First day of school:
We have a very nice tradition of taking a whole school picture on the first day of school. As we get bigger this will become more and more interesting. Here are the instructions for that morning from the organizer:
It's is our tradition at Queen Anne Elementary to start the first day of school with an all school photo. The bigger we get the harder it is to make this happen efficiently, so here are some easy to follow instructions.
In front of the wooden building, affectionately known as the Treehouse, we will have taped off a large rhombus. David Elliott and staff will greet everyone from the stairs. Please be on the playground at 9:30AM. After a few words, it will be time to take two pictures. The first will be EVERYONE; parents, students and staff. You will need to be inside the taped lines to be in the shot. Look up to the second floor windows, find the big camera and smile. When Tony, our photographer, has captured that shot, he will hold up two fingers to signal it is time for the second picture; the student/staff picture. All parents then exit the rhombus and take three giant steps back. Tony will snap a few shots and it will be time to find your child's teacher and classroom. Please go directly to your classroom after the photos and meet your teacher there. If you are not sure of your child’s classroom we will have volunteers near the building entrances to help.
Crossing Guard/Safety Patrol
There are two different issues here.
The first is that our fifth graders are going to IslandWood the first full week of school, Sept. 8th through the 11th. The only students trained and available to do patrol are those fifth graders and of course it’s pretty critical to have Safety Patrol the first weeks of school. The only folks available for that duty is you, parents. I would ask you to make every effort to volunteer for a day, for the week, whatever you can manage. Joe Bailey is the contact for this work and can be reached here.
The second issue is that we have been without an “official” crossing guard at Crazy Town (Boston and 4th) since about the second week of school our first year here. There has been no movement on that issue since then—until now. I was given a flyer today that lists our school as one of twelve schools looking for an official crossing guard. The flyer is attached. If you love volunteering and think this might be a fun gig I would encourage you to look into this. It mentions that applications must be picked up at the district headquarters and has a number to call. I will feel so much better about our families crossing that crazy intersection when this happens. Flyer on the bottom of this post. Oh yeah, you get paid.
Drop-off and Pick-up:
Staying with the transportation theme I’d like to talk about those times when you drop off or pick up your student and arrive by car. I’d love to encourage you to do anything but that, if possible. School bus, walking, biking are all wonderful modes of transportation. Given our very large population, very small area for drop-off, and neighbors understandably protective of their own parking and driveways it is imperative that we have a program and get with that program so we will have a minimum of conflict with each other and our neighbors. I absolutely hate playing traffic officer and expect that plans that we put in place for safety of kids and adults are simply followed without a lot of nonsense.
Drop-off: If you want to walk your child onto the school grounds please park somewhere in the neighborhood in areas that do not include the area on Bigelow marked for Drop Off. I know the signs say 5 Minute parking but I have been arguing with SDOT about that since they put the signs up. We have way too many cars to have folks drive up, park there for five to ten minutes. I understand this may mean you have to walk a few blocks. If you want to simply drop your child off on Bigelow south of the Garden Entrance please do simply drop them off. There will be an adult at that entrance beginning at 9:05AM every day and others on the playground to supervise. When you do choose to park in the neighborhood and walk onto campus please be aware of driveways. We are trying hard to be good neighbors and this is a big one for conflict and angry phone calls. I believe the law is five feet so please check. Another serious issue is parking too close to our cross walks. I just looked this up and to my surprise the restriction is 20 feet. That’s a significant amount of space and rarely given. It does read “…except momentarily to pick up or discharge a passenger…” but I hope you use caution with this too. Way too many times I see our Safety Patrol trying to peek around a car parked directly next to their assigned area to see if there is any oncoming traffic. Please park like it’s your child on patrol or crossing with a patrol officer.
Pick-up: This is even more problematic when trying to simply pick up your child. The area on Bigelow is nowhere near big enough to handle all the cars who are trying to just pick up so I would simply ask that you be reasonable in this area. Park in the neighborhood if you know you will be standing around talking or your child will want to play on the playscape for 10 minutes after school for instance.
Parking lot: We have installed a sign on the post leading to our staff parking lot that states the lot is for staff parking only and not to be used for drop-off or pick-up. This is especially critical this year as our staff has grown significantly and we will not have enough spaces for everyone. Even when it looks like the parking lot has spaces it can fill very quickly in the hour and a half before the bell rings so please be respectful of this space. For some reason our neighbors seem more upset about our staff parking on adjacent streets than they do about parents parking for a while there.
Small schedule change:
We have had five minutes added to the end of our day this year. Our ending bell will be at 3:40PM instead of 3:35. I’m actually not sure why this happened but appreciate every minute we can have. The schedule looks like this:
Opening Bell: 9:25
Beginning of instruction: 9:30
End of Day: 3:40
Due to growth, everywhere in Seattle and certainly on Queen Anne, we will not have a staff room this year. This has been a gathering place for many groups so we will have to work out space somewhere else. My office in the Brick has been turned into a mini-staff room and I have taken full-time residence in the Treehouse above the main entrance.
We have a very large group of new staff and I would invite you to check out our staff page on the website to read a little about them.
One more need:
I would love to have the running feet repainted on the playground. I have a nice template and will get more orange paint. We will need a calm day so we don’t have too much overspray. The playground seems to be windy a lot so I can be patient.