Finn Hill Falcon Flyer

Week of September 20, 2021

From the Desk of Dr. Smith

Hello Falcon Friends and Families,

As we conclude our first full week of school, students are settling into their schedules. Some students are still needing assistance with accessing their lockers and still trying to figure out what to carry and what to leave behind.

Also, a large part of my routine is visiting classrooms to see all the cool things that students are learning. In each of the classrooms that I visited, teachers are teaching to the state’s standard and utilizing creative measures to engage students.

During my visit to Josh Taylor/ Sara- Aubrey’s co-taught 8th grade Math class, students were deepening their understanding with regards to solving integers. Students collaborated and discussed how they arrived at their responses.

In Liza Duncan’s 8th grade social studies class, students were engaged in learning about the various geographical landforms and regions in Washington state.

During my visit to Marc Clauson’s 8th grade science class, students were developing their personal study plans. Students then did a museum or gallery walk around the classroom to share ideas, ask, and answer questions about their study plans.

Dr. Joseph Smith

Good Things

  • Kudos to Athletic Director, Ms. Holland! We are in the process of hiring two tennis coaches.
  • Shout out to to all our students for successfully running our first fire drill!
  • Shout out to the counseling department who completed all schedule changes!
  • Huge shoutout to all our support staff who keep this school running...paras, IAs, office professionals, custodians, and everyone in between. Without all of these people, we would not be able to keep FHMS running as smoothly as it is. Teachers get a lot of credit, but it’s really important to recognize those who are doing the daily work to keep FHMS as amazing as it is.

This Week at FHMS

Monday, September 20
  • FastBridge Math Assessment (given during math classes)
  • Tennis & Boys Basketball Practices Begin

Tuesday, September 21

  • FastBridge Math Assessment (given during math classes)

Wednesday, September 22

  • Early Release

Thursday, September 23
  • FastBridge Math Assessment (given during math classes)

Friday, September 24

  • FastBridge Math Assessment (given during math classes)
  • ASB Popcorn Fundraiser Kickoff (more information to follow)

Upcoming Events

Monday, September 27
  • FastBridge ELA (given during ELA classes)
Tuesday, September 28

  • FastBridge ELA (given during ELA classes)

Wednesday, September 29

  • Early Release-LEAP (training-district equity training)
  • First Cross Country Meet (@FHMS), 3:30-5:30 pm
Thursday, September 30

  • FastBridge ELA (given during ELA classes)
Friday, October 1

  • FastBridge ELA (given during ELA classes)

Student Attendance

Regular school attendance is important for all students. Please help us by following these simple guidelines:

  • Parents or guardians should notify the school by phone, or in writing/email within 48 hours of an absence if they wish to have it considered as an excused absence.
  • Email: or 425.936.2341

Please include the following information: - Student Name – date/length of absence - reason for the absence.

  • If your student is late to school (if the courtyard gates are closed), please accompany them in to the school office to sign them in.
  • If your student needs to leave early – please contact the office at least one hour prior to departure, and come into the office to sign the student out.
  • If you know your student will be absent for more than 3 days, the Pre-Arranged Absence form must be filled out and submitted to the office (available at the office in English & Spanish).
  • If you receive a call from our Attendance line, it will list the specific period/s your student was absent – if you believe this is in error, have your student contact the teacher for that specific period to verify.
  • If you're not sure whether your student should go to school, take a look at the district's Too Sick for School information to find out.

Additional Attendance information/links:

Too Sick for School - Lake Washington School District (

Absence From School - Finn Hill Middle School (

Attendance Matters to Academic Performance (

There are consequences for unexcused absences. Please see the LWSD Truancy section for more information. Student Rights and Responsibilities (

PTSA Request: Hearing & Vision Screening Volunteers Needed

Below is the link to the Sign Up Genius for the upcoming Hearing and Vision Screenings on 10/14. Thank you in advance for volunteering to help this important yearly event run smoothly!

Lunch Seating

We’ve been fielding a number of questions about lunches so we would like to provide some details about the options students have when it comes to lunchtime. Students have two choices for where they eat their lunch:

1. Cafeteria tables in commons-we limit the number of students sitting per lunch table to ensure three feet distancing and have tape on the benches to show where students should sit to maintain this spacing.

2. Outdoors-students can eat outside in the courtyard on benches and on the amphitheater risers. We have a large “event tent” that will allow us to provide outdoor covered seating for students as we did last spring. When it is cold outside, students will want to have jackets, sweatshirts, or wear layers as we do not have supplemental heaters. We can keep them dry, but they will need to keep themselves warm.

We remind students regularly that they should put their masks back on when they are not eating or drinking. If you could reinforce this with your student, it would be appreciated.

Cell Phones

To ensure privacy and focus on learning in classrooms, cell phone and headphone/AirPod use is not permitted during the school day. This includes lunchtime and passing periods. Therefore, cell phones should be out of sight during the school day. Please remind your student of these expectations. If you need to get ahold of your student during the school day, you should call the main office. If they need to get ahold of you, they should use the phone located in the main office.

