Notes From the Principal

March 19, 2018

This Monday, through the generous support of our PTSA, we are welcoming Science Circus to Redmond Elementary. All of our students will have a chance to learn about concepts of Science (Physics, in particular) through circus activities. Make sure to ask your kids what they learned about gravity and centripetal force when they come home on Monday!

We have noticed that a number of students are arriving late, past the 9:00 tardy bell, since we changed the clocks for Daylight Saving time. Please ensure that they (and you, if driving) leave early enough to plan for traffic and road construction around us. Bring your patience and an eye for safety. Instruction occurs bell to bell, and ALL students benefit from being in class and ready to learn on time. Please help us build habits of punctuality in the kiddos early, as these habits will carry into future years.

That’s it for this week – have a wonderful week.


March 12, 2018

Dear Redmond Elementary Families,

School start and end times will be changing in the 2018-19 school year as a 7-period day is implemented for high school students. We acknowledge any change has an impact to families’ current schedules. We want to ensure families have ample time to plan for the change.

Our school will start at 9:20 am and end at 3:50 pm. We will continue with early releases on Wednesdays, releasing at 2:20 pm. These changes do not take effect until the start of next school year.

Why are start and dismissal times changing?

Starting with the Class of 2019, students are required to graduate with 24 credits. In 2015, a Task Force of staff and parents convened to study, analyze and make recommendations to expand options for students to meet the 24 credits required for graduation. In April 2017, the Task Force recommended adding time to the end of the high school student day to provide a 7-period day.

Adding time to the high school day results in needed adjustments to the start and dismissal times of elementary and middle schools due to our tiered transportation system (the same buses transport students at the high school, middle school and elementary level).

Why is a 7-period day needed and how does it benefit students?

A 7-period day restores opportunities for our students that they used to have. Over the past several years, the elective opportunities and opportunities for additional exploration, acceleration and remediation have declined for high school students. This is due to the increase in the state graduation requirements.

Specifically, in a 6-period day,

  • The Class of 2015 could take 6 electives, plus they had two additional spaces in their schedules for additional exploration, acceleration or remediation - 8 total opportunities.
  • The Classes of 2016-18 can take 4 electives, plus they had two additional spaces in their schedules for additional exploration, acceleration or remediation - 6 total opportunities.
  • The Class of 2019 and beyond can take 4 electives, but they have 0 additional spaces in their schedules for additional exploration, acceleration or remediation - 4 total opportunities.

By implementing a 7-period day, we bring back opportunities for our high school students that previous graduating classes used to have.

Will there be further changes to school start and end times in future years?

A School Start Time Advisory is continuing work in 2018-19 to study the impacts of potentially changing high school start times to later in future years. The Advisory includes staff and parents from elementary, middle and high school levels. They will make a recommendation for any potential further changes to school start and end times. Further changes in the 2019-2020 school year may or not occur, depending on their recommendation. There will continue to be ample opportunity for families to provide input throughout the process. Any changes to the high school start and end times result in adjustments to middle and elementary start and end times due to transportation.

Additional resources:

2018-19 School Start and End Times

School Start Time Advisory

Seven-Period High School Day


Kirsten Gometz, Principal

March 5, 2018

Dear Redmond El families,
This week, I hope you will join me in saying “Thank you” to our many wonderful classified employees. In case you don’t know who they are, our classified staff members are any school or district employees who are not certificated teachers. They are: bus drivers, crossing guards, office managers, health room secretaries, custodians, recess teachers, secretaries, and paraprofessionals. Our classified employees are often those responsible for the safety of our kids. They keep kids and schools clean, make sure our kids get to their destinations safely, and attend to their kids when they are hurt. Quite simply, they help. To all of our classified employees, Thank you!
Our PTSA Science Fair is this Thursday evening at 6:30 pm. Come join us and see what our students have been hypothesizing, observing, and concluding. Big thanks to our PTSA for putting this on!
Finally, there is NO SCHOOL this Friday so that teachers may spend their day in Professional Development. Teachers will be learning together about new technology, writing instruction, and Next Generation Science Standards. All important stuff, but we will miss the kids!
Our March Character Traits are Sportsmanship and Accountability. We’ll be talking about these with the kids, especially as our Hawk Helpers begin helping others at recess.
Have a wonderful week.
03/08: Science Fair (5:30-8:30)
03/09: NO SCHOOL

February 26, 2018

Dear Redmond Elementary Families,

Our PTSA sponsored Science Fair is coming up next week (February 8), with opportunities for any interested students to examine a question, form a hypothesis, and conduct an investigation to prove or disprove their hypotheses. It’s a wonderful showcase for thinking and questioning, and I hope you will visit to see the exploratory learning that your students have taken on.

