Superintendent's Blog

  • January 12, 2018

    Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid on 1/12/2018

    Hello Team Northshore,

     

    I trust this note finds each of you enjoying a beautiful, albeit wet Thursday. I attended a great assembly at Skyview Middle School this morning. The message of 'Love Motivates Change' is certainly one that resonates today more than ever in our world. I appreciate the lessons discussed and the music, leadership and arts focus of the assembly as students and staff discussed service above self and the inclusive spirit we embrace as a district family. This work makes a difference large and small in the lives of our students, families and community. I know that many of you will be sharing assemblies highlighting the power of service, sacrifice, social justice, equity and the dreams we each share for a better more inclusive world. 2018 will see our Northshore School District strong and getting stronger. Our future depends on the character and competence of the children we both raise and educate. It takes all of us in moments both small and large to make the difference for our future generation. "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -- Martin Luther King, Jr. I look forward to seeing you in the schools or at an after school activity in the coming year....

     

    On a matter of equity, I want to share an update to our highly capable program. As we focus on our bold strategic plan, we are all about all students having the opportunities to access all programs in the district. Our district Strategic Plan focus on equity, as well as state law requiring districts to implement practices that prioritize equitable identification of low-income students, made it necessary for us to examine our Highly Capable Program (HCP). As a result, the HCP is currently engaged in a comprehensive program review, led by Dr. Donna Ford from Vanderbilt University. In her initial look at our HCP data, Dr. Ford uncovered definite equity issues that need to be addressed. At the same time, OSPI’s Highly Capable Program Grant application now requires a comprehensive action plan for addressing inequity issues. Following Dr. Ford’s initial study, School Board discussion and informational presentation to our Curriculum Materials and Assessment Committee, our Highly Capable Department has just launched a NEW eligibility process. The new process incorporates two steps - Screening AND Assessment. All students in Grades K-8 will be screened for potential using the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT3). A cognitive measure of student ability, the transition to this screening tool was imperative as it is proven to be culturally and linguistically accessible by all students. Students achieving the 85th percentile or above on the Naglieri will move on to Assessment. While we are retaining administration of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) as our academic achievement measure, the new process includes the administration of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT), a creativity measure! For the first time in Northshore School District, students will have the opportunity to showcase their potential in a variety of ways – cognitive, academic and/or creativity. We so appreciate all your support of this equity shift for our students !!

     

    In administrative team news, I want to share that Ryan Fujiwara, our Executive Director of Support Services, will be leaving us this winter to focus on family matters. Ryan came to the Northshore School District 19 years ago as the Capital Projects Budget Coordinator from the Boeing Company where he worked as a Cost Management Analyst. Ryan started his professional career at Boeing in 1990, shortly after graduating from Concordia University in Portland with a degree in Business Administration. After three years with Boeing, he worked for the Lake Washington School District as an ASB and Capital Fund account staffer for five years. In 2000, Ryan moved into an administrative position with Northshore where he was instrumental in the implementation of a new HR, payroll and accounting system. He became the Director of Support Services a few years later, and in 2013, following the retirement of Dan Vaught, he was appointed as the Executive Director of Support Services, the position he has held for the last five years. We are grateful for his hard work and dedication to our school district and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. We are a better district for his efforts. Moving forward, I have named Robert Foster as the Interim Executive Director for Support Services for the duration of the current school year.

     

    Robert began his career in Northshore in December of 2006 as a Planning & Design Administrator, making this his 11th year in our district. Prior to Northshore, Robert attended Oregon State University where he studied Civil Engineering. After college Robert owned and operated Robert D. Foster construction in Albany, Oregon, where those he worked with described him as courteous, professional, honest, a great communicator, and a man of outstanding character. Robert’s work in Northshore as a Planning & Design Administrator was characterized by projects being on budget and on time. He built trust and cultivated relationships, delivered good customer service, and modeled the leadership skills that Support Services will need to meet its obligations. One of his supervisors commented, “He is one of the next generation of staff that the District can build around to ensure its ongoing success.” In April of 2014 Robert was named the Director of Support Services here in Northshore, a position he has held ever since. Robert has been married for 29 years, his wife is a teacher in the Snoqualmie Valley School District, and they have three children. Please congratulate Robert on this new role; we are blessed to have his expertise and dedication to the district.

     

    While Canyon Creek Elementary Principal Bruce Denton is taking some time off to enjoy fatherhood (January 2 - February 16), Dr. Paul Highsmith will be covering his leave at Canyon Creek. In addition to his biography below, Dr. Highsmith was actually David Wellington's principal at both Showalter MS and Foster HS. According to David, "You will find him to be very knowledgeable, highly experienced, always calm, very supportive of staff, with a great sense of humor. We are lucky to steal him away from Bellevue and have him in Northshore. Dr. Highsmith began his teaching career in San Carlos, 8th grade LA/SS, in 1962. He has been the Assistant Principal and Principal at Kent-Meridian High School, principal at Showalter Middle School and Foster High School (Tukwila). He retired in 1992 after 30 years and worked in business for five years. He was enticed out of retirement to become the principal of Orting Middle School (three years), then was selected as the principal of Mercer Island High School. After five years he retired again in 2004. After a year as the director of the College in the High School program at the University of Washington, he was recruited to be a one-year interim principal at River Ridge High School in Lacy after which he retired for the third time. With the encouragement of his wife Joyce (married 53 years to date), he began substituting in Bellevue in 2006. He has covered in classrooms from orchestra to welding at the middle and high school. Also, Paul has served in a variety of interim administrative positions ranging from two weeks to three months: AP at Bellevue HS, AP at Chinook MS, Dean at Puesta del Sol Elementary, Principal at Enatai Elementary, AP at Tyee MS and Highland MS. If you have an opportunity in the coming month, please help me welcome Paul to Northshore.

     

    Most of you are aware that the district is under an Office of Civil Rights (OCR) complaint because our website does not meet accessibility standards in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. In our required response to OCR, we committed to an accessible districtwide website. At the same time, one of our goals is to improve district communications with families, including an updated easier to navigate and refreshed website. A district team has been reviewing a web platform that will give us everything we need to tell the district story and share important news and updates with a modern accessible design. Users will have a great mobile experience thanks to intuitive navigation, and the best news is that editors should be able to contribute content to their sites with just an hour or less of training. In the coming weeks and months, our district team will be working with a project manager to assess web needs of teachers, schools, parents and the district. Our enhanced communications between the district, schools and families will keep us current with our neighboring districts in this high tech corridor. Our goal is to work through this process with high support for all involved. Please check in with me if you have any questions, ideas or thoughts for us to incorporate in this important communications department work. We are blessed to have such a great team to support our work.

     

    Well, we have a staff celebrity in our midst. In the most recent issue of the UW Bothell magazine, our very own Rebecca Cavanaugh is on the cover. It has a nice article about her work meeting the demand for school nurses and gives a wonderful spotlight to NSD. We are so proud of our nurses and the hard work, dedication and support they provide our students, staff and families. Rebecca manages nursing services for our entire district currently supporting thirty-four nurses in the district. She also advises the nursing school in curriculum policy matters and visits leadership classes to share her insights about careers in nursing. Thank you Rebecca and well done.

