Upcoming Parents Night Out

Join your fellow Falcon families for Shopping & Drinks at The Georgetown Collection from 4:00-8:00pm on November 18, 2016 and around the corner at Counterbalance Brewing from 5:00-9:00pm.

The Georgetown Collection will donate 10% of the night’s profits to FPE PTA. In addition, all children’s books will be priced at 50% off wholesale, 75% off retail AND for each book purchased, a book will be donated to the FPE Library!

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Falcon Flyer, Volume 3, Issue 8


I’ve run out of different ways to express gratitude, so I’ll say a simple and heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers who organized Falcon Fest. I saw a lot of excited Falcons decorating their pumpkins and enjoying a treat in the lunchroom. The neighbors weren’t too excited about the Thriller dance on the blacktop but, our students had a fantastic time moving to that iconic song.

Speaking of neighbors, let me once again ask those of you who transport your kids in private cars to please refrain from using 38th Street for drop-off and pick-up purposes. Yes, it is a public street. However, the reopening of the school came with an agreement between the City of Seattle and SPS for all school traffic to stay off of that street. I would appreciate it if we could all abide by this agreement, particularly in the morning. Please arrive early enough to unload on Fauntleroy.

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Falcon Flyer, Volume 3, Issue 7


This week Ms. Wilkie’s 5th grade students and I discussed “perspective taking.” We watched a video where a boy and a girl had a disagreement. We saw how refusing to think about how the other person feels makes the situation worse. Then we saw two other kids truly listen to each other, disagree respectfully and reach a compromise.

In class the students practiced how to acknowledge another person’s perspective.
They practiced reflective listening by saying phrases like, “I can understand how you feel.” Or they said, “I hear what you’re saying,” or “I see your point of view,” before they expressed their own ideas. When we first acknowledge the other person’s point of view, we let them know they are heard and understood. Then we are more likely to agree on compromise and find a “win-win” solution as we respectfully express our
own understanding, wants or needs.

This is no small task for any of us, especially for parents as we interact with our children. Imagine how much better children would receive instruction or respond favorably to redirection if we’d first reflect with words and emotions that we understand how they feel. Here’s the difference.

Child: “I really want a cupcake for dinner.”

Parent: “No, that’s not healthy. Eat your broccoli!” (crying and screaming ensues!)


Child: “I really want a cupcake for dinner.”

Parent: “I know! Wouldn’t that be awesome? How about a dozen? What if we had a magic cupcake machine and we could have cupcakes all day long?”

Child: “That would be silly.” (situation diffused; reasonable solution/compromise in reach!)

Try indulging your children’s ideas and getting some buy-in as they bring YOU back to reality! Give some control and power to them by allowing them to (respectfully) correct you and bring some logic to the conversation. This is a creative way to teach kids the much needed relational tool of empathy as we reflect to them we understand how they feel. Check out the story NPR ran last week on this very issue.


Calling our artists, inventors and crafters! December 1, 2016 will be the first FPE Winter Craft Fair. Start working on inventory and planning. Sign up forms and details will go home next week.

Thank you, Edna Iglesias


Hope Lutheran Church would like to care for Fairmount Park families by providing holiday gifts for up to 20 children of families in need. There are 2 requirements: families must not be receiving gifts from any other organization/source, and all siblings in the family (age 18 and younger) are to receive gifts. They are asking for “2 wanted items and 3 needed items” for each child in the family. If you would like to apply for holiday gift assistance, please complete the form available in the school office and return to Mrs. Pendergrass in the school office. This is available for the first 20 names turned in to Mrs. Pendergrass by Monday, Nov. 7th.


Shopping & Drinks at The Georgetown Collection from 4:00-8:00pm on November 18, 2016 and around the corner at Counterbalance Brewing from 5:00-9:00pm.

The Georgetown Collection will donate 10% of the night’s profits to FPE PTA. In addition, all children’s books will be priced at 50% off wholesale, 75% off retail AND for each book purchased, a book will be donated to the FPE Library!

$1/pint at Counterbalance Brewing will be donated to FPE PTA. Come get a jump on your holiday shopping, meet other FP parents, and support the PTA. Volunteers needed to provide appetizers! Follow this link to sign up.


Ms. Wilson needs a Classroom Parent.


Fairmount Park has made it our goal to support those in need in our community.

