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    Welcome Letter to Families 2019-2020
    Posted on 09/03/2019

    “A star that helps another shine doesn't have to work twice as hard to light up the sky.”
    ― ~Matshona Dhliwayo~

    Dear Firebird Families,

    Welcome to the rising of a new and exciting 2019-20 school year at Rising Star/Van Asselt @
    African American Academy!

    We look forward to a productive partnership with you to ensure our children can achieve their
    highest potential. We recognize in order to be successful in school, our children need support
    from both home and school. We know a strong partnership with you will make a great difference
    in our children’s education.

    Our talented, skilled, and dedicated staff is already planning and preparing for your child(ren)
    to join our learning community in September. Our devoted office team is getting ready to
    welcome our Kindergarteners to Jump Start, ordering needed materials, and doing a million
    things to get ready for the school year. Our hardworking and conscientious custodians have
    spent the entire summer thoroughly cleaning the facility. Additionally, our much-appreciated
    PTA is gearing up to welcome families, provide volunteer opportunities, and plan events and
    programs for the new school year.

    We look forward to working together as a team to further build our amazing, caring
    community. With our common goals of nurturing responsible, caring students and promoting
    high-level learning, we will ensure every one of our students will reach their highest potential.
    Students at Rising Star will develop the skills and knowledge to prepared them for college,
    career, and community.

    August 28th is when we expect our new school name – Rising Star - to be approved by our
    School Board. We look forward to working together with you as a team to embrace our new
    identity, which embodies our aspirations for our students.

    This year is going to be an epic year as we will RISE TOGETHER as a supportive community,
    embracing our new school name and working together as a TEAM. Anything is possible when
    we work as a team. “Together WE achieve more.”

    Please feel free to call (206) 252-7505 or email me directly at if you
    have any questions, feedback, or concerns throughout the school year. My door is always open
    and I welcome your input.

    We are so looking forward to working with you as a team to help each student at Rising Star/Van
    Asselt @ African American Academy meet their goals and have a successful school year! Below
    are some important dates and school reminders to remember.


    ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 8311 Beacon Avenue South *Seattle, WA 98118 * Tel: 206.252.7500 * Fax: 206.252.7501

    August 19th-23rd 9:00-12:00 PM Kindergarten JumpStart. Breakfast will start at 8:45 AM. This is a great opportunity for our Kindergarten students to meet their teachers and classmates while learning important school procedures and class rules and routines. Please make every effort to send your child to school during this important week.
    August 29th 1:30-4:00 PM: Title 1 Welcome Back Meet, Greet & Treats. Come meet your child’s teacher, other families, and our community partners. We hope to see ALL Rising Star families at this event! Activities will be held on the playground and families will have a chance to learn about enrichment activities from some of our community partners, as well as important online and at home resources for this school year, including the RAZ-KIDS reading program.


    Please be sure your child comes to school each day rested and ready to learn. Attendance and arriving on time are important for your child to succeed in school. Students who are consistently tardy are at disadvantage and usually arrive feeling frantic and unprepared. Our school day begins at 7:53 AM when students begin to go to class with their teachers and ends at 2:25 PM (M-T-Th-F). Every Wednesday, school will be dismissed 75 minutes early at 1:10 PM. Please make sure students are picked up on time, as teachers and office staff have meetings immediately after dismissal. Given our early start time, if you would like to talk to a teacher, please make an appointment with them for after school.

    All students who arrive after 7:55 AM must obtain a tardy slip from the Attendance Assistant prior to going to class. If your child is sick, please report the absence by calling the school office at (206) 252-7500. Our office hours are from 7:25 – 3:30 PM, you can always leave a message on the voicemail. Please make every attempt to schedule family vacations during our set vacation days throughout the year. Extended vacations during the school year are highly discouraged.


    All students who arrive 7:30-7:50AM will be served free breakfast in the cafeteria! See the map at the end of this letter for the location of our car drop near the back of the school. Based upon eligibility (determined by Seattle Public Schools Nutrition Services), our school lunch will be free, reduced, or full price. You can bring your own lunch from home. If you did not receive an application for the free/reduced meals program in the mail over the summer, please pick one up in the office. These forms are also available online. All applications must be completed, signed, and returned to school by October 1st, 2019. *Please note that if your child is coming to school by bus, they will be served breakfast at the time of their arrival. Classroom teachers will meet their students on the playground at 7:53 AM and walk students to class at that time. The school day will start promptly at 7:55 AM when teachers and students arrive in class. Any student not in their seat and ready to learn after the 7:55 AM bell rings will be considered late, and will need to see an office staff member to get a tardy slip, with few exceptions.


    The bus loading zone is on Rose Street after school. The SPS transportation department will be mailing bus route and pickup and drop off information to families in late August. At the end of the school day, all students riding the bus will be escorted to the bus loading zone and/or the pick-up area in the cafeteria. If families have more than one child getting picked up, please know that your oldest child will be allowed to pair up with his/her younger sibling(s) at their pickup table in the cafeteria. If students are not picked up by 2:40 PM (M-T-Th-F) or 1:25 PM (W), they will be escorted to the main office to make phone calls home.

    Due to our roofing construction work, there will be very limited parking space in the back. Please try to carpool with other families or find a parking space along the street.


    Students in K through 5th grade are required to complete their daily assignments. Please encourage your child to complete these required assignments by providing a specific place, without television and as few distractions as possible. Check and give encouraging feedback to your child for their hard work on their homework. Also, please make sure your child is responsible for their work and their assignments are in their backpack ready to be turned in the following day.


    During the school day, all exterior doors will be locked to ensure your child’s safety. The front door is the only entrance. Office staff will buzz open the door for families to enter. It is required that all family members sign in at the office when visiting the building. All visitors must wear a visitor pass when in the building or picking students up for early dismissal. All volunteers must wear a volunteer badge when on campus. Parents and students are encouraged to support Rising Star’s “Code of Behavior.” With everyone's support and compliance with the guidelines established, our students and teachers will be able to teach and learn in an environment that encourages academic growth.


    Please check with your child(ren)’s teacher about supplies at the Meet, Greet and Treats event on August 29th or after the first day of school. As you prepare for the upcoming school year, please make sure to label ALL belongings such as jackets, supplies, lunch boxes and backpacks.

    STUDENT ATTIRE/DRESS CODE Students should dress appropriately for a school setting. No bare shoulders. No open toe shoes/flip-flops. Sneakers must always be worn for physical education classes.


    August 19th-23rd 9:00-12:00 PM: Kindergarten Jumpstart
    August 28th: Class Lists posted on main office windows
    August 29th 1:30-4:00 PM: Title 1 Welcome Back Meet, Greet and Treats on the playground
    September 4th: 1st-5th grades First Day of School
    September 6th: Welcome Back to School Assembly 8:00-8:30am
    September 9th: First Day of Kindergarten
    September 13th: Tea Time with the Principal 8-9am in Cafeteria
    September 27th: 5:30-7:30 PM: Curriculum, Culture and Community Night
    October 11th: No School: District In-service Day

    Working Together,

    Ms. Lam, Principal
    Ms. Kovach, Assistant Principal
    Ms. Isakson, Interventionist/Principal Intern

    Map of drop student drop off zone. entering from south bound beacon avenue south, turning right on S Monroe Street and left on 34th Ave S  after drop off, exit by taking a left on South Rose Street and a right on Beacon Ave S - for more information, please contact the school
    Rising Star @ African American Academy building. This is the key to the map above. Please contact school for more information