Originally delivered on 3/1/2022 7:27 am

SUBJECT: March 2022 PTSA Newsletter

March 1, 2022
2021-22 School Year - Volume 16, Issue 7

Welcome back from mid-winter break Grizzlies! We hope you had a safe and fun week off. February sure did fly by, and it's hard to believe that we'll be closing out the second trimester of this school year soon. A quick reminder that we DO have school on March 18 as this is a school closure make up day.

We wanted to give you all a recap on our Spelling Bee from February. We had 59 participants over the 5 grade level bees. Visit out Spelling Bee page to see who the winners of each grade level bee were. We are so proud of all of you who participated!

We have so much to share with you this month! Read on for all the news. 5th Grade Families - pay special attention to items specifically for you!

Thank you for your membership!

Thank you to all who have joined the PTSA so far this year! Your PTSA membership goes a long way to support Grand Ridge students. 

Last month, we told you about the Silly String drawing. Each 2021-22 Grand Ridge PTSA membership will earned a ticket for the drawing. The student whose ticket is drawn will won a prize for their classroom - the opportunity to Silly String Mr. Aguilar!

The winning classroom is.... Ms. Stettler-Schug (5th Grade)!

We are working out the best time to have Ms. Stettler-Schug's classroom to cover Mr. Aguilar in Silly String. Thank you again to all who have joined.

Join Us for our PTSA Meeting including a guest speaker regarding the 2022 Levy

Please join us for our next PTSA Meeting. During this meeting, we are hosting ISD Executive Director of Finance and Support Services Martin Turney  and ISD School Board President Anne Moore to discuss the upcoming levy election. This is a great way to learn more about the levies on the ballot and ask any questions you may have. This meeting is open to all who wish to join. You do not need to be a PTSA member to attend.

Monday, March 14 at 7pm via Zoom

Agenda and Zoom link will be posted on our meetings page

2022 Levy Information

The School Board approved (3) renewal levy packages which will go before voters April 26, 2022.  These are renewal levies and will replace the current levies which expire December 31, 2022.  The EP&O and Capital Levies are 4 year levies and will fund programs and critical repairs through December 31, 2026. The Transportation Levy (Bus Levy) is a 1 year levy and will not need to be renewed until 2027. Like a subscription, levies must be renewed or the funding will be lost.

Visit www.visvote.org for more information or Click here for details of what each renewal levy funds

Ballots will be due April 26, 2022. 

Register to Vote: 


Attention 5th Grade Families

We have a lot of information coming your way as you prepare for the transition to middle school.

Plan to attend these parent meetings.

  • March 3 at 7pm (Zoom) - 5th Grade Parent Panel hosted by Grand Ridge PTSA
  • March 15 at 6:30pm (Zoom) - PCMS Parent Information Night hosted by PCMS - information will be shared on our website when we have the link. Also watch for school e-news.

Help us feature your student in our yearbook this year! 

Uploadone photo of your student as from their Kindergarten year. The password is Grizzlies1!

Have your student fill out this 5th Grade Questionnaire. The results will be used in the yearbook. Most students filled this out already, but the link is available still for any who have missed it.

Don't forget to order a copy of your yearbook! Orders are due April 30.

Grad Signs are now available for order!

Grad Signs are $15 each and can be personalized with the name of your student. Place your order by April 30. We are unable to support orders after this date. Signs will be available for pick up in late May/early June. Details will be communicated closer to that time. 

If the cost is prohibitive for your family, please email about scholarships for yearbooks and/or grad signs to GrandRidgeResources@gmail.com. Privacy of all requests is respected.

Virtual Author Visit

Jerry Pallotta is the author of the popular series, "Who Would Win?" Additionally, he has written many other nonfiction books. He will be coming for a virtual visit on Wednesday, March 2nd! It is our hope that students get excited about writing and reading nonfiction.

Would your student like an autographed copy of a book he's written?

You can place your order by filling out this form from his company. When completing the form, please include the full name of the student, the grade, and the teacher's name. You will submit payment and the form directly to them, and they will ship the signed books to Grand Ridge for your student(s). Other ways to order books are through Amazon or your favorite bookstore. Any books purchased this way will not be able to be autographed.


You can find out more about Jerry Pallotta and his books by visiting his website at www.jerrypallotta.com 

Join us for a discussion on inclusion!

Grand Ridge PTSA is pleased to host Amanda Pharis, Board Certified Behavior Analyst of AMP Supports, to share her expertise and passion around education and behavior inclusion amongst our students and greater community. Whether you have a neurodiverse or neurotypical child, join us to learn practical tips on managing challenging behavior and using more inclusive language as well as having your questions answered. 


March 9th at 7pm via Zoom

All Grand Ridge adults (families and staff alike) are invited to join! No RSVP required.

Staff Appreciation

Thank you to all who donated earlier this year to provide snacks for staff. We are resuming this in March. If you'd like to participate, please sign up here.  

We have transitioned to providing monthly appreciation events, hosted by grade levels. Thank you to the 2nd Grade Families who so generously donated their time and money towards the February event! March will be hosted by the 3rd Grade Families.

2021-22 Yearbook - Grizzlies: The Bear Facts!

Yearbook orders are still open. Every year we receive many requests for extras and we don't often have enough. To ensure your student(s) receive a yearbook this year, place your order here. Please note that if you've already ordered one for your student, you won't see the form available for them. Reach out to grptsa@gmail.com if you have any questions.

