A to Z



After School Care: The View Ridge Boys and Girls Club is located in the Sand Point Community Church basement, adjacent to View Ridge Elementary. University YMCA has a location at Magnuson Park with bus transportation from our school.

After School Programs: Language, art, sewing, knitting, chess, choir, basketball and more are available after school throughout the year. See After-School Activities for more information.

ALO: While at View Ridge we offer the Spectrum Advanced Learning program (see Spectrum below), many Seattle Schools without Spectrum offer a set of services called ALO (Advanced Learning Opportunities).

Annual Appeal: A large and crucial fundraiser that raises money that goes straight to our schools and classrooms by funding additional teacher positions. Supporting View Ridge’s budget through the Annual Appeal allows us to offer such benefits as a full-time nurse and weekly art, music, and computer classes, along with additional staffing. Every year 100% of your donation directly benefits our children and teachers at View Ridge. You will receive more information in the fall as the Annual Appeal gets underway.

APP: SPS offers a formal Accelerated Progress Program at several sites for students who are academically highly gifted. Although View Ridge does not offer APP, we continue to serve academically highly gifted students who choose to remain at View Ridge and enroll in Spectrum.

Art: Our Art teacher, Liz Haven inspires students to explore culture, design principles, history, and community through the visual arts.

Arts Night: An annual spring community celebration of the arts emphasizing Music, Dance, Visual, & Literary Arts.

Assemblies: Throughout the year, arts, science and cultural performances by talented artists and professionals are selected for presentation to the students to complement classroom learning.

Assistant Principal: Andrew Bean is our Assistant Principal.

Attendance: Please report any absences or tardy arrivals to the office at (206)252-5600. If you have a planned absence (vacation, etc.), please check in with both your child’s teacher and the office, sending a note or email.

Auction: A crucial, festive fundraiser that takes place in Spring, and supplements the Annual Appeal, to provide additional teacher positions. This event also includes a ‘Raise the Paddle’ to raise funds for projects such as Technology, our Outdoor Classroom, the 4th and 5th grade playground, and the operating budget in general. (See ‘Raise the Paddle’ below).

Author Visits: Several times a year, prominent authors and illustrators inspire our students with their imaginations and life-stories.

Boo Ridge: Halloween carnival and community builder full of games and fun. Normally held on the Friday closest to Halloween.

Book Fair: View Ridge holds a University Book Store Book Fair in November and our highly anticipated Pre-Loved Book Sale in February.

Buddy Family Program: Pairs incoming families with a current View Ridge family with a child the same age to provide an introduction to View Ridge.

Building Leadership Team: The VR Building Leadership Team is composed of teachers and staff who make school-wide decisions regarding academic initiatives, budget, and other issues related to school governance. The BLT meets weekly, and convenes periodically together with parents as the Governance Team (see Governance below).

Bus Zone: The no-parking zone in front of the school on 50th. Besides being used for before and after school bus drop off and pick up, this zone is used for field trip buses and pre-school bus drop off/pick-ups during the day.

Calendar: Check the Otter Know and events calendar.

Child Find: A program that helps identify students in need of special services. Preschool children: If you are aware of a preschooler, from birth through 5 years old, who has or may have a developmental disability, please call 206-252-0805. School-aged children and youth: If you have an elementary-aged child who may be in need of special education services, please discuss your concern with your child’s teacher, our school counselor, or administration.

Community Builders: “Community Builders” are periodic all-school events designed to provide a fun way for families to get to know each other. Each year we have a fall picnic within the first few weeks of school. In October, the PTA provides an evening of fabulous, costumed fun we call “Boo Ridge”. Children and families enjoy games, activities, a haunted house and more!  Our winter Family Dance in early January is always a hit. In the spring, we hold a Pancake Breakfast with Pre-Loved Book Sale, an Ice Cream Social, and a Spring Picnic.

Community Giving: Each year, the View Ridge PTA sponsors events designed to benefit the wider community. Events have included Sock Drives for a homeless shelter, Turkey Drive during Thanksgiving, Shoe Recycling for those in need and a Bone Marrow/Blood Drive with Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Conferences: Once a year View Ridge teachers meet with parents in formal conferences. Year-round, however, teachers encourage communication about student progress and any appropriate concerns/thoughts you wish to communicate. Our yearly conferences take place during 3 full-days before Thanksgiving Break. There is no school for students during the three conference days.

