Panther Principal Update September 27, 2021

SPIRITRIDGE PANTHER UPDATE                             September 27, 2021


We are in the middle of our annual Spiritridge Walkathon 2021 Back Together Again. Please watch the Spiritridge Walkathon 2021 Principal Message for details.

The return to in person school has been a tremendous lift of safety protocols, logistics and plans. None of this return could have happened without the tremendous efforts, commitment, and dedication of our GSA’s – General School Assistants. They are the key ingredient to a safe return to school and why we have been able to navigate in person learning.

Our GSA staff engage in three critical roles at Spiritridge: Safety/Supervision, Academic Support and Mentorship

Safety: GSAs are the key to what is allowing us to be in school safely – from Arrival, to lunches, recess, and dismissal. Without their effort, work, and supervision we would not have fidelity of high-quality safety measures for your child that we have in place a Spiritridge.

Supervision: Students have been out of school for a long time and return to school has brought social dynamics that we have to reteach and coach students through. Our GSAs ensure that student problems and conflicts are resolved peacefully at recess

Academic Support – After 18 months of learning away from full day in person school we have some significant learning gaps to support. GSAs help students in closing those learning gaps through classroom support, interventions, and coaching.

Mentorship: We want all students to feel a sense of belonging at Spiritridge and that they have at least one trusted adult they can talk to – Our GSA fill this role for many of our students. From recess, lunch, and classroom interactions they often get to know students from differing perspectives than teachers or other staff.

Please support our efforts and donate today. Help us reach our goal of $86,000. And if we reach out goal see if Mr. H will be doing the Gatorade Dump or Lake Sammamish Leap!!

Scott Hetherington
Principal, Spiritridge Elementary



October 5, Tuesday

  • 5:30 Principal Welcome Session
  • 6:00 K-2 Teacher Sessions
  • 6;30 3-5 Teacher Sessions

Principal Session: Mr. Hetherington and Dr. Highsmith will share an overview of Spiritridge, our school theme for the year and how we support our students socially, emotionally, and academically. (20 min)

Teacher Sessions: Teachers will host a Teams Session to meet families, introduce themselves and share information about their classroom learning this year. Plan on about 20-30 minutes.

We have split up grade K-2 and 3-5 so that parents of multiple students have a better opportunity of attending more than one session.


Elementary conference days are quickly approaching. I know families are looking forward to meeting with your child’s teacher and sharing about your amazing child as well as learning how your child is doing in school.  You should be hearing from your child’s teacher soon about scheduling a time to meet with them on one of the three early release days of October 11, 12, 13. Your child’s teacher will communicate with you on their safest options for meeting virtually or in person following all Covid safety protocols.

Elementary Conference Days

  • Mon 10/11/22
  • Tue 10/12/22
  • Wed 10/13/22

Students will be dismissed at 1:20 PM each Elementary Conference Day

Watch: Spiritridge Walkathon 2021 Principal Message

Your donations are critical to providing enrichment opportunities, school events/activities and ensuring student safety and support with our GSA’s. Together we can reach our goal and continue to make Spiritridge the incredible learning community it has been for over 50 years.

This year more than ever our GSA (General School Assistants) are essential to our student safety and academic success. Our GSA’s monitor students during our 5 lunches and recesses to ensure safety and fair play. They help resolve conflict and manage problem solving. In the classroom they support students to reach standard in reading, math, and writing. And they serve as mentors, role models and trusted, caring adults for many of our students. We could not do school without them!

Visit the PTSA Walkathon Site to donate today:

Plus – What will Mr. H do this year if we reach our goal? Will it be another Polar Bear Plunge or back to the classic Gatorade Dump?

2020 Polar Plunge Video


We are rolling along and each week we find ourselves with better footing and growth at Spiritridge. Students have transitioned well back into school and there is much learning happening both academically and socially/emotionally. There is much to navigate after 18 months of no full day in person school and your children are doing amazing. That’s not to say there are not bumps along the way, but students are learning how to interact, collaborate, share, communicate and problem solve Together again.

We continue to promote our Panther Principals of Show Respect, Solve Problems and Make Good Decisions. Each day provides plenty of opportunity to learn, practice and show these both at school and home. We tell your children the Panther Principles are not just for school but are principles for life. You can practice saying our Panther Pledge with your children at home:

I am a Panther who shows respect, I make good decisions and do my best to solve problems each and every day.


Students have been doing a great job of wearing masks at school and following protocols. Be sure to thank your kiddos for their efforts in being safe. There are a couple reminders that would be helpful:

  • Please have your child bring a couple masks to school each day so that they have a clean mask in case one gets wet/dirty or breaks. While we do have masks at school, we are handing many out each day.
  • Masks that loop around the ears are preferred over masks that have ties around the head and neck, especially during active times to prevent any injuries.


Thank you for using the meeting zones for your children after school!!

  • We are supportive of families walking and meeting their children at school. However, to number of families gathering at the main entrance is creating difficulty with dismissal and causing too much proximity for students and adults.
  • Starting Monday, we are asking children to meet their parents a either the Loading Zone area by the MPR door or by the Garden Area by the Mosaic Wall.
  • This will allow for our students to exit the building more safely and allow space for them to get to where they need in a timelier manner.

PTSA MEMBERSHIP – Become a Spiritridge PTSA member today
Your membership helps support our student enrichment learning opportunities and curriculum enhancements along with school activities, family events and GSA support.

Learn more and JOIN THE PTSA

BSD NEWS:                                                              


The 2021-2022 Official Notices, Weapons Policy and Truancy Laws are available on the district website. English, Spanish and Simplified Chinese versions can be found on the Official Notices page.


Noticias Para Familias de BSD y LWSD Spanish Newsletter

Did you know that BSD partners with the Bellevue Schools Foundation, Lake Washington School District, Lake Washington Schools Foundation and Eastside Pathways to produce a weekly video newsletter that shares thoughtful and culturally-relevant content with our Spanish-speaking families? The newsletters include up-to-date news from the district, information on district or school-related programs and how to access them, and ways to continue navigating the school system. Additionally, the newsletters are delivered by native Spanish speakers from BSD and LWSD.
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Watch the September 20-24 Video Newsletter

CHILD CARE: Right at School

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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.