If the cost is prohibitive for your family, please email about yearbook scholarships to GrandRidgeResources@gmail.com. Privacy of all requests is respected.

Art Docent Updates

The Grand Ridge PTSA has been providing monthly, themed art projects to its K-5 classrooms. To kick off 2022 programming, the theme is collaboration. The classrooms are working on a school-wide paper quilt of multi-layered paper art. Each student in each classroom is creating their piece of the quilt, and it will all come together into one large collaborative art work. The quilt will be assembled and exhibited first at the Blakely Hall's Eco Market on March 5th for our community to view, and then will return to Grand Ridge to be on display in our school.

Art docents will now be allowed to go back into the classroom to facilitate projects each month. We hope to kick things off in late March and will be hosting an art docent Zoom meeting in a couple of weeks to review the projects with everyone who has submitted their interest in being an art docent. If you would like to find out more, please email grptsavolunteers@gmail.com.  

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. Walerius

Ms. Kristin Walerius has been with Grand Ridge for 12 years. She teaches 2nd Grade.

Tell us a little about your life before coming to Grand Ridge: I grew up in Bellevue, went to Seattle Prep for high school and University of Portland for college. Before I became a teacher, I worked in the corporate world in Human Resources.  

Favorite children's book: "Pippi Longstocking" by Astrid Lindgren.  I love this book so much I even named my dog Pippi. 

Favorite food: I love crab cakes.  Whenever I am at a restaurant and crab cakes are on the menu, I always order them. 

Favorite weekend activity: I love any activity water related.  On nice days I love boating. Last summer I fell in love with kayaking. But if it is rainy and cold, I love being curled up in front of a fire reading a good book or watching my favorite shows.

Best thing about working at Grand Ridge: The students!  I loved 2nd grade so much when I was little.  My hope is that I instill that love of learning in my 2nd grade students.  

What one piece of advice would you give to Grand Ridge students? My favorite quote by Robert Brault. “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

Spotlight On: Ms. Grigg

Ms. Mary Grigg is new to Grand Ridge this year. She teachers 2nd Grade.

Tell us a little about your life before coming to Grand Ridge: I grew up on the Sammamish Plateau, and attended Sunny Hills Elementary, Pine Lake Middle School, Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus, and Skyline High School. After graduating high school, I attended Bellevue College for two years, and then transferred up to Western Washington University to study elementary education. Then, I got hired to teach at Cougar Ridge Elementary! I was there for 5 years before coming to Grand Ridge, and I taught both 5th grade and 2nd grade. I love being here at Grand Ridge, and I feel extremely welcomed by the community here!

Favorite children's book: "Shark Lady" by Jess Keating. It is a picture book about Eugenie Clark, who was a famous ichthyologist who studied sharks. I would love to swim with sharks one day. 

Favorite food: Enchiladas and sushi

Favorite weekend activity: Yard work/gardening, spending time with friends/family, and playing video games.

Best thing about working at Grand Ridge: The amazingly kind and welcoming community of staff, students, and families.

What one piece of advice would you give to Grand Ridge students? Be who you are, and the rest will follow.

Reminders from the School & District
Kindergarten Registration - Due March 4

Do you have a child who will start Kindergarten in the fall? If so, please pick up your Kindergarten Registration Packet from Grand Ridge, and complete the online enrollment. Online enrollment opens on February 1 and will be open until March 4. Click here to learn more.

Please share this information with your friends and neighbors who have a child who will be 5 on or before August 31, 2022 and live within the Grand Ridge attendance area.

FLASH Presentations for Parents/Guardians of Fifth-Graders

The Issaquah School District is offering two presentations for parents/guardians of fifth-grade students to preview the Family Life and Sexual Health (F.L.A.S.H.) curriculum. The presentation is designed for adults only and includes laws and district procedures, curriculum, and options for exempting students.

The presentations are for parents/guardians of fifth-grade students at all Issaquah School District Elementary Schools and last about 1.5 hours. Both sessions are the same.

Dates and Locations

  • Thursday, March 17: 6 p.m., ISD Administration Office.

  • Saturday, March 19: 9 a.m., Issaquah Middle School Library.

For more information about the curriculum or the meetings, visit our website.

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.

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 continue the winter weather season, it's important to be prepared for school delays or closures. 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
Thursday, March 3
7:00p 5th Grade Parent Panel - Transition to Middle School
Monday, March 7
7:00p GR PTSA Board Members meeting
Tuesday, March 8
2nd Grade IOWA Testing
Wednesday, March 9
2nd Grade IOWA Testing
7:00p Guest Speaker Amanda Pharis - Discussion on Inclusion
Thursday, March 10
2nd Grade IOWA Testing
6:00p ISD School Board Meeting (2021-22 School Year)
Friday, March 11
2nd Grade IOWA Testing
Monday, March 14
7:00p PTSA General Meeting & Levy Guest Speaker
Tuesday, March 15
6:30p 5th Grade Parent Night for PCMS - Zoom
Thursday, March 17
6:00p FLASH and HIV/AIDS Curriculum Information Session for Grade 5
Friday, March 18
1st weather make up day (we DO have school)
Saturday, March 19
9:00a FLASH and HIV/AIDS Curriculum Information Session for Grade 5
Wednesday, March 23
10:30a Family Connections Question and Answer Session
7:00p Family Connections Question and Answer Session
Thursday, March 24
6:00p ISD School Board Meeting (2021-22 School Year)
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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