School News & Announcements
- March 25-29, 2013 -- Spring Break (No School)
- April 11, 2013 -- End of Grading Period
- April 12, 2013 -- Teacher Planning Day (No School)
Information for Middle School Parents
Middle School Parents - Please view 6th Grade Packet for important information.
A Message from the Principal
November 8, 2012
Thanks to all of you for a successful Harvest Faire, a wonderful first two months of school, and, in general, for bringing such lovely, engaged children to our school each and every day. As my role as a district leader has begun to expand, I have had more and more opportunities to spend time in other buildings and in meetings with other principals. Those experiences have reminded me how special our school is.
In the past few weeks I've toured other schools, worked with other district leaders to plan principal professional development sessions, and traveled to Texas for the National Summit for Courageous Conversations about Race. Those experiences gave me opportunity for some serious reflection and self-examination, and they've happily reminded me that Sunnyside is very different. Intentionally different. We have an established mission, one that focuses on each child, and provides them with place-based experiences so they can interact with and learn within the natural environment and the city community at large. Despite the current economic climate, we have chosen to maintain a robust, rich, well-rounded experience for our children so they can explore as many of their natural, varying intelligences as possible during the school day. We've kept PE. We've kept art. We've kept science lab in younger grades and chosen to have a sustainability team. We still have music experiences in all grades. Thanks to our volunteers, we cook and dance and knit and have wonderful community gatherings. And we have a rigorous, intentional, core academic curriculum, delivered by an exceptional teaching staff. We are so fortunate to be able to have these experiences as a community.
I'm writing to you today to remind you that all of these experiences wouldn't be possible without generous donations from our families. As a school and PTSA, we spend a large amount of money on day trips, overnight trips, our sustainability team, music, supplies, personnel, all of it contributing to your children's experiences described above. In addition, we have made a dedicated effort to ensure that our fundraising practices align with our school- and district-wide equity goals. Many of you remember that last year we got rid of individual and grade-based fundraising for overnight trips altogether and created the GO Fund. We made this choice on the premise that, as a school that believes in place-based experiences for all, no one goes unless everyone goes. We created a collective pot and last year had our best fundraising year in my 5-year history at the school. We raised more money than we ever had and, whether it's coincidence or not, for the first time ever not even one student stayed home from a marine biology trip. That was unprecedented. Thank you for helping us create an overnight experience for each and every student in the middle school.
At the beginning of the year we sent home our usual back-to-school ask for donations, and frankly, I'm asking again because our donations are significantly down from last year. I've learned, as a newer SES parent, that the “asks” for money come often and can get confusing. The back-to-school ask covers basic things to help run our daily program: classroom supplies, money for the sustainability/garden program, contributions for music and art and science lab. We have calculated the cost per child, if everyone were to donate, and mapped it out for families by grade level. The breakdown for that is attached to this letter, as a link at the bottom of the page. In addition, we also have separate costs for overnight trips, and those are payments that we will separately collect as your trip approaches. (Last year, our GO Fund covered approximately $36,000 for these trips for families who needed it. This was in addition to our generous back-to-school ask donations that covered much of our everyday school enrichment experiences). Many of you contributed to the back-to-school ask last year. In addition, many of you paid for your own child’s trip(s) and also participated in fundraisers that filled the GO Fund account. All students participated in our trips last year because of our community’s collective efforts, and all students received a rich, well-rounded, academic experience at school every day. Thanks to all of you for making this possible for each of our students.
Really, there are a variety of accounts into which your money goes, but there is one bottom line. Between the PTSA budget/donations and the school budget/donations we have a pot of money. Then, based on our school program and our trips we have a chunk of expenses to pay. Currently, our pot isn’t full enough to sustain our program as is. As families in this community, we need to fill our pot.
If you have already donated to the back-to-school ask this year, paid for a trip for your child, or participated in a GO Fund fundraiser, thank you very much. If you haven’t, please consider donating so that we can maintain our amazing, truly exceptional program. Today I’m specifically asking families to donate to the back-to-school ask, the part of the “pot” that covers our daily program. The PTSA has made this process a bit easier, with the option of monthly donations taken directly from your checking account. Specific information, based on approximate cost per grade level, is attached to this email. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have further questions.
Again, thank you for all you do. Please take a moment, maybe while driving, riding the bus or laying in bed on one of these gray mornings, to really reflect on your child’s experience at Sunnyside. We are different, we are lucky, and we have a wonderful school community.
All the best,
|8:30 a.m.||Breakfast Begins|
|8:40 a.m.||First Bell|
|8:45 a.m.||Tardy Bell|
|3:00 p.m.||K-5 Dismissal|
|3:10 p.m.||6-8 Dismissal|
The school is open at 8:30 am for breakfast with students going to classrooms at 8:40 am. There is no one to supervise or watch your children before this time unless they are enrolled in daycare. It is not safe to drop them off or send them earlier.
School is out at 3:00 pm for k-5 and 3:10 pm for middle school. We strongly encourage parents to come on to campus and pick up your child by parking and walking to school versus sitting in a car and waiting. This gives you an opportunity to visit with other adults while cutting down on traffic around the school and adding an adult presence to our grounds.
There is no teacher supervision after 3:30 pm. Children are encouraged to join safe afterschool activities including supervised play after school.
At 3:00 pm the school becomes a public park and is not under the care of the school. We encourage and support parent created 4-H clubs and other cooperative efforts to provide safe play for children.