Many of us are fortunate not to worry about our next meal. We want to do our part to help families who face that uncertainty. Help us make ‘giving back’ part of our Fairmount Park culture!

Each grade level has taken a week to concentrate their giving. Of course this does not mean you are limited to donating only that week.

Contributions can be placed in the donation bin outside the cafeteria before and after school. We encourage our students to bring in:

  • Canned products
  • Juice-(boxed or canned)
  • Applesauce fruit cups (no sugar)
  • Whole grain Cereal/Oatmeal
  • Tuna/Peanut Butter Snack Packs
  • Cup of Noodle/Top Ramen,
  • Individual Meals (Soup, Chili, Ravioli, Mac n’ Cheese)
  • Graham Crackers, Granola Bars, Raisins, Dried Fruit

Food Drive Week by Grade

  • 5th Grade: Oct. 24 – Oct. 28
  • 4th Grade: Oct. 31 – Nov. 4
  • 3rd Grade: Nov. 7 – Nov. 11
  • 2nd Grade: Nov.14 – Nov. 18
  • 1st Grade: Nov. 28 – Dec. 2
  • K/Pre School: Dec. 5 – Dec. 9


As our school population gets larger, it can sometimes be harder to connect with other families. We are looking for volunteers interested in helping coordinate cohort (grade-level) events to provide for more out- of-school opportunities for kids and parents in each grade to make personal connections through shared activities. This model has been successful at Schmitz Park/Genesee Hill as their numbers continue to rapidly increase!

What is a cohort?

A cohort is essentially a group of students (and their families) who are in school at the same grade level.

What’s involved in volunteering?

The cohort activity committees generally meet a couple times a year, and work together to select, coordinate, and announce cohort activities. Division of labor is up to the group!

What kinds of activities do cohorts do?

This is really up to the group. It could be any social activity you’d do with a large or small group – just at the scale of the cohort. Academic and volunteer tie-ins are a great opportunity, as well! Here’s a list of a few that have been successful:

  • Picnics in the park
  • Halloween Party
  • Bonfire at Alki
  • Roller skating party
  • Flashlight tag
  • Meeples game day
  • Parents’ Night Out
  • Potlatch (academic tie-in)
  • Discovery Park weed cleanup (volunteer) Good neighbor cookie delivery

How Do I Get Involved?

If you’re interested in volunteering, please send an e-mail with the subject line “Cohort” to and indicate which grade level you’d like to volunteer for.

We hope this will be a fun way for Fairmount families to connect this year!


Please note the next lost and found collection day will be Friday November 4, 2016. Items that have remained on the lost and found racks for longer than two weeks will be donated to charity. As a reminder, you can find the racks in the front hallway of the school, just outside the entrance to the lunch room.


This Friday, 10/28, our FPE families have an opportunity to participate in a FREE EVENING event at Seattle Art Museum for the Dia de los Muertos Community Night Out! Included in this fabulous opportunity is free, fun transportation via a charter bus arranged to transport participants to/from Fairmount Park! The bus leaves at 6:20pm and arrives back by 9:30pm. A late night sure, but well worth it! 45 seats are available. Pick up a golden bus ticket from the office to guarantee your seat! Visit this link for more information and don’t miss out!


Washington State PTA Legislative Assembly

Hillary Shaw and Susan Saffery represented FPE PTA at the Washington state PTA legislative assembly this past weekend. State-wide legislative priorities for the 2017 session were chosen. The top five (of ten total) issues are: Social Emotional Learning, Amply Fund Basic Education, Closing the Opportunity Gap, Standards for Para-Educators, Breakfast after the Bell

We were pleased with the outcome of the vote. In the coming weeks, we will provide more information on each of these issues, as well as more information on how you can help advocate for these important priorities.

In the meantime, we hope you will add the PTA “Focus Day” to your calendar – Monday, January 16th (MLK Day) This is the day PTA members and students from all over the state converge in Olympia to lobby the legislature for our priorities. More details to come!

English Language Arts Materials a Review

The District is seeking input on the K-5 ELA instructional materials (at select schools or on-line) until November 30, 2016. Families, staff & community members are invited to review instructional materials in consideration for K-5 English Language Arts classrooms. View materials and provide feedback online or in person.

