Hello Team Northshore,
Wow, what a beautiful week. The summer solstice is upon us and we have now officially entered the summer season. It is hard to even remember the snowy days of winter. ;>)
I want to amend my previous announcement of having visited every classroom in the district. As I continue to learn more about the work in this amazing community and district, I realized that I had not yet visited our alternative program that educates our incarcerated youth. Teacher Debbie Storino, Principal Donna Tyo, and the staff work diligently with these students and provide an academic setting replete with high expectations and high support. Yesterday, I was invited to attend the graduation of one of these students. The graduate was excited to have met the diploma requirements and his family members came to celebrate with him on this special milestone celebration. Several staff shared poignant anecdotes about the young man's journey to graduation and reminded him it is not where you start but where you end up that is so important and challenged him to use his gifts to lead his life moving forward. And so, 1044 classrooms visited. ;>)
I want to take a moment and share how impressed I have been with all the different graduation ceremonies I have attended this spring. As it is my first year in the district, every event is a first for me. I approach each new event with a sense of wonder and am continually impressed with the quality, sense of dedication, strong relationships, and commitment everyone has brought to this important work. The graduates have been inspiring, the speeches thoughtfully written and passionately delivered, the music beautiful, the decorations and the elegant timeless traditions of the graduation ceremony itself beautifully continued. This event marks both an end and a beginning -- a timeless and significant tradition. Further, in the coming year, our high schools will be forever transformed as we will welcome ninth graders, the Class of 2021, to our high schools for the first time. Thank you one and all, from kindergarten through high school classroom and support staff, for all your hard work and dedication, and congratulations on graduating the Northshore Class of 2017 !!
We've had all hands on deck this year preparing for district-wide transitions, and an important part of the plan has been supported on a much smaller scale at the Northshore Primary Center, The Home of the Teddy Bears! In the Fall of 2016, the Primary Center opened its doors to proudly serve nine of our elementary schools with over 140 of our half-day kindergartners! These Primary Center graduates will soon join their neighborhood peers entering first grade as eager readers, mathematicians, and ready learning partners. With the opportunity to offer full-day kindergarten within Northshore schools, the Primary Center will be closing its doors at the end of June. So, it is with heartfelt gratitude, we express our appreciation to the Primary Center staff and the teams throughout Northshore and the community at large, that supported their dedication and commitment to providing the foundational skills and experiences for some of our youngest students and their families. A great Northshore team effort and a job well done! We look forward to this class of 2029 and celebrating their special milestone...
I recently received a note from recent Bothell HS graduates Ankitha Doddanari and Alyssa Nguyen. They are one of the top 100 finalists in the Paradigm Challenge, which is a global youth innovation and kindness challenge. The press release about the challenge describes the competition and its purpose. As young Northshore innovators, I am so proud of both their savvy expertise and their sense of empathy for our environment and world as a whole. The Paradigm Challenge is a collaboration with Project Paradigm and the American Red Cross to create an annual competition that inspires youth to use STEM skills plus kindness, creativity, and collaboration to make a difference. The 2016-17 Challenge aims to generate new ideas to reduce waste in homes, schools, communities, and around the world. Their entry was to create an app that would help reduce the leftover food waste from restaurants, groceries, and farms. More information can be found in their YouTube video. Finalists can advance to the next level through the public voting phase. Their entry and all the other finalist entries can be located here at this address. We are so proud of all of our graduates and are confident they have been inspired over the thirteen years they have spent with each and every staff member in our deeply connected district. I am proud of their enormous force for good in the world and look forward to their impact in the coming years. Well done !!
Over the summer, I will be periodically publishing Thursday Thoughts as we still do not have a state budget, and I think it is important to keep you up to date on what will be occurring as events unfold in Olympia. This is a critical juncture for public education in our state as the McCleary mandate is now due and our legislators must resolve the manner in which we will fully and amply fund schools as the state constitution requires. If you cannot access your work email over the summer, or simply prefer not to, my Thursday Thoughts are always posted to my blog on our district website Friday morning. I am also available by phone, email or in person over the summer so if you have a minute, or an idea or ?? please connect with me.
Finally, as this is the final Thursday Thoughts of my first school year here in this amazing district, I want to take a moment and thank each of you for the warm welcome to the Northshore family. I am but one of many (691 total including 225 new certificated hires, 173 new classified and administrative hires, and 293 new hourly/substitute hires -- includes substitute teachers and paraeducators, coaches, substitute food service, substitute bus drivers, substitute custodians, events staff, theme readers, technology assistants, etc.). I know I speak for all of us in saying we do indeed feel blessed to be part of this warm and welcoming team. I am looking forward to the journey ahead of us and am grateful to walk with you in the coming years...
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team Northshore,
Such a great week with the end of year fast approaching and the celebrations so poignant. Among these was the Adult Transition Program (ATP) graduation held last night. Twenty-six young adults graduated from this incredible program. It was a special evening in so many ways as each of these young people shared their story and thanked their teachers, families and job coaches. The students also talked about the importance of their friends in their lives and shared their optimism about their future plans. I learned a great deal about what it means to do your best, give it your all, and fully participate in your own best life. We congratulate these new graduates and are thankful for their inspiration. Well done !!
As a final update on my sojourn through the district, I can finally say today that I have met my goal of getting into all of our classrooms. With my final school visit to Sorenson Early Childhood Center, and wow, that was an exciting place to be this morning, I can proudly state that I have visited 1043 classrooms as of today. I can also attest that I am fully performing my 'ch' sounds ;>)It is so great to get out and meet our students and staff. There are so many amazing moments that I cherish from my visits. Never doubt that regardless of your role in this work, that you are making a difference. We have so many amazing lessons learned both large and small. I look forward to the coming year....
