The FPE PTA Auction “The Great Gatsby” is coming soon so Save the Date for Saturday March 4th!  The doors will open at 5:00 PM for cocktail/raffle tickets.  Dinner and live auction starts at 7pm.

Tickets on Sale now:

Purchase by February 11th @ $45.00/person (includes light buffet dinner and 1 drink ticket) or to secure a table of 10 for $500 (complimentary bottle of champagne).  After February 11th tickets will go up to $55/person, and no option to purchase a table.  Note – teacher tickets are offered at reduced cost, why not sponsor a teacher!

This is the biggest fundraiser for the school which goes directly to supporting our students, teachers and community.  The auction provides essential services for our students. These funds provide resources which include but are not limited to: our School Counselor, program support for the school’s library, physical education, visual arts and music grants, scholarships for families experiencing hardship, school supplies and classroom support, educational field trips and assemblies, and much, much more! On a lighter note, this is a FUN event and provides a way to foster our community spirit.

Where:  The Hall at Fauntleroy – 9131 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98136

It will take a lot of dedicated volunteers to make it a success.  To volunteer go to the volunteer page here and sign up for Auction Preparation and/or Auction Night.

HELP needed!!!  Please contact [email protected] if you can help!

  • Procurement
  • Classroom Art Coordinators
  • Business Sponsorships
  • Dessert Dash

To learn more about the auction and opportunities to donate, please visit the auction site to donate goods, money or experiences.  All donations need to be received by February 17th, 2017.  You can find ideas to donate at AUCTION WISH LIST 2017.


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Fall 2016 Enrichment Program Details Available

We’re happy to announce the Fall 2016 Enrichment Program Catalog is available for download. Registration is just around the corner (starts Wednesday, 9/14/2016 at noon) so download your copy today by visiting the official Enrichment page (click on the “Enrichment” link in the main menu above).

Highlights this year include:

  • Online registration!
  • 2 new Theatre classes
  • 2 different LEGO classes

Read More

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Note from PTA President Hillary Shaw

zax1_webYesterday, I had the pleasure of reading The Zax by Dr. Seuss to some kindergartners who are eager to start their first year of school at Fairmount Park Elementary. As you may recall from the short story, a North-Going Zax and a South-Going Zax reach an impasse, neither willing to budge in the least. Ultimately, progress is made around the Zaxes as they remain stalemated.

School is closed until further notice. In this situation, if the Seattle Education Association (SEA) and Seattle Public Schools (SPS) are the Zaxes, the Fairmount Park Elementary PTA is an avenue for facilitating progress for our students until the contract negotiations are finalized. Out of respect for our diverse school community and membership, and in accordance with current Washington State PTA Resolutions (specifically, 18.6), it is important that our PTA — as an organization — presents both sides of the collective bargaining process neutrally and factually and does not spend PTA funds to support the strike, because:

“… the Washington State PTA will not support work stoppages and/or strikes which interrupt or disrupt the educational day.”

“…the Washington State PTA believes that a disruption to the educational system in the form of work stoppages and/or strikes is often detrimental to the best interest of the children and families affected by those actions. While acknowledging that more state resources must be committed to the educational process in the State of Washington, including higher salaries for educational employees.”*

So what can our vibrant and resourceful school community do to help and support all students of Fairmount Park Elementary during this teachers’ strike, ensuring the progress around them is positive and productive? The PTA has the communication tools to keep our community of students, families, and teaching professionals intact and thriving, so let’s leverage those resources to keep in touch. Here are a few suggestions for how you can be proactive during this time away from school:

  • Take a lunch break TODAY AT NOON and quilt the field at Fairmount Park with picnic blankets. Bring food and games to share.
  • Check and regularly for updates.
  • Organize a study group, a play date, a book club, or a special project for students.
  • Provide childcare for families who have inflexible working schedules.
  • Share relevant and age-appropriate reading suggestions for coping with this transition.
  • Submit your student’s information for the Student Directory — the more information we have, the easier it is to connect with one another.
  • Join the PTA. Join the PTA. One more time! Join the PTA.

What are your ideas for staying connected and supporting one another before school resumes, and how can you make those ideas a reality? The Falcon Flyer will be distributed each Thursday for the duration of the strike, so please email [email protected] if you want to spread the word about a planned event or to seek support for an idea. You are encouraged to contact PTA board members at any time — all of our email addresses are listed in the welcome letter — so one of us can plug you into an appropriate committee.