SPS Budget Presentations

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) is hosting budget presentation sessions this fall to provide budget information and to gather feedback on the question, “What Do You Value?” as it relates to potential funding changes for the 2017-18 school year. An overview of the District’s budget and planning process will be provided as well as an opportunity to make recommendations to the District’s Leadership Team and School Board for possible ideas if the District receives additional funds or has funding reductions that affect the 2017-18 school year. The first meeting took place October 25th; a second will be held on November 3rd, 6-8pm, at South Shore K-8.

The Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee has posted its meeting schedule for the school year.

There are several open spots on the committee. If you are interested in participating, please fill out the short nomination form in the link below. Unfortunately, only a week was given for submittal and they are due to the committee chair by October 28th. Click here for more information.

Attend the Superintendent’s State of the District Speech at Franklin High November 7, 2016 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.

Click here for more information!


FPEPTA is seeking volunteers to help create the 2016-17 yearbook. Specific duties include:

  • coordinating the cover design (due April 15)
  • photographing and collecting candid photos (Friday Assembly, Art, Music, PE, Field Trips, School Events, etc)
  • promoting sales (March)

Please contact Cari Lui at for more information. Thank you!


Do you have an old portable CD player looking for a new home?

Ms. Hare and Ms. Wilkie are looking for a few small/portable (boom boxes and Walkman-type) CD players for students to use to listen to audiobooks on CDs. These would be used by 4th and 5th grade students, primarily, and they would be taken home by these students. The Global Reading Challenge for 4th and 5th graders begins in November and this would allow more of our students to participate.

Please drop your players off in the library or in room 304. Thank you!


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.

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Falcon Flyer, Volume 3, Issue 6


The staff had a productive day last Friday while many of our students were sleeping in! We spent the morning finishing up our school improvement plan which will be on the district website in November. We have three overall goals.

Our first goal is our gap closing goal. We are targeting readers in grades 1-5 who are not yet at grade level standards and providing additional support to effect greater than one year’s growth over the next 8 months.

Our second goal is for all students. Our continued focus on core math instruction is a priority this year as we set a goal that 100% of our students will score at least 80% on their end of year math test.

Our third goal is based on our student climate survey data. The Spring 2016 student survey indicated that only 52% of students in grades 3-5 felt that their classmates respected each other. We’ll be putting some building-wide steps in place to try to increase this percentage. We will be introducing a monthly character trait at our Friday assemblies and will be using solution based problem solving (as part of Positive Discipline) so that the students can also come up with ideas as to how we can improve in this area.

The City of Seattle has provided us with backpack reflector tags for students in grade K-3 who walk to school. Stop by the office to pick one up for your young walker.

Are you interested in participating on an interview team when staff members need to be hired for our school? There is a required training that parents must attend in order to participate on a hiring team. Our school website has information about upcoming trainings.

The office has processed all of the volunteer application forms. All volunteers will be asked to wear an official 2016-2017 volunteer badge when on a field trip or volunteering in the school. If you do not have an official volunteer badge the office staff will offer you a volunteer stickie badge when you sign in. One of these badge options must be worn to ensure a safe environment.

Have you signed up for your November parent/teacher conference? Please contact your child’s teacher immediately if you do not have an appointment scheduled.

I want to say thank you for sending students to school with rain jackets and hoods!! Rain is the price we pay to enjoy all the greenery in our area!


Fall Falcon Fest is this Friday, October 21, 2016 from 5:30-7:30pm. Fun will be had by all and we still need volunteers! Come join fellow Falcon families and let’s make this a great event.


SPS wants your feedback on the reading and writing instructional materials being considered for the K-5 adoption! Ways to leave your feedback:

Review Materials Online

Visit the Seattle Public Schools website for links and access information to view the materials and provide feedback online.

Review Materials in Person

  1. Visit one of the viewing sites during normal business hours (visitors must check in at the main office; materials are on display in the library:
    • Boren STEM K-8: 5950 Delridge Way SW, Seattle, WA 98106
    • Broadview-Thomson K-8: 13052 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98133
    • Green Lake Elementary: 2400 N 65th St, Seattle, WA 98103
    • Madrona K-8: 1121 33rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
    • South Shore PK-8: 4800 S Henderson St, Seattle, WA 98118
    • JSCEE Professional Library (2nd floor): 2445 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
  2. Review the materials for the 3 finalists on display
  3. Complete and submit the review feedback form(s)

Reviews should be completed from October 3, 2016 – November 30, 2016.


