Today our American flag flies at half-mast as a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on March 16, 2021, in the Atlanta Metropolitan area per order of the Office of Governor Jay Inslee. As the leader of a school community where many students, staff and families identify as Asian, I want to personally and publicly share that I am truly saddened, heartbroken, and disgusted to hear of the targeted violence to the Asian American women in Atlanta earlier this week.
To our community members who identify as Asian, I want you to always feel affirmed and supported in your unique cultural and racial identity as a part of our school community. You are a valued voice and member. You make us Somerset Strong. Please know I, along with the members of our staff, support you and grieve with you. The ongoing racism and hateful acts that have been a part of the Asian history in this area and our country are important to tell and even more important to make right.
Today, I am saddened and angry. Tomorrow, I begin again, my work and commitment to each and every Somerset student to provide them a place to learn as their true authentic selves, a place to celebrate their unique cultural, racial and personal identity and a place where we empower their voice to be agents of change for this generation and the next. I have hope because I have great trust and faith in our Somerset staff and community partners.
We are one community. When one of us grieves, we all grieve.
Our Wednesday night PTSA hosted Parenthood Development talk on “How to Talk to Kids About Race” is timely and can support ongoing questions or concerns your child(ren) may be having. The conversations are important for all children, regardless of their race to be advocates and culturally competent in our diverse community. The event is virtual and free. You just need to follow the link to sign up to get the log in information. Many of our Somerset Staff will be joining the event as well as a way to partner with families and provide opportunities for all our students to feel valued, supported, and accepted.
|Please save the date, register, and mark your calendars for March 24th! PTSA will host a Parenthood Development: How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism. See below for more info and link|
See Below for:
- Visual Schedule for Grades 3-5 In-person Learning expansion
- Specialist Schedule Changes for Hybrid Students in Grades 2-5
- Text communication from Somerset Educators
- Link for Parenthood Discussion Night- “How to Talk to Kids about Race”
- List of items for “Groceries for Families” donation drive
- Library book checkout dates
- Photo of the week
Somerset Elementary Important Information
- Grades k-2 are in person Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday except for 4/19-4/23 quarantine week.
- Thursday and Friday prior to start dates are for classroom and teacher preparation. Teachers provide async learning.
- Remote days on Wednesday & Friday follow current Schedule.
- Grade 3-5 drop-off is at 143rd Ave SE crosswalk. Use either side of street. Students must use crosswalk
- Drop off is 8:50 and 12:50. Remain in the car until greeted by Somerset staff.
- Please remember to complete health check prior to 8:30 and 12:30 to ensure efficient arrival for student.
Specialist Schedule Changes for hybrid students in Grade 2-5
Hybrid students who be transitioning to in-person learning have been invited to a new specialist time during their async learning session. To maximize in-person learning minutes, students in grades 2-5 will attend specialist with their grade level cohort virtually at a time opposite their in person learning schedule. All specialist times fall within our elementary school day (9:05-3:35) and are a required part of their learning based on the state requirements for learning minutes and specialist standards. Most likely your child’s teacher will announce that the student no longer needs to bring their laptop to and from school each day. There are no changes for students in kindergarten, first grad, virtual and Ms. Jackson’s class.
Text Communication from Somerset
Talking Points is a texting app that allows educators to communicate back and forth with families seamlessly in their preferred home language via Text Messages composed on the staff computer and received as texts on the family’s phone. You’ll see texts from our Attendance Specialist, Tammy Mitchell, reminding families to complete the health check. You may see texts from teachers to remind families of special projects or important events. Click here to take a look at the Getting Started Guide for Families. This will walk you through how to download the app and select your home language. Talking Points is rostered with our student information system, so the language you specified as your home language when enrolling your student is the language the texts will appear in. You don’t need to download the app to receive the texts from educators. Our goal is to increase collaboration and family engagement through an additional mode of communication! If you have any questions about Talking Points, please contact Amy Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Principal Birthday lunches – 12:30-1:00
March Birthday lunch celebration will be on March 24th at 12:30. Students with a March birthday will receive a Teams invite through their student email accounts from Ruth Embaye, our office manager on the day prior. If you don’t receive an invitation, please reach out to email@example.com and she will send the link. Each session includes an opportunity for students to share something exciting about birthdays, a quick art project and a short story. It is a highlight for us to share this time celebrating students. Please note we have moved the birthday lunch celebrations to Wednesday to ensure all students, both virtual and hybrid can attend.
