A Message from Your PTSA
Whether you're working from home; working in a frontline position; managing a house full of people in each others’ spaces; or facing the new reality of making ends meet without a job - these are challenging times! Trying to keep kids occupied, engaged and educated is difficult. It's messy, it's hard, and it's confusing, but you’re not alone. Be kind to yourself. Forgive your mistakes and moods, and celebrate your successes, no matter how small.
Thank you to the people reaching out to other parents, sharing your stories, challenges, successes, and hilarious memes. In such a singular event, being part of a community is so important.
Please remember that our teachers are also getting used to their new job requirements. They are working hard to support you and your children in this unprecedented time. The teachers are also trying to figure out Zoom and MS Teams, how to engage and motivate middle schoolers over the internet, how to manage anxious parents - all while caring for their own kiddos and trying to stay safe and healthy.
We are all in the same boat in rough seas. Please give your teachers the same grace and leeway you’d want for yourself. Some parents will want their kids to get more homework to keep them busy. Some will want less because current demands are too much. And some just can't engage at all right now.
Our Eckstein teachers are here to help your kids, as they have always been. If you have specific challenges or questions - reach out! But please practice patience and respect as we all adjust to this constantly and quickly changing environment.
Stay safe and healthy,
Your PTSA Co-President, Shelley Prosise
Updates from Seattle Public Schools
Spring Break will still take place as originally scheduled.
Laptops for Students
A few thousand existing laptops will be distributed to students in need. (More laptops and WiFi hotspots have been ordered and should arrive in the next week or two.) High school seniors will be the first to receive laptops, followed by all other high schoolers, middle schoolers, and, lastly, elementary students.
It takes several hours to prepare a laptop for distribution, and the district is asking for your help. If you work for a company that could volunteer assistance, please contact Natalya at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The district is currently working on a plan for more robust Summer School offerings.
Grades and Credit Requirements
The district is waiting for guidance on online class grading and credit requirements for graduation. The Washington State Board of Education will issue its recommendations after an April 8th board meeting.
SPS Special Education Services
Seattle Public Schools has posted learning resources for students receiving special education services on its COVID-19 resource page. Families with IEPs should hear from staff this beginning this week. There is also an FAQ for students receiving specialized services with an IEP and or 504 plan.
COVID-19 Health Info in Spanish
The Washington State Department of Health has started a Spanish language version of their blog featuring lots of COVID-19 information. If you know someone who prefers to get information in Spanish, please pass on this link: https://medium.com/bienestarwa
Childcare Slots Still Available
The Boys and Girls Club of King County has 12 sites (five running in partnership with SPS) with openings for free childcare for children of essential workers and children experiencing homelessness or in foster care. There is a $50 one-time membership fee and there are scholarships available. The sites are ready to serve SPS students, K-12. If you have a child 3 to 4-years-old and they have an older sibling enrolled, Boys and Girls Club will be able to accept them.
Resources From Your Eckstein Counselors.
(This has been condensed from last week's newsletter)
These are challenging and overwhelming times for all of us. Your school counselors are available if you want to check in, have questions, or are looking for resources. You and your student can access us through Schoology or via our email addresses below. Please don't hesitate to reach out if we can be of assistance.
Student meal sites operate from 11am until 1pm, Monday through Friday. The sites are OPEN during the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” period and social distancing is enforced. All SPS students can participate, and meals can be picked up by anyone in your family. Eckstein Middle School is a distribution site. Please enter and exit through the cafeteria doors, at the courtyard area near the portables.
There are 26 meal sites across the city, find them here.
Meals are also being delivered by yellow bus, along normal bus routes, three hours after morning pick up (you can find a map of the Eckstein bus routes here).
Weekend Food Support
Weekend food bags, consisting of non-perishables, are available for all families in need. To pick up food bags at Eckstein, please enter and exit from the courtyard area, near portables on the east side of the building. More details about the food program can be found on the COVID-19 Student Meal page.
