Summer Playdates

The calendar of grade level and neighborhood playdates for Cascadia Families is now available! Each playdate is on the events calendar, and a summary list is in the document below.

Come and play with others on the playground. Any grade/neighborhood is welcome as are friends and siblings of Cascadia students. You are welcome to bring your own picnic as you wish, and come/go at the time that best suits your family. We hope to see you there!

Contact [email protected] if you have further questions.



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Garden Educator Update

Thanks for all the fun, work, and learning in the Cascadia Garden!

Read all about the third graders’ spring garden experience below.


If you would like to continue gardening this summer, here are some fun possibilities:

  • Help at the Cascadia Garden during the summer!
  • Start a container or a small space garden. Radishes, tomatoes, and mint are all great plants to grow in a container. To learn more, check out some of these books available from the Seattle Public Library (the list also includes some of the books used during class and other fun garden-related books): SPL Garden Books
  • Visit or join a P-patch. The P-patch program consists of community gardens where Seattle residents can apply for a plot to garden. Some P-patches have spaces dedicated to a Children’s’ Garden. Read about the history of community gardening in Seattle: HistoryLink: P-patch Program (Seattle)
  • Visit a Seattle Learning Garden. The Tilth Alliance supports two Seattle gardens where kids can learn more about gardening. In Wallingford at Meridian Park you can visit the learning and children’s garden and Tilth Alliance’s office (located in the Good Shepard Center). The Wallingford Farmer’s Market is located at the park every Wednesday from 3-7pm, And in Rainer Beach, Tilth runs the Rainer Beach Learning Garden. On July 20th, visit the garden for Farm Fest, a celebration of urban farming and community.
  • Go to a local farm. The Tilth Alliance also provides a great directory of farms in the area and includes information about u-pick, farm tours, and children activities. Many of these local farms bring their freshly picked produce to Seattle Neighborhood Farmer’s Markets.
  • View the Seattle Public Library Summer of Learning video for 2019 that focuses on experiential learning in the outdoors supported by reading!

Happy summer and happy gardening!

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Volunteer Positions

The Cascadia PTA is still looking for volunteers for a few key jobs.  These are great choices for either new or returning parents.If any of these sound interesting, please contact [email protected].  The PTA looks forward to working with you!

1.  Someone who loves dotting i’s and crossing t’s to make sure the PTA meets all important dates and commitments next year.  The work load is steady through the year, but never more than two hours per week, with monthly check-ins at the board meetings.
2.  Someone who loves fiddling with the back-end of websites to join our dynamic communications team.  You don’t have to love writing newsletters, but staying on top of community happenings is a plus.  This is a year-long commitment still in development and may or may not include monthly board meetings.
3.  Someone who loves handing out awards to help coordinate our recognition committees and the annual Reflections Art context.  This position is a combination of a handful of discrete jobs throughout the year.  It is still in development and may or may not include monthly board meetings.
4.  Someone who loves sending out newsy updates to help with PTA fundraising communication.  This position would involve extra work during the annual fundraiser, but no on-going duties.  Great mentors for an easy ramp-up.
5.  Someone who loves working with other people and setting schedules to help coordinate volunteers for our expanded i-Lab program.  This position will include steady work throughout the year, but can mostly be done from home.

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Vote by August 6: School Board Primary

Remember to vote by August 6, 2019 for the Seattle School Board primary!

This year, 4 of the 7 seats on the Seattle School Board are up for election. With 12 primary candidates holding a wide variety of perspectives, your August 6 vote is incredibly important. If you will be out of town, make a plan to cast your vote while you are away. King County Elections has tips here.

The Seattle Times has posted profiles. The 32nd District Democrats have endorsed Eric Blumhagen. The 36nd District Democrats have endorsed Eric Blumhagen and Lisa Rivera Smith. The 43rd District Democrats have endorsed Eric Blumhagen, Lisa Rivera Smith, and Rebeca Muñiz. The 46th District Democrats have endorsed multiple candidates.

Additional endorsements will be shared when possible.


