News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


First day for Seattle Public Schools Wednesday

September 4th, 2012 by Sara

School starts tomorrow for mini Fremonsters (and kids in other Seattle neighborhoods as well). Be sure to watch out for school buses and masses of kids walking to and from school!

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B.F. Day Playground Improvement Meeting, Swellegant Coming Soon

March 2nd, 2012 by Sean Keeley

The folks over at B.F. Day Elementary School want to make sure you’re aware of two upcoming events.

First, the latest B.F. Day Playground Improvement Project community meeting is coming up Wednesday, March 7 between 6 – 8 p.m. The meeting will take place  in B.F. Day Elementary School Gymnasium.

How do you use the B.F. Day playground? Imagine an improved park and playground in the heart of Fremont. Come be a part of the design of process! Last chance to tell us what your priorities are. The more community involvement, the better!

Bring the family– there will be crafts and games for the kids and snacks for everyone

If you have an idea for a fundraiser and/or would otherwise like to get involved, please contact the Project Team at

The other event is the annual Swellegant cocktail party to raise money for arts and science enrichment in the classroom, which takes place March 10th.

Not only will this fundraising event benefit children’s learning experience and support our neighborhood school, but it’s a unique opportunity to meet and mingle with BF Day parents, neighbors, and new friends in your community. Music and dancing, dinner and drinks, that’s Swellegant. It’s all happening Saturday, March 10th at the Fremont Abbey, 7-11pm. Tickets are $45 in advance and $60 at the door. Visit for more details.

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New Online Tool To Determine School Boundaries In Fremont/Wallingford

January 30th, 2012 by Sean Keeley

Earlier this month, we reported that the school district proposed boundary changes to alleviate crowding at John Stanford International School. Seattle Public Schools has released a new tool for residents to determine their school boundary. The adjustments apply to John Stanford Elementary School and B.F. Day and McDonald elementary schools for the 2012-13 school year.

The boundary change is part of a short-term capacity management plan that addresses Seattle Public Schools’ enrollment growth. According to Seattle Schools, “the plan, which outlines how the School District will accommodate the projected increasing enrollment, was developed following input from the Facilities and Capital Management Advisory Committee (FACMAC). Input was considered from about 300 attendees at six community meetings held between September and December 2010, and also included 550 written comments.”  It was approved 7-0 by the Seattle School Board on Jan. 25. To read the full plan, see the Board action report.

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Second B.F. Day Playground Workshop Coming Up

January 16th, 2012 by Sean Keeley

In case you missed the first community workshop for the B.F. Day Playground Design Steering Committee, you’ve got a chance to make it to the second one.

Join the second of three Community Workshops to generate and share ideas for transforming B.F. Day’s outdoor spaces. Bring your own ideas and bring your children as their input is appreciate as well. Even if you don’t have children at B.F. Day, you’re input is important. After all, the school playground is open to the public any time school is not in session.

The meeting will be held Thursday, February 2 between 6:00-8:00pm in the B.F. Day library. The schedule looks like this:

6:00 pm Meet and greet
6:15 pm Presentation of preliminary concepts
6:45 pm Break into groups to discuss concepts
7:15 pm Groups present and share comments

Snacks will be provided. For project updates over the coming months, please check out

There are also two Facebook groups you can join to stay up to date with what’s going on at B.F. Day. Future Parents of B.F. Day Elementary and B.F. Day PTSA.

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Public School Proposed Boundary Changes Would Affect Fremont, B.F. Day

January 12th, 2012 by Sean Keeley

On Tuesday, Seattle Public Schools announced proposed changes to the boundaries of the John Stanford International School in Wallingford.

The changes were presented at a PTA meeting and will be voted on by the full School Board on Jan. 18. These boundary changes would also impact McDonald Elementary and Fremont’s B.F. Day Elementary School.

According to the release, the John Stanford International School is currently overcrowded and use exceeds the optimal use of the rooms. With no boundary change, the school will only continue to get more crowded based on projections.

The combined capacity for McDonald Elementary and Stanford can only support the population within the combined current boundary for two more years at most.

In order to keep siblings together and alleviate overcrowding, the school district is proposing a plan that will offer predictability to all families. Once approved, all those impacted by the boundary change will know where their student will attend school in September 2012.

