It’s Pathfinder wreath time–order now!

This year we are taking online orders and selling our hand-made bows in addition to our special Pathfinder wreaths! Order yours now!


Support the Pathfinder Playground


Playground Clan Competition

We are in the final stretch of fundraising to build our playground next summer.  So far we’ve raised $16,300 towards our winter fundraising goal of $50,000.  If you plan to give but haven’t done so yet, please do so now! The Clan Competition ends Friday, December 19 and to give your clan credit for your donation, email Michelle Ellis-Bevil at  Hall leaders to date:
Sky Hall – Turtle Clan $850
Earth Hall – Octopus Clan $650
Water Hall – Blue Heron Clan $1275
Middle School – Snake Clan $150
To volunteer on business outreach and event planning, please contact Susan Melrose at


Early Dismissal

Attention Families! Friday dismissal is ONE hour early! The kids will be released at 2:10 and ready for Winter Break!


The Earth Project Cookbook

The Earth Project team is seeking recipes for simple and delicious family food from our very own Pathfinder community. This is our last call-out for recipes so we can work on publishing the book in Spring!


The cookbook will include a history of our school garden and kid art in addition to 20 recipes for Fall/Winter and 20 recipes for Spring/Summer. Do you have any favorite recipes that come to mind as you read this? If there is a story or a tale to tell about your recipe, we’d love for you to share it with us.


The Cookbook Team would like recipes that highlight ingredients that come from our school garden or other Pacific Northwest grown ingredients. The more kid-friendly, the better!  If possible, include ways that your recipes can be modified for dietary restrictions. 


Please send your recipes to Karen Stone at kk.stone2(at), or there will be an envelope on the wall by the front office for you to drop off recipes, pictures, photos and any stories you want to share. The deadline is Friday, December 19th, 2014. 



Pathfinder Giving Tree

The Holiday Season is upon us! During this very busy time of year as we scramble to bake all the cookies, make all the wreaths and attend all the parties take a moment to check out our Giving Tree located next to the front office. Donations are direct contributions to families in our Pathfinder community. Questions? Please contact our school counselor, Colette at Thank you! Happy Holidays to you all!


Creative Approach Application Draft – for Review and Feedback

The Creative Approach Committee has developed/written a complete draft of a Creative Approach proposal. Based on our conversations and research our proposal has evolved into one that is centered on Social Emotional Learning (SEL).

We think this fits our school and has the potential to be a powerful avenue for transformation and growth. If we do it well, it will be amazing.

We want and need community feedback.  Please take some time to review and come to the meeting on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, December 2,  we will be holding a Town Hall meeting to get your feedback, ideas and thoughts.  The Town Hall  meeting will be from 6:00 – 7:30 in the cafeteria.  Please join us to give feedback on our CAS application. 

CAS Application Final Draft

Appendix 2 — Middle School Rites of Passage Across Grade Levels

Appendix 2 — Middle School Rites of Passage Across Grade Levels


Pathfinder honored for its improvements in reading and math

2014 School of DistinctionCongratulations to the Pathfinder staff and students for being named a 2014 School of Distinction! From the Center for Educational Effectiveness’ press release:

Bellevue WA – October 28, 2014 – Outstanding improvement in reading and math sustained over a five‐year period is the reason that 101 schools in Washington state received the 2014 School of Distinction (SOD) award today. The Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) in partnership with the Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD), the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP), Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA), Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA), and Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (WSASCD) have recognized schools in the top 5% of improvement for their levels.

The 2014 School of Distinction award winners include 54 elementary schools, 22 middle / junior high schools, 17 high schools, and 8 alternative schools. This award is the eighth annual School of Distinction award in Washington State and includes nine schools who are first‐time winners and multiple‐year winners including Mercer International Middle School (Seattle Public Schools) which is a six time winner of the SOD award. Describing the schools that are designated as School of Distinction award winners, Greg Lobdell, President of CEE noted, “These schools are from all regions of the state, all sizes of towns, with a range from 2.7% to 100% poverty and enrollment of English Language Learners as high as 40%. These schools demonstrate that significant improvement is occurring all across our diverse public schools.”


Playground Fundraising

Glass tiles to be installed on playground

Samples of the tiles that will be engraved and installed on the playground–$250, $100 and $50 sizes (L to R). The $100 size will be blue/green also.


Hello ALL!! The playground needs YOUR help raising funds so we can break ground summer of 2015! We are looking to raise $50,000 by March 1st! It can be done lots of ways and one way is help spread the word at Pathfinder events. Take a look the latest sign up genius and see if you can pitch in! Maybe with a friend!


Meet Elk Clan (4/5) teacher, Talia!


Talia as a 4th grader.

Hello! My name is Talia Maas-Howard, and I’m thrilled to be joining the
Pathfinder team this year as the 4th/5th grade Elk Clan teacher. I was
born and raised in Northern California where I completed my BA in
Development Studies at UC Berkeley. I worked in various capacities in the Oakland Unified School District before moving to Seattle to pursue an
Elementary Credential and a Masters in Teaching from the University of

In my free time I enjoy gardening, playing soccer, hiking,
reading, and listening to live music. I greatly look forward to
strengthening relationships with the students, families, and staff that
make up the Pathfinder community.