Last night, we had a great turnout for the first annual North Creek High School TEDx event organized by Northshore ninth grade student Deepthi Chandra. Deepthi did an outstanding job of organizing a complex event, complete with music, art, technology, food, etc. The topics discussed by all the speakers were timely and thoughtfully delivered. It is so inspiring to host an event that enables and nurtures civil discourse on a wide variety of topics. The art of conversation is one that is so important for us as a district, community and country to foster. It is fitting that the youth should lead this work... Well done !!
Recently, I received a video clip from one of our staff related to the topics discussed at the TEDx Event and grapples with the topic of what we would do if money were not an object, a talk by Alan Watts. He talks about the importance of finding your why. A timely and provocative topic these days I think...
Along with the Board of Directors, we had a great SIP visit to East Ridge Elementary School this week. These visits are so integral to the comprehensive work we do as a district. In highlighting the work of the school, Principal Sarah White highlighted several aspects of the school work this year and shared; "The East Ridge staff was proud to share our school improvement goals to reach for higher growth for all students in addition to a continued focus on high levels of proficiency. Students were actively engaged today in rigorous learning and sharing of culminating projects. East Ridge hallways were filled with amazing art work from our art docent program, which is just one example of the high levels of parent and community involvement in our school. We were honored to have the School Board and District Administrative Team visit today!" Additionally, we all noticed the strong feeling of pride as students greeted us as special guests and we certainly enjoyed sharing their classroom experience with them. It is always so energizing to be out in the schools. Go Suns!!
In great news from Jeff Sherwood, Human Resources has been working to provide opportunities for our ParaEducators who are interested in pursuing their teacher certification. We have new partnerships this year with two universities--Northwest University, in Kirkland, and Western Governors University, with local offices in Washington State--who have alternative routes to certification programs designed for professional educators who want to become certified teachers while continuing to work. Recently, an informational session hosted by the District and Northwest University provided over 30 classified staff with details about the NWU alternate route program. At this time, here in the Northshore School District, there are seven ParaEducators pursuing an application with NWU, with the full support of their principal and colleagues. Additionally, three ParaEducators are pursuing certification with WGU during the 2017-18 school year. We are proud to be partners with these universities and to be able to provide support for our classified staff members in their pursuit of teacher certification. This is such important work and both frames and forms our communities of the future.
In the final review of our current enrollment chart progress, Chris Brenengen, our Director of Finance, recently prepared a report that shows the actual monthly enrollment (as full-time equivalent, FTE) that was reported at Northshore for the last four years plus this year's current monthly enrollment through June 2017. In addition, the report displays the budgeted annualized average FTE of 20,700 (royal blue line) as well as the updated projected annualized average enrollment of 20,823 (green line) based on a five-year historical average as of October. This is an essential report for us as it tracks our student enrollment to budget and annual projections. This data is important to track as it affects all aspects of our operations including facilities planning, budgeting and all staffing, etc. Looking at this report regularly enables us to monitor and adjust when necessary as the year progresses. Our actual current head count is 21,330 students. The trend line is continuing to grow more than in prior years over the course of the year. While this is great news, it also necessitates our continued work on capital planning as we will continue to require more classrooms. We will use this data in planning forward...
In an update on the Reflections competition regarding our Northshore students: there were TWELVE Northshore students who received awards at State. THREE of these students from Northshore moved to Nationals. (the Outstanding/First place at State); Ryan Cass, Film, Inglemoor High School; Gabriel Frank, Music, Westhill; and Grace Rong, Music, Westhill. Finally, ONE student from Northshore—Grace--received a national Award of Excellence. That is 1 of 3 top awards for grades K-2 Music... in all of America. As a reminder, the Reflections Program is a National PTA and Washington State PTA cultural arts competition, providing an opportunity for students to use their creative talents by expressing themselves through their own original works in any of six arts areas: Visual Arts Photography, Literature, Music Composition, Dance Choreography, and Film Production. The 2016-17 theme was What is your story? We are so blessed with talented and creative students, dedicated and committed teachers and staff, and supported by our strong PTA partnerships. Well done !!
Recently, retiring Inglemoor English teacher Tim Curtis shared some thoughts with me as he was ruminating on becoming a teacher in 1972… and stepping on into the next season...
within the limits of time
learning to say goodbye
is really saying you now finally
acknowledge that an end does
exist but the truth is it has been
there waiting since the first day
you smelled the familiar smell of
a waxed classroom floor holding desks
which held students who held
books that held ideas that uttered words
all the while forming numerous circles
of motion but whose details now
have become faint memories
as they too fade away which to
a large degree allows you to keep all
the tomorrows you ever planned for
still in some small way ever there as you
now look hesitantly out over what will
forever be an empty classroom
Please enjoy these last days of a truly special year. Savor each moment and especially amidst the turbulent excitement that accompanies every end of the year, find those small joyful moments and be thankful for all that we have and all that we will yet experience as the result of our good work. The days are long but the years are short...
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team Northshore,
What an amazing June week !! The temperatures are rising and the rain keeps falling.... As we continue our journey into the season of graduation, I was moved by the story of a WWII veteran who just recently received his high school diploma at 89 years of age, 71 years later than he had hoped. Graduation is such a rite of passage and marks a significant achievement for students and their families and signifies the collective efforts of many, many educational professionals over the thirteen years or more that most students are with us.
