Hello Cougar Community!
We hope that this message finds you and your families well at the end of a restful summer vacation! We are so excited to welcome back staff, students, and families in the next few weeks!
In our last school year, we focused on helping our students transition from virtual learning and rebuilding our community. We reestablished the traditions that are uniquely Cascade, refined our teaching to make learning accessible for all students. We worked to build relationships with our students and their families, navigating together the evolving reality of living through a pandemic. While it wasn’t perfect and certainly wasn’t easy, we are extremely grateful for the students, families and staff that helped make last year great. This year, we are excited to lean into growth, individually and collectively! But first, let us (re)introduce ourselves!
Emily Feldtmose, Principal
Ms. Emily Feldtmose is so excited to be returning for her fourth year with Cascade Middle School! Although she was born and raised in Philadelphia, she has made White Center her home. Ms. Feldtmose is dedicated to creating a learning community that is accessible and empowering for every student. She hopes that all Cascade students feel seen, heard and loved throughout their journey at CMS and beyond!
Sophia Sinco, Assistant Principal
Ms. Sophia “Sunny” Sinco is a mixed-race woman and second-generation Filipina immigrant, raised in Southern California and the Greater Puget Sound. She’s thrilled to be coming back home to Cascade! Ms. Sinco loves leading to create spaces where students can bring and grow into their full, authentic, and best selves: advocating for their interests and needs, seeing and overcoming barriers to their success, and pursuing the future of their choosing! Se habla inglés y continúa aprendiendo español para apoyar nuestra comunidad diversa.
We are both honored to serve the White Center community and vow to pursue Cascade’s mission of creating a global community where every student belongs and can excel every single day. This year, our staff will level-up our adult learning and collaboration to refine our teaching and instruction. We’ll also focus on amplifying family voices by developing personalized partnerships to create an empowering learning environment for all students.
Read on for details about upcoming events and back to school logistics!
August 29-September 2: Family Welcome Meetings
August 30: Family Business Day
September 1: First Day of School
September 5: Labor Day (No School)
September 22: Fiestas Patrias (Tentative date, may be changed)
September 29: Back to School Night (Tentative date, may be changed)
We're All on Your Team
- Principal: Emily Feldtmose (English)
- Assistant Principal: Sunny Sinco (English + Spanish)
- Dean of Students: Olivia Riojas (English + Spanish)
- Re-Engagement Specialist: Al Lewis (English)
- Success Dean: Steve Sarangay (English)
- Office Manager: Tania Castillo (English + Spanish)
- Registrar: Becca Sanchez (English)
- Bookkeeper: Anita Samuel (English)
- Family Liaison: Hiring soon!
- Attendance Secretary: Autasia “Sia” Sagiao (English)
- 6th grade: Mara Pinza Todd (English)
- 7th grade: Alexa Wayman (English + Spanish)
- 8th grade: Ingebjorg McGrady (English + Norwegian)
- Advisor: This is your student’s point-person on campus! During Advisory (every day, Mondays through Thursdays), students learn social-emotional skills like self-management, self-regulation, and self-expression. Advisors also lead on family communication with their advisory-families. You should expect to hear from your student’s advisor at least once a month, and you can reach out any time to ask a question or navigate resources at school.
- Teacher: In middle school, students take 6 content courses per semester. Teachers lead these classes, so unlike in elementary school, this means that your student has 6 different teachers at one time. You can monitor Google Classroom for updates on what’s going on in class; in ParentVUE you can check your student’s current grades and missing assignments, and communicate directly with teachers and staff.
Family Business Day
Connecting and partnering with our families are so important for us at Cascade, and it starts even before the first day of school! Family Business Day will be on August 30th from 2-6pm at Cascade Middle School. This is an opportunity for incoming and returning families to meet your child’s counselor, find out their advisor for the year,, drop off paperwork, update emergency contact information, and more! Several of our community partners will also be there; come learn what supports and clubs are offered throughout the year.
To help think ahead about this opportunity, you might consider preparing these materials:
- Updated immunization forms
- Change of address materials or contacts (if updating home address, phone, or email)
- District Physical forms for Sports
Family Welcome Meetings
Advisors play a critical role in our commitment to create an environment where every student and family feels connected and belongs. These advisors are excited to meet you and your family to understand your goals, needs, and priorities for the new year. Look out for an invitation from your student’s advisor after August 22nd! Meetings will take place between August 29 and September 2.
To help you think ahead about these meetings, you might consider these questions:
- What are your student’s strengths? What makes him/her/them amazing?
- What are your student’s needs? What does effective support at school look like and sound like?
- What are your student’s interests? How might these align with programs you hope to see offered at Cascade?
- How do you hope to be involved in your child’s education? What structures for communication and participation work best for you?
Back to School FAQs
How do I know if my student is registered? Students who attended elementary school in the area are typically rolled over to Cascade (Mt. View, Shorewood, White Center Heights). Confirm your student’s enrollment on your ParentVUE account, or check your address assignment HERE!
What time does school start and end? On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, school begins at 8:05 AM and ends at 2:35 PM. On Fridays, we have early release for staff professional development; school starts at 8:05 AM and ends at 1:05 PM.
What meals are served at Cascade? We serve breakfast and lunch daily. This year, all meals are free to all students!
What is the daily schedule? You can find our Bell Schedule HERE on our school website.
