Originally delivered on 1/4/2021 5:45 pm

SUBJECT: January 2021 PTSA Newsletter

January 4, 2020

2020-21 School Year - Volume 15, Issue 5

Welcome back Grizzlies! We hope you enjoyed your winter break. There is a lot to share this month, but first we wanted to look back to December. 

Thank you to all who purchased books from the virtual Scholastic Book Fair. A big thank you to Kristen Dayley, our long time Book Fair chair, for organizing a virtual Book Fair this year! We are very happy she is a PTSA volunteer! 

Also, thank you to those who uploaded photos on Ugly Sweater Day. If you haven't had a chance to yet, you still can do so here.

Finally, if you have not yet had a chance to check out the magic show with Nate Jester, you can do so until January 7. It was so much fun!


Before continuing on with PTSA updates, we wanted to draw your attention to the email ISD sent out today with information about choosing hybrid or remote learning for the remainder of this school year. Take some time to look it over and make your selection by 5pm on Thursday, January 7.

Grizzlies are connected to the world!

All students have a stamped postcard in their January materials packet to send out to friends and family in other states and countries! Ask those friends and family to send postcards back to school for a large display in the Spring. Can we get a postcard from every state in the US? How many different countries will we receive postcards from? Let's see how connected Grand Ridge is to our world!  

(Note: International mail may need additional postage.) 

You may also use social media, email, and letters to request postcards from other people. Students will be issued one postcard, but your requests to family and friends can be endless!

Grizzlies Got Talent!

Our annual Grizzlies Got Talent show is returning! This year we will be hosting a virtual talent show. Learn more on our Talent Show page and sign up by January 31 to participate. Please fill out a form for each student in your family that wishes to participate.

Spelling Bee

The annual Grand Ridge spelling bee returns (virtually) this spring! If your student is interested in showing off their spelling skills in a grade-level bee, visit our website to fill out an interest form by February 21 for each student in your family that wishes to participate.

PTSA Awards

The Grand Ridge PTSA recognizes volunteers, educators and community members who go above and beyond for the sake of our kids through the Golden Acorn, Outstanding Educator, and Outstanding Advocate awards for the previous calendar year (January 2020-December 2020). Please take a moment to recognize the extraordinary teachers, staff, volunteers and advocates in our community by submitting a nomination. Learn more and submit your nominations by Feb 24, 2021.

ParentWiser Event

In this session Dr. Lisa Damour will teach us how to keep pressure and tension from reaching toxic levels and she will coach us on how to support our children in cultivating these skills. 

January 20, 2021 at 4pm

Register at www.parentwiser.org/events or directly on Eventbrite

Community Book Discussion

You’re invited to share perspectives on race and equality with Grand Ridge PTSA and read, “What If I Say The Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People”, followed by discussions over four weeks in January and February.  Purchase or borrow and read the book on your own, then gather on Zoom to discuss a handful of “habits” each week, resulting in better developed interactions that will serve our friends and neighbors. Join for one session or all. Email grptsaoutreachdirector@gmail.com to sign up for the meeting invitations.

Jan 11th, Monday at 7pm, Habits 1-5

Jan 19th, Tuesday at 7pm, Habits 6-11

Jan 27th, Wednesday at 7pm, Habits 12-18

Feb 4th, Thursday at 7pm, Habits 19-25

Discussions will be moderated by a PTSA Board Member. It is expected everyone adhere to the Grizzly Pledge of being safe, responsible and respectful while we learn together.

Staff Spotlight

Take a moment to learn a bit more about our new music and PE teachers. We asked them each a few questions to everyone could get to know them better.

Spotlight On: Ms. Lucas

Ms. Kara Lucas is one of our new Music teachers. 

Tells us a little about your life before coming to Grand Ridge: 

I’m so pleased to be at Grand Ridge! I began singing when I lived in Issaquah as an elementary schooler at Sunset ES with The Seattle Girls Choir. Such great memories!!

I’ve taught preschool through college general and vocal music. My music and education degrees are from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. I began teaching high school choral music, but after five years with The Washington National Opera (Washington, DC) as the Education Administrator for School and Community Programs, I came to love the opportunities for arts integration and creation available in elementary school. I transitioned to teaching K-6 general and choral music in Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia before pausing my professional teaching to be home with my two kids (5th and 7th grades now). Our family moved to the Seattle area two years ago and love it here! I engage students in joyful music learning, practice, and performance so that all students experience creativity, ensemble, and growing from mistakes.

Favorite food:  

Tacos – all kinds!

Favorite children’s book:  

Anne of Green Gables

Favorite sports team:  

UNC Chapel Hill – Go Heels!

Favorite weekend activity in the Winter:  

Anything our family does together!

Best thing about being at Grand Ridge so far: 

Wonderful colleagues, students and families!