This week during our regularly scheduled Cabinet meeting, we reviewed the updated enrollment numbers for the current and upcoming year. Of particular interest are the kindergarten numbers and their projected numbers. The current kindergarten numbers tell an interesting story as they show growth. The overall current enrollment numbers also show steady growth from June to the fall. The enrollment projection is very important to get as accurate as possible because it is how we account for our revenue and how we staff our schools. In the past year, we grew 270 students at the elementary level from June to September. Given our updated enrollment demographic report, we have adjusted our enrollment projections for 2017-2018 for all grades. This continues to be a fluid process as we see updated enrollment patterns emerge. We are grateful that Doug Wilson and the EDTF are attending to this mission critical topic. Les Kendrick, who is our contracted consultant demographer, recently updated specific sections of his report for the 2017-2026 student projections based on current/changed assumptions and individual enrollment impacts based on current registration/enrollment. Please review these documents and share any thoughts you might have about the information shared. It takes all of our best thinking to best forecast our upcoming enrollment and successfully meet the challenges of rapid growth.
Since my last note out to you, I have had great school visits at both Westhill and Woodmoor and am now at over 1031 classrooms visited. There are so many opportunities for our students and so many great conversations I have had. In visiting with so many students and staff, I have the opportunity to be reflective about all the time, talent and resources we share with each of our children. It really does take each and every one of you, in all the various roles you have, to guarantee this incredible educational experience for our students.
While I was at Woodmoor, I learned from LaTisha Joseph, a Teacher/Librarian at Woodmoor, that they continue to find new programs and activities to help promote student growth and learning. They have embarked on competing in the Global Reading Challenge. This reading program is offered through the King County libraries for the school districts it serves for grades four and five. This was Woodmoor’s second year participating and they remain the reigning champions for Northshore School District. According to LaTisha, "Woodmoor students have done a great job representing our district against Lake Washington and Shoreline school districts. An interesting bonus: a few students have moved up reading levels while participating in this program and one student moved up four reading levels in four months time. We are excited to continue on next year with this program." Well done !!
In good news from Bothell HS, students Dane Siegelman, Johnny Suh and Jorge Zuniga entered a video into the 2017 UW Climate Change Video Contest and made it to the final round. This year’s contestants brought some tough competition, so this is quite an accomplishment. They placed fourth in the UW Climate Change Video Awards event. Well done !!
Finally, a reminder that TEDx is coming to the North Creek High School Commons on June 14, 2017 from 5-7 PM! There will be a total of six inspirational speakers and community leaders sharing their thoughts on the theme Why Not? and an intermission showcasing some of the district’s amazing musical talent. Following the event, there will be time for refreshments. TEDxYouth@NorthCreek is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students in the Northshore School District to explore “ideas worth spreading” and start asking Why Not? so they too can start thinking outside the box. For more information, visit tedxnorthcreek.com. What is amazing is that the organizer of this event is student Deepthi Chandra, a ninth grader and future North Creek HS Jaguar. I had the opportunity to meet with Deepthi this week so she could brief me on my role in the event ;>) I am excited to have the opportunity to keynote the event and talk about innovation and our schools with the question posed to me, "Are our schools killing creativity?" Anyone with ideas that might help with my remarks, please forward them to me. I am so excited to be part of this event and look forward to seeing you there. Our young people are so earnest and inspiring in their efforts to improve our world to become our best selves and our best community. I appreciate the remarks I have already received and am looking forward to sharing discourse on this topic.
And so, enjoy a lovely spring weekend as it will be summer soon. And now, off to another amazing spring music concert !! We have such talented students and staff...
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team Northshore,
It is hard to realize that it is now June. The year is flying by and we are soon upon the season of graduation and transition from grade to grade and school to school. These are joyful times and also can be stressful for many. It is important to remind one another that change is in many ways a constant and energizing part of each of our life's journeys. Together we can celebrate all things and make all things possible. “The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” — Vincent Van Gogh
This afternoon we formally honored our school district retirees. All told this year, we have seventy-five of our staff family who have announced their retirement this year. Collectively, this represents 2,073 years of service in education and 1,812 years of service to the Northshore School District and our community. Please take a moment at some time between now and the end of the year to extend a personal thank you to any retirees you work with. Together, we are in a relationship profession and often it is the simple acts of saying thank you and well done that we treasure most. Thank you and well done!!
Last week I had the opportunity to ride the bus with students from Kenmore Junior High, Frank Love and Lockwood. Driver Linda Frisch is absolutely amazing !! As we went from stop to stop picking up children, Linda knew the name of every student and even the name(s) of their pets ;>) The students were very excited and had many stories to share, from birthday parties to upcoming weekend camping trips. I also heard about band and their excitement about upcoming concerts...
In a season to be remembered for sure, we are celebrating the recent State Championship Woodinville High School Fastpitch team. The team has 6 seniors - all starters. They set a goal to win the state title when they were freshmen. That year, they qualified for state and finished 5th. The next year, with the same goal, they worked harder, qualified again and finished 3rd. Last year, they made it to the championship game and lost to Snohomish. Perseverance, discipline, team work, passion, joy, all traits these girls demonstrated each time they took the field enabled the win this year. The team also took the time during their season to work with the youth in our community through various camps and hosted Little League nights; inspiring role models. In an interesting note, only three softball teams in State history have capped an undefeated season with a State Championship: 2005 WHS Falcons; 2012 WHS Falcons; and now 2017 WHS Falcons. Well done!
