The Jaguar Journal

August / September 2019

James Sales Elementary

Brandy Nelson - Principal

Joy Sims - Assistant Principal

Office Hours - 8:15 to 3:45

253-298-4200 / FAX 253-298-4215

Dates To Remember

August 27 - First Day of School

Aug 30 & Sept 2 - No School – Labor Day Holiday

September 11 - Early Release – 1:55

September 18 - Early Release – 1:55

September 25 - Early Release – 1:55

September 26 - Health Screenings

Sept 30 - Oct 3 - Student Led Conferences and Book Fair

October 4 - No School

October 21 - Individual Picture Day

A Message From Our Principal

Hello James Sales Families,

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! It was great to see so many of you at our Back-to-School Night. We had a great time and hope you did as well. The positive energy from all the students along with their eagerness to come back to school was great to see. Smiles, smiles, and more smiles; what a great way to launch into the fall!

We have an amazing team ready and excited to partner with you this year. I would like to publicly thank our amazing custodial staff, Ms. Cheryl and Mr. Jesse. Our school looks amazing! The floors are sparkling, the windows are crystal clear, and the classrooms are freshly cleaned and ready for our students to return.

As the new school year begins, I want to remind all families of our school policy around school safety. We do not allow parents into our gym before the start of school because our gym is very crowded and we need to maintain the safety of our students. Parents are to drop students off at our front door. Parents can give their child(ren) hugs and kisses and send them into the school where they will be greeted and supervised by James Sales staff. Thank you for your help, support, and cooperation with this as we ensure that our students are safe.

I look forward to getting to know all of our new families as well as reconnecting with our returning families. It truly takes a village! Thank you for entrusting your children to us; we consider it a tremendous privilege.


Brandy Nelson, Principal

Please Remember

If you need to take your child out of school early, please make sure to come to the office at least a half hour before dismissal time. On a regular school day, please be in the office by 2:55 and on an early dismissal day, be in the office by 1:25. Thank you for your help!

Schedule Changes

The end of the day at James Sales is very hectic. If you forgot to send a note in the morning and need to call the office with a change to your child’s schedule, please do so before 2:55. After 2:55 the office is busy assisting students and parents and may not be able to answer your call or get a message to a student before they leave for the day. All end of day schedule changes must be made through the office, not with the classroom teacher.

Free Fair Tickets

A Washington State Fair free admission ticket will be sent home with your child! The ticket will be good for any day of the fair. Early dismissals that coincide with the run of the fair will not be excused. Replacements for lost tickets will not be available.

Automated Messages

Franklin Pierce uses an automated messaging service to send school-related phone calls and text messages.

Phone Calls: All parents/guardians who have provided their phone number to the school or district will receive phone calls with information regarding school updates, attendance, food account balances and emergencies. Parents/guardians may change their contact numbers or opt out of receiving non-emergency calls at any time by contacting their student’s school office, calling the district office at 253-298-3009, or logging into the Skylert system through Skyward Family Access and de-selecting non-emergency calls.

Text messages: All parents/guardians can opt in to receive emergency notifications via text message through contact cellular numbers in the Skylert system. To opt in at any time, send the message “Y” or “YES” to 67587. To opt out at any time, send the message “STOP” to 67587.

Nutrition Services

We are pleased that James Sales will once again be participating in the federal Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Program as part of the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program.

In a CEP school, ALL enrolled students receive a nutritious breakfast and lunch at no cost during the school year, regardless of family income.

If your child brings a lunch from home and wishes to have only milk, it will cost $.55. Milk by itself is not free in a CEP school. Student meal accounts are still available in CEP schools if parents wish to put money on accounts to purchase milk.

In order to secure additional funding and continue current funding, some families will be asked to fill out a Family Income Survey again this year. This survey provides a way to collect household income information when free/reduced price applications are not collected.

The information you provide by returning the Family Income Survey impacts funding that each school receives from the federal and state governments. The survey is used to collect household income information in order to ensure that your child continues to have access to the level of resources he/she currently has at school such as Learning Assistance Programs (LAP), K-3 class size, and state funded full day kindergarten. The information helps determine eligibility for competitive grants for which our school is eligible to apply, as well as teacher incentives. In keeping with current practices, all information is private and confidential as required by state and federal law. State and federal formulas only use aggregate information for funding calculations.

If your child brings this form home, please complete it as soon as possible and return it to your child’s school.

If you have any questions concerning school meals or CEP please feel free to contact the Nutrition Services Department at 253-298-4618.