The next round-up of left-behind items from the Lost and Found will be Friday October 21. Items that have remained there for more than two weeks will be donated to charity, so if you have an opportunity to look through to make sure your child hasn’t left anything behind, please do so!


November 18th will be a very special fundraiser and parent’s night out at The Georgetown Collection, a wholesale sample reseller, from 4pm-8pm Counterbalance Brewing Co. from 5pm-9pm (they are right around the corner from one another).

The Georgetown Collection will donate 10% of the night’s proceeds to FPE PTA as well as donating one book to the FPE Library for every book purchased. Counterbalance will donate $1/pint purchased. It’s sure to be a good time. Hope to see you there!


Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Education Association are partnering to increase students’ access to core content, improve instruction and accelerate student achievement.

As part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement process, SEA and SPS agreed to add 20 minutes to the school day in 2017-18 and provide one hour per week of teacher collaboration time. As the district plans to make this schedule adjustment, we want to hear from families and stakeholders on how the additional time should be added and how and when to schedule the collaboration time. Provide your input by Friday 10/21 to voice your thoughts regarding earlier start times, early releases, or other schedule impacting changes.

You may provide feedback in one of two ways:

  1. Complete the online survey by clicking on this link
  2. Complete and turn in a paper-based survey at your child’s school

To review how your preferences would change your child’s schedule please visit the Seattle Schools website. A NOTE FROM PETE POWELL, YOUR PTA PRESIDENT

Hello! I am amazed that we are six weeks in and one of FPE’s premier events is already upon us…the Fall Falcon Fest is THIS Friday, 10/21, from 5:30-7:30pm at school! Premier food trucks, festive activities, and the incomparable “Thriller” dance performed by all of the kids at school await you so don’t miss it! Get together with FPE families, friends, and classmates and take advantage of a fun event put together by the tireless volunteers in our midst! To those of you that invest your time and energy to make these cool things happen for us all, thank you!

While on the topic of my gratitude, I want to say thank you to the folks that have come through early and ambitiously to contribute to the Annual FPEPTA Direct Give Fund. Thanks! Your contributions take our school to the next level and I cannot wait to see us rally to achieve this goal for our kids. If you have questions or ideas about how we support the FPE staff in delivering a great experience, I encourage you to reach out to me or the PTA board. We are here to represent you, so your involvement and input is critical.

Please make note of the next PTA General Membership Meeting on your calendars. It is scheduled for 11/17 at 6:30 pm at school and complimentary on-site childcare is graciously provided by the YMCA. Are you interested in a leadership role? The next board meeting is 11/08. Let’s talk! There are some great people spurring along some new initiatives and many ways you can make a lasting impact and have influence.

Thanks to you all and don’t hesitate to reach out.

Pete Powell
Visit to contribute to FPEPTA’s Direct Give campaign


Falcon Fest Volunteers Needed

Falcon Fest is quickly approaching (Friday, October 21, 2016 from 5:30-7:30pm) and we’re in need of volunteers. This event is a wonderful opportunity to support Fairmount Park and get to know your fellow Falcon families. If you can be available to help, it would be greatly appreciated by all parties.

Falcon Fest is an annual tradition at Fairmount Park that offers arts & crafts, baked goods sales, games, and, as always, a not-to-be-missed Thriller performance. Come make new friends and help us build a stronger community of Falcons.

Come hungry and you won’t be disappointed. The following mobile food vendors will be on site with wonderful dinner options:

Come ready to support the food trucks that are coming to support us on October 21st 5:30-7:30!

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Falcon Flyer, Volume 3, Issue 5


Second Step Social-Emotional Learning Highlights

At our Friday assembly last week, my friend Captain Cecil (a somewhat bumbling, questionable advice-giving, perhaps loveable ferryboat captain puppet) announced via video we will have a FALCON FOCUS each month.

Because October is “National Bullying Prevention Month,” our school is focusing on KINDNESS. Teachers did a skit showing how things might go on the playground if our school was “UN-Fairmount Park.” We hope kids will make connections to how important kindness is to a healthy, happy and safe learning culture here at school.

