Staffing Plan, State Assessment & More - April 20, 2018

Dear McDonald International Students and Families,

It’s so wonderful to be back! I loved every minute of my maternity leave and I already miss spending full days with my sons Harry and Jack, but at the same time, I’m thrilled to resume my important duties at McDonald International and to re-engage with all of the students, teachers, and parents. And, I already have plenty to report:

First, I am excited to share with you our staffing plan for next year.  For 2018-2019, we will continue to have 20 general education classes – four for kindergarten, three for grades 1-4, and four for grade 5. We will also continue to have:

  • instructional assistants in all kindergarten and 1st grade immersion classes
  • interns in all immersion classes for grades 2-5
  • an additional certificated teacher to support our four kindergarten English classes
  • two special education teachers
  • instrumental music for any interested 5th-grade students
  • a full-time physical education teacher
  • a full-time art teacher
  • a full-time interventionist support students
  • a half-time assistant principal

Next year we will also have the following additional resources:

  • a full-time counselor
  • a full-time general music instructor
  • a .7 librarian (increased from .6)
  • additional intervention support for students in grades 4-5

As is evident, Seattle Public Schools was able to provide McDonald International with much more support than in years past. We also greatly appreciate the contributions made by the McDonald International families, who continue to show their commitment to our school in meaningful ways.

Second, this week we began our state assessment, the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA). Although in the past some have expressed concern about how special education and intervention services were not available during the month that the SBA was conducted, we are happy to share that this year those services will continue uninterrupted.

Third, McDonald International was once again formally recognized by the district for achievement in resource conservation. This award came with a $600 prize to be used to improve our school.

Fourth, congratulations to Mojo Woodman and Theo Lufkin!  These two students have won this year’s World Citizen Essay Contest in the Elementary Division.  Mojo’s essay (“Hunger is a goalie protecting us from the goal of zero hunger”) took third place, and Theo’s essay (“Securing a Brighter Future for the Burkina Faso People”) came in second place.  Additionally, Ella Eakins earned an Honorable Mention for her essay, “Hunger in Zimbabwe.”  Mojo, Theo, and Ella were among nearly 400 students who entered the contest this year, making their accomplishments all the more impressive!

Lastly, the buzzer system installed earlier this year has made our school safer and more secure. That said, there have been a number of reported instances of “tailgating” or “piggybacking” – where individuals have been able to enter the school without being buzzed in by slipping into the building by following closely behind someone who was buzzed in.  In an effort to address this problem, I remind everyone to never allow anyone into the school who you don’t know personally. We recognize that people often don’t follow this rule because doing so can make them feel uncomfortable or rude, or because they’re afraid they will be mistaken in some way. Overcome this discomfort by approaching the encounter as an opportunity to meet someone new and by addressing unknown individuals in a friendly as opposed to confrontational manner.  Employees or visitors with a legitimate right to be at the school will not likely be offended by a friendly approach, and will probably respect your commitment to school security.

Thanks always for your continued to commitment to McDonald International.  Again, it’s great to be back and as always if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.   I look forward to seeing many of you at Tuesday’s General PTA meeting.

Michelle Goldberg

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