Originally delivered on 12/1/2021 8:51 am

SUBJECT: December 2021 PTSA Newsletter

December 1, 2021
2021-22 School Year - Volume 16, Issue 4

November was a busy month with the last of the fall testing at school, the opportunity for elementary students to be vaccinated, and of course the Grand Ridge Apple Cup Change Challenge. Thank you for all who contributed. Both teams had a strong showing, but the Huskies came out on top. And the ultimate winners were the families that benefited from your generous donations to the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank to help make their holiday season a bit easier. Want to support the community in other ways? Check out the Grand Ridge 1st Annual "Sock it to Me!" event information below!

It's hard to believe that the first trimester has ended, and that 2021 is nearing a close as well. Grand Ridge PTSA continues to work to support our school community through various activities and events. If you'd like to become more involved, please fill out our Volunteer Interest form. We will contact you as opportunities arise. You can also reach out to us at grptsa@gmail.com.

Grand Ridge Spelling Bee Returns!

Start practicing those dictionary words, the annual spelling bee is back this February! If your 1st-5th grade student is interested in showing off their spelling skills in a grade-level bee, visit our spelling bee page to see the details and register to receive the study list.

Congratulations to our finalists!

Thank you to all students who submitted their original art for the Reflections Art Program! All participants received a certificate and ribbon. You can view their submissions here. Several students from Grand Ridge have been selected to move to the District competition. Congratulations to: Aditi Kumar, Pranav Ramkumar, Anika Iyer, Minseo Jo, Ruoyi Han, Ishan Rastogi, Sidharth Murali, Chuan Li, Ira Upadhyay, Ruofan Han, and Celina Kim!

Art Docent Program

Our students continue to have fun with art lessons provided by the Art Docents each month. They have made some very creative pieces! Check out our Art Docent page for photos of projects. We will also be rotating an artwork display in the windows at the end of the hallway that faces Park Drive. Stop by outside of school hours to see all the cool things our students are creating! 

Thank you to our Art Docent volunteers for bringing art into our classrooms this year. Thank you to all who have joined and/or donated to the PTSA this year. Your support allows us to fund programs like this!

Sign up to support Grand Ridge staff

Thank you to everyone who has helped us restock the staff lounge each Wednesday morning with delicious snacks to keep them going. If you would like to help with this program, please sign up here.

Support the PTSA!

There are so many way to PTA - join us for our meetings, fill out the volunteer interest form so we can contact you when volunteer opportunities arise, and join the PTSA. Your support means so much to our Grand Ridge community!

IFCB is requesting donations

Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank is handing out gift cards for the Holiday Gift Barn this year and they need donations. They are looking for $25 gift cards to Fred Meyer, Target, Walmart, and Amazon. You can also donate online. Learn more at https://issaquahfoodbank.org/holiday-gift-barn

Staff Spotlights

We have so many wonderful staff at Grand Ridge. Some who are new to us this year, and some who have been with us a while. Our newsletter aims to help you get to know staff at our school.

Spotlight On: Ms. Bhatia

Ms. Bhatia has been with Grand Ridge for 3 years and teachers SAGE and PEP. She is also a Grand Ridge parent.

Tell us a little about your life before coming to Grand Ridge: I taught at Newcastle Elementary before coming to Grand Ridge. I have always loved Math and Reading so becoming a SAGE teacher at Grand Ridge has been the perfect fit! I get to do what I love with a wonderful group of students. 

Favorite children's book: I love so many books! It’s hard to pick just one. I love anything written by Mo Willems and Kevin Henkes. I love the Harry Potter series. I also love the book ‘Wonder’ by R. J. Palacio. 

Favorite food: I love fusion food that combines two different cuisines.

Favorite weekend activity: Reading and doing Sudoku. 

Best thing about working at Grand Ridge: Without a doubt, the students. Their enthusiasm for learning is contagious. 

What one piece of advice would you give to Grand Ridge students? Luna Lovegood said it the best, “Being different isn’t a bad thing. It means you are brave enough to be yourself.” 

Spotlight On: Ms. Houghton

Ms. Houghton has been with Grand Ridge for 8 years and is an ELL teacher.

Tell us a little about your life before coming to Grand Ridge: My teaching career started as a 3rd grade teacher (at a private school) for 12 years. When my daughter was born in 2009, I took time off to be a stay-at-home mom. Then I returned to teaching in 2013 and joined Grand Ridge as a 2nd grade teacher. Last year, I took a leave-of-absence and used the time to work on my ELL certification. When my program ended, I was thrilled to secure a position as a part-time ELL teacher back at Grand Ridge! 

Favorite children's book: “Last of the Really, Great Whangdoodles" by Julie Andrews Edwards

Favorite food: Pasta all the way!

Favorite weekend activity: Sleeping in, hanging out with my family and playing with my dog

Best thing about working at Grand Ridge: The supportive staff, engaged parent community and diverse student population.

