May 15, 2023: Grateful to our Educators - Every Day

May 15, 2023: Grateful to our Educators - Every Day

Northshore School District logo in blue



Dear Northshore Staff: 

Last week, the entire community celebrated our incredible Northshore teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week (May 8-12). To our Northshore teachers - while Teacher Appreciation Week is a special time set aside for recognizing all that you do - please know you are celebrated every day. 

From mentoring, to providing engaging learning, to advocating for students - you do it all. I can still remember the teachers who made a difference in my own life. Teaching is both an incredible privilege and responsibility. The lessons students learn from you, your unwavering belief in their potential, and how you make them feel, will likely influence them for the rest of their lives. Thank you for all that you do for our students and community. You make Northshore one of the best districts in the region - ensuring that each and every student has the opportunity to achieve their hopes and dreams. 

As promised, each Monday - either in my Monday message or the Connections Newsletter - I will provide you with a 2023-24 budget development update. Today, I am sharing information about staffing adjustments. Staff are initially allocated to schools in March in response to projected student enrollment and our contractual agreements with NSEA. Historically, we have made one staffing adjustment in the fall. This year, while we anticipate a total lower student enrollment (reduction of 200 FTE), we are also working to address typical movement of students across the District. School-based staffing needs to follow students to ensure strong, supportive learning environments. This year, we will be conducting staff adjustments in May and again in September. 

My Cabinet will be reviewing increased staffing requests in one week, on Monday, May 22. The May staffing adjustment will be based on the unique needs of a school or a program. Staffing adjustments based on enrollment increases or decreases will occur in September. 

Over the last few years, we have been able to use our fund balance (reserve) to keep school communities stable, even while some schools experienced decreases in enrollment. Due to our budget shortfall, this may no longer be possible, and we are depending on retirements and resignations to help balance next year’s budget. Like many other districts, this fall Northshore may need to move teachers from under enrolled schools to schools with more students than anticipated. I recognize the challenge this presents, and how emotionally difficult this change in practice will be. We will work to limit moves, but some are likely. As a reminder, the Communications Department continues to update the 2023-24 Budget Development webpage including a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) section. Please submit your questions through the form on the webpage. The School Board will take action on the proposed 2023-24 budget in early July. 

Thank you to the 1500 students, staff, and family members who completed the Student Wellness and Safety questionnaire last week. Another Student Wellness and Safety School Board Study Session is planned for Tuesday, May 30, and the Task Force is scheduled to conclude at the end of June. I want to express my thanks to the Task Force members for the countless hours they have dedicated to this process and look forward to reviewing recommendations over these coming weeks. Please visit the Student Wellness and Safety Task Force webpage to learn more. Meeting notes and presentations are posted every Friday after the Task Force meeting. 

I also want to remind staff about my Spring Learning Sessions. The next session is tomorrow, Tuesday, May 16 at Bothell High School in the library from 6-7:30 p.m. We had a great turnout last week at North Creek High School. Thank you to everyone who showed up on a sunny spring day! This next session is for any Northshore family, student, or staff member. I will be sharing the information gathered during my fall Listen and Learn tour and next steps. This is also an opportunity to give feedback on the proposed Family Engagement and Resource Center and participate in conversations about your concerns on other topics. Please find the full list of Spring Learning Sessions below in District Highlights. 

May is Mental Health Month, and I would like to celebrate one of our Northshore students for actively working to ensure her peers get the support and services they need. Taanvi Arekapudi is a 14-year-old student currently attending Northshore Middle School. She is a leader, humanitarian, and international bestselling author of "Uplift Teens Today: Coping Strategies for Mental Health." Taanvi is also the creator and president of the Teen Empowerment Club at her school, which has been running for 3 years. She is a Youth Ambassador for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Eastside and represents the student voice of Northshore Middle School on the NSD Student & Wellness Safety Task Force. I want to thank and celebrate Taanvi for her leadership. Below you can find additional information about Mental Health Month in NSD, supports, and learning opportunities. 

