Dear Island Park Families,
Welcome back to school!
I hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer. I also hope you are recharged and ready to start a new school year. I am so delighted that you are part of our amazing learning community. I welcome and value your positive energy and dedication to excellence in education, and I look forward to working with you and your children.
All signs point to another incredible and productive school year. Our skilled and devoted staff is already planning and preparing for your child(ren). Our enthusiastic office team is registering new families (in our newly designed office), ordering needed materials and updating student files. Our hard working and conscientious custodians have spent the entire summer thoroughly cleaning the facility. And, our much-appreciated PTA is gearing up to welcome families, provide volunteer opportunities, and offer other exciting events and programs. We are indeed a joyful and caring community with the common goals of nurturing responsible, caring students and promoting high-level learning.
A warm welcome to new Island Park families. I look forward to meeting and working with you. Please make a note of our welcome-back-to-school community coffee at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, September 5.
A great deal of time, effort and thought has gone into the process of student placement for the 2018-2019 school year.
Careful consideration was given to input from staff and families as well as student learning styles. Classrooms have been balanced academically and socially. Our class lists are structured to provide equitable class sizes at each grade level. Moving students is difficult without causing imbalances and inequities.
Thank you so much for being positive with your child and helping him or her understand that it is impossible to place all students with a preferred best friend or teacher. ALL of our staff works hard to make school a positive experience for ALL students. Island Park is eagerly looking forward to enriching your child’s life. Thank you for understanding that it can take a few weeks for a child to acclimate to a new school, grade, peer group and teacher.
Each year brings exciting change. As of the first week of August, additions to our staff include:
First Grade: Our new first grade teacher is Tony Ive (pronounced ee-vee).
Tony completed his studies and internship at the University of Washington-Seattle. His professionalism and dedication to our work were evident during the hiring process, and I am confident his skills will complement an already stellar team of first grade teachers.
Fifth Grade: Martina Fitzgerald and Griffin Jones will be joining Anne Larson in teaching our fifth graders. Martina Fitzgerald, an experienced elementary teacher, joins us via Dublin, Ireland. Griffen Jones comes to us via Australia where he previously taught grades 2-5. I am excited that they are joining our learning community.
Librarian: Barb Middleton has over 15 years of school library/media experience. She has been a school librarian in Taipei and Barcelona and, most recently, in Johannesburg. She is returning to Washington and is excited to share her librarian skills with our learning community. I think everyone will find Barb to be student centered, creative, energetic and very affable.
Overload Teacher (Music/P.E./Spanish): Angela Carey taught music at Lakeridge for many years. Her strong skills, enthusiasm and creativity are sure to engage her students.
PLP (Personalized Learning Program): We are excited that Elizabeth Ovhall is our new PLP teacher. Elizabeth just finished her second year of teaching. She taught one year in both Wisconsin and Thailand. She is moving to Washington to be closer to family and enjoy PNW adventures. Elizabeth is a half-marathoner and active crew athlete and is looking forward to exploring our many outdoor opportunities. She’s student-centered, positive and energetic.
School Secretary: Ellen Marks just completed work as a special ed. para at Northwood. She also helped open a Dutch school on the island, taught Dutch pre-school, attended Les Roches School of Hotel Management, and was reception director for a hotel chain. She is all about children and their families and creating an environment that best serves their needs.
Robbie Dodson is our new general education para. He comes to us via Lakeridge. Robbie is going to be another wonderful utility player thanks to his diverse skill set. Look for Robbie to join our illustrious flagger team!
Nurse: Cailen Mcdivitt is a Seattle native. She attended Western Washington University and earned an outdoor recreation degree. She acquired her Masters in nursing from PLU.
Current Classroom Teacher Roster (2018-2019)
Shelley Wangen Tony Ive
Kelly Rorem/Diana Low
A Few Facilities Updates/Reminders
- An upgrade was made to our school office this summer to better serve and check-in guests. This was part of a district capital improvement initiative to provide security enhancements to all of our elementary schools.
- Painted lines near the student drop-off area clearly delineate student-walking areas from carpool lanes. The diagonal yellow stripes painted across the front sidewalk serve to remind students to stay clear of the parking lot curb as cars pull up for drop off or pick up. Thank you for reminding your children to exercise caution and stay away from the curb when using the front sidewa \
Important Dates for Fall 2018
Please mark your calendars for the following start-of-the-school-year events:
- Tuesday, Sept. 4: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Island Park Open House – Families are invited to come by the school during this one hour window to view their classrooms and meet their teachers.
- Wednesday, September 5:
- First Day of School for 1st - 5th grade students only. NOTE: This is an early release day like all Wednesdays throughout the year. Students will be dismissed at 2:05pm.
- 9:15 a.m. - PTA Welcome Coffee. All K-5 Families are welcome; we encourage you to come make new parent connections and learn about PTA volunteer opportunities.
- Kindergarten Family Connection Conferences (by appointment, please contact the school office if you did not receive a date and time by mid- August or need to change a previously scheduled time; continued on Sept. 6 (a.m./p.m.) and Sept. 7 (p.m. only)
- Thursday, September 6: Kindergarten Family Connection Conferences
- Friday, September 7: First day of school for kindergarteners. This is a half-day for kindergarteners only. They will be dismissed at 12:00. All other students (grades 1-5) will be dismissed at their regular time of 3:45.
- Thursday, September 20: K-5 Curriculum Night
- K-2 5:00-6:00pm
- 3-5 6:00-7:00pm
- Friday, September 28: Back To School Bash (5:00 – 8:00 p.m.)
- October 1 and 2: Picture days (more information to follow-retakes in Nov.)
Community involvement is a key component to the success of students in our Mercer Island Schools. We invite everyone to be a part of our school community. We welcome and encourage volunteers and hope that you will take advantage of the many opportunities available to you. These opportunities include supporting classrooms, attending/volunteering at PTA events, chaperoning field trips, and more. Please contact your child’s teacher for ways to become involved in your child’s classroom. To learn more about how to become a volunteer, please follow this link: Volunteer Info. Also, check out volunteering opportunities at the school’s PTA site: PTA Website
For more information about the start of the year school, district events and important information, be sure to explore Island Park’s website and related links. Island Park Website
Thank you to all who are helping prepare for the new school year. Your commitment to ensuring that Island Park remains a celebrated and successful school is awe-inspiring. I eagerly look forward to greeting students and families again. It remains an honor and privilege to serve as your principal. Please stop by and say hello. Together, I know we will make this school year one of growth and achievement for all children.
David Hoffman Principal
Island Park Elementary