This year the Safety and Security Department teamed up with Support Services to update the intercom systems allowing for prerecorded messages to be sent during a crisis by using an Emergency Console. We have four different Building Safety Status Modes with four different prerecorded messages. Lockdown, Safe Inside, Shelter In Place, and Evacuation. According to Robert Noll, "Every school has participated in using the Emergency Console to launch a prerecorded message during one of our state mandated drills. The next phase is to allow staff members the ability to initiate a lockdown by district phone. Soon you will see the word “Alert” next to the third botton on district phones. Once this button is pushed a code will be entered to launch the lockdown alert. The programing of the phones will start next week. Training for staff on when to initiate a lockdown and the code to be used will follow. Just to be clear, this is a two-step process. Simply pushing the “Alert” button will not initiate a lockdown, a code will be required." This is work that supports our continued focus of safety and security in the district.
As an update on my sojourn through the district, I have now visited 967 classrooms as of today. It is so great to get out and meet our students and staff. There are so many amazing moments that I cherish from my visits. Never doubt that regardless of your role in this work, that you are making a difference.
We are thrilled with the roll out of our Middle School Model at Northshore video as we welcome the incoming sixth graders to middle school as part of our upcoming transition. Hearing the voices of our excited and inspiring middle school principals is such a joy as we look forward to the upcoming year. As we embrace the upcoming changes, we can be confident in the positive outcomes as we have been so deliberate in our planning. So exciting....
This year, as an effort to improve equity and access for all students, the Highly Capable Department has expanded assessment opportunities for families and students in the district. In addition to the fall “New to Northshore” testing, as well as the winter open nomination and testing window, an internal data sweep was conducted in order to identify students of high academic achievement for Highly Capable eligibility testing. Efforts have resulted in remarkable growth within the Elementary Advanced Placement Program (EAP). In order to place all newly qualified EAP students a fourth EAP site has been identified. In addition to Bear Creek, Lockwood and Sunrise EAP sites, it is our pleasure to welcome Woodmoor Elementary to the EAP family!
Thoughtful and careful consideration was given during the placement process of newly qualifying students, while also ensuring current EAP students remain at their existing EAP sites. Every effort was made to place EAP qualified siblings (all EAP children within one family) at the same site. The Northshore School District Transportation Department was an integral part of this process as we considered routing and ride times for students as all EAP and AAP (secondary Advanced Academics Program) students will receive neighborhood bus stops to their EAP/AAP sites beginning in the fall of 2017-18. Placement of a large number of newly qualifying EAP students, and opening a fourth EAP site has truly been a Northshore team effort. Well done!
Multiple honors were awarded to Inglemoor High School's band, choir and orchestra this weekend at the World Stride's Heritage International Music Festival in Vancouver, B.C.! The various ensembles earned Gold and Silver Awards as well as outstanding overall scores and several solo performers also earned special awards. We are so blessed to have the quality of fine and performing arts programs in this amazing district. Thank you to all the students, staff, parents, chaperones and community members who support these essential learning opportunities, and so many others, as we teach and model what excellence can be and what the lessons of disciplined preparation teach. Well done!
As this season of special events is upon us, it was my great pleasure to attend the annual Spring Recognition Breakfast hosted by the Northshore Council PTSA this morning. There were many honors announced for local PTA chapters and individuals. I would like to share a few of these with you. This year's Outstanding Advocate Award went to Carrie McKenzie for her tireless legislative work on behalf of foster students and their educational opportunities and attainment. The Outstanding Educator Award went to Vicki Sherwood for her thoughtful and inspiring leadership and steady mentoring of so many educators in our district, as well as her resolute commitment to excellence, over the years. Finally, the Outstanding Service Award went to Sandy Hayes for her tireless volunteering and focus on equity and excellence for all students, as well as her legislative passion and presence. We thank these individuals who have given so much for so many and also thank the Washington State Outstanding PTA of the Year, our very own Northshore Council who have given of themselves in so many ways to support our district.
In thinking about the countless contributions of so many that form the fabric of this district, I am reminded of a favorite quote; “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” — Maya Angelou
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team Northshore,
I want to start my thoughts today with a quote from Dr. Debbie Montague, our phenom band director of twenty-seven years at Kenmore Junior High. Last night, she conducted her last concert at Kenmore Junior High to a packed gym celebrating a long and inspiring tenure at the school. Students, staff and families provided an emotional recognition of the many contributions and achievements Debbie has made to students and the music program in our district. So in Debbie's comments, she shared from Winnie the Pooh, "If ever there is a tomorrow when we're not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is even if we're apart, I'll be with you." -- A.A. Milne Perhaps this is also a great transition thought as Debbie will begin with the North Creek High School Jaguars in the coming fall. I look forward to many great concerts to come...
In exciting early learning news, Director Doreen Milburn recently reported that "We are excited to announce that we will be serving 57 Head Start eligible students and families at Kenmore Elementary School next school year. NSD is currently working on a contract with PSESD which should be finalized this month." The Center for Human Services (who currently has the Head Start contract) announced in January 2017 that they would no longer provide Head Start programming, finishing out the remainder of this school year while also providing support for a smooth transition for students and families to be served within Northshore School District. Our district looks forward to serving 57 students (representing only 16% of the eligible families in our district community) and families each year while we continue to look at additional options to grow our capacity to serve our at-risk early learners!
