Somerset Speaks

September’s Monthly Principal communication

Somerset Families,

There is something so special about the first day of school.  Each year there is great anticipation of what the year will bring and contagious joy on student faces as they greet their teacher and meet their new classmates.  It has been a GREAT first four days for our first through fifth graders and an awesome first day for Kindergarteners.

Thank you, parents, for helping us have a safe arrival and dismissal, sending your children ready for learning, and ensuring they have a great breakfast and night’s rest!

Thank you, teachers, for creating such welcoming classrooms, recognizing the importance of building a class community around respect and acceptance, and being flexible as we adjust to the new schedules.

Thank you, General School Assistants, office staff, para educators, custodians, bus drivers and so many more who make sure that kids are safe and well cared for in all the big areas of the school!

Mr. Moe-Lobeda is our assistant principal and will continue to support our school wide expectations and systems using a weekly broadcast to classrooms from his KSTR radio station!  I am excited to introduce Ms. Yen!  Ms. Yen comes to us with a variety of different classroom and instructional coaching experiences.  She is an admin intern and will be here on weekly on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this year.

This is our monthly parent communication.  It will typically come the first Friday of the month. Our PTSA sends out a great weekly email blast each weekend.  Check out our www.somersetPTSA.org  website and our school page at https://bsd405.org/somerset/

In Partnership,

Cathy Elder

Somerset Principal

 

Principal Read-Aloud

A favorite tradition at Somerset is the Principal Read Aloud in September.  The principals go into every classroom and read the same story to all students k-5 to kick off our theme and spread a common message.  This year we are reading “More Than Peach,” the true story of sixth grader Bellen Woodard.

Bellen recognized that she could use her voice to speak up and help change the language in her classroom to be more inclusive recognizing that the “skin colored” crayon could be any number of beautiful colors and much more than just peach. 

I hope this book inspires and encourages our students to use their voice to make even better spaces within our Beloved Community!  For further activities and information, check out https://www.morethanpeach.com/

Somerset Elementary Information

Somerset Office:

Our office is managed by Susie Nakamura.  We have two additional secretaries who support our students, staff, and families.  Ms. Mitchell works closely with Mr. Moe-Lobeda on attendance.  Ms. Gregory supports transportation needs, building use, and family connection supports.

If you need to report an absence for your child, please email [email protected] to inform the office.  Please leave your child’s name, teacher, and reason for absence.  We encourage you to use this email to inform us if you will be picking your child up early.  This allows us to be more efficient in checking their schedule prior to your arrival so they are ready for a quicker departure.

 

Technology Update for Somerset Students and Families:

Many students have already received their device.  Mr. Poole is working hard to ensure that all students have a device before the end of the month. Our students in grades 2-5 receive laptops.  Our kindergarten and first grade students have district issued i-pads.  Devices are used for instructional purposes in the classroom.  Each grade has different state required technology standards as well as content areas with district approved applications and programs that are used in the classroom to enhance learning.  Due to limited number of chargers, most devices will remain at school so they can be fully charged the next day.

Curriculum Night:

Somerset has been assigned Wednesday, September 13th to share our live, in person curriculum information with you.  We are hoping to be more responsive to the needs of our families who have more than one child at Somerset by offering two repeated sessions in every classroom during our event.  If you only need to attend one classroom, please choose the session that works best for you.  If you have more than one child, attend one child’s presentation during the first session and then go to the next classroom for the second session.

Session 1: 5:00-5:45

Session 2: 6:00-6:45

All classrooms will provide content information to all families even if you are unable to attend on that evening.

The purpose of curriculum night is to provide you classroom information and time to meet your child’s classroom teacher and see their learning space.

During the live in-person presentation, teachers will provide a brief introduction of themselves, a short opportunity for you to connect with other parents in the classroom and model a couple of instructional routines to show how your students are learning in various content areas.  In addition to the live presentation, teachers will send a newsletter or Powerpoint explaining how to locate key classroom information, share avenues for communicating with the teacher and share ways with which the teacher will be sharing information and collaborating with parents.

