State of Our School, College Night, Blood Drive - 1/12/2018

State of Our School, College Night, Blood Drive - 1/12/2018

Dear Spartan Families,

This week we held our annual State of the School address and invited families, faculty, students, and community members to come together to learn more about our progress at Sierra.  At this event, we were able to give families an update on our school‘s academic progress in the first semester and update you on goals for the remainder of the year.  I’d like to personally thank all those that were able to attend.  We’re so proud of our successes, and we’re excited to continue to partner with you all everyday to get better and better.  Please click here for a link to the State of Our School Presentation to learn more.

Also this week, we continued great work as scholars in our classes.  In English 10, students dove deeply into close reading novels in their World Literature Projects and in World History 1, young historians hustled to complete research essays about revolutions around the world.

As always along with great academic progress, we’re constantly striving to build a connected community at Sierra.  Many mentor groups engaged in different activities to continue to foster secure and supportive attachments.  Check out the photo of Mr. Mendez’s Mentor Group, the Bo Ties, in a community builder below.  I look forward to seeing more academic and community growth in the coming weeks!

Thank you,

L. Denice Randle
Assistant Director
Summit Sierra




No School: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 15, 2018

Sierra will be closed in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 15, 2018. We encourage all students to reflect on the ideals of Dr. King on this day including service, justice, equality, and civil rights. Students will be on a modified schedule that week, where they will follow their Monday class schedule on Friday, January 19th. There will be no PLT Friday that week.


Blood Drive: January 26, 2018

Sierra’s Activism Club is proud to host our school’s first Blood Drive on January 26, 2018 in partnership with Bloodworks Northwest. Students ages 16 and up will have the opportunity to sign up to give blood during the school day from 9:00am – 3:00pm. Please contact Ms. Visperas at for more information.

11th Grade Sierra Family College NightJanuary 31, 2018

Please join us on Wednesday, January 31 from 6:30 – 8:00pm for workshops and resources for college planning, paying for college, the application process, and more! Food will be provided. Please register at:  For more information, please contact Ms. Nguyen at




Basketball Games:

Click here for an updated schedule for Basketball Games.

See the school calendar on for specific dates.

Please contact Coach James Hampton with any questions or comments. He can be reached at


Ultimate Frisbee:

Frisbee tryouts will be held on 1/17, 1/18, and 1/19 from 3:45 – 5:00pm at Beacon Hill Playfield.  Students can meet Captain Oscar in the OLS at 3:35pm on any day to walk over together to the tryouts.  For more information, please contact Ms. Temes at or Captain Oscar Cortes at



Core Characteristic Award Winners

Every week, the faculty submits nominations for students who have exhibited our Core Characteristics and we recognize these students publicly at the All School Meeting on Fridays.  Please join us in recognizing the following students for displaying the Core Characteristics this week –

Courage: Jamell Dillon

Even though this student had gotten behind in a few classes, he decided to step up and face his obstacles to get back on track. He worked diligently to meet with his teachers, check-in with his mentor, and not get intimidated by the amount of work he had to do. He was able to clear several incompletes and create new habits to stay on track in the future.

Responsibility: Jordan Call

This student showed responsibility this week by getting ahead in his reading for English class.  Since he was ahead of the reading schedule, he was able to complete his checkpoint on time and even get multiple rounds of feedback in class and via email.  We can all learn from how he prepared himself outside of class and pushed himself to be ready ahead of time.

Integrity: Zahra Ahmed

This student came to her socratic seminar highly prepared. Each of her comments clearly showed that she had taken the time to gather evidence from each of her sources and present the information to the group. I was extremely impressed with the academic integrity that she demonstrated in thoroughly preparing for the discussion.

Curiosity: Sahra Dahir

This student has been asking thoughtful questions in math class to expand upon her learning and dive deeper into the subject.

Respect: Tristen Johnson

This student constantly brings up the value of respect and challenges his peers to uphold this value. He often speaks insightfully on the importance of respect and how it can make or break a learning environment and community. I can always count on this student to connect this value to ourday to day lives.

Compassion: Mia Mitchell

This student helped welcome a new student and show them around the school.



