Happy New Year! Happy New Playground…

Hello Roxhill Families and Enthusiasts!

Happy New Year! I hope 2018 is off to a wonderful start for you and yours. Over here at Friends of Roxhill Elementary we are amovin’ and agroovin’ to get a playground for our new E.C. Hughes location.

If you haven’t heard, our grant from the city was approved! This means we are all systems GO, here are some of the exciting developments:

  1. Our Word-Wizard, Jenny Rose, has completed the first draft of the RFP. The RFP is basically Roxhill’s playground wish list developed by the students themselves. It will go out to Playground Equipment Contractors so that they can send us their proposals, then we get to pick which one we want. This decision process will include students, families, neighbors and community members- yes, that means YOU.
  2. Mural Project Coordinator Lead, Tisbury, has already met with some artists who are interested in turning that eyesore wall at the E.C. Hughes corner of Holden and 32nd into a work of art. A Call to Artists has been written and will be going out on full blast soon to open up the opportunity to all artists! Once again, the Roxhill community and community at large will be encouraged to be a part of the decision process regarding which artist proposal they would most like to see come into fruition.

So, you can see why we are excited! And so BUSY! Help is needed in many different ways and we would love to have you be a part of this process. If you would like to help, please contact friendsofroxhill@gmail.com or our Volunteer Coordinator, Julian, at cahampton@seattleschools.org.

Other exciting developments…

Come join us at Roxhill Elementary on February 12th at 6PM to hear Roxhill’s very own Mr. Popelka (1st grade) talk about his trip to Holland last year as a Fullbright Scholar Award recipient! There he learned about bridging the achievement gap between students. This event will be Open to the Public, so come, and invite your dentist and grocery bagger too!

January 19th is the Roxhill Family Dinner at Seola Gardens. A lovely Roxhill tradition that brings families together and raises funds for another Roxhill tradition, the 5th grade trip to Islandwood. THIS EVENT IS STILL LOOKING FOR ROXHILL FAMILY SUPPORT! Please contact Susanna if you’d like to contribute.

Oh, there’s also a possible Jog-A-Thon, Student Art Contest and more… like I said, all kinds of exciting stuff!


The Latest on the Playground

We are working closely with Seattle Public Schools to write a request for proposals, which we will then send out to the approved list of playground design/build firms later in the month. After that, our playground committee will create a short list of potential firms and our whole community will be able to come together and share our thoughts.


Notes from our Dec. 11 meeting

Greetings, community! We will be publishing our meeting notes here in condensed form. For the full conversation and to take part in decisions, join with us next in January!

Shawna Patterson-Lystra, Julian Gardner-Irving, Jenny Rose Ryan, Alicyn Roberge, Amanda Kay, Amber Smith, Tisbury Pringle-Ennis, Tarra Patrick, Helen Morrison, Liz Oliver, Jenny Garvin-Bonnici, Helena Hussemi and Jenna Sandoval.

We welcome our visitors Hayden Bass of the PTSA Equity Project, Gretchen DeDecker of Seattle Public Schools and Minh-Chau Le of the Department of Neighborhoods.

PTSA Equity Project
Hayden of the PTSA Equity Project voiced a huge issue happening in Seattle. There are huge opportunity gaps between white students and students of color. While high poverty schools receive more money, there are restrictions on spending, leaving certain schools short on student and staff needs. There are also teacher salary discrepancies between high and low poverty schools. Let’s build on community, fight for equality, and demand more from our Washington State Legislature! For more information and meeting dates/times email: ptsaequity@gmail.com or haydenbass@gmail.com.

Playground & Mural for Our School
Gretchen DeDecker of Seattle Public Schools outlined the process for the playground.

Minh-Chau Le noted that in 2017 the Department of Neighborhoods unveiled new guidelines that lowered the community match by half. This creates fewer barriers and enables more groups to participate.

Jenny Rose Ryan is going through has ‘dream playground’ submissions from students, parents and staff and will start to compile ideas for the subcommittee’s next meeting. Information was well received at the recent Night of Hope…*cough* volcano slide. Once built, playground tours & orientation will commence during the back to school bbq as advised by Tarra Patrick.

