SPREE is a big hit again!

The Ballard High School SPREE, the all night, alcohol free, drug free party was another huge success!

A few hours after a wonderful commencement ceremony, newly graduated seniors started loading on to buses at 9:30pm, and headed out for a long phone/device free all nighter at the Family Fun Center and The Urban Loft. The excitement was palpable, even as they had to surrender those devices, as well as keys and other “contraband”!

The buses rolled in right on time at 6:00am the next morning, and while you could certainly sense a little less excitement, there were big smiles on the faces on a couple hundred tired kids.

A gigantic Thank You to our SPREE Chairs: Carolyn Stalter and Peggy Gudgell, who worked all year to make this event a success. Thanks also to the chaperones who tagged along all night, charged with the thankless tasks of watching the doors!

We really feel strongly that this is a great way to the year for our Seniors, and I hope the kids enjoyed this as much as they appeared to, and that the event lived up to the expectations written all over their faces.

By | 2017-06-20T14:28:27+00:00 June 20th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

We have a new Board!

Your 2017-2018 Ballard High School PTSA Executive Committee
  • President: Chris Witeck
  • Vice President: Jenny Peters
  • Treasurer: Deborah Haensli
  • Secretary: Kimball Mullins
 Congratulations to all of you! New terms begin July 1, 2017.
By | 2017-06-09T15:43:59+00:00 June 9th, 2017|Announcements|0 Comments

Final PTSA General Meeting of the year

The last 2016-2017 General Meeting of the Ballard High School PTSA is coming up!

Be there: June 8th, 6:00 PM, Ballard High School Library

A celebration of this awesome school year, this is going to be a great meeting and we’d love to have you there! We have a very full agenda that we are going to try to get through quickly, so people can leave in time for the concert at 7:30. We’ll end our evening with a display of some of the wonderful things this PTSA has been able to supply through our Grants Program. Also:

  1. A summary of our financial position and a vote on a new budget
  2. A report from our principal, Keven Wynkoop
  3. Introduction of our new Head Librarian
  4. Election of new PTSA officers
  5. And maybe the most fun of all: Golden Acorn and Outstanding Educator Awards! You’ll want to be here for these as the folks that are getting these awards are very very deserving indeed

Grab the agenda for this meeting right here!

Don’t miss this meeting – it’s going to be a lot of fun!

By | 2017-06-09T15:58:20+00:00 June 1st, 2017|Announcements|0 Comments

Would you like to make a difference? Join the board, or let us know how you can help!

Are you interested in helping Ballard High School ensure that teachers, families, and students have access to the resources, tools and support they need for the best education possible? Do you have experience fundraising, coordinating or planning? The Ballard High School has opportunities for the 2017-2018 school year, either for committee members or for smaller, well-defined and short-term volunteer opportunities. Whatever your experience, chances are we have an opportunity for you to contribute. As part of the Ballard High School PTSA, you can make a difference by helping to cultivate an excellent education environment for all Ballard High School Students.

For the 2017-2018 school year the following positions are open:

  1. President
  2. Vice President
  3. Secretary

We also have some non-elected positions open, which give you an opportunity to both have a vote and contribute, and open up the possibility of more down the road.

We’d love to have your help! Please read more, and tell us how you would like to help

About the Ballard High School PTSA:

The Ballard High School PTSA is made up of the elected positions of President(s), Vice President(s), Treasurer, and Secretary as well as the appointed positions of Volunteer Coordinator, Membership Chair, Legislative Liaison, Nominating Committee Chair, Principal, and Building Leadership Team (BLT). These positions have one seat, one vote- shared positions share one vote.

In addition, the Ballard High School PTSA is also made up of several standing committees. Committee chairs and members do not have a vote, but play a crucial role in the everyday work of the PTSA.

Open Elected Positions:

The Ballard High School PTSA Executive Committee is made up of the elected positions of President(s), Vice President(s), Treasurer, and Secretary. The following elected positions are open for the next school year. These positions will be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by attendees in a PTSA Board meeting. Once elected you have the choice of serving in this position for a maximum of two years.


The Ballard PTSA President(s) is responsible for providing leadership and direction to the organization. They will preside over PTSA Board and General Membership meetings. They set the agendas for all PTSA Board and General Meetings. They Ensure that pertinent PTSA information is distributed to membership. They also determine appropriate and investment interests of the PTSA general membership. They work with the treasurer to oversee appropriate allocation of funds per established annual budget and they are an approved PTSA check signer and available to treasurer as needed to go-sign PTSA checks approved PTSA check signer and available to treasurer as needed to co-sign PTSA checks. In addition, the President will work with PTSA Board to recruit chairs for committees. They will also attend “PTSA and the Law” training session

Vice President:

The Ballard High School PTSA Vice President will perform the duties of the President when the President is absent or unable to serve. They will plan all PTSA meeting agendas with the President and will work with all committee chairs to ensure they have all of the necessary information they need to perform their duties.

