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Falcon Flyer, Volume 3, Issue 2

Summary Links


  1. Calendar of Upcoming Events
  2. A Note From Ms. Breidenbach
  3. Counselor’s Corner
  4. Enrichment Update
  5. Picture Day
  6. Save the Date – Falcon Fest!
  7. Choir Starts Next Week
  8. Volunteer Opportunities
  9. State Legislative Advocacy


Calendar of Upcoming Events


Stay up to date on all Fairmount Park Elementary events by visiting the Event Calendar page and adding events to your

September 22, 2016

  • Curriculum Night, 6:00 – 8:00pm (this is a parents only event)
    • Grades K-2 Classroom Presentations, 6:00 – 7:00pm
    • Grades 3-5 Classroom Presentations, 7:00 – 8:00pm
    • Ms. Breidenbach’s Yearly Overview Talk, 6:30 – 7:00pm and 7:00 – 7:30pm
    • Pictures for volunteer badges.  All parents who plan to volunteer on a regular basis should have pictures taken in the 2nd floor Amphitheater between the library and the elevator..

September 28, 2016

  • 12:05pm early dismissal

September 30, 2016

  • Picture Day
  • Lost & Found Collection Day

October 6, 2016

  • Last day to sign up for Advanced Learning Testing

October 14, 2016

  • In-Service Day (No School)

October 21, 2016

  • Fall Falcon Fest, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

A Note From Ms. Breidenbach


I find that I may be more superstitious than I thought! As I marvel that the start of this school years gone incredibly smoothly, I also want to knock on wood to make sure that I don’t jinx it! Watching this school grow and develop over the past 2+ years has been truly uplifting and enlightening. Our school’s success is a testament to the power of positive beliefs and hard work. My ultimate goal is for every child to feel connected and successful at Fairmount Park Elementary. I am constantly preaching to our students that effort and growth are what we value. The same is true for the staff. We are constantly monitoring our effort and practices so that all students achieve success and know that they are valuable members of our community.

Some nuts and bolts:

  • Individual and group photos are on Friday, September 30, 2016. We are in need of two volunteers that day to assist the photographers. Please email Lori Moore if you are available to volunteer from 8:00am – 2:00pm that day.
  • Thanks to everyone for using Fauntleroy for student drop-off in the morning. This makes the area along the main entrance a safe and calm place to receive our three and four-year old preschool students. Please do not use the alley behind the school for morning drop-offs. I repeat: Drop off is on Fauntleroy.
  • Our school staff has a new version of Outlook this year. I recently noticed that several parent emails were automatically sent to the clutter file. Yikes! Always follow up with a phone call if you sent an email with no response within 48-72 hours. We are all still learning the subtle nuances of this program.
  • Please consider the implications of family vacations during the school year. Very little of what we do during the school day can be replicated in homework. I think it sends the students a message that school isn’t important when they head off for Hawaii or Mexico for a week during the school year. Of course, trips for a college graduation, a funeral, or grandma’s 90th birthday, for example, are different from vacations. I realize that we are sun deprived in Seattle, but those vacations need to happen outside of the school calendar. Yes, what we do at school is that important!!! Disneyland is open 365 days a year…we have only 177 days of school.

Thank you, Ms. Breidenbach

Counselor’s Corner, with Mrs. Pendergrass


Just 19 years ago (feels like yesterday!) we put our firstborn on a bus to kindergarten after much coaching, role-playing and encouragement. As I choked back tears and waved with a forced smile, I recall watching him bravely getting on board and choosing a seat next to what looked like to me a very big kid. As the bus pulled away I noticed our son Luke was saying something to that big kid.

When I met him at the bus later that day, I asked him what he said to that big kid. He replied, “Oh, I just said, ‘I KNOW you can beat me up’.” I of course was surprised to hear that and asked what the kid said back to him. Luke said with a smile, “He just laughed!”

Our kids learn something about themselves and the world in every one of these new experiences. Luke learned that day a sense of humor is a tool he can use to face his fears.

Everyday I’m seeing Fairmount Park kids growing as they handle unexpected reactions from other students, new academic challenges, and even different perspectives from adults they meet. Sometimes it’s difficult for parents to watch because when things don’t go as expected, these growing experiences aren’t always easy and can even be painful. Then there are times when we as adults lose our cool and forget that a seemingly simple new task can be hugely overwhelming to a child.