     

    I am excitedly looking forward to attending the Northshore Council PTSA Reflections Open House Celebration this Friday, January 12th. The open house runs from 6:30pm – 8:30pm at Eastside Foursquare Church in Bothell. The Northshore Council will be celebrating over 250 students for their Reflections art work. Reflections is a National PTA program to inspire students to use their creative by expressing themselves through their own original works in dance, film, musical composition, literature, photography and visual arts for the theme of "Within Reach?" According to Council members, "We have 59 students whose pieces are moving onto State PTA for further judging and another 59 students that received a Judges Choice award for their creativity. As much as we think this is “just another program” or “just another event” it is so much more. These students put their heart and soul into their work and for many, they are deeply personal, real and powerful. Most of the students who came to council had to first get judged at their local schools. Being a Reflections Council Qualifier is a big deal and we want to celebrate ALL students." I personally believe that the arts reveal so much about ourselves in a way that we can connect with one another. The arts are an essential component of our public education and I am thrilled to be able to celebrate with our students. Imagine the possibilities...

     

    The Inglemoor High School band and orchestra spent last weekend, on retreat, at Western Washington University. The Inglemoor students are immersed in the University music program where faculty, students and artists work with the performing groups as well as individuals and small ensembles. Directors Ted Christensen and Jim Rice report they have been offering this experience at WWU for several years. “It’s preparation on many levels. Obviously, the students grow musically but the experience also gives them a taste of what University life is all about. We are so fortunate to partner with WWU as they always welcome our groups and host a musical (and meaningful) weekend." The groups spent two and a half days WWU with 12-15 hours of instruction. We are so blessed to have these opportunities for our young musicians.

     

    A reminder that this coming Monday is the observance and celebration of the birth, the life, and the dream of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many in our staff family and community are planning to observe the day as “A day on NOT a day off”. Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” No doubt we continue to be inspired by the epic I Have a Dream speech delivered over fifty years ago. I so appreciate that each of you continue to work tirelessly to support the tenets of this cherished dream. It matters to so many. Thank you.

     

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
    Superintendent

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  • January 5, 2018

    Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid on 1/5/2018

    Hello Team Northshore,

     

    Well, we have bid 2017 adieu and are welcoming 2018 with all of its promise and opportunities. “For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” — T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) There is so much that awaits us in the coming year; much of which we will have prepared for and much of which we cannot have prepared for. I am thrilled to be on the journey with you....

     

    On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to attend an assembly at Moorlands Elementary School celebrating the playground reopening. Principal Talena Graff and the staff took the opportunity to congratulate the students on 'the amazing job they did without a playground' during the first part of the year. Kenmore City Manager Rob Karlinsey had an opportunity to be part of the assembly and was also very complimentary about our Moorlands Mustangs. These partnerships with our city and county partners are a necessary part of healthy organizations and increase opportunities for our students and staff. Thank you to all involved in this project and its continued success. Well done !!

     

    As many of you already know, Woodmoor Principal Angela Kerr has taken a leave of absence to care for her mother. We certainly want to send our best well wishes and thoughts with her as she supports her mother and family at this time. Her contributions at Woodmoor and beyond are immeasurable and powerfully positive. Given this situation, I would ask that you join me in welcoming Ms. Ebony Harvey as our leave replacement principal for the remainder of the year. Ms. Harvey, a proud veteran of the United States Air Force, comes to us from Omaha Public Schools where she served as principal of Wakonda Elementary beginning in 2015. Prior to her time at Wakonda, she spent nine years in Wichita Public Schools where she served as assistant principal at Chisolm Trail Elementary School from 2013-15, and as a teacher and behavior interventionist at Rea Woodman Elementary School from 2006-13. Ms. Harvey is committed to continual growth and development, completing an endorsement in English Speakers of Other Languages in 2010 and her Master of Science in School Leadership in 2012. She is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Ms. Harvey has a proven commitment to excellence in education for all children, continually exploring new and innovative ways to meet children where they are and inspiring greatness in and out of the classroom.

     

    Thursday morning, Jan. 4, our district leadership team met with Dr. Julie Causton, a professor from Syracuse University, to discuss inclusive schools. Dr. Causton is a researcher who has done a significant body of work with the implementation of inclusive school practices and structures. As we continue our odyssey with the strategic plan and our relentless focus on equity and excellence for all, this topic of inclusive practices will continue to be one of focus for us. I will be providing updates about this work as we move forward on this journey. I would also like to share a quote that resonated with me as we worked together that morning. "In principle, inclusive education means:... the valuing of diversity within the human community. When inclusive education is fully embraced, we abandon the idea that children have to become "normal" in order to contribute to the world... We begin to look beyond typical ways of becoming valued members of the community, and in doing so, begin to realize the achievable goal of providing all children with an authentic sense of belonging" (pp. 38-39) Kunc, N. I believe that here in Northshore, we are uniquely positioned to be a national model for this necessary work as we have such a strong foundation of excellence already established. We also have the best possible instructional and support team to lead this work. Imagine the possibilities...

     

    I thought you might be interested in a follow up on the Eric's Hero story I previously mentioned on Will T. at the coffee stand in Bothell. Ann Cargill recently shared with me that there has now been a children's book written about Kindness and Will. I love that this energy keeps growing and serves as both a reminder and a testament to the power of kindness both large and small to make such a difference in the lives of so many (more than 30 million).

     

    I recently came across an article on the habits and characteristics of extreme learners and felt it would be an interesting article to share with you as well. In summarizing his thoughts, Milton Chen notes; "While today's students will ride in driver-less cars, they should begin now to take the steering wheel of their learning lives. The sooner schools and informal learning centers give them more freedom and flexibility to do so, the better their chances for thriving in careers we cannot now imagine." In keeping with Goal 4: Innovative, Creative and Critical Thinkers, I think this article gives us some insights into how we might best prepare our instructional programs for disruptive innovation ;>)

     

    In a news flash from Leota Middle School Principal Audee Gregor, we have seen Zombies in January. According to Audee, "A zombie apocalypse was reported at Leota Middle School in the 7th grade classes today! No casualties were sustained in the event. In order to set the stage for the academic understanding of disease transmission and prevention, Ms. Vincent, Mrs. Poon and Mr. Breekha staged a mock zombie epidemic on Thursday, January 4th. This adventure was started by a non-toxic glow germ transmission (just like the school-wide pandemic that was staged in 2014/15 and the zombie apocalypses of 2015/2016 and 2016/2017). Using only 4 students as our patient zeros, we had over 85% of the entire 7th grade class ‘infected’. We did not collect data on the 6th or 8th grade classes, but you can imagine a large percent of the entire school population would likely have tested positive. As academic extensions, the students will be learning about transmission of disease through the collection and recording of the glow germ data, which is visible when exposed to UV light. Students will enhance their learning by participating in a variety of interactive activities and games in various departments on campus (Science, Health/Fitness, Math, English, Social Studies). This data collection and adventure took a zombie village, which included the school nurse, counselors, administration, and all Leota staff. We hope this gives the entire seventh grade a broad and connected view of how events have a cross-curricular tie and global perspective. Our hope is that we are more prepared for a potential future outbreak of any kind and that we have fun as we learn." Many thanks to Jane Vincent for constructing this incredible learning space and opportunity. Go Lions !!

