August 26, 2014
Dear Seward Families:
On behalf of the Seward staff and faculty, I welcome you to the 2014-15 school year! I encourage you to become involved at Seward. Our learning community is made up of diverse and high quality staff, parents, volunteers, and students. There are a number of ways we need your help. First and foremost, make sure your child(ren) are at school on time everyday. Communicate with your child’s teacher if you have questions, concerns or want to volunteer in the classroom. Join us at a Seward Montessori Roundtable meetings.
Our PTA and Site Council have joined forces and will now be referred to as, The Seward Montessori Roundtable. The reasons for this are simple: we want more parents to be involved and we will hold one meeting per month. We were concerned that the term “site council” seemed exclusive when, in fact ,all parents are welcome to attend. Participating in our Roundtable is another way to be involved. We address issues such as our building improvement, homework and equity. This year a new goal will be outreach in our neighborhood.
Feedback from the Magnet Audit last fall was that our mission and vision statement didn’t represent our K-8 learning environment. The Seward Instructional Leadership Team (Barbara Rice, Sher Swanby, Lisa Herr, Cathy Heyne, Mary Brownrigg, Rita Britton, Doug Brown, Gretchen Mattson, Kaisa Lee, Erin Kasper, Brie Monahan, along with other colleagues) developed the following vision and mission statements. The newly established vision and mission will guide our work, attitudes and behavior for the next several years.
Vision: We inspire critical thinkers and lifelong learners
Mission: We educate all students to prepare them for purposeful lives as global citizens.
We provide every student with the tools to become independent thinkers who contribute to our community.
We embrace this mission by providing:
• A welcoming and diverse community
• Academic standards with high expectations for achievement
• Guidance through social emotional development
• A Montessori environment in the elementary grades
• An inquiry/ constructivist middle school model
In October we will begin the 20-month building addition and renovation process. We know there will be challenges and bumps along the way. That being said, the safety and security of our students, staff, volunteers and visitors has been taken into account for each phase of the process. We have been challenged by our lack of adequate learning space for years – at least the discomfort we will all experience will result in an improved learning environment!
Many thanks to Pam Berry and Theresa Bulander for leading the Building Improvement Committee for the past three years, and to the many parents and staff members who were able to attend a meeting or several meetings. You provided great questions, insights and suggestions as we narrowed our list of wants and needs creating a 'Critical Needs' list. We fully recognize that we can’t get everything we want – budget restrictions, land restrictions and laws limit our wish list. We are addressing the 'Critical Needs' and, in the end, the improvements to the building will benefit our entire learning community.
Principal Tammy Goetz
Please join me in welcoming the following new staff members:
Dustin Russell - 7th and 8th Grade Social Studies
Thomas McLafferty -- English Language Teacher
Abdi Arale - Bilingual Somali Associate Educator
Aaron Berktold - Reading Corps
Amanda Gay - Transportation Coordinator
Meghan O’Connor – Administrative Teacher on Special Assignment and Math Teacher
Emily Kane - Middle School AVID Teacher
Seward serves breakfast to all of our students. Students can bring lunch from home or buy school lunch for $1.85. Ala carte milk is $.50 per carton.
We are a peanut free school.
School lunch forms have been mailed out. We need every Seward family to complete the form whether or not you qualify for free and reduced lunch.
You will receive a packet of forms, including the emergency contact form, the first week of school. Please look for it, complete the forms and return them as soon as possible.
Getting to and From School:
If your student rides a bus:
You will receive bus information via the Transportation Department
IF you have moved over the summer please call Amanda (612-668-4950) with your new address as soon as possible so we can get your child(ren) transportation as soon as possible
If your student walks or rides a bike to school:
He /she should not arrive before 7:20 a.m. – we don’t have supervision for students until 7:20 a.m.
We will have crossing guards at busy intersections to insure safety
If you drive your student to and from school:
Students should not arrive before 7:20 a.m. – we do not have supervision for students until 7:20 a.m.
Please be respectful and use the circle drive to drop off and then pull away
The circle drive is NOT a place to park and bring your student into the building.
If you want to park and walk into the building with your child, park on 28th street – thank you.
Pick your child up by 2:05 p.m. We do not have supervision for students after that time.