While I’m certain the Zaxes would not have been at an impasse in the first place if they had attended elementary school with Ms. Breidenbach, Mrs. Pendergrass, and all of the incredibly talented teaching professionals and support team members who engage our students in social emotional learning and Positive Discipline, I am confident an agreement will be reached between SEA and SPS soon (a relative term), and we will be relishing the energy of a rich learning environment and a new school year. While we wait for that day, let’s continue communicating and strengthening our new school community, Falcons!



*Washington State PTA Resolutions are voted upon annually at either the WSPTA Legislative Assembly or at WSPTA Convention. If you would like to propose a change to the Resolutions, and are a PTA member, you can contact [email protected] and please CC [email protected]

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Nuts and Bolts from Ms. Breidenbach

  • Julie_BreidenbachTuesday’s  Open House will be held but shortened in time to 3:00-4:00.  I am doing this in case the teachers are called for a contract vote.
  • Open House begins at 3:00 tomorrow.  I’ll have adults in bright vests who have the class lists.  See those adults for your child’s homeroom assignment.
  • The 8:00-3:00 4th/5th grade Conflict Mediator training will go on as scheduled tomorrow.  Please send your 4th and 5th grade student with a sack lunch.  Students will report to the school lunchroom for their training.
  • Enrollment changes in the past week led to me changing the primary configuration in our general education program.  We will now have two straight kindergarten rooms and also a K/1 multi-age.  Many of the JumpStart kindergarten assignments have changed due to this reconfiguration.
  • Breakfast is $2 and lunch is $3 if your child is purchasing lunch.  Make checks payable to CNS (Child Nutrition Services) and write your child’s full name in the “for” line at the bottom of the check.  Is your child planning on purchasing school lunch?  And is your child a picky eater?  Students opting to purchase school lunch should expect to eat either of the entrée items.  It’s quite common for the cook’s estimation not be exact and for one entrée to run out sooner than the other.
  • Our school colors are royal blue and white.  We wear our school t-shirts, sweatshirts, or royal blue on Fridays.   All new first and second grade students will receive a free t-shirt from last year’s grand opening event.  Sorry….I only had about 30 left so I can’t do it for all students.
  • I suggest you put a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your child’s lunch box/bag.  While we have restrooms near the lunchroom and sanitizer available in the lunchroom, students most often use it when it is readily accessible in their lunch boxes/bags/containers.
  • We are a school of nearly 500 students this year.  Please try to keep private vehicles away from the main entrance.  Use the bus service if eligible.  Please walk if you are within the walk zone.
  • I prefer not to be a nag….so please keep private vehicles off of 38th and Findlay (the area south of the main entrance) if you have to drive your student to school.  I will nag and growl but ultimately get frustrated when a parent continues to disregard the drop-off area.     If you see a green cone out along Fauntleroy, that signals all buses are in.  You are then welcome to also use the bus area to drop off your child.  FAUNTLEROY IS FOR IMMEDIATE UNLOADING….DO NOT PARK THERE OR WAIT TO WATCH YOUR CHILD ENTER THE PLAYGROUND.  OTHER CARS WILL NEED YOUR SPOT!!!!!!!!!
  • I growl, hiss, and glare when vehicles are parked in the fire zone that is signed “no parking” and also painted red.    I need that area clear at all times should we need quick access for emergency vehicles.
  • Thanks to Shanti Breznau for the flag containers along Findlay/Fauntleroy.  Please use those flags when crossing at that intersection.
  • Do you have a sun sensitive child?  Please apply sunscreen at home before coming to school.  Teachers are not allowed to help students with anything that needs to be topically applied.
  • I plan on meeting with parents at 8:50 on the first day of school in the student lunchroom.  Although I am not 100% sure when that first day of school will be, plan on meeting with me in the lunchroom whenever it does happen!
  • The most recent version of our Family Handbook will post to our website this afternoon.  I tinker with that document regularly so am always willing to take input as to what we should add.  The most recent version will always be on our website.   You will receive a hard copy (of the current version) in the first day packet.
  • The teachers are ready to go no matter when we start.  I feel fortunate to have such an amazingly strong teaching staff here at Fairmount Park!!  (And we also have an incredible office team and custodial staff who have everything ready to go for the first day of school!!!)

Julie Breidenbach – FP Principal


Welcome Back from Ms. Breidenbach

Julie_BreidenbachAugust 17, 2015

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year! During my time off I’ve been able to log many miles along the Alki Beach path. I don’t think I will ever tire of watching the bald eagles fly along the beach looking for their breakfast. Unfortunately, I also had a bit of a problem involving a kayak and an unexpected wave which will result in an upcoming knee surgery. I will miss some work in the next few weeks so please don’t be too surprised if emails don’t get answered in my typically prompt manner.