     

    Finally, we have just heard great news from Dione Garcia, our NSD National Board Certification facilitator and general NBCT champion. Dione works at Woodinville High School as a Teacher Librarian, and coordinates and supports the cohorts of teachers who pursue their National Board Certification. Dione also writes an annual grant to Northshore Schools Foundation to seek funding for the support of teachers' participation in the cohorts. Tracy Meloy supports these intrepid teachers as well. We are so grateful for the Foundation partnership that supports this great work. We just learned that 38 of Northshore's teachers are now newly National Board Certified Teachers. We will plan to honor these teachers at an upcoming school board meeting. Please take a moment and congratulate these teachers for their achievement: Ryan Aker, Scott Churchill, Victoria Cohen, Mehgan Colkitt, Kim Courtney, Leia Cumberland, Cyrus Darling, Christy Deer, Warren Eickhoff, Tara Evans, John Fogarty, Molly Goodspeed, Elliot Gray, Emmy Hager, Scott Herman, Renee Huizenga, Cally Ingram, Kristina Kupferschmidt, Esther Lee, Ryan Mateo Sharnbroich, Russell Monsef, Robert Morgan, Madeline Oakley, Natalie Rance, Mackenzie Romppanen, Rebecca Schock, Keyna Shumaker, Theresa Slater, Amy Sorenson, Cheryl Steenson, Courtney Teter, Alison Thurman, Loni Tighe, Matt Warhol, Colin White, Amber Williams, Crystal Winterbourne, and Amber Wyberanac.

     

    Let's continue to treasure the gifts of this winter season...

     

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
    Superintendent

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  • December 15, 2017

    Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid on 12/15/2017

    Hello Team Northshore,

     

    As I sit down to share my thoughts this evening, I invite you to consider with me the amazing gifts we each have to be thankful for this winter season.  It is so easy at times to fuss about things that pale in comparison to the challenges others around our dear world face.  This evening, I wish for each of you that you are able to be wholly present for the beauty and joy of this winter season and that you find those peaceful and meaningful moments of reflection and contemplation.  With the clamor of our daily lives, it is often refreshing to pause and find the quiet.  "It is in the stillness that we save and transform the world." -- Eckhart Tolle  

     
    This past week saw the smooth and thoughtful transition of our Northshore School District elected Board of Directors.  At our meeting this past Monday, we bid a fond farewell to two of our board members, Ken Smith and Kimberly D'Angelo.  I know you join me in thanking them for their heartfelt service to our district and their commitment to the continued excellence and equity initiatives in our district.  We are a better district for their time and efforts.  As we bid them farewell, please join me in welcoming our two newest elected Board Directors,  Robert Swain and Jacqueline McGourty, who were sworn in as our two newest Northshore School Board members.  Additionally, as a result of the recent election, Amy Cast and Sandy Hayes also return as elected Board members and were sworn in as they begin their new terms of office.  Board Director David Cogan remains on the Board as he continues to serve his current term.  We are blessed to have these hard working and dedicated community members willing to serve and lead our district.  Thank you.

     

    This past Monday, several of us joined twenty-five of our students in attending a presentation by Dr. Frederick, the Howard University President, as he addressed a group at Starbucks Headquarters in Seattle (Many thanks to Lisa Youngblood-Hall for arranging this for our students.)  Dr. Frederick provided inspiring commentary regarding the role and relevance of historically black colleges and universities in our country.  In keeping with our bold equity agenda, we continue to learn more about the opportunities to partner with higher education institutions and open doors for all our students in new ways.  Dr. Frederick's resolute focus on excellence, truth and service, and his visionary approach to problem solving and finding common ground within even significant differences continues to inspire me and I know gave our students a new frame from which to think about their future. 


    Recently, we had our fifth Board SIP visit and traveled to Crystal Springs Elementary School. These visits are so integral to the comprehensive work we do as a district. In highlighting the work of the school, Principal May Pelto highlighted several aspects of the school work this year; and noted "The staff at Crystal Springs were excited to showcase the work they have engaged in this year around their strategic plan goals. Our guests saw how proud our students are of the work they are doing and of their school, and walked away with a strong sense of the positive school climate we have worked to establish. As they visited classrooms they saw students engaged in rigorous learning throughout all areas of the school. As a staff we are incredibly proud of each of our students and welcome the School Board and District Administration to join us any time."  We all noticed the strong feeling of pride as students excitedly greeted us and we certainly enjoyed sharing our classroom experience with students and staff. We had many fun and instructional moments as we visited classrooms. It is always so energizing to be out in the schools. Go Road Runners !!


    In recent correspondence, I received word from the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) Executive Board that their Northlake Region is honoring Eric Lucas as their Northlake Region 2018 WMEA Outstanding Music Educator.  In their letter, they note; "We honor Eric for his dedication, pursuit of excellence, and belief in the value of music education.  He made a difference every day that inspired others!"  While Eric was taken from us far too soon, his influence and impact still live on....  What an amazing legacy...


    As we review our December 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 this month in 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 21,782 (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 22,248 students.  Specifically, we have approximately 700 more students this year in a year over year head count.  Imagine the possibilities...

     
    As an update on my sojourn through the district, I have now visited 454 classrooms this year 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 classroom at Kokanee. Sophie, a first grader, explained to me her work.  She was comparing two books she recently read, Mr. Pusskins and Thelma the Unicorn.  She explained (I'll paraphrase ;>) that both main characters in the books wished they were someone else and then in the end were glad to be themselves;>)  I continue to be so impressed with the ability of our students and the amazing support and leadership they receive from each of you.  I also love the advice and insights I glean from my visits ;>)  

     

    I know principals and other administrators have been sharing information across the district and community, so I hope that by now you’ve learned the details of our upcoming Bond and Levies election on Feb. 13, 2018. When we return from winter break, we will be headed into the home stretch of this important election. You can help us out in a few of ways: First, take a look at the FAQs on our website. Is there anything we haven’t covered? Are members of your school community asking any questions we still need to answer? Next, tell us your story! Can you provide examples of how increased enrollment is affecting day-to-day operations?  Do you have a story about how technology is being used in an innovative or exciting way in your classroom or school? If your programs (Special Education, interventions, drama, music, art, clubs, etc.) rely on levy dollars, tell us how they have made a  difference for students or helped a child overcome an obstacle. In short, tell us about the wonder and inspiration that surrounds you every day. You can send your questions, stories, observations and suggestions to communications@nsd.org. And, finally, remember to vote! If you live in the district, (and even if you don’t) vote! A district in eastern Washington passed a November bond by seven votes. Seven. So, yes, every vote really does count! Thank you in advance for helping get the word out! We look forward to hearing from you.