The proposal for the 2012-13 school year is as follows:

  • Ensures incoming kindergarten siblings of students attending John Stanford who live in Area # 1 or # 2 will be guaranteed assignment to John Stanford
  • Students who live in Area #1 and who are not entering kindergarten siblings will be guaranteed assignment to McDonald
  • Offers a plan to bring the number of JSIS homerooms back to a sustainable level.

The School Board will vote on this plan on Jan. 18.

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B.F. Day Wants Your Input On Playground Improvement Project

November 28th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

The B.F. Day Elementary School grounds are ready for a makeover.

The Playground Design Steering Committee is working with Landscape Architects to develop a vision and a plan for transforming B.F. Day’s outdoor spaces and they are looking for your help.

Join the first of three Community Workshops to generate and share ideas. Bring your own ideas and bring your children as their input is appreciate as well. Even if you don’t have children at B.F. Day, you’re input is important. After all, the school playground is open to the public any time school is not in session.

The meeting will be held Wednesday, November 30 between 6:00-8:00pm in the B.F. Gym. The schedule looks like this:

6:00 pm Presentation by Design Team
6:20 pm Break into groups to generate ideas
7:00 pm Groups present and share ideas

Snacks will be provided. For project updates over the coming months, please check out

There are also two Facebook groups you can join to stay up to date with what’s going on at B.F. Day. Future Parents of B.F. Day Elementary and B.F. Day PTSA.

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B.F. Day School Teacher Honored As ‘Symetra Hero in the Classroom’

November 14th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

Symetra Financial and the Seattle Seahawks honored B.F. Day Elementary School second grade teacher Ericka Johnson Pollard as a “Symetra Hero in the Classroom” on Nov. 2 during a special classroom event.

“Ericka Johnson Pollard is in her third year of teaching, but teaches as if she has been doing it for years. She has a class of 26 very lively seven- and eight-year-olds, and she builds a rapport with each child by focusing on high expectations and a belief that they will achieve at their highest level,” said Susan McClosey, principal of B.F. Day Elementary School.”Mrs. Pollard plans her curriculum so that students are actively engaged in their learning, with rich classroom discussions. She also takes them outside of the classroom to embrace the learning that can take place all over our wonderful city of Seattle. The class might visit a local Fremont business or hop on a city bus and head downtown to the Experience Music Project. She figures out what each student needs to be challenged and plans her lessons to meet those challenges.” McCloskey nominated Pollard for the Symetra Hero in the Classroom award.

“The care that Mrs. Pollard feels for her students and her desire for their success comes through in her daily interactions, said McCloskey. “She is constantly telling them how smart they are, how well-behaved they are and how much she enjoys working with them. She loves her job, and her students know it.

Teachers may be nominated by their principal, district staff, student or student’s parent. The winners are selected based on their ability to balance the core curriculum with students’ individual needs; build trust among students, parents and the community; and invest in their students’ long-term success.

In addition to honoring exceptional teachers on and off the field, each of the schools represented by a 2011 teacher Hero is eligible for an MVP Award, which provides funding to enhance learning in Seattle-area schools. Three $10,000 grants will be awarded at the end of the 2011 football season.

More information about Symetra Heroes in the Classroom is available at

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Volunteers Wanted for After School Tutoring & Mentoring Program

October 3rd, 2011 by Sean Keeley

B.F. Day Elementary School is looking for volunteers to help tutor students in reading and math.

You don’t have to be a teacher or have a teaching degree. You just need to bring a “mentoring attitude” with you to help first-through-fifth graders learn.

The mentoring takes place Tuesdays and/or Thursdays from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. from October 18, 2011 through April 5, 2012 at B.F. Day Elementary School. All materials will be provided.

Volunteers that speak a foreign language are in demand as well.

Orientation will be provided Oct.11 and Oct.13 between 3-4:00 pm. or by appointment. Training is available and service learning credit will be given.

To learn more about the program, contact Beth Tesh at 206-252-6042/ or check out

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Help Bring Some FUN (Finding Urban Nature) To B.F. Day School

September 27th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

For almost 15 years, Seattle Audubon has provided the Finding Urban Nature (FUN) program for free at B. F. Day School and other schools around Seattle.

The FUN program introduces 3rd and 4th grade students to producers, consumers, and decomposers in their schoolyard habitat and how they depend on each other to survive.  Volunteer guides take a small group of up to six students outside to learn about their schoolyard habitat, first hand. Each classroom receives four different lessons in the fall and four more in the spring.