The Secretary Attends PTA-sponsored workshops or trainings. Keep an accurate, concise, permanent record of the proceedings of all meetings of the association and of the executive board. These minutes are the legal record of the PTSA and the original copy of the minutes is known as the master copy. Prepare a list of unfinished business items for the president and assist with preparation of the agenda, if requested. Prepare the minutes and give a copy to the president soon after each meeting. Record of each motion voted upon. Record of results of any election and votes cast.
By | 2017-05-16T03:03:18+00:00 April 26th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

It’s PTSA Awards Time Again at Ballard High School

Every year, your Ballard High School PTSA gives out Golden Acorn and Outstanding Educator awards. If you have a suggestion as to who should receive one of these awards, please let us know. We need your help to step up and nominate that teacher who always goes that extra mile, or to that quiet contributor from among our PTSA community, who always chips in to help!


Submit Your Suggestion Now!


Golden Acorn

The Golden Acorn Award is offered by the Washington State PTA in recognition of a volunteer(s) for his/her dedication and service to children and youth. It recognizes volunteer service “above and beyond” a particular job description.


Outstanding Educator

The Outstanding Educator Award was created to recognize individuals who have provided outstanding educational opportunities for children and youth that are beyond the normal scope of their jobs to make the learning environment fun, beneficial, and challenging.

Recipients of both awards receive a certificate and pin, and a contribution is made in their name to the Washington State PTA Scholarship Program that benefits students.

So who’s already won an award?
So many contribute! We do try to acknowledge people that have not been recognized in the recent past. Please take a look at recent recipients of these awards here: Ballard High School PTSA Award Recipients
By | 2017-03-31T18:28:58+00:00 March 31st, 2017|Announcements|0 Comments

Giving out grants is one of the big reasons we do this!

Yesterday on March 27, 2017, we held our 2nd grants distribution meetings of the 2016-2017 school year. W were thrilled to be able to give out over $30,000 in grants!

This is reason we do this. We really feel that we want to cultivate an excellent educational environment for all Ballard High Students.

Through listening to our students and families to understand and advocate for their needs, listening to our teachers to understand what they need in order provide the best education possible to our students, and by engaging our community through fundraising activities to ensure that teachers, families and students have access to the resources, tools and support they need for the best education possible.

These meetings are where we exercise these principles. Yesterday, we gave out more than $30,000 and here are some examples of how your dollars are being used:

  • Language Arts- We gave $1000 do Gordon Macdougall to help produce a higher quality Ink Journal in advance of the upcoming Spilled Ink event. This completed funding of the initial ask from last Fall, where students made a very impressive presentation
  • Science- We funded a much needed project for Samantha Maykut to update the electrical cord systems in her science room – $5000. And, he completed funding with a 43300 grant to Dewey Moody, to upgrade hand held LabQuest devices, alleviating scheduling issues, and providing more up to date units
  • Health and Fitness- We gave Tami Reese $1500 to continue updating Health books, allowing her to retire the 30 year old books in use now! And, $1000 for some new equipment for PE classes
  • Talisman- This one was especially gratifying, because this presentation and ask was actually made by Talisman student staff members. Their tenacity and impressive presentation was rewarded with $1250 to help them keep things running, and stay on course for three more issues this school year!
  • Fine Arts- Gina O’Neill was given $650 for photography consumables
  • Business and Marketing- We funded $679 so that Mary Jereczek can have their new machine plumbed in and we gave Eric Blazevic $1695 for Retail Marketing Business Simulator software
  • Library- Debbie Arthur asked for $6300 to purchase 32 new laptops, along with a cart to keep them charged up. These will replace the four old (and not long for the world) laptops that have dwindled in count from 32 to 20
  • Proyecto Saber- Suanne Kauffman asked for $1600 for her extremely popular Cinco De Mayo event and some supplies, and we were happy to provide it
  • Social Studies- Carol Faust and Kira Franz-Knight showed us some great examples of learning materials, and we gave them $1100 for more of the same, and for some supplies
  • World Language- Eileen Yardley and  Vanesa Lopez Madrid showed us some great examples of reading materials being used in their classes, and asked for some funds in support of some professional development. We awarded them over $5000

As you can see, we get requests from all parts of Ballard High School

We do try to be very thoughtful in our deliberations. Grants are distributed based on consideration of the following:

  • Does the request enhance and support materials or activities that strengthen the academic program* at BHS?
  • Does the request serve a broad spectrum and/or large number of BHS students?
  • Will the request for an activity or program require ongoing annual funding support in order to continue?