Recently, as a response to parent and community safety concerns, the City of Bothell created a Safe School Walk Route Task Force (SSWR) to develop a prioritized project list to improve the safety of students walking to school. The committee consists of community members, Northshore School District staff and private school volunteers. The SSWR Advisory Committee gathered input from school staff, PTAs and the community to identify the need for installing or repairing sidewalks, crosswalks, lighting, and signage, as well as traffic enforcement needs. On May 22, the City of Bothell celebrated one of the first school safety improvement projects which was installing flags at several crosswalks near Frank Love Elementary school. According to Committee member and NSD Transportation Manager Connie Noll, "Students and the community are encouraged to carry the brightly colored flags when they use crosswalks. This makes pedestrians more visible and increases driver awareness. Soon, ten other schools in Bothell will have pedestrian flags as well. This is a great example of our community working together to improve the safety for our students." The committee members are: Brian Bradish (Vice Chair), St. Brendan School; Bill Brooks, NSD security; Sterling Cassel, Maywood Hills Elementary; Brandi Doyle, Bothell High School; Amanda Lamer, Frank Love Elementary; Amy Loomis, Shelton View Elementary; Aaron Moreau-Cook (Chair), Woodin Elementary; Connie Noll, NSD Transportation; Mark Robb, Crystal Springs Elementary; and Susan Schilling, Woodmoor Elementary. Please take a moment and thank these folks as they give of their time to support student, staff and community safety. It matters !!
In continuing the bold work of the District Diversity and Equity Committee, and being mindful of our new strategic plan work, we have crafted a message that will be a preamble to all future hiring committee deliberations and be part of the commitment we will make to each other, our district and community, and the candidates we will be seeking to hire. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with this document as a review of this document will be integrated into all future hiring process conversations.
I want to share that our Board of Directors is continuing to review and study a new governance model as the Board is committed to strengthening the processes they use to oversee and guide the District's important work. Policy Governance formalizes several important steps in how direction setting and reporting happen in a district and sets very clear goals, creates firm parameters the district must operate within to achieve the goals, ensures all parties discuss how the Superintendent will direct work be done to reduce miscommunication, and formalizes how program evaluation and reporting will happen. This is a governance structure that is used by several large districts in our area, including Lake Washington School District, Issaquah School District, Federal Way School District and Bellingham School District. According to Board President Amy Cast, "if Policy Governance is implemented in Northshore, we would create a new set of policies to list the goals, operating parameters and reporting structure for the work of the district. Bi-monthly board meetings would be reorganized to incorporate annual public reports on the goals and parameters, and this reporting calendar would be published far in advance for anyone interested." As we are completing our strategic planning work, these five strategic goals will inform the governance structure and support cohesive alignment of our goals and resources. I will be providing more information on this important topic as we move forward in the coming months.
In recent diversity work, our leadership team hosted a presentation on Ramadan from local community member Rami Al-Kabra. This year, Ramadan will start later this week on May 26, 2017 and will last 29 to 30 days during which our Muslim students and staff will likely abstain from food and drink from pre-dawn to sunset. This fasting is considered obligatory for Muslims. Because Ramadan is during the school year this year, Rami provided an informative Ramadan presentation that launched a rich and thoughtful conversation. I want to remind each of us that there are inherent federal and State rulings concerning religious accommodation such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and RCW 49.60. I am also taking the opportunity to share our 2016-2017 district memo on religious holidays as we celebrate a very diverse set of holidays within our district and community.
We recently received the great news that three of our Bothell High School students, Trevor Crabb, Mozes Jacobs, and Ben Anderson were selected as Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS). WAS is designed "to connect high school juniors with educational and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through independent learning, hands-on interaction, professional guidance, and site-based tours. In December 2016, these motivated students were among the two hundred who began competing for a spot in one of the WAS Summer Residency sessions by completing ten NASA and University of Washington designed lessons- Phase One of the WAS program. Phase Two is a six-day experience that will be held at The Museum of Flight in Seattle during three sessions throughout June and July. In each session, four student teams cooperate to plan a human mission to Mars with support from professional engineers/scientists, university students, and certificated educators. Additionally, participants receive briefings from aerospace professionals, tour engineering facilities, and compete in hands-on engineering challenges." Well done !! Go Cougars !!
Assistant Superintendent, Heather Miller reports that Woodinville High School has completed their accreditation process and passed with flying colors. Principal Criscione presented to the committee last week and shared the school improvement work of his staff. The committee had several commendations. The committee highlighted the following three commendations: 1) outstanding school culture; 2) programs available for all students (open access to AP courses was one example); and strong administrative leadership. This is another example of the outstanding work that is happening all across this amazing school district. Well done !! Go Falcons !!
I can't resist sharing several moments from my recent school visit to Moorlands Elementary. Principal Graff and I toured each classroom and enjoyed an active and thoughtful morning together. From dancing in Kelly Griffin's music class (whew) to reviewing my math facts in kindergarten with Ms. Hink's class (that was stressful as I navigated the Kahoots technology) and no I did not even make it to the leader board ;<( and then I visited first grade classrooms where I learned about the economics of their farm unit. I must say my heart beats strongest when I am in classrooms (now over 950 for the year) across this amazing district.
Finally, as we approach our upcoming holiday weekend, please take a moment and pause to remember all those who Memorial Day commemorates and all that it means to so many families in this great country. As we gather with family and friends, we cherish our many blessings and regardless of our challenges, we know that together anything is possible.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team Northshore,
What another fantastic Northshore week. There continue to be so many exciting activities going on all across this amazing district. It reminds me to be so grateful for all that we have here and not to take for granted the special experience we have each and every day. It also reminds me to be mindful of so many places in the world today where education is not a basic human right. Our courage and commitment to a strong and fully resourced public education is so important to our collective future. I am so proud to serve alongside each of you as together, we continue our journey into the future. “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” --- Malala Yousafzai
In a review of our current enrollment chart progress, Chris Brenengen, our Director of Finance, recently prepared a report that shows the actual monthly enrollment (as full-time equivalent, FTE) that was reported at Northshore for the last four years plus this year's current monthly enrollment through May 2017. In addition, the report displays the budgeted annualized average FTE of 20,700 (royal blue line) as well as the updated projected annualized average enrollment of 20,823 (green line) based on a five-year historical average as of October. This is an essential report for us as it tracks our student enrollment to budget and annual projections. This data is important to track as it affects all aspects of our operations including facilities planning, budgeting and all staffing, etc. Looking at this report regularly enables us to monitor and adjust when necessary as the year progresses. Our actual current head count is 21,373 students. The trend line is continuing to grow more than in prior years over the course of the year. While this is great news, it also necessitates our continued work on capital planning as we will continue to require more classrooms.
