Originally delivered on 5/1/2022 9:01 am

SUBJECT: May 2022 PTSA Newsletter

May 1, 2022
2021-22 School Year - Volume 16, Issue 9

Thank you to all of those who voted in the special election for the 2022 levy. We appreciate you supporting Issaquah students and staff!

Your PTSA has been busy planning the last few events for the year, including the return of Summerfest! Please read on for all of the fun things coming up the rest of this year.

We are also planning for next school year already. If you would like to be more involved next year, please reach out to grptsa@gmail.com as we have a lot of opportunities ranging in commitment level; from helping out with an event, chairing an event, or even being on the board. There are many ways to be involved with PTSA!

Staff Appreciation Week

Staff Appreciation week is May 2-6 and we want to make our fabulous Grand Ridge staff feel appreciated. We have put together a week of treats and surprises to show our appreciation for all the hard work our teachers and support staff have put in so far this year. 

Monday:  Staff snack bar provided by the PTSA!

Tuesday:  Wear Red for Ed – show our support for staff members by wearing red.

Wednesday: Staff Ice Cream Social provided by our 4th grade parents. Ben, our favorite neighborhood ice cream trike, will be passing out sweet treats to the staff after school. 

Thursday: Write notes, craft something or make a drawing to your teacher or staff member who has made a difference to you or your child this year. 

Friday: Staff coffee bar and breakfast pastries.

Join Us for our PTSA Meeting

Please join us for our last PTSA meeting of the 2021-22 school year! We will recap this year and prepare for next year by voting in new PTSA Board positions and the budget. We will also hear from Ms. Ravenscraft regarding what has been happening at Grand Ridge this spring.

When: Tuesday, May 17 at 7pm

Where: Zoom

The Zoom link and meeting materials will be posted to the PTSA Meetings page on our website a few days before the meeting.

Sign Up Now for Nourish Every Mind

Join Us Online Because YOU Make a Difference! We are excited to announce that the Issaquah Schools Foundation Nourish Every Mind fundraising event is an online, interactive event celebrated throughout the entire month of May! We want to give you the opportunity to share your voice, share your student’s voice, and help us re-imagine how we support YOUR child. We can’t wait to hear what YOU have to say! https://isfdn.org/nourish-every-mind/

Join us for Parent Playground

Join your students on the the playground for Parent Playground! Parents and other special guests are invited to join us for Lunch Recess the first Friday of the month. You must have a valid Volunteer clearance on file to come on campus. Volunteer clearance is granted annually so please check that you are cleared through 6/30/22 before arriving. Volunteers will sign in at the PTSA-sponsored check-in table at the front of the school. One your volunteer clearance has been verified, you will receive a Visitor's Badge and be invited to our playground to PLAY, PLAY, PLAY!!!

May 6 and June 3

12:05-12:25pm (1st and 2nd Grade recess)

12:30-12:50pm (3rd and 5th Grade recess)

1:55-1:15pm (Kindergarten and 4th Grade recess)

Summerfest is back!

Summerfest is one of the favorite events at Grand Ridge. We celebrate the end of the school year with fun and friends. There will also be food for purchase. This is fun for the whole family! Please join us on Tuesday, June 14 from 5:30-7:30pm! Drop in at any time and stay as long as you'd like.

Are you interested in helping out with Summerfest? 

We need volunteers to help make Summerfest a successful event. Please sign up here for a volunteer position.

PTSA Awards

The PTSA is excited to share recognize four individuals for the 2021 Golden Acorn award that recognizes people who have given exemplary volunteer service to children and youth in our school and community. The winners are:

Melynda Cook: Long-time volunteer & PTSA board member - currently Volunteers Director and Grizzly Garden chair - Melynda has filled so many roles in service of Grand Ridge and our students. She’s done everything from art to popcorn to fundraising. And in this challenging year, she has helped bring new volunteers into the fold with a welcome smile. She is also the Membership Director for the PTSA at Pacific Cascade as well as an active community volunteer.  

Erin Michael: Erin is our longest serving PTSA board member as Treasurer, Secretary, and currently Membership Director. And she pitches in beyond that to help ensure events and programs are a success. She is a great ambassador for PTSA as she’s not only welcoming and inclusive, she is also knowledgeable on PTA standards to help guide the organization. Beyond PTSA she is an active volunteer in the community. 

Chelsea Musick: Chelsea plays many behind the scenes roles to support our students, the PTSA, and our Highlands community. In addition to being in her second year as Treasurer, member of the PTSA board’s exec committee and room parent, she also finds time to be on the PTSA board at Pacific Cascade. Additionally, she supports our community as admin for the Issaquah Highlands Facebook group and as a founding board member of the Issaquah Highlands Community Fund non-profit group.

Hannah Coblentz: Hannah is in her third year on the PTSA and first as President and she has led the organization through the continue challenges of the lingering pandemic. She’s always there to support her fellow board members and volunteers and has been a key member of the art docent team. Beyond our school, she leads the ParentWiser program for the Issaquah School District, bringing top parent education leaders to our parent community.

There are winners of our Outstanding Advocate award which honors individuals for a demonstrated commitment to helping create strong policies relating to the health, welfare, safety, and education of our children. Volunteers who speak up for students, or who try to change things for the benefit of children are considered advocates.