What classes is my student taking this year? To look up your student’s schedule, log in to ParentVUE (directions HERE). Counselors will continue to make adjustments until the first day of school; we’ll distribute hard copies of schedules on Day 1.
How will my student know where to go when they get to campus? We know that change is hard, whether it’s a new school or a new grade level! Our first several days back to school will focus on routines and procedures, to help students feel safe, clear, and well-supported. Counselors will distribute copies of students’ schedules on Day 1, and advisors can help print additional copies, if needed. Leaders, counselors, and support staff will be highly visible throughout those early weeks to help students navigate buildings, interpret schedules, and clarify any confusion!
What is my student’s bus stop and route? Use THIS LINK to look up the bus route that serves your address!
How can I monitor my student’s grades, attendance, and other information? You have access to all the details of your student’s schedule and progress on ParentVUE. Use THIS GUIDE to register or activate your account, if you haven’t done so already. If you have additional questions about how your student is doing, reach out to their advisor!
Sports and After School Programming
|Starts September 2, 2022||Starts November 2, 2022||Starts January 24, 2023||Starts March 20, 2022|
|Track/Field Boys Soccer Girls Fastpitch Softball||Boys Basketball Girls Soccer||Girls Basketball Wrestling||Volleyball Cross Country Football|
Health Physicals at HealthPoint
Is your Middle School or High School student planning to play sports this year? Highline Public Schools requires students to have a medical exam before they can play. This exam needs to be done every other year, and it can be done during a teen’s annual check-up.
The HealthPoint clinic at Evergreen High School is open through the summer and now scheduling for sports physicals. These exams are available without any out-of-pocket cost. Don’t wait until the last minute and risk your student not being cleared. If you would like to schedule your sports physical with HealthPoint, or want more information on other services available, please call the Evergreen High HealthPoint Clinic at 206-835-2615.
For more information, visit THIS LINK. Here are some other health needs that HealthPoint can support:
- Primary medical care
- Behavioral health care & counseling
- Physical and annual exams
- Medication management and refills
- Nutrition education and counseling
- Specialty referrals
After School Clubs
In addition to athletics, we also offer a wide variety of clubs, spanning topics such as the arts, STEM, engineering, leadership, and more. All after school clubs will begin in October. Snacks are provided for all participants. Students must plan to stay on campus for the entirety of the club unless they are checked out early by an approved adult. Watch for more information about Back to School Night, when we’ll be hosting a showcase of community partners and clubs!
Other After School Care Options
- Boys and Girls Club
- Log Cabin
Baloo the Service Dog
Assistant Principal Sunny Sinco has a service dog, named Baloo. He is a two-year old black lab, specifically trained to perform tasks that support her disabilities. Baloo will be on Cascade’s campus daily with Ms. Sinco, and “in vest” to show that he is working. At this time, he will not be made available to support other staff, students, or community members
How can I interact with a service dog?
Service dogs wear a harness that identifies them as a working dog. When they’re in-vest, that’s a cue to that animal and signals to those that see it that they are working. In order to help Baloo stay focused on Ms. Sinco and the jobs that he performs, it’s best to avoid eye contact; do not attempt to pet or feed him.
For cultural, religious, or personal reasons, I cannot be touched by a dog. What should I do?
When Baloo is with Ms. Sinco, he will be leashed and held close to her body, or in his crate in the office, away from students. If you have additional concerns that you’d like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Ms. Sinco!
How can I discuss disabilities and accommodations, like service dogs, at home? We know that some students may be more familiar than others with pets, and specifically with service animals. Here are a few resources to help spark conversation in your family about different types of disabilities–both visible and invisible–and ways that service dogs can help!
- Penfield Children’s Hospital: Understanding Disabilities (Video)
- Explaining Service Dogs to Kids (Video)
- Meet the Puppies Training to be Service Dogs (Series)
- Our Service Dogs (Children’s Book)
- Alice Eloise’s Silver Linings: The Story of a Silly Service Dog (Children’s Book)
Follow Us for Updates
We’ll send monthly newsletters like this one to keep you up-to-date on school-wide events and details. But we also distribute regular updates via social media and these communication platforms:
- Website: cascade.highlineschools.org
- Facebook: @cmscougs
- Instagram: @cmscougs
- Twitter: @cmscougs
- ParentVUE: Read THIS GUIDE to learn how to set up and activate your account
- SchoolMessenger: Confirm that your contact information is correct in ParentVUE to receive updates
- Google Classroom: Read THIS GUIDE to learn how to monitor your student’s work in class
Join the Family and Community Engagement Team
The purpose of the Family and Community Engagement Team is to collaborate around our current needs, priorities, and strategies for building our community. We meet biweekly on Mondays from 8:15 to 9:15 AM. In addition, this year we’ll focus on taking a deep look at our social-emotional learning (SEL) program: what SEL means, what’s working for our students, and what should come next in terms of our partners and programs.
Join the Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA)
The PTSA is excited to continue to connect, celebrate, advocate, and provide resources this year. Be a part of the action and stay informed by following PTSA’s CC the Cougar on Instagram (@cascadecougsptsa) and our FB page (@CascadeMSPTSA).
Don’t see the right point of engagement for you?
Reach out to Sunny Sinco (Assistant Principal), Pat Thompson (Yes Foundation), and Angela Burgess (PTSA) to let us know how we can create the opportunities that are meaningful for you and your family!