We welcomed our kindergarten students on Monday for JumpStart! It’s been helpful to have many siblings in that group who have already spent many hours at Fairmount Park. Their comfort level with the building is evident and eases the anxiety for new students.

I am looking forward to our second year as a school and to building on what we learned from last year’s successes and challenges. We are fortunate to have a strong teaching corps that is constantly reflective and eager to improve their teaching practice. Work on school climate and traditions will continue to be a focus so that all students build strong connections and find success. This is the year to deepen the analysis of our academic program and continue to develop strong instructional practices within our professional learning community teams.

I’m very excited that Haley O’Neill is joining our team as assistant principal. Haley will work Wednesdays through Fridays and focus primarily on staff evaluations and professional development. I’ll be handling all the operational issues such as discipline, budgeting, scheduling, safety, and logistics. l will have a strong presence in classroom this year to ensure that all Fairmount Park students are meeting academic and behavioral expectations.

Our weekly Thursday newsletter, the Falcon Flyer, will be sent home in hard copy the first few weeks until we update email information. Please make it a priority to read that document weekly as it will have important school and PTA information. My goal is to move to electronic distribution of the newsletter by the first of October.

Please remember that at Fairmont Park we refer to all students by their grade level, not program title. A second grader is simply a second grader, no matter if that child qualifies for special education services, gifted services, or English Language Learners (ELL) services.   We are one community!

Students in grades 1-5 need to start ramping up the reading time if it hasn’t been happening during the summer. We plan to hit the ground running with literacy and need those reading muscles in shape for the start of the school!

Supply lists are included in this mailing. Please email me or call the office if you are unable to obtain the supplies for the start of school. I will work with your child’s classroom teacher to ensure that all necessary supplies are available for your student.

Curriculum Night is Thursday, September 24th. Please mark your calendars for this back to school night for parents. Teachers will provide parents with a yearly overview of what will be happening in the classrooms. PreK-2 classroom presentations will be from 6-7 with grades 3-5 from 7:00-8:00.

The office is now open 8-4 daily. Call if you have any questions or need assistance. I hope you enjoy the remaining weeks of summer vacation, and I look forward to greeting all 480 students and families on September 8th or 9th.


Julie Breidenbach

Fairmount Park Principal


Fairmount Park School Daily Schedule

8:25 – Playground Opens; Breakfast Begins

8:40 – First Bell

8:45 – Start of School

11:05-11:40– Lunch/Recess K-1

(11:05-11:25 in the lunchroom; 11:25-11:40 on the playground)

11:10-12:45 – Recess/Lunch 2/3

(11:10-11:25 on the playground; 11:25-11:45 in the lunchroom)

11:45-12:05 – Recess/Lunch 4/5

(11:45-12:05 in the lunchroom; 12:05-12:20 on the playground)

1:00-1:15 – Recess K/1

1:15-1:30 – Recess 2/3

1:30-1:45 – Recess 4/5

2:55 – Dismissal

3:00 – Buses depart


Important information for the start of school:

  • Open House is on Tuesday, September 8th, from 3:00-4:30. Families are invited to tour the school, learn classroom assignments, and stow the items from classroom supply lists. If you are unable to attend this event, look for a staff member with a yellow vest on September 9th. Those staff members will have class lists to help any student or parent determine classroom assignments. Classroom lists are not posted to preserve student privacy.
  • Family handbooks will go home on the first day of school in the first day packet. Please reference that document for understanding of school guidelines, requests, and expectations.
  • The first day packet will have a student data form. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT DOCUMENT IN THAT PACKET. Please make all necessary edits and return the form to school ASAP.
  • Students should go to the blacktop on September 9th to and wait for the classroom teacher to meet them. The teachers will hold up signs with their names and will line up students on the blacktop and near the play structure. The blacktop opens at 8:25 daily. The teachers will meet students at 8:40 when the first bell rings.
  • I would ask that students come to school daily with sturdy/sport shoes along with socks. The play chips resulted in many splinters embedded in sockless feet last year. Also, the weather will be warm at the start of school.   Smelly feet are a common problem when students do not have socks on.
  • Our lunch program is changing to a prepack program this year due to the low number of lunches served. Everything will be precooked and packaged off site and then served here. How will that look? I expect fewer choices for fruits and vegetables, and students will be opening sealed containers to access their food. I suggest that you send a lunch from home until we know more about how this will work. With a new cook and a new type of lunch program, the lunch line might be a little slow at first. And, students always require additional time as they get used to entering their lunch numbers.
  • Our conflict mediator program for 4th and 5th grade students will run again this fall. Training for 4th or 5th grade students wanting to join this team will be on Tuesday, September 8th, from 8am-3pm. This program isn’t something to force your child into. The students are trained in how to mediate a conflict and will then “work” with primary students during lunch recess. If you child has no desire to “work” during their lunchtime, please do not force your child to participate. This program isn’t a great fit for all students. Please email me if you would like your child to participate. Students will need to bring a sack lunch with them for this full-day training.
  • Expect parking to be challenging the first few days of school. Please park legally and never stop or park in the designated bus zone in front of the building, the fire lane that is painted red, or in a neighbor’s driveway. I have been known to shake my finger at drivers who disregard the red fire zone area. I need that area clear for emergency vehicles should they be needed. I also come unglued when vehicles make U-turns or stop in the crosswalks.
  • Drop off is along Fauntleroy in front of the bus loading area. Please have your child exit on the passenger side of the car and then walk to the pathway to enter the playground. Further details will be contained in the family handbook. Students may be dropped off or arrive 8:25 or later. You will get a reminder from me if your child is on school district or park property even one minute early. It simply isn’t safe for students.
  • Pickup is difficult at our school. Parents will need to park along neighborhood streets and walk to the courtyard to meet students. Please take the five extra minutes to park legally in the neighborhood and walk to the courtyard and wait for your child. I ask that you not come into the building as the hallways get congested with parents waiting outside the doors.
  • I have an obligation to keep traffic off of 38th Street (the street that runs almost perpendicular with the front of the building) before and after school. Please keep your vehicle off that street per an agreement made with Seattle Public Schools, the City of Seattle, and neighbors along that street.
  • We are required to compost throughout the building. It will be helpful if parents pack lunches with reusable containers to minimize throw-away packaging. I will ask students to pack out what they pack in. This will allow the custodian to help students with purchased lunches to get through the composting lines quickly. Although your child’s lunch container might be a bit smelly when you clean it out, you will know exactly what your child ate and what was left in the container. PLEASE send students with food that does not require an adult to open. My 32 years as an educator have shown me that students who have finger food without packaging more often eat their lunches as compared to those who must struggle to open multiple packages.
  • Lunch times have been moved earlier this year to accommodate hungry students. (I’ve attached our daily schedule to this mailing.)   There will be no snacking in classrooms this year to ensure that students eat their lunches during lunchtime. My attempt to be liberal with snacks/food in the classroom backfired last year. Students ate their lunches in their classrooms and used their time in the lunchroom for purposes other than eating. I had a challenging time with off task student behavior in the lunchroom. As such, the expectation for all will be to eat their lunches in the lunchroom during lunchtime.
  • The office staff has student and adult school sweatshirts for sale. Please visit the office and select the appropriate size for your child. This helps to reduce the back and forth swapping of sizes and concerns of lice.
  • We are a full house this year with 19 classrooms for K-5 and two preschool classrooms. The preschool rooms serve students in our special education developmental preschool and an extended day program for preschool students with autism. Homeroom teaching assignments are as follows:
    • Preschool: Ms. Coons, Ms. Toladano
    • K: Ms. Lamb, Ms. Naze, Mr. Warbington
    • 1st: Ms. Britt; Ms. Halladin; Ms. Swarts
    • 1st/2nd multi-age: Ms. Anderson
    • 2nd: Ms. Hitch, Mr. Peterson, Ms. Sherwood
    • 3rd: Ms. Chow, Ms. Cowan, Ms. Gano, Ms. West
    • 4th: Ms. Kelly, Ms. Wilson
    • 4th/5th multi-age: Ms. Quinlivan
    • 5th Griffin, Ms. Wilkie

Let’s CeleBAArate!

lunar_new_year_TM2014Gather at school on Friday, February 6, at 4:30 pm to welcome the Year of the Sheep! Ms. Chow, Ms. Gano, Ms. McChesney, and the School Spirit Team have been hard at work planning a spectacular Lunar New Year Celebration, which will include Trays of Togetherness, ribbon dancing, face painting, awesome art stations, and performances by the Franklin High School Lion Dance Team and the extracurricular enrichment karate class.

Dana Varon has coordinated a mouth-watering line-up of food trucks for the event: Chopstixmobile (Asian fusion), Wicked Pies (pizza), and Curb Jumper Street Eats (sliders) will be parked on Findlay. Happy New Year, Falcons!