Questioning is a wonderful habit of mind to engage in, and I hope you will engage with your children as they wonder about the world around them. This wondering and questioning together helps fuel curiosity, which in turn fuels investigation. Encourage your child as they plan, learn, wonder, and take action. The freedom to do this is one of the reasons we moved away from homework this year, so students had the opportunity to pursue the activities that fueled their curiosity and passions: Science, design and construction, art, dance, sports, music, math.

We hope, too, that your students are questioning the world around them and seeking their voice. We welcome this, and want you to know that in the next few weeks as students nation-wide engage in various forms of activism, we will be working to find ways to help your students’ voices be heard. Our first priority will always be to keep them safe, and then to encourage their thoughtful engagement in their world. Many of our students are seeking ways to make their world better, through helping others with conflict management at recess, job corps or classroom buddy relationships, or other ways of stepping up for what is right.

We are so proud of them, and so grateful for the chance to spend our days with them. Thank you, as always, for sharing them with us.

Have a wonderful week.


February 20, 2018

Dear Redmond El families,

Welcome back. I have thought a lot about all of you, especially your children, in the past week. I know this is a scary time to be a parent, and that the news we read about events like the one in Florida hurt our hearts. A few of you have reached out to me, and I appreciate the sense of community we share. The same questions is asked, again and again: What can we do?

Besides being politically active and using your power to vote as often and as thoughtfully as you can, there ARE things we can do. I know you are all aware that we have tightened building security practices and that we prepare ourselves and your children for what to do in the event of an active shooter at school. Beyond that though, what we can all do is this:

Make connections. Help your children make connections: to adults and others in your family and community, to their teachers and peers, to activities and places that they love. All of us, and especially our children, need to know that there are those around them who see them, who know them, who know their names, and who believe that they matter. If you are able to bring your child to school in the morning or pick them up in the afternoon, take time to talk with the other parents and kids you meet. Introduce yourself. Learn some names. Encourage your child to invite someone for a play date who might need a friend or two. BE a point of connection for another child who needs one.

All of us can look out for one another. We are a very big community, but a community nonetheless, and our strength lies in the care, attention, and kindness we show one another. The more we keep an eye on kids who may slip through the cracks, the better equipped we will all be to progress towards a healthy and happy future.

Please have a wonderful week, and say hello if you see me around.


Upcoming Dates:

02/22: PTA Math Night 6:30-8:00 pm

03/09: NO SCHOOL (LEAP Day)

February 12, 2018

Dear Redmond Elementary Families,

We hope you have a wonderful Mid-Winter break, and that everyone comes back healthy and rested. As a reminder, anytime your child has a fever of 100 or over, or vomits at all, you must keep them home for at least 24 hours from the last incidence of either of these symptoms. Additionally, you know your child best; with flu making its way around our area this year, if your child is acting “off” – complaining of aches, or otherwise are not themselves – please keep them home. We are taking precautions at school to clean and disinfect our environment, but we need your help. Finally, if your child does receive a flu diagnosis, please inform the office so we can monitor the impact at our school.

We thank you all for sharing your children with us. Have a wonderful break!

Important Dates:

02/14: Valentine’s Day

02/15: NO SCHOOL

02/16: NO SCHOOL

02/19: NO SCHOOL


February 5, 2018

Dear Redmond Elementary Families,

It’s February already! We will be heading into springtime soon. Please remember to let the office know about any absences, and that any planned absences must be submitted for approval in advance. Additionally, for parents of students in Grades 3, 4, and 5, please keep SBA dates on your radar, avoiding any absences (except in case of illness) on these dates:

April 30: Grade 3/3Q ELA Pt 1

May 1: Grade 3/3Q ELA Pt 2, Grade 4/5Q ELA Pt 1

May 2: Grade 4/5Q Pt 2

May 8: Grade 3/3Q ELA CAT, Grade 5 CAT

May 9: Grade 3/3Q ELA CAT, Grade 5 ELA Pt 1

May 10: Grade 5 ELA Pt 2, Grade 4/5Q ELA CAT

May 14: Grade 4 ELA Pt 1

May 15: Grade 4 ELA Pt 2

May 16: Grade 4/5Q WCAS Science

May 17: Grade 5 WCAS Science

May 21: Grade 3/3Q Math PT

May 22: Grade 3/3Q Math CAT, Grade 5 Math PT

May 23: Grade 3/3Q Math CAT, Grade 4/5Q Math CAT

May 24: Grade 4 ELA CAT, Grade 4/5Q Math PT, Grade 5 Math CAT

May 25: Grade 4 ELA CAT

May 30: Grade 4 Math PT

June 1: Grade 4 Math CAT

Our Character Traits for the month of February are: Thoughtfulness and Self-Discipline. Thoughtfulness in honor of Valentine’s Day, when we express our love and friendship for one another, and Self-Discipline as the goals we set for ourselves at New Year’s become harder to work on, and we really have to buckle down. A reminder to all – if you send in Valentines with your child for Valentines Day, please make sure there are enough for every child in their class. Your child’s teacher can give you an accurate count.