In exciting news from the classroom, Bothell High School teacher, Chikako Misener, shared that her Japanese Honor Society students have been visiting Lockwood and Westhill Elementary third grade classes for the last few years to teach Japanese language and culture as a part of the third grade Pacific Rim Curriculum they do in the spring. According to Chikako, "Some read Sadako, about the girl who had leukemia but believed if she could fold 1000 paper cranes she could be healed. So my students teach them how to fold origami cranes, make rice balls, Japanese calligraphy, etc. The third graders are so attentive and excited to learn. I am also very proud of my students for being so responsible and kind to the young students! I am so thankful for the third grade teachers who generously allow us to visit them each year!" What a great partnership and project based learning opportunity for our students, both older and younger. Well done !!
Since my last note out to you, I have had great school visits at both Maywood Hills and SAS and am now at over 850 classrooms visited. There are so many opportunities for our students and so many great conversations. In visiting with children from kindergarten to their senior year in the same week, I have the opportunity to be reflective about all the time, talent and resources we share with each of our children. It really does take each and every one of you, in all the various roles you have, to guarantee this incredible educational experience for our students. Thank you.
In our strategic planning update, we are in the midst of our parent and community feedback period, as the last of the input for this comprehensive process is soon upon us. I am so excited about our future and together imagining the possibilities...
The Reflections Program is a National PTA and Washington State PTA cultural arts competition, providing an opportunity for students to use their creative talents by expressing themselves through their own original works in any of six arts areas: Visual Arts Photography, Literature, Music Composition, Dance Choreography, and Film Production. The 2016-17 theme is What is your story? In great news, Westhill Principal Dana Whitehurst recently shared; "The Westhill PTSA was proud to support two of our students that moved to State level competition—Grace Rong, 2nd grade, and Gabriel Frank, 6th grade, both for Music Competitions. And now, the results are in! Only 28 entries for all of Washington state, representing 1st place for each category in each grade division, will advance to the National level. Guess what! Congratulations to BOTH Grace and Gabriel as they BOTH placed first and move to Nationals! National results in soon, so stay tuned !!" How exciting is that !! Well done !!
As we approach this season of celebrations and the marking of traditions long held, with proms, end-of-year parties and graduations; it is incumbent on us to remember the importance of inclusiveness and at times extending grace. This season of celebrations can also be a stressful time for those who are struggling to make ends meet or meet assessment and graduation requirements, and who at times feel isolated with their struggles and challenges. Thank you for taking that extra moment to check in on our students and one another... “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word... all of which have the potential to turn a life around." — Leo Buscaglia (1924-1998)
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team Northshore,
Finally, we see the sun and wow is it warm out there !! Well, I am now back to my computer, and what a difference a few hours make. The thunder and lightning certainly are lighting up the sky and making for an interesting early evening. Nature is such a powerful force...
On behalf of our elected Board of Directors, I want to share my appreciation for our teachers as next week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I know that our future is safe in their hands as all persons and students of all professions will pass through our teachers' classrooms. Given this Appreciation Week is fast approaching, I recently had a short video Teaching Beyond the Textbook shared with me and think it captures well the spirit of appreciation we all share for our hard working and dedicated teachers. Quality, well resourced public education is our best hope for the next generation, and the courage and conviction required by our teaching professionals to meet the education challenges we face go far beyond the classroom. If you have a moment, take the time to reach out and thank a teacher you have had that made a difference in your life or the life of a family member. Thank you for all you do...
Along with the Board of Directors, we had a great SIP visit to Arrowhead Elementary School last week. These visits are so integral to the comprehensive work we do as a district. In highlighting the work of the school, Principal Jesse Harrison highlighted several aspects of the school work this year; "At Arrowhead, we are working to create multiple opportunities for learning. In our classrooms, the workshop models allow our staff to work one-one and in small groups with students in all core content areas. We also have several clubs before, during and after school that target various interests, such as Math Olympiad, Lego Club, and the Global Reading Challenge. Over the last few years, we have approached our programs with a lens of equity, trying to eliminate financial and transportation barriers that might keep all of our children from taking part in these activities. We are seeing this benefit our children both academically and socially, keeping in mind the whole child." We all noticed the positive energy and pride as students and staff greeted us as special guests and we certainly enjoyed sharing their classroom experience with them. It is always so energizing to be out in the schools. Go Hawks !!
By now, some of you may have heard of a Netflix series that some students are watching called 13 Reasons Why, based on a 2007 novel of the same name. Many Northshore counselors, teachers and school leaders have been discussing this series with me. 13 Reasons Why is about a fictional high school student named Hannah who has died by suicide. Before her death, she creates a series of audio recordings, each blaming a different individual for her suicide. The series has received significant media attention in recent weeks because of its graphic depiction of mature themes, particularly sexual assault and suicide. I want you to know that I will be sending an email letter out to parents that will have links to resources designed to support their student. I so appreciate all the professional guidance and support that our amazing district counselors and principals provided in constructing this supportive correspondence for our parents with Casey and our Communications Department. Thank you.