At the same time, though, we do not try to enforce any strict “regulations” and are keenly aware that education in Washington remains woefully underfunded. It’s always a spirited meeting, but one that we all look forward to.

I hope that you enjoy the results of our work, and of your donation, and I hope you will contact us with any feedback or questions.

By | 2017-03-28T19:18:17+00:00 March 28th, 2017|Announcements, Fundraising|1 Comment

Top 10 Reasons to come to the BASH!

The BASH is coming up fast! Mark your calendar for April 29th, 2017!

Here are the Top 10 reasons you need to get your tickets now:

  1. Compete with other tables to get the best treat at the Dessert Dash
  2. Enjoy appetizers and a full dinner
  3. Try out this years signature cocktail
  4. Meet new people as you mingle with Ballard staff and parents
  5. Ask our beloved principal, Keven Wynkoop anything you would like to know about how your kid is really doing at school
  6. Find out about fantastic hosted parties coming up this year
  7. Grab a great bottle of wine
  8. Bid on exciting getaways, tickets, gift cards, and more
  9. Support this year’s Funded Item – new equipment and uniforms for our growing and award winning Performing Arts programs
  10. To have a Damn Good Beaver time!

See you there!

By | 2017-03-28T18:17:01+00:00 March 19th, 2017|Fundraising|1 Comment

Junior Class Parents: Chaperone at SPREE!

Hey parents of this year’s Junior’s! We invite you to chaperone the senior graduation party, SPREE, which promises to be a memorable event with most of the 2017 seniors attending! Come enjoy the fun first-hand and see what your graduate will experience next year! Dads would be great!

Monday, June 19, 10 pm to Tuesday, June 20, 6 am.

Help us get them onto the buses; facilitate some of the fun activities; and enjoy lots of food.

Contact us at bhsspree@gmail.com or call Peggy Gudgell at (206) 972-4481.

What is Senior SPREE?  Senior SPREE has been a Ballard High School tradition for many years – it is an all-night party hosted by Grad Nights and chaperoned by BHS parents and staff. Past venues include the Family Fun Center, the Pacific Science Center, and Rainforest Café. Past activities include, bowling, video games, sumo wrestling, henna artists, DJ’s, a hypnotist and LOTS and LOTS of FOOD!

By | 2017-03-28T18:17:12+00:00 March 13th, 2017|Announcements|0 Comments

February 2nd 2017 High School and Education Funding Panel Summary

On February 2nd 2017, the Ballard High School PTSA held a very successful High School and Education Funding Panel Summary at the Winter general meeting. Below is a summary of that panel. First, a thank you to our panelists for the evening:

  • Jerry Bender, Association of Washington School Principals
  • JoLynn Berge, Assistant Superintendent, Seattle Public Schools
  • Rick Burke, Director, Seattle Public Schools District 2
  • Noel Frame, WA State Representative, 36th Legislative District
  • Dan Gallagher, Director of College and Career Readiness, Seattle Public Schools Career and Technical Education
  • Eden Mack, Legislative Chair, Seattle Council PTA
  • Keven Wynkoop, Principal, Ballard High School
  • Heidi Bennett, Ballard High School PTSA, Moderator

IMG_3839 (1)

State Funding Crisis –Levy Cliff – Teacher and Staff Layoffs, Budgeting

Dem proposals using current Prototypical School Model (PSM)/funding formula to allocate FTEs and resources in their proposal, while Republican proposals to go back to using per pupil funding blocs for budgeting.

Current situation was likened to having carefully designed and built a car (PSM), but not putting gas into it, and saying that it doesn’t work. Dems want to fill up with gas, Rs want to re-design the car, and make do with less gas (funding).

Principals Association top priorities include: full state funding of public schools, including supports like counselors and nurses; professional development for principals, and simple majority vote for school bonds (as distinct from levies, which have already moved from super to simple majority vote approval margins).

School Board perspective includes value of continuity and stability for students and families, as well as robust materials, best practices by teachers and staff. Levy cliff disrupts these values.

