October 20, 2017Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid at 10/20/2017
Hello Team Northshore,
Wow, it has felt like I have been in the middle of the Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day movie for the last several days ;>) !! I think it was Piglet that barely hung on to the kite strings.... At least we have been able to traverse the recent fall rainfall and storms without major incident in our community and for that I am grateful.
On another note, it is with a heavy heart that I share that we have lost another member of the Northshore staff family this past weekend. Tricia Billes, a former third grade EAP teacher, passed away peacefully with her family present following her recent battle with cancer. Sunrise Principal Steve Hopkins shared; "Ms. Billes was a talented teacher and an amazing human being. We were so fortunate to have her as part of the staff the past few years, and I know the families of students who were in her class can attest to the positive influence she had in their lives." Tricia Billes was born on April 12, 1954 and went to high school in Santa Monica, California. Tricia attended the University of California at Los Angeles, where she received her Bachelors degree in English and her Masters degree in Elementary Education. Before joining Northshore in 2015, Tricia worked for the Sequim School District, where she was a dedicated Junior High Teacher specializing in Social Studies, Language Arts and Humanities. After teaching for 19 years, Tricia continued her employment at the Sequim School District holding positions as the Professional Development Coordinator and Highly Capable Coordinator. Tricia had a love of history. She was a National History Day Coach from 2001 through 2012. She led student tours to Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Boston and New York, and presented at the National Association of Middle School Teachers in Washington DC. Tricia joined the Northshore family in August 2015 at Sunrise Elementary, where she continued until her passing on October 14, 2017. Tricia will be deeply missed even as her positive influence will endure...
As we review our October enrollment 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 as of the start of the school year. In addition, the report displays the budgeted annualized average FTE of 21,343 (royal blue line) as well as the updated projected annualized average enrollment of 21,797 (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 22,028 students. Specifically, we have approximately 700 more students this year in a year over year head count. Imagine the possibilities...
October has been proclaimed as National Dyslexia Awareness Month at the Federal Level by President Trump and by Governor Inslee at the Washington state level. According to Assistant Superintendent Becky Anderson, "It is important to recognize that students can have dyslexia and need intervention which is not the same as qualifying for special education as a student with a specific learning disability. Early identification of students that struggle with reading challenges is paramount so that changes in teaching methodology and instructional practice can be provided proactively in the delivery of general education services rather than later which may mean a student will need special education services. Waiting only results in having to play the catch up game (meaning it is already too late) and the widening of the achievement gap." In keeping with our bold new strategic plan, we will be continuing to explore ways in which to improve our support of students struggling with dyslexia, which can be as many as one in five of our students. Together, all things are possible...
This past week, we had our second Board SIP visit and traveled to Fernwood Elementary School. These visits are so integral to the comprehensive work we do as a district. In highlighting the work of the school, Principal Kate Bradshaw highlighted several aspects of the school work this year; "At Fernwood we believe we will see more of what we pay attention to, so we are focused on positively reinforcing our students' academic and social, emotional skills." 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. We had many fun and instructional moments as we visited classrooms. It is always so energizing to be out in the schools. Go Panthers !!
In a recent update to our middle school athletics program, we are clarifying the sixth grade athletic planning and program opportunities. According to Middle Athletics Coordinator, Derek Tucci, "The Middle School Sport Planning Committee met on October 11, 2017 to develop a recommendation, which was approved, to provide 6th graders with the opportunity to participate in boys and girls basketball and boys soccer for the 2017-18 school year. This is in addition to the other 6th grade offerings of cross-country, girls soccer, wrestling, volleyball, and track. Boys basketball will be the first to start on November 6th with the other programs participating later in the year. Each school website has information on student athlete registration. We are happy to be able to provide these opportunities to our newest members of our middle school communities." We are also clarifying the middle school athletics calendar for both short and long range planning this year. As we continue through this year of epic transitions, we will continue to communicate and clarify our program opportunities especially as many of our activities are new ;>) Imagine the possibilities !!
I apologize for the lateness of my Thursday Thoughts this evening and must say that I was attending the City of Bothell Community Conversations event where the current opioid crisis was discussed. It was an informative and timely event that attracted a large community turnout expressing grave concern about the current local and national challenges related to this critical epidemic. It is also a topic we will be working on in the coming months as it is integral to our student and community health and success and consistent with our strategic planning.