Finally, thanks to PTSA president Steve Hitch and the City of Redmond, we now have 2 new bike racks installed at our main entrance. Thank you! Please feel free to use them, and ensure your student has a bike rider permission slip on file in the office if they are 10 or over and can ride to/from school solo. (Students younger than 10 may ride if you accompany them.) ALL riders must use helmets when riding to or from school – and big thanks to Schoolpool and Marti Burton and Maren Talcott’s work, many kids were fitted with bike helmets this past week.

Have a wonderful week!


January 29, 2018

Dear Redmond Elementary families,
Thank you to all of you who joined us last week for student conferences. We very much enjoyed talking with you and especially celebrating the growth your children have made this year. We are so proud of them.
This week, we get back to “normal”, at least for a few weeks before February break. We appreciate your extra efforts getting kiddos to school on time, especially in these dark, rainy days. Research shows that habits developed early carry forward, and that timely attendance to school in elementary school directly ties to success in secondary school and college and career readiness. It’s always easiest for students to be ready at the start of the day rather than joining classes already underway. Thank you all for your help.

Finally, Lake Washington School District is planning three ballot measures going before voters in the district on February 13, 2018: a bond aa two replacement levies to fund important needs not funded by the state. Please follow this link to learn more about these measures, and please VOTE this month!

Have a wonderful week,

January 22, 2018

Dear Redmond Elementary Families,

Your students did an amazing job at the Lockdown/ALICE Drill on Friday. They listened carefully and thoughtfully, and either took cover or were able to silently evacuate the building in response to the scenario and information they received. My gratitude and apologies to the Passport club volunteers who were impacted by the drill; my hope is that watching how the staff and students respond in a drill like that was informative.

Conference Week: This week, students will release at 12:00 on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday so that teachers, parents, and students can meet together to discuss the year so far. What to expect:

  • Please have your child with you. They will be prepared to share their successes and challenges with you. It is also very important for students to see their parents and teachers come together in support of their growth.
  • Come prepared to learn about your child’s academic and social/emotional skills. Bring questions, if you have them.
  • If there are other professionals who work with your student (Special Education, counselor, ELL) they may join your for part of the conference.
  • Please ensure that your child knows their plan at the end of each day, and that if it differs in any way from every other day, that the teacher and office are also aware.

Lost and Found: We have many, many items in our Lost and Found. We will put these near the entrance where you sign in for conferences – please check these carefully as items will be donated after conference week.

The Used Book Fair will also be going on during conferences – please come by and find some inexpensive books for your readers. Donations of Books – children’s or adult – will be accepted through Monday. Redmond Elementary appreciates your help!

Finally, looking ahead to next year:

01/23: Middle School Parent Information Night: 6:30-8:30 at Redmond Middle School Parents only event – Current 5th grade parents are invited come learn what lies ahead for grades 6-8

01/24: Kindergarten Parent Information Session 2:30-3:00 in the Library

02/01: Kindergarten Registration 1:00-7:00 in the Redmond Elementary Library

Have a wonderful week. We are looking forward to seeing you for conferences!


January 16, 2018 - Kindergarten Registration

Dear Redmond Elementary Families,

This month, we start getting ready for our 2018-2019 kindergarten students. If you have a child who turns 5 before August 31, 2018, please read below for important dates. Please also share this with neighbors who have a kindergarten aged child.

Wednesday, January 24: Kindergarten Parent Information session (adults only) 2:30-3:00 in the Redmond Elementary Library. Registration Paperwork will be handed out at the end of this session.

Thursday, February 1: Kindergarten Registration 1:00-7:00 in the Redmond Elementary Library. Please bring birth certificate or passport, proof of address, and immunization records. Please also have calendars ready as we will sign up for August assessments at that time.

Please enroll ON February 1st!

Enrollment early in the season ensures our ability to staff our school with the best teachers available.

We are excited to meet our next students!

