Reading Partners coming to Olympic Hills

Reading Partners is a nonprofit literacy organization that works to expand life opportunities for elementary school children by empowering them with strong literacy skills.  At Olympic Hills Elementary, Reading Partners has transformed a dedicated space within the school into a reading center. Reading Partners recruits and train community volunteers to tutor students one-on-one for 45 minutes each week using a structured, research-based curriculum.

The Reading Partners program is designed to work with elementary school students whose literacy skills are between 1 month to 2 and a half years below grade-level benchmarks.

Founded in 1999 in the San Francisco Bay Area by three retired teachers, Reading Partners is entering its second year of service in the Seattle area.

In its founding year they served 112 students at Beverly Park and Sanislo Elementary schools in partnership with 167 community volunteers. In the 2015-2016 school year, they have expanded service to 200 students, incorporating Highland Park and Olympic Hills Elementary schools to the programming.

In their founding year, 85 percent of students accelerated in reading and 67 percent were able to make absolute gains in closing their grade-level reading gaps. Teachers also noticed that almost all students in the program increased in their overall confidence.

Sixty percent of fourth graders in Washington State are not reading proficiently. By tutoring for as little as one hour each week, volunteers can make an incredible impact on the life of a child.

For more information please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Sigourney Gundy at or by phone at (206) 992-4484.

To sign-up today visit:

OH staff, parents speak at school board meeting

The OH community is very concerned about the race and equity issues created by the proposed boundaries for the Cedar Park building, scheduled to be open in 2017 as a neighborhood school.

Last night OH staff and families gave public testimony at the Seattle School Board meeting sharing concerns about the proposed boundary for the Cedar Park building.

After the public testimony, the school board directors each have an opportunity to share some comments and/or responses to the public testimony.   During the board comments, directors Peaslee, Peters and Carr all expressed support for addressing the equity concerns we raised.  Hopefully they can bring up the issues with school district staff for discussion soon.

For reference, the maps we presented to the board are included here, as well as the Proposed Board Motion for adjusting the boundaries.

North_End_ELL_with CP (2) CP_boundary_overlay_with_Heat_map (2)

PTA Meeting Tuesday, October 20th

PTA Meeting Tuesday, October 20th in the OHE at Cedar Park cafeteria.

We will have a potluck dinner beginning at 6:00pm (bring a dish to share), and the PTA meeting will occur between 6:30-7:30pm.

Come learn about how school boundaries are being changed for the 2017-18 school year and how it could affect our students. This is also a great opportunity to meet other OHE families and ask any questions you may have about the PTA or our school.

Free childcare is provided.

Bell Times, they are a changin’

Seattle Public School bell times (School start times) are changing as of 2016-2017 school year. The district has published their draft schedule in order to align high school and middle school start times with overwhelming evidence that show adolescents do better in school when their school day starts later.

As a result of this change, elementary schools have been split into two times: one earlier than the high schools: Tier one (8am start) and one later: Tier Three (9:40am start) The argument made by the school district in favor of the three different times, is that fewer buses and drivers are needed which therefore saves the district money (about 8 million dollars is the district’s estimate, though that budget has not been made publicly available)

Olympic Hills has been slated to start at 9:40 starting in 2016-2017. At our open house, the PTA was able to distribute and collect surveys where families can indicate whether they are in favor of this change or prefer the earlier time, but if you haven’t filled out the survey, you can either take one from the PTA bulletin board across the hallway from the main office or download the “Letter to families of elementary students” in your preferred language here: Bell Times survey print it and fill it out and return to the front office or with your child no later than Friday morning October 16.

The form is not completely clear, so to clarify:

If you prefer the 9:40 start time, put your X next to “I support the 2016-2017 bell times as proposed in the recommendation”

If you prefer the 8:00 start time, put your X next to “I would prefer the other option”

Feel free to include comments, and please print: Everything noted will be included in the data our PTA reports to the school district.

At community forums and blogs, various groups and individuals have raised concerns about the 3 tiered bell start times (particularly the later start time of 9:40) and some are currently advocating for a two tiered start time; which means that all elementary schools would start at the same time. Others have expressed the desire to keep their current start times. It is not clear whether the two tiered start time or keeping current 2015-2016 start times will be considered, but please note in the comments if either is your preference.


Open House on Thursday

Open House on Thursday

Oct 8 6:00pm -7:30pm

Open House & Free Pizza Dinner!
Title I provides dinner and interpreters. Bring the entire family.

Learn about your child’s curriculum and how you can be involved in your child’s education.

You will also get to sign up for Parent Teacher Conferences taking place in November. For your convenience, please ask to schedule all of your Olympic Hills children on the same day.