Stay in Touch with Cascadia This Summer







Dragon Digest is not weekly during summer, but expect periodic communications about summer playdates, back to school events and logistics, and ad hoc updates as needed. Here’s how to know if you’re “in the know.”

Families with students attending Cascadia in 2018-19
  • If you have opted into communications AND have a child currently in grades 1-4 you will continue to receive all news. If you have two children continuing next year, communications may arrive twice, because during summer they are sent by grade level.
  • Families who solely have a currently enrolled fifth grader will not receive communications beyond June 27. If you wish to receive info from the PTA, please register for our “Community” Mailing list. This includes families with an incoming younger student.
  • In the fall watch for detailed information about how to register your family to continue to receive communications and/or be included in the school directory.


Incoming Students and Interested Parties
  • For anyone who has an incoming student you can sign up for the Community mailing list. You will receive all of the same communications as current families.
  • In the fall watch for detailed information about how to register your family to continue to receive communications and/or be included in the school directory.

Lost and Found – final cleanout!

Please ask your child to go through the lost and found before the 27th, or pop in and check for items you recognize. The lost and found will be emptied by our parent volunteer on the morning of the last day of school.


Yearbooks have arrived!

Teachers are receiving yearbooks on Thursday, June 20. When they get handed out to students will be at teachers’ discretion. If the student is leaving before getting his or her yearbook, it can be picked up when they come to pick up their report card.

If you did not place an order, but would like a copy now, you can place your order online and have a copy delivered straight to your house. Please allow two weeks for printing and shipping. The cost is  $24.25 + $7.50 shipping.

Librarian Summer Send-Off

Dear Families,

Summer is just around the corner and I know many of you are looking forward to a slower pace, which means more time for great books!

Last week we had a great visit from Lena Quijano, the Children’s Librarian at the University Branch of SPL. She spoke to us about the Summer of Learning Program at the public libraries and shared some great book talks with us.

Below are some link and resources for summer reading suggestions. I hope you enjoy a fabulous summer, the great outdoors and a great book!

Merrick Bodmer

SPL Programs and Reading Suggestions:


Mrs. Bodmer’s Reading Suggestions and Book Lists:


Summer Reading: Book Lists and Tips for Every Age

Summer Reading Series


Outstanding Educator Award Winners

Dear Cascadia Families,
I am honored to announce this year’s recipients of the PTA’s Outstanding Educator Award: Jessica Gibbons and Katie Shae! Congratulations to both on this well earned honor. Read about why they were selected, as well as the other nominees, below.
From Ms. Gibbons’s nomination letter:
Ms. Gibbons is an incredibly organized, warm, and enthusiastic teacher who goes above and beyond to foster the academic and social growth of her students. She is a new teacher, but she’s a pro, teaching like she has 25 years of experience. She quickly established routines and expectations but also really dialed in to each kid (and family) to make all feel welcome, safe, and eager to learn. She seems genuinely excited about every project…. Her passion is contagious, and she creates an amazing learning environment that should be recognized.
From Ms. Katie’s nomination letter:
Katie Shae is the kind of staff member who can make a school feel more like home to our kids. She is on the front lines working with every student in the school, and she does it with immense respect and compassion. Katie is always 100% on in the school: she is the friendly voice that greets the kids, the one who guides them in lunch and on the playground, and one of the key people when it comes to making our school and events run…. Katie is willing to go the extra mile to make sure that the right things happen in a positive way. She’s always stepping in to lend a hand wherever needed…. She is cheerful, patient, calm under pressure, and organized.

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Congratulations, Cascadia Debate Team!

This past weekend, Team Cascadia competed with nearly 200 other students in the Debateable’s All-city Debate Tournament.

The eloquent orations of our 11 person strong team were recognized with Top Team and Top Speaker awards. Every team member won at least one round. Great job, debaters!

A big THANKS to our dynamic coaching duo, Derek and Diana Streat.