Spartan Shout Out

We’d like to recognize 9th grader, Bernardo Savitt, for serving as a legislative page in the state capitol this week! Bernardo served as a page this week in the Washington State House of Representatives sponsored by State Rep. Nicole Macri (D-Seattle). Pages perform a wide variety of responsibilities, from presenting the flags to distributing amendments on the House floor. In addition to contributing to the efficient operation of the Legislature, pages receive daily civics instruction, draft their own bills, and participate in mock committee hearings. Bernardo enjoys playing tennis, soccer and chess. He also enjoys writing and drawing in his free time. Join us in recognizing Bernardo’s great participation!



Inclement Weather Announcement

As a reminder to all families and community members, Sierra will follow Seattle Public Schools’ schedule in the event of inclement weather or school closure. We will inform famliies of inclement weather via email post and our school website will be updated.



Call for Shoe Boxes

Do you have any old shoe-boxes that you could donate to our Physics classroom? Our first project of 2018 will have students designing, building, and wiring a model house. Each student will need a shoe-box or equivalent cardboard as a base for their structure. Any help would be greatly appreciated! 🙂 Check out the picture below of an example Physics Model House Project –

For more information, please contact Mr. Bakke at

Call for Panelists

Hello parents! Did you attend an HBCU? Did anyone you know attend an HBCU? We are looking for participants for a panel about HBCUs happening in February at Summit Sierra. If you know anyone who can support us with this event, please email Mr. Sobiek at



College Corner:


Having conversations about the significance and benefits of a college education is important for student motivation and academic achievement. Click HERE for talking points and resources.


While juniors are preparing to take the college entrance SAT or ACT exams, sophomores can look ahead at their PSAT test in the spring. The PSAT stands for Preliminary SAT and it serves two purposes: preparation test for the actual SAT and to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). PSAT 10th grade will be given in late spring, while PSAT/NMSQT 11th grade will be available in the fall. For practice exams, click HERE.

Junior College Lab Office Hours

Beginning Jan. 8th, Ms. Nguyen will hold College Lab during Monday office hours:

January Dates: Jan. 16, 22, 29

Students can work on any college and career related material independently or as a group. The focus in the next three months in College Lab will be SAT & ACT strategies.


Summit Sierra will be supporting juniors in the SAT and ACT registration process for the February ACT and March SAT test. All juniors should take either test at least once during their junior year and again during their senior year. We recommend for students to take either test at least 3 times total or until the ideal score is reached. Fee waivers are available for students with free and reduced lunch. Please check in with juniors for their progress in their Sierra Method Online test prep program. Contact Ms. Nguyen at for additional information.
Want to begin the registration process on your own? Please take a look at this PowerPoint for support!


February 10
ACT Jan. 12
(1/19 with late fee)
March 10
SAT only Feb. 9
(2/28 with late fee)
April 14
ACT Mar. 9
(3/23 with late fee)
May 5
SAT & SAT Subject Apr. 6
(4/25 with late fee)
June 2
SAT & SAT Subject May 3
(5/23 with late fee)
June 9
ACT May 4
(5/18 with late fee)

AP Testing Information:

11th Grade Families! Please mark on your calendars that the AP US History exam is May 11 at 8AM and AP English Language and Composition is May 16 at 8AM. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Crook (APUSH) at and Ms. Visperas (APLang) at



Community Resources and Opportunities:

Volunteer Opportunity at Wing Luke Museum:

Wing Luke Museum is seeking event volunteers for its Lunar New Year Fair on Saturday, February 10. The fair is a celebration of Asian Pacific American traditions with family-friendly activities such as games and crafts. It’s an event that not only brings visitors to the museum, but also supports the neighborhood. Volunteers answer questions about the day and lead activities, and many ofthem will be from other high schools or college-age students. The museum often sees Summit Sierra students passing by and would love to invite them in to learn more about the museum and more about local history.

There are a few different shift options in the call for volunteers, but SummitSierra students are encouraged to volunteer for the mid-day 12:00pm-3:30pmshift. We ask that volunteers arrive 30 minutes beforehand  (11:30am for this shift) for food and drink and orientation.

Click here for a flyer to learn more about volunteering.

Contact your mentor or let Ms. Nguyen ( know if you are interested. Different positions available.