Family Access

Interactive Skyward Family Access features are open and ready for primary guardians to review, update, and/or request changes to the following information:

· Student Information

· Family Information

· Emergency Contact Information

· Military Active Duty Status

· CEP Grant Survey

We ask that a primary guardian log into Family Access and complete the information update for each student prior to the first day of school. The system will remain open until mid-October. Please use this link to log into Skyward Family Access:

If you need help gaining access to a computer, try the Pierce County Library, visit your school, or come to the district office.

Free Developmental Screening

Children ages 3-5 who reside within the Franklin Pierce School District are eligible for free developmental screening. Hearing, vision, kindergarten readiness, speech and language, motor skills, and behavior are checked. Screenings take place regularly. See their web page here. To schedule an appointment, call the Early Learning Center Child Find hotline at 253-298-4658.

Free Preschool Programs

If you have a pre-school age child in your household, they may be eligible for the Head Start and ECEAP preschools at the Franklin Pierce Hewins Early Learning Center. We have applications in our main office at James Sales or you can go to the following link to access enrollment information:

Welcome to James Sales

We have several new staff members at James Sales this year: Austyn Collins (2nd grade), Amber De La Torre (4th grade), Erica Gott (4th grade), Lucyka Hwang (Resource Room), Karissa Thomas (School Psychologist), Ms. Charlie (Para-educator), Bennett Okeze (Para-educator), Anna Thordsen (Speech), and Bethany Peters (PBIS Para-educator). Also, Joy Sims will now be our assistant principal. Please give a big welcome to our new staff. We are so glad they are here!

Our Goals for 2019-20

Are your students on target for meeting the attendance and behavior goals at James Sales?

· Attendance – This year’s goal is to have nine or fewer tardies and/or absences. At the end of each trimester, all students who have missed less than nine days or have had less than nine tardies, will receive a reward. At the end of the school year, the PTO will sponsor a reward for all students who have met the attendance goal for the year.

· Behavior – Students with one or fewer write-ups at the end of each trimester receive a reward. At the end of the year, Students with one or fewer write-ups will also go on a PTO sponsored field trip.


We, at James Sales, hope you will make every effort to encourage consistent and on-time attendance at school. Please make appointments outside of school hours whenever possible. Make sure you call the school office if your student is absent for any reason. Our attendance desk number is 253-298-4200. You may leave a voice message if you need to call before or after school hours.


If you would like to spend time in your child’s classroom for any reason or attend field trips, you must be cleared as a volunteer. All previously approved volunteer applications expired July 31st and must be renewed before participating in any volunteer capacity at James Sales.

You will find the online application for volunteers on the website. Hover over 'Get Involved' and click on ‘Volunteers’ and follow the directions. You will receive an email when you are cleared. It can take up to two weeks to process the application. Please don’t wait until just before your student has a field trip to submit your application!

It can take up to two weeks to process the application. Please don’t wait until just before your student has a field trip to submit your application! All volunteer clearances will expire July 31, 2020 for the 2019-20 school year.

PTO News

We are excited for the new school year! Our PTO Board includes Jennifer Cook – President, Tonika Kawalec – Vice President, Janelle Reed-Cowart – Secretary, and Alisa Clark – Treasurer. You can contact the PTO board by email - or by Facebook message. Search @jamessaleselementarypto on Facebook.

Please join us for our first general PTO meeting on September 23rd at 3:45 in the James Sales library. All are welcome to attend. Members are needed to vote.

We are looking for volunteers to help on Friday mornings with popcorn and treats.

Flyers for joining PTO and easy ways to help, even from home, are located on the PTO bulletin board in the school entry above the lost and found. PTO membership dues are $7 for an individual or $10 for a family (a family consists of adults in the same household.) We accept cash and checks made to James Sales PTO.

We will continue to collect Box Tops and Coke Rewards. Also, if you download the Shoparoo app on your phone, you can help us raise funds for our school. Just take a picture of your receipts each time you shop.

Watch for details to come home about our Fall fundraiser in October.

The T-shirt fundraiser runs September 16th through October 6th. This fundraiser is online only with options to purchase via phone at 253-582-3585 or in person at Winning Seasons – 10506 Steele St S, Tacoma 98499. Names can be added to online items only.

We have a limited supply of James Sales T-shirts on hand for $10 each.

Franklin Pierce Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to James Hester, Compliance Coordinator for State and Civil Rights Laws; Wendy Malich, Title IX Officer; or John Sander, 504/ADA Coordinator at 315 129th ST S, Tacoma, WA 98444-5099 or at (253)298-3000.