Rosa Parks Elementary PTSA


Dear Redmond Ridge Families,

Over the last few months, Principal Paul, Principal Bilanko, and Principal Doering have been collaborating around the topics of equity and inclusion in our community. We believe it is essential (and our duty) to use our platform as educational leaders to create safe school spaces that allow individuals a chance to better understand the perspectives and experiences of our students and families. In addition, we believe the community holds a collective responsibility to create inclusive environment and engage in the work of anti-racism and inclusion practices. Each of our schools subscribe to a vision of creating learning environments that seek to be inclusive, culturally responsive, and elevate unheard voices to better understand perspectives.

Over the course of the 2020-2021 school year, we will combine our efforts to provide multiple opportunities and entry points for students and families to engage in this work along with us. Some of the opportunities we are planning for are in partnership with our district Equity and Inclusion department and our PTSAs with the intent of engaging our community, building our sense of collective responsibility, and developing a deeper understanding of and celebrating the many cultures represented in Redmond Ridge.

With interest to learn about people who may be different from us, one of the first opportunities for engagement in this work is a community book study on So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Olou. Olou is a local Seattleite, Nigerian-American author and has several accolades including “One of the 50 Most Influential Women in Seattle” by the Seattle Met and “One of the Most Influential People in Seattle” by the Seattle Magazine. She was also awarded the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award by the American Humanist Society. The goal of this book study is to open a dialogue within our community.


Book Study Details and Meeting Timeline:

  • There is an option to join a book study group, create a book study group of your own, or simply read the book on your own.
  • Facilitators of book studies will have the option to attend a book study preparation training (October 22)
  • Book study groups will choose their own meeting dates within the proposed week. The suggested timeline can help guide meeting times (1 hour each month).
  • Books may be acquired by:
    • Purchase option ideas:
      • Kizzy’s Book and More (Black-owned business in the US)  Kizzy's Books and More Website
      • Other purchase options online or at bookstores
      • Audio book options
    • Free option ideas:
      • King County Library System (Unlimited e-books)
      • Scholarships available through your PTSA
        • Timberline: email FACE Timberline PTSA 
        • Baker: email
        • Parks: email
  • Starter discussion questions will be shared each month for chapters.
  • October 16-23:                             Registration registration
  • October 22: (4:00PM)                  Book Study Facilitator Training
  • Week of November 9:                 Book Study Kick-Off: Chapters 1-4
  • Week of December 14:                Chapters 5-8
  • Week of January 4:                      Possible Speaker
  • Week of February 1:                    Chapters 9-13
  • Week of March 1:                        Chapters 14-17
  • Week of March 30:                      Possible Speaker

This letter is being sent to all three schools: Timberline, Baker, and Parks. To sign up for the book study, complete this form (link here: registration) Please indicate whether you would like to be matched with a group or if you would prefer to form your own group. Those interested in facilitating the book study will also have the opportunity to work with Principals Paul, Bilanko, and Doering to learn strategies for facilitation.


We look forward to an opportunity to connect and grow in our understanding as a community. If you have questions, please let your principal or PTSA presidents know.


In partnership,


Melissa Doering- Principal of Rosa Parks Elementary

Kim Bilanko- Principal of Ella Baker Elementary

Heidi Paul- Principal of Timberline Middle School