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    Welcome Back from Principal Breidenbach 2018
    Posted on 08/13/2018

     August 13, 2018

    Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year!  Teachers have begun migrating back to set up their classrooms, and palates of math workbooks await me in the hallway!  While students are still fully immersed in summertime activities, it’s back to school time for me.  I hope summer offered your family time to relax together and build memories.

    I’m excited to welcome returning students and the 80+ new students who will join the FPE family this fall. Our annual Open House will be on Tuesday, September 4th, from 2:30-4:00.  This is a chance for students and their families to meet their teachers and visit the classrooms.  This event eases back-to-school jitters for both new and returning students and reinforces our commitment to support the social and emotional growth of each of our students as well as the academics.

    Our staff dedicated much of our professional development time last year to school climate and the implementation of our new English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum.  We will continue to focus on these areas and to expand our work around equity. The entire staff will be using the late August professional development time for trainings related to forming positive relationships with students/families and equity related work including a focus on implicit bias.  Seattle Public Schools (SPS) provides this training for all staff at every work site on August 30th.  A second training at FPE will give our staff an overview of the SPS Equity Tool so that we can use it whenever we make an instructional or climate decision.   

    Enrollment is expected to be around 520 this year, down from the 550+ last spring.  This is great news in that K-2 classes will be smaller.  The primary teachers are thrilled because a smaller class size means more time for small group instruction tailored to student needs.  After three decades in education, it heartens me to see the State prioritize early learning for all Washington students.

    The family handbook will be sent electronically during the last week of August.  The handbook contains important, pertinent information for parents, so please try to make time to read it.   Hard copies will be provided to families without email addresses.   I’ve also included more pressing information below that you’ll need right away.  Please do read it all so that you can get your ‘summer homework’ completed.

    Ms. Haley Ensign, our assistant principal, gave birth to Hazel Louise in early July.  Haley will be rejoining us in mid-November.  Ms. Kathy Jolly, a retired SPS principal, will be her substitute beginning August 27th.  If I’m a bit slower to respond to emails and phone calls this fall, please know that I do expect a slightly higher workload during Haley’s leave of absence.  

    The office is now open from 7-3 daily.  Feel free to call if you have any questions related to the start of the school year.  I’m off to Juneau this week for a week of glaciers, hiking, and wildlife photography.  I’ll be back in the office on August 20th to answer any emails or phone calls.    Enjoy the remainder of the summer break.  I look forward to seeing everyone at Open House on September 4th.


    Julie Breidenbach

    FPE Principal

    Summer Homework for Parents

    I have a few requests of parents prior to the start of the school year:

    1.  Set up your Source account with the district if you have not done so yet.  This account allows you to track most district data (demographic, attendance, assessment) for students.  This account will also give you an early bird opportunity to see your child’s 2018-2019 classroom assignment prior to Open House.  Classroom assignments should be available early on September 4th on The Source.    Go to  to set up that account.  You’ll even have full viewing access to the teachers’ gradebooks when they enter middle school via The Source.  Your middle school students might not appreciate this, but you certainly will!
    2. View your child’s demographic information on The Source and update all current information for your child including emergency contacts and the names of non-parental adults with the ability pick-up your child during the school day.  Only one parent is the point person for update this information.  The second parent has all viewing opportunities and can call our main office if you have contact information that needs to be added. 
    3. Complete all your volunteer paperwork.  Lori Moore will be working the week of August 27-30 and hopes to process much of that paperwork.  Yes, it is required yearly.  (2017-2018 volunteer badges will be valid until Friday, September 14th.)   Lori will be available from 7am-3pm each day so please just stop on by with all the paperwork.  One change this year is that any adult joining students for lunch or recess must have completed all volunteer paperwork.  Grandma might roll her eyes at me when she finds out that she must complete all the paperwork to join her grandchildren at lunch.  The safety of our students requires that any adult who isn’t closely supervised by a staff member have a background check completed.  Directions can be found at and hard copies of the forms are available in our office. 
    4. Please consider dialing back bedtimes as we approach the start of school.  Most elementary students require at least 10-11 hours of sleep to be fully rested.
    5. Does your child require medication to be kept at school?  Now would be the time to ask your child’s physician to complete the necessary paperwork.  You can find a link to that ‘medication at school’ form on our school’s website.  The school nurse returns in late August and will be communicating directly with families about the necessary health care plans.
    6. Finally, if your child hasn’t been reading much over summer, now is the time to get those nightly reading habits re-established. 

