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The Benefits of a Small School

DECEMBER 3, 2017 | ALAN BRAUN

By early October, I know each of the children at my school. As Head of The Valley School in Madison Valley, I get to greet our students by name each morning at the gate and ask questions that let them know I care about them. With just over 100 students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, our school provides the close connections and sense of belonging that increase a child’s engagement in learning. 

 

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Schools come in all types and sizes, but increasingly teachers, administrators, and researchers in the field of education are recognizing the advantages of small learning communities. 

Smaller schools foster a greater sense of connectedness among children, teachers, and families. Effective learning communities, at all levels but particularly in elementary schools, are based on empathy. In small schools, where every child is known and no one can fall under the radar, empathy can flourish more fully. 

 

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Smaller schools have the flexibility to adapt more quickly to new learning opportunities. With fewer teachers and fewer scheduling constraints, small schools can respond quickly and nimbly to new topics and areas of student interest. Pulling the whole school together for a performance by a visiting musician is easier in a small school. 

In small schools, teachers know all of the students at all grades more personally. As students advance from grade to grade each year, children enter a new classroom where they and their parents are already known by the teacher. 

 

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In smaller schools, with smaller staffs and fewer layers of administration, parents have closer contact with all members of the faculty, thus allowing for quicker, more timely communication and collaboration on strategies. Relations between parents and school people tend to be more personal and informal, thus leading to trusting, close relations. Research has shown that strong home-school relations are one of the key predictors of a positive learning experience for children and of academic success. 

At The Valley School, like many small schools, we pride ourselves in providing a positive family-like school climate where children can be themselves, can take risks safely and confidently, can engage in their learning fully, and grow into thriving members of a healthy school community. 

 

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The Valley School is an independent School located in Madison Valley. Visit us at www.thevalleyschool.org.

 

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Tours of McGilvra Elementary

DECEMBER 10, 2014 | WEBSITE SUBMITTED

McGilvra Elementary will hold three tours this school year for prospective families.  These tours will be December 12th, January 16th, and May 1st.  Parents will have the opportunity to tour the school, see a classroom in action and speak with parents who will be tour guides. 

McGilvra Elementary School

Tours begin in the lunchroom at 10:00 AM and last approximately one hour.  
If you are interested in participating in one of the tours, please call 206-252-3160 or e-mail lhchelius@seattleschools.org to reserve a space on a tour.

 

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Reading Tutor Position Available at McGilvra

DECEMBER 6, 2014 | HUNTER ROBBINS

McGilvra Elementary School has a position open for a one-on-one reading tutor. 

Sound Partners Reading Tutor
18 hours/wk (approx. 9:30 am–2:00 M-Th) paid position

This is a position that makes an enormous positive impact on our students who are developing reading skills! Training and on-going guidance are provided. Applicants should have experience working with young children, and references of such. Position may also include recess supervisory responsibilities. Consistency and reliability throughout the year are a must. 

mcgilvra-tutor

For more details, please contact Jennifer Carr, McGilvra Reading Specialist: jmcarr@seattleschools.org

Please send resume and references to McGilvra Elementary Principal, Maria Breduer:  mebreuder@seattleschools.org.

 

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Events at McGilvra Elementary

NOVEMBER 21, 2014 | HUNTER ROBBINS

As we head into the week of Thanksgiving, the McGilvra community is in the middle of a food & toiletry drive in coordination with the YWCA. The food and toiletry donations continue to make a big difference for those in need over the Holiday season and through the winter. If you are a McGilvra parent, you have seen the boxes outside each classroom and at the administrative office and library.

We encourage the community to be just as involved. There are food drive donation boxes all around the community, including at Homestreet Bank in Madison Park.   

In this time of giving thanks, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving and thank you for supporting this great opportunity help those in need. 

Students and family are also continuing their tradition of service with our annual Mitten Project. The project allows families to pick a mitten to find a card inside that will help fulfill a wish for a family in need. This has always been a favorite project and very important part of what McGilvra teaches our children about being involved with the community in positive ways.

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As we approach the holidays, McGilvra librarian Danae Powers and some very dedicated parent volunteers are gearing up for the Scholastic Book Fair — books are great gifts! The week long event will end with a wonderfully planned Snow Celebration concert by the McGilvra students.  

Hunter Robbins is a McGilvra parent, Communications Chair for the McGilvra PTA and can be reached at communications@mcgilvrapta.org.

 

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Events at McGilvra Elementary

OCTOBER 23, 2014 | WEBSITE SUBMITTED

Local resident and McGilvra PTA Board Member Hunter Robbins has sent a rundown of recent events and activities at McGilvra Elementary. 

Run-a-thon

On October 17th, students, teachers, and parents braved the rain to run laps around the school in what is one of our most important fundraisers of the year, the annual McGilvra Run-A-Thon. We are grateful for the wonderful support of our local business sponsors (Bert’s Red Apple, Girlie Press, Talking Rain Beverage Company, and Seattle Fire Department) and neighbors who continue to pledge dollars to support our school. We receive very minimal funding from the District toward such critical parts of a student’s life, such as arts, technology, and the essential reading and math support specialists. Thank you for the continued community support.

