Mar 21, 2011

Hope for Japan: Used Book Fundraiser

From despair comes hope
Out of the darkness comes light
From ashes they'll rise.
(a haiku poem)

Friends are angels who lift us to our feet
when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

Be the angel who brings them hope and light.
Be the angel who helps them rebuild and rise.
Donate a used book for a fundraiser to help the earthquake victims of Japan.

  • We are looking for gently used books for all ages.
  • Please bring your donations to the parent Center in the morning, all week this week through next Tuesday the 29th.
  • A fundraiser selling dinner and reselling the donated books will be held on Thursday, March 31st before Literacy Night.
  • If you would like to help with the fundraiser by organizing books or by volunteering to sell food or books, please contact Anvi Kevany at, or sign up by the Parent Center, or at

This is a great opportunity to help your child make a difference for the victims of this tragic event and be part of the recovery effort for the Japanese people. Go through your home library with them and pick out some of the books your family no longer enjoys, but someone else might. The world is not as large as it seems, we are all connected.

Thank you for your support!

Family Math Night, Thursday - March 24th from 5:30pm-7:45pm

What is a Family Math Night you might ask?  It's a great opportunity to spend some time together as a family learning about math concepts from some of our wonderful teachers.  It's a FREE event sponsored by Mt.Washington Elementary School.  All are welcome, all we ask is that you rsvp back to the school by Thursday morning.  A flyer went home with your child on Monday, with a detahable rsvp form.

The event starts off in the MPR at 5:30pm with registration.  The workshops offered will be: numbers, origami, technology, measurement, multiplication and equations.  Each family will have the opportunity to do two workshops.  After the workshops, at 7:30pm, there will be a discussion period and door prizes will be given out.  The PTA will be selling food starting at  4:30pm.  This is a family event and each child must be accompanied by an adult.

The following Thursday, on the 31st, Literacy Night will be held.  Save the date for that fun event and stay tuned for more info coming your way soon.

We look forward to seeing you at both events.

Congratulations to our newly elected Executive Board

Thank you to all of our Association Members who came to the association meeting and voted in our Executive Board for school year 2011-2012.

Congratulations to:
Ariella Roberts - President
Susanne Foldes - VP Communications
Nicole Thomas - VP Programs
Sharen Herran - VP Ways and Means
Anvi Kevany -  VP Volunteers and Room Reps
Vicki Vainshtein - Secretary
Kim Ragno - Treasurer
Rosa Bender - Financial Secretary

We would also like to thank our current Executive Board for all of their hard work, and their continued efforts to ensure that our children get the quality education that they deserve, even in these economically challenged times.

Thank you to:
Pilar Buelna - President
Susanne Foldes - VP Communications
Vicki Vainshtein - Assistant VP Communications
Natasha Stanton - VP Programs
Kathryn McGuire - Assistant VP Programs
Ariella Roberts - VP Ways and Means
Cecilia Vazquez - Assistant VP Ways and Means
Anvi Kevany - VP Volunteers and Room Reps
Rosa Bender - Secretary
Kim Ragno - Treasurer
Gill Correa - Financial Secretary

Our children are very fortunate to have the support of such dedicated parents.  Thank you ALL!

FOMWS "A Night of Comedy", Letter from the President

Dear Parents,

Please join The Friends of Mt. Washington School (FOMWS) for an unforgettable evening of side-splitting, standup humor to benefit Mt. Washington Elementary School. A Night of Comedy will be held on April 29, 2011, from 6:30 – 10:00 pm, at the beautiful Los Angeles River Center.

Friends of Mt. Washington School (FOMWS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, helps raise funds for programs at Mt. Washington Elementary, one of the top schools in Los Angeles Unified School District. As we prepare for the next fiscal year, we look to our friends, family, colleagues and community to help us cover school associated expenses.

Your sponsorship is the vital link in sustaining programs such as Focus Fish (physical education), classroom aides, school buses and helping offset mandatory needs no longer covered due to budget cuts.

Attached, please find materials outlining event sponsorships for A Night of Comedy. As a sponsor you will be included in all our printed material, including our invitations and flyers distributed to our parent body and community. A receipt for tax purposes will be provided. For more information about the event, please contact Pilar Buelna at (323) 243-9340/ or visit us at

Together we can make a real difference for our children. Thank you for your contribution and support.


Fernando Orozco
Friends of Mt. Washington School

(To download the sponsorship form, click here)

Mar 16, 2011

Legislators continue to deliberate. Send in your letters.

Dear Parents,

Please help make sure our legislators know that we will not settle for more cuts in our children's education.
Fax the attached letters to our representatives in Sacramento to let them know to put the tax extension initiative on the June ballot.

Please help our voices be heard. Our children deserve no less than the few minutes it will take for you to do this.

Please click here to download the sample letter to Assemblyman Cedillo.  (Click on file under the google docs logo to download original)
Please fax to: 323-225-4500 or email him through his website at

Please click here to download the sample letter to Senator De Leon. (Click on file under the google docs logo to download original)

Please fax to: 213-612-9591 or email him through his website at

For people who live outside of Assemblyman Cedillo's and Senator De Leon's district go to to email legislators automatically based on your contact information.

