National School of Excellence

August 2021 Update: 

 Congratulations Alki PTA!

Alki Elementary PTA is named a National PTA School of Excellence for the 2020 – 2022 Term!

National PTA’s School of Excellence program provides a framework to strengthen family school partnerships and promote a welcoming school climate. The program celebrates PTAs and schools that worked together to make progress to empower families and improve the educational experience for every child. Alki PTA and Alki Elementary have been actively participating in the program since the Fall of 2019, and last week we were notified that we have been awarded the designation. The School of Excellence designation translates to Alki being regarded as a national leader in family engagement. Five PTA’s in Washington have received the designation, Alki is the only school in the Seattle School District to successfully complete the program.

As a National PTA School of Excellence, families feel welcomed and empowered to support student success. Last year, in an unfamiliar landscape, we worked in unison with staff to expand all student’s access to the Arts using virtual programming for Art & Fitness Week. We weren’t afraid to think outside of the box, and successfully produced Super Happy Awesome News! This volunteer driven production carried on Alki’s ten year tradition to offer theater as an enrichment to our students, and it truly was something special and awesome.

We are grateful for the success of these and the many other experiences during school closures, and we will draw on them to carry it forward for all Alki students next school year. This fall will feel different than previous years and will likely look different. Whether Alki Elementary was a part of your lives this past year and a half or whether you’re joining us for the journey starting in September, as a School of Excellence you can be sure that Alki PTA and Alki educators are partnering to create a space families are empowered to engage in their student’s education and provide opportunities to intentionally build relationships. Alki’s progress was measured by comparing responses of family and staff surveys from Fall 2019 and Summer 2021. The links below show where we gained ground, and where we can improve. Everyone has a place at the table! As a parent, an advocate, a member of the greater Alki community, and on behalf of Alki PTA we whole-heartily welcome you to the journey and look forward to getting to know you and your family.

Mel Spiker
Family & Community Engagement

2019 School of Excellence Survey

2021 School of Excellence Survey

If not you, then who?
Our families are not represented in the School of Excellence Steering Committee.  Please consider signing up online by visiting our Sign Up.  You can also call Mel Spiker at (206.209.9182) or reach out via email to, to ask questions or express an interest in serving in this important role.


January 2020 Update:  We have successfully submitted our initial application with Alki’s final survey results (view results by clicking this link) and official written notice that our chosen Area of Focus for the year is Supporting the Arts.  Nationally, 856 PTAs registered to compete.  Regionally, 9 PTAs are from Washington State, including the Bellevue, Bethell, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent, Northshore, and White River School Districts.

Locally, Alki PTA is the only PTA competing from the Seattle School District.  This distinction may clear paths for Superintendent Denise Juneo and/or District VI, Seattle Public School’s Board Member, Director Leslie Harris to visit our school this year.  We’re waiting to hear if they are free February 13, 2019, for the Be Internet Awesome Family Workshop Google awarded us a $1,000.00 grant to host.  National PTA and Google representatives have already confirmed they will be attending the event.

Last month, the Board reviewed our survey results and talked about how we, as a community, can do better. Our goal for the remainder of the year is to move towards improving low scoring items on the survey.  We will measure our success by comparing the end of year survey to our initial survey results.  You can impact our next move!   Please visit the survey, by January 31, 2020.  The top 5, lowest scoring questions are listed for voting which one is our community’s priority.

The Steering Committee, board members, teachers, families, and Rena will work collaboratively towards making strides to improve our school’s  partnerships and climate. We will utilize Alki’s Roadmap provided by National PTA, and our personal creative mindsets and ideas.  Our overall progress will be measured by the end of the year survey, and we will report progress and action plans during mini-breakout sessions at each membership meeting.


Since meeting in the beginning of October we have doubled the amount of completed surveys.. as of October 27, 2019, a total of 65 surveys have been completed!  If you would like to see the survey results,  you can view results by clicking this link.  To all that participated, thank you so much, your answers will steer the direction of our work this year. 

If you would like to have a seat at the table with Alki families, teachers and staff, and PTA board members to collaborate and work together as we strengthen our engagement strategies, please consider joining our steering committee.  You can join online by visiting our Sign Up, or you can email for more information.

In an effort to encourage participation, time will be allotted for break out sessions during our monthly membership meetings.  We hope this will lessen the stress for committee members by eliminating the need to schedule multiple meetings to participate. Anyone in attendance is encouraged and welcomed to join these breakout sessions, whether or not they have signed up to serve as official members of the committee.

If you haven’t taken the survey, there is still time!  We will close the survey on November 14, 2019, at midnight. At that time a total tally of survey answers will be forwarded with our final application to the National PTA School of Excellence Program.  Leading experts on family engagement will review Alki’s survey results and draft Alki’s personalized Roadmap to Excellence. We will refer to this document often as we make moves this year to improve our family/school partnerships and Alki’s school climate.

You can support all children, families, and teachers by taking the survey, or joining the steering committee.  If you need accommodations to participate or have questions about the work being performed, please feel free to call Melissa Spiker at  (206) 209-9182 or email me at


Alki’s kick-off meeting for the National PTA School of Excellence Program was held on October 3, 2019 (to view the meeting’s presentation visit  We had candid conversations about Alki’s current school climate and the importance of welcoming all families into our community.  We also reviewed and discussed the six National Standards that are the framework for strengthening family school partnerships:

We are midway through the first phase of the program – surveying our community.  The deadline to take the survey is November 15, 2019.  So far, 42 individual responses have been recorded.  The answers families provide will guide our action plan as the year moves forward.  This is why, YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED!  At the kick off meeting the group agreed being able to see a summary of responses would promote both interest and participation.  The figures below are examples of how answers are tallied and reported, click here to view current stats.

Once the survey closes on November 15, 2019, we will submit our results and commit to a National Standard our community has identified as one we’d like to make measurable gains towards excellence.  Shortly thereafter, we will receive a roadmap that is tailored to serve the needs of our community.

You are invited to participate in focus groups that will assess our current strategies and develop a vision for Alki’s future state.  Please visit SignUp Genius to add your name and have a seat at the table, or email Melissa Spiker at for more information.

The program enriches the educational experiences and overall well-being for all children. We will assess our current state via a family and staff survey and receive a personalized roadmap to follow as we collaborate and work together to strengthen our students, families, and school. At a National School of Excellence, families feel welcomed, valued, and empowered to support student success and are confident to advocate for continuous school improvements. The timeline below illustrates our steps in the coming school year.

Join us to learn about different types of family engagement, the 6 National Standards that strengthen family-school partnerships, and how you can be involved in this important work this school year. Alongside Alki’s educators, we will discuss which shared objective Alki would like to focus for the 2019-2020 school year. Your voice is essential; your experience is unique. Please join us at the table as we work to improve our school’s climate and student outcomes.

If you have any questions or know that you would like to steer this project by sitting on its committee, please contact Mel Spiker at