Kirsten Gometz

January 16, 2018

Dear Redmond Elementary Families,

I was so proud of all of your students on Friday as we reflected together on Dr King’s messages of hope, seeking understanding, and letting each little light shine. Several students shared poems or writings in front of our school audience, reflecting on the words of Dr. King and the work ahead we can all do together. They gave us all reasons to be proud.


This week, we will perform our Lockdown drill using ALICE principles. Please be aware that any time we are doing an emergency drill, and certainly in the event of a real emergency, you must be patient if you arrive to pick up your child for any reason. If this occurs, please remain outside the main entrance until our activities are complete. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Upcoming Dates:
01/16: LWSD Bond and Levy Open House (Redmond High School, 6:30-7:30)
01/18: Redmond El PTSA General Membership Meeting (Red El Library, 6:30 PM)
01/19: Spirit Day: Pajama Day!
01/23: Conference Day (NOON RELEASE)
01/23: Middle School Parent Information Night (RMS Gym, 6:30-8:30 pm)
01/24: Kindergarten Parent Info (Red El Library, 2:30-3, for next year’s kindergarten parents)
01/25: Conference Day (NOON RELEASE)
01/26: Conference Day (NOON RELEASE)

Thank you!

January 4, 2018

Dear Redmond Elementary Families,

Thank you to the many of you who reached our with questions, concerns, and even appreciation after last week’s neighborhood incident. Several of you asked about our school’s safety protocols. I want to share what we had already been updating, as well as inform you about the specifics of this month’s Safety Drill.

Those of you who have come to volunteer last week have already seen that our visitor procedures are changing. All visitors and volunteers must sign in, and wear a visible name badge stating first and last name as well as destination. Please be prepared that any staff member who cannot see a name badge will stop you and redirect you to the office if you are not doing so. This is not to be inhospitable, but rather to ensure greater awareness and compliance with visitor procedures.

Additionally, though we have had all doors besides the main entrance locked throughout the day all year long, we have found that some in our building (students or parents) are still opening doors for others who arrive late, or to drop items off, in an effort to be helpful. We are teaching the students that we cannot continue to do so. Please, at all times, use only the main entrance and do not use the building as a shortcut to other areas.

Finally, the LWSD Safety Drill this month is our Lockdown Drill, using ALICE principles. We will do this drill during the week of January 16-20. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. The Lake Washington School District began incorporating ALICE principles into our Lockdown preparations two years ago in response to guidance from local and national law enforcement. In the past two years, we performed a “soft” version of the drill, and this year we move to full implementation.

The ALICE principles are strategies that might be useful in an emergency; they are not steps to be completed in any specific order of priority, nor are all steps required. We are including ALICE principles in our District emergency response procedures at the request of local law enforcement. The ALICE tools add options to the District’s existing lockdown responses. ALICE principles are not limited to schools and can be used by individuals in emergency situations in any location, such as movie theaters, malls, places of worship, stores, etc.

Our school staff has received training in the ALICE principles, and students have received classroom training in September in preparation for this month’s drill. We will review and practice listening expectations this week as we prepare ourselves.

The drill will provide a scenario to students and teachers (Alert portion of ALICE) over the intercom, followed by additional information (Inform portion of ALICE) to which classes will be expected to react. Teachers are being provided with four possible scenarios to discuss with their class, in order to prepare for the drill in an age-appropriate manner. One of these four scenarios will be used for our drill. The scenarios are designed to be realistic and descriptive of a potential incident. Every announcement will clearly state, “This is a drill.” In preparation for the lockdown drill our teachers will be discussing the ALICE strategies with their students, using age-appropriate vocabulary and information. At the same time, we are trying to be sensitive to the age of our students and do not intend to frighten or add unneeded stress to them. We are providing the four scenarios below should you wish to discuss them with your child at home.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. Additional resources about the ALICE program can be found at

Scenarios for ALICE Drill: January 2018

  1. ALERT: Attention! An intruder has entered the main entrance near the office and is walking towards the B wing rooms. He is a white male, about 40 years old, wearing a blue jacket and a baseball hat. He is carrying an unknown weapon and is yelling.
  2. ALERT: Attention! A female with dark hair and an unknown weapon is quickly walking around Portable 2. She’s wearing blue jeans, and a green hoodie.
  3. ALERT: Attention! An intruder has entered through the door near the gym and is arguing with an teacher there. He is holding an unknown weapon and is moving towards the gym. He is wearing a black shirt and has a beard.
  4. ALERT: Attention! A woman with an unknown weapon has just entered the stairwell door near the 3rd grade rooms. She is wearing a purple shirt and is crying loudly.