As we enter the upcoming October weekend, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes....“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) Please enjoy the blustery weekend and hang on should you find yourself flying kites during the storm ;>)
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
October 13, 2017Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid at 10/13/2017 8:00:00 AM
Hello Team Northshore,
As it gets light later and darker earlier, it reminds me that our seasons are changing. Even with the snow advisory in the Cascades (hopefully not at our level for awhile ;>) winter is coming. As I have been asked, I will take this time to remind folks again on how best to tune into my Twitter account for late breaking school weather plans and other news so I will include the directions again. Visit my page and follow me at @Northshore_Supt. Please feel free to send me questions, suggestions, and innovative ideas. I love to hear from students, staff, parents, and community partners. Like the Thursday memo and my blog, Twitter is another tool that will help us all stay connected and share information. As you ‘follow my Twitter account’ you too can be among the first to know about school snow closures, inclement weather issues, wildlife challenges, safety messages, etc. I will also be sharing up to date news on what’s new around the district. The really good news is that I am limited to 140 characters (or maybe more now) in those Twitter communications ;>) !!.
I want to remind you how excited I am to share that we are beginning a partnership project with our very own Northshore Schools Foundation that is called Beyond the Book. Our first event is going to be to welcome spoken word poet Sarah Kay to Northshore on October 24 and October 25. Project Voice is the group that sponsors Sarah Kay and we are thrilled that she will be with us in the schools on the two days and presenting a public performance at NPAC on the night of October 24. 'Project VOICE uses spoken word poetry to entertain, educate, and inspire. Through award-winning performances and innovative workshops, Project VOICE promotes empowerment, improves language skills, and spurs creative collaboration in classrooms around the world. Project VOICE has a lasting impact; students come away with a higher motivation to create, a belief in their own voice, and a desire to share and listen to each other’s stories.' I especially was moved by her TED Talk entitled If I should Have a Daughter and the moving way she presents her own metamorphosis story. Teachers Linda Laponte and Leslie Connor are working with Christy Clausen to set the schedule for Sarah Kay's visit to the district. She will be at several of our schools during the course of these two days and will be working with students and staff. If you want to reserve seats at the public performance on the evening of October 24, please also let me know as seating will be limited and it would be great to have students and staff be able to attend the evening performance that might not have a chance to see her during the day. Sarah Kay is simply amazing.... I will see you there ;>) We are so grateful to be learning into the future with our Foundation partners...
I recently received the following Good Will Hunting Story from a staff member who shared the good news of simple kindness. I love the simplicity of being authentically present with the people in our lives. The simple act of kindness in ways large and small are so contagious and remind us that it costs nothing to be kind and costs everything when we are not. It is also a great example of our community and its core values that support our schools as well. We are so blessed to be in this community...
Another exciting aspect of this fall season is that it is All in for Kids Month in Bothell, Kenmore, Woodinville and the Northshore School District. Our very own Northshore Schools Foundation (NSF) is raising awareness for what they do for students and they are inviting families to join them in this important work. The NSF generously gives of their time and talent to support our students, staff and families. I invite you to check out their work and its integral importance to our mission. Thank you.
As we head into this fall weekend, please enjoy the colors of the changing season and the warmth of friends and family.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
October 6, 2017Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid at 10/6/2017
Hello Team Northshore,
Well, it has certainly been an eventful week to start this October month off...we continue to have exciting classroom projects, extra curricular events, curriculum nights and open houses all across the district. I repeatedly hear from parents and community members about the amazing work and presentations provided. I want you to know how much each of these interactions, both large and small, are appreciated by our students and families. This positive energy and dedication is what transforms our schools and community. “When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” — Mattie Stepanek
October is National Principals Month and so I would like to personally recognize our fantastic Northshore principals. I want to share how important our principals and assistant principals are to the achievement of our core work in the schools. I applaud their instructional leadership and would invite you to share your own personal thanks sometime during the month with your school principal. In the short video entitled The Power of Leaders, the voices of nearly a dozen New York City students are featured talking about the impact their principals have had on their lives. Our collective work in this amazing field of education is so transformative; I firmly believe it is only through the power of public education that our communities and country will remain strong. Each of us plays a role and together, all things are possible...
