Principal Update

April 2022

Whitney Families,

It's hard to believe that it is nearly May! As the weather begins to warm up, please keep in mind we will have more children and parents walking to and from school. Please abide the traffic flow and laws for student drop-off and student-pickup. Attention to these details is for the safety of all students at Whitney Elementary.


As you read through this newsletter, be sure to check out the Donations we've recently received from the ROSSEY Project and GESA Credit Union. Also, check out the areas regarding Restorative Practices and Social Emotional Learning (SEL). We recently had an ex-NFL player on campus presenting to students and staff on Restorative Practices.


Students in grades 3-5 will begin taking the Smarter Blanced Assessment very soon. Please encourage your child to do their best. The SBA gives us a measurement of growth and achievement levels for each student in Reading and Math. The goal is to have a continual growth pattern going up. The SBA reports will be sent home by our District Assessment Department as soon as they are able.


As we near the end of the school year, we will be planning Field Day and a Family Movie Night (Encanto). Both of these events will need parent volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, you will need a completed background check. More information can found below in the section labeled "Volunteer."


Thank you for being a part of the Whitney Dream Team!


If you have questions please reach out via telephone (573-1900), via Let's Talk, ParentSquare and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Dates to Remember

May 2nd - May 6th - Teacher Appreciation Week

May 3rd-5th - 3rd Grade SBA Testing - ELA

May 10-11 - 5th Grade SBA Testing - Science

May 17th - 19th - 4th and 5th Grade SBA Testing - ELA

May 24th - 26th - 3rd, 4th & 5th Grade SBA Testing - Math

May 26th - Movie Night (Encanto) 6:00 PM in the Gym

May 30th - Memorial Day - NO SCHOOL

State Testing Begins soon

How can I help my child prepare for the test?

You are an important part of your child’s education. Some things you can do to help your child are:

  • Discuss the test with your child and calm their nerves so that they are not scared or anxious.
  • Tell your child that you and their teacher have high expectations and that you are both there to help them every step of the way.
  • Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast before testing.
  • Make sure they come to school on time.


Other things you can do include:

  • Send your student with a water bottle the day of the test
  • Contact your child's teacher regarding snacks during the breaks


Testing Dates


3rd Grade

  • May 3-5
  • May 24-26


4th Grade

  • May 17-19
  • May 24-26


    5th Grade


    • May 10-11
    • May 17-19
    • May 24-26

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    Placement for 2022-23 School Year

    Our staff will soon begin working on student placement for the 2022-23 school year. We are focused on creating balanced classrooms for all students and our teachers are helping us with this process. We will be considering preferences of learning styles and strengths of your individual students, but we will not be taking any direct requests for specific teachers as all of our teachers are highly qualified. We have processes to place students that balance the need and strength of the whole class with each teacher. If you have a specific request or concern, (such as to separate from another student or reminder of best learning styles) please share that information with your child’s CURRENT teacher. They will make a note of it and use this when we begin placement. If you have a more specific concern or information that you would like to share directly with our school counselor, please email her at padilla.leslie@ysd7.org.

    Parent/Guardian Info Night For All Incoming 6th Grade Students

    Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

    6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

    All Middle Schools - Washington, Franklin, Lewis and Clark, and Wilson


    Principals will welcome incoming students and their families to their school and share highlights about the school community. The event will include...


    • School tours
    • Teacher/staff introductions
    • Information about classes and curriculum materials
    • Academic, band/orchestra/choir, and extra-curricular programming
    • Support available for students
    • Student safety and behavior protocols
    • Attendance expectations
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    For the school year 2022-23 and the foreseeable future, parents will not be asked to provide/pay for school supplies. The Yakima School District strives for equity and inclusion by removing all opportunity gaps and inequitable practices for our students.
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    With Covid-19 at such low rates we are once again open to having parents volunteer in the classroom. If you're interested in volunteering please drop by and pick up an application or fill out the application below and turn it into the office.


    We are also looking for parents interested in volunteering for field day and prehaps restarting a parent involvement group next school year. If you are interested in volunteering for field day or restarting a parent involvement group please fill out this super short survey

    Restorative Practices w/William Blackwell

    Last week we invited William Blackwell Jr. to present to staff and students regarding the topic of Restorative Practices. Mr. William Blackwell Jr. is a Former NFL Football Player, Mentor, Radio Personality, Public Speaker, Assistant Athletic Director, Coach, and Restorative Justice Practitioner. William has over 15 years of experience working hands-on with students in different roles. William has served as a role model for many students and youth through these various platforms. Most recently William has served as the restorative justice facilitator in a highly impacted high school in Oakland Unified School District. Here, William’s responsibilities included implementation of restorative justice practices, including direct support and services to staff, students, and families, as well as by providing coaching and technical services to all staff.