Low-cost internet options are available for Seattle residents, so you can stay connected and complete work at home. http://www.seattle.gov/tech/services/internet-access/low-cost-home-internet-access-for-residents
King County Postpones Property Tax Deadline
Due to the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, King County extended the first-half 2020 property tax deadline to June 1. This extension applies to individual residential and commercial taxpayers who pay property taxes themselves, rather than through their mortgage lender. Banks and other financial institutions that pay property taxes on behalf of their lending customers will still need to meet the original April 30 deadline. If you have questions, contact King County Treasury at email@example.com or 206-263-2890.
Due to the number of COVID-19 cases in our state, the Washington Health Plan Finder is offering a limited 30-day special enrollment period for qualified people who currently do not have insurance. This opportunity runs through April 8, 2020.
The Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) has 50 job openings in areas of accounting, case management, clinical support, counseling, substance abuse treatment, project management, software development, and more. See the listings and apply online at https://www.desc.org/get-involved/work-at-desc/ Also see the Critical Job Opportunities page on the WorkSource Seattle-King County website.
Government information and Resources During Pandemic
Find information and links to City of Seattle programs and services for those significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Also listed are community, county, and state resources. The page is continuously updated to reflect developments and changes.
Volunteer Tech Support Needed
The Seattle Council PTSA is seeking volunteers who would be willing to help SPS parents with remote tech support in our new age of online schooling. If you’re interested you can sign up on this google docs form.
Mercy Magnuson House Community Pantry needs donations
The pantry will accept items Monday-Friday, 9:30am - 5pm, in the coming weeks. Families can drop off items to Education Liaison Brittney Friend in her office. To find her, go in the front door of Mercy Magnuson, turn right, and then find her office near the mailboxes. Any non-perishables would be appreciated. This pantry supplies food to our greater NE Seattle community. The agency is working on a plan for how this food will be distributed/delivered to families in need.
Food Banks in Need
Local food banks are short on toiletry supplies, food, volunteers, and money. Please help if you can.
Food Lifeline: https://foodlifeline.org/covid19/
The University District Food Bank: https://www.udistrictfoodbank.org/donate/food/
FamilyWorks Family Resource Center and Food Banks: https://familyworksseattle.org/coronavirus-response/
North Helpline Emergency Services and Food Bank: https://www.northhelpline.org/
Mary’s Place Seattle: https://www.marysplaceseattle.org/
Ballard Food Bank: https://www.ballardfoodbank.org/
All In Seattle
All In Seattle is a group of Seattleites and community members who are quickly deploying resources directly to proven non-profits who can deliver to those most in need. Find more information about their citywide fundraiser here. All In Seattle launched on March 23, and raised over $27 million. Donations will continue for as long as needed.
Creative Writing Resources
Seattle Arts and Lectures and Writers in the Schools (WITS) have compiled some resources of creative writing lesson plans, videos and prompts from WITS writers in a shared google drive with resources organized by age. You can access the resources here: https://lectures.org/youth-programs/wits/
Stay in Touch, Eagles
Did your student try out for a spring sport? If so, send Haley Stern a picture of your student showing their sporty side! firstname.lastname@example.org
Eckstein Social Media
Check out Eckstein's Instagram account (@InsideEckstein) for daily "Kindness Dares!"
Resources from the Library
Ms. Sterling's Reading Suggestions
Check out the 2019 end-of-the-year lists she put together!
Realistic Fiction Tough Issues Suggestions
Realistic Fiction Lighthearted Suggestions
Historical Fiction Suggestions
Graphic Novel Suggestions
Author of Color Suggestions
Access to Seattle Public Library's Digital Resources
Free eBooks and audiobooks through Seattle Public Library – yes, students already have a digital library card! Libby is a free app through the Seattle Public Library and students already have a digital library card that they will never get fines on. Follow steps below, but the digital card # is 990000 followed by the 7-digit student ID # which can be found on The Source. Their pin is their birthdate without the year. All students in middle and high schools have one of these! This digital library card can also be used to access some other digital resources as well – see below!
Find the perfect place to read, read a book, snap a photo or draw a picture, share on social media with “WhereIRead, and email picture to Ms. Sterling. We’ll post on the Eckstein Library Instagram! Follow Eckstein Library on Instagram @ecksteinlibrary for book reviews, articles, and more!