    Tomorrow, I am planning to send a note out to the parents of our seniors across the district regarding the anxiety many of our seniors are dealing with at this time of year.  With college (and other post-secondary) applications and admissions decisions looming, many of our seniors and their families can find this time of year to be very stressful.  While I do not agree with all aspects of the article, Taming the Admissions Anxiety from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, there is enough truth and a number of interesting perspectives shared that I feel compelled to share it.  I love the concept of The Biology of Positivity and its potential impact on all of us.  Imagine the possibilities...


    Finally, there are so many examples of our students and staff going above and beyond to support those less fortunate in our community this holiday season. This speaks so highly of the character and grace abundant in our great district; a real Northshore family feel to be sure.  Many have noted the following; “This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!”  What a joyful wish to come true for each of you…

     

    Warm wishes for a blessed and joyful holiday season, 

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
    Superintendent

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  • December 8, 2017

    Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid on 12/8/2017 9:00:00 AM

    Hello Team Northshore,

     

    Well, it is the first full week of December and all through the district, many students and staff have been busy with projects and full of the winter spirit. The winter concerts and activities are in full swing. The schools and streets are alive with a festive energy as we await winter. I love this time of the year.

     

    It is my pleasure to announce our new Executive Director of Human Resources. As you know, Jeff Sherwood has recently announced his retirement after a successful tenure here in the district. Please join me in congratulating Doug Hale who will assume the Executive Director of Human Resources duties later this spring. Maintaining a strong sense of continuity in our human resources work is a priority for me, particularly given the significant number of transitions we have and will continue to undergo. I know that just as Jeff has done for many years, Doug will bring strong personal integrity and a dedication to service as he continues the traditions of excellence here in our amazing district. As a result of this decision, Doug's current position as Director of Human Resources will soon be posted for application and a full and open selection process will be followed.

     

    Today, I visited Ms. Kapovich's 4th grade class at Woodin Elementary to practice my coding skills (I clearly need a great deal of practice ;>). STS Jody Thomas and my young desk mate, Aria, helped me get started with my Hour of Code. I created a tiger with lizard legs, a lizard with a tiger head and a tree with eyeballs. Finally, when I figured it all out with a growing support group of 4th graders, I realized I was coding! As I looked around, I saw focus, curiosity, collaboration and a lot of excitement. Thank you to everyone across the district who created these coding opportunities for our students this week. I'm thrilled to hear that some of you will continue coding throughout the year. Imagine the possibilities...

     

    I want to take a moment and thank all of those staff members who led 'Active Threat Training' last week. This is such an important topic for all of us to attend to. I know that many staff members at each school spent considerable time and prepared thoughtful presentations so that all of us might benefit from learning more about this important topic to us as a district family. We will continue our work in this arena and are planning follow-up information as questions and ideas have come up in recent days. Thank you for all your hard work on this and so many other challenging topics. It matters.

     

    In more great news, we have an update on the WHS Robotics team—Titanium Falcons. At the last meet on Dec. 3rd, the team walked away with the first overall ranking after 5 impressive matches. They are now one match win away from the state championship qualification. The team increased their overall meet scores from 530 to 750 in just 3 weeks. The students are working great together, solving problems, and finding new solutions to make their robot function at the highest level. The team is gearing up for a very exciting run towards state and the world championships. Great Strategic Plan Goal 4: Innovative, Creative and Critical Thinkers work being done. Imagine the possibilities....

     

    In news from the Teaching and Learning Department, on this past Wednesday, during early release time, all of our comprehensive secondary schools engaged in a Facilitated Feedback Process that will allow us to gather feedback on the implementation of block schedules, advisory, and the transition to 4-year high schools and middle schools. Specifically, staff were asked to reflect on: 1) Block Schedule --- What they knew to start the year; What they have learned over the course of the year; and, What they still need to learn. 2) Advisory --- What is in place and functioning smoothly; What is still a work in progress; and What is not in place yet. 3) Transitions --- The common processes and procedures that all staff and students know; The common processes and procedures that some staff and students know; and, The common processes and procedures that few staff and students know.

     

    According to Obadiah Dunham, "The information gathered through this process will be valuable to multiple levels of the organization as we focus on continued improvement. Members of the Teaching and Learning Department will be able to utilize the information on block schedule implementation to provide professional development for staff in the spring as well as next fall. Principals and district leadership will be able to use the feedback on advisory to monitor and adjust implementation over the remainder of the year. Principals, school leadership teams, and staff will be able to use the reflection on the transitions to inform work at the building and classroom level. The work on December 6 is guided by the Teaching, Leadership, and Organizational practices outlined in the NSD Strategic Plan. Examples include: Teaching Practices: Teachers use a variety of approaches and resources to know their students by strength and need, and actively involve families in their students’ academic and social-emotional progress. Leadership Practices: Principal/Leadership Team uses data about impact on professional growth and student learning as the primary criteria for decisions about staffing, budget allocations, and professional development. Organizational Practices: District/School Leadership and teachers continuously evaluate and disseminate (via coaching, professional development, communication) proven, formative assessment driven, personally and culturally relevant instructional and behavior practices." We look forward to reviewing and making meaning of the feedback in our resolute quest to improve our practice moving forward. Together all things are possible...

     

    As I was out in schools today at Northshore Middle School, I had a conversation with teacher Ryan Mateo Sharnbroich. He shared that "As a part of his graduate school research project on gender diversity and inclusion in schools, a group of teachers from Woodmoor and Northshore are reading young adult literature with LGBTQ+ characters and issues alongside local articles and practitioner pieces. They meet once a month after school at teachers' homes, and represent a wide range of comfort levels, exposures, and experiences with this topic. So far, they have read Am I Blue?: Coming Out from the Silence and Parrotfish. They've also read articles for educators from Gender Spectrum, an organization working to create gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children, and analyzed their suggestions alongside the self-identity strand of OSPI's new health education standards. Already, this work is shifting our thinking around how we can be better advocates and mentors for all of our students - we continue to see so many of our students and selves in the characters we read about. This work is also helping us identify some of the big gaps that currently exist for doing this critical work in our schools, district, and beyond. Moving forward, we will each be reading different books from a list of young adult fiction and nonfiction (see attached) to trace themes across, while reading articles about local happenings, controversies, and celebrations around this topic. In future meetings, we hope to bring in district leaders, parents, students, and other stakeholders to join the conversation." I know that I am planning to join this conversation and invite any of you who are interested in the book club or selections they are reviewing to contact Ryan. Again, this work connects to our bold new strategic plan as a fundamental equity issue. Together, all things are possible...