In thinking about the transition update for this week, I am once again choosing to share our most up to date enrollment numbers for the four comprehensive high schools planned for the 2017-18 school year. We continue to have conversations related to this topic and am therefore sharing what is actually in our Synergy system as pulled and reported by Anne Deutschman, secondary administrative assistant at the district office. The numbers reflected on this chart are reflective of head count and not FTE count. As you can see by the chart, staff continue to regularly document these counts as we continue to monitor and adjust to provide the best possible learning environment for our students. Please also be reminded that our North Creek HS numbers will not include seniors for the 2017-18 school year and will thereafter have a full complement of four grades. So exciting to look forward to...
As an update on my sojourn through the district, I have now visited 816 classrooms as of today. It is so great to get out and meet our students and staff. There are so many amazing moments that I cherish from my visits. Never doubt that regardless of your role in this work, that you are making a difference! I must share a special moment I recently had visiting a first grade classroom at Fernwood. Caleb, a first grader, asked me what type of a cat do you not want to play cards with? After some hesitation on my part, he shared that the cat was the cheetah ;>) This was followed by what side of the cheetah has the most spots? I thought the top side made sense as I didn't think cheetahs had spots on their bellies. Caleb proudly asserted it was the outside ;>) Sigh, So much still for me to learn...
As the strategic planning update for this week, Mutiu returned to work with our ATM this morning. We are getting close to the content and style that will soon define our work for the coming years. The school board reviewed all the feedback provided by each of you and is also going to gather feedback from our parents and community before we are done. Given the desire of the board to be extremely thoughtful in reviewing all of the feedback, they have moved their confirmation deadline to their June meeting. I am so excited to see this work come together and can't wait to support it coming off the page!!
Our Middle School transition work continues as our future middle schools are beginning to host their new students and parents. As an added level of support, our Communications staff and middle level staff have collaborated on a Middle School Family Guide under the leadership of Heather Miller. This is an informative document that captures the excitement of the upcoming transition and provides families support on topics connected to success in the middle years. This publication will continue to be updated in future years. Well done !!
Brandi Doyle recently shared with me the amazing "Mock Interview" experience with the Woodinville Rotary and WISE (Washington's Initiative for Supported Employment) at UW Bothell. According to Brandi; "Throughout the school year, ATP partners with both the North Seattle and Woodinville Rotary Clubs to support student learning by working with our community leaders. Together, they create a mock interview experience for students with disabilities to prepare them for their post secondary goals of paid employment. This partnership is essential for ATP to meet our goal of 100% student employment by graduation, and I could not be more proud of our partnership." We are all so proud of these accomplishments and our hard working students and staff, recognizing the blessing of strong generous community partnerships. Well done !!
I want to share that OSPI recently released district-level data on chronic absenteeism. By chronic absenteeism, they mean when a student misses 18 or more full days of school in an academic year, for any reason. This is concerning because it places students at risk of falling behind academically. According to the data, approximately 12% of Northshore students are chronically absent. This is below the state average, but above the rates of some our neighboring districts. The data also indicates that some student groups are more likely to be chronically absent than others, which is an additional data point for our equity work. The data continues the need for us to reflect on our strategic organizational moves. Which students are chronically absent, and why? And what can we do to help students reduce their absences so they can be more successful in school? I welcome your thoughts on this topic so integral to student success in school and life.
Last weekend, I participated in the Can Do 5K along with a large Northshore group of families and staff. The race is to celebrate the challenges kids with physical or developmental disabilities face, and overcome. I want to share a special shout out to Moorlands (and their intrepid leader, Principal Talena Graff) for having the largest team this year, with almost 80 participants. I sense a challenge being issued by the Mustangs to see if anyone can beat that number in the coming year. It is so inspiring to be a part of a community that comes together and supports our students and families. Yes, I finished ;>)
Finally, keeping in mind the work we are all doing as we lean into the changes we are all anticipating; “I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen." --- Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) Architect
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team Northshore,
Well, it is hard to believe it is already the last week of April !! May is upon us next week and the wonder of an evolving spring. Sorry the Thursday Thoughts are a bit late this evening. Tonight, I had the amazing opportunity to attend an event celebrating our Scholarship Foundation of Northshore. Since 1984, the Scholarship Foundation has provided $2.8 million in scholarships to 1,850 graduates of our school district. That is simply amazing!! We are so blessed to have this supportive partnership.
I recently had a great time attending Fernwood's First Ever Cultural Night event. The planning for this started several months ago with a core team that planned and organized the event. It was a fun evening that allowed the whole community to come together. According to event organizer, Ms. Jerri Tregear, "The school's diversity was showcased in many different ways with over twenty-one countries and twenty-three languages being represented and information that these families shared about their country and culture displayed on poster boards and with objects. There were also more than twenty-five different food samples to taste. There were twelve dances or musical performances and thirty students and families who participated in the fashion show." This was such a rich and robust evening celebrating community and the rich tapestry of our respective cultures.
We have continued to work on the strategic planning process and this week the School Board began the review of all the feedback we have received from each school and department in the district. It is so important and integral to this strategic work to hear all voices and to have the opportunity to be both thoughtful and reflective about the feedback we seek. I am going to share the cumulative feedback with you based on the requested categorical prompts: What feels right about the Goals and Measures?; and then, What feels Missing from the Goals and Measures?; and then, What feels Right about the Four Pillars?; and then, What feels Missing from the Four Pillars?; and then, What feels Right about the Professional Practices and Strategies?; and then, What feels Missing from the Professional Practices and Strategies?; and then, What else you would like us to Know?; and then finally if you can only read through one set of data, this is my personal favorite set of data -- If we as educators could make One Promise to our Students, what would that promise be? I am so impressed with the reflective work, the depth of thinking and the thoughtful input into this strategic process. Together all things are possible...