Elk Clan (4/5) teacher, Talia.


Important Information about Pathfinder’s Creative Approach Application

Your Building Leadership Team (BLT) and the Pathfinder staff have agreed that this will be the year Pathfinder engages in the application process to become a Creative Approach school. THIS IS A CALL FOR PROPOSALS as to what that approach will be. The process is vigorous and our timeline is tight. However, this may be the last year that the opportunity will be made available hence the push to apply this year for the following school year. Proposals are due on October 30th at 9:00 a.m. Community involvement is crucial to the success of the application. Please see the following embedded document for additional information on Creative Approach Schools, our deadlines/process, as well as the proposal questions.

Once the proposals are turned in a very busy Creative School Committee will be assessing the applications to determine the direction of our approach. This committee will be made up of staff, PTSA Board members and other parents. Pathfinder’s deadline for submitting the application is December 19th. There will be a Town Hall to review and discuss the application prior to its submission. Date to be announced.

If you are completely (or partially) in the dark about Creative Approach schools like I was until a month ago, I am available as your BLT parent representative to answer any questions as is David. We are excited about the possibilities for Pathfinder as a Creative Approach school and although the process will be intense and rigorous, feel that it is a worthy endeavor!

–Odetta Owen, BLT and PTSA Board Member


Bullying 101

We had a very informative speaker come share with us at  our PTSA meeting about Bullying. What is bullying versus what is simply mean or with younger kids, just trying to sort out social boundaries and etiquette. She shared some handouts with those in attendance but we know not everyone could be there so we wanted to share the information with everyone so here you go:


bully handout

parent handouts for powerpoint



Volunteer to be a Clan Coordinator!

Volunteer for Clan Coordinator

We need your help!

  • Coordinate help for your teacher by communicating information to the parents.
  • Act as a communication channel from the school organizers and PTSA to the parents in your class.
  • Get to know the other parents in your class as well as your child’s classmates.
  • Get support from your Outreach coordinator (Karie Koltz) and the other clan coordinators during the year with social meetings.

There are openings for the following clans:

Orca, Falcon, Raven, Coyote, Bear, Snake, Bee, Fox and Sea Star

Contact Karie Koltz at or call 206-769-6713. We need spots filled!


Welcoming our new Garden Educator

Tara Migliore Potter is Pathfinder’s incoming Garden Educator, and she comes to our school with rich experience of weaving garden time in with class instruction. To learn more about Pathfinder’s school garden or to get on her volunteer list, contact Tara at tara(at)

ATT00002I live in Highland Park with my husband, 2.5 year old son, and our pets: 1 cat and 3 chickens. I am very excited to be part of the Pathfinder K-8 community, sharing my passion for permaculture gardening and connecting youth and families to nature. I have a BA in Environmental Studies and Ecology from the University of Washington’s Program on the Environment, and I will be finishing my MA at Antioch University Seattle this December with a degree in Environment and Community which focuses on food systems and social change. I hope to get to know many of the families in our community in the coming months, so please come say hello or stop by the garden to see what is growing.TMigliore



volunteer for the 2014-2015 school year

We need you! Lashanna Williams, our Volunteer Chair, would like you to fill out this google form, so she knows how you’d like to help. THANKS! It’s going to be a great year at Pathfinder!


Bell schedule for 2014-15

image by flickr user alexkerheadWith the change in the length of the day and the new, later, start time, we have a new bell schedule for next year.
8:35 First Bell
8:40 Second Bell
11:10 – 11:30 K/1 Lunch 11:30 – 11:50 K/1 Recess
11:25 – 11:45 2/3 Lunch 11:45 – 12:05 2/3 Recess
12:00 – 12:10 MS Lunch 12:10 – 12:30 MS Recess
12:30 – 12:50 4/5 Lunch 12:50 – 1:10 4/5 Recess
3:10 End of School
3:20 Buses leave

image courtesy of flickr user alexkerhead


Playground Design Revealed!!

Our Playground Design was revealed Monday night! It was very exciting and encouraging to hear the architect discuss how hard they worked to integrate as many of the suggestions as possible. There will be added green space, a running track, some bouldering rocks, 2 compass designs and additional playground equipment in addition to what is already there.

As folks enjoyed their ice cream, they chimed in with ways they would like to help through procuring materials to fundraising funds.

A HUGE thank you to Susan Melrose, Toni Wells, Kathleen Mullins, Holli Margell, Kelly Guenther and a host of others who have spent hours writing grants, collecting pledges, reaching out to the community and working with the PTSA to get this project underway.

Our second grant – the DON grant – has been submitted and we are hopeful it will be awarded to us. We will hear more on that in August. In the meantime, reach out to Susan if you want to help in any way