We want you!

We Want You!There are opportunities to serve on the 2016-2017 board!

1. Treasurer – custodian of PTSA funds/tracking and recording all financial transactions/working with outgoing treasurer/monthly budget report at PTSA board meetings/executive committee board member/background in accounting practices as well as finances in non-profits helpful – Requires approximately 1-3 hours per week. Contact Jennifer Babuca at

Feel free to also contact PTSA President, Odetta Owen using our Contact Us page with any questions!

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2016-17 school year calendar

image by flickr user, PG.NETO, licensed CC 2.0.

image by flickr user, PG.NETO, licensed CC 2.0.

Did you know?

The school year calendar for 2016-17 is now published on the Seattle Public Schools website.

A printable PDF of the key dates for the 2016-17 school year is also available here.

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Pathfinder Jumpstart FAQ 2016

pathfinderPTSA tinyWelcome to Pathfinder!

You have questions, lots of questions . . .

Here are some of the answers.

Pathfinder PTSA and K-1 Teacher, Genya Scharks, who is a staff representative to the PTSA, collaborated to prepare this FAQ in the hopes of answering some of your many questions.

• When does school start/end?
The first bell rings at 8:40 and the tardy bell rings at 8:45. Kindergarten rooms are open at 8:25 to children. Please be sure to arrive by 8:45. It is very difficult for children to come in late.

Dismissal is at 3:15. Parents may pick up at the classroom. Teachers will then walk children to Blazing Trails and their school bus. Kindergarten students are never left alone. They are always handed off to another adult.

• Where do we park?
You may park in the parking lot across from the school or along the right side of the road coming into the school. The parking lot next to the field is used for buses. You may park in the center spots, but the buses travel around the outside circle. If at all possible, have your child ride the bus.

• How do I figure out which bus my child takes? Or, my child would have to walk 5 blocks to the bus stop – how do I make changes with transportation? Do I need to tell them whether my child is taking the bus or not?
The number to Seattle Public Schools Transportation is 252-0900. Please call them with any questions. You should receive bus information in the mail. If you haven’t received information and your child will be taking the bus, give them a call.

• How do I set up a school lunch account for my child? How do I apply for free & reduced lunch?
All children receive a lunch account and number. You can ask your child’s teacher or the lunchroom for this number. Teachers will be teaching their account number to any child buying lunch.

You can put money in the account by giving a check to the lunch room. They serve breakfast before school, so this is a great time to do it. You can also give a check to your child’s teacher and they can get it to the lunch room.

You can visit the Nutrition Services for the Seattle School District to put money on your child’s account online.

Free and reduced lunch applications can also be done on the site listed above. The lunchroom and office staff have applications too.

• What time is lunch? How long do kindergarteners have for lunch?
Kindergarteners eat lunch with the first graders at 11:15. They go out to lunch recess at 11:35. They can stay in and eat for a while if they are not finished.

• How do we find out what dietary restrictions there are for lunches, such as, anaphylactic allergies – and classroom treats?
We do not serve snacks with nuts, but there are no restrictions at lunch. There is a peanut free table for children with allergies. Children are not allowed to share any food to prevent allergic reactions. If there are any other specific restrictions, your child’s teacher will let you know (this is rare). When bringing birthday treats, the teachers will work with the parents of children with allergies to ensure there is an appropriate treat available. You do not need to worry about this.

• How does Pathfinder balance classes? Are changes made?
Pathfinder balances classes based on all of the available information including: gender, birthdates, ethnicity, and siblings already at Pathfinder. Changes may be made during the week of Jumpstart. You will find out your child’s permanent placement Thursday or Friday of this week.

• What is the attendance line phone number?
Please call the office if your child will not be at school. The number is 252-9712.

• How do I make a change in how my child will go home?
If you want to change your child’s pick-up plan, contact your child’s teacher before 8:00 am or tell them at drop off/send a note. Teachers do not always have time to check e-mail during the day. If your plans change after this, please call the office BEFORE 2:15 and a note will be delivered to the teacher.

How about what to do process-wise if someone else will pick my child up from school? Or the bus? Or how to take a friend’s bus to a play date?
Telling the teacher is the most helpful. You can call the office if school has already begun for the day. To take a friend’s bus for a play date, call (206) 252-9710 or stop by the office. They will write a “green card” for your child so they can get on the bus. This will be delivered to the teacher.