In news from Inglemoor HS, congratulations to Scandia! According to IHS Yearbook Adviser Zane Mills, "Last year's yearbook (Echo; the one with two plexi covers) was judged and just recently awarded The Emerald Award (a first place distinction) for all of Washington state. Inglemoor is the only school this year to receive this high honor. The award comes from the Washington Journalism Education Association." Zane further notes, "I have entered the book in the national competition: our fingers are still crossed. We won't know the results of that judging until this spring." This innovative journalistic work is aligned with Goal 4 of our Strategic Plan and certainly captures the innovative, creative and critical thinking we have set as one of our goals. Well done !! Go Vikings !!
This past week, we had our first Board SIP visit and traveled to Shelton View Elementary School. These visits are so integral to the comprehensive work we do as a district. In highlighting the work of the school, Principal Bethel Santos highlighted several aspects of the school work this year; "It was an honor to be with such dedicated district and community members and to be able to share our goals and vision. I was very excited to also share our school's successes and, just as importantly, areas of continued growth!" In a particularly poignant moment, Principal Santos shared his 'I Am poem' with us. This work is part of the equity work we have been doing as a leadership team these past several years and enables us to get to know one another better through a literary media. I appreciate Bethel's willingness to share with us. 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 Sharks !!
I have had several amazing school visits this past week as well. I visited both Bear Creek Elementary and Canyon Creek Elementary this past week. In both cases, I found the students at Breakfast to be delightful and full of interesting information, questions and ideas. I also visited Canyon Park Middle School this week and had an energizing visit with students and staff. I must say it is interesting to be in schools with a different grade make-up and experience the different feels to each school this year. I also learned a bit about 'soccer tennis' ;>) What was consistent across all three schools was the genuine appreciation expressed for their 'great teachers' and the help provided them, especially when 'they got stuck'. What also came across was the pleasure with the libraries and the joy gleaned from the music program(s). So much great energy...
As I think about our amazing fall weather, I am looking forward to getting outside this weekend and hope that you too find time to crunch leaves, tour trails or whatever brings you joy during this season.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
September 29, 2017Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid at 9/29/2017
Hello Team Northshore,
What an amazing week we have had !! As September winds to an end, it is hard to believe that October is right around the corner. My late maman used to say the days are long but the years are short; as the years roll on, I find this to be more and more true.
I continue to be so proud of the work we are doing in this amazing district. Having attended several Open House events over the last few weeks and hearing from a variety of parents about these events, I can confidently say that our district traditions and your work are exemplary. I so appreciate the extra time and effort each of you are taking with our students and staff. It matters.
In addition to attending the various evening events, I am continuing my school visits this year and had a great visit this morning at Bear Creek Elementary School. Prior to the school day, I met with parents who were very positive about their school experience and expressed such appreciation for our teachers, support staff, transportation department and all those who are positively supporting them and their children. Following the meeting with parents, after school started, I had the pleasure of meeting with students for our Breakfast Club meeting. My heart beats strongest when I am with our students in the schools. The students were so eager to share with me how much they appreciate their teachers and support staff. They are excited about more science this year, thought monkey bars might be a nice addition to the playground, and were excited about the new titles available in the library. Their positive energy is so contagious.
As we continue our equity work in this great district, I know we are all watching and discussing the Mellody Hobson TED Talk on being Color Brave. This is such an important conversation and one that we need to continue to lean in on as we work our bold new strategic plan. As we work to mold the next generation, it takes all of us leaning in to conversations that are at times uncomfortable. Our students and families are counting on us to be fully present and authentically working through the myriad of challenges that we collectively face in our community and country today. Together, all things are possible...
On Wednesday evening, I had the opportunity to attend the Code Girl event sponsored by the Northshore Schools Foundation. Well over a hundred students, family, staff and community members attended the action packed evening, and were inspired by the Technovation Challenge that girls from around the world compete in annually. The positive energy was so inspiring and contagious. I can see an international team championship in our Northshore future ;>)
In this fall football season, I am reminded of one of our late great coaches and his thoughts, " Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." -- Vince Lombardi We here in Northshore, have a great team and will continue to realize great results. Together, all things are possible...