Top Speaker Awards:
Austin Elms
Sean Kohno
Sid Shirodkar

Top Team Award:
Marie Costanzo
Nico Thompson
Vishad Lamba


Box Tops for Education Requests

BoxTops = Money for the SelfHelp fund! Turn them in before 17 June and I’ll submit them and then BoxTops will send school a check. The collection box is in the corner to your left as you enter the Office, by the front windows.  Drop them into the Box Top cylinder.  

A Coordinator is needed to collect and submit them for 2019-2020 and beyond. Solo or as a team.  It is a pretty easy, low commitment job. Please contact me, Tyra, directly [email protected]  I can fill you in and get you setup in about 15minutes.


Letter from the President, May 2019

Dear Cascadia Families,

Our final PTA general meeting of the year was last Thursday, and it was very productive! Thanks to all who attended.

  • The PTA board presented a budget for next year, and it was approved by the general membership. We are excited to continue offering grade level programs such as Shakespeare and garden to our community. As we will have a full time general music teacher next year, the PTA is working to replace our STYLE program with an iLab program. Stay tuned for more details. Additionally, we will continue funding the counselor and instrumental music, as well as our many events throughout the year.
  • We also voted to approve the slate of nominees for next year’s board. This board is full of amazing parent volunteers and will be headed up by Megan Hazen as President. I have no doubt it will be a great year!
  • Finally, I am pleased to announce the recipient of this year’s Golden Acorn Award for honoring an individual who has given outstanding, continued, and dedicated volunteer service to the children of our school community–Jean Hanson. As written in her nomination letter: The 3rd Grade Garden program would not be what it is without Jean. She’s always ready to help with whatever needs to be done in the garden, to support Rowan’s lesson and help the kids learn in a way that’s fun. But—even more importantly—she’s a great “big picture” planner and always has amazing ideas for how to integrate educational concepts into garden activities. Her ability to make connections—between people, kids, ideas, projects, science, abstract concepts, and concrete realities—is inspiring.One standout is that she always evaluates her projects to include as many kids as possible as part of their school day….Jean’s consistent presence has provided a good deal of enrichment for the whole grade level.  Thank you, Jean, for all of the time and energy you have devoted to enriching our students’ learning experience at Cascadia!

Go Dragons!

Katie Detrano, Cascadia PTA President


Drop-off and Pick-up Safety Procedures

Please keep the Fire Lane Clear at all times.

Please follow pick up and drop off procedures every day

These procedures are put in place for yours and our students’ safety. Please especially do NOT double park or park in the fire lane (red painted curb). We need to ensure that emergency vehicles can always access the building safely. If you have family or others coming to enjoy events or pick your student up at the end of the day, please also relay these guidelines to them.

Drop-off and Pick-up Safety Procedures

We hope that these procedures and guidelines will help keep everyone safe and ensure that each of us gets to school ready to learn. Keep your eye out for people in the crosswalks and biking around school. Having patience with staff and other drivers as we all navigate drop off and pick-up will help us have a wonderful school year.

School Day Drop-off and Pick-Up:

We strongly encourage students to ride the bus, walk or bike to school. These methods help reduce the number of cars entering and exiting the campus, reducing congestion and increasing safety. Each student outside of the walk zone should receive busing information. If you have any questions about your child’s bus, please contact the Transportation Department at 206.252.0900 or [email protected] . In years past, the buses have been late the first few weeks of school as driver’s learn routes. We still encourage you to have your child ride the bus as it will familiarize them with the routines which are taught early in the school year.

When children arrive via the bus, they are dropped off on Wallingford Ave. They will then walk through an interior courtyard, through the building, and out to the playground to play and wait for their teacher. Staff will be on Wallingford Ave to meet and greet students arriving via bus.

If you do drive to school for drop-off or pick-up we encourage you to carpool with other families.

Cars enter the lot by turning from N 90th Street. Once in the line of cars we ask that you do not get out of your vehicle for any reason. Do NOT Park along the curb in front of the school. Your child should be ready to hop out of the car in the morning. Then you exit the lot by turning RIGHT ONLY. This helps keep cars moving.

Please do not drop your child off from the middle section of the parking lot. Either pull up to the curb or park and walk them in.