Mara Schichwarg: Mara is a quiet, but mighty, contributor to our school community. She is currently our Special Ed representative on the PTSA and has served in this role for multiple years. She’s brought many ideas forward that create a positive impact for our students – from improving our playground to advocating for the PTSA to bring in a speaker on inclusivity. She also volunteers at school - at outdoor lunch and in the library - as well as in local community.   


Toni Hunter: Toni gives her time and care in advocating for the students and families of Grand Ridge and School District. In addition to serving as PTSA VP & Communications Director, she also represented Grand Ridge as the parent rep on the school district’s Levy Committee. She takes the time to be well-informed by attending school board meetings and she asks questions of leadership respectfully to ensure the needs of students are being met. She is a leader on social media helping ensure community members get accurate information and thoughtful answers.

Melissa Nixon has been awarded the Grand Ridge PTSA Outstanding Educator Award!

Melissa Nixon has been at Grand Ridge for three years, first teaching fifth grade and currently teaching fourth grade. Originally from Michigan, Ms. Nixon graduated from Central Michigan University and then obtained her Master’s at Western Governors University. She taught in the Kent School District for several years prior to coming to Grand Ridge. She loves to build relationships with her class and help students realize their worth and potential. She works to be their advocate and help them gain the skills and strategies to advocate for themselves. We recognize the strong community Ms. Nixon has created in her classrooms and her ability to connect with each student as an individual. She does this genuinely and with empathy, energy & wit! Grand Ridge PTSA is proud to recognize Melissa Nixon as an Outstanding Educator.

Thank you to all who submitted nominations and congratulations to our award winners!

Art Docent Updates

As we welcome the start of Spring (and hopefully warmer days), we also welcome art docents back into the classroom. The art docents have scheduled spring project sessions with the classrooms that are all about flowers and color. Pulling inspiration from artists like Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keefe, and Anna Blatman, the students will be creating bright, vibrant and fun artwork using a wide range of media from neon paint and newsprint to acrylic paint on fabric. 

A huge thanks goes out to our art docents for making the time to help our teachers and students enhance their learning experiences through art -- welcome back!

We're going on a Bear Hunt!

Students, and their families, who will be new to Grand Ridge next fall are invited to the Grand Ridge Bear Hunt on Tuesday, May 24 from 5-6pm. You'll have the chance to see a Kindergarten classroom, view the other areas of Grand Ridge that you'll be in for specialist and lunch times, and even see the awesome playground! No RSVP required.

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. Pathak

Ms. Sanjana Pathak has been with Grand Ridge since it opened 16 years ago. She teaches 4th Grade.

Tell us a little about your life before coming to Grand Ridge: I used to work at a bank in Canada and then decided to follow my heart (and family lineage) in becoming a teacher.    

Favorite children's book: " A Bad Case of Stripes" by David Shannon

Favorite food: Homemade Pizza

Favorite weekend activity: Watching hockey

Best thing about working at Grand Ridge: The people! The staff and students are the best! 

What one piece of advice would you give to Grand Ridge students? Work hard and be nice to people! 

Spotlight On: Ms. Giambrone

Ms. Jennifer Giambrone is new to Grand Ridge this year. She teaches 4th Grade.

Tell us a little about your life before coming to Grand Ridge: I grew up nearby in Redmond before heading out to the Midwest to attend college at The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!!!).  I became a Montessori early childhood teacher for children ages 2.5-6 years old and taught the littles for 15 years before heading back to school to obtain an elementary teaching certification.

Favorite children's book: "When the Sun Rose " by Barbara Helen Berger 

Favorite food: Pizza – it’s the perfect food, it hits all the food groups!  

Favorite weekend activity: Spending time with my daughter (also a Grand Ridge Grizzly!) 

Best thing about working at Grand Ridge: The community!  We have the best students, families, and staff.  Every day I feel lucky to be here.

What one piece of advice would you give to Grand Ridge students? Try your best and show the world your greatness!

Reminders from the School & District
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 will be donated at the end of the year.

Upcoming Events
Monday, May 2
Staff Appreciation Week
5th Grade SBA Testing
7:00p GR PTSA Board Members meeting
Tuesday, May 3
Staff Appreciation Week
5th Grade SBA Testing
Wednesday, May 4
Staff Appreciation Week
5th Grade SBA Testing
Thursday, May 5
Staff Appreciation Week
4th Grade SBA Testing
Friday, May 6
Staff Appreciation Week
4th Grade SBA Testing
12:05p Parent Playground at Recess
Monday, May 9
3rd Grade SBA Testing
Tuesday, May 10
3rd Grade SBA Testing
Wednesday, May 11
3rd Grade SBA Testing
Thursday, May 12
5th Grade SBA Testing
6:00p ISD School Board Meeting (2021-22 School Year)
Friday, May 13
5th Grade SBA Testing
Monday, May 16
4th Grade SBA Testing
Tuesday, May 17
4th Grade SBA Testing
7:00p PTSA General Meeting & Community Connections with Ms. Ravenscraft
Wednesday, May 18
4:00p Incoming 6th Graders Open House at PCMS
Thursday, May 19
3rd Grade SBA Testing
Friday, May 20
3rd Grade SBA Testing
Monday, May 23
5th Grade SBA Testing
Tuesday, May 24
5:00p Bear Hunt (tour of school for students new to Grand Ridge in 2022-23 school year)
Thursday, May 26
6:00p ISD School Board Meeting (2021-22 School Year)
Monday, May 30
No School (Memorial Day)
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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