    William has also served as the African American Male Achievement Facilitator where he focused collaboration with administration to implement and sustain community relation, establish African-American male expectations, collaborated with teachers to utilize restorative justice practices in the classroom and worked closely with parents to hold students accountable outside of school.


    In addition, William has engaged in motivational speaking talks with schools and districts around our nation focused on student resilience, determination and empowerment of youth.

    What is Restorative Practices?
    Social-Emotional Learning: What Is SEL and Why SEL Matters

    ROSSEY Project Donation

    Due to our involvement with the ReOpening Schools Safely and Educating Youth (ROSSEY) project, $10,000 have been donated to Whitney Elementary. This money will be used to purchase 12ft soccer goals for our playground, Items for our PBIS Rewards store that students can purchase with their points, playground equipment, and seed money to restart our parent involvement group.

    GESA Visit & Check

    Thursday, April 21st was National Kindergarten Day. Gesa Credit Union presented a lesson on financial literacy to our Kindergarteners that included a Children’s Activity Book featuring “Stash the Explorer Squirrel” where students can draw, complete a word search, and a crossword puzzle. They also presented Whitney Elementary with a check donation of $1,000. The money will go toward supplies for our kinder classrooms.
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    Report to Parents: Teaching Kids About Online Safety

    Children’s increased online presence might put them at greater risk of child exploitation. It’s important to discuss internet safety and develop an online safety plan with kids. Use these tips to establish clear guidelines, teach kids to spot red flags, and encourage them to have open communication with you.


    Keep Tabs

    Supervise kids' use of the internet, including their phones, by checking their profiles, activity, and posts. Keep electronic devices in open, common areas and set time limits for their use. Take time to review games, apps, and social media platforms before children use them.


    Be Wary of Features

    Pay attention to apps and sites that feature end-to-end encryption, direct messaging, video chats, file uploads, and user anonymity, which online child predators frequently use. Encourage children to tell a parent or trusted adult if anyone asks them to engage in inappropriate or dangerous behavior.


    Employ Parental Controls

    Adjust privacy settings and use parental controls for online games, apps, social medial platforms, and electronic devices. If it seems daunting, subscribe to parental control apps that monitor activity and send alerts for as little as $5 a month. ConsumersAdvocate.org provides a list of the top parental control apps and how to get them.


    Educate Your Child

    Tell kids to avoid sharing personal information, photos, and videos online in public forums or with people they don't know. Remind them that images posted online will be permanently on the internet. Suggest to your children that if they haven’t met someone in person, they shouldn’t add them on social media.


    Set a Good Example

    Your child looks to you for guidance, so set a positive online example by modeling appropriate internet practices. As you set rules and boundaries, observe them yourself. Children are more likely to conform when they see that the rules apply to you as well.


    Take Action

    Immediately report suspected online enticement or sexual exploitation of a child by calling 911, contacting the FBI at tips.fbi.gov, or filing a report with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at (800) 843- 5678 or report.cybertip.org.


    Sources: The Tech Advocate, "Internet Safety Tips for School-Aged Kids," and U.S. Department of Justice, "Keeping Children Safe Online."

    The Statewide Mask Mandate Is Now Lifted

    The State Department of Health (DOH) released updated guidance for schools to align with the statewide mask order lifting after Friday, March 11, 2022. In developing the updated guidance,
    DOH worked hard to balance the priorities of sustaining in-person learning while preserving student and staff health and safety.

    As the governor announced a few weeks ago, beginning Saturday, March 12, masks will not be required in the school environment – it will instead be each employee and student’s choice whether to continue masking after the requirement lifts. Some of the key changes in the updated guidance include:

    • Masks will still be required in nurse/health rooms and isolation rooms, as these are considered healthcare settings.
    • Screening testing for COVID-19 for higher-risk activities will be optional.
    • Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 are required to:
      -Isolate for at least 5 days. They may return to school after 5 days if their symptoms have improved.
      -After their 5-day isolation, on days 6–10 after a positive test, students and staff will be required to wear a well-fitted mask or a face shield with a drape or test negative with an antigen or at-home test.

    As we move forward, we will continue to:

    • Notify our local health department of cases of COVID-19.
    • Update our data dashboard.
    • Notify close contacts of potential exposures.
    • Provide student and staff access to testing for COVID-19.


    Wear a mask, or not, video by Tillicum Student Choir.

    Continuing guidelines, data dashboard, safety protocols plus Q&A online at www.YSD7.org/COVID19.

    Kindergarten Registration Is Open

    Kindergarten registration IS OPEN ! To enroll your child, contact your neighborhood boundary school. Students who register early will receive a FREE student prize bag. For more information about registration requirements, visit our website at ysd7.org/kinder.
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    Donations for Student Incentives in the PBIS Rewards Store

    If you'd like to support Whitney Elementary with the purchase of incentives in our PBIS Rewards store please sign in to Touchbase and follow the tutorial video or step by step tutorial below.