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 Volume 17 Issue 17

 Thursday, January 26, 2023



 Katie May

School Hours:

 8:55 a.m. - 3:25 p.m.

Early Release Wednesdays

 8:55 a.m. - 2:10 p.m.



If your child is absent from school, please contact the main office at

(206) 252-2800, or


and notify us of the absence and the reason for the absence, so we can keep accurate attendance data.

 All visitors to school MUST check in at the office upon entering campus. It is not a requirement to show a vaccination card for a visit to campus. We ask that parents not enter the building during arrival or dismissal unless they are entering for a meeting, to help us avoid congestion in the hallways for our students.


Contact information for Thurgood Marshall’s YMCA Program:

Math Progress


I have shared in previous newsletter articles some of the work we are doing in math – both on the teacher side of learning and on the student side of learning. Both teacher and student learning are equally important as we work towards making gains in math. Math has been an important focus at TM for the past 2 years. Our staff worked with Dr. Anita Lenges from the University of Washington Math Department to build strong teacher math identity and to learn ways to build strong math identities with our students. Another focus of this work to support students in becoming strong mathematical thinkers and problem-solvers and to take risks in communicating their mathematical thinking.

In addition to professional development with Dr. Lenges, we have worked with Brian Street, a math coach from the district, and teachers collaborate closely with our own Math Specialist, Donna Duarte. Last year we purchased math t-shirts for all students and staff to remind us that we are ALL mathematicians. We have 3 teachers identified as Math Fellows (Donna Duarte, Chloe Reed, and Sine Bodden) and these Fellows are part of the Learning For Equity Network, a partnership with Seattle University. This network spreads equitable math practices among 6 Seattle schools and within our school, too. Our staff has learned to give math interviews to students to help us better assess their thinking and to determine next steps in teaching individual students. We have explored a variety of math curricula (throughout our Pandemic years especially!) and have now adopted EnVision math school-wide along with the rest of Seattle Schools.

I have had the opportunity to walk through math classes with a variety of guests who are coming in to see what is happening in math at our school over the past few days. Our guests last week and this include Staff from UW’s Center for Educational Leadership, Administration and Teachers from Kimball, Bailey Gatzert, Leschi, John Muir and Madrona elementary schools, and Math Coach Brian Street.


Together, we have identified the many successes our school is having in math. These include:

  • High student engagement in math work. I no longer see students sitting by idly in math allowing their partners or teachers to do the math thinking for them.

  • A change in focus from correct answers being the only measure of success, to a focus on the thinking. As students will tell you, “The answer is not the math. The thinking is the math.” When I asked 5th grader LC about how she was solving a problem, her response was “I tried this strategy, but it didn’t work, so now I’m trying another. That’s how math works – you keep trying.”

  • An increase in students willing to take risks with their thinking.  It’s not just 2-3 high achievers who have their hands raised to share – it’s half the class or more each time teachers ask for a volunteer to share their work.

  • An increase in collaboration and self-advocacy. Students are fully engaging in turn and talks as they share their ideas and test out their peer’s ideas. In Ms. Damitio’s class, if you think you’ve solved a problem, you check your answer with your partner and once you find agreement, you check with another pair, too. It’s not solved until the group agrees on the solution and can explain their thinking, so they know it’s correct. These are real world skills that our students will use later in the work force.

  • Teachers are finding ways to make sure that all students can access math lessons. This includes creating math tasks that are scaffolded for students who may not yet have grade level skills and knowledge, pre-teaching important vocabulary students need to understand the problem, and teaching students how to closely read and think about what a problem is asking for rather than just jumping in to solve it. Ms. Carney’s class recently did some work on “numberless” word problems so that students could focus on the question without immediately jumping into manipulating numbers in the problem.

YOU (our TM Families) play an important role in this work, too!  You show up to our Academic Parent Teacher Team meetings to learn games you can play at home to build math skills, you make sure homework is getting completed, you practice math fact fluency with your students, you allow screen time on learning sites such as IXL, Khan Academy and extra math.  Remember that one of the most important things you can do for your child is to model your own confidence about math. When students here “Oh, I’m no good at math,” from their trusted adult, they may see not being good at math as an option for them, too. In today’s world, we all need to use math in some capacity, so please talk to your child about how you use math in everyday life and model for them the concept that we are ALL mathematicians!