C-SIP: Each Seattle School’s leadership designs and implements a Continuous School Improvement Plan, setting goals and methods for future academic and community growth. View Ridge’s plan is posted at seattleschools.org.

Custodial Services: Bobby Singh is our school custodian.

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Dyspraxia: Dyspraxia is a neurologically based disorder of the processes involved in the planning of movement, and may affect any or all areas of development – physical, intellectual, emotional, social, language, and sensory. View Ridge’s Dyspraxia Program has flourished for over two decades, and has now been broadened after the District’s Special Education Review to include other categories of disability under the new Integrated Resource Services Model.

Early Release Days: During the school year early release days are scheduled to allow staff to have time for professional development. Breakfast and Lunch are served on early release days. See the Seattle Schools calendar at seattleschools.org for more information.

Emergency Kits: Bins in each classroom are filled with emergency supplies, provided by individual families and supplemented by PTA and Seattle Schools.

Family Picnic: Each Fall and Spring we enjoy a community picnic.

Family Support: Provides confidential help for View Ridge families in need (meals, school supplies, yearbooks and more) and sponsors the holiday Giving Tree.

Field Day: A highly anticipated school-wide event in early June rich with dozens of physical activities.

Fifth Grade Buddy: Each kindergartner is paired with a Fifth Grade Buddy for double the fun!

First Week Packets: A large manila envelope that comes home with your child the first week of school. Contains many forms to fill out and return as soon as possible.

Fourth Grade Trip: The Fourth Grade spends two nights and three days enjoying Outdoor Education at Camp Orkila on Orcas Island.

Fundraisers: We have three fundraisers at View Ridge. Our Walk N’ Roll and Annual Appeal in the fall and our auction in the spring.

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General Meetings: PTA hosts three General Meetings per year (Oct, Feb, May) to which the entire membership is invited. The meeting includes general PTA business along with a guest speaker.

Governance Team: The Governance Team is composed of parents and teachers, including PTA reps and Building Leadership Team, who provide feedback regarding budget issues and other concerns related to school governance.

Green Team: Leads ‘green’ efforts at View Ridge, including jump-starting lunchtime composting.

Hallway Etiquette: Please encourage children to stay outside before the first bell so teachers can best prepare before the school day (unless students are eating school breakfast or have other commitments, such as Patrol). If it’s absolutely pouring, the office will announce that it’s okay for students to enter. Please park strollers outside before bringing your family inside. The play-courts provide great stroller shelter if it’s raining. Strollers are prohibited because they block access in emergencies and clog movement during hectic bell times. Thank you!

Ice Cream Social: Takes place on Open House Night in April. A community builder activity with ice cream sundaes for all.

IA: An Instructional Assistant who may assist certificated teachers in classrooms.

ICS: The district recently changed its delivery model for special education services. I.C.S. stands for Integrated Comprehensive Services, a model designed to integrate students into classrooms in the least restrictive environment possible. See the district’s Special Education Services website for more information.

IEP: Preschoolers and elementary students are identified and provided appropriate special education services in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. The student’s parent(s) and a team of professionals together develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Students are then placed in the program best suited to deliver the services specified in their IEP. Children and youth with IEPs may receive specially designed instruction and related services such as speech or physical therapy if needed.

Instrumental Music: A majority of fourth and fifth grade students choose to play a musical instrument, and receive free lesson time twice weekly (students rent their own instruments, and financial assistance is available if needed).

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KidMail: Paper-only method of sending and receiving information between home and school in your child’s folder. Our school hopes to move toward lessening the amount of paper used and we encourage families to sign up to receive electronic communications via the yellow sheet or our website.

Kindergarten Escorts: Fourth graders who meet kindergartners at their classrooms and escort to buses.

Kindergarten Lunch Assistant: Parents provide assistance during the kindergarten lunch period with opening milk cartons and other kindergarten lunch needs.

Librarian: Our school librarian is Amy Young, who shares her love of literature in weekly Library classes for all students. Ms. Young brings nationally acclaimed authors to meet children and share literature. Please see the library webpage for more library information.