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
September 22, 2017Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid at 9/22/2017
Hello Team Northshore,
Well, it is the last day of summer and tomorrow starts our fall season. I must say it is a moment when I finally turn the heat on in the car for the morning commute ;>) There are so many celebrations as we mark the changing of the season. Our epic start of school has been executed and we are working collaboratively to problem solve challenges that continue to give us pause. We are practicing patience with one another and enjoying the remarkable traditions this great district treasures as we learn into the future together.
As we review our current enrollment 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 as of the start of the school year. In addition, the report displays the budgeted annualized average FTE of 21,343 (royal blue line) as well as the updated projected annualized average enrollment of 21,797 (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 21,941 students. Specifically, we have approximately 700 more students this year in a year over year head count. Imagine the possibilities...
This morning I had my first Breakfast Club of the school year. I enjoyed breaking bread and sharing conversation with students from Bothell High School. The students had a great deal to say about their school and the transition to having a four year high school. The ninth- and tenth-graders, both being new to the school, remarked about the strength of community and the positive relationships with their student peers and teachers as well as support staff. They are excited about their school spirit and the wide varieties of activities they have access to both in and out of school. Naturally they had some wishes as well in terms of their learning needs and the hopes for flexibility in the pace of learning and assessment and the ability to demonstrate their resilience by retaking exams and rewriting assignments when they have the skills to 'show what they know'. Their excitement and sincere dedication to a growth mindset was inspiring. We can be proud of these young people as they care deeply about their future and the future of those around them. I look forward to all that they will accomplish this year. They also excitedly invited me to attend the BHS football game Friday night against JK Mullen High School of Denver, Colorado, which is being broadcast nationally by ESPN with a 7 pm start time on ESPNU. It should be a fun game under the Friday Night Lights...
Each year, on the 21st of September the International Day of Peace is observed around the world . The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples and the theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.” I can't help but think how much of a match this is to the bold new strategic plan we are committed to in our Northshore School District. "The theme honors the spirit of TOGETHER, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes and those leaving in search of a better life. TOGETHER unites the organizations of the United Nations System, the 193 Member States of the United Nations, the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and individual citizens in a global partnership in support of diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants. It was initiated during the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016." As part of our introspective work in our own community, I think it is wise to heed the thoughts and words of others doing this work around the globe. “In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbors as ‘the other’. Discrimination diminishes us all. It prevents people — and societies — from achieving their full potential.” He added, “Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights. Together, let us build bridges. Together, let us transform fear into hope.”
I am so excited to share that we are beginning a partnership project with our very own Northshore Schools Foundation that is called Beyond the Book. Our first event is going to be to welcome spoken word poet Sarah Kay to Northshore on October 24 and October 25. Project Voice is the group that sponsors Sarah Kay and we are thrilled that she will be with us in the schools on the two days and presenting a public performance at NPAC on the night of October 24. 'Project VOICE uses spoken word poetry to entertain, educate, and inspire. Through award-winning performances and innovative workshops, Project VOICE promotes empowerment, improves language skills, and spurs creative collaboration in classrooms around the world. Project VOICE has a lasting impact; students come away with a higher motivation to create, a belief in their own voice, and a desire to share and listen to each other’s stories.' I especially was moved by her TED Talk entitled If I should Have a Daughter and the moving way she presents her own metamorphosis story. Teachers Linda Laponte and Leslie Connor are working with me to set the schedule for Sarah Kay's visit to the district. If you have an interest in having part of this program at your school or in your classroom, please let me know as we are finalizing her scheduled itinerary in the next several days. If you want to reserve seats at the public performance on the evening of October 24, please also let me know as seating will be limited and it would be great to have students and staff be able to attend the evening performance that might not have a chance to see her during the day. Sarah Kay is simply amazing.... We are so grateful to be learning into the future with our Foundation partners...
As the leaves turn, I wish a joyful fall weekend for you and yours. And so, in the changing of the season, “We need to remember that circumstances don’t make a person, they reveal a person. ” — Emma Jameson. I am off to the WHS home volleyball match....
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
September 15, 2017Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid at 9/15/2017
Hello Team Northshore,
What a beautiful September day we have enjoyed and what interesting and exciting times we are experiencing in our many and varied schools and departments. So many amazing and well attended Open House and Curriculum Night events. We are truly well connected and making a difference for thousands.