A final note: we have been generously funded in our math work by Seattle’s Families, Education, Preschool and Promise Levy and by The Gates Foundation in partnership with Seattle University, and by the Stolte Foundation in partnership with WestEd. I have deep gratitude for this support – our work would not be possible without it!




February 1-28

Open Enrollment for School Choice


February 6 - 10

Black Lives Matter at School Week


Wednesday, February 1

Vaccination Clinic @ TME

11:30 AM-1:30 PM


Thursday, February 2 

Strike make-up day #1


Wednesday, February 8

FTME Board Meeting 

6:30 - 7:30 PM in school library


Thursday, February 9

-4:30-5:00 PM General School  Info Session

-5:00-5:45 PM – Highly Capable Cohort Info Session


Monday, February 13

National African American Parent Involvement Day

8:30 AM Breakfast


Thursday, February 16

8:35-9:05 AM General School Info Session

9-9:45 AM Parent Led Tour

APTT #2 Family Meeting 


February 20-24

Mid-Winter Break

(No School)

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TM Chess Players Win
1st Place Team Trophy


This past weekend, three TM students, Selina Cheng, Teddy Wright and Siddhy Dewan, participated in the St. Anne Celtic Challenge Winter 2023 Chess Tournament.

Selina won 1st place in her section, Teddy won 3rd place, Siddhy earned three points in his matches so together the three of them won the 1st place team trophy!


Way to represent our school – we are PROUD of you!

Protect your community-Get your Flu and COVID vaccines

Thurgood Marshall Elementary Vaccine Clinic

Wednesday, February 1   11:30 AM - 1:30 PM 


In partnership with Docere Center for Natural Medicine, Thurgood Marshall Elementary School will be hosting a vaccination clinic on February 1 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.  We will be offering (Hep A, Hep B, MMR, DTap/Tdap/TD, Varicella, Polio/IPV, HiB, PVC13, HPV, MCV, and MenB) vaccines for children 18 years of age and under.


Please fill out the registration form in the link below if you are interested in attending this vaccine clinic. Please fill out a separate form for each family member. Parents do not need to be present for student vaccines if consent is received ahead of time.

Link for form to sign up:

After filling out the registration form you will receive an e-mail from Docere Center for Natural Medicine requesting more information. This is required.

Please call if you have questions, need help, or difficulty with registration!

Colima Gibbons, RN - Phone: 206-252-2807

Kyla McClure, RN - Phone: 206-252-2789

Volunteer Needed for Tutu's Pantry

Formerly our school's food assistance backpack program, Tutu's Pantry, with guidance from FTME, is shifting to an open-shopping food pantry program.  Tutu's is looking for an operations coordinator to begin as soon as possible to help make pantry items available to families. 


Pantry operations coordinator would work closely with donations & stocking coordinator, liaising with Ms May & FTME to plan pantry hours, operations guidelines, and other logistics to best utilize Tutu’s to help families in need.


If you’re interested in learning more about this role, please reach out to Racheal at

National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID) is Monday, February 13. We are so excited to invite the families of our African and African American students to our school on this day. 


Please join us at 8:30 in the library where Ms. Trinia Washington, Family Literacy Connector will host a conversation with families. She will be joined by Mr. Zetterberg who will be sharing about library books featuring main characters of color, written by authors of color. Students are welcome to attend with parents from 8:30 until the playground opens at 8:40 AM.  Our NAAPID Breakfast will be followed by an in-person school assembly with JazzEd, open to our full school community.

National African American Parent Involvement Day

February 13 @ 8:30am in the Library

SPS Admissions Fair

Saturday, January 28 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Seattle Public Schools will host the Annual Admissions Fair for neighborhood and option schools on Saturday, January 28, at the John Stanford Center.  

Representatives from schools and district departments will be available to answer questions about their unique school and program, Open Enrollment and School Choice process.  School Choice for the 2023-24 School Year begins February 1, 2023. School Choice Forms will be available through Source in February.