Conversations about your individual child and how they are doing socially, emotionally, or academically will be shared with you during your scheduled conference time in November when you are one on one with your child’s teacher.  Teachers will not be addressing or have the time to discuss individual students.  Please walk or carpool to help with traffic and parking congestion.

 

Rocket Run: Birthday Fun Run with the Principals

Every month Mr. Moe-Lobeda, Ms. Yen and I will host a Birthday Fun Run for all students who have a birthday in that month. Students will come out to the field and run one lap around the field and have a picture taken with the birthday club members of that month.  Students are encouraged to wear their Somerset Shines t-shirt on their Fun Run Day!   This month we will celebrate August and September birthdays on September 20th.

 

September Safety Drill: Fire Drill

Washington state law and Bellevue School District policy require all schools to hold at least one drill per calendar month while school is in session and that a fire drill is administered within the first 10 days of the school year. This month, on September 12th, we will be conducting a fire drill and practicing evacuating the building and accounting for everyone. Thinking about emergencies is never the most pleasant thing to do, but when done thoughtfully, we can work to feel safer by making sure we are practiced and prepared in the rare instance of an emergency.

For more information on emergency preparedness at Somerset, please see page 20 of the Somerset Family Handbook: https://bsd405.org/somerset/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2019/09/Somerset-Community-Handbook-2019-20.pdf .

For Fire/Evacuation Drills, students are taught to quickly and quietly exit the building. They meet on the field at an assigned location and stay silent while attendance is taken to ensure all people have safely evacuated. Teachers will review this information with students ahead of time, make sure they are aware of some of the things that could raise anxiety, such as the sound of the alarm, and address some of the “What if..” scenarios that curious and creative minds always wonder about. They will also work to do this in a way that does not increase anxiety in students, but rather work on a sense of safety through preparation.

For more information on fire safety, you might want to visit the National Fire Protection Association “Kids” page at http://www.sparky.org/ or their parent resource page at http://www.sparky.org/parents.

Following the first fire drill, we send an update and a one-page Safety Newsletter to provide you more information related to school safety and emergency procedures.

Snacks

All students are receiving at least one snack break each day.  They are hungry.  Please send a “quick to eat” healthy snack with your child each day.  Food is important fuel to help regulate emotions and fuel brain power for learning.

Welcome!

Somerset is excited to welcome our new kindergarten families and the 100+ students who have joined our school for the first time this fall. We celebrate diversity at Somerset and within our Somerset families we have over 31 different languages spoken.  We strive to create a school community where students can be their authentic selves at school and have pride in their unique cultural, linguistic, and personal identity.  We create opportunities for students to build their cultural competence by sharing a variety of text that we refer to as window and mirror text.  A mirror experience is when a student sees their identity reflected in the curriculum and books read in class, while a window experience allows them to see and learn about the identities and experiences of others.  In addition, students are encouraged to share their language, culture and special moments in the class enhancing the learning for all students.  Each story matters and provides diverse perspectives as students look at current and historical topics.

Arrival and Dismissal:

Front Parking lot for k-2 students and their siblings:

For car drop off: Parents, please drive through the pickup lines at the beginning of the day to drop off your child and again at the end of the day for pick up.  For quicker pick up, please display your dashboard sign.  The only parents parking should be K parents.  If you do not have a dashboard sign, please email [email protected] and one will be made and sent home with your child.

For walkers: To avoid crowding, parents walking kids should dismiss their kids at the front of the school and allow them to walk independently to their classroom lines.  Student supervision begins at 8:45 am.

Side Drop off zone (143rd SE) for Grades 3-5:

Please help us keep students safe and provide an efficient drop off and pick up zone.  Even with the congestion of the last few days, all 3-5 students have been picked up at the end of the day in less than 15 minutes of the dismissal bell.  You can help make it safer and more efficient by doing the following:

  1. Please stay in your car so as soon as we send your student to your car, you can pull out safely leaving room for the next car. Please do not park and leave your car between the sign announcing the cross walk all the way up past the gate.  This allows for continual pick up of 15+ cars.
  2. Please use your dashboard sign. We can identify who is here even before school is dismissed and radio to the teachers as the students come out.  We have increased the number of radios at the pick-up station.
  3. Keep driveways clear. Our neighbors have asked for us to keep their driveways clear. Many have appointments and practices that they need to get out of their driveway during our arrival and dismissal times.
  4. U-turns are unsafe and unnecessary. Use the circular patterns of the neighborhood roads to help return you in the direction you wish to go.  There is no need to turn around in a driveway or make a U-turn.  There are three simple to follow routes that allow you to return in the direction you came.