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Class of 1958 Gift to McGilvra Library

Some of the members of the Class of 1958 had a reunion at McGilvra in August and came up with the idea of presenting living McGilvra with a gift. On October 21st, Joel Milstein from the McGilvra Elementary Class of 1958 presented principle Maria Brueder and librarian Danae Powers with a surprise donation to the McGilvra Elementary Library as a gift from the Class of ’58.

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Harvest Dance

This week the students at McGilvra Elementary had fun making luminaries for the upcoming Harvest Dance on Friday, October 24th. The kids continue to help us prune and plant in the native area of the school garden, making scarecrows and decorating to make our “spooky garden” for the Harvest Dance.

 

McGilvra & YWCA Food Drive

The McGilvra Harvest Dance is the beginning of our Food Drive in collaboration with the YWCA. We are encouraging families to bring any non-perishable food items or toiletries to the dance to be collected as a kickoff to this important cause. We will continue to collect and distribute these donations to our community YWCA (located on East Cherry Street) through February 20, 2015.

If you have any questions or are interested in helping or donating, please email the Community Outreach Committee members Sandra Shanahan (Sandra.Shanahan@hotmail.com) or Linda Moy (moylinda@yahoo.com).

 

Christmas Trees

The McGilvra Elementary 4th and 5th grades’ Annual Holiday Tree and Wreath Sale is has been extended to Monday, October 27th. This is another great way to support McGilvra students and build great community spirit. We’ll have easy pick-up options as well as a delivery service you can purchase for an inexpensive rate.

The tree options range in sizes from 5' to 10' tall and most wreaths are crafted to 24" with a mix of noble and cedar cones. We can attest they smell fantastic! You can order for your home or business and we would be happy to deliver to you.

Order forms went home on Friday and are due by Monday, October 27. For questions or additional forms, please contact Greg Fimmano at gfimmano@pointb.com.

 

African American Students & Academics Meeting

Monday, November 3rd from 6:00–7:30 PM, McGilvra Elementary will host a dinner meeting of “McGilvra Families with African American, African, Caribbean, Bi-racial and/or Multi-racial Black Students.” One of the goals is to learn what McGilvra Elementary and Seattle Public Schools are doing to support and improve academic performance and social opportunities for African American students.

 

Veterans Day

McGilvra Elementary students would love to hear your story! In honor of Veterans Day we would love to showcase the experiences you (or your loved ones) had serving our country. We invite you to share your stories during a videotaped interview or in person, during the Veteran’s Day All-School Assembly on Monday, November 10.

We would appreciate sharing as many stories as possible. Please contact 1st Grade Teacher Tammie Le at ttle1@seattleschools.org or Community Outreach Chair, Sandra Shanahan, at Sandra.Shanahan@hotmail.com to let us know of your interest in participating.

McGilvra Kids & Vets

 

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McGilvra Elementary Offering Centennial Brick Pavers Until June 1st

APRIL 7, 2014 | JANE HUSBAND

Dear Community Members,

McGilvra Elementary is offering brick pavers to celebrate its 100 year anniversary. These lovely bricks will be placed in the walkway leading up to the school over the summer.

McGilvra Paver

You can choose a 4x9, 9x9, or 18x18 brick for $150, $500, or $1,000 with your business, children or family name. If you need a form, please email husband7357@yahoo.com or ken@treiger.com. Please turn in your completed order form with a check to the school office or mail to:

McGilvra PTA
4111 E. Madison Street, #46
Seattle, WA 98112

Please turn in your orders by June 1st.

Thank You!

 

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McGilvra Elementary Celebrates 100 Years With Auction

APRIL 5, 2014 | JANE HUSBAND

McGilvra Elementary celebrated its 100th anniversary with its biennial auction on Saturday March 22nd, at Showbox SODO. Close to 300 guests attended including current families, McGilvra Alumni, and incoming kindergarten families. The night's events were hosted by Ken Carson, who was returning for his fourth McGilvra auction. John Platt and his staff from St. Cloud's provided the catering. 

McGilvra Auction Image

The event had over 300 items donated from families, local businesses, and McGilvra teachers and staff. Some of the more popular items were Principal for A Day, where a student gets to make a new rule for that day, monitor lunch, and recess activities. A Seahawks VIP preseason training camp and a Shark Trip to the Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco were also big money raisers. 

McGilvra would like to thank all of the local businesses that donated to the auction this year. Our staff and students are so grateful for your generosity. With continued cuts in education, the school relies more than ever on donations from parents and community members. Over 75% of the classrooms have a student to teacher ratio of 29:1. The money raised from the PTA pays for the art program, a part time school counselor, a math and reading specialist, part time classroom tutors, and technology and library grants. 