Dems in legislature stress that state funding for public schools should be Sustainable, Sufficient, and Equitable.

District has around 3,000 teachers; anticipating around 200 RIFs between teachers and staff at schools and at central office, with many associated disruptive staff displacements between schools occurring as well.

TVW is a good resource, particularly Legislative Review program, to keep up with events.

Full Funding

  • Senate Republicans proposed and voted in a bill that would fully fund basic education (SB5607) and postpone the levy cliff until 2019.
  • Many problems with this bill, including, but not limited to the following:
    • The Republican plan is based on replacing current local levies with a state property tax levy. Unfortunately, this assumes that current levels of funding are sufficient.
    • Past legislation has allocated funding based on a “prototypical school”, but the Republican plan changes this to a per pupil funding model of $12,500. The problem with this is that it ignores the needs of schools based on location and the diverse needs of their students. Independent studies have shown the prototypical model is the most fair at allocating funds.
    • There would be more money for ELL and Special Education students, but no extra money for students with mental health, drug, alcohol, or homelessness issues.
    • All money the state receives from federal sources, including free and reduced lunch funds, Title I funds, bond issues, and special education funds would be deducted from the $12,500 total.
    • High poverty schools would receive extra funds, but the poverty level would be changed to the federal poverty level. Right now the state uses free and reduced lunch income levels to determine which schools receive extra funds – these levels are significantly higher than the federal poverty rate.
    • The plan also eliminates lower class sizes that were voted into law in initiative 1351.
    • Some results: ⅔ of school districts will lose funds; many districts would lose funds and see an increase in taxes; Seattle could see $50 million decrease in Special Education funding; new funding system not put into place until 2020 while levy funding would expire in 2018, leaving a 1 year gap in funding (another levy cliff).
  • The House has come out with its own policy for funding and will discuss it in the appropriations committee on Monday, February 6th (HB1843).
  • The Governor has also come out with a plan for fully funding education.
  • A comparison of all 3 plans can be found here: WEA comparison and WSPTA comparison

SPS options for this coming year’s $74 million budget shortfall:

  • Spend all reserves
  • Roll back decreases in K-3 class sizes
  • Roll back assistant principal supports
  • Decrease funding for librarians, counselors, and nurses
  • Cut central office funding by 5.3% (25 positions), and schools by 4% (limited layoffs, mostly through natural turnover, but there would be a lot of staff moving around)
  • Most of the cuts would be at elementary schools

24 Credit Graduation Requirement

Principals study group is evaluating options for 24 credit graduation requirement, which will phase in starting with this year’s 8th graders. They are re-envisioning high school programming and scheduling; possibly moving away from traditional 6 period day. They are viewing issues through an equity lens. Graduation requirements not the same as college entrance requirements.

Considering 3 trimesters, 5 classes instead of 6, for 7.5 credits per year; more choices and flexibility to meet 24 credits, and have more wiggle room to achieve graduation.

  • Currently students in Seattle need 21 credits to graduate
  • 24 credit requirements will affect rising 8th graders
  • SPS currently offers 24 credits, so there will be no buffer for failure after new requirements take effect
  • There are opportunities for students to get “cross-credits” in which 1 class actually counts for 2 credits (especially for Career and Technical Education – CTE – classes) or “dual-credits” in which 1 class counts for high school and college credit
  • High school principals are currently meeting every 2 weeks to reenvision the high school schedule to make it more relevant for today’s students

Lincoln High School opening

Rick Burke is lead for School Board on Lincoln HS. There will be public meetings over next several months; opportunities to get involved in planning. Opening date 2019. Capital funding in place. Lots of details to be worked out.

Plans for the New Lincoln High School:

  • Will open in 2019
  • Will require a reevaluation of high school boundaries across the district, with new boundary adoptions made by October 2017
  • Boundary adoptions will also reflect a planned 500 student addition to Ingraham High School
  • The enrollment model has not yet been determined (SPS Board member Rick Burke is leaning toward opening it as a 9th and 10th grade school)
  • Planning to select principal by fall of 2017
  • Program will be determined by community engagement (SPS Board member Rick Burke is planning a community meeting on February 17th, but no details yet

Notes provided by Brian Duncan, Legislative Chair, Ballard High School PTSA and Natalya Yudkovsky, Legislative Chair, Eckstein Middle School PTSA. Please note that while our note takers did an excellent job, there may be inaccuracies and errors. It was a busy night, and a lot of ground was covered. 

By | 2017-03-25T01:43:07+00:00 February 6th, 2017|News|0 Comments
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