• How can we contact other families in our classroom? How can we keep our information confidential?
Teachers will provide a classroom contact list after the first few weeks of school. If you do not want your information to be given to other families, we will not include it. The contact list is only for classroom families. It is great for planning birthday parties and playdates.

Also, Pathfinder PTSA prepares a Family Directory that is distributed free of charge to every family. Look for the Family Directory form in your First Day Packet.

• I’m on the waitlist; when will I find out if my child is in at Pathfinder for sure?
The waitlist no longer exists for this school year.

• How can I help in the classroom?
Teachers love to have volunteers! We will start having volunteers in the room in early October. You will receive more information about volunteering at the end of September. If you are unable to volunteer in the classroom, but would like to help in a different way, please contact Karen Hogan Li, our Volunteer Coordinator, at, or 954.294.6314 voicemail or text. Look for the Volunteer Form in your First Day Packets. Karen would appreciate if you would complete the short form online.

• Will the kindergarteners be coming across 8th graders?
Yes, but they are always wonderful with the younger kids. We do not eat lunch or have recess with the older kids, so we do not have a lot of interaction with them but they will run into each other in the halls.

• Where is lost and found kept?
There is a large wooden bin for lost and found in the lunch room. Please write your child’s first and last name on everything: sweaters, lunch box, and coats. Missing items will find their way back much easier with a name.

• What happens during a lockdown? Shelter in place? Will I be notified? Can I come into the school? Why is the school locked?
When a lockdown happens, all doors are locked and children are moved to a nonvisible spot in the room. They remain there quietly until it is safe to go back to normal activity. During a shelter in place all external doors are locked and children remain in the building but go about their day as usual. No one, including parents, are allowed into the school during these times. The school is locked because there is a possible threat in the neighborhood and we want to keep the children safe.

• How do we find out about general school information?
The office e-mails out the Hot Sheet and the Compass to share information. If you don’t have e-mail, your teacher will get it to you in paper form. Your teacher will also be sending home newsletters. The school website is and the PTSA website is You can also follow the Pathfinder PTSA on Facebook, at this public page: These are great places for information.

• How do I get added to the Pathfinder Community Communication and Earth Project Facebook groups?
These are both moderated closed Facebook groups for Pathfinder community members. You must request admission to the groups. Go to Facebook, and search for Pathfinder School Community Communication Tool. If you are interested in the Earth Project, search for Pathfinder Earth Project. Request admission to the group. Within a few days, you will be added to these closed groups.

Pathfinder PTSA has a Facebook page, visible to the public and offering school and PTSA related information:

• I have other questions! Where do I go?
Your child’s teacher is a great place to start. The office can often answer questions too – Danielle Otey and Lani Huston are our fabulous office staff. Your classroom clan coordinator (room parent) is also a great resource. If you have a question, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are all here to help you!

For more answers to your questions:
o Pathfinder Parent Handbook included in your First Day Packet, and on the school website.
o Pathfinder Family Directory distributed by the PTSA usually in December
o Pathfinder K8 School Website:
o Pathfinder PTSA Website:
o Seattle Public Schools Website:

For more details on how to stay informed at Pathfinder K8, check out this page of information!

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New budget, new PTSA officers!

playground compassAt last week’s year end celebration the budget for 2016-2017 and next year’s executive committee were overwhelmingly approved. You can review next year’s budget. It is no longer “proposed” but actual!

Officers for next year:

  • Odetta Owen – President
  • Sarah Steinke – Vice-President
  • Sigrid Brunet – Secretary
  • Jennifer Babuca – Co-Treasurer
  • (one position still remains, an additional co-treasurer, maybe YOU)

We happily welcome back Gillian Maguire (Communications), Susan Elderkin (Fundraising), Suzi Zurek (Membership), Tasha Mosher (Earth Project), Chris Kindem (Middle School Liaison) and Cecelia Lehmann (Legislative).