Mural Update
Mural timeline is spring 2018 layout and summer 2018 installation with a budget of $10k-15k. Muralist/artist Ernesto Ibarra and Tis Pringle-Ennis reviewed the wall space at 32nd Ave SW and SW Holden Street. Ideas are being developed and a plan is being put together. More information in the next couple months.

Other Updates

    We are learning more about needs for our new school and hoping to identify specific items we can raise funds for.
    We are setting up a separate fund to receive donations for student lunch balances. We have had community members compete to pay the bill in recent years, with a special shout out to Ms. Patrick’s friend from church.
    Our partnership with Zippy’s for the recent Dine Out yielded $700! We are so grateful to Zippy’s! Proletariat Pizza also donated $100 of cheesy goodness for our recent Parents’ Night Out. It takes a village.
    A parent ran the Seattle Marathon in support of Roxhill, bringing in more than $350.
    School counselor Amber Smith’s family donated $500 to our organization.
    Our school catalog sale campaign brought in $1,400.
    We now have a way to give online, through Fundly. See the link in our homepage menu and share with your faraway family and friends!

Upcoming events:

    Dine Out for five Title 1 schools on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at Marination Ma Kai on Harbor Avenue in West Seattle.
    Friday, Jan. 26 — Our Next Parents’ Night Out.

New Nonprofit Established to Help Support Roxhill Elementary School


[Download PDF of Press Release for contact info]

All-volunteer organization receives $100K Department of Neighborhoods grant to fund new school playground; also to focus on supporting classroom needs

SEATTLE, WA, Dec. 11, 2017 — In fall 2017, supporters, community members and parents of students at Roxhill Elementary established a new 501 (c)(3) organization, Friends of Roxhill Elementary (Friends of Roxhill or FoRE), to support the education and enrichment of the full-service public school along the southwest edge of West Seattle. With Roxhill Elementary relocating to a renovated, historic E.C. Hughes Elementary building in fall 2018, Friends of Roxhill decided to focus first on funding a playground where there was none. In November, FoRE was named a recipient of a Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Community Partnership Fund $100,000 grant. With this grant, FoRE will purchase and install a playground and mural at the E.C. Hughes site before the move in fall 2018.

“Next fall, on the first day of school, our students will be thrilled to begin the year in the newly updated building. And when they head outside for the first recess of the year, they’ll have all-new, modern playground equipment,” says Roxhill second-grade teacher and FoRE President Shawna Lystra. “As educators, we know that when we provide an environment children can be proud of, that pride carries over into their learning and their futures. This playground, and this new building, will help our kids feel good about their school and their community.”

Friends of Roxhill Elementary is focused on creating equal opportunities for the Roxhill community.

“Ensuring a welcoming and inclusive outdoor environment will provide a soft landing pad for our students, teachers, staff and families as we transition to a new campus,” says founding member and treasurer for Friends of Roxhill, Amanda Kay. “FoRE is committed to empowering our community by taking ownership and control of what happens in this large playground space.”

Besides the playground and mural, Friends of Roxhill is focused on developing ongoing fundraising efforts in support of the school, as determined by teachers and administrators and as needed by the school community. The organization has led an annual all-school fundraiser, dine-out partnerships with restaurants and on-site community events, such as parents’ night out.

“Because the organization is a standalone nonprofit, we can nimbly respond and seek innovative opportunities and ongoing partnerships, says Roxhill parent and FoRe vice president Jenny Rose Ryan. “As an all-volunteer organization with an elected, motivated board, we are driven by a desire to provide fast access to direct support for our school and by a belief in the power of our diverse community to work together for change.”

Friends of Roxhill Elementary meets monthly in the Harrison L. Caldwell Library at Roxhill Elementary. Learn more and support FoRE at friendsofroxhill.org. Donations are tax deductible.


Friends of Roxhill Elementary supports the education and enrichment of Roxhill Elementary, a vibrant, multicultural public school in Seattle. Our nonprofit is focused on building equity for students in our underserved neighborhood through fundraising, community building and other projects important to our school. Learn more at friendsofroxhill.org or find us on Facebook: facebook.com/FriendsofRoxhill.