If you need to enter the building or assist your child you may park in the lot, find legal street parking or park at the the Eagle Staff/Licton Springs parking lot further west. Please be very careful when backing out in our lot.

Also, if you notice a backup on N 90th Street of cars waiting to turn into the lot, please consider finding street parking and walking in.

At Dismissal: Please find a parking spot either in the neighborhood, in the parking lot, or in the marked parking stalls along the curb. Please turn off your engine to avoid idling.

Use the crosswalk in the parking lot to meet your child at the front of school. Once you have your child, use the crosswalk to return to your car. Remember, kids learn by watching adults, please use the crosswalks!

Please continue to drive slowly and safely in the parking lot. Also, ensure that you are taking a RIGHT TURN ONLY out of the parking lot onto 90th St.

Cars exiting the lot can only turn right/west onto N 90th Street.

Please also ensure that you are refraining from using your cellphone while in line, giving your full attention to driving will help keep staff, students and community safe.

If you are walking or biking to pick up your child after school you will also meet them out front of the school. Please use the pedestrian walk ways on either side of the parking lot and do not cut through the lot.

If you would like to play after school you are welcome to pick your child up and walk through the gates to the playground. Please make sure that you are supervising their play and enforcing the playground rules posted.

Events at School:

We will have many fun events that will happen at school during the day and in the evening. We also encourage taking the bus, walking, biking or carpooling to reach these events. We are lucky to have a Metro stop right on the corner of school!

You may utilize parking in the front lot. Especially for evening events, the lots at Robert Eagle Staff Middle School and Licton Springs K-8 may also be used. If all lots are full please find legal street parking which does not block driveways or alleys (5′ clearance on either side), crosswalks (20′ clearance on either side), or stop signs (30′ clearance). The west side of Wallingford Ave north of N 90th St is bus only during the school day, but can be utilized for evening events. Wallingford Ave south of N 90th St often has ample parking. Other options are to park at Licton Springs Park, the Oak Tree Village parking lot, Greenlake Bathhouse, Sandel Park, Greenwood Park (Fremont and 91st), and walk the several blocks.

Please see the attached map and Transportation plan created for our school.



Ice Cream Social for incoming Hamilton families: June 6

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Robert Eagle Staff Middle School – New student and family welcome nights

New student/family welcome night – Thursday June 6, 7pm

Save the date! Incoming students and families are invited to attend a new student welcome night on Thursday June 6, scheduled for 7-8:15pm at Eagle Staff MS. Meet other students, learn about the school, chat with PTSA, find out about sports and music and other programs, and enjoy some refreshments.

Can’t make it on the official night? There will be an additional opportunity to get connected to the school on Tuesday, June 11, 6-7pm. Afterward, you are welcome to stay for our end of the year Orchestra Concert starting at 7pm (note that parking will be limited due to the concert – consider parking at Cascadia).


Staff Appreciation Week 2019 is May 6 – 10

Staff Appreciation Week
May 6-10th 2019

Staff appreciation week is coming up May 6-10th. This is the perfect time to show some extra appreciation for our incredible Cascadia Staff! We have a fun week of special events planned and would love support in making this a great week!

MONDAY, May 6: Coffee & Donuts (Provided by the PTA)
TUESDAY, May 7: Smokin Petes BBQ catered lunch (Provided by the PTA)
WEDNESDAY, May 8: Staff “Favorites” Day. Room parents will be sending out communication on how you can help!
THURSDAY, May 9: Taco Bar Potluck (Provided by parent volunteers) [SIGN UP HERE]
FRIDAY, May 10: Notes of Appreciation. All week, boxes with each staff members name will be located in the hallway by the Lost and Found. Students are encouraged to write a note of thanks, but would love for parents to also consider writing their own notes of appreciation. Please chat with your student to ensure they take the time to write their teacher a note as well as other staff members that have impacted their days at Cascadia! If students would prefer to write their notes at home please use [THIS FORM].

If anyone has any questions please reach out to Jolie Nivison (Levi, third grade) at [email protected] or Jen Fraser (George, third grade) at [email protected]
Thanks so much!