    Open House – September 4th

    Open House will be from 2:30-4:00 on Tuesday, September 4th.   Families will have the opportunity to stop by and meet the classroom teachers.  We’ve found that meeting the classroom teacher and getting to see the classroom prior to the first day of school helps with most of the jitters.  And as tempted as you might be to send an email requesting a teacher, please do not.  My experience has been that creating well balanced classrooms supports the needs of all students.    

    School Supplies

    The PTA is doing bulk purchasing of supplies this year to dramatically cut the costs for parents.  Please see their opening letter for more information.  Families will need to provide backpacks and headphones.  Backpacks need to be relatively small and not on rollers as the depth and width of the lockers will not accommodate large backpacks.  Headphones should be labeled with the child’s name and sent in a gallon size Ziploc type bag with the name on the outside of that.  We ask that students each have their own headphones to reduce the spread of lice.    Thanks to Heidi James for making this happen.

    Curriculum Night – September 13

    Please hold that evening open for the back to school night for parents of all K-5 students.  This is your opportunity to receive the year’s overview from classroom teachers.  A lot will be happening that night so here are the time frames to consider:

    5:30-8:30 – parent volunteer badge pictures taken in the student lunchroom

    6:00-7:00 – classroom presentations for grades K-2 (and the 2/3 multi-age)

    6:30—7:00 – Mr. Pendergrass meets with parents of all 4th grade students beginning band/orchestra (music room)

    6:30-7:30 – specialists (art, library, PE, special education) available to meet with parents in their locations

    7:00-8:00 – classroom presentations for grades 3-5

    Transportation Assignments

    All K-5 students who are in our assignment area but outside the walk zone are automatically assigned to a bus.  Students who are in special programs (HCC, preschool) are assigned transportation as part of their program.   Transportation information is typically provided to parents just a few days prior to the start of school. The buses for the Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) run from most corners in West Seattle.  However, as that program is getting smaller every year, seats are limited.  Contact Katie Hairston at to obtain a space-available seat.   Katie handles all special requests and assigns space-available seats on a first come, first served basis. 

    Information for Incoming Kindergarten Families

    Kindergarten students begin school on Monday, September 10th.  September 5th-7th will be parent conference days so that the kindergarten teachers each have thirty minutes with each family to get to know their child as well as the entire family.  Classroom assignments will be available for kindergarten families on Monday, August 27th.  Please call Lori Moore (the week of August 27-30) at 206-252-9304 to schedule your teacher conference for the week of September 5-7.  Teachers will be offering phone conferences for parents unable to leave work during those days.  On Monday, September 10th, I will meet with kindergarten parents from 8am-9am for a quick overview of our school.  There will be time for your questions.  For parents unable to stay for that meeting, I will also offer a 6pm-7pm meeting on Thursday, September 8th, in the school library.   Both sessions will be identical so plan on attending only one.  

    Have you recently enrolled your child for kindergarten?  The Fairmount Park PTA Facebook page has information about upcoming kindergarten playdates.  I can relay a contact point if you are not a Facebook user.

    Classroom Teaching Assignments

    Please note that any last-minute enrollment increases or decreases at grade levels can result in this changing.

    Pre-School:  Ms. Coons, Ms. Goldner

    Kindergarten:  Ms. Cook, Ms. Naze, Mr. Warbington

    Grade 1:  Ms. Britt, Ms. Gonzales, Ms. Halladin, Ms. Rembert

    Grade 2:  Ms. Denby (Daniel), Ms. Iglesias, Mr. Peterson

    Grade 2/3 Split:  Ms. Chow

    Grade 3:  Ms. Kincl, Ms. Potocnik, Ms. Sisson

    Grades 3/4 Split: Ms. Hitch

    Grade 4:  Ms. Cowan, Ms. Grellner, Ms. Kelly,

    Grades 4/5:  Ms. Wilkie

    Grade 5:  Ms. Christl, Ms. Ravenscroft, Ms. Reed