In light of yesterday's tragic school shooting, I asked members of the Cabinet to spend time this morning in our schools. Supporting one another during troubling times is so important. Making personal connections by visiting schools and offering a helping hand to school teams is one way that our district office leadership is able to show how much we care about the people and the work that happens in our schools. I had the opportunity to visit Kokanee, Inglemoor, and Woodinville this morning, and was impressed with the welcoming, positive and safe climate on campus. I know these events, and their cumulative total over the recent years also take a toll on you. While we must remain resolutely positive and reassuring, upbeat and uplifting, there are moments I know that challenge us emotionally as well. Know that I understand, care deeply about you and those you serve, and am available at any time should you wish to visit about this or any other topic.
As many of you know, our staff and community have been working on identifying our most urgent needs to ease overcrowding in our fast-growing district, as well as plan for how we continue to fund our academic priorities. We plan to ask voters to consider three measures in February 2018: 1) a capital levy to build additional classroom space, as well as help maintain our buildings; 2) a renewal of our educational maintenance and operations levy, which is 20 percent of our budget and will help provide academic programs, extra-curricular activities and building maintenance; and 3) a technology levy to ensure all students have the technology skills and access to equipment (including 1:1 devices) that they need for success. Our School Board has been involved in this process and has given staff and our task forces feedback along the way. The next step is for the board to first consider the resolutions on Sept. 25, with a final vote expected on Oct. 9.
This fall we will provide schools with a toolkit for helping communicate news and information about the bond and levies. We will also have a road show presentation to community groups, including school communities, PTAs and booster clubs. If you have questions about the bond and levies, please contact our new director of communications, Lisa Youngblood Hall, at email@example.com or 425.408.7671. We will keep you updated on board action in these next few weeks. So much to look forward to as we plan....
As this is National Suicide Prevention Week, and in keeping with Goal 2 of our bold new strategic plan, Responsible, Resilient, Empathetic Learners, I want to share some important information with you today. As in the past, this years' goal is to reduce the fear of not knowing what to do when you think someone may be at risk for suicide, and as important to help eliminate the stigma too often associated with mental illness. The Take 5 to Save Lives campaign developed and shared by OSPI "walks you through learning the signs, knowing your role in suicide prevention, prioritizing your own mental wellness, reaching out for help for yourself and someone else, and promoting these tools widely." The theme for World Suicide Prevention Day 2017 this year is Take a Minute, Change a Life. Please take a few minutes to review this important information so critical to the safety of our students, families, community, and one another. It matters...
As many of you know, we are starting a high school competitive crew program this year. This program is responsive to equity and access opportunities for our student athletes having the opportunity to attend post-secondary school, and our commitment to life long healthy activities. Crew is currently one of the top college scholarship sports for young women with the data being that for every three young women rowing in high school, there is a college scholarship available. The numbers are also high for young men rowing in high school. There is also the very real possibility that one of our own Northshore student athletes could be rowing in the Olympic Games someday soon... Lance Gatter, IHS Athletic Director, shared, "Thank you to everyone that has helped with the start of the program!! Yesterday was the first day on the water and I want to share pictures that I took of the kids getting in boats for the first time. Lots of smiles, and what a beautiful day to get started on. We are up to 58 kids signed up. Yesterday I spoke with the athletic directors at Lakeside, Holy Names, and Seattle Prep about doing a high school race/regatta this spring. They thought it was a great idea." We are partnered and are grateful for the support of the Pocock Foundation who has donated much of the necessary start-up equipment including the boats. We are also partnered with Kenmore Air and the City of Kenmore who have provided support for the program start up. Our vision is to have a world class high school rowing program here in Northshore with all high schools sporting teams.
It turns out that this is also National Arts in Education Week. The transformative power of the arts can not be overstated and is an integral part of the Northshore educational experience. The national theme for the year centers around the topics of celebrate, advocate and participate.
As part of our continuing focus on equity, we recently read a provocative article by radio host Celeste Headlee, The Right Way to Have Difficult Conversations, which was recently published in the Wall Street Journal. The article takes aim at our ability to find common ground and be in conversation with others even when we have real and material differences with them. "If we can learn to talk about the hard things, we can begin to find common ground, areas of agreement that transcend our differences. It would be a good start in trying to solve the intransigent problems that we face." Further, she makes the point that talking to each other, even if these are difficult conversations, is more important now than ever. I would be interested in what you think about the article...