Finally, on Thursday, June 1, Northshore School District will celebrate our retirees and all that they have given to students and accomplished throughout their careers. If you are planning to retire and want to be celebrated, please remember to let the Communication Department know by May 26, 2023. You can do so by filling out this form. I hope to see our retirees at the party so I can thank you personally!

In partnership, 

Michael Tolley

Interim Superintendent



Have a story you would like to see shared in the "Highlights from Around the District" section of this message and on our website? Submit using this form.

Join Us for the Superintendent’s Spring Learning Sessions

You are invited to attend Superintendent Michael Tolley’s spring learning sessions, with the next event scheduled for Tuesday, May 16 at 6 p.m. in the Bothell High School Library, 9130 NE 180th Street, Bothell.

Superintendent Tolley’s spring learning sessions are taking place to share with our families, students, and staff the information he learned from his fall Listen and Learn tour and next steps. 

These events also provide an opportunity for the superintendent to continue to listen to our Northshore community members about their experiences in our schools. The dates and audience for the remaining session are:

  • May 16 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Bothell High School Library: General Meeting

  • May 23 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Admin Center Board Room: Muslim Families

  • May 25 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Northshore Middle School Library: Spanish-Speaking Families. Spanish interpretation will be available. 

  • May 31 from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Zoom: Families Receiving Special Education Services (

  • June 1 from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Zoom: General Meeting (

We hope to see you there! If you need ASL or language interpretation services, please request support one week in advance of the session by emailing


Mental Health Awareness Month Activities

Student Services is organizing Mental Health Awareness Month virtual events for students, staff, and families to learn and engage in ways to support their own mental health or the mental health of family and friends. 

For the next event, Northshore is partnering with Taanvi Arekapudi, a Northshore Middle School 8th grader, and Chelsi House, an experienced licensed mental health professional. Taanvi is a leader, humanitarian, and international bestselling author of "Uplift Teens Today: Coping Strategies for Mental Health." Chelsi specializes in child and adolescent issues, mood disorders, trauma, and PTSD. Everyone is welcome to join us for this virtual event, taking place on Thursday, May 18 from 6:30-8 p.m. on Zoom ( 


Students Receive ACT to Save a Life Training, Train-the-Trainer Session Scheduled May 31 for Interested Staff

A student practices chest compressions during a recent ACT to Save a Life training

Earlier this month, 180 students at Inglemoor High School completed ACT to Save A Life training, joining a similar number of students from Woodinville High and 200+ Northshore personnel who have taken the class this year. ACT stands for Antidote, CPR, and Tourniquet. It is a non-certificate course developed by South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue to quickly train people in the basic skills needed to keep someone alive until EMTs arrive. The class teaches how to administer Narcan in case of an opiate overdose, how to do chest compressions in case of heart stoppage, and how to control severe bleeding. Northshore Teacher on Special Assignment for Emergency Preparedness Tom Petersen has been the instructor, but on May 31 South County Fire will be holding a Train-the-Trainer class at Leota Middle School, with the aim of having an ACT Trainer at every district facility. This class is open to anyone to register in Performance Matters; school Safety & Emergency Prep coordinators are especially encouraged to attend. 1.5 Clock Hours available. 

  • Wednesday, May 31, 1:25-2:55 p.m., Leota Middle School: Course #35948

  • Wednesday, May 31, 3:05-4:30 p.m., Leota Middle School: Course #35949

Note: ACT is not a substitute or alternative for the full CPR and First Aid Training that is required for coaches and some other certificated and classified positions. For full CPR and First Aid certification, please enroll in Course #32575.


Northshore Council PTSA Thanks All School and District Staff

Northshore Council PTSA graphic of volunteers holding signs of appreciation

Northshore PTSA Council wanted to put together something that showed just how much they and parents across the district appreciate all Northshore School District staff. Please take a few minutes to view this video they have put together and enjoy all the lovely messages PTA leaders, volunteers, and families have written. Council thanks each staff member for all that you do each and every day to make Northshore the best district around!