What one piece of advice would you give to Grand Ridge students? Each day is a gift. Today only happens once. Make it AMAZING!

Reminders from the School & District
"Sock it to Me!"

Welcome to our 1st Annual “Sock it to Me!” event! We are excited to announce that we will be collecting new socks, hats, gloves and mittens from now thru Friday, December 17th. We will donate them to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank, Eastside Baby Corner, and other local non-profit agencies, depending on how many we get!

Donation bins will be located at Grand Central and near our Front Doors at arrival every morning. Come donate a pair (or more!) to help those in need this Winter. Some of our favorite sock donations will make their way to our Sock Tree, which will be on display during our “Sock it to Me!” event in Grand Central. We will celebrate our efforts with a “Sock Hop” on the last day of school before Winter Break (details TBD).

See the photo above for just a small selection of the fun & colorful socks that Mr. Aguilar wears every day. Do you have a fun pair to share? Upload a photo of your socks to our “Sock it to Me!” padlet via the attached link. Sock it to Me! Padlet(Click on the pink “+” sign in the bottom right-hand corner to add your photo, along with your first name and last initial)

“Sock it to Me!” Grizzlies! Let’s make this Winter nice and cozy for those in need with socks, hats, mittens and gloves!


Make a difference – become a mentor in the Issaquah School District!

If you are looking for an impactful and fulfilling volunteer experience, the Issaquah School District needs people who can support students by meeting with them, at school, during school hours, for 30-60 minutes each week. Mentors are needed at all grade levels, at all schools in the Issaquah School District. Mostly due to the pandemic, over 100 mentors have withdrawn at a time when the need is greater than ever. There are currently over 250 students on the waiting list.

Mentoring differs from tutoring in that mentoring focuses on fostering positive, supportive relationships which help students develop skills and attitudes (such as resilience, self-advocacy, self-confidence, etc.) to promote academic achievement and success in life. Here is a youtube video that the district put together of current mentors talking about their mentoring experience.

You can learn more about the VOICE (Volunteers of Issaquah Changing Education) Mentor Program and submit an application from the Issaquah School District’s VOICE Mentor page. Because mentoring is in-person, proof of vaccination is required. Also, you must be cleared with a background check and attend a 2 hour training. Email voice@issaquah.wednet.edu if you have any questions.

Site Council Reps Needed!

Are you interested in being a Site Council Rep? We are looking for Parent Reps at the following levels: K/1 and a 2/3 rep to serve on our Site Council for the 2021-2022 school year. We have 5 meetings/year (October, November, January, March and May) from 8:00-8:45 AM on a Tuesday morning. Calendar of dates will be provided to new members.

If you are interested, please send me a paragraph (ravenscraftj@issaquah.wednet.edu) explaining how you feel you could contribute to this council, made up of community members, PTSA members, other parents and staff members. We are a site-based collaborative team that works as a partnership to discuss issues that are timely in our community and in our school. We would LOVE to have you join our team. One rep will be chosen and all who apply will be notified of the decision.

Thank you,

Jill Ravenscraft


Grand Ridge


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 an outdoor jacket to supplies for school, a birthday gift to rain boots, a yearbook to Grizzly Gear. Privacy of any requests will be respected.

Is your student missing something?

The Lost & Found fills up quickly. If your student is missing something, please direct them to check the Lost & Found. The Lost & Found will also be made available at Grand Central on Wednesday afternoons for families to check. Unclaimed items are typically donated twice a year (December and June).

Emergency Weather Closures - how to be prepared

As we enter the winter weather season, it's important to be prepared for school delays or closures. Learn about the schedule changes ISD may use in these scenarios. One of the fastest ways to learn if ISD is on an emergency schedule is to sign up for FlashAlert. Also, it's a good time to verify your emergency contact information in Family Access.

Upcoming Events
Wednesday, December 1
No School for Elementary Students (Conferences)
Thursday, December 2
No School for Elementary Students (Conferences)
Monday, December 6
7:00p GR PTSA Board Members meeting
Wednesday, December 8
10:30a Family Connections Question and Answer Session
7:00p Family Connections Question and Answer Session
Thursday, December 9
6:00p ISD School Board Meeting (2021-22 School Year)
Monday, December 20
No School (First Winter Break)
Tuesday, December 21
No School (First Winter Break)
Wednesday, December 22
No School (First Winter Break)
Thursday, December 23
No School (First Winter Break)
Friday, December 24
No School (First Winter Break)
Saturday, December 25
No School (First Winter Break)
Sunday, December 26
No School (First Winter Break)
Monday, December 27
No School (First Winter Break)
Tuesday, December 28
No School (First Winter Break)
Wednesday, December 29
No School (First Winter Break)
Thursday, December 30
No School (First Winter Break)
Friday, December 31
No School (First Winter Break)
Stay in The Know

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.

PTSA E-blasts are sent monthly. If you do not wish to receive them, please update your Grand Ridge PTSA account on our website.

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