This year, B.F. Day is a looking for some volunteers to help with the program. Volunteers do not need any previous experience and training will be provided.

You can learn more about the program at their website. To find out how to become a volunteer, email the Elementary School Program Manager at

-Photo by Susan Yates

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Multi-Family Yard Sale Will Benefit B.F. Day School

July 18th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

Neighborhood club Future Parents of BF Day is hosting a multi-family yard sale Sunday, July 24th to benefit B.F. Day Elementary. All proceeds will be donated to the school to help deal with the budget crisis that all public schools are facing.

The sale will be held at 4422 Phinney Ave N (a private residence) from 9am to 3pm.

Now that families know where their kids will go to elementary school, folks with babies, toddlers and preschoolers can get inspired early to bolster their neighborhood schools.The group is also hoping the yard sale is a great way for neighbors to meet, chat and mingle.

For more information on the yard sale, check out this site.

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3rd Annual Upper Fremont Festival Of The Arts This Weekend

May 3rd, 2011 by Sean Keeley

Who doesn’t like the idea of a free neighborhood festival of arts, music, food & fun for ALL ages? The 3rd Annual Upper Fremont Festival kicks off at 1pm this Saturday at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center and doesn’t stop providing all that aforementioned good stuff until 10pm.

The Abbey will have various arts programs, singers, performers and kid-friendly activities in and outside the building between 1-5pm, including free food demos from Vegan Fusion chef Mark Reinfeld, Zootunes giveaways and the BF Day Elementary School’s “ART ROCKS” Benefit event, featuring local bands & BF Day students.

At 5pm, Emily Anne Peterson’s cello students perform their Spring Recital in the Great hall (a free event), followed by poetry by Elaina Ellis and dance by Karin Stevens.

Finally, the day comes to a close with a concert featuring great local bands Sea Fever, Kimo Muraki & band and Hooves & Beak.

Tickets for the concert are $5 for students, $7 general admission and doors open at 6:30pm. The Abbey Cafe will serve refreshments but feel free to grab some food from a neighborhood eatery and bring it with you.

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Open Enrollment For Seattle Public Schools Begins

March 15th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

If your child will enter the Seattle Public School system this year, or if you want a school other than your attendance-area elementary, middle or high school, be sure to apply through Open Enrollment, which runs today, March 15, through April 15.

Forms and detailed information are available at the Seattle Public Schools site. Families may also contact an Enrollment Facilitator at the Service Center at the John Stanford Center, 2445 3rd Ave S (3rd and Lander), via telephone at (206) 252-0010, or via fax to (206) 252-0761. There is also a Recorded Information Line at (206) 252-0410.

Registration and application materials may be mailed, faxed or submitted in person. The mailing address is:

Seattle Public Schools
SPS Service Center
MS 11-174
P.O. Box 34165
Seattle, WA 98124-1165

All school choice forms received during open enrollment are processed together after open enrollment ends on April 15. There is no advantage to submitting forms earlier or later during the open enrollment period. The first few days and the last few days of open enrollment are the busiest. To avoid long lines, families are encouraged by SPS to consider this when planning their visit to the enrollment center.

Current students may drop off School Choice Forms in a 24-hour drop box in the JSCEE parking lot at 3rd and Lander. Forms must be filled out completely and signed to be accepted. The drop-off box is only for school choice forms for current students who already have a school assignment but would like to apply for a different school. New students must submit enrollment materials either in person, by fax or email.

Seattle Public Schools enrollment staff will also visit libraries and community centers around the city throughout March so parents may enroll new students and/or submit School Choice Forms for the 2011-12 school year. Staff will be at the Green Lake Library (7364 E Green Lake Dr N) on Monday, March 21, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

via MyWallingford

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Key Bank Bringing Relationship Banking To Fremont

March 11th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

We learned back in December that Key Bank was coming to the neighborhood. Since then Fremonsters have watched the spot formerly occupied by Baja Fresh slowly but surely turn into an institution of banking. That transformation is near completion and Key Bank will open its doors on Monday, March 14th.

I had a chance to check out the new digs at 601 North 34th St. and found Key to be intimate (approx. 7 total employees working at any time) and personable, right up Fremont’s alley. I took some photos of the interior as well, which has been properly Fremont-izied.