McGilvra would especially like to thank its Presenting Sponsors; Dan and Larry Wilcynski from Wilcynski Partners, Mark Everts from Cobalt Mortgage, Dr. Lora Shahine and Partners from Pacific NW Fertility, and Chris Husband from CleanScapes. We would like to thank Platinum Sponsor Shawn Plaster from The Plaster Group, Gold Sponsor, Park Shore Senior Living, and Bronze Sponsor, Dr. Keith B. Wong. McGilvra would also like to thank its advertisers Kevin Trombold from Trombold Law, Wally Green from AllState, and Park Postal. Hemlock Printing was a major contributor by donating the catalogs and PaperlinX donated the bid paddles. Uber car service was instrumental in getting people to and from the auction safely while providing a generous discount to auction ticket holders. McGilvra would also like to thank local artist, Richard Carl Lehman, for use of his beautiful illustration of the school in many auction materials. Our school would not be the same without your support. Thank you!

 

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McGilvra Auction Tickets On Sale Until Feb. 14

JANUARY 24, 2014 | JANE HUSBAND

 

McGilvra Auction Image

McGilvra Elementary will be holding its biennial auction on Saturday March 22nd at 5:30pm at Showbox SODO. This is the largest fundraising event of the year for the school. McGilvra turns 100 years old in 2014 and hopes to have many alumni attend the auction along with its current families. The money raised from the auction pays for programs that are not funded by Seattle Public Schools. These include the art teacher and supplies, reading and math teachers as well as curriculum, a part time school counselor, technology tools such as Lexia and Pebble Go, teacher and library grants, and classroom tutors.

With many classes having a 29:1 student teacher ratio, these programs are more essential than ever for our children. If you would like to attend the auction, please go to our website and click "Buy Tickets." Tickets are available until Friday February 14th. You can also view our online catalog. If you have any questions, please send us email. Thank you.

 

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TOPS K–8 Alternative Public School

JANUARY 21, 2014 | PALMIRA FIGUEROA

TOPS (The Option Program at Seward) is an alternative K-8 public school; if you are looking for an option school, come see firsthand why TOPS is the best alternative!

Small school environment — students, staff and teachers know each other

• Our mission concerning social justice and compassionate citizenship are woven through the curriculum in every grade
- Lots of volunteering, we are a parent-lead school
- By eliminating the achievement gap, we include students historically underserved by the public school system and help all students to meet or exceed standards.
- As a Vision, we are creating a school that empowers students to be active participants, leaders, learners, and contributors to social justice.

• Diverse student population which both complements and demands teaching empathy, acceptance, and responsibility to others. Come visit!

Elementary School Tours:
Jan 21st 9 – 10:30 am
Feb 6th 9 – 10:30 am
Jan 23rd 5:30 – 7 pm

Middle School Tours:
Jan 27th 5:30 – 7 pm
Feb 11th 9 – 10:30 am

During daytime tour sessions, you will be given a tour of the school and you will have time to speak with the principal. Some handouts will be available. No appointment is necessary. When you arrive, sign in at the main office, right near the main entrance on Franklin Avenue. We are sorry to say that visits cannot be scheduled at other times due to the disruption it causes to classes. Parking is very limited, so please allow time for on-street parking. After 9:00 am, Eastlake Avenue has some 4-hour parking zones. Thanks!

 

TOPS Class of 2013

 

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McGilvra Celebrates 100 Years With Centennial Pavers

JANUARY 15, 2014 | JANE HUSBAND

This year McGilvra Elementary School is celebrating 100 years of educating Seattle children. The PTA will be selling centennial brick pavers between now and June 30th.

McGilvra Paver

These pavers will be placed in the outside walkway leading up to the entrance of the school. If you or your children attended McGilvra, or if you would like your business represented, you are invited to purchase a commemorative paver from the PTA. Your donation directly benefits the ongoing education enrichment programs that make McGilvra the great school that it is. The pavers come in the following sizes and prices: 4.5" x 9" $150, 9" x 9" $500 and 18" x 18" $1,000. Purchase of the two larger pavers includes the placement of a small item in our time capsule. Later this year, McGilvra will be receiving an historic landmark designation from the City of Seattle. Your name or your child's name will be represented at McGilvra for the next 100 years to come! For information or to receive an order form, please email fundraising@mcgilvrapta.org.

 

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Playground Update

OCTOBER 29, 2013 | CATHERINE NUNNELEY
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Bush School Names New Head of School

OCTOBER 8, 2013 | EDITOR
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Nature-based Preschool in the Arboretum

MARCH 27, 2013 | EDITOR

The UW Botanic Gardens is opening a nature-based preschool this fall in the Washington Park Arboretum.

Fiddleheads Forest School is offering an outdoor program of day-to-day activities, play, and exploration. As the children engage with the world around them and inquire about it, instructors will supplement the activities with a curriculum to further engage their curiosity.

The mission of the school is to promote the growth of the whole child through attention to his or her social and emotional development, self-regulation, and physical development.

See their site for more info, applications, schedules, and tuition.

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Meany Middle School to Modernize and Re-Purpose

FEBRUARY 16, 2013 | EDITOR

The Seattle Schools Capital Levy (Proposition 2) has been approved. In the new funding is a $14.5 million line item to modernize and re-purpose the Meany campus on Capitol Hill. 

The existing building, originally built as a junior high, would be modernized and reopened as a comprehensive middle school. The plan will address current and projected middle school growth in central Seattle, and reduce overcrowding at Washington Middle School.

Links: Read more information on the plan or to get involved in the design process.

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