News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood


Immerse Yourself in Spanish at New School in Wallingford

October 24th, 2014 by master

Vámonos Spanish Center, a new language school in Wallingford is having their first open house on November 2, 2-4pm.

Have you wondered if you could learn to speak another language? Do you want your child to be bi-lingual? Did you take a language back in the day but have no one to practice with? Vámonos Spanish Center is now in Walligford and ready to facilitate those ‘r’s’ to roll off your tongue.

VSC is a new language school that offers several different programs and resources for learning Spanish. Owner and teacher Amanda Reichert will instruct classes solely in Spanish utilizing the proven technique of immersion for listening comprehension skills. VSC will offer a variety of programs including:

  • Adult classes
  • After school supplemental program for middle schoolers
  • Daytime program for homeschooled middle schoolers
  • One-one-one tutoring and private lessons
  • Summer camps
  • Guided foreign travel

Señorita Amanda has been teaching since 2007, lived and has taught in Mexico and Spain, and has also traveled extensively to numerous Spanish speaking countries. She feels she has developed a unique program that combines culture and grammar in a way that makes learning Spanish fun and engaging.

Vámonos Spanish Center is located in Wallingford at 4504 Bagley Ave. N (behind the Sea Monster)

If you are interested in learning more? Visit for more information.

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JSIS gets new play structure

January 24th, 2011 by master

John Stanford International School unveiled its new playground equipment last week at a school-day event.



JSIS parent Lucie Campbell shared details about the exciting day for the kids:

Our Grand Opening was well received by the 400+ students at JSIS.   We thanked our key sponsors and volunteers and then selected 30 students to be the first to climb on our new 6-sided net pyramid.  At recess later, the pyramid was buried under a pack of kids!

JSIS has one of the smallest playgrounds in the district and the renovations allowed us to open up more area for play as well as add our new climbing structure.  We calculated that elementary students spend over 100 hours/year at recess and we are thrilled to give them more opportunities for physical activity!

This project was funded in part by a Seattle Department of Neighborhood “Small & Simple Project” grant.  In a time of budget constraints at public schools this is a big win for our school and the neighborhood kids who use the playground after hours.  Come check it out & bring 34 friends to climb with you!

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JSIS hosts Day of Service on MLK Day

January 17th, 2011 by master

The kids are out of school today, and John Stanford International School (4057 Fifth Ave NE) is using the time (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) to host a Day of Service to honor Martin Luther King, in partnership with United Way.

Barb Burrill wrote on the Sustainable Wallingford site:

We will be doing lots of outside landscaping work, digging weeds, digging terraces, laying landscape fabric, planting native plants, spreading wood chips.

We will also be offering indoor service activities for elementary-aged children.

Some tools and gloves will be provided, or bring your own.

Our news partner The Seattle Times rounded up a few other way to honor Martin Luther King Jr. here.

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School district announces snow make-up plan

December 2nd, 2010 by master

Elementary students and those in K-8 schools will not have to make up last week’s two snow days, while high school students will have to attend classes for two extra days next summer, the district announced today.

The decision was made that no make-up days are needed for the younger students because “students were not scheduled to be in classes those two days – instead, parent-teacher conferences were planned for those days.” Those conferences will be rescheduled. “Our goal is that 100% of parent-teacher conferences are completed before winter break. Schools will be scheduling a combination of Saturday, late afternoon and evening opportunities to accomplish this,” the release from the district states. “The decision about this scheduling will be agreed by the school, please watch for announcements from your principal or teacher.” The last day of school for elementary students and K-8 students will be June 21st.

Two days will be tacked onto the end of the school year for the older kids, who were scheduled to be in class. The last day of school for middle and high school students will now be June 23rd.

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Hamilton Middle School almost ready for debut

August 26th, 2010 by master

The two-year renovation of Hamilton International Middle School is almost complete, and the public is invited to celebrate at a ribbon-cutting ceremony next Thursday morning, Sept. 2, 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Gather at the main entrance on the south side of the building (N. 41st and Interlake) for the flag raising and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The public will get an interior view of the school on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Here’s a preview from photos that were posted to the renovation site on August 16.

Many more pictures that cover the whole renovation are on the renovation site.