 

Bus passes for eligible riders that were not distributed the first week of school will arrive at Somerset during the week of September 15th.  We will get them to students at soon as they arrive.  Transportation runs the passes in batches, and we may have to wait for one additional release to get all students their bus pass.

Data Verification: if you haven’t already, please log into Parentvue and verify or update the following information:

  • Update their address online and provide the required proofs of address electronically.
  • Update their student’s demographic data.
  • Manage student’s emergency contact list.
  • Update student’s photo permissions.

Questions:  Please contact us at [email protected]. You can also go to our district website to learn more.  If you are having trouble logging into your ParentVUE account, please contact [email protected] for assistance.​  for detailed message in additional languages

PTSA Welcome Back Ice-Cream Social

Mark your calendar! PTSA “Back-to-School Ice Cream Social” will be held at Somerset Elementary on Friday, September 22nd from 5:00 to 6:30pm. The ice creams will be handed out at the covered area. The PTSA is treating all Somerset students to a complimentary ice cream or popsicle. Please bring the ice cream social flyer sent home in your student’s yellow folder as your student’s ticket. One ticket per student valid for one ice cream. Parents can purchase additional tickets for extra fun! Siblings welcome! We are looking for volunteers. Please sign up here.

UPCOMING IMPORTANT DATES

September 13th               Curriculum Night for all grades

September 20th               August/September Birthday Rocket Run with Principals

September 22nd               PTSA Ice-Cream Social 5:00-6:30

September 28th & 29tth School Pictures-fliers with information will be sent soon!

October 13th                   No school for students, Professional Learning Day for Teachers      

For more information and important dates please follow this link to our Somerset PTSA:  Link to Somerset PTSA

 

From Bellevue School District

Mental Health Resources for Families

Did you know that the BSD website contains a Mental Health Services section, which includes mental health resources for students and families? School administrators worked in partnership with support staff to strategize, align and provide access to this information in a user-friendly manner, to support students and families. Students and families are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the content to better understand mental health topics including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse and suicide prevention. Students and families are encouraged to reach out to school counselors and MHAT counselors for additional mental health support.

Learn about mental health topics and access support resources.

BSD Texting App “Talking Points” to Use New Phone Numbers

The BSD texting app, “Talking Points,” will utilize new phone numbers this year. Bellevue School staff use Talking Points to send SMS text messages to families. Our vendor has let us know that this school year, the sender’s phone number will appear different to families than in the past. This means that when you receive a text from staff, it will appear to be a new sending number. If you attempt to reply to an old number, you will receive a reminder that the number has been re-assigned. We apologize for any confusion this may create. You will continue to receive all texts from BSD staff, but you may notice a new phone number.

Community Partnerships

The Math Agency Seeking Volunteer Math Coaches

The Math Agency is looking for adult volunteers to serve as math coaches to support the Stevenson and Lake Hills Elementary Math Agency programs. The Math Agency will provide all training and support volunteers to be successful coaches. No previous coaching experience is required — just an enjoyment of math! Your fundamental role is to provide motivation and adult guidance for students. Time commitment can vary from two to ten hours a week.

Learn more and apply on The Math Agency website. Contact Rachel Mateo [email protected] to learn more.

Bellevue Special Needs PTA Meet and Greet

Bellevue Special Needs PTA invites families to attend their Meet and Greet on Saturday, September 23, at Crossroads Park. Learn how the Special Needs PTA promotes advocacy and education and empowers families. Meet families and share stories. Learn from the journeys of those who have parented students with 504 plans and IEPs. The event is open to all, and snacks will be provided!

Date: Saturday, September 23, 2023
Time: 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: Crossroads Park, southwest pavilions
Address: 16000 NE 10th St, Bellevue, WA 98008

View more information in the program flyer.

 

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.