Spotlight On: Ms. Bromberg

Ms. Halle Bromberg is also one of our new Music teachers.

Tells us a little about your life before coming to Grand Ridge: 

I am originally from the Midwest (specifically the Chicago suburbs) and received my bachelor’s degree in violin performance and my master’s degree in teaching from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. I spent the last five years teaching music in California before my husband and I moved to Issaquah last summer. Moving during a pandemic was tricky, but we are thrilled to be here! 

Favorite food:  

Chicago-style pizza from Lou Malnati’s

Favorite children’s book:  

Harry Potter!  It was such a magical experience growing up with the series and waiting for each book to be released.  It has been so fun to see how much my students still love the books today.

Favorite sports team:  

Chicago Bulls & Chicago Cubs. Since moving, we have been following a lot of Seahawks games as well!

Favorite weekend activity in the Winter:  

Going on a walk in the snow or staying inside doing jigsaw puzzles with family.

Best thing about being at Grand Ridge so far: 

The students have been wonderful!   We are so lucky to live and work in such a great community.

Spotlight On: Coach B

Mr. Andre Barashkoff (“Coach B”) is a new PE teacher at Grand Ridge. 

Tells us a little about your life before coming to Grand Ridge: 

My last six years were spent down the hill at Issaquah Valley Elementary teaching K-5 PE. Prior to that, I was at Redmond High School for 10 years. I have a lovely wife (who also teaches PE) and four children, two of which are studying to become teachers (UNLV and Central Washington University).

Favorite hobbies: 

Our family loves to read, listen to music, play and watch sports, go to the cabin and play in the snow or water.

Favorite sports team: 

Go Hawks!  Go Dawgs!

Best thing about being at Grand Ridge so far:

The students are amazing to work with. Super motivated and friendly.   Really looking forward to when life can get back to somewhat normal – I sure miss the gym!!

Reminders from the School & District
January Materials Distribution

January materials distribution is coming up on Wednesday, January 6th! Curbside service. Pull up to the front of the school. Remain in your car. We will bring materials to your car.

Please post the following in your window for ALL students:

LAST NAME IN LARGE LETTERS, First Name

Grade Level

**We strongly encourage you to have a friend/neighbor pick your materials up during their assigned pick-up timeif you are not able to make this event.

2:00-3:00 PM If student’s last name begins with the letters: A-G

3:00-4:00 PM If student’s last name begins with the letters: H-P

4:00-5:00 PM If student’s last name begins with the letters: Q-Z

Virtual Kindergarten Information Night

Do you have a child who will be 5 on or before August 31, 2021 and you live within the Grand Ridge attendance area? If so, it’s time to get ready for Kindergarten enrollment! Grand Ridge will have a virtual Kindergarten Information Night for all Kindergarten families on January 27th from 5:00 – 6:00. This is an opportunity for parents to join us via Zoom to learn about the Issaquah School District Kindergarten program, learn about the enrollment process and ask Ms. Ravenscraft any questions. Please watch for more information and sign-up details coming in January. The Zoom event will be recorded and posted to the school website after the event for those who cannot make it this evening.

Grand Ridge Resources

Just a reminder that the office has a confidential email: GrandRidgeResources@gmail.com that any student or family member is encouraged to use if they need some additional resources at a time when they don’t have additional money. Don’t hesitate to reach out if there is a need – from a winter jacket to supplies for school, a birthday gift to rain boots. Privacy of any requests will be respected. #grizzlystrong

Grand Ridge Parent Feedback

If you have feedback on remote learning specific to Grand Ridge, you can fill out the Grand Ridge Parent Feedback form at any time. This optional form is completely anonymous.

Free meals for all kids

The Issaquah School District now offers free breakfast and lunches to all children 18 and under. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended the free meal program through the end of the 2020-21 school year. This allows us to serve free, nutritious meals to all children 18 and younger, regardless of income or enrollment in the Issaquah School District. Learn more on the ISD website.

Upcoming Events
Wednesday, January 6
2:00p Materials Distribution
Thursday, January 7
5:00p Learning Model Survey Response is due
Monday, January 18
No School - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Tuesday, January 19
4:00p PTSA Board Meeting
Wednesday, January 20
4:00p ParentWiser: Managing Stress, Anxiety and Parenting
Thursday, January 21
4:00p PTSA General Meeting & Community Connections
Monday, January 25
No School - Teacher Work Day
Wednesday, January 27
5:00p Virtual Kindergarten Information Night
Tuesday, February 9
4:00p PTSA Board Meeting
Wednesday, February 10
7:00p ParentWiser: The Upstanders (age 13+)
Stay Informed

To receive updates in real time, go to www.facebook.com/grandridgeptsa and like or follow our page. We’re on Instagram as well so you can follow our page, grandridgeptsa. You can also visit our website, www.grandridgeptsa.org. Also, make sure you are signed up for E-News from our school and the district.