As I often do when facing challenging events and troubling times, I turn to the characters that brought such thoughtful and reflective insight as I grew up. So here goes with some great advice for the coming days and weeks -- “You are braver than you believe, smarter than you seem, and stronger than you think.”
— Winnie-the-Pooh (A. A. Milne)
Let's have a great Northshore week !!
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
School Tragedy Today at Freeman High SchoolPosted by Michelle Reid, Superintendent at 9/13/2017 7:30:00 PM
Dear Northshore families,
Sadly, we are hearing of yet another tragic school shootingg in our State. At approximately 10:15 a.m. this morning there was a shooting at Freeman High School near Spokane, WA. Details continue to emerge,but what we do know is that the suspect is in custody and reports at this time are of several students seriously wounded and one student fatality. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Freeman High School students, families and staff affected by this horrible tragedy.
I want to assure you that our district's children are at the heart of what we do and their safety is a top priority here in Northshore. Our administrators and staff at the school and district levels work with first responders to continually develop and practice school safety and emergency plans. We will continue to review and update our plans to ensure the safety of all our students and staff.
What happened today was tragic and will likely be in the minds of everyone, especially our children who can become anxious, scared or withdrawn. Some suggestions for helping your child process disturbing news such as this include:
- Routine gives us a sense of security.
- Turn off or limit television coverage of the event.
- Bedtime rituals can be very helpful for all ages of children and youth.
- Help children anticipate anxieties or fears.
- Resist the impulse to always have an answer.
- Entertainment and diversions are helpful.
- Often emotions are so overwhelming that staying more cognitive is helpful.
- Using art is a great way of "seeing" how your child is doing and starting a conversation.
- Most important: Children will do as well as the adults around them.
In his statement today, Governor Jay Inslee called the shooting heartbreaking. "This morning's shooting at Freeman High School is heartbreaking. All Washingtonians are thinking of the victims and their families. We're greatful for the service of school staff and first responders working to keep our students safe. The Washington State Patrol and all state agencies will do whatever we can to help provide support and comfort in the days and weeks to come."
Please know that I understand the depth of concern about this topic. Our education community, across this state and country, is tight knit and when something tragic happens to any of us, it affects all of us. As we greive for all those affected by today's events, please know that here in Northshore, in our house, we will remain resolute in our focus on relationships, safety, and supporting one another. Thank you for your patience with one another and thoughtful care of all.
It takes all of us - staff, students, parents and community - working together to keep our schools safe, and we appreciate your continued support. Please contact me if you have any questions, concerns or thoughts you would like to share about this and any other situation.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
September 8, 2017Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid at 9/8/2017
Hello Team Northshore,
Wow, what a smooth start to the epic school year we have had this week. As I have been out in the schools, I have been so moved by the WEB and LINK leaders and the intentional ways in which we are welcoming students and families to our learning communities. Further, our staff in ways large and small are taking that extra time and putting that extra effort into making this start special for all involved. In this video recently sent by one of our staff members, the topic of "This Is The Year" is explored. In many ways, this is the year we have planned and prepared for and now we have the unique privilege of living our plan...
As we keep up with the national news and events, I would like to share a few thoughts in response to President Trump’s proposal to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This move could end amnesty for 800,000 young immigrants -- Dreamers and their families who again find themselves uncertain about their futures in the United States. Here in the Northshore School District, they are our students, children’s classmates and neighbors. We do what we do because these children are important to us. Their futures are important to us and they are important to our future. While our state’s attorney general, our governor and many others here in Washington and across the nation vow to fight for the Dreamers, it is our responsibility to fight to educate them and every student who comes into our district. It is our job to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment where they get the best education possible. Our bold new strategic plan requires nothing less of us. I encourage you to visit this website to learn what you should know and how you can support our students.
As for us, in our house, our Northshore schools will continue to serve all students and we remain optimistic that Congress will work together to reach a bipartisan resolution that offers all students stability and protection, and allows them to fully and confidently pursue their education. As we continue to provide high support for all students, I want to remind us that Northshore School District is committed to the policy and belief that schools must be safe and free from the targeting, discrimination, harassment, or bullying of students based on race, national origin, religion, immigration status, or any other factor. The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Plyler v. Doe supports this commitment by ensuring that all children are legally entitled to equal access to a free public education regardless of immigration status.
