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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Cascade Middle School
11212 10th Avenue SW Seattle, WA 98146

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September Family Newsletter

September Family Newsletter

Hello Cougar Community! 

Since our last newsletter, we welcomed back students and staff; it’s the best! Our days are filled with cross-campus greetings, laughter and “Welcome backs,” and the thoughtful discussions and questions that signal our community getting to know one another more deeply. In these first days, we’ve focused on laying the foundation for a great year together:

We met for five (5) days as a staff to connect (and reconnect) with one another and to get invested in our shared work this year

Advisors hosted Family Welcome Meetings to learn more about their students’ their strengths, goals, and needs for the new year

We held space to build community between students and their advisor, teachers, and classmates

Students previewed rituals, routines, and habits of success as a middle school student through a 2-day schedule of introductory lessons

Students had the opportunity to sign up for Season 1 sports; practices begin September 6th! 


Here in September, we are excited to celebrate National Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month. At Cascade, we acknowledge and celebrate multilingualism and multiculturalism every day through our dual language programs, our Affinity Advisories, and more! We are continuously growing to create learning spaces across our school that consistently reflect and empower the worlds that our students draw from every day. We hope that you’ll join us to celebrate Fiestas Patrias on September 29! More information about the history of this tradition, and our party-plans here at Cascade are below.

As we look ahead to the school year, you can expect a newsletter like this one at the start of every month. We’ll share important news, updates, and opportunities that affect our community and your student’s experience here at Cascade. We’ll also post these messages to our social media pages and school website, so that they’re easy to refer back to, as needed. 

In partnership,

Emily Feldtmose

 

Sunny Sinco

Principal

emily.feldtmose@highlineschools.org

 

Assistant Principal

sunny.sinco@highlineschools.org

Upcoming Events: 

  • September 5: Labor Day (No School)
  • September 6: Season 1 Sports Begin
  • September 29: Fiestas Patrias *NEW DATE*
  • September 29: Open House *CONFIRMED DATE*
  • October 3: After School Clubs Begin
  • October 14: Teacher Collaboration Day (No School)

Understanding Your Schedule

This year, we are excited to launch a new block schedule for all students! This structure will give students more time to go deep with content, and for teachers and advisors to provide planned and targeted support that is built into the school day. The rotating blocks start on Tuesday, September 6th. 

Last week, we equipped all students with copies of their classes in their Advisories, and we have the bell schedule posted prominently around campus. 

  • Monday: Advisory + All Periods 
  • Tuesday: Advisory + Periods 1, 2, 4, 6
  • Wednesday: Advisory + Periods 1, 3, 5, 6
  • Thursday: Advisory + Periods 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Friday: All Periods (No Advisory)


Take a look at the full bell schedule on our website. Individual class schedules are also posted on StudentVUE and ParentVUE.

Attendance: Every Day Counts

Help your child succeed in school: Build the habit of good attendance early. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work. Students can suffer academically if they miss 10% of the school year, or about 18 days. That's just one day every two weeks. 

At Cascade, we value every child and their learning experience. We also know the impact of missing lessons—a few minutes, a period, or a whole day—and how tough it can feel to catch up. We want to be proactive to support students to stay present, to remain engaged, and to set themselves up for success!

Excused and Unexcused Absences

Families will receive automatic notifications via robo-calls and/or letters for any student marked for excused and unexcused absences. You can also monitor your student’s daily attendance on ParentVUE.

The following are some of the most common valid excuses for absences (Excused Absence):

  • Absences due to illness, health condition, or medical appointment for the student or dependent; the school may require a note from a medical provider after three (3) absences in a month
  • Absences due to family emergencies including, but not limited to, a death or illness in the family; may require a meeting with the school to develop a plan to make up student work
  • Religious or cultural purpose including observance of religious or cultural holiday
  • Absences directly related to a student’s homelessness or foster care/dependency status 
  • Absences due to suspensions, expulsions, or emergency expulsions
  • Participation in a district or school approved activity or instructional program 
  • Absences due to a student’s migrant status 
  • The following are also valid excuses for absence, but may require a meeting with Ms. Feldtmose, Ms. Sinco, or their designees:
  • Absences due to student safety concerns
  • Absences due to participation in a prior approved activity that is consistent with district policy
  • Absences due to the student’s lack of necessary instructional tools (including internet access/connectivity)

To excuse an absence, please call Attendance Secretary Sia Sagiao at (206) 631-5507 or email him at autasia.sagiao@highlineschools.org. All absences not approved above and/or reported to Mr. Sagiao are unexcused.

For additional information, please review Highline’s policies, procedures and available support.

Tardies, Truancy, and Attendance Workshop

A student is tardy when they walk into the classroom after the bell without a pass. 

After 3 tardies in the week, a student will be assigned Attendance Workshop

Attendance Workshop is held once a week, and is an opportunity to connect one-on-one with the Success Dean to discuss why they are late to class and to develop strategies to improve

If a student is out of class for more than 10 minutes, this also has a huge impact on their learning; that’s as much as 25% of the period! We mark students as truant when they are not where they are supposed to be (unsupervised) for 10 minutes or longer. For example, if a student arrives 15 minutes late to class without a pass to verify that they were with an approved adult, they will be marked truant for that period. You’ll be able to see this designation in ParentVUE.