Important Dates:
Friday, January 12: MLK Assemblies
Monday, January 15: NO SCHOOL MLK Day
Tuesday, January 16: LWSD Bond & Levy Community Open House (6:30-7:30, Redmond High School)
Thursday, January 18: PTSA General Membership Meeting (6:30 in Library)
January 23, 25, 26: Elementary Conferences/Noon release
Wednesday, January 24: Kindergarten Parent Info Session (2:30-3:00 in Library) Information for parents of incoming kindergarten students will be offered
Thursday, February 1: Kindergarten Registration (1-7 in the School Library)

Have a wonderful week, and thank you for your support.

October 9, 2017

Dear Redmond Elementary families,

Thank you to the MANY of you who joined us for our WatchDOGS kick-off event on Thursday night! It was so great to spend time with you, and the pride on the students’ faces as they led you in to school was wonderful to see. We are excited and grateful to all of the parents, grandparents, and other caring adults who help make Redmond El such a wonderful place for kids to be every day. Big thanks to Mrs. Huntley for bringing this to Redmond EL!

October gives us many things to think about and celebrate. October is Bullying Awareness Month, when we will talk to all of our kids about the importance of kindness and acceptance, focusing heavily on inclusion for all. October 25 is Unity Day 2017, when we encourage everyone to wear orange and we will focus on activities of inclusion and togetherness.

October is also Disability Awareness Month, when we will work with kids to understand the impact of disabilities – both those we can see and those we can’t – on individuals, as well as the many ways in which individuals living with disabilities can and will lead full and fulfilling lives.

Conference Days 10/16, 10/17, 10/19 Student Led Goal Setting conferences are coming up quickly! Teachers are looking forward to learning more about you and your family’s hopes for this year as you work with your child to set attainable goals. Please make sure you are here on time and with your student. Teachers have many conferences scheduled and need to honor their start and end times closely. Student release times are at noon on Conference Days. If there is a change in your student’s normal end of day/pickup routine on conference days, please make sure that the teacher AND the office are notified in advance.

There is NO SCHOOL for students on October 20 for Teacher Professional Development.

Finally, October ends with Halloween, on October 31. Classrooms will celebrate with parties, and students who wish to can dress up in celebration. Please remember these guidelines for those wishing to dress up:

  • Costumes must be school appropriate (no blood, gore, violent themes or weapons, and nothing too scary – little friends are easily frightened)
  • No Masks or Facepaint – save these for trick or treating
  • Students must be able to put costumes on over clothes and remove before going home
  • Normal school rules as to appropriate attire still apply

If your student will require an alternate activity during Halloween celebrations, please email their teacher and me so we may plan accordingly.

Safety: Please do NOT drop off students in the Old Redmond Schoolhouse parking lot! It is not supervised and we have seen some safety concerns with unsupervised children crossing around cars.

September 2017

Dear Redmond Elementary Families,

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! I am so excited to be joining you this year as your principal, and have enjoyed meeting many of you already. I wanted to let you know about a few important changes this year, and get you ready for the events in the weeks ahead.

Parking Lot is now ONE WAY

In the interest of safety, the parking lot is now ONE WAY only. ALL cars must enter at the NORTH opening, at the top of the hill. The top lane is for PARKING only. There are two drop off zones, in the middle and lower lanes. The middle drop off/flex zone may be used for parking between the hours of 9:30 and 3:00. All parking lot traffic moves south and exits at the SOUTH opening. Please be courteous, and especially, SAFE. (See attached diagram)

Meet and Greet – Thursday, August 31, 3:00 - 4:00

Students and families are invited to come find their classroom and meet their teachers. Teacher assignments will be emailed to you shortly before 3:00, and will also be posted at all entrances. Please bring any school supplies with you, as well as any medication needed at school with completed Physician’s Orders.

Kindergarten Parent Night/Curriculum Night – Thursday, August 31 5:30 – 6:30

Parents come to meet with the Principal, Associate Principal, and kindergarten teacher. We will start in the library at 5:30, and then move to the individual classrooms. This event is parents only, though some supervision of children on the playground will be provided through our PTSA. We will share important details you need to know for your kindergarten students this year.

Verify Your Contact/Emergency Information Online

Thank you to all the Redmond Elementary families who have already verified their contact/emergency information in Parent Access. If you need more information on how to complete this process, here is a link to the Student Information Verification FAQ page. Question about the Online Student Verification Process can also be sent to

Thank you all for being such a wonderful and supportive community. See you on Thursday!

Kirsten Gometz