Lost and Found: If you are missing a clothing item, lunchbox, or anything else, please check the lost & found table located by the office. Avoid having to dig through the pile by putting your student’s name in anything that comes to school.

Lunch/Breakfast: Breakfast and lunch may be purchased at school. To add money to your child’s account, send a check made out to Nutrition Services or add money to your account online.

Medication: Distribution of medication at school is governed by school district policy. Please check with the school nurse, Karen Johnston, about your student’s medication needs (medication can only be administered at school with a doctor’s note).

Mentor Group: All View Ridge students, teachers, and staff are members of multi-grade Mentor Groups that meet periodically to perform public service, create cross-grade community support, and enjoy fun activities such as packing food for a soup kitchen or sharing special mementos.

Music: Michael Coble, our creative music teacher, conducts weekly music classes and offers other musical enrichment. Fifth graders write the Kindergarten musical, and View Ridge enjoys an Orchestra, a Band, a Guitar Ensemble, a Jazz Band, and a Choir.

Nurse: Karen Johnston, our full-time nurse, looks after playground scrapes, tummy aches, special needs, and a whole lot more!

Nutrition Services: Lunchroom Manager is Jerry Hall and can be reached in the lunchroom before school (if you need to bring in a check to credit to your child’s account, or see the PayPams site, linked above).

Occupational/Physical Therapy: Occupational and physical therapy are available at View Ridge for eligible students.

Office Staff: Rae Keyes and Melinda Kasraie, Kasey Downing and Karen Pickett keep our office and school in great working order.

Otter Bucks: Grocery and other store gift card fundraising program. Available via our website, KidMail, and occasional mornings in the front hall!

Otter Know: Is our weekly school newspaper. It provides weekly updates on Tuesdays.

Otter Updates: Is a supplement to the Otter Know. Published on Fridays.

Outdoor Classroom: Our 2008 Auction funded an Outdoor Classroom. The Outdoor Classroom supports environmental learning, science education, and many exciting projects.

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Parking: View Ridge Elementary does not have a parking lot, so parking is tight. Sandpoint Community Church kindly allows us the use of only the north end of its parking lot. We would suggest that you drive behind the church and use this lot to drop off/pick up your children. If parking in our neighborhood, please be a good neighbor and be careful not to block driveways. Please park close to the curb on 50th Avenue NE so that school and city buses can access the street.

Parking Lot Greeter: The helpful parents that assist in smooth flow of traffic during Sand Point Community Church drop-offs.

Pay for K: The ‘Pay for K’ program allows View Ridge Elementary to provide full day kindergarten as the state provides funding for a half day program.  The fee is waived for students eligible for free/reduced meals.

PayPAMS: The District now offers pre-payment of school breakfast and lunch online through Pay-PAMS.

PCP: Preparation, Conference, and Planning time, meaning the daily segment during which students attend classes with a Specialist such as our librarian, music teacher, PE teacher, or computer teacher.

Physical Education: Ms. Shaw, our Physical Education Specialist, engages students in a success-oriented physical education program with an emphasis on cooperation, lifetime fitness, and motor skill development through movement experiences. Throughout the year children learn through a variety of fun games and activities. Ms. Shaw also provides various opportunities for extracurricular involvement throughout the year. For more information visit the PE Fusion website.

Playground Supervision: Playground supervision begins at 9:15 AM. Please do not leave children unaccompanied before 9:15. (There is no supervision on the playground after school. If you will be late to pick up your child after school, please call the office so he/she can wait safely in the office.) Thank you!

Poet in Residence: Kathleen Flenniken is our Poet in Residence through the Writers in the Schools Program, a literacy program funded by PTA.

Positive Discipline: Positive Discipline is the philosophical framework we use in working with students at View Ridge. The goal of Positive Discipline is to provide children with the social skills they need to be responsible and respectful members of their community. More than a program or curriculum, a Positive Discipline school creates an environment where students feel a sense of belonging, where adults understand the motivation behind a child’s behavior, and where misbehavior is viewed as an opportunity to learn.

Principal: Terri Skjei has been View Ridge’s principal since 2004.