As a result of the current debate, OSPI notes that public schools:
- May not deny admission to a student during initial enrollment or at any other time on the basis of immigration status.
- May not treat a student differently to determine residency.
- May not engage in any practices that might have a “chilling effect” on school enrollment.
- May not require students or parents to disclose or document their immigration status, including Social Security numbers.
- May not make inquiries of students or parents that may expose their undocumented status.
In addition to federal law, Washington state law contains a chapter (Revised Code of Washington 28A.642), which prohibits discrimination, including discrimination based on national origin. This situation continues to evolve and the level of uncertainty may increase along with the number of questions. We will continue to monitor what is happening in the schools and across the nation. We will stay connected, providing any new information that can be used to keep our students on the path to success in a safe and welcoming environment. Relationships matter and we are Northshore strong !!
I want to bring you up to date with our district enrollment as it currently sits as we plan forward for class size and transportation needs. Currently, we continue to be above our projected enrollment targets. We will continue to monitor the enrollment and adjust our plans accordingly. Stay tuned...
As one of our strategic planning goals is to make sure we are attentive to Goal 5: Ready for Lifelong Success after Graduation, we recognize the need to attend to the success of our ninth graders. To date, our district has had one of the highest ninth grade success rates in the State and we are so proud of this data point. As we transition to 9-12 grade high schools, a significant body of work will be to maintain our high ninth grade success which we know is a predictor of on-time high school graduation and lifelong success. Recently, the Seattle Times ran an article; How high schools break up the ‘ninth-grade bottleneck’ to help students graduate on time which documents local high school efforts to this end. I know our high schools are ready and excited to continue the great ninth grade support work our junior high schools have done for so long and am looking forward to celebrating our ninth grade success at the end of this school year ;>)
As we are starting a new school year, I want to provide a reminder as several of you have asked again how best to tune into my Twitter account for late breaking school weather plans and other news so I will include the directions again. I want to share with you that after hearing from students and community members at recent school and activity visits, I have decided to join Twitter ;>) Visit my page and follow me at @Northshore_Supt. Please feel free to send me questions, suggestions, and innovative ideas. I love to hear from students, staff, parents, and community partners. Like the Thursday memo and my blog, Twitter is another tool that will help us all stay connected and share information. As you ‘follow my Twitter account’ you too can be among the first to know about school snow closures, inclement weather issues, wildlife challenges, safety messages, etc. I will also be sharing up to date news on what’s new around the district. The really good news is that I am limited to 140 characters in those Twitter communications ;>) !!.
I want to respond to two questions I recieved prior to the Welcome Back event (yes there was an ask the Superintendent section on the website;>) The first question: If you could be a dinosaur, what would you be and why? My answer would be a Raptor as it is the dinosaur that flies, I remember in The Land Before Time movies, and I think I watched all of them repeatedly with my children, Petrie was a friendly dinosaur and a team player. The second question was: What is NSD doing to support Early Childhood Education and families with young children? My answer is that we are bringing Head Start back as a first step as we currently serve less than 20% of our eligible children in this age group. Doreen Milburn and her staff have been tireless in their support of early childhood work both at Sorenson and now at Kenmore Elementary School with the Head Start program. Many thanks to all involved in this endeavor. It matters...
I continue to so appreciate the warmth and dedication of the staff here in this amazing school district. We have so much to be proud of and grateful for in this community of learners. I look forward to seeing more of you and having the opportunity for more personal visits as I am out and about. As we think about the impact of the mighty acts we engage in, I am struck by the simplicity of celebrating the idea that big impact comes from making a series of many small changes. A staff member recently share with me the movement, #One Small Thing which celebrates this idea. Please also know that I think I have heard the practice of patience over perfection a few times in the last couple of days ;>) “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. ” — Dr. David M. Burns Let's enjoy this time together....
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
September 1, 2017Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid at 9/1/2017
Hello Team Northshore,
I trust you are each enjoying a beautiful summer evening. I want to thank you for the great energy this morning at our Welcome Back Kick-Off. It is so energizing to be back together again as we prepare for the fast approaching start of the school year.
I have heard so many great stories of the work going on in the schools and departments this week. So many excited students and families about the start of a new school year. Please know how much you are each appreciated. Our community is better for your efforts.