     

    Tomorrow, Dr. Frank Fletcher will be in the district to talk with staff and parents about the challenges of dyslexia and what research has to teach us on the topic. Dr. Fletcher will be presenting on the topic of dyslexia - awareness, common understanding, importance of early intervention etc. In a recent conference, The STEM Education, Learning Disabilities, and the Science of Dyslexia conference, Dr. Fletcher provided a presentation that is very interesting and informative on this challenging topic. His presentation is now available on the Instructional Research Group website. Videos of the presentations are uploaded along with their corresponding powerpoints. When you click on the conference link, then click on Dr. Fletcher's presentation - Plenary 1. I am looking forward to learning more about how we might best support our students with dyslexia.

     

    It has been said that the difference between a very good school system and a uniquely exceptional school system can be found in the achievement level of its least advantaged students. I know that what I have observed over the last couple of weeks and months in each of the schools I have visited is a uniquely exceptional compassion and care for all students. I am well on my way to my annual goal of being in every classroom in the district each school year and I continue to be so impressed with the work, compassion, joy, care, and spirit in each school and classroom I have visited. I remain both honored and humbled to serve you.

     

    I will close this week with the hope that each of you will enjoy a weekend filled with abundant joy and excitement. This is a season for friends and family, reminding us of the importance of being in relationship with one another. “A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” —Elbert Hubbard. True then, still true now…

     

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

    Superintendent

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  • December 1, 2017

    Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid on 12/1/2017 9:00:00 AM

    Hello Team Northshore,

     

    Well, we are on the threshold of December and the days are certainly getting busier with the various winter holidays and events fast upon us. I have a dear friend who often reminds me that as we grow older (yes that would be me as well) the days can seem longer while the years seem to become shorter....

     

    I so appreciate all the efforts of the many teachers and support staff who provided for the recent parent conferences. As I have been around the community, I have heard so many positive comments from parents about the quality of the conversations and the educational experience they are having with teachers and staff at their respective school. Thank you for all your dedication and efforts to making Northshore such a special place to both work and learn.

     

    This past week, we had our fourth Board SIP visit and traveled to Bothell High School. These visits are so integral to the comprehensive work we do as a district. In highlighting the work of the school, Principal Bob Stewart highlighted several aspects of the school work this year; and noted "BHS is focusing much of our work this year on transitioning two groups of students to the high school and ensuring their success. A component of this is working hard to keep students on track to graduation. Our staff is working hard to connect with students and to limit course failures since a failure puts a student not on track to earn the 24 credits necessary for graduation." We all noticed the strong feeling of pride as we were greeted and we certainly enjoyed sharing our classroom experience with students and staff. We had many fun and instructional moments as we visited classrooms. It is always so energizing to be out in the schools. Go Cougars !!

     

    In exciting district athletic news, our very own Woodinville Falcons Football Team has worked hard and earned the right to play this coming weekend. They will take on the Richland Bombers for the WIAA 4A State Championship crown on Saturday, Dec. 2, 7:30 pm at the Tacoma Dome. Join me in congratulating them on this achievement and I invite you to join me at the game on Saturday night. GO FALCONS!

     

    I want to say how much I enjoy my school visits and Breakfast Club events. This week, I had the pleasure of visiting Westhill Elementary and Leota Middle School. Both visits were great, with students and staff so positive and energizing. I continue to be so grateful to have the opportunity to serve and support each of you. Thank you.

     

    Again, as next week is Computer Science week, and as it is the tradition here in Northshore, many of our students and staff will be participating in the Hour of Code. The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science where students and teachers can choose from a variety of activities for all skill levels. Currently, there are more than 500,000 computing jobs open nationwide and computer science graduates enjoy the second-highest starting salary and the highest full-time employment rate (76%) within six months of their graduation. I am looking forward to participating at one of our schools during the week. We are grateful to the Northshore Schools Foundation for partnering with the district to encourage participation by students and teachers district wide. Imagine the possibilities.....

     

    As we think about the many challenges we are facing in our schools, community and country at this time, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and at times more easily frustrated than we might otherwise be. I want to share one of my favorite vignettes which chronicles the epic race that sprinter Derek Redmond ran in the Barcelona Olympics of 1992. It is so important to stay steadfastly and resolutely committed to our path, especially when things seem the most difficult. Here in our house, we do not give up, nor do we give in to debilitating beliefs and negative energy. We will continue to stay resolutely in the light and not be drawn into the darkness and negativity that can at times seem overbearing. We will remain mindful of those around us and their needs as we guide and support our community's greatest resource, our children. And so, as I was contemplating the coming days, I came across this quote and am reminded of its power for us today…“When you know who you are; when your mission is clear and you burn with the inner fire of unbreakable will; no cold can touch your heart; no deluge can dampen your purpose. You know that you are alive.” -- Chief Seattle (1780-1866) Leader Of The Suquamish and Duwamish Native American Tribes

     

    I trust that each of you will enjoy a joyful and abundant weekend respite and I look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks. What an amazing journey we are on...

     

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
    Superintendent

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  • Thursday Thoughts (Thanksgiving Notes)

    Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid on 11/26/2017

    Hello Team Northshore,

     

    We are fast closing out the month of November...  I trust the Thanksgiving holiday provided a joyful respite to each of your busy lives.  As many of us traveled over the holidays, patience was certainly a must these past few days ;>)   As I have had a bit more quiet time these past few days, I have had the opportunity to do some reading and reflecting.  I really enjoyed Oprah's recent text, The Wisdom of Sundays which includes one of my favorite of her quotes; "When you acknowledge and are grateful for whatever you have, it allows more to be drawn to you and changes the way you experience life."  I am so grateful for having the opportunity to serve you and this incredible community of students and families.  Together, all things are possible...

     

    On Monday November 20th, the Improv teams of Inglemoor, Bothell and Woodinville high schools met up with Holy Names Academy in the finals of the Hogan Cup Tournament, sponsored by The Unexpected Productions Improv Company for schools in the Greater Seattle area.  It speaks so highly of the importance and support that the Northshore School District provides for the arts, that all three of the high schools with existing improv programs made it to the finals.  After three highly scored rounds (Woodinville had a perfect score on one game), the Inglemoor Impulse Improv Team and their Unexpected Productions Improv mentor, Tim Tracey, were victorious and named the 2017 Hogan Cup Champions. Thank you to the parents, staff and students who attend the tournaments and exhibitions at all our high schools who support us in all of our Theatre Arts endeavors!   According to Gretchen Stewart, "It was a very fun night!"  Congratulations to from left to right: PJ Heusted , Riley Hodgson, Jake Krieger, Olivia Anderson, Katie Orr, and Lillybeth Held.  Well done !!

