Orca Splash

Orca Splash
Posted on 09/15/2021

Dear Wonderful K-4 SWES Families!  I have been reminded of this beautiful quote as we have welcomed our children back to school "To me, there is no picture so beautiful as bright-eyed, happy children; no music so sweet as their clear and ringing laughter." All of the work of preparing and planning that our staff (and families!) have engaged in comes to life as our children return to school!  

Below please find updates and announcements I wanted to share with all of you!

Gratitude to our Teachers and Support Staff!  We are so incredibly fortunate to have the most caring, committed and talented staff of teachers I have ever had the pleasure to work with.  While focusing on our students' academic growth - they are also very focused on building strong relationships with their students and providing consistent social and emotional support and engagement.  We know that powerful learning occurs when powerful relationships are built between teachers and students.  We are also supported by an incredible team of support staff - from our para educators who serve students in a million and one ways, to our custodial team, food services, maintenance team - everyone plays an important role in our school - and we are grateful to each of them! 

We're a Caring School Community School:  This year, we are using the comprehensive social emotional learning curriculum Caring School Community to help us create an environment where each student feels safe, accepted, encouraged and happy. We are creating a culture of kindness and respect.  Caring School Community focuses on building relationships with and among students, directly teaching social skills, creating calm, orderly learning environments through the use of effective classroom management practices, and helping students acquire self-discipline through a caring and effective approach to discipline. Classes will have daily Morning Circles and daily check-ins. Look for Home Connections Sheets and Home Sharing Activity sheets that your students will bring home and review with you - their "home partner."  All of our students and staff are also practicing following the Orca Code and being Safe, Respectful, Responsible and Kind. Together, we are creating an amazing school community.  

Mrs. Pfeiffer:  As some of you may be aware, our wonderful school counselor Mrs. Katharine Pfeiffer retired at the end of last school year.  Our staff and children will miss her!  We are so fortunate to have Amanda Potter with us to fill this critical student support role.  Ms. Potter serves as our school social worker - and works closely with our families, staff and students!  You can reach Amanda at apotter@sw.wednet.edu if you have questions or would like to explore 

Virtual Books Clubs with our Partners at Sno Isle Library:  We are thrilled that our wonderful library team (Jayanne Bixby and Tracy Miller) at Sno Isle Library are once again offering "virtual" books clubs for our students grades 1st-8th.  If you are interested in signing up your child - please complete this short survey: https://forms.gle/ubt5okympdHYwTPp7

Picture Day is Coming! Leo's Photography will be here on Tuesday, October 5th for student school photos! We will have (by Monday 9/13) a link on the main page of our SWES K-4  website for online ordering of your child's pictures: https://swesnorth.sw.wednet.edu/

Parent Volunteers:  We are so pleased that we will be able to welcome parent / family volunteers back into our school!  We will be sending out interest surveys to families regarding volunteer opportunities by October 1st.  Please note that all volunteers who wish to volunteer in person at school must provide proof of Covid vaccination, engage in masking and complete our parent volunteer packet.  Look for more information coming soon!

Family Classroom Meetings on September 2nd:  Hopefully, many of our families had the opportunity to participate in our 9/2 virtual classroom teacher family meetings.  These meetings took the place of our fall curriculum night, so families could immediately meet and connect with their child's classroom teacher.  If you were not able to participate in those meetings, please reach out to your child's teacher for a copy of the recorded link of the meeting.  

Orca Code:  Our students have spent time with our wonderful para educator team engaging in "school walkabouts" to review what our Orca Code ("We are Safe, Respectful, Responsible and Kind") looks like at lunch time, recess, on the bus and in our hallways.  Our students have been truly amazing in showing their understanding and respect for our Orca Code around our school! 

No Cost Lunch & Breakfast:  Just a quick reminder that ALL students are eligible for free lunch and breakfast this year!  If you have any questions, contact our office at 360-221-4600.

Welcome Deann Houck!!  We are SO fortunate to have the wonderful Deann Houck join our staff as our head secretary of our K-4 campus after Kim Glandon's retirement last spring.  Deann has been a long time SWSD employee and raised her family in our community. Welcome Deann!! The one and only Jennie Franks continues to support our families, staff and students in a million and one ways as our registrar and attendance coordinator.  Reach out these amazing ladies at 360-221-4600 if there is anything you need!  

Thank you all for your support, trust and understanding as we navigate the ongoing challenges of Covid.  Please know that we are here to answer your questions -  so please reach out if we can be of support. 

We appreciate you!


Susie Richards


South Whidbey Elementary School K-4
(pronouns: she/her)
srichards@sw.wednet.edu / (360) 221-4600

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