PTA Open House Fun!

IMG_5847Fire Trucks! Ice Cream! And many many local and school organizations to learn more about: We delivered! Our Open House was by all accounts a rousing success, with a big showing from the diverse Graham Hill community. Thank you to Full Tilt Ice Cream for helping to supply the yum factor, and to The Seattle Sounders and The Seattle Children’s Theater for providing awesome door prizes. We also had interpreters available for 4 of the main languages spoken at Graham Hill. Below is an account of the evening from one of our interpreters- please take a moment to read it (last names have been omitted for privacy) and appreciate the amazingly diverse community we are a part of:

“My first time came to Graham Hill and easily found my way to cafeteria about 5:30 pm.  It is such a beautiful school and nice PTA parents.  A parent, Jennifer, introduced me to the PTA president, and she showed me around and found a desk to designate the “ Chinese” language sign for me.

 Minutes later, Jane and her father came in and looked a bit overwhelming.  I went up to them and  introduced myself as Chinese interpreter and helped them signed raffle tickets and signed up for  free PTA membership.  Kevin and his mother came.  So, I walked these 2 families to each table and explained in Chinese the function of each program, Safe Kids, YMCA afterschool classes, Family Advocate, Advance Learning,  counselor…..

You have amazing parents in your school.  Jane’s father and Kevin’s mother both volunteered for Walk-a-Thon.  Good news! toward the end of event,  Jane’s name was drawn from raffles.  she won a  Sounder gift! Jane and her father were so happy.

Over all, everything went well.  I have the feeling that the Chinese parents were glad I was there to help them understand the school program much better.”

*Image used with permission of the kids and the parents.

Snack Update: P-Patch Donations in Effect

The Picardo Farm P-Patch in NE Seattle is donating some of their fresh produce for our schoolwide snack program. Karen West is making this happen, and this week brought their harvest to the PTA room for the first time.


The first donations included cherry tomatoes and delicious green, yellow, and purple beans.

Picardo is including Graham Hill in their Monday evening donation program for the fall–and for next spring.

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In addition to snackable produce, donations might include cook-able options for the sharing table like squash, onion, and potatoes.


To Apply for Advanced Learning, Submit a Referral by 9/22

The Advanced Learning Program in Seattle Public Schools exists to serve students who’ve been recognized as highly capable. If that sounds like your student (doesn’t it??), and you’re interested in having them tested for inclusion in the program, here’s what to do. Only parents or guardians can refer children for testing.

First, you submit a referral form. The deadline is Friday, 9/22.

  • To submit online, start by logging into your parent/guardian Source account.
  • Don’t have a Source account? You can set one up right here.
  • Once you log in, click on the “Advanced Learning Parent Referral” button and follow the steps.
  • NEW: At the end of the referral, you’ll schedule the test date and location for your child. You’ll choose this from a menu of options. You can change this as many times as you want up to 3 days before the test date.
  • To submit a referral in a language other than English, fill out a paper form. You can print them from these links. Families may mail these through USPS or email them to

Reach out to the PTA or office staff if you need help accessing a printer and/or scanner.

When’s the deadline, again? FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22.

That’s next Friday!

Learn more about the Advanced Learning Program and Services here.


Schoolwide Snack Is Happening!

Taking a snack break helps students refuel and recharge during the day. Thanks to volunteers from the PTA, snack is now being offered to all Graham Hill students!

How Snack Works

Snack supplies are stored in the PTA room (207) on the back wall shelves. In addition to healthy snacks like whole fruits and crackers, supplies include cutting boards, paring knives, and a checkout sheet. Teachers pick up supplies for their classrooms and voila: snack is in action.

Snack During Class: One Approach

Ms. Stevens offers the following advice for incorporating snack into the day so that it doesn’t disrupt instructional time.

“I set up snack in the morning with a note r.e.: how much to take. Everyone’s name starts in the jar on a popsicle stick. When it is time to start snack, I pull a child’s name, hand them the stick, and then they may go wash their hands, set their stick down outside of the jar, and get their share. After they take their snack they pull another name, hand the popsicle stick to the next child and sit to enjoy their snack (either taking a short break from working or eating while they work). Snack gets paused during whole group lessons so it isn’t distracting.”

Snack Donations Are Welcome!

If parents are interested in donating, simply bring goldfish crackers, pretzels, graham crackers or Ritz-type crackers to the PTA room. If you’d prefer to donate cash or checks, you can put these in the PTA locked mailbox in the office (attn: Snack Program).

After a few weeks, the PTA will send out a survey to find out how the schoolwide snack experiment is working. Big thanks to Karen Hanson West for helping to spearhead this effort.



How to Become a School Volunteer

Graham Hill loves volunteers! There are lots of opportunities to help out in classrooms, at events, and as part of projects. Even if you have limited time, there’s something for you.

In order to volunteer, you’ll have to complete the Seattle Public Schools volunteer checklist. It takes a little time, but once done, it’s good for the year. Here are the guidelines (copied from their website):

Checklist for Becoming a School Volunteer


Complete the Volunteer Application Packet (4 Pages) once a year. Applications are available below or you can ask the school or dept. for a copy of the Application Packet.


View the Adult Sexual Misconduct Prevention – online course (click here)

  • If you already viewed the video in the past you do not need to view it again. Please make a note on page 4 in the Volunteer Application Packet (additional notes section) that you have already completed the video and your coordinator will confirm that your name is on the completed list.
  • If you have NOT viewed the video in the past then please click on the link above –> watch the video –> when prompted by the video enter your full name and select your school –> then print/screenshot the certificate or note the date on page 4 so your coordinator knows you completed this step and can confirm your name is on the list.


Turn in your application to the school or dept. volunteer coordinator/contact.


The Volunteer Coordinator/Contact will ask to view your ID and run a background check.

  • A background check is mandatory once each school year. We appreciate your patience with this process.
  • Depending on the type of volunteer position you are applying for, or the length of your residency in Washington State, you might need pay a vendor fee for you background check. You coordinator will be able to assist you with additional information about this policy.

Please note: While all volunteers must be screened through the background check, a criminal history does not automatically disqualify one from volunteering in the schools.

You can find the full guidelines for volunteering in Seattle Public Schools here. That includes a list of volunteer opportunities, plus links to the Volunteer Handbook in a variety of languages.

Please reach out if you need help with any step of this process.