     

    In other great news (and in keeping with Goal 4 of our bold new strategic plan, developing Innovative, Creative, Critical Thinkers), North Creek High School just received word that they have been given the opportunity to offer the AP Capstone™ program starting in the 2018-19 school year.  AP Capstone™ is a College Board program that equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills that are increasingly valued by colleges.  It cultivates curious, independent, and collaborative scholars and prepares them to make logical, evidence-based decisions.  According to NCHS Principal Eric McDowell, "The benefits of the AP Capstone™ program for students are that the program fosters the research, argumentation, and communication skills that are at the core of college readiness and essential for lifelong learning, provides a setting to build on the knowledge and rigorous course work of AP in an interdisciplinary format and offers students a unique opportunity to distinguish themselves to colleges and universities."  We are so fortunate to have such outstanding rigorous course options for students here in this amazing district.  Imagine the possibilities....

     

    Computer Science week is just around the corner, and as it is the tradition here in Northshore, many of our students and staff will be participating in the Hour of Code. The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science where students and teachers can choose from a variety of activities for all skill levels.  Currently, there are more than 500,000 computing jobs open nationwide and computer science graduates enjoy the second-highest starting salary and the highest full-time employment rate (76%) within six months of their graduation.  I am looking forward to participating at one of our schools during the week.  We are grateful to the Northshore Schools Foundation for partnering with the district to encourage participation by students and teachers district wide.  Imagine the possibilities.....

     

    And so, like you I have often looked up this past week as the geese are doing fly-overs in formation.  Over the years, I am pleased to be reminded that to all things there is a season.  There is a definite comfort to nature and the predictability as well as the gifts of so many creatures, great and small. The story of the geese and their tight formation is one that still inspires me in my work.  I trust that you too will find inspiration in their natural team commitment.  Together, all things are possible.

     

    As we approach the coming week, I am mindful of all that we have to be grateful for and celebrate our amazing team.... "Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings."  ~ William Arthur Ward

     

    Let's have a great Northshore week !!  

    Warmest regards,


    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
    Superintendent

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  • November 17, 2017

    Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid on 11/17/2017

    Hello Team Northshore,

     

    Well it has been quite a week.... I want to begin by apologizing for such a difficult Monday and Tuesday for so many staff and students. The blustery weather, power challenges, road closures, and generally difficult conditions, have certainly created havoc with our otherwise festive fall season. As I acclimate to our community and the regions where power is more and less predictably restored, I will likely be more conservative in my assessment of our ability to hold school in the future. Please know that these decisions are some of the most difficult a superintendent makes. The plausible projected power restoration times notwithstanding, there are many variables outside of our control. Having said this, I want to extend my heartfelt gratefulness to each of you who thoughtfully and diligently made these days so productive for our students. I also want you to join me in thanking our grounds, maintenance, custodial, support services, and transportation staff, for all their extra efforts to keep us safe and as supported as humanly possible. We have a great Northshore team and that makes all the difference. Thank you and well done !!

     

    Please join me in celebrating our Board of Directors. Our very own NSD School Board will be honored tomorrow at the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA) statewide conference as a 'Board of Distinction'. They are one of only nine large school district boards to be honored statewide. When you have the opportunity, please congratulate Board President Amy Cast, Board Vice-President Kimberly D'Angelo, Director Sandy Hayes, Director David Cogan, and Director Ken Smith. We are blessed to have such hard working and dedicated board members as part of the team supporting our students and community.

     

    As we review our November 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 this month in 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 21,782 (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 22,248 students. Specifically, we have approximately 700 more students this year in a year over year head count. Imagine the possibilities...

     

    In great news, our amazing school district has 43 students who have been recognized for the prestigious All-State Band, Choir and Orchestra Program. Ted Christensen recently shared; "The All-State Band Choir and Orchestra program is offered to recognize the very best vocalists and instrumentalists in the state of Washington. Admission into these groups is by audition only and the competition is rigorous against hundreds of other students. Only the best are selected. Musical ensembles are formed with these high level musicians and in February, after two days of intensive rehearsals, a gala concert is presented to the public. The conductors selected for these groups are nationally renowned. The gala concert is held in conjunction with the Washington Music Educators Association biennial conference. Northshore is traditionally well represented because of the outstanding talent of our student musicians and the great music teachers in our schools." We are so blessed to have such talented young musicians and such amazing music program staff and parents, as well as booster clubs supporting our tradition of excellence here in Northshore. Together all things are possible....

     

    In more amazing student athlete news & accomplishments, our very own Woodinville High School girls' soccer team, carrying a collective grade point average of 3.845, has been named WIAA 4A Fall State Academic Champions. Congratulations to these outstanding student athletes, teachers, and their coaches. We are proud of you!!

     

    As I close my remarks tonight, I am oft reminded of the challenge provided by one of my favorite authors, "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all -- in which case, you fail by default." -- J.K. Rowling   Here's wishing you a joyful weekend....

     

    Warmest regards,


    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
    Superintendent

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  • November 10, 2017

    Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid on 11/10/2017
    Hello Team Northshore,

     

    I want to start my notes this evening with a 'thank you for your service' to all Northshore School District staff who are veterans and have served this amazing country. Secondly, I would like to thank those Northshore staff who are family members of veterans as I understand the sacrifice this entails.

     

    I want to take a moment to share how thrilled I continue to be with our students and their leadership on important topics. Having recently attended several concerts and Veteran's Day assemblies, I know that we can all be proud of the leadership, integrity, and vision of our young people. I am so impressed with the talent in this great district and have been so moved by the performances and heartfelt sentiments shared by our young people. The respect and appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform is so important. We owe them such a debt of gratitude for so many things both large and small. I know these events require a great deal of effort and attention to detail on the part of so many staff in our schools. It matters. It also reminds us of the importance our fine and performing arts play in the story of our great nation. It is the music that touches our souls in a manner that words alone cannot. Our community and nation are in good hands.  Thank you one and all....

     

    In district administrative news and updates, it is my pleasure to announce that Ms. Denise Waters is the new Principal at Hollywood Hill.  Most recently, Denise Waters has served as a K-2 Teacher on Special Assignment for our district.  In this role she has supported Full-Day Kindergarten and mentored first and second year teachers.  Prior to coming to our district, she was an elementary principal in the Issaquah School District from 2014-2016.  Denise started her teaching career in the Entiat School District as an elementary teacher after finishing her degree in elementary education from City University in 2006.  She worked there until 2011, completing her administrative credential in 2011 through City University, then moved to the Lake Washington School District where she taught at Rockwell Elementary School from 2011 to 2014.  She also served in a variety of professional development and leadership roles, including as Student Assistance Coordinator for Entiat School District, as Adjunct Faculty doing pre-service teaching training for Heritage University, and as a Science Teacher for North Central Education Service District.  We are blessed to have her leadership and experience.  We also want to thank former principal Joann Todd for all her service to our district and wish her continued success in her new district level role for the Edmonds School District.  

     

    This past week, we had our third Board SIP visit and traveled to Sorenson. These visits are so integral to the comprehensive work we do as a district. In highlighting the work of early learning, Director Doreen Milburn highlighted several aspects of the school work this year; "My hope for all of you today was that during your observations within our Early Childhood programs that you observed our purpose of how our 'why' connects with our NSD Strategic Plan to best support students and families within Goal 1: Success in the Early Years."  We all noticed the strong feeling of pride as these young 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.  I learned a great deal about The Three Pigs and that while a brick house might be harder to build, you can't blow it down.....  I guess it made me realize again that excellence takes time and there is no shortcut for doing the right thing ;>)   It is always so energizing to be out in the schools. 
     