Key officials are excited to come to Fremont, especially with the location they’ve found:

Rick Wirthlin, president of Key’s Seattle-Cascades District, said “We’re delighted to have found the perfect location for our new Fremont branch in one of Seattle’s most unique and vibrant neighborhoods.” It’s as convenient to use as it is easy to find, he said, due to a walk-up ATM for area workers as well as free designated customer parking in the garage.

The location will be Key’s 161st in Washington. The branch will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays; and 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays.IF you get there during off-hours, don’t fret, there’s also a 24-hour walk-up ATM and night drop for merchants.

To celebrate the opening of the branch, Key is donating $1,000 to the B.F. Day Boys & Girls Club, a licensed day care at the B.F. Day Elementary School.  It serves youth ages 5-12 during, before and after school.

Grand opening festivities will take place at the branch on Saturday, April 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors will be able to enjoy refreshments from Mad Pizza and fun family activities including a face painter and balloon artist.  KJR-FM will be on location, broadcasting live and giving away prizes, including a Kenmore Air trip for two to the San Juan Islands. Visitors can also register to win a $500 Key Possibilities gift card.

The branch manager is Samira Salkic, a five-year KeyBank veteran. I spoke with Samira and she’s very excited for the opening and says local Fremont businesses have been “very welcoming” and “excited” about the opportunities Key will make available.

For more information about Key, visit

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Fremont’s B.F. Day Invites You To Feel ‘Swellagant’

February 24th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

The Swellegant is almost here.

If your initial thought is, what the heck is a Swellagant, well, let me explain. Actually, let’s have the B.F. Day PTSA explain:

The Swellegant is an annual party and mini-auction event hosted by the B.F. Day PTSA. It is first and foremost an opportunity for the B.F. Day adult community to come together and socialize. Of course, we can’t pass up the opportunity to raise a little dough for the kids so they’ll be a small silent auction and a raffle that night as well.

The event takes place Saturday, March 5th from 7:00 to 11:00pm at the Fremont Arts Abbey. There will be cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live music, a silent auction and something called a “golden raffle” which sounds way better some plain, old normal raffle.

Tickets are $40.00 per person in advance, $50.00 at the door, and all the proceeds go to funding the arts and sciences at B.F. Day. To purchase your ticket or donate an item to the silent auction, head over to the PTSA site now.

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Seattle Installs Flashing Beacons at B.F. Day, Other Schools

January 27th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

As a way of reminding drivers to take it slow near our schools, the City of Seattle has installed new flashing school zone beacons at five Seattle schools, including Fremont’s BF Day Elementary school. The beacons are accompanied by signs that denote a 20 MPH speed limit when children are present or when the lights are flashing.

The Seattle Department of Transportation also recently made additional school walking route improvements at BF Day.

“Adding flashing beacons has been shown to lower speeds through school zones and lower vehicle speeds typically result in fewer pedestrian injuries and fatalities,” according to the Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) Safe Routes to School Coordinator Brian Dougherty.

SDOT now operates 47 pairs of school zone beacons at 45 public and private elementary schools around the city. Funding for the new beacons came from the Bridging the Gap transportation levy passed by Seattle voters in 2006.

Photo: SDOT

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Fremont News, Notes, Happenings & Whatnot 1/3

January 3rd, 2011 by Sean Keeley

Some news and items of interest for Fremonsters as you figure out what you’re going to do with all this tinsel now that Christmas is over…

  • Today’s Fremont-related Groupon: For $30, you get 30 days of unlimited access to group classes, including a Kinesis session every week, at Vera Fitness in Green Lake and Fremont (a $157 value). This Groupon is good for one class each day, and one Kinesis session per week.
  • Know a pothole? Want to know where potholes are? Want to report a pothole? Check out this handy-dandy Seattle Times interactive map.
  • If you have a child who’s entering kindergarten, middle school or high school this fall, it’s time to plan for public school tours. Check out the schedule for B.F. Day and other area schools at My Wallingford.
  • That the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has put King County under a Stage 1 burn ban as air quality worsens in the region. A Stage 1 ban means that residents aren’t allowed to burn in fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves unless it’s the only source of heat to the home.
  • Pie will hold its official opening on Wednesday, January 5th. Doors open at 7 a.m. Oh and they’re hiring.

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