PTA: The View Ridge PTA includes parents, teachers, and community members. Committees like Family Support offer meals and other support to families in crisis, while Green Team keeps our environment clean and other committees host events such as Boo Ridge, our Family Dance, and more. We raise funds to support our classrooms through an Annual Appeal drive, an Auction, and our Walk ‘N Roll. PTA is governed by a Board. All community members are welcome at Board meetings, where PTA business is discussed, usually the second Tuesday evening of the month at View Ridge. Three times yearly PTA hosts General Meetings, see above.

Raise the Paddle: A portion of the Auction in which participants ‘Raise the Paddle’ to individually offer donations to specific programs. Previous auctions have benefited Technology in the Classroom, the 4th and 5th Grade Playground Project and our Outdoor Classroom.

Recess: Students enjoy three outdoor recesses each day throughout the year. Please make sure your child is appropriately dressed to be outside. In the cases of extreme weather, recess occurs in the classroom with adult supervision.

Resource Room: The Resource Room is an individualized support program that delivers intensive interventions and specially designed instruction during scheduled blocks of time throughout the day. Chris Newton is our certificated Resource Room teacher. When more intensive teaching strategies are needed, children are referred for a special education evaluation.

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School Directory: Is posted on the secure section of the View Ridge website.  See Student Directory.

School Hours: Are from 9:30 AM to 3:40 PM. Students are considered late if they arrive in class after 9:35 AM (and will need to sign in first with the office).

School Tours: Take place in February and allow prospective parents to visit and tour our school.

Safety Patrol: 5th graders who monitor crosswalks before and after school; 4th grade Kindergarten Escorts assist kindergartners to buses.

SIT: Student Intervention Team, a first step toward potential special education services. Each Seattle Public Schools building, including View Ridge, has a SIT process, which is managed by general education personnel to support the success of students in general education classrooms. One of the main purposes of SIT is to identify and attempt interventions in general education classrooms to support students’ access to general education curriculum and activities and their achievement of district standards.

Snow/Inclement Weather: Families can find out about delayed starts or school closures due to weather by checking their TV or radio, or by logging on to the Seattle Schools website www.seattleschools.org or www.schoolreport.org.

The Source: Seattle Public Schools offers The Source as an online tracking system designed to keep families up-to-date on their student’s progress and district issues. See https://ps.seattleschools.org/ to register or for more information.

Spectrum: Our Spectrum program serves students determined academically gifted by the District, offering a rigorous curriculum at an accelerated pace. Families whose children qualify for Spectrum must apply for VR spots during Open Enrollment. SPS does not guarantee space at VR for each Spectrum-qualified student, but View Ridge teachers and staff take pride in offering instruction that as much as possible attempts to serve each student’s academic needs.

Speech Therapy: Speech therapy is available at View Ridge for eligible students.

Special Education Services: The variety of programs and services designed to support student special needs. Eligibility is determined in accordance with state and federal guidelines, see SIT above.

Staff Appreciation Week: The first week in May we recognize our View Ridge staff. The PTA Staff Appreciation and Hospitality Committee, along with parents and students provide signs, cards, food and flowers as a thank you to all who work so hard at View Ridge.

Technology: Many recent technology upgrades include school-wide Wi-Fi, new computers and new software. 5th graders carry home flash drives for projects and all students explore technology in weekly computer class with Ms. Shurick. We are also excited to use our recent ‘Raise the Paddle’ proceeds towards new laptops, iPads and printers.

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Visitors: All visitors including parents are required to sign in at the office and wear a visitor badge.

Volunteers: Volunteers are a very important part of View Ridge! Please see the volunteer link on the PTA website, to find out about volunteer opportunities and sign up to help.

Walk ‘N Roll: The Walk ‘N Roll gives the entire View Ridge community an opportunity to support the school while having fun! Students run or walk for 20 minutes on a 1/8 mile track. Family, friends and neighbors support through pledges for laps completed.

Website: https://www.viewridgeschool.org/

Writers Workshop: Our staff has received intensive training in the Lucy Calkins Writers Workshop model. Writers Workshop emphasizes various units of study that focus on small moments, personal narratives, fiction, revision, and author’s craft.

You!: Thank you for all you do for the kids!