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    Welcome Back!
    Posted on 08/06/2018

    August 6, 2018

    Dear Thurgood Marshall Families,

    Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! I hope you have all enjoyed our beautiful Seattle summer and are feeling rested and ready to start thinking about heading back to school. I am excited to be returning for a fifth year at Thurgood Marshall. It is truly a remarkable school in so many ways and a great place to learn and to work.

    We are in the process of hiring a new Assistant Principal. I will keep you posted on the progress of this process, and will be in touch in one of our first issues of the Pup Press about how the new AP and I will be dividing our responsibilities so you will know who to be in touch with if you have a question or concern.

    Each year, I like to choose a school-wide theme that helps to animate our thinking about our learning over the course of the year. This year, our theme will be We Rise by Lifting Others. I chose this theme thinking about our goals for school improvement this year: increasing our emphasis on student-to-student mentoring, and students helping each other learn as members of a community. We will be looking to our community members to share their stories of lifting – or being lifted – by others at our Friday Assemblies.

    It has become a TM staff tradition to read a book together each summer. This year’s book The Yes Brain by Siegel and Bryson was chosen with both staff and parents in mind. Past summer books include Mindset by Carol Dweck, Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald, The First Six Weeks of School by The Responsive Classroom, and Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond.

    In an effort to make school supply shopping will be easier for TM Families, our PTA has set up a system for bulk purchasing. Supplies are provided but we ask for $40 per student to cover PTA costs. Payments are accepted on (soon), via the welcome packet or in person at the ice cream social. If you are not able to pay the full $40, you may contribute what is reasonable for your family.

    If for any reason your child will not be joining us at Thurgood Marshall this September, please call the office at 252-2800 right away to let us know. This helps immensely with our school planning.

    We look forward to meeting our new kindergartners during our Jump Start program on August 20-24 from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. each day. Jump Start is an optional program, but having this extra week of time in the school really helps to prepare our students for their transition to Thurgood Marshall. Please let us know right away if you have questions about the program or need help with registration. I will be meeting with kindergarten parents in the cafeteria at 9:30 AM on Monday, August 20 to talk about how to help your child have a successful transition to kindergarten.

    I would like to invite all families and students to join us on Tuesday, September 4th from 2:30 - 4 p.m. for our Back-to-School ice cream social. On this day, you will be able to find out who your child’s teacher will be, get a sneak peek at the classroom, and have some ice cream before heading out to the playground to visit with old friends and meet new ones. We will have non-dairy options for students with food sensitivities. Please enter through the main doors, where we will direct you to classrooms. Teachers will still be busy preparing for the first day, so please respect their time by keeping your classroom visit brief. If you are not able to join us, you may call the office between 2:30 - 4 p.m. on September 4 to receive your child’s class assignment.

    Teachers will meet students on the playground at 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday, September 5th. Teachers will have their names attached to yardstick signs to help students know where to line up. You are welcome to wait with your children on the playground that morning and walk into the building with them. The PTA hosts a welcome back First-Day Tea for all parents at 8:55 in the student lunchroom on the first day of school. This is a great time to begin meeting other parents and becoming part of the TM Community!

    Our office is staffed most days this summer between 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Please feel free to call if you need assistance or have questions.

    I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday, September 4th for our Back-to-School Kick-off!

    Katie May
    Thurgood Marshall Principal

    Please read this important information before the start of school: (The list is lengthy, but you will want the information!)

    • Class lists were carefully constructed in June. We work hard to create carefully balanced classes; as such I respectfully ask that parents not contact me for placement requests as we do not accept requests for changes.
    • First day packets will go home the first week of school. Included will be a data sheet for each student with all contact information. Please update that form and return immediately so that we can enter that information into our system. For those who use cell phones as your primary phone, please list that number in the section for your home number. The automated calls from our school and also the central offices go to the home phone number so listing your cell phone might give you quicker notice of these calls. It is very helpful for us to have your email address, as well.
    • Expect parking challenges on both September 4th and 5th. You will be able to park in front of the school on the 4th. Beginning the first day of school, the loading area is always off limits for traffic and there should be no stopping or parking along the front of the building on Irving Street. That area is zoned for buses from 7-5 daily and you will be ticketed by SPD parking enforcement if you even pause in the bus/fire area along Irving. Student drop off is in front of the small detached building (old YMCA building) in front of the parking lot or along the west side of MLK Way. Students are able to enter the playground gates from those two drop-off locations on pedestrian only crosswalks. Please follow the directions of staff as they direct traffic flow, and be patient.
    • Beginning Thursday, September 6h, please arrive no earlier than 8:40 a.m. The playground gates will be opened at 8:40 and there will be supervision on the playground until the bell rings at 8:55. Students wishing to have breakfast will also enter through these gates and walk around the back side of the building and enter the doors near the cafeteria. When school dismisses at 3:25 (or 2:10 on Wednesdays), parents who pick up their student after school are asked to wait near the flagpole out front. The gate is unlocked right before dismissal time and students will exit through those gates.
    • For families that are new, teachers will help all students with bus loading in the afternoon so that new students find their buses with as little stress as possible. Buses are notoriously late the first week or so of school. You should receive an automated call from transportation if your child’s bus is running more than 20 minutes late.
    • Our school handbook is available on our website at Please do review the handbook with your child so you are both aware of school and district expectations. Printed copies are available from the school office at your request.
    • If your child requires medication to be taken here at school, please remember that our school nurse needs both the medication and the medical authorization form to administer any type of medication. That form is also available on the website but can be sent home in hard copy form should you make the request. We are fortunate to have full-time nursing again this year!
    • Bus assignment information is sent to families from the central office transportation department just a day or two before the start of school.
    • Lunchroom accounts roll over from year to year as long as the child is a SPS student. However, PINs change when a child changes schools. Teachers will give all students their PINs on the first day. I recommend that parents send a lunch from home for the first week or so if possible. The lunch line is slow the first week as PINs take longer to enter. A lunch from home can be reassuring as students meet the challenges of a new school year. Even our 5th grade students appreciate a note from parents in their lunch bags. And although you may have a child that insists on not eating school lunch, it is always recommended to send a $10 check (made payable to CNS) so that your child has a positive balance in their account should lunch be forgotten at home. For families who receive free or reduced lunch, our central offices will be sending home the lunch program form in US mail that must be completed each year. Please fill out the form and return on the first day of school so your child is able to take advantage of this program from the first day. You may also fill out the form at:
    • The library is open from 4 - 7 p.m. every Tuesday through August 21st. It has been fun to see many of you taking advantage of this great opportunity! All Thurgood Marshall students and siblings can check out books.
    • You can keep in touch with Thurgood Marshall by visiting our school website (, our PTA website ( and by liking Thurgood Marshall Elementary on Facebook. You can also join the Thurgood Marshall Parents Group on Facebook, which is a forum for Thurgood Marshall parents and caregivers to share ideas and resources.