Mask Reminders

Parents and caregivers, please stress with your students the importance of wearing masks while on school grounds, especially before and after school. A large majority of students cannot get vaccinated yet, due to age. We expect that students will respectfully comply with staff requests to stay masked.

Upcoming Assessment: FastBridge

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Student Drop Off & Pick Up Reminders

As we get back in the routine of dropping off and picking up our Falcons, we want to remind you that it’s particularly important to obey traffic laws and drive safely in school zones. Our front office staff members have been fielding calls from concerned neighbors who are observing unsafe pick up and drop off on and near campus (i.e., cars stopping in the middle of the road and letting kids in; holding up traffic; cars going around stopped cars onto the wrong side of the road; and near-collisions).

If you drive to school, through our school zone and in neighborhoods near our school, follow these safety tips to keep all students safe this year:

  • When you are picking up your student after school, please DO NOT park on the side of the street in the bike lane on NE 132nd Street between the entrance to the bus loop, and 84th Ave NE. The buses are having a difficult time getting by you to enter the bus loop, especially when traffic is coming from the other direction. If cars are lined up from the school entrance to the bus loop, please proceed down NE 132nd and take a left on 82nd Ave NE, and pick up your student(s) up that side street.
  • Obey the 20 mph speed limit in all school zones.
  • Be patient during drop-off and pick-up if you drive your student to school or drive near a school. The roadways surrounding schools are congested during these times.
  • Note that it is a right hand turn only when exiting out of the parking lot main exit during drop off and pick up times. This helps keep our traffic flow moving in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Yield to pedestrians at all intersections, whether marked with a crosswalk or not: it’s the law.
  • Watch for children who may dart into the road.
  • Stop and wait for school buses when red lights are flashing.

Thank you for doing your part to help keep our Falcons and their families safe!

Please Welcome

Custodial Services is excited to announce that Finn Hill’s vacant evening custodian position has been filled by Yian Saelee. Yian comes to the district with over 14 years of Custodial experience in a scholastic setting, most recently working as a Custodian at the University of Washington. We truly believe Yian’s work ethic, extensive Custodial experience, and team-oriented mentality will be a great fit for Finn Hill Middle school. Yian’s first day at Finn Hill was on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

We want to also welcome Olivia Morris as Instructional Assistant, who is due to start on September 21st, 2021. Olivia, who was a Finn Hill Falcon, will continue to help support our students fly in the right direction, by providing supervision and support in the halls, classrooms, lunch, and crossing.

You're Invited!

We want to invite all of our FHMS families to connect and contribute at Finn Hill Middle School via the PTSA.

Join the PTSA: For as little as $15, a PTSA membership grants you a voting voice at all PTSA general meetings and gives your PTSA a stronger voice on a state and national level.

Donate to the PTSA General Fund: The general fund supports classroom supplies and teacher projects, and also sponsors clubs, visitors and special programming, student support services, and much more! Every child in the building benefits in some way from general funding. Please consider giving at any level. For perspective: To support staff and students to the fullest extent possible, the PTSA’s spending averages to about $50 per student per year. Any amount is appreciated.

Learn More:

Where is your passion? What are your interests? We'll help you help others. Volunteer your time and talents. Days or evenings, at home or virtually, occasionally or on a regular basis—there are LOTS of ways to help. Here are a few roles we would like to get filled within the next few weeks. Please reach out to for more information.

FHMS PTSA is on Facebook! Follow Us on Facebook.

Visit the FHMS PTSA website to find links to resources, articles, and events.

Questions about FHMS PTSA? Please email our PTSA President, Sarah Mertel.

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FYI: Revised Student Entry Plan

As we make adjustments to enusre students can arrive to school safely, take care of school business, and get to class on time, we want to advise you of our revised student entry plan. Beginning Monday, September 20, students will be allowed enter through the front doors to access the courtyard or the library beginning at 8:15 am. They will NOT be allowed to enter the rest of the building. Kids who need to purchase items from Ms. Stephens in the ASB office will be allowed to purchase them from 8:15 until 8:30. Like we've been doing, students may eat breakfast beginning at 7:45 am but need to remain in the commons until 8:25 am. Teachers will not send students to the office to buy anything from the ASB office during the day or after school to allow Ms. Stephens to take care of the day's accounting. Please contact Ms. Cleaves with any questions.

From Mrs. Lynch: Awesome Club Opportunity for Students

Do you enjoy designing, coding, creating, or constructing? Then TSA might be a great opportunity for you.

The Technology Student Association is a national student organization created to develop skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. TSA aims to develop leadership, academic, and business management skills in the workplace among students and leaders within the community.

This after-school club meets once a week for 2hrs to develop competitive events that we submit at the regional and state level. For a full list of event options visit

There will be an informational meeting to learn what TSA is about. If you are interested in joining, or just want more information about what it is about join us on TUESDAY, October 5th in room 192 from 3:10-4 pm.

"Learning to lead in a technical world."

Please e-mail Mrs. Lynch with any questions at

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Finn Hill Middle School


Each student will graduate prepared to lead a rewarding, responsible life as a contributing member of our community and greater society.


Every student future ready: Prepared for college, Prepared for the global workplace, Prepared for personal success