As we have a long holiday weekend ahead of us, let's be mindful of the meaning behind Labor Day which honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country. Thank you for all that each of you do each and every day to support our students and families. I hope you will find a joyful way to make space for family and friends this weekend.
All the best and take good care,
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
August 24, 2017Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid at 8/24/2017
Hello Team Northshore,
Wow, what another amazing summer week here in this great district. I enjoyed spending time at the kick off meetings for transportation department staff and nutrition services staff earlier this week. We have so many hard working professionals in this district who form the building blocks of support that enable success in the classroom for our students. The Summer Institute is also so engaging with so many staff involved. Such great energy and excitement !!
The first enrollment report I am providing includes numbers from this week. According to Chris Brenengen, our Director of Finance, the total registrations in Synergy were at 22,320 students on Tuesday. This is about 760 students more than we averaged in 16-17 and about 700 students more than our peak enrollment in March 2017. From projected (or budgeted) enrollment, we are up about 195 students in elementary (147 is full day kindergarten) and 56 for middle school. Since projections for high school are based on FTE and not everyone has a complete schedule yet, it's difficult to say exactly where we are at compared to projections, but they appear to be within the targeted enrollment. We will continue to carefully watch the enrollment and report out numbers.
I want to take a moment and provide a summary of the administrative placement changes for the coming year. We are so excited to welcome our new administrators to the Northshore family and we also celebrate the new roles a variety of our current administrators have chosen. Please find a moment and welcome these folks. Next week, I will have other 'new staff to the district lists' to share as we continue to add to our staff family. So exciting!!
With regard to the recent legislative McLeary ruling, we have been following the impact to Northshore very closely and are very disappointed in the level of support recently approved by the legislature. We are hoping that the Supreme Court will look closely at the fact pattern and conclude that the legislature is not yet finished with their work on this important funding and support topic. In our specific case, we attempted to submit what is called an amicus brief to the WA State Supreme Court that outlines our specific concern here in Northshore. This would have been a document that we could have outlined the specific unfunded impact of the legislative decision for our students in this great district. It would have provided what we believe to be key information that could have been considered in the Supreme Court deliberations. Sadly, the Supreme Court, in a decision today, denied our ability to file an amicus. This is extraordinarily frustrating as I feel our voice on crucial funding issues will not be heard. Specifically, we wanted to address the need for the State to fully fund the 24 credit graduation requirement. Currently, the State funds five periods (.2 FTE times 5 = 1.0 FTE). Our students take six classes in high school so we are making up the budget burden with local monies. Even at that, students can only earn 24 credits in four years with six classes. This leaves no space for support courses; failing even one course puts students off track to graduate. It also means we have a number of students who are not able to fully explore electives within the school day and also meet new graduation and testing requirements. The State must fund a different high school schedule and supports for our high school students. The legislation also restricts the ability for local districts to continue to use local levy money to provide these basic education supports as future levies must be for enrichment only and not basic education. This is an untenable position for us. We must have the high support necessary to attain the high expectations we have set for our students. I will keep you posted on this and other important legal points as we move forward.
This afternoon, Andy Gault, Marc King and I met to put the finishing touches to the Kick Off Event on August 31 at Pop Keeney Stadium. We are really looking forward to a fun, uplifting and unifying event next week. I know we will be taking our game up with the event entertainment ;>) A new feature this year will include an Air Guitar competition with representatives selected from each school and department who will be competing for a highly coveted annual prize to be personally presented on the 31st. To clarify, each school and department will select their rep (and I have no doubt they will choose wisely) as we have so many staff with talent. Our thinking is that we do not want to limit the 'air time' to the administrative team (who will also be performing in a related musical event). This annual opportunity to gather and reflect on our past, present and future work is so important to do together as one large staff family. It is a time that we are present for one another as we contemplate our upcoming year with its epic transitions and gather strength and inspiration from one another. This is hard work and the most important work going on in our country today -- the work of public education. Each of us in this amazing district has a critical role in bringing our bold strategic goals to life in the coming months and years. I also know that the family that plays together stays together... I look forward to our journey together.
Finally, I will end with one of my favorite people, Eleanor Roosevelt, who reminds us; "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do. People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built." I trust you will continue to enjoy these last days of our summer holiday and I look forward to seeing you soon.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.