An end of the year letter from the McGilvra PTA

An end of the year letter from the McGilvra PTA

An end of the year letter from the McGilvra PTA

Life is often filled with “strikes and gutters” and this year was no different. While we saw unforeseen challenges and trying times, one thing that remained constant was the support of McGilvra’s community. You donated generously and often, enabling us to be on track to end this year in a positive budget position (a rarity for a non-auction year) and provided countless hours of volunteering and hard work to make the school the best it could be. THANK YOU! In addition to your generous giving, we have a lot to celebrate. Some of this year’s highlights include:

1. 2016 Washington Achievement Award (WAA) – For the first time in recent memory McGilvra won the state highest education award for High Progress. The awards use the State Board of Education’s Revised Acheivement Index and are based on the school’s assessment data for the three previous years.

2. Math Olympiad – Every McGilvra team in the prestigious Math Olympiad competition made it into the "excellent" category.

3. McGilvra Garden Club – With support from both the Madison Park community and numerous student and parents, the garden continues to grow. The Spooky Garden was the Club’s biggest event of 2016, but this spring was momentous as well. We kick-started the growing season in April with the construction of a new storage shed. It was purchased with a generous donation by the MPCC. Another big addition was the installation of a new outdoor classroom, which features bench seating that converts into desk tops – a perfect eco-learning lab for our students. As part of our weekly Garden Recess program, we planted spring crops, dug up bulbs, started a batch of compost, sampled mint tea, and mulched the ground with a fresh layer of cedar chips. In May, we installed a new Pollinator Garden along the south wall of the gym. This sunny planting bed will soon be bursting with flowering perennials that attract critical pollinator species - like birds, bees, butterflies, and bats! Other fun spring activities included our beloved Lady Bug Release, which we held on May Day. Despite the rain, our lady beetles attracted swarms of kids excited to help these insects find a new home in the McGilvra Garden.

3. Legislative and advocacy efforts – We sent over 400 postcards to the Washington State Legislature to help restore voter-approved levy funding for basic education in Washington state and supported the Seattle Council PTSA and the WA State PTSA to advocate for full funding of family engagement, social, and emotional health for all Washington State public schools.

4. Home & Garden Show – McGilvra partnered with Realogics Sotheby’s in reaching out to the community to revive the Madison Park Home and Garden Tour. The tour was a great community-building event with 350 tour-goers in attendance.

5. Community Outreach - Through the Wildcat Pantry, we collected enough food to provide meals for several of our families in need for the duration of all of the week-long breaks throughout the school year. Our Mitten Project made the holidays a little brighter with gift cards for 45 families. Thirty-five members of our community supported the Madison Valley Spring Clean by removing graffiti from street signs along Madison Street, picking up trash along Madison, and pulling weeds and spreading wood chips in the traffic triangle. We donated 30 boxes of groceries to the food bank at Bailey-Gatzert Elementary School – a local neighboring school where 90 percent of students receive free/reduced lunch.

6. Volunteering opportunities—Thank you to all of the volunteers who spent their valuable time and shared their expertise with our school. From volunteering in the classroom, Sound Partners, the McGilvra Garden Club, numerous field trips, Fall Harvest Festival, Winter Bingo Night, Spring Concert, Sci Pi Night, Teacher Appreciation, the online auction, the Oregon Trail, and Field Day, your commitment to ensuring a rich educational experience at McGilvra was unwavering.

Congrats to all of our fifth graders who are moving on from elementary school to make the big leap into middle school. And welcome to our new crop of kindergarteners who will be joining our school soon!

We have exciting things coming for the 2017-2018 school year, with an expanded student enrichment program run by Seattle Parks and Recreation, a school remodel, and of course our semi-annual live auction.

We are incredibly proud of all the work McGilvra has done as a community. Thank you on behalf of the PTA, the school and most importantly on behalf of our children. Your commitment to educational excellence and passion for your community has made this school year an absolute  pleasure.

Thank you for your partnership! 

Heidi Ob’bayi and Phoebe Sade Anderson

McGilvra PTA co-presidents