I trust this note finds each of you healthy and safe. As promised, I want to share our next iteration of our Classroom to Cloud initiative for the coming week.
Throughout our planning and preparation and the first week of Classroom to Cloud, we kept our focus on our commitment to meeting the needs of all students, while attending to the health and safety of our staff as well. As I indicated late last week, we have had to pause our work and iterate as we make space to continue to address challenges related to state and federal expectations that could result in a loss of critical funding. The pause this week allows us to meet with State and federal officials as we review statutes, policies and procedures that impact our fiscal allocation and that of all districts contemplating this path forward. We are working together with OSPI to problem solve for all of our students.
As I mentioned, we launched an online learning resource page today to keep students moving forward until we are ready to share a new iteration of Classroom to Cloud. We are calling this 'pause' week Northshore Project-Focused Week, during which we will encourage our students to be innovators in solving real-world problems related to the current health challenge as well as access resources collected by our educators. We continue our focus on developing and nurturing creative, critical thinking, independent learners. Recently, I particularly was intrigued by the young Taiwanese student who built a robot to dispense hand sanitizer and am looking forward to seeing our students projects that they create this coming week that might be useful during this time. This will be a week for students to access resources and innovate.
I am also looking forward to hearing from students about the books they are currently reading or those they might be rereading (as I often do). We will be forwarding a template for a district book review that we will capture for our website so that we might have books to recommend to one another in the coming weeks. Often having a choice about what to read and the opportunity to be reflective about what we read, nurtures a deep love for reading. I look forward to sharing our literary interests.
I continue to be so inspired by each of our students as they share their honest and thoughtful responses with me about what they are working on and what they hope to be working on in the coming weeks. I appreciate too how we are modeling for them how important it is to maintain our best selves at times of trial; not being angry and hurtful in our comments about and to one another, and being thoughtfully positive as we all benefit from staying in the light. Please also pause and take a moment to review Talking to your children about school closures .
In thinking about our ‘new normal’, I want to relay the following ....“We would like the country to realize that as a nation we can’t be doing the kinds of things we were doing a few months ago…” —Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
To that end, I want to make you aware of the following resources being offered during this time
Free meals for all students
We are committed to providing access to nutrition for all Northshore students. While schools are closed during this regional health challenge, we are offering free meals for all children 18 and younger. Free breakfast will be provided with each lunch, which will be available for pick-up at 33 locations. Meals must be pre-ordered daily between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. the day of pick-up. Children do not have to be enrolled in the Northshore School District. Visit our meals page to see what's on the menu for tomorrow and pre-order your students' meal.
Free access to computing devices
If your family requested a device but has not yet picked it up from your student's school site, or you would still like to request a computer or hot spot, please book an appointment online at http://bit.ly/NSDdevice or call 425.408.7669. Devices will now be distributed from the Northshore School District Administration Center in Bothell by appointment only, in order to support social distancing practices. To receive a device, parents and guardians must bring identification and know their student's ID number.
Our district has created space in five locations for our community partners to provide childcare. Thanks to the YMCA and Champions, there has been a space for every student whose family is in need. In addition, the Northshore Schools Foundation has generously provided scholarships for families who would otherwise be unable to afford the childcare. The community partners will practice social distancing at each location as instructed by Gov. Inslee.
Finally, I want to remind each of us that here in Our House, we care for one another and support one another. We have students, staff and community members who are even now anxious about exposure risks and awaiting diagnosis either for themselves or a family member. Let us not forget to both act with precaution and be careful with our own health. Let’s also remember to be gentle with one another. It is a time to pause and collect ourselves as we gather strength for the rest of this journey as we are not in a sprint, but rather a marathon I believe. We will continue to have challenges in front of us, and I know we can meet these challenges; together, all things are possible.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.