Staff appreciation video link: or view it on the Council website.


High Schools Remind Seniors of Dangers with DUI/Distracted Driver Assemblies

Seniors at BHS attend the DUI and distracted driving assembly

Thank you to our high schools for their efforts to remind seniors of the risks associated with distracted driving and DUI in advance of end-of-the-year activities such as prom and graduation. Several schools coordinate assemblies for the senior class in partnership with local police and emergency services to support a reenactment and educational assembly. On days when this occurs, there may be an increase in emergency personnel on our high school campuses. Thank you to our community for your support and understanding while we keep our students informed and safe.


Celebrating our Retirees from 2022-23

Retirement Celebration honoring retirees from 2022 and 2023 on June 1, 2023 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Northshore Senior Center

The Northshore School District and Northshore Schools Foundation look forward to celebrating staff retiring between July 2022 and August 2023. We are hosting a retirement celebration for all Northshore retirees on Thursday, June 1 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Northshore Senior Center. 

If you have already retired or are planning to retire this summer, please complete the RSVP form by Friday, May 26 to let us know if you would like to join us in celebrating your contributions to our community. Space is limited to those who are retiring and one guest, and we appreciate your understanding. Thank you to all retirees who have dedicated your career to making a positive impact on our students’ lives and education!




Key Dates

May 17: Wednesday Early Release    

May 22: School Board Meeting, 7 p.m.

May 24: Wednesday Early Release

May 26: Emergency Make-Up Day - Please note: This is now a school day!

May 29: Memorial Day - No School

May 31: Wednesday Early Release

June 5: ATI Graduation, 6 p.m.**

June 6: ATP Graduation, 6 p.m.**

June 7: Wednesday Early Release

June 8: Northshore Networks Graduation, 4 p.m.**

June 8: Secondary Academy for Success Graduation, 7 p.m.**

June 12: School Board Meeting, 4 p.m.

June 13: North Creek High School graduation, 1 p.m.**

June 13: Woodinville High School graduation, 6 p.m.**

June 14: Wednesday Early Release

June 14: Inglemoor High School graduation, 1 p.m.**

June 14: Bothell High School graduation, 6 p.m.**

June 15: Innovation Lab High School graduation, 7 p.m.**

June 19: Juneteenth - No school

June 20: Last Day of School

June 21: Non-Student Day/Grading


**Learn more about graduation ceremonies by visiting our graduation webpage.


Additional Religious and Cultural Observances

*Declaration of Bab May 24 

Buddha’s Birthday May 27

Ascension of Baha’u’llah, May 29

Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev

Father’s Day June 18


*Begins at sundown of previous day/ends at sundown



Northshore School District is enriched by the many experiences and perspectives each individual member brings to our District and community. Therefore, our District prohibits discrimination based on age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the presence of any sensory, cognitive, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability.

Civil Rights and ADA Coordinator for Staff
Abel Ghirmai
Director of Human Resources
3330 Monte Villa Parkway
Bothell, WA 98021-8972
425-408-7622 or 7604

Title IX Coordinator
Abel Ghirmai
Director of Human Resources
3330 Monte Villa Parkway
Bothell, WA 98021-8972
425-408-7622 or 7604

The Northshore School District shall provide equal educational opportunity and treatment for all students in all aspects of the District’s academic, activities, or employment programs without discrimination. In addition, the District provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups in its programs and activities.

Section 504 and ADA Coordinator for Students
Rick Ferrell
Director of Student Services
3330 Monte Villa Parkway
Bothell, WA 98021-8972

Any Northshore School District staff and community member has the right to raise concerns or make a complaint regarding discrimination under this policy without fear of retaliation. The above-listed employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged unlawful discrimination.



Interim Superintendent's Blog



District Stories