Orca Splash -- Principal Newsletter

February 10, 2020                                                                                                          

Hello K-4 Families! 

I'm looking out my office window and I see SUNSHINE and daffodils forming their flowers and pea starts flourishing in our hallway garden racks. . . spring is on the way!  I'm so pleased we've been able to still get the children outside in spite of the rain for most days, thanks to our dedicated team of paraprofessionals who brave the elements to keep our kids moving and active outdoors! 

 Below please find updates, news and requests! 

 Volunteer Packets:  If you haven't yet completed your volunteer packet (that includes background check) and plan to chaperon any upcoming field trips - please stop by the office and pick one up. The office will make a copy of your driver's license to complete the packet which is valid for 2 years.  We do require those packets to be completed for anyone working or engaging with our children - even if it's just to come by and have lunch!  

 Farm Stand Produce on "First Fridays" - Speaking of spring - our school farm is buzzing with activity as our students and farm team are busy preparing the soil and planting!  Keep your eyes open for our "First Friday" school farm produce stand being set up outside of the community room when you are dropping off your children in the morning.  Thank you to our awesome farm team for their amazing work with our children.

 Diversity Lessons - In addition to the daily work our teachers engage in surrounding diversity and equity in the classroom, we have some special guests coming in this month!  Kenesha Lewin and Jolene Westphal are engaging in lessons in our Kindergarten and first grade classrooms to support our children in their understanding and acceptance of people from all backgrounds, race and ethnicity.  I had the opportunity to sit in on one of their lessons in a kindergarten classroom - and the conversations and activities were so beautiful!  Kenesha serves as the youth and cultural programs coordinator for Readiness to Learn, and coordinates the Real Action Creates Equity (R.A.C.E.) program at the South Whidbey Community Center.  Jolene holds a Washington State counseling certificate and engaged in her counseling internship at South Whidbey Elementary School. 

 South Whidbey Community Center:  If you haven't checked out all of the great programs and classes happening (for adults and children!) at the SW Community Center, check out their website: https://southwhidbeycommunitycenter.org/ If you see a class you'd love your child to participate in but finances are tight, please contact me and we can identify scholarships! 

 Random Acts of Kindness:  Today we kick off our Random Acts of Kindness Week - and it's been wonderful seeing the children show appreciation today. Many children chose to forgo recess today to go into the community room and work on cards of appreciation for those serving in our military.  BIG THANKS to Ellen Wallace for her coordination of this wonderful program! 

 Gratitude:  Speaking of random acts of kindness - I want to give a big shout out to our staff who engage in acts of kindness with our students all year long!  Every day, I see staff members quietly and consistently making a difference in the lives of our students.  Our teachers care so deeply and work so hard to support their students' academic, social and emotional health.  Our support staff (front office staff, health team, para educators, maintenance team, food service team) are there for our kids daily, supporting them in a million and one ways.  So - big appreciation to ALL!                                                            

 Food Service:  If you haven't had lunch in the cafeteria lately - come check it out - I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!  Our food services team is working closely with our Wellness / Nutrition team and seeing some fabulous additions to our menu through more scratch cooking and other enhancements.  Through the innovation of our food service director Rachael Mathews, we'll soon be partnering with our PE teacher Craig Stelling to engage in weekly nutrition education in the PE program.  Students will learn about nutrition and engage in some "tasting" of upcoming menu items.

 SWEPTA has Orca wear for grades K-4, and Cougar wear for 5-8: If you missed your chance to order Spirit Wear...never fear! We're offering a chance to order again on our website, now through Monday, February 17th. You can place orders for multiple campuses in one order, just note the students name, grade and teacher in the comments.  You can also place donation orders for the principal’s closet.


 Please mark your calendar:

Feb. 11th - Report Cards home with Students

Feb. 17th - Presidents' Day - School Closed

Feb. 20th - SWEPTA Mtg 4pm Cougar Den

Feb. 21st - SWEPTA Free Movie Night (Frozen 2) 6:30pm K-4 Gym

Feb. 27th & 28th - SWEPTA Jog-a-thon (more information to come)

March 6th - Farm Stand Produce

March 13 - Coffee with the Principal

March 13 - SWEPTA Free Bingo Night! 6:00pm K-4 Gym


It gives me such joy to see our school filled with so many caring, committed and engaged parents, grandparents and community members!  Your volunteer support makes a difference every day, in so many ways, for our students.  If you're interested in exploring volunteer opportunities (or know someone who is!) please check out our "Blue Crew" volunteer page and connect with our amazing volunteer coordinator Brooke Cornwell: https://sw.wednet.edu/volunteers

Happy February to one and all!


Susie Richards


South Whidbey Elementary School K-4

(pronouns: she/her)

srichards@sw.wednet.edu / (360) 221-4600




Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.