During Chinese New Year, guests are o ered an assortment of treats from a Tray of Togetherness (chuen-hop) – a tray filled with
an assortment of symbolic foods to begin the New Year. Our trays will feature some traditional foods (red melon seeds for happiness,
candied melon for health, kumquats for prosperity), but other easy snacks as well. Families are invited to contribute dried fruit,
mandarins, kumquats and other easy to eat healthy snacks (no nuts please!). Please leave any contributions in the front office in the box marked Lunar New Year Monday through Wednesday of next week. We’d also love to borrow any sectioned trays!

There are lots of opportunities to help out with Arts and Crafts Tables and pre-event materials preparation. Help is also needed for set-up and clean-up. Please click here to sign up.


Collage Materials Needed

For our collage work in the art room we could really use some recycled baby food jars with lids.  They will be used to hold our glue.  Also, all types interesting papers are welcome.  When you think “That’s too good to throw away!” send it in for our art.  Not reams of paper, please, just your neat finds, that when pulled together with other people’s neat finds really makes for great materials.  Thank you, Ms. Maude


Book Fair in January!

FairmountFlyer_BookFair_UsborneDear Fairmount Park Families,

Usborne Books & More Book Fair is coming to our school! We’ll be here from Tuesday, January 13, thru Friday, January 16, 8:15 AM to 4:00 PM. The Book Fair will also be open during our Literacy Night, January 15, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

With over 1800 titles we have books to inspire, educate and entertain children of all ages! Your children will be creating and bringing home their wish lists on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 13 and 14.

Teacher wish lists will be posted at the book fair so families will be able to purchase books for the classrooms!

Your purchases will help earn free books for our school as well!

To view the complete catalog or to order on-line go to

We look forward to seeing you at the book fair!

Debora Hare, Fairmount Park School Librarian

Mara Barndt, Usborne Book Consultant
425-681 4238 | [email protected]


Are you up for the challenge?


Deadline Set for December Donor Challenge!

The December Donor Challenge has arrived! If the PTA can raise $6,000 in donations for our school before the end of December, a small group of Fairmount Park families, including many PTA board members, will match the money with an additional contribution of $6,000. Every donation made between December 15 and December 31st will count in this challenge.

This is a great chance to “double your donation,” and support the important programs and resources that help all our students grow and thrive in this first, crucial year and beyond. Please consider making your donation today to help us meet this goal!

There are several ways to give:

  • Place a check in the ‘Annual Give’ folder in the main office.
  • Visit to make a donation online.
  • Check with your employer to see if they will match your donation.

If you have questions, please contact Sarah Lenssen and Sarah Popelka, Fundraising Chairs, at [email protected].

Thank you for your generous support!


What would you give?


Dear Friends of Fairmount Park Elementary,

What would you give for your child to have an educational support system designed to expose them to the arts, cross-cultural ideals, creative thinking, problem-solving and life skills — life skills that will help them not only succeed in their careers and their lives, but will help them find their own paths to success? Since you are part of the family at Fairmount Park Elementary, you may not realize that most public schools do not have this kind of support system. Many schools in our city do not have enrichment programs, art programs, music programs or the classroom opportunities that Fairmount Park has been able to implement. Part of the school’s ability to provide this is based on the focus of our principal and our amazing teaching staff, but also in large part because of the community support that the school receives from donors like you. Your donation to the Fairmount Park Elementary PTA supports extra opportunities in and outside of the classroom, it supports our wellness program at the school, it supports music and arts opportunities.

When children are exposed to things like the arts, cross-cultural ideals and creative thinking – their perspectives expand and they are able to become the community-minded, sensitive and forward-thinking citizens that we all want to be ourselves. By giving our children the opportunity to be enriched, we are giving them the tools to reach their unlimited potential.

It is difficult to pinpoint a limit on what one might give to create that path of opportunity for their child. It can start with a donation to FPEPTA.

If every family were to support the FPEPTA at $290 or more, we would meet our goal of $100,000 for the year; we would be able to fund a permanent wellness program, our music and all of the class and school-wide enrichment opportunities. Any donation is appreciated, and as an extra incentive, any donor of $500 or more by the end of December will be given a chance to purchase up to two of the first 20 tickets to the FPEPTA Auction to be held February 21. General tickets (which will sell out fast, as the donated venue has a capacity of 150) will go on sale January 12. Don’t miss your opportunity – make your gift of $500 or more today.

Donations can be made online at, where you can either make a lump sum donation that will count toward your end-of-year charitable contributions or establish a manageable monthly donation plan. Help us create the educational support system that every child deserves. Thank you for your support!







Sarah Lenssen and Sarah Popelka
Fairmount Park parents and Fundraising Co-Chairs

Remember to check with your employer about matching gifts to double your charitable impact!