Truancies will count like tardies toward Attendance Workshop. As with tardies, if it becomes a persistent problem, we may reach out to you to schedule a collaborative family meeting so that we can brainstorm together how to provide the right support to help your student access and engage with school. 

Late to school?

For students that are coming late to school, please check in at the Main Office. This is the only opportunity to correct their attendance at the start of the day. They will get a pass from Mr. Sagiao, and be able to proceed directly to class.

COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

We acknowledge that COVID-19 remains a present concern for our community, even as it moves from pandemic to endemic. We at Cascade remain committed to the health and safety of every student and their families, and continue to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Washington State’s Department of Health.

Daily Preparedness

There are no social distancing requirements at the time, and we respect the choices of each individual to exercise the precautions they deem appropriate to stay healthy. 

  • Face masks are optional for all students, except in the Nurse’s Office or Isolation Room
  • We’ll continue to provide hand sanitizer in every space, and will encourage students and staff to wash their hands frequently 
  • Cleaning will occur on a standard, non-pandemic schedule
  • Rooms will continue to be equipped with electrostatic machines and/or sprayers

 

Guidelines for People Experiencing Symptoms

We encourage anyone experiencing symptoms to test for COVID-19 and stay home to recover. Visit the CDC WEBSITE for an updated list of symptoms and side effects.

  • Negative Test: Remain home for 24 hours, ensuring that fever resolves and symptoms improve

  • Positive Case: Isolate & return after five days since symptoms first appeared (with fever resolved for at least 24 hours). We are not requiring evidence of a negative test to return

Continue to refer to Highline's COVID Safety page for updates on the dashboard and responses.

Free Meals for All Students

Highline Public Schools will continue to provide a no-cost breakfast and lunch meal each school day in 2022-23 for all enrolled students on campus through the federal and state-funded Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program. We will also provide a snack for students who participate in after-school clubs beginning in October. 

While meals are no cost, other benefits and vital demographic data that are critical for school funding will need to be gathered from an income survey that some families will need to complete. Another benefit of completing the income survey is that families will know whether their students will continue to have extracurricular fees waived this year. Eligible students will have key expenses waived, such as the ASB card, the pay-to-participate athletic fee, and other extracurricular fees. Look for more information about this income survey, coming soon!

Season 1 Sports

Season 1

Starts 9/2/2022

Season 2

Starts 11/2/2022

Season 3

Starts 1/24/2023

Season 4

Starts 3/28/2023

Track/Field

Boys Soccer 

Girls Fastpitch Softball

Boys Basketball 

Girls Soccer

Girls Basketball

Wrestling

Volleyball 

Cross Country 

Football

Health Physicals at HealthPoint

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 the HealthPoint at Evergreen webpage. 

Game and Practice Schedules

Practices for all Season 1 sports begin on Tuesday, September 6. Tryouts will begin right away! 

All games and meets fall on Mondays or Wednesdays. Practices occur on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays (unless a game is scheduled over). Check out the game schedules for all sports. 

Transportation

When a game is away (off-site), transportation is provided to and from the event for all athletes. Families can meet the team there to watch, and can check their student out with the coach after. Students who are not checked out will be returned to campus for pick-up or to take the Activity Bus.

Fiestas Patrias *DATE CHANGE*

Fiestas Patrias are traditional celebrations of national pride seen across Latin America and the U.S.. At Cascade, this will be the second year when we will honor Latinx Heritage Month with this celebration of community. Please join us to meet your teachers, learn more about school and community resources, and for games and music!

Watch this video to learn more!


DATE CHANGE! Come celebrate with us on September 29! We’ll have cake walk, book fair, music, and more! All families are welcome! We encourage you to wear attire that represents your heritage.

Meet Our New Family Liaison

What is a Family Liaison? How can they support me? 

The Family Liaison position plays a critical role in our commitment to support every student and family to feel welcome and connected to Cascade. He/she/they joins our Office Team, Attendance Team, and Family and Community Engagement Team to support students’ experiences at Cascade from a variety of perspectives. They also help to coordinate major community events, like Open House, Dinners with the Principal, Puentes, Cascade Connections, and more! 

Most importantly, they are a daily advocate for every student and family. You’ll see them engaging in family meetings related to academics, behavior, and special services; hearing high-level trends that our school might improve upon; and helping our families to navigate the various people and resources that we have available.

Meet Ms. Hernandez! 

Ms. Magaly Hernandez comes to us from New Start High School. She has a long background in interpretation, advocacy, and instructional support throughout Highline Public Schools and the broader Highline community. She loves building relationships with students and families alike, and is looking forward to creating experiences that build up our community! 

How do I contact Ms. Hernandez? 

You can call Ms. Hernandez on our main line or email her at magaly.hernandez@highlineschools.org. ¡Se habla inglés y español!

Get Involved

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).