• October 2018

    Posted by Joby McGowan on 11/10/2018



    October 1, 2018

    Dear Lakeridge Students and Families,


    With the first month of school under our belts, October is shaping up to be another month chock full of enriched learning and activity here at Lakeridge.   

    Teachers and students spent time over the first month of school getting to know one another, building their classroom communities, and focusing on positive expectations, behaviors, relationships and routines for a successful school year. In September we welcomed our new Lakeridge families, our new Kindy students, and got reacquainted with our returning students and families. As you’ll see in this message, September leading into October is a busy and exciting time for all of our students, staff, parents and community!


    In this message, you will find…

    • Thank You Lakeridge Supporters
    • PAC Applications
    • September Happenings & Events
    • LION PRIDE Updates:
      • Character Trait of the Month
      • Schoolwide PBIS & Social Emotional Learning
      • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
      • Green Team
      • Safety Matters 
    • Upcoming Dates



    THANK YOU for supporting our school!

    • Lakeridge PTA – We here at Lakeridge could and should be thanking YOU and all of the PTA parents and volunteers every day! The depth of support we receive, not just in money and things, but in time, encouragement and support is beyond phenomenal. YOU are the difference! YOU are a key component in making Lakeridge the heart of our community and a very special and successful place for all of our kids learn, grow and make connections for a lifetime. Thank you for helping us kick off another stellar start of the school year!


    • Mercer Island Schools Foundation – Similar to our PTA, all of us here at Lakeridge want YOU and all of the MISF community to know how much we appreciate and rely on your support every year! The MISF dedication to being “All in for Kids” can be seen and felt here every day. The supports that MISF grants to Lakeridge specifically and the curricular and professional development support that MISF provides to all MISD schools and students are a significant part of the reason why Lakeridge and MISD are exceptional schools for every student. Thank you for helping us every day, all year!




    The 2018-2019 Lakeridge Parent Advisory Council (PAC) applications are still open. You can find links to the forms on our Lakeridge website under the Families tab. Applications are due by Friday, October 5, 2018.



    September Happenings & Events

    • PTA Welcome Back Coffee Event – This PTA sponsored event happens every year at 9:30 am on the morning of the first day of school. In addition to a warm drink, PTA provides Lakeridge families with comprehensive information about ways to get involved and connected.
    • Fall Family Picnic - We kicked off our PTA family events for the year with one of Lakeridge PTA’s annual traditions, Fall Family Picnic. Held early in September every year, this year’s picnic was a roaring success! Fun, food and community on a Friday night in the fall made for an evening of kids, families and teachers making connections and building relationships to kick of the start of another awesome year!
    • Welcome Coffees with the Principal – In September, we held two additional coffees to compliment the PTA’s Welcome Back Coffee. Our annual New Family Coffee for families new to MISD or LR and our Kindy Koffee on Kindergarten’s first day of school offer a more tailored and intimate conversation with the principal for these groups of parents.
    • All Island Band Night – Another fun MISD tradition is All Island Band Night. This event is held to highlight and celebrate MISD’s long history of excellence in music and the arts. For Lakeridge’s fifth grade band students, this is their first big performance event and is quite a spectacular display of Island-wide pride!
    • Third Grade Bike Rodeo – At Lakeridge, we encourage families and students to wait to ride bikes to school until our annual Third Grade Bike Rodeo event. The MI Police Department bicycle officers partner with Lakeridge third grade team to offer this comprehensive week of bike safety instruction culminating in our Third Grade Bike Rodeo course that students “graduate” from at the end of the week. This Bike Rodeo week is something our students look forward to and then talk about afterward with much excitement and anticipation every year!




    LION PRIDE Updates



    We got the ball rolling on the first of our monthly LION’S DEN lunches with the principal this week! Lion’s Den lunches  are recognition lunches with the principal to honor the best examples of our character trait of the month.

    • September’s trait was GRATITUDE
    • October’s trait is COOPERATION



    • What is PBIS? PBIS stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and is simply a systems framework to think about and articulate positive school culture. In layman’s terms, it is simply a title for all the schoolwide steps, actions, values and beliefs we at Lakeridge collectively commit to in order to support the social, emotional and behavioral success for every student. One of the most visible elements of PBIS in an elementary school, is the work that we’re doing to define, implement, and then fairly and consistently apply schoolwide common expectations for common areas (hallways, playground, cafeteria, before/after school times, etc.). Much of the work of PBIS is already in place at Lakeridge, but as building a school culture goes, there are always efforts afoot to refine, improve and/or add to our plans for supporting students. Thus, in this recurring Lion PRIDE update section, we will share information around PBIS efforts throughout the year and you may also notice other PBIS efforts highlighted in other sections of this message as well.
    • New Student Welcome Lunch with the Principal 

    This year we started a new tradition here at LR. This idea started with one of last year’s second graders, Charlie, and his Giraffe Project. The Giraffe Project is an annual grade level project which all second graders are encouraged to “stick their neck out” (hence “Giraffe Project”) for something they believe in or want to do for others. Charlie, who was new to MISD last year himself, created welcome to our school bags with a personal letter he wrote to this year’s new second grade students. We loved the idea so much that we decided to expand his seed idea into a welcome bag and lunch with the principal for all of our 1st-5th grade students who are new to MISD. Because of numbers, we had to limit the event to just those non-Kindergarten (since they’re ALL new to LR) students who are new to MISD. It was such a success that Charlie will be collaborating with Principal Jenkins to hold a similar event next September as well! Go Lions!



    At Lakeridge, we have a beautiful array of racial, ethnic, religious and language communities that grace our halls every day. We are both wonderfully similar and uniquely different, all under a single, united community of Lakeridge Lions. At Lakeridge and in Mercer Island School District, we believe our diversity make us enriched, stronger and more successful. The district’s “Equity and Diversity” School Board Policy states “We believe the diversity of our student body, our community and our staff is a strength that should be fostered and harnessed.” (1610BP) as one of many core values around equity, diversity and inclusion. Furthermore, we also believe elementary school is fertile ground for teaching students about tolerance and teaching how to embrace the diverse world we live in today and in which they’ll work tomorrow!


    To that end, we also know that kids are exposed to a vast world of ideas – both good, bad and even tragic. Every day and from a vast array of sources that are often out of our control, children are influenced by things they hear and see in the world around them. Sadly, some of those negative influences come out at school as unkind and demoralizing words and actions that leave long-lasting scars on children’s self-esteem, self-image, safety, and feelings of belonging. They also undermine our work to provide safe, inclusive, warm and welcoming learning environments for every child. Even right here at Lakeridge, we deal with incidents of unkind biased words and actions towards students of all ages and from all walks of life.


    It is sometimes difficult to know how to talk with kids about our racial, cultural, religious and/or ethnic differences as well as bias, discrimination and intolerance, but it is important. Kids need us to help them learn how to deal with biased treatment as much as what constitutes bias and discrimination toward others. 


    The American Academy of Pediatrics published an article to help parents (or any adult) talk with kids at any age about bias. Please take a moment to read “Talking to Children about Racial Bias” for some excellent guidance on how to open up the discussion with your children. 


    “These conversations begin to lay the groundwork for your child to accept and respect everyone's differences and similarities. As children mature, the answers to questions will become more complex. These are moments to learn what your child understands or is struggling to understand about racial bias.” -  Talking to Children about Racial Bias


    Together, we can build a warm, safe and inclusive school culture and future for all our kids!

    To read the full School Board Policy, please visit the Mercer Island School District website or the following links:

    Equity and Diversity Board Policy 1610



    • VISITORS & VOLUNTEERS: All visitors and volunteers must sign in at the office before entering the school building or being on school grounds during the student day. Remember that to sign-in and be allowed on campus, you will need to have photo ID every time you sign-in with our Lobby Guard system.


    • NEW KISS-N-GO AFTERNOON FLAGGER: September allowed us some time to refine and review our procedures with the new afternoon flaggers and reworked supervision. Thank you all for your patience as we worked through minor adjustments. Word on the street is that the after school flow is much improved! Hooray!


    • STUDENT DROP OFF (AM) & PICK UP (PM): Just a reminder that there is no student drop-off in the morning (8:55-9:15am) or pick-up in the afternoon (3:15-4:00pm; Wed. 1:30-2:15pm) beyond the Kiss-N-Go loop. We’ve worked diligently to improve our signage and supervision, but we’re a team and we’ll always rely upon your help and cooperation to make things work well and safely for all. Thank you to all of you who’ve helped us get the word out so far. Together we’re making Lakeridge more efficient and safer every year!


    • BEFORE & AFTER SCHOOL PLAYGROUND CLOSURES: Our playground is closed at 8:45-9:15am and 3:45-4:00pm. One common issue we encounter here are requests to have children wait after school out on the playground. We cannot accommodate this request and children may be asked to leave the playground if they’re out there right after school, so please make alternate arrangements for your children.


    GREEN MATTERS! Green Team Update

      Have you heard? Lakeridge is a nationally recognized US Department of Education Green Ribbon School. 


      No… “Green Cafeteria” is not meant to say that our lunch times are Dr. Seuss-ish with Green Eggs and Ham! Instead it means we are always looking for ways to make our lunchtime practices sustainable and green. In September, Principal Jenkins along with Green Team students and parent volunteers presented a series of “Lunchtime Learning” lessons to teach/remind our students on sustainable lunchtimes and proper use of our “Green Line” (the compost/recycle/trash line to clean up lunches).
    • GREEN CLASSROOM PARTIES Instead of filling up landfills with plastic utensils, plates, cups and such, PTA provides every classroom with a party supply tote filled with everything classrooms need for parties. After the party is over, room parents take the dishes home, run them through their dishwashers, and return them clean and sanitized for the next big event. Saving our planet one party at a time!
    • GROWING GREEN with GARDEN CLUB After a fantastic summer growing season, our Lakeridge Garden Club is up and running for this school year too. The garden is brimming with a fall harvest and Nancy Weil and her team have kids out tending the garden to feed others and learn the value in getting hands dirty for healthy, homegrown veggies. It’s not only a beautiful garden, but a productive and healthy life lesson!



    Upcoming Dates:

    10/3 Wednesday – MISD New Families Welcome Event @ IMS

    10/10 Wednesday – PTA Healthy Ways to School Day (Bike/walk to school!)

    10/10 Wednesday – Scholastic’s Ambassador for School Libraries, Mr. Schu Visit, Lakeridge Library

    10/10 Wednesday – Scholastic Pop Up Book Fair (one day only!)

    10/16 Tuesday – Taproot Theater 

    10/19 Friday – All Island Band Night @ MIHS

    10/25 Thursday – Picture Retakes

    10/25 Thursday – Kindergarten Story Time, Lakeridge Library @ 6:30pm

    10/29 Monday – October PAC Meeting

    10/31 Wednesday – Halloween Parade & Parties

    10/31 Wednesday – October Lions Den Lunch


    11/9 Friday – PTA Lions Pride Breakfast

    11/9 Friday – Veterans Day Assembly @ 10:30am

    11/12 Monday – NO SCHOOL to honor Veterans Day

    11/15 Thursday – Island Books Fundraiser - Lakeridge @ Island Books, all store business hours

    11/16 Friday – School is dismissed at 12:00pm, NO SCHOOL LUNCH 

    11/16 Friday – Report Cards (Progress Reports) available online in Skyward, 5:00pm

    11/19-21 Mon-Wed – Fall Conferences, NO SCHOOL for students

    11/22-11/23 Thur-Fri – Thanksgiving Break, NO SCHOOL

    11/26 Monday – November PAC Meeting

    11/27 Tuesday – School Board Visit to Lakeridge

    11/28 Wednesday – November Lions Den Lunch


    12/10-13 Mon-Thurs – Lakeridge & Northwood 5th Graders at IslandWood Camp

    12/14 Friday – PTA Family Movie Night @ 5:45pm

    12/19 Wednesday – Winter Music Concert @ 6:30pm

    12/24-1/4 Mon-Fri – Winter Break, NO SCHOOL

    1/7 Monday – School Resumes


    Go Lakeridge Lions!

     Warm Regards,



    Heidi Jenkins, Principal

    Lakeridge Elementary

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