Thank you so much for your help,
Pilar Buelna
PTA President

Mar 15, 2011

Emergency Budget Meeting Summary

Proposed Budget Cuts for 2011-12

$408 million without Governor’s Initiative
$225 million with the Governor’s Initiative

Effects of the Proposed 2011-12 Budget Cuts

Enrollment and Class Size

  • Projected enrollment is 302 students
  • Staffing and program allotments are based on this projection, despite actual enrollment in September
  • Class sizes will increase for 2011-12 from 24:1 in K-3 to 29:1 and from 36:1 to 38:1 in grades 4-6
  • Each grade level will have 1.5 classes, causing splits at every level

Staffing Changes

  • Loss of 3 teaching positions
  • Continued furlough days for all staff ?
  • Schools with fewer than 301 students will be allotted .5 principal. Currently assigned 1 FTE Principal
  • Administrative assignments reduced by 8 days during summer
  • Clerical assignments reduced by 5-10 days during summer
  • Schools with fewer than 375 students will only be allotted 1 SAA and .5 clerical position = loss of ½ clerk

Programs and Services

  • Arts Itinerant Teacher (VAPA and Orchestra) will be reduced to one semester
  • Library Aide positions will not be allocated to schools (it is unclear whether we will have the ability to fund this position)
  • Youth Services afterschool program will be eliminated
  • Reduction in nursing services
Ways in which you can help:

1.     Contact our state elected officials to urge them to place the Governor’s initiative on the June ballot.  Please click here for a sample letter you can download and use.

·      Senator Kevin De Leon: District 22
617 S. Olive St., Suite 710
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Local Phone 213-612-9566
Local Fax: 213-612-9591
Capitol Phone: 916-651-4022

·      Assemblyman Gil Cedillo: District 45
360 W. Avenue 26, Suite 121 & 122,
Los Angeles, CA 90031
Local Phone: 323-225-4545
Local Fax: 323-225-4500
Capitol Phone: 916-319-2045

2.     Help get the word out for open enrollment.  Mt.Washington is opening up 60 open enrollment spots for the 2011-2012 school year.

3.     Support the PTA’s and FOMWS’ fundraising efforts to help offset the cuts being made to our school.

Please visit the FAQ page or contact Mrs.Valentino at for any
questions or concerns you might have.

FOMWS presents: A Night of Comedy

Please join the hard working crew of FOMWS on Friday, April 29th from 6:30pm-10:00pm for the annual Silent Auction to help raise money for our school.  The Los Angeles River Center provides the backdrop for an evening of celebration; celebrating what we all have to be thankful for: a wonderful school, excellent teachers, and a community of parents and partners who care enough to see such an oasis survive and thrive in the face of current economic challenges.  We will have very cool comedians, a live DJ spinning dancing grooves, yummy food and drink and plenty of great items to bid on.  Please consider helping out in any way you can: by attending the event, spreading the word to friends and neighbors, hitting up local businesses for gift certificates, talking to your employer about a "donation matching program" (I just found out my husband's company matches up to $1,000, so be sure to ask!) and finally talk to your room rep, go on or contact me at about other ways to help.  It will be a great event, but it can be even better if we all do this together! 
Thank you very much for your support- Nicole Thomas - Auction Committee

Star Gazing was a stellar event

Thank you the Los Angeles Astronomical Society for a wonderful event this past Friday. Thank you to all of our volunteers, for the yummy baked goods, to La Estrella Taco Truck for giving back to our sixth graders, and a special thank you to Anvi Kevany for chairing this great event. Families who attended were able to view the Moon up close and personal, see the Great Orion Nebula, and view Jupiter close enough to see it's stripes and two of it's moons. If you would like to gaze at the stars some more, check out the Free Public Star Parties which are held monthly with the assistance of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers at the Griffith Observatory.  "They are a chance for the whole family to look at the sun, moon, visible planets, and other objects, to try out a variety of telescopes, and to talk to knowledgeable amateur astronomers about the sky and their equipment."

PTA Association Meeting, incl elections of next year's PTA officers!

Monday, March 21, at 8:15 am in the MPR prior to the Disaster Preparedness Presentation. The elections of officers for the Program Year 2011-2012 will be conducted.

The following people have been nominated:

President - Ariella Roberts
VP Communications - Susanne Foldes
VP Programs - Nicole Thomas
VP Ways and Means - Sharen Herran
VP Volunteers/Room Reps - Anvi Kevany
Secretary - Vicki Vainshtein
Treasurer - Kim Ragno
Financial Secretary - Rosa Bender

Disaster Preparedness Presentation

Monday, March 21st, 8:15am in the MPR

Learn what to do (and what not to do) in case of an emergency! Becca Brudzynski of Red Cross Los Angeles will be our featured speaker. Refreshments and childcare will be provided.

* Refreshments & Childcare provided *

Mar 6, 2011

Star Gazing - Friday, March 11th

Friday, March 11th from 5:30pm-7:30pm on the main yard.  Join the Los Angeles Astronomical Society for a night of education that is out of this world. Have dinner at school from 5:00pm-7:00pm from La Estrella Taco Truck, to benefit our 6th grade class. The PTA is also hosting a bake sale, yum!  If you would like to contribute some galactic goodies, we will be more than happy to take your donation on Friday morning, the 11th, at the Parent Center.

The Yearbooks are Coming

Get your Yearbooks Early and SAVE.  Pre-order your yearbook now for only $20.00 per book. After March 31st the price per book will go up to $25.00.  Order forms were sent home in your child's backpack about two weeks ago.

Good news - we still have space for dedications for $5/ ea. Tell your children how proud you are of their accomplishments this past year, or dedicate a few lines to your child's teacher to show your appreciation.  There is also space to advertise your business for $40/ ad.   Please make your check or money order payable to Mt. Washington School.

Thank you Mrs.Mori, Rosalba Mendez and many of our 5th and 6th graders for their continued hard work on this year's Year Book.

Chess Tournament - Save the Dates of Apr.8th & 15th

Our Mt. Washington Chess Club tournament is quickly approaching. Many students have worked very hard to secure a place in this year’s exciting event. Approximately 25 students will compete in the tournament for grand prizes and we expect at least one trophy winner for each K-6 grade level.  Also, some grades will have second and third place award recipients.

Look for a flyer coming home in backpacks soon for more information.