    In outstanding student news, Bothell High School student Kaitlin Dierks recently signed to attend the University of Georgia.  Kaitlin has been riding horses for ten years.  Her passion and skill have paid off in a National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) scholarship with the University of Georgia. There are 40 teams in the nation; Georgia has the longest standing program.  Kaitlin is hoping to get one of only five spots on the University’s western team.  Competition runs September thru April.  According to BHS Assistant Principal Elizabeth Cano reports, "To be recruited Kaitlin sent videos of herself riding different horses demonstrating her ability to control the horse not the horse's ability!    Competitions are ‘pattern based’ programs.  Each rider is introduced to the horse they will be competing on four minutes prior to entering the ring!  Bothell is proud to have this “first” and wish Kaitlin continued success."  We are so proud of Kaitlin as well and are looking forward to following her as her future unfolds.  Well done.   

    As we continue our strategic plan work and are attentive to Building Block 2: Safe Climate and Strong Relationships with Families and Community, we had the first of two Active Shooter Preparedness Training sessions this week.   According to Dr. Chris Bigelow, "The feedback regarding the training has been awesome. Protection and safety must be the priority. This training will increase an organization's and individual’s safety during such an event."  This week was the training for the elementary leads and the training for the high school leads will be on November 20th.  These lead trainers will be charged with training their respective school and department staff on the November 29th SDLT day.   Thank you to all involved in this important safety and training work, especially  Dr. Chris Bigelow, Clark Combs, Doug Wilson, Derek Tucci, and all the staff who have stepped up to be trainers for our future work.  It takes all of us to support the excellence this district is so well known for.  Thank you.
     
    Congratulations to all our fall student athletes as they competed and succeeded at so many levels and in so many sport team endeavors. We also encourage those teams still competing and wish each of them well as the competitions unfold. Such an exciting time to be competing !!

    As part of our continued commitment to Student Voice, our inaugural Student Board has now held its second meeting of the year.  Members include Cassidy Fayden (SAS), Kibby Rasheed (BHS), Megan Rogers (WHS), Audrey Tacey (NCHS), and Alex Zhou (IHS).  Our most recent agenda reflects an interesting array of topics as we explore our own leadership and its inherent responsibilities and also topics integral to our student success.    The book we are reading is The Leader in Me which discusses "How schools around the world are inspiring greatness, one child at a time."  I have found these young leaders to be thoughtful, incisive and forward thinking about their contemporary experience in our schools.  We have an ambitious list of topis we are working on and as our structure evoilves, Iwill be sharing our minutes from meetings.  Please feel free to attend or submit items for our agenda consideration.  Later this spring, we will host a joint meeting with our adult (duly elected board) to compare topics and ideas.  Together all things are possible...

    Finally, as this weekend we will celebrate Veteran’s Day, I would ask each of you to pause sometime during that day to think about and thank those who have served our country so valiantly, and remember the many sacrifices made on our behalf. It is so true that we are free because of the brave. And from a former Commander in Chief, let's remember "We are of course a nation of differences. Those differences don’t make us weak. They’re the source of our strength." -- Jimmy Carter

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
    Superintendent
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  • November 3, 2017

    Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid on 11/3/2017

    Hello Team Northshore,

     

    What an amazing week and the calendar turns the page again as November arrives. It is so true that while the days are at times long, the years are becoming ever shorter....As I am writing this, I am noting that it is snowing in Whatcom County. I am ever hopeful that the snowy weather will only be a part of our district experience on weekends and vacations ;>) 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 ;>) !!.

     

    On the exciting news front, we just received word that our very own Kelly Griffin has been selected as the Washington Music Educator Association's Elementary Level Music Educator of the Year! Kelly Griffin has been a music educator and National Board Certified teacher at Moorlands Elementary school since the 1988-89 school, where she has taught general music to generations of elementary students and, as anyone who has heard her groups sing can attest, she has produced amazing elementary vocal ensembles. She is nationally known as an expert in the Kodaly method of music instruction and has provided leadership in the Organization of American Kodaly Educators at the local and national level; she has been an instructor at the Kodaly Institute, and a clinician and presenter at conferences. She will be presenting at the organization’s national conference in March. She is also active locally as a conductor and a performer. Her resume includes training and directing young singers with the Columbia Boys and Girls Choir for the past 30 years. She has performed with Seattle area choirs, including Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble and Cathedral Choir at St. James, where she also started the very successful Youth Music Program. Kelly earned her B.A. in Music Education from Pacific Lutheran University, where she performed with the Choir of the West, and her Master’s degree in Music Education from Holy Names College. Prior to coming to Northshore, she taught music in the Renton and Bellevue school districts. This award will be presented on February 16 at the state WMEA conference. Ted Christiansen remarked; "A fantastic award for a GREAT teacher and colleague. Congratulations, Kelly!" We are so proud of you Kelly !!

     

    Last year the District's Equity Committee, led by Johnny Phu and Dr. Chris Bigelow, discussed starting Equity Teams in our buildings. This past Monday, for the first time in our district journey, Equity Teams are being established in our schools. Fourteen (14) schools participated with a range of four to twelve members per team, facilitated by Dr. Caprice Hollins. It is so powerful to have a commitment from staff and administrators in these schools to do the deep work necessary to change the current culture of our schools. We cannot embrace diversity by remaining set in our ways, beliefs and thoughts. Although Monday was the first day of training for our School Equity Teams, a lot of work went on behind the scenes during the 2016-17 school year and a special thank-you to Moorlands Principal Talena Graff for her leadership and work with her Equity Team’s Sub-Committee to make this happen. Dr. Bigelow has observed, "As we move forward with this work, we must recognize that schools cannot afford to turn out students who have not learned the lessons of respecting diversity. We live in a multicultural, pluralistic, global community. Understanding diversity begins the process of living and working in harmony with others. This is one more step towards supporting our equity initiatives." I would certainly agree with this and add that this work is not a one-year body of work; this is ongoing work for all of us.

     


    Today the celebration of “The Power of the Volunteer” was on full display at the Northshore Council PTSA’s annual Presidents and Principals luncheon. Council President Carrie McKenzie observed; "Through bringing the presidents, principals and the district administrators together, it was easy to see the bonds being formed and strengthened just by recognizing that volunteering has so much impact in our district. On behalf of the 31 Local PTA’s and Council, we thank all our principals, teachers and administrators for their past and future support." I continue to be impressed and inspired by the dedication of our 31 local PTA groups and the 69,000 hours of volunteer time they provided to support our NSD.

