NOVEMBER 15, 2019

Dear Families,

Thank you as always for sharing your littles with us. You are their first, and most important teacher, and we value your partnership. This month we are looking forward to family conferences as a time to work together toward common goals for your children. As we all settle into routines and make new friends, our teachers have been sharing stories of excitement and awe. Each child and family's identity, culture, language, personality, talents and strengths make up our community, and we are glad each of you are here!
Kellie Morrill
Executive Director


Upcoming Important Dates • Family-Teacher Conferences • New Staff Spotlight • Fall Family Survey • Luncheon Success • REI Video • Curriculum Spotlight • Decolonizing the Outdoors • Gear Corner • Professional Development • Important Links


  • EVENT: Saturday, Nov 16 Math Day & Scavenger Hunt at Highlands Neighborhood Center with Renton Innovation Zone Partnerships (more details below)
  • NO SCHOOL: Monday, Nov 24 - Wednesday, Nov 27 for Family-Teacher Conferences (more details below)
  • NO SCHOOL: Thursday, Nov 28 - Friday, Nov 29 (Thanksgiving Holiday)
  • EVENT: Saturday, Dec 7 Hilltop Educators Institute: #NatureSoWhite (more details below)
  • NO SCHOOL: Friday, Dec 20 (All-Staff Professional Development)
  • NO SCHOOL: Monday, Dec 23 - Friday, Jan 3 (Winter Break)
Tiny Trees Preschool Staff Development Day at Olympic Sculpture Park


Fall Family-Teacher Conferences will be held November 25th - 27th. Each teaching team will provide a physical sign-up in class and/or a digital sign-up via email. Conferences are a wonderful opportunity for families to check in with their teaching team about the progress their student(s) has made so far this year and to set goals for the remainder of the year. These conferences are intended to be attended without the student to provide time for the families & teachers to talk freely. Please check with your teaching team if you are unable to attend without your student, they may be able to accommodate your childcare needs.


Whitney Nakamura, Admissions & Family Services Manager

Whitney (or Whit; she/her) is a mother and pizza enthusiast. She earned degrees in American Ethnic Studies, Comparative History of Ideas and Social Work from UW. Whit has an extensive background (as a committee member, program manager, board member, direct program staff and volunteer) supporting local nonprofits to advance inclusion and promote belonging. Whitney has worked with families in a variety of capacities, and she is committed to making parenting sustainable and supported. Prior to joining Tiny Trees, she worked with pregnant and parenting people in hospital and community-based settings. Whit has also been fortunate to work with students in many settings, including art programming, summer camp, youth leadership, tutoring and gardening. She enjoys taking photos, using an abundance of exclamation marks and the way her kiddo pronounces “yogurt.” Whit is thrilled to join the team and she looks forward to supporting Tiny Trees families! Whitney approaches this role with love, curiosity and enthusiasm, and she hopes that you will reach out (whitneyn@tinytrees.org) to say hello, schedule a conversation or compare favorite pizza places!


Since we began, Tiny Trees has relied on feedback from our community to help us shape our decisions for each new school year. From locations to duration of our programming, family feedback from the field is vital to our successful growth. As we begin planning for the 2020-21 school year and set off on our strategic plan, we'd like the opportunity to hear how we're doing. Please complete our family survey -- it will only take about 15 minutes and is anonymous -- so that we can continue to make Tiny Trees awesome for 2019-20 and as we work towards 2020-21! The information you share in our survey will be seen by our Executive Director and Leadership Team. We are working on ways to share out our findings from this and past surveys as we delve into our strategic planning for the next five years.
Khavin Debbs, Luncheon 2019


Thank you to everyone who came together at our 5th annual luncheon. We raised more than $72,000 for our kids and families!

If you attended the luncheon, please consider completing this survey to provide feedback on how we can make future events even better. We so appreciate your time and honesty.

You can find Kellie's address on our blog, along with Khavin's presentation on Decolonizing the Outdoors.


Perhaps you haven't seen this video floating around, but Tiny Trees was featured in the REI Co-Op series "In Our Nature". They spent two days filming in Tiny Trees classrooms at the beginning of the school year, interviewing parents, educators and experts about the power of outdoor preschools. Check out the video here, or head to the Co-Op Journal article here! We are so excited about the partnership for the video and the buzz it is creating. Thank you to all of the students, families, and staff who helped make it happen.


Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum

In 2015, the Washington State Legislature passed Senate Bill 5433 requiring the inclusion of tribal sovereignty curriculum be taught in all Washington State schools. In partnership with the Office of Native Education, the new Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State curriculum has been developed. The use of the curriculum has been endorsed by all 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington state. All staff have received training, and many classrooms have begun to share resources and lesson plan ideas that families can expand on at home.

We’re excited about this early learning curriculum, where children experience concepts that include:
  • Exploration of family and culture
  • Sense of place, and an awareness of Native American families and knowledge
  • Connections to salmon and other habitats of the PNW
  • Interconnections between people, animals and the world
  • Honoring this place, and giving thanks for all

We are fortunate that we get to experience these concepts in direct relation to nature. When we learn about salmon and streams, we might practice “belly biology”, by walking to a creek, and laying on our bellies right at the edge – to get a closer look at salmon spawning.

Tiny Trees recognizes Washington Tribes as leaders in outdoor education. We operates classrooms on the lands of the Lushootseed Puget Coast Salish Peoples, including the Duwamish Tribe (Dkhw Duw’Absh), the Suquamish Tribe (Dkhʷ'Suqw'Absh), the Muckleshoot Tribe, and the Snoqualmie Tribe (sdukʷalbixʷ).
ONE Branding_2


In partnership with King County's Best Starts for Kids grant funding program, Tiny Trees is working with a variety of community organizations to host outdoor activities which are open to all and free of charge. Tiny Trees is striving to expand in this way in recognition that access (or perceived access) to the outdoors is inequitably experienced. Many families of color, or families who are recent immigrants, or families with limited resources often do not see themselves fully represented in the outdoors. Different barriers exist for different families, so not only is Tiny Trees excited to build capacity to host events, we are also intentionally reaching out to community groups, families, and organizations to see what kind of outdoor learning best fits folks' needs. This dynamic approach to working with families to get more time outside learning, playing, and building a love of the outdoors is based on the graduate thesis work of Khavin Debbs, Tiny Trees' Partnerships Manager. Hear about Khavin's work at the Hilltop's Educator Institute on Saturday, December 7 at Woodland Park Zoo (tickets required).

If your family or network has an idea for an event, we'd love to hear about it! Please contact dto@tinytrees.org; we are excited to co-create programming that supports equity in the outdoors!
Saturday, Nov 16
12:00 - 2:00 PM
Math Day & Scavenger Hunt
Join Tiny Trees and Renton Innovation Zone Partnership (RIZP) for a FREE afternoon of fun! Discover Science, Technology, Engineering and Math through hands-on activities! Spanish, Vietnamese and Somali interpreters will be available.
Parents must attend with their children, but families can attend any time between 12:00 and 2:00 PM at Highlands Neighborhood Center800 Edmonds Ave NE (Renton).
Saturday, Dec 7
9:00 AM
Join Tiny Trees Partnership Manager, Khavin Debbs, at the Hilltop Educators Institute to learn about his work in decolonizing the outdoors. "The outdoors are for people of all creeds, countries and colors. Yet, many kids of color are not encouraged to go outdoors because the outdoor world is represented as an elitist one."
Tickets are required but include free admission to the Woodland Park Zoo, where the event is being held.
Looking ahead:
Details still TBD, but check out what we have in the works!
Winter campfire happening in December
Chinese New Year Celebration (Saturday, Jan 23)


As the temperatures continue to drop, we want to encourage you to reach out to your teaching team and/or gear@tinytrees.org if you have any questions about the best way to dress your kiddo for their time at Tiny Trees.

Last year we compiled some great feedback from our family surveys to create a Tips & Tricks document that you can find on our Parent Portal or by visiting it directly here. We are aiming to revamp this for the current school year as we get feedback from the survey. Have you taken it yet?
What to Wear.pptx


What We've Been Up To
Our staff came together for Professional Development on Tuesday 11/12. Teachers had a packed day full of brainstorming (and role playing!) problem-solving techniques, organizational strategic planning discussions, prepping for upcoming fall conferences, and a classroom skills workshop. Our teachers use the HighScope 6 Step Problem Solving process in the classroom. Learn more about this and the Highscope overall here: https://highscope.org/our-practice/preschool-curriculum/.


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