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Java with Jim

Grab a cup of coffee and get filled in on the latest campus news and events. Come fill up on a warm cup of coffee and the latest news and events from Blackwell. This morning gathering is designed specifically for parents to hear directly from Mr. Eaton about what’s happening here at Elizabeth Blackwell. Mr. Eaton will also be available to field questions about our school, the district, and the state of education in Washington.

It’s also a great time to meet other parents and hear from the PTSA. We will be meeting 9:05 - 9:40 a.m. in library every fourth Monday of the month:

Month Information Presented Questions & Answers
September 25

Mr. Eaton discussed what's currently happening in classrooms. The focus right now is getting to know the students and some light assessing. Another topic discussed was the success of our Fun Run, which has brought in about $65K, not including matching funds!


Why is Blackwell so highly ranked?

Answer: Most all sites that do school rankings are private entities that pull test scores available through OSPI. We feel it's due to great teachers and a very involved community. The culture of our school also focuses on soft skills, i.e. how to be inclusive, talk things out, etc.

What Community Service opportunities are available for students?

Answer: Several drives throughout the year...Sister Schools in November, Food Drive in February to help with Pantry Packs, Candy collection after Halloween to send to the troops.

Are students taught safety in case of a school shooting?

Answer: Yes, we follow and teach the ALICE protocol.

Why are children not allowed on campus prior to 8:45?

Answer: We don't have staffing to supervise children before then. Students with parents on the playground attract other students who don't have a parent and this can also cause more supervisory problems.

Are there any plans to add or drop classrooms after the school year has begun?

Answer: No, we do not have any plans to do that. If a class needed to be added or dropped, that would happen in the first day or two of school. It's a rarity.


October 23 The focus this month has been on Goal Setting Conferences. Unity Day is 10/25, we make it a whole week of activities and lessons surrounding anti-bullying. We had an earthquake drill last week and have kicked off the year for Watch DOGS. Blackwell by the numbers: We have 558 students, 91 Pull Out Quest students and 57 staff members. For full presentation, click here.

Comment: Glad to see the principal out front in the mornings greeting people!

Why does the school not have an art teacher?

Answer: The district has art teachers for secondary schools, but not elementary. We do have an art curriculum the teachers are trained in called Deep Space Sparkle. Our PTSA also has a curriculum used by parent volunteer art docents. The Bellevue Art Museum is bringing an exhibit to us in January and some of our docents will be trained to aid in this exhibit.

Is it possible to have more Before-School Activities?

Answer: PTSA President, Cherish Fitterer, discussed the challenge of getting enough kids to make additional classes worthwhile for vendors.

How are we prepared for Emergencies?

In the event of a catastrophic emergency, first responders would come to schools first. Should we need to host students for some time, we have a trailer out back with water and food supplies as well as tarps and other equipment. Comfort kits are provided by parents to aid in keeping students calm.

November 22 Discussion of our Blackwell CARES, Letter "A" focus for December. Our Sister Schools Drive was a big success. We had a truck full of items from our generous community. They will be shipped to Uganda to support schools and orphanages. They will return in the spring for a follow up assembly. Watch DOGS is up on the website, encourage dads to sign up! Full presentation can be found here.

Question about age for choir.

Answer: currently it is only for 4th and 5th graders. Other grade levels have performances during the school year. Choir will perform Dec. 1 at the Sammamish Commons.

What is Jim's vision for Blackwell?

Answer: He goes back to our vision statement, creating a community of limitless potential. This has been our vision for the past 10 years. Our community includes well-educated, generous and multi-cultural families. How can we use that to encourage limitless potential? The change in our cultural demographic provides opportunities for new experiences. Our role is to guide this and be open to new ideas. Putting kids into leadership situations is intentional and part of this process. Things like Choir, Big/Little Buddies, Student Council and Safety Patrol give them a safe place to try out leadership roles.

How can we integrate the Quest program requirements more fluently into the rest of the school?

Answer: 40% of our students in Quest come from Blackwell, 30% each from Mead and Dickinson. Once they join Quest, Blackwell is their home school. GEAC is a district-wide group like PTSA for Quest students. There followed a discussion of ways to integrate Quest and non-Quest students more organically.


December - no meeting
January 22

February 26
March 26
April 23

May 21

June - no meeting