When kids are at school and experience challenges while away from us, it can be difficult to know how and when to step in. Often we want to fix this situation as quickly as possible. But sometimes it’s better for the child to experience a little discomfort as they work through a solution themselves. They are more likely to learn from that unexpected reaction or from the poor choice they’ve made, and they won’t repeat it if they have come up with their own resolution. They’ll also learn important coping skills as they figure out how to work within the support system of their school community and with the assistance of other caring adults.

I’ve heard it said, “Failure is success if we learn from it!” All those years ago on the bus, Luke might have been punched in the face for his comment to that big kid. It would have hurt and made us angry, but he would have learned a lot from that experience as well!

Enrichment Update


Thanks to everyone for navigating through our new online registration and payment process!

We are working on improving the system even further. Keep an eye on your inbox for class confirmations. Most classes begin the week of October 3, 2016, but please take note of your specific class dates as they vary. Those registered in Prep or Cantate choir and Karate should have received their confirmations.

Please contact your PTA via email if you have questions or concerns.

September 30th, 2016 is Picture Day!


Mark your calendars, school picture day is just over a week away. A reminder there will be no classroom retakes – only individual. Pictures and retakes may also be ordered online below.

Save the Date – Fall Falcon Fest!


Please save the date Friday 10/21/2016 for Falcon Fest. The event will include various fun art/crafts, cake walk, and 3 delicious food trucks (American, Mexican, and Asian cuisine). Bring your whole family for an opportunity to connect with teachers, administration, and other FPE families.

Falcon Fest starts at 5:30pm and ends at 7:30pm.

Choir Starts Next Week


If you signed up to participate in choir this year, rehearsals start next week!

Prep Choir (Grades 1-2)

  • Tuesday, September 27, 2016 from 2:10-3:10pm

Cantate Choir (Grades 3-5)

  • Thursday, September 29, 2016 (2:10-3:10pm)

As always, you can visit www.mrpendergrass.com for more information.

Volunteering Information and Opportunities


Remember to turn in your volunteer paperwork to the FPE office. Volunteers must complete the volunteer paperwork each and every year! If you are a new volunteer you must also watch the video course on Adult Sexual Misconduct Prevention. If you have already watched the video, you do not have to do so again for the remainder of your time at SPS.

All paperwork, links and sign ups and more can be found online. You can also pick up hard copies of volunteer paperwork by visiting the FPE main office.

Pictures for volunteer badges will be taken at Curriculum Night Thursday, September 22, 2016.

Opportunity #1: Picture Day

Volunteer assistance is needed for picture day on 9/30/2016. Help Yuen Lui photographers ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Opportunity #2: Vision & Hearing Screenings

Help our school nurse for a few hours with vision and hearing screenings for students on Friday, September 23, 2016 & Friday October 7, 2016.

Opportunity #3: Become a Classroom Parent

Several teachers still need Classroom Parents (Ms. Naze, Mr. Warbington, Mr. Peterson, Ms. Hitch/Gilbert, Ms. Wilson, Ms. Christi, Ms. Ravenscroft, and Ms. Wilkie).

Opportunity #4: Translation Help

Volunteer help is needed to translate PTA materials and correspondence to our Vietnamese, Mandarin, Somali, and Arabic speaking families. Please contact Ms. Sherwood if you are able to help. Let’s make sure all families are included and know what is going on in our FPE community.

Thank you, PTA Volunteer Committee

State Legislative Advocacy for Education Funding and Policy


2017 is the year the WA State Legislature is on the hook for fully funding basic education, but they need to hear from all of us. We must push our state legislature to make the necessary investments in our children.

There are three steps each of us can take right now:

Step #1: Fill out the PTA Survey

Give Fairmount Park Elementary families a strong voice and help choose the PTA’s legislative priorities for the state legislative session. It will only take a few minutes and your input is critical to both the FP representatives who attend the Assembly and the WA PTA as a whole. Responses are due by noon Oct. 6th, so please fill this out right away.

Step #2: Take Part in the State PTA Legislative Assembly

Each year, the WA State PTA holds a Legislative Assembly to determine the PTA legislative priorities for the coming year. Each PTA is allowed at least 4 delegates and it would be great to have more representatives from Fairmount Park Elementary. The 2016 Legislative Assembly takes place on October 21-22, 2016 in Olympia. Join in!

Step #3: Join the Fairmount Park Elementary PTA

Become a part of the FPE Legislative Committee and help track local and state education issues. Use this information to figure out ways to help other FP parents engage in advocating for our students. Contact Susan Saffery for more information. Thank you!