As we move forward, we will be asking our parents for feedback on the strategic goals and the four pillars as well as their promise they would like to share with us as we finalize the strategic plan. The Board will be reviewing all of this feedback at their upcoming May 23 Board meeting and plan to finalize the strategic plan during the first June Board meeting. This is important work as it will focus our time, talent and resources for the foreseeable future. All stakeholders will have had input, totaling several thousand members of our district and community including students, staff, families, community members and leaders. We have so much to be thankful and joyful for in the support of so many for this important work.
In current elementary curriculum news, on Monday, at the monthly Curriculum Materials Adoption Committee (CMAC), the Elementary Units of Study Pilot Team requested, and was granted, an extension for their work. The pilot team was tasked with comparing Units of Study with Benchmark Literacy to determine which should serve as our core curriculum. Based on feedback received during the adoption process, it seemed wise to take a step back and conduct a more comprehensive review of how our elementary literacy curriculum meets the needs of all students and promotes research-based instructional practices with current standards. According to David Wellington, "The Curriculum and Instruction department will continue the adoption phase for elementary ELA. Teachers will continue to have access to both Benchmark Literacy and Units of Study as they work to develop a robust balanced literacy program in their classroom. We will be taking this opportunity to focus on strong instructional practices, and will provide ongoing PD to support that work." I look forward to the continued journey of our best work in this area.
In our transition topics, we are soon hosting important transition meetings for students and families at our secondary schools. These informative sessions are eagerly anticipated and will continue the transition journey for our students, staff and families. I can't wait.
In compassionate news, Ms. Ailisa Newhall, one of our choral teachers, recently shared a poignant project and so I would like to share with you their choir's final creation in honor of sweet Gabi Deibler, a SJH student who passed away in October. The choir performed this song at their tribute concert to Gabi in November and recently recorded it as a gift to Gabi's family and friends. According to the choral students, "We spent time talking about chord progressions and listening to different chord progression ideas. We listened to different major and minor keys. Finally, we picked a progression for our chorus. Once we had the progression, we started to look at the things we had written on our poster, things we had written in class, or just thoughts that had come to us. We pulled out some poetic phrases from those writings and started singing melody ideas to our progression. A solid melody started to emerge and we sang what we heard for the class. Mrs. Newhall recorded it and started to notate it on music staff. Once we had the chorus, we sang it over and over until it was memorized and we could begin to add harmony. Three harmony parts were created and we had our final chorus. The last creation step was to add the verses. We had discussions about meaningful images we wanted to include in the song. We had many verse ideas from many students. Not all of them were used, but we may release a longer version with everyone’s verses at a later date! Finally, Mrs. Newhall wrote the rest of the accompaniment, notated all of the parts, and added a cello part." The arts often provide that sensitive way of expressing deep emotion and are such an integral part of the fabric of our Northshore district family. Thank you...
This weekend, I can't wait to attend the musicals at our high schools. It is hard to decide between Young Frankenstein at Bothell or Beauty and the Beast at Woodinville. I may have to attend both ;>) I do know that my husband and I will be running (okay not really fast ;>) during the 2017 Can Do 5K event in Bothell on Saturday morning. I look forward to seeing you on the road and enjoying this community event together.
Finally, a thoughtful reflective quotation for our April ending week; “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin
All the best and take good care,
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team Northshore,
It is so great to be back to school this week !! So many exciting and inspiring events going on all across the district. As we continue through this glorious spring, I love the quote; "Always be on the look out for the presence of wonder." -- E.B. White. After visiting Kenmore Elementary School today, I saw wonder aplenty. So exciting !!
In a review of our current enrollment chart progress, Chris Brenengen, our Director of Finance, recently prepared a report that shows the actual monthly enrollment (as full-time equivalent, FTE) that was reported at Northshore for the last four years plus this year's current monthly enrollment through April 2017. In addition, the report displays the budgeted annualized average FTE of 20,700 (royal blue line) as well as the updated projected annualized average enrollment of 20,823 (green line) based on a five-year historical average as of October. This is an essential report for us as it tracks our student enrollment to budget and annual projections. This data is important to track as it affects all aspects of our operations including facilities planning, budgeting and all staffing, etc. Looking at this report regularly enables us to monitor and adjust when necessary as the year progresses. Our actual current head count is 21,373 students. The trend line is continuing to grow more than in prior years over the course of the year.
As we continue our relentless focus on equity and access, I came across a provocative article that someone had recently shared with me regarding access to highly capable programs and how this affects potential for many of our often underserved students. I think the NY Times article raises important questions whose answers will inform our practice moving forward as a district. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the topic.
I look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks as we continue our spring and our support of each student in their journey to the end of the school year. The time for transitions is soon at hand. We have prepared well over the last several years and will benefit from the thoughtful and detailed planning. In many ways, spring is a season that reminds us how wonderful change can be. Together, all things are possible.... More news on transition initiatives next week...
Recently, I asked if there was any interest out there in getting together to provide a historical timeline story of our district. Several of you responded with an interest in this project. Before I set a first meeting, I wanted to circle back and see if any others of you might be interested. I think this is an important project as our history and traditions tell a story that defines us and is the foundation for all our future work. It also assists those who are new to the district ;>) and community to better understand our work together.
In keeping with the theme of wonder, I thought I would close with "Live the life you have imagined." -- Henry David Thoreau
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.