Principal Wheeler’s Weekly Update 2-17-23

Hello Viewlands Families!

The Friday before a break, there is always a buzz of energy. Today there was that buzz of energy from students. It was also the week of our 4th and 5th grade Viewlands Global Reading Challenge competition. There is more information below about the Global Reading Challenge. Next week is mid-winter break so there is no school. We return to school on Monday, February 27th.

This week, on Thursday, we also had a lockdown practice drill. This was practice. We talk about this as practice. We coach into how important practice is for anything. I know this can be alarming to some students, but overall we were able to support students that had questions and wonders or needed extra support before and during the lockdown drill. We work with the other school at John Marshall campus, Cascade Parent Partnership, for all drills.


As we head into the 2nd half of the school year, it is a great time to share again what we are doing for social emotional learning (SEL) at Viewlands. While we see pockets of higher needs in this area in some cohorts of students, SEL is important for all students and is part of our shared school learning across classrooms. It is also critical as a public school who serves all students across skill areas, strengths, challenges, and background.

Social emotional learning (SEL) is a continued focus as a school community, a classroom community and with individual students. We have monthly shared focus points as a school. We are using our 2nd Step SEL Curriculum, with the supplemental Kelso’s Choice materials to help students learn SEL skills, how to distinguish between a small problem and a big problem and learn problem solving and conflict resolution tools. This is ongoing work. Some students need more than this to gain skills and use tools. We work together to build those supports with families and ay available resources at the school. Our resources are limited, but we know the importance and try our best to support each student’s individual needs.


VEPTSA is graciously helping support additional arts enrichment opportunities for all students again. Last year we had 1 week of a guest artist from ARTS IMPACT. This year we have two weeks.  We are very excited about this opportunity. We are grateful for this partnership with Arts Impact through the generous funding support from VEPTSA. Every student participates and benefits from the art enrichment.

We will be welcoming back a guest artist, Sabian Pleasant, to Viewlands next week. He was with us last year for one week. Sabian is an exceptional guest educator! We are thrilled to have him back again this year. He will be here Monday-Tuesday-Thursday-Friday working with students during their PE classes for two weeks, the two weeks after mid-winter break, the week of Feb 27th and the week of 3/6. Every student will be able to work with him four times. The focus of the work with Sabian will again be movement, dance, rhythm, tempo and beats. You can read the bio of the visiting artist, Sabian Pleasant, here:


This week, on Wednesday, the 9 Viewlands teams comprised of 4th and 5th graders competed in the Global Reading Challenge. We had 9 teams with many 4th and 5th graders choosing to participate. We participate in Global Reading Challenge every year. It is optional to students, but highly encouraged. There are 8 books selected each year as part of this challenge. Students that are participating read as many of those books as possible, then work together as a team to really get to know the story of each book! For the past 6 weeks students have been able to join optional book study groups in the library during lunch.

All nine of the Viewlands teams showed great knowledge about the books and strong teamwork. It was exciting! They all should be very proud! It is amazing to see the literary buzz that happens across 4th and 5th grade during Global Reading Challenge!

The team with the highest score gets to represent Viewlands at the district Global Reading Challenge at the public library in March. They will compete against teams from other schools. This year, Team MARICKY, will be the Viewlands representatives. This team was comprised of 7 students, representing each 4th and 5th grade classroom. Congrats to Team MARICKY!


Our on-site childcare partners, Creative Kids, will be closed next week during mid-winter break. If you have questions about this, you can reach out directly to them. They will reopen when we return to school on Monday, February 27th.  

VEPTSA Updates:

Spring Auction 

Join us for the 2023 Viewlands Elementary PTSA Spring Auction on Saturday, April 1st from 6-9:30pm!

Come for an evening of fun as we gather together to support our Viewlands Elementary students. This year’s Spring Auction theme is Under the Sea, which is a great way to celebrate our Viewlands Orcas! Visit  and BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY! ($25 early bird ticket price until 2/28)!

Important School Calendar Dates

  • Monday February 20th-Friday February 24th – No School, Mid-Winter Break
  • Monday, February 27th – Return to school

There are always highlights when listening and learning with and from our students. This week I enjoyed listening to 5th graders problem solve how to make their constructed cars travel in a straight direction instead of drifting to the left or right; reading and listening to student writing with 3rd graders before and during a publishing party; spending time learning phonogram patterns and practicing high frequency words with small groups of students across grades; and listening and learning again this week from a couple student leaders that shared about black and brown brilliance and the work we still need to do as a school community to make sure that brilliance is seen every day! Your children are bright, inquisitive, and creative thinkers. 

Have a wonderful mid-winter break! 

In Partnership,

Carrie Wheeler | Viewlands Principal