     

    In accordance with our bold new strategic plan and the emphasis we are placing on equitable and inclusive practices; Northshore is proud to announce our inaugural season with Unified Sports. According to Shannon Hitch, "A huge thank you goes out to our parents that advocated for this program and to the high school Athletic Directors who are helping us launch our first season! Unified Sports is an inclusive sports program that combines an approximately equal number of Special Olympics athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities) on teams for training and competition. This program promotes social inclusion using sports as a catalyst. Evidence shows that students who “play unified” become better at helping others, standing up for each other and sharing responsibility. These students gain patience and the ability to compromise. Most importantly - they have fun and establish new friendships! We will soon be launching competitive Unified teams at all four comprehensive high schools. Our first planned sport is soccer, starting in the late spring. We hope to see our community come out to Pop Keeney Stadium to support these remarkable athletes and partners. We expect the competition to be fierce!" For more information, here is a very brief video from Special Olympics. So exciting, I am looking forward to attending the first game !!

     

    I recently came across an interesting set of facts that I feel compelled to share. As we are in that time of the year where we are a bit more restless (both students and staff), it is getting darker longer and the news around us is not always positive, I find the topic of hope (both cherishing and nurturing it) to be so important. In a recent survey, of U.S. public school students, 53% are not hopeful about the future. Gallup's research has found that hopeful students are ... 2.8x more likely to say they get excellent grades; 3.3x more likely to strongly agree they do well in school; 4.1x more likely to be engaged with school; and 2.2x less likely to say they miss a lot of school... than their discouraged peers.

     

    Maintaining and sustaining hope is important to all of us and our success however we choose to measure it. It is so important that we acknowledge our challenges and the absolute truth that we can and will meet and overcome them together. "Once you choose hope, anything's possible." ~ Christopher Reeve

     

    Warmest regards, (and now off to the first music concert at North Creek High School) Go Jaguars !!

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
    Superintendent

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
    Superintendent

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  • October 27, 2017

    Posted by Dr. Michelle Reid on 10/27/2017

    Hello Team Northshore,

     

    Well, it has been another beautiful fall week here in this amazing community.  It is hard to believe that we will be in November next week ;>)  There continue to be amazing moments, large and small all over this amazing district.  I know many of us enjoyed the Sarah Kay evening this past week and were mesmerized by the beauty and power of spoken word poetry.  She was able to tackle such difficult topics in such a poignant and impactful way.  So impressive....

     

    The presentation titled “Enrollment and Financial Update” was shared with the Board on October 23rd.  The presentation reviews enrollment for 2017-18 and the final financial data for 2016-17.  It is clear that growth has been unprecedented this year and our financial picture continues to improve.  The future is unknown—the legislature passed EHB 2242 last summer which was supposed to be the full funding “fix” for schools.  The Plaintiffs in the McCleary lawsuit do not believe EHB 2242 meets the constitutional duty of the state to amply fund schools, nor do I.  The next year will be very interesting as we hope to gain more clarity on what the future holds for public school finance.  In the meantime, we continue to be blessed by the steady stewardship of our finances overseen by Lydia Sellie and her staff.

     

    With the Halloween events upcoming, we have had several NSD parents, students and staff members ask about guidelines around Halloween costumes. This was also a topic of conversation that members of the diversity and equity committee recently had.  I know that there are instructions for students about not having weapons, masks, etc. but we need to continue to be mindful that costumes should also be sensitive to our many diverse groups and culturally appropriate.  As several folks have recently noted, "We want to have fun and also to not have fun at anyone else's expense; we want to nurture fun, creativity, inclusivity and respect. It’s extremely important that costumes don’t portray or perpetuate stereotypes or denigrate cultures or genders. Cultures are not costumes. Halloween costumes are only fun or funny when they don’t hurt or make fun of other people (in any way) or perpetuate stereotypes."  I trust we will enjoy a not too scary last bit of October ;>)

     

    At our Oct. 23 meeting, the school board unanimously approved three measures for the Feb. 13, 2018 election. To support Northshore’s plan to keep pace with development and enrollment increases, the district will ask voters to consider these three measures on the Feb. 13, 2018 ballot.  In the past six years, Northshore School District has grown by 10 percent, or 2,000 new students. At the elementary level, the district is increasing by 300 students each year, which is about half an elementary school’s enrollment. And projections show that growth will continue with the addition of 1,500-1,700 students in the next six years.

     

    Over the past two years, parents, community members and district staff have worked together to develop a long-term plan to address this growth—a plan that makes sense for our community and our children. To support our plan to keep pace with development and enrollment increases, we will ask voters to consider these three measures on the Feb. 13, 2018 ballot.

     

    Proposition 1: Renewal Educational Programs & Operations Levy covers basic education costs and makes up 20 percent of the district budget. The levy ensures continued high-quality academics for all students, and also focuses on learners who need additional resources and interventions, including special education students, and struggling and advanced learners. The levy also funds extra-curricular activities including music, drama, sports and clubs. This levy replaces the current Educational Programs and Operations levy that expires in 2018.

     

    Proposition 2: Capital Projects Bond will add much needed capacity, easing overcrowding district wide, while also addressing equity issues. The bond provides for safety and security updates at all schools; a new K-5 school at a district owned site near Maltby; a new 30-classroom flexible use building on the Skyview Middle/Canyon Creek Elementary campus; and a performing arts building at Inglemoor High School, to support both instruction and production. Ongoing building repairs and additional outdoor instructional and athletics spaces will also be included among the bond projects.

     

    Proposition 3: Renewal Technology Levy will put technology in the hands of every student, while teaching them to be safe and responsible digital citizens. This levy will also provide the important supports, including teacher training and parent input, to make this strategy a success. Improved district-to-family communications will also be funded. This levy replaces the current Technology levy that expires in 2018.

     

    I have had the pleasure of several school visits, PTA meetings and student Breakfast Clubs during this past week.  Students and parents continue to be so complimentary of the work that goes on in their respective schools.  They are so excited to share with me the wonderful activities and learning opportunities and experiences they have had over the last weeks, months and in some cases years and generations.  It is so inspiring to hear their enthusiastic appreciation for all your acts of kindness both large and small. It matters....  I have also seen first hand the amazing work going on in our schools.  Thank you for all you do each day.

     

    Finally, I know this is going to be a challenging time as we wait to hear what the judicial opinion will be on the ample funding of public education in our State.  This is really an epic time to be in education, with all the changes afoot and opportunities that abound.  While it may at times create anxiety, here in our house, we will not be anxious as we know there is nothing that together we can't get accomplish.  Together, all things are possible....

     

    A staff colleague recently read Boys in the Boat and shared this quote that was resonating with them, and so given our times at hand, I thought I would share... "It is hard to make that boat go as fast as you want to.  The enemy, of course, is the resistance of the water, as you have to displace the amount of water equal to the weight of men and equipment, but that very water is what supports you and that very enemy is your friend.  So is life:  the very problems you must overcome also support you and make you stronger in overcoming them."   As our colleague shared, "Here's to rowing together, even when the water is choppy."  


    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
    Superintendent

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