Come meet SPS option school and program staff, talk to district leaders, and register your students!

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What happens when there are no books at the library in a family's native language? The South Seattle Somali community came together to make their own! A book launch and cultural literacy celebration for a collection of 5 new original Somali/English bilingual children’s books will be held Friday January 27th from 5:30pm-7:30pm at the New Holly Gathering Hall 7054 32nd Ave Seattle, WA 98118.

“Our books empower parents to realize that they are their child’s first teacher,” explains Farhiya Mohamed, Executive Director of Somali Family Safety Task Force (SFSTF) and mastermind of this language equity project. “Some refugees and immigrants can’t speak English or read in their native language. We added audio versions so that every parent can sit and read with their child. We want our children to be proud of their culture and learn to speak their native language”.

This isn’t the first time SFSTF, a community-based organization with offices in New Holly and Tukwila, has self-published books to increase the representation of Somali language and culture within Washington public schools, early learning centers, bookstores, and public libraries.

The approach is innovative, and community led. A steering committee of local Somali community members wrote, illustrated, and designed all 5 picture books together. These 5 picture books center on traditional Somali folktale themes and self-reliance. Before the pandemic, SFSTF invited a group of East African mothers and their children to design and illustrate 3 bilingual board books for preschoolers. A grant from King County’s Best Start for Kids provided seed money for both book series.

“Somali is one of the top 3 languages spoken in our schools. It is important for children to see themselves in classroom literature. The SFSTF bilingual book project is right in line with district priorities. Representation matters.” Dr. Thad Williams, International Education Administrator, Seattle Public Schools. 

The January 27th event will include storytelling, book signing by the authors, Somali food and cultural displays, hands on- art and literacy activities for children, and distinguished speakers from the refugee/immigrant and education community. Admission is free. Sponsored by Seattle Public Utilities.

Enrichment Volunteers Needed

Have ideas about how to make before and after school enrichment better?


We are looking for two coordinators to help coordinate enrichment starting in February to help the current coordinator, Katherine.


Please email if you are interested

Yellow Slime Fun

School Information Sessions
for Prospective Families 

Prospective Family School Info Sessions for the 2023-24 school year will begin in January 2023.

If you are considering the Highly Capable Cohort Program(HCC) for your child, be sure to join us for our HCC Info night on Feb 9.


If you are a current TM family, please feel free to share these dates with neighbors who have children starting Kindergarten and any prospective families you know will be joining us next year. 


Thursday, Jan 12

– 9-9:45 AM General Info Session and Tour

Thursday, Feb 9

- 4:30-5:00 PM General Info Session

- 5:00-5:45 PM – Highly Capable Cohort Info Session

Thursday, Feb 16

– 9-9:45 AM General Info Session and Tour

Thursday, May 11

– 9-9:45 AM General Info Session and Tour

Open Enrollment for Seattle Schools takes place in the month of February.

Volunteers needed to host the school tour, please sign up at this link:

We need your help!
Please Complete the Family Income Survey

Thurgood Marshall is a Title 1 school. This has many advantages for our students including free breakfast and lunch for all students this year, extra reading intervention for students who need reading help, free books and resources, and reduced price or free field trip opportunities. In order to maintain our Title 1 status, we need every family to fill out the family income survey. The district is asking for every one of our families to fill this out, even if they do not think their family qualified for free or reduced-price lunch.


Please help us maintain services for our students. 

We ask that ALL FAMILIES complete the family income survey at this link: .

Currently the online form is only available in English. SPS is working to add digital versions of the form in the most common SPS languages.

Translated paper copies of the family income survey can be downloaded and printed out in the following languages:

  • English

  • Cambodian

  • Chinese

  • Korean

  • Punjabi

  • Russian

  • Somali

  • Spanish

  • Tagalog

  • Vietnamese


We have paper copies available in other languages available upon request and are happy to make a computer available to you at school to complete the survey.


Let us know how we can help you with this!

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You’re less likely to spread #COVID19 to your teachers and classmates if you’re up to date with your COVID vaccine.

Happy Circle

Pup Press



Thurgood Marshall Elementary FTME

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