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Falcon Flyer, Volume 3, Issue 4

Ms. Breidenbach’s Thursday Note

During early release time on September 28th teachers looked at student work to identify students needing academic support in addition to core classroom instruction. To meet these needs, classroom teachers offer small group instruction, and special education or ELL staff often provide extra help. We are also able to provide intervention reading support for about 35 students. I would love to be able to double this number, but we simply do not have the money. Discretionary funds are allocated according to the percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch, which for FPE is about 13%. I would also love to be able to provide additional math support from a math specialist but lack of budget prevents this. While DreamBox is certainly not perfect, it does help address gaps in students’ math skills. DreamBox also offers acceleration opportunities.

I would strongly suggest a luggage tag for backpacks of children participating in after school activities. It’s tricky for students to remember which day(s) they stay for clubs, which day(s) they go on the bus, and which day(s) they get picked up. It’s almost impossible for teachers to keep track of these comings and goings. The luggage tag method works!

Our nurse is in the process of conducting vision and hearing tests for all students in grades 1-5. She’ll be contacting parents if follow-up testing by outside vision or hearing specialists is recommended. Kindergarteners will be screened later in the year.

Classroom based reading level assessments will be slightly different this year for students reading one year or more above grade level standards. We’ll be working with these students on their depth of understanding rather than acceleration. I’m afraid we have many students far more interested in getting to level Z rather than becoming skilled readers across all genres.

I’m pleased that many of our new families have no idea that we have a special program for students needing an accelerated curriculum (the Highly Capable Cohort or HCC). This reflects deep commitment to creating a school environment that supports all students without emphasizing labels. You won’t notice any rooms with HCC signs, nor will you hear much staff chatter about the HCC label. A fifth grader is a fifth grader. It’s not important to label children as English Language Learners (ELL), special education students, or HCC. We strive to give all students what they need rather than giving all students the same services. We are considered an option HCC school as we run our program very differently from the formal pathway HCC programs. FPE’s model for highly capable students is a flexible one. We blend students from other programs into HCC classrooms when needed and particularly in the area of math.

Are you interested in HCC for your child? You must complete the online form by end of business tomorrow (October 6th) if you want your child tested for 2017-2018 program access. To access the sign up form, first visit The Source and create a free account.

Please be sure to call the office to alert Lori or Kathy if your child is going to miss school due to illness. Our state laws require that we make contact with families when a child is absent.

We have a school tradition of celebrating Book-O-Ween on October 31st. Students are invited to dress up as a favorite book character. Students not dressing up as a book character should wear their regular school clothing. Participation is totally optional. I strongly urge you to spend little or no money on your child’s outfit. Last year I was Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web. I wore all black and used a $5 foam piece to create a web pullover. It was a simple costume that reflected Charlotte’s character. Blood, gore, or weapons should not be part of the costume. Elementary school activities should always receive a “G” rating!

We’ve had glorious weather during the month of September but winter is coming! Please remove the rain jackets from the closets to ensure that they still fit your children. We go outside for recesses unless it’s a major downpour so please send students to school with the appropriate weather clothing.
I would encourage all families to adopt a family reading practice before bedtime. It’s not surprising that my most highly skilled readers always have a book in their hands before falling asleep. Practice makes progress!

Enrichment Update

Enrichment classes are in full swing! A reminder that Ropeworks has a delayed start on 10/21/2016. If you have any classes you’d like to see after school at FPE in the winter or spring sessions, please let us know!

We are working to bring an organization called Girls on the Run to FPE this spring and we need another volunteer coach to make it happen. No experience required! Please email very soon for more information.


Falcon Flyer, Volume 3, Issue 3

Stay up to date on what’s happening at Fairmount Park Elementary with our weekly publication, the Falcon Flyer. In it you’ll hear from teachers and administration as well as find out about school events, fundraisers, and meetups. For those who prefer the .pdf version of the flyer, you can download it here.

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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

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Falcon Flyer, Volume 3, Issue 1

Summary Links

  1. Calendar of Upcoming Events
  2. Welcome to the 2016-2017 School Year
  3. Extracurricular Enrichment Registration is Under Way!
  4. Greetings From Your PTA
  5. Counselor’s Corner
  6. Volunteer Opportunities
  7. A Note From Mr. Pendergrass
  8. Growth Boundaries Community Meeting
  9. Lost & Found
  10. Extras

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