Sierra Contemporary Band:

Sierra Contemporary Band is looking for new members! The band has met intermittently during Fall semester.  They put on a short concert of holiday carols at lunch on Friday the 15th.  The band will continue to meet every Friday(including Fridays during Expeditions) from 3:30 to 5:00 at Summit for the duration of the school year. Chris Littlefield and Amy Denio from the Seattle Drum School are the teachers. The cost is on a “pay what you can” basis so no one should hold back attending for that reason. Instrumental music experience is preferred. Students interested should show up on Fridays at 330 and please email Chris at if questions. Hope to see you in January!

Global Teen Leadership Summer Programs:

Would you like to study abroad in Mexico this summer?  YMCA of Seattle is proud to present its Global Teen Leadership Summer Program.  The program will take students to Mexico from August 4th – 11th, 2018 to live with families in home stays and complete a community development project.  Sliding scale payment is available based on income level.  Click here to learn more. 

The Service Board:

Each year, the Service Board brings together a group of young high-schoolers and adult mentors from a broad range of academic, racial, cultural and economic backgrounds to engage in a demanding six-month program. Program participants meet twice weekly from January through June, with weekend activities rotating between intensive service learning projects and snowboarding, hence our name: the Service Board.

Music, snowballs, fresh food and a sense of community are the common threads that tie the program together. In accordance with our unique mentoring model, each mentor serves the program rather than an individual teen, giving our students a range of strengths and resources from which to draw. the Service Board emphasizes the importance of youth empowerment and healthy, sustainable decisions to educate tomorrow’s leaders.

Please click here to access the application for The Service Board and to learn more.

Piano and Violin Lessons

Laura Choi is a piano and violin teacher who has traditionally taught students coming from low-income households. If you have a mentee who is interested in taking lessons for violin or piano, regardless of their ability to pay for lessons, please reach out to her at!

Washington World Fellows Program

Application Deadline: February 16, 2018
Click here to access the application

The Washington World Fellows program is an equity-focused academic fellowship open to 10th grade student applicants in Washington state. Starting in the summer of 2018, the fellowship will consist of a six-week immersive Spanish language study abroad program in Léon, Spain, with a full college-level academic schedule, as well as post-trip college-readiness support. Before departing for Spain, students will attend a series of pre-departure orientation sessions in the spring in preparation for the study abroad program, and after their return, will have access to leadership opportunities and college application assistance through their 11th and 12th grade years.

The overarching purpose of the program is to provide students who may lack access to similar opportunities with an academic and study abroad experience that will support their trajectory into college, enhance their high school academics, and afford them a new sense of global awareness. In order to fulfill that goal, the program will be administered at no cost to students, including airfare.

Up to 20 current 10th grade students will be selected this spring to take part in the Washington World Fellows program. Students must be first nominated by their teachers for the program to apply, and will be selected based on the strength of their applications.

Students will be notified of their acceptance into the program by March 9th.

In order to apply, students must first be nominated by at least one of their high school grade teachers. 10th grade teachers are asked to nominate up to three of their 10th grade students that they believe are likely to gain the most from the program — that is, students who are motivated, but may not have access to similar opportunities. After verifying their nominees’ interest, teachers submit students’ names to the Washington World Fellows online application. Teachers will serve as a character reference for their nominees, and nominees will be automatically notified of their nomination. Teachers are encouraged to help students fill out their online applications, and help connect parents with information about the program.

Nomination Criteria:
• nominees must be United States citizens or legal residents of the United States
• nominees must be current 10th grade students
• nominees must have completed one year of high school Spanish by the summer of 2018 (or be able to demonstrate elementary conversational Spanish)
• nominees should be academically motivated, but may lack access to similar opportunities
• nominees should demonstrate the maturity to handle a 6-week study abroad experience
• nominees should be motivated to enhance their language skills and demonstrate an interest in travel

Youth in Focus

Location: 2100 24th Ave. S. #310 Seattle, WA 98144

Are you a budding photographer?  Join Youth in Focus!  Youth in Focus is now enrolling for their Winter Session offering classes in digital and darkroom photography.  Classes are 4:30 – 7:00pm either on Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday.  Participants may earn service hours for completing the program.  We have had several Spartans participate in this program before, and they have all given high reviews.  Click here to access the application.