KidsCo at Cascadia Offering Summer Camp 2019

Kids Co. at Cascadia is hosting summer camp onsite all summer! Enrollment information can be found on our website at Each week is a different theme which will include field trips, onsite guests and lots of outdoor fun! We hope to have you join us!

Summer Flyer Cascadia 2019

Summer of Discovery Themes 2019 Cascadia

Contact [email protected] with questions.


Next Community Reads Book Club Meeting – Raising Your Spirited Child, May 16, Following PTA Meeting

Before spring break the Cascadia PTA hosted our first Community Reads book club meeting. A small group of parents discussed So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo. Our goal is to share a book with the community a few times a year, and we are pleased to announce our final selection for 2019.

This spring we have chosen the book Raising You Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. This book description says: The spirited child—often called “difficult” or “strong-willed”—possesses traits we value in adults yet find challenging in children. Research shows that spirited kids are wired to be “more”—by temperament, they are more intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, and uncomfortable with change than the average child. In this revised edition of the award-winning classic, voted one of the top twenty books for parents, Kurcinka provides vivid examples and a refreshingly positive viewpoint.

While this book is not explicitly directed towards academically highly capable children, we believe that many of our parents will appreciate the positive approach to parenting our sometimes challenging, but always amazing children. The book contains real stories from other parents and numerous practical tips for working with your children.

We also believe that considering the variation in children and their strengths will help our community discuss learning and neuro-diversity, supporting our goal to build a welcoming school for every student.

Please join us in reading Raising Your Spirited Child during the next month. We will be holding a book discussion on May 16, directly following the General Membership PTA meeting. We hope that this is both a productive and enjoyable evening for all of our members.


Spring Art Department News

Hello Cascadia Families!

If you haven’t met me yet, let me introduce myself, I’m Ms. Bush and I am Cascadia’s new art teacher. Please feel free to come by and introduce yourself to me in person. I am making updates on Schoology so please look there for more information about lessons. It has been a wonderful year so far! My basis for the art program is to teach students dispositions so that they can learn to think like an artist. Those dispositions are based on research done out of Harvard called the eight studio habits of mind: develop craft, engage and persist, envision, express, observe, reflect, stretch and explore, and understand the art world. Through these dispositions we learn ways of thinking that are important to developing 21st Century skills.

5th and 4th grade have now worked very successfully on two group projects. They worked on masks inspired by West African art, and were fully engaged in performing and writing dialogue. Many 5th graders worked on the big idea, “We All Live Here,” based on the artist Richard Alapack from Chicago who wanted to bring community together through art.

3rd grade has been focused mostly on contemporary artist’s like Yayoi Kusama and Faith Ringgold. They recently finished artwork inspired by their families and by Faith Ringgold’s book Tar Beach. They are currently completing their work and moving on to working on their art journals more and learning different collage techniques.

 1st and 2nd grade did a whole unit on monsters that included wax resist, rubbings to make textures, and storytelling through art. We are now moving on to make Super Hero Selfies.

While some work is already up in the hallways, a lot more work will be put up for our Arts & Talent Show Night on May 22nd. So please stay tuned and please feel free to contact me if you are interested in volunteering that day for the show. During the event you will see an art exhibit representing all students as well as exciting student performances. All lessons include learning objectives based on the National Standards in Arts and Washington State Standards in the Arts. Creating, presenting, responding, and connecting are the four pillars of the national standards. Learning is assessed using a fall baseline and Spring final SPS assessment tool designed to show growth, through ongoing teacher observations and lesson linked rubrics as well as through self-reflection activities, written response and class presentations.

Most importantly, the Art Studio is a place for students to have some serious fun and explore their unique identity and confidence through art and self-expression!



Help bring the “Let Me Run” program to Cascadia!

Are you interested in bringing a running program to the boys of Cascadia?  “Let Me Run is a nonprofit wellness program that inspires boys to be themselves, be active, and belong.”

If you would be interested in coordinating this type of program at Cascadia, please contact [email protected], and consider attending the local training session on March 31st.