. When you pick up your packet, you can also get a hot cocoa packet to enjoy during the Read-A-Loud with Dr. V to kick off Read-A-Thon. (If you can’t come pick up during this time, packets will also be available in front of the school and online here.)
 
Read-A-Thon 2020 kicks off with a Read-a-Loud event with Dr. V on Mon, Nov. 16. This is another chance to meet Dr. V. and will bring together grade bands at 6:30pm for K-2; 6:45pm for 3-5, and 7:00pm for 6-8. Get your hot cocoa ready and don’t forget your cozy jammies! To participate, register here.

Happy reading, everyone!

Key Dates:

  • November 12 and 13 – Packet & Hot Cocoa Pick-up from 2:30-4:30pm at Hazel Wolf
  • November 16 – Read-A-Thon Kickoff and cozy Read-a-Loud with Dr. V! (K-2 at 6:30pm; 3-5 at 6:45pm; 6-8 at 7:00pm)
  • November 19 – One last library book pick-up before the break.
  • November 23 – Read-a-Loud with Mystery Reader (K-2 at 6:30pm; 3-5 at 6:45pm; 6-8 at 7:00pm)
  • November 28 – Last day of Read-A-Thon
  • November 29 – December 2 – Count minutes & collect pledges
  • December 2 & 3 – Turn all funds and paperwork in at Hazel Wolf from 2:30-4:30pm or via email to fundraising@hazelwolfk8.org. You can make Read-A-Thon contributions online at: https://hazelwolfk8.ejoinme.org/2020ReadAThon

Afterschool Ski Lessons – Registration Open!

Due to COVID-19, there will be no ski bus offerings this year. However, Snow Sports Consulting Service, LLC (SSCS) and Webbski are doing mid-week lessons at Summit Central Ski Area in Snoqualmie and Hazel Wolf students will be grouped together. You will need to provide your own transportation to the mountain.

Lesson instructors will be in charge of kids properly wearing masks and following COVID protocols during the duration of the lesson. 

2nd – 8th grade ski lessons – wednesdays

SSCS will offer ski lessons 3 – 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Summit Central Ski Area in Snoqualmie. Space is limited to 30 students. First graders can sign up with prior ski experience. 

Cost: $200 for 6 weeks.

School Registration Deadline is Nov. 24, 2020. To register, visit: http://www.snowsportsconsultingservice.com/student-forms.html – see “Pinehurst”

For any questions, email Sarah Burris

Middle school ski lessons – fridays

WebbSki will offer 1 ¼ hour ski lessons at Summit Central Ski Area in Snoqualmie on Fridays at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. or 6 p.m.

Cost: $90 for 5 weeks.

For registration with WebbSki call (206) 782-5641 or visit www.webbski.com

For any questions, email Lorraine.lewis.phillips@comcast.net

We encourage you to talk with your friends and make a plan to take lessons and/or free ski together!