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Letter to Families: Online Launch Eve Update

What a joyful weekend, ripe with robust conversation and vibrant thoughtful meaning made from a variety of data patterns. As we spring forward, timing is everything :>)  Anaïs Nin wrote once, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” And so too, tomorrow our educational paradigm will continue the unprecedented expansion necessary for each of us to continue our mission of providing the Northshore quality of education in a safe and healthy environment for all.  I want to recognize that together we have taken a leap of faith and are together gathering courage from one another to take risks with our own learning and that of our organization at this critical time in our district’s history.  I want to thank each of you - one and all - for leaning in and doing your part, whatever part that is, as this successful Classroom to Cloud shift takes all of us!!

As you recall, we recently hosted Dr. Tony Wagner who talked to us about what’s required to innovate. It turns out his visit was both timely and prophetic. In thinking about the coming days and our Classroom to Cloud transition, we will be putting many of these ideas to work here in Northshore. This is where research meets practice in real time -- It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention —  Having said that, we will also resolutely practice patience and not perfection, as we know that all too often the pursuit of perfection limits progress. While our daily routines will look and feel different, our core values and resolute commitment to nurturing mountain top educational experiences for every student has not and will not waver. Learn more about our shift from the classroom to the cloud by visiting www.nsd.org/northshorelearns.

Today, I have held several meetings. The first was with Microsoft thought partners and staff members as we discussed new tools and applications that will provide efficiencies as we move forward. I also learned that there are discussion groups of school leaders from around the world wrestling with the same topics we are addressing here in Northshore. Indeed, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reports that as of this weekend, 290 million children around the world are not in school due to the health concerns raised by the COVID-19 virus.  “School closures in thirteen countries to contain the spread of COVID-19 are disrupting the education of 290.5 million students globally, a figure without precedent. UNESCO is providing immediate support to countries, including solutions for inclusive distance learning.” We will be staying close to the work of this international organization as we navigate this dynamic new terrain.

I want to remind you that as the leader of this school district, the decision to move our learning from the Classroom to the Cloud was mine; as a result of my belief that we could not safely open and operate school for the reasons stated in my previous message last Wednesday.  To support the success of your student(s) and our teachers and support staff in this new model, it is incumbent on me to make space for our teachers to teach and practice sharpened and new skills as they stay focused on the educational success of each of our students.  Therefore, I am going to request that for the first few days of our Classroom to Cloud initiative, parents utilize other respondents to have questions, concerns or ideas answered and shared – and provide our teachers and support staff the space they need to focus on our students in this new model.  If there is a question or concern directly connected to your students’ content in their classroom work, we would expect you to contact the teacher directly; but, otherwise, I am requesting that you utilize the technology phone information below for technology concerns, or call the school district office at this number, 425-408-6002specially set up where we will have a phone bank working to be responsive to questions if not live, then within the hour.  If you have generalized concerns, frustrations, ideas, or need to express yourself in some way about the situation, my decision, or any other aspect of the Classroom to Cloud transition, please direct those notes to me personally through this format.  Please know that I will read each submission, authentically reflect on the content and your perspective, and provide you with a thoughtful response.  Together, all things are possible…

To better support families, I also met with a group of parents interested in how they might help with the success of our Classroom to Cloud transition. These partners include members of a variety of parent organizations including our Northshore PTSA, one of the most active and honored in our State.  This group of parents seriously wowed me with their skills and passion to support this work and the parents in the district and are crafting a parent-to-parent communications platform that will address many of the questions, concerns and ideas you might have, leaving our teachers and support staff freed up to focus on our students.  This is such a gift and once again illustrates the Northshore Inspires way in which we work; together, all things are possible.  Stay tuned with news of how to access this feature of our Classroom to Cloud work in the coming days.

Learn more about our shift from the classroom to the cloud
Visit www.nsd.org/northshorelearns to learn more about our Classroom to Cloud work.

Parent Information Specific to Northshore Learns Technology

The Northshore Learns team is eager to provide technical support to families who may need help connecting a computing device, resetting a student's password, or logging into one of the platforms teachers are using for online learning.  Please call 425-408-7669 if you have technical issues that we can help with.  This line is monitored from 7AM to 7PM M-F.  If you reach voicemail, please leave a detailed message so that we can get back to you as soon as possible.

We are also excited to offer three more parent sessions on Monday March 9 at 7:30AM, 12PM, and 6PM.  The content of these sessions will be similar to the session offered on 3/6, but with slight changes to account for current information and commonly asked questions. Please use the information below to connect to the session(s) of your choice:

Meal Service for Online Learners

As we officially make a temporary transition from the classroom to the cloud tomorrow, one of the challenges in front of us was to figure out how to serve the needs of students whose breakfast and lunch are dependent on being at a school site. We are happy to share that our Food Services team has fully developed a plan to provide lunch to all students, as well as purchasing options for family members. There will be two lunch pick-up methods. At this time, breakfast will not be available. Please learn about the two options for picking up food at a nearby school site on our Meal Service for Online Learners page. Note that the option to have your student's lunch delivered to a nearby school requires a pre-order before 9 a.m. each day. 

Childcare

For families who are finding childcare a challenge during this time, we expect to present options through our community partners on Tuesday. More to come on this tomorrow.

As our district continues to navigate this challenging time, we must continue to lean on the strengths of our community. We want to make sure that all of our students and staff are being treated with respect and dignity at this time and always ​- especially as we move to an online environment. This is not the time to segregate with unwarranted fear but to come together and help fight it with knowledge and compassion.  It is vital to advocate for our community members and to stay kind to one another to uphold a culture of safety and belonging in and beyond our schools. In these tough and unpredictable times, we must stