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August 17, 2018

Welcome Back BES Families! 

We are excited to welcome our students and families back for the 2018-19 school year!   We look forward to another year of learning and growth as a community.  We welcome the arrival of our new students to Blaine Elementary, including our incoming third graders.  At Blaine Elementary we strive to provide an outstanding education, believing that as a community: “Together We Make a Difference.”

Blaine Elementary’s mission is to work in partnership with our community and families to educate and inspire students as they develop the skills necessary to reach their academic and creative potential.  At Blaine Elementary we nurture respectful, socially responsible and life-long learners. We are working hard to provide students with an education that cultivates academic, social and emotional development.  This year our staff will continue to expand effective teaching practices through differentiated instruction or knowing our learners.  Knowing our students helps us “meet them where they are at as learners” and cultivates social, emotional and academic learning that is essential for each individual child to reach their unlimited potential in life.

I would like to invite our families to participate in our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).  This leadership group actively supports our school by funding educational enrichment opportunities and coordinating community events.  Our PTO holds regular meetings throughout the school year, which are open to all families.  The first PTO meeting of the year will take place Tuesday, September 11th @ 6:00pm in our library.

If you’re new to Blaine Elementary and would like to tour the school prior to the first day, you can attend our “New Student/Family Orientation Night” on Monday, August 27th from 5:00 to 6:00pm.  Along with our counselor, Ms. Point-Moore, I will lead student and family tours of the school and provide a variety of information prior to the start of school.  All parents and students are welcome!  Another NEW opportunity this year is for any interested families to drop off classroom supplies on Monday, August 27th between 2:30-3:30pm.  This is intended as a chance to find your child’s classroom and briefly meet your teacher before the first day of school.  Our hope is that this might be helpful to some families in supporting a smooth and more relaxed first day of school.  

Over the summer we have had some staff changes that we want you to be aware of:

BES Staff Changes for 2018-19

  • Aynsley Ferras has been hired as our new 3rd grade teacher replacing Keith Gasper who moved to 4th grade.
  • Nate Krahn has been hired as our new PE teacher, replacing Dan Persse who will be working at Blaine High School next year.  Nate comes to us from the Mercer Island SD. Welcome Nate!
  • Wes Kerwin has been hired as our new part-time PE teacher, replacing Nancy Williams who took a position in the Franklin Pierce School District.  Wes comes to us from the Arlington SD.  Wes will also work with Blaine Middle School Students part of each school day.  Welcome Wes!
  • Rayna Gibson will become our new Title I reading teacher replacing Rita Spitzer who retired last year.  Rayna comes to us from Blaine Primary School where she was a 1st grade teacher.  Welcome Rayna!
  • Russell Hyslop will become a new Speech Language Pathologist at BES. Russell will spend three days at Blaine Elementary and one day at Blaine Primary School each week.
  • Melissa Taft has been hired as our new 5th grade teacher replacing JJ Jensen who accepted an Assistant Principal Position in the Marysville SD this summer.  Welcome Melissa!
  • Keith Gasper will move to a 4th grade position.  Keith was previously a 3rd grade teacher at BES.
  • Sara Stiles has been hired as our new 4th grade teacher as we added a 7th section over the summer due to projected student enrollment.  Welcome Sara!

As in past years the Blaine School District has made efforts to lower school related costs for families.  We’ve intentionally limited the items on our supply list at each grade level and we are no longer asking families to purchase a school planner at any school in the Blaine School District.  We will make these required planners available to students as they start the school year in their classroom.  Grade level supply lists can be found on our website at or by stopping by the school and picking one up. We hope these changes are helpful to our families as they plan for the start of school.  As a school we recognize that families can experience difficult economic times and providing these school supplies can be a challenge.  Our priority is to help every child secure the tools they need to fully participate in a quality education.  If your family would like assistance in providing supplies for your child, the Family Service Center will hold its annual school supply distribution on Friday, August 24th from 9:00-11:00am.  If you are unable to make it on August 24th, please feel free to contact Sarah Point-Moore, Counselor, Craig Baldwin, Principal, or our Family Service Center at (360) 332-0740 for support.

School starts Wednesday, August 29th.  Doors open at 7:45am for students having breakfast in our cafeteria.  All other students can enter the school at 8:00am.  School officially starts at 8:20am and is dismissed at 2:50pm each day. We welcome visits or calls to our school from families.  On behalf of our staff, welcome to the 2018-19 school year! 

Important Information for Students and Families:

  • School mail is sent home on Wednesdays each week.
  • The first Wednesday of each month we send home the BE Informed Newsletter, which includes important information about school. This is also posted on our website.
  • Back to School/Curriculum Night will be held on Thursday, September 20th @ 6:00 pm.  Look for information about this event coming home in early September.
  • Blaine School District Website- We have a new website!  As part of our new website we will be communicating with families in an electronic form more often than in past years.  Our goal is to increasingly send news and notifications to families through our website.  Look for more information coming soon about how to get signed up for newsfeeds and notifications from the Blaine School District and Blaine Elementary. 

Class Placement Information

As of August 18th, we have begun mailing classroom placements to families.  We expect that these will arrive at homes within the next week.  You will recall that we sent information to families last spring detailing the placement process and requesting parent input.  A group of teachers and support staff met last spring to consider numerous factors in an effort to create the best communities for learning.  This involved considering items like an equitable distribution of students of varying abilities, talents, and perspectives.   Along with this community perspective, we also considered parent input to make thoughtful placements.  This was a very intentional process, which considered the needs of each individual student as well as classroom communities.  If you have questions about this process or your child’s placement please contact Craig Baldwin, Principal at (360) 332-5213.


Dr. Craig Baldwin, Principal

Blaine Elementary School