BSD Family Engagement Survey
Your voice is important to us! Please complete.
The window is almost closing for the BSD annual Family Engagement survey, and we want to be sure to hear from you! The Family Engagement Office seeks to understand if families across the district feel informed, supported, and empowered to contribute to their student’s success.
The 12-question survey takes only minutes to complete and is accessible in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Korean, Arabic, Amharic, Japanese and Simplified Chinese. Families may select one of these language options from the drop-down menu located at the top of the survey.
A unique link was sent to families via email through our survey platform, Panorama Education. The subject line for the email says: “BSD Family Engagement Survey”. The results of the survey will be anonymized, and schools will only receive aggregate data. Families are asked to complete a survey for each school where they have a child enrolled, which means they may receive multiple survey links. You are asked to answer the survey based on the experience of your oldest child in the school.
PTSA March Events
Parenthood Development: March 24th 6-7pm
How to Talk to children about Race and Racism
Families who attend will have a chance to win books shared in the presentation for your home libraries.
Please join us for our Parenthood Development talk with Somerset parent Jamie Cho on how to talk with your children about race and racism.
This conversation will center race and how to talk with children and answer their questions about racial differences and racism. Children’s understanding of racial categories develops early and are influenced by the narratives offered by the adults in their lives. It is vital that adults are having conversations with children as they try to make sense of what they are observing in their family, neighborhoods, schools, and communities. Through these conversations, families have the power to raise a generation of critical thinkers who strive for social justice and equity.
Jamie Cho is a parent educator at two cooperative preschools through Seattle Central College and Bellevue College. She holds a Ph.D. in special education from U.C. Berkeley and her research has focused on cultural beliefs around parenting. Jamie has worked previously as an early interventionist with young children with autism spectrum disorders as well as served as an educational researcher at UCLA and teacher educator at California State Universities.
Student Council’s Groceries for Families Drive & March Spirit Day
Somerset Student council is made up of two students from each of the 4th and 5th grade classes. They are selected by peers to be their voice and representation. The student council meets the first Wednesday of each month and works to promote school spirit and pride. This group selects and advertises school spirit days and chooses at least one community service project a year to serve the greater Bellevue community. This month our student council is hosting “Groceries for Families” drive. Please consider donating items on the list below to support Bellevue families through Jubilee Reach.
Somerset Library Wednesday Check-out Dates
Librarian Mrs. Bravenec would like to remind families that students may reserve and check out books from our Somerset library! Books may be picked up by all families on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30-5:30pm at the front doors of Somerset. Masks and social distancing required.
For hybrid students attending in person, Mrs. Bravenec will deliver books to your child’s classroom teacher if you are not able to pick them up. For virtual students attending remotely, please contact Mrs. Bravenec to make alternate pick up arrangements if that Wednesday time is not convenient for you.
Mrs. Bravenec knows not all families are comfortable with checking out books at this time, and it is NOT required to do so. If your student needs help accessing books online through Sora, King County Library, Epic, TumbleBooks, etc., please let Mrs. Bravenec know and she can help!
May 26th (LAST DAY for checkout)
Upcoming Important Dates
Mar 19 Regular Scheduled School Day-Make up day from January 25th.
Mar 22 4th Grade In-Person Learning begins
Mar 24 March Birthday with Principals
Parenthood Development Talk 6-7 pm
Mar 26 School Spirit Day-Sport’s Day
Mar 29 3rd Grade In-Person Learning begins
Mar 31 Picture Retake Day
Apr 5 5th grade In-Person Learning begins
Apr 12-16 Spring Break, no school
Apr 19-23 BSD quarantine week, all students remote
For more information and important dates please follow this link to our Somerset PTSA: Link to Somerset PTSA
Photo of the Week
Kindergarteners enjoying a little physically distanced choice time in the sunshine.