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John Stanford School playground meeting

May 9th, 2010 by master

A John Stanford International School parent asked us to post this information about an open house Monday night about improvements to the school’s playground, which serves not just school students but is open to the rest of the community:

The parent led playground action team at John Stanford Elementary wanted to share news about our upcoming Open House, Mon May 10th 6-7:30PM in the school cafeteria. We will be sharing site plans, answering questions, accepting donations and celebrating a huge recent contribution from our after-school provider, LSA.

This grass roots effort has been working for two years to redesign and renovate the outdated playground at John Stanford. John Stanford has one of the smallest playgrounds in the district and there is no school district budget for improvements. This Summer we will be breaking ground on a new play space and need the Wallingford community’s support for this pocket park.

With a $15,000 grant from the City of Seattle, a donation of over $23,000 from the JSIS PTSA and a generous contribution of $25,000 from Latona School Associates construction can begin this summer. The southwest corner of the playground will transform with new retaining walls, seating and picnic benches, and preparation for a new “dynamic” climbing structure.
But, we need community help to raise $25,000 to purchase and install the new climbing structure.

If you, your children or your neighbors look forward to using the playground in the next decade you’ll really enjoy knowing that you contributed to more play opportunities for kids. Donations will be accepted indefinitely, but please donate what you can by May 31st so that kids and the neighborhood can have new equipment installed by September! Let’s not miss this chance to make change that benefits our entire neighborhood!

Please send your tax-deductible donations to JSIS PTSA, 4057 5th Avenue N.E., Seattle, WA 98105. Make checks out to JSIS PTSA and write ‘PLAYGROUND’ on your check. All donations will be acknowledged on the JSIS website. For more information or to donate online please see the Playground Web Site at

Attached is a photo of the new “unique” climbing structure. We are excited about this structure since it allows for more play opportunities for both younger and older elementary kids.

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In McDonald School area? Sign up for PTA!

April 13th, 2010 by master

As McDonald Elementary School gears up to open this fall, local parents are getting out the word about ways that families in the school’s attendance area can get involved before the door even open.

Sarah Koch, who’s on the Design Team for the school and will have two children start at McDonald in the fall, filled us in on the most immediate needs and opportunities.

McDonald Elementary School will be housed at Lincoln High School for the next two years while the permanent building at N. 54th St. and Latona is being remodeled.

First, the PTA is forming. “This is an unusual situation where we’re coming together as parents and starting the PTA before the doors open,” Koch said. In particular, she called on parents who will have children at McDonald next year: “We’ll really need kindergarten parents to step up and be leaders,” she said. She also stressed, though, that this is a great time for parents of younger children to start participating as well.

A group of 18 parents met last week and came up with five PTA committees that need members now:

1) Steering Committee (maximum commitment of 3 months to help file McDonald’s PTA application with the state, write bylaws, form a nominating committee for potential board members and organize our first charter meeting). This committee is holding its first meeting this Thursday evening at 7:00 pm.
2) After-School Enrichment Activities
3) Grounds Beautification
4) Fundraising & “Resources” Drive
5) Summer Play Dates & Opening Day Celebration

If you’re interested and willing to serve on one of the above committees, please email me at sarahekoch@gmail. com. If you’d like to join the PTA and haven’t yet signed up at one of the McDonald events, please email Libby Chapman at libby.chapman@

Parents are also welcome to participate in the teacher hiring process for McDonald teachers, as long as they’ve had the Seattle Public Schools’ one-hour training session. Koch shared details about this:

If you are interested in serving on an upcoming interview team, but have not yet been trained, please plan to attend the Site-Based Interview Training session on April 15 from 6:00 to 7:00 (JSCEE, Auditorium).  Please be aware that all persons involved in the screening and interviewing must have attended this training.  To register, email Regina Redmond at or call 206-283-8443.  To ensure space for everyone, pre-registration is required.

Hiring committees will be formed the week of May 3-7.  If there are more than eight volunteers, participants will be selected by lottery.  Please email Cheryl Grinager, principal of McDonald Elementary, by Friday April 30, 2010, if you would like to serve on these committees and have taken (or will take) the training before May 14.  You may reach Cheryl Grinager at

The Seattle Public Schools haven’t opened a school in decades, so even in a time of budget cuts, “there are all kind of exciting things happening because we’re a new school,” Koch said.

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