We are thrilled to have Karen Hogan Li (Volunteer Committee) and Holli Margell (Bullying Prevention) Jules Strong (Autism Liaison) join us and grateful to Ceceila Lehmann for taking on Wreaths next year along with Legislative. Welcome Maureen Clark who will be Co-Coordinating the Earth Project with Tasha Mosher.

Lari Garrison and Greg Goldstein return in the capacity of Autism Liaison and Safety Committee Liaison respectively.

Pat Hanulick, Chris Kindem, and Flip Fortier remain with us as our Financial Review Committee and Kelly Guenther and Lisa Wharf join us as in the capacities of marketing and consulting respectively.

We would love to have a co-chair for Legislative, especially during the Wreath season! We are excited to see what next year brings in the life of PTSA and Pathfinder!

-by Odetta Owen, PTSA President,

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Proposed PTSA budget for 2016-2017

PTSA red and black compass SQUAREUpdate:  The proposed budget was approved at the June 9 General PTSA Meeting.

The proposed budget for the PTSA for 2016-17 and helpful pie charts are at the top of this Budget page.

Questions about the budget can be directed to our Co-Treasurer, Jennifer Babuca

Please join us for a presentation and vote on this budget at the General PTSA meeting this Thursday, June 9, from 5:00-6:00.  See more information about the meeting here.

Everyone is welcome to this end-of-year celebration!


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Boxtops and Morgan Thriftway receipts!

box topsSummer’s coming, but you can keep keep collecting those Box Tops and Morgan Thriftway receipts!

Each Box Top brings 10¢, and Morgan Thriftway donates 1% of the total on every receipt.

For more details on how you can Shop and Earn for Pathfinder, check out this information.

Thank you!

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Shop Amazon and earn $ for Pathfinder

amazon_assoc-ads_feature-tile_180x150Don’t forget to use the Amazon Affiliate link over the summer – it’s active and generating income for our school all year long.

Bookmark this Affiliate link now!

For more ways to shop and earn for Pathfinder, check out this information.

Thank you!

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Wreath garden at Pathfinder

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.  All things are bound together.  All things connect.” – Chief Seattle

Tara smiling with lots of plants in the backgroundThe mission of The Earth Project is simple: To build connections to the earth and to one another. Yet manifesting that mission in an active school environment can be a challenge. Parents are busy. Children have a lot on their plates. Gardening is not a Common Core subject. Despite any of that, our garden educator Tara Migliore-Potter is working with the help of Earth Project (EP) volunteers to weave that thread of connection ever stronger.

EP volunteers meet the school where it is at this point and time. We look at the web of school life and see how the garden and conservation projects connect us all. Enter the Pathfinder Wreath Garden. Every winter, Pathfinder volunteers scour bushes, shrubs, trees, and Christmas Tree lots for greenery to create wreaths that fund our Outdoor Education program. Our idea for a wreath garden came from this tradition – We could start our own grove of attractive wreath-worthy plants!

Tara started picking out plants today for the wreath space. It will take some work to prepare the area for planting – our children are proficient pruners and weeders and will make quick work of it. There will also be an education piece to this project informing teachers, staff, students, and visitors that this area will include plants that are not for nibbling. However, we have taken care to select plants with very low toxicity to protect anyone who does venture a taste. We envision that this will be an area that will grow to include more plants, adding winter color and providing a beautiful buffer on the edge of the Pathfinder Garden.

For more information about how you can help with the Pathfinder garden, contact Tara at tamigliore(at)

by Tasha Mosher

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Why I became a PTSA member: Suzi’s Story

Suzi Zurek smilingSuzi's Story JPEG

I joined Pathfinder PTSA because I heard that parents of middle schoolers tend to disappear from the hallways. I feel this is an important time in kids’ lives. I want to stay involved, have a voice, and know what’s happening at school.

Suzi Zurek, Membership Chair

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Why I became a PTSA member: Greg’s story


Head shot of Greg Goldstein VP of PTSAGreg's Story JPEG

Two part answer, first – I wanted to give back to the Pathfinder community.

Second, this is more personal, I didn’t know enough of the inner workings of the PTSA to be able to comment or judge on what the PTSA did and didn’t do for my kids and our community as a whole. So, I decided to join the team so that I could have a better understanding and be the change that I was hoping for.

Greg Goldstein, Vice President


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