Message From Your Principal • June 14th 2017

Message From Your Principal • June 14th 2017

Dear Families,

Happy Summer Break! We hope that you have had a wonderful start to the summer. Included in this e-mail are several important resources and one important action items for juniors (sign up to take the PSAT to potentially qualify for National Merit Scholarship money).

Our final week of the school year was both meaningful and fun. Mr. Nelson and Mr. Mendez orchestrated our inaugural Academic Awards Breakfast on Tuesday where faculty members gave heartfelt speeches highlighting students who excelled in their courses. We also celebrated students who consistently attended school and those whose grade point average placed them on the honor roll. On Friday, we participated in our annual field day and BBQ tradition, this year led by Oscar, Arnav, An, and Jack. They did a beautiful job planning and coordinating the games and activities for students (see photos below). We also so appreciated the families who make us a delicious BBQ lunch!

During our all school meeting on Friday, Denice and I spoke to students about making healthy, goal- and future-aligned choices over the summer. We touched on mental health, physical health, and sexual health. We also share the importance of virtual responsibility. This point is so important, and because it is a challenge that we didn’t have to confront as high school students, I want to share a story with you to trigger conversation with your children. This past month, Harvard revoked college acceptances for 10 students for obscene memes sent in a private group chat (read more here). I also shared a story about how a friend was asked to open his facebook profile at an interview with a prestigious investment firm in New York City. Universities and companies take offensive comments very seriously, whether they are made verbally or online. Our children need to be reminded that everything they type, send, and post can be photographed and saved. Please speak with your students about how important it is that their choices in both physical and virtual spaces align with their values and goals.

We will be mailing final report cards, including MAP growth in reading and in math to all families with the supply list and beginning of the school year dates. If Chromebooks or chargers haven’t been returned, or students still have meal balances, we will hold the report card until those things are submitted. Please contact Ms. Lopez with any questions

We have a new FAX NUMBER: 206-455-8686!

Please reach out if you have any questions over the summer. Please also feel free to stop by to say hi. The school will be open from 9:00am-3:00pm daily except the week of July 3rd-7th.

Have a great summer!

Take good care,

Juniors: Do you want to take the PSAT to potentially earn National Merit Awards, which can be used to pay for college? Read more about National Merit here. Sign up to take the PSAT NMSQT (only this PSAT qualifies students for National Merit) by next Tuesday, June 20th. Sign up here. Please ensure only one sign up per student. In the past, families have signed up for their student, and the student has signed up as well. The cost is $15. If this is a financial burden for your family, please see Ms. Tianna. The date for this test is Saturday, October 14th. Sign up here.

PS: 2 entering Freshman who play the trumpet and are interested in forming some type of music ensemble–jazz or chamber or whatever works best with the various musicians available. Does your child play an instrument and would he or she like to play together with others? Beginners are welcome. Details as to when this might occur are TBD but looking now just for potential participants in some group musical activity. Please email Sean Stitham and  Lisa Harris if your child is interested and/or if you have other suggestions.

Here the Hash Browns take on another mentor group in the Second-Annual Field Day, this year held indoors. We had great fun playing our field games and eating a delicious BBQ prepared by our families. Thank you so much to parents who helped!

In the photo below, our students were working diligently to get started on their coursework for next year in the first drop-in jump start day. Students passed an average of three content assessments and over 30 students attended. More info is below.

Supply List + Beginning of the School Year Dates:  Please have students bring in the attached items on their first day of school!

School Calendar: Please note, we have moved our winter break to align with Seattle Public Schools. Also, this includes several event dates!

One of our goals is for incoming and returning students is to learn how be proactive in their school work so that they are able to balance their classwork and not get behind. To this end, we will offer students the opportunity to come to school and practice our PLP-Personalized Learning Platform and to attempt their first content assessments (project tests). The dates of these workshops are on July 19th and August 8th from 10:00am-3:00pm at Summit Sierra.

All students who plan to attend should plan to bring their lunch.

We now have a much better idea of our enrollment numbers and are ready to make our summer enrollment push! We still have a handful of spaces open in the 9th and 10th grades. It is our goal to make sure every family in the surrounding communities know about their school choices and WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!

Here are 2 ways you can help us spread the word:

If you have any family and friends interested in the school have them go ahead and apply. You can go to or click on the Wa Summit Application link. 

2. SPREAD the WORD Sign ups!
You have your spot- now help other families know about their options! Come pick up flyers to handout in your community and sign up for which schools, community centers, sports teams and faith organizations you want to handout flyers to!

Pick-Up Fliers at Summit Sierra from 9:00am-3:00pm daily.

Summer is a critical time for students to continue their learning. Our brains are like a muscle, and if we stop using our brains, we will lose skills and knowledge. Read more about summer learning loss here. 

We encourage you to support your student to continue learning this summer in the following ways. Please note, we know some families may not have internet access at home and students will not be able keep their Chromebooks over the summer. All public libraries have computers and internet access that students can use for FREE! There are also many other places in Seattle that offer free computer access.  Here  is an interactive map for all community centers that offer free computer and internet services.

Numeracy is a critical skill for all students! Students should spend 2 hours per week practicing math! Students can  log into Khan Academy: to practice math over the summer.

Current students already use Khan Academy for Summit Solves and should continue to use it over the summer. Incoming students can sign up easily sign up using any email address.  Student can practice “The World of Math”, “Pre-Algebra” or “ Algebra I” topics.

Speaking any language requires consistent practice. Duolingo is a great way to practice your Spanish (they also have other languages) over the summer: (there is also a Duolingo app for your phone!)

Current students already have a login for this website. Incoming students can sign up on the website using any email address. If you know some Spanish already, you can take the placement test, or you can start with the basics!

Reading is a great ways for students to work out their brain over the summer! Students should read at least four books over the summer to grow in their literacy skills. Here is a list of fiction and nonfiction books the Sierra faculty recommends. Most of these books are recommended reading for AP Language and AP Literature.

  • Black Boy by Richard Wright

  • I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

  • No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row by Susan Kuklin
    The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
    “Master Harold” . . . and the boys by Athol Fugard

  • Everyday by David Levithan

  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

  • Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

  • The Namesake by Jumpa Lahiri

  • All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

  • Atonement by Ian McEwan

  • Native Speaker by Chang Rae-Lee

  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

  • A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

  • The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan

  • Between the World and Me by Coates, Ta-Nehisi

  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

  • I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

  • Night by Elie Wiesel

  • Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age by Al-Khatahtbeh, Amani

  • Hidden Figures The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women Who Helped Launch Our Nation Into Space by Lee Shetterly, Margot

  • The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X

  • Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, or Sula, all by Toni Morrison