December 7, 2021 – PTSA Meeting Summary

Principal Tarance Hart addressed concerns about safety at Garfield, and asked families to advocate for increased security staffing, during last night’s online PTSA Board meeting.

Dr. Hart said he has been in contact with Seattle Police every day since the Dec. 2 incident, in which multiple shots were exchanged by two unidentified assailants in and around a faculty parking lot after the school day ended. While no one was reported hurt, students were involved in nearby sports practices. Dr. Hart said that witnesses have been coming forward, augmenting the surveillance video that captured part of the incident.

Dr. Hart asked for help in advocating for a third security specialist to be assigned to Garfield, saying the existing two aren’t enough. He also expressed the need for more counseling staff. Dr. Hart said he would favor the District again contracting with the Seattle Police Department for a full-time officer to be at Garfield and a few other schools. (The District ended its contract in 2020, citing SPD’s use of school property to mobilize during summer 2020 violence and protests.) Dr. Hart said he recognizes the need to honor community concerns about police in the schools.

Families can offer thoughts to School Board members and SPS senior staff simultaneously at schoolboard@seattleschools.org.

Dr. Hart also said:

  • Students will be reviewing newly issued emergency procedures during Advisory tomorrow (Dec. 9).
  • The school doesn’t have a Communications Plan, but is working on one, in order to improve outreach during emergencies as well as other times.
  • Volunteers are being sought, Dr. Hart added, for a variety of roles in the building possibly including participation on the school Safety Team. Contact Ms. Monique Devereaux at mndevereaux@seattleschools.org.
  • Subs are still in short supply.

Later, the PTSA Board also heard that:

  • The Annual Fund is at just over $50,000 raised, but it is tracking behind last year.
  • The school has still not received a tent that would provide more space for lunchtime dining … but space in the gym and elsewhere appears adequate.
  • Planning for the Class of ’22 Grad Night celebration and Auction Fundraiser event is moving forward, but that more volunteers are needed (contact us at communications@garfieldptsa.org).
  • Conversations on race and equity will be encouraged through reading and other activities expected to begin in January. Watch eBark for details, or contact us to express interest!