Welcome to Highland Park Elementary! This blog is written by our PTA, but it is intended to be for parents, teachers, students, neighbors, local businesses – anyone interested in our community!

Highland Park Elementary is a special place. Our student body is around 350 students, with an amazing and dedicated staff. Our school is one of the most diverse in the entire state of Washington. What a gift to have so many cultures and languages represented!

We hope that you will find this a good resource for information about our school, events, and other exciting updates. Please scroll the posts below, or search through our archives for past information.

If you have any questions about HPE, please use our contact page. You can also find updates about events on our Facebook page HPE PTA .

Thank you and we look forward to sharing future updates with you!

Playground Update

We have good news for our playground!

We have some momentum building again, after completing Phase 1 (net climber, rock scramble, and slides), and installing the Rain Garden with Rainwise, and the Seattle Sounders.

Highland Park Plays has partnered with The City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and applied for their matching grant program! We were awarded money to adapt our construction plans to necessary changes from Phase 1.

Briefly, the original plan included reworking the ADA ramp that lies along the north end of the playground. It was decided mid-construction that redoing the ramp would be too costly, especially when it was already perfectly functional. Now that we are looking forward to the next phases, the construction Master Plan needs to be adjusted to accommodate these changes.

Since we are changing the plans anyway, this is a wonderful opportunity for the community to offer their input as to what the playground should look like! The Matching Fund Grant is for the neighborhood, not just the school! The playground is open to anyone and everyone after school hours, and we are hoping that our neighbors will offer us their ideas at 3 community meetings this spring. We don’t have the dates set yet, but we will keep you all updated!

You can check out the Highland Park Plays Facebook page here. If you would like to contact the Playground Steering Committee with anything – ideas, feedback, questions about the meetings – anything at all you can do so at highlandparkplays@gmail.com.

Keep playing, Highland Park!

Newspaper Access

How many times have you clicked on a newspaper article, only to be frustrated by the notice that you have reached your limit if free articles?

Did you know that Seattle Public Libraries offers free access to many news sources? The Seattle Times, The New York Times, trade and industry newsletters, archived Seattle Post-Intelligencer, consumer health, The Daily Journal of Commerce, LGTBQ history and culture, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and much more. You can even view archives of The Seattle Times going back to 1895.

All you need is a library card (which you can now order online for free), and all this information is at your fingertips.

From spl.org click on the link to Online Resources, then Magazines and Newspapers, or click here. You can also search all online resources alphabetically.

After last week’s PTA meeting, and the presentation from our amazing librarian Christopher Robert where he outlined several other SPL online resources I have been exploring SPL more thoroughly. I have had an SPL library card since I was 7 or 8 years old, and I wish I had known about this earlier!


Black Lives Matter at School Week!

Black Lives Matter at School Week is here! It may look different this year with distance learning, but teachers at Highland Park are still engaging in this work for their students and our community.

Here is an article in the Seattle Times describing this Week of Action.

This is the Year of Purpose, read more about it on the Black Lives Matter at School website.

BLM at School also offers curriculum, if you are interested in that, or in joining the team you can find information here.

These resources are not just for school, they are valuable for discussions at home too.

Ask your children what they learned about BLM at School today!

New Education Lab series

The Seattle Times is running a new series as part of its Education Lab. The first article was published today, coming up in the series is part 2 (In Highline schools, a strategy often reserved for top performers might be working for everyone) and part 3 (Do standardized tests still serve their purpose?)

Here is today’s article, How much learning have students lost? The state doesn’t know the pandemic’s effects on achievement.

Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times

Free books, food boxes & kids Winter clothing 11/06/2020!

Free children’s books, kids Winter clothing & food boxes will be available at Highland Park Elementary on 11/06/2020, from 12pm-5pm. Pick up these items at the back of the school, under the covered area. Books are being provided by Operation School Bell. Food boxes are being prepared by Highland Park PTA.

During this time, you can also pick up student classroom supply bags.

If you have new or gently used kids Winter clothing or food to give, please email hpemustang@gmail.com. Items will be accepted day of during event. Monetary donations can be made to PayPal: hpemustang@gmail.com.

Please wear a mask. Social distancing will be required.

Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year!

Please join us on October 7, for our first PTA general meeting. We will open the Zoom meeting at 6:00pm and start the agenda at 6:30pm. You do not need to be a member to join! Families, staff and community members are all welcome. Please email hpemustang@gmail.com to request Zoom meeting link or see our Facebook page. Let us know if you have questions or want to request future meeting agenda items.

Want to join the PTA? Even in a remote setting there are lots of ways to get involved. The HPE PTA is seeking someone to take on important role of board Vice President. Other opportunities- donate, be part of PTA subcommittee, join the school Race & Equity team, etc.

To join HPE PTA, please click here: https://www.memberplanet.com/packetview/highlandparkpta/ptapacket

We look forward to working together to be Mustang Strong this year! While all of us are impacted by the ongoing pandemic and racial justice movement, this is an opportunity for us to build our local school community to be even stronger!

Octavia of Earth

Via Uncaged Librarian Productions

If you love local authors, science fiction, musicals, documentaries, or all of the above, then here is something to check out!

Register here after you’ve read about the show!

Uncaged Librarian Productions of Oakland is having a special Zoom performance of their show Octavia of Earth. From their website:

The philosophy behind Uncaged Librarian is all about lifting up the hearts and minds of social change workers. Morale is low all over the country right now, and with good reason. We hope our good news gives you a little boost as you round out your week.

Octavia of Earth, our documusical inspired by the life of science fiction luminary Octavia E. Butler, is back and better than ever! The whole team at Uncaged Librarian Arts & Information is thrilled to share our work-in-progress film with you in a 6-part series from October through April. Each month, we’ll screen the work in progress, do a live Q&A with members of the creative team, and give you sneak peeks of new material and behind-the-scenes goodies from the production so far.

There are 100 seats available for the October launch of our series. All events are FREE to attend! We hope you’ll consider making a donation to support our work, as we build towards a new goal: releasing a standalone feature-length film by the end of 2022! All donations are now tax-deductible through our partnership with Independent Arts & Media.

So, grab a buddy (imaginary friends welcome), pop some popcorn, and tune in as we bring the legend to life on Saturday, October 17! Do register early, though — all of our in-person shows have sold out, and we hope to continue that trend with a full virtual house next month!

4:00pm – 4:30pm Pacific/7:00 pm Eastern: virtual doors open (pre-show socializing for those who enjoy that sort of thing)

4:30pm – 5:30pm Pacific/7:30pm – 8:30pm Eastern: Screening!

5:30pm – 6:00pm Pacific/8:30pm – 9:00pm Eastern: Q&A with special guests!

There will be a short intermission between the end of the screening and the beginning of the live Q&A.

Playground Project!

Are you interested in the future of the playground? This is a perfect opportunity to speak your voice and be heard!

Did you know that until very recently Highland Park Elementary had never had any equipment on the big playground? Several years ago Highland Park Plays was formed to help change that. Through the efforts of that group, and in partnership with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the playground has changed drastically!

A rock scramble, slides, a huge net climber were installed in 2019 and Phase 1 was complete! Through a partnership with the Seattle Sounders and the Rainwise program of King County the rain garden was installed on the north side of the building. The Salmon Fence Mural was also installed, after a year of working with the students and community outreach to get salmon cut outs painted and prepared for everyone to enjoy. Things were moving!

Now we are looking at the second phase of construction on the playground. Before construction began changes were made to the master plan to save resources, and now that plan needs to be revised before we can move forward. A Playground Steering Committee was formed to help apply for a grant through the Department of Neighborhoods matching grant program. We are using that money to hire a new design company and you can be a part of it! We will be soliciting bids and looking at a new design for Phase 2.

The grant is a matching grant – the city puts up the money and we put up the time. We need people to join the committee to help hire a new design firm, and we need people to help us reach out and get input from the larger community when it comes time to actual design. Your hours literally translate to dollars for our community!

Please email highlandparkplays@gmail.com, or contact the PTA on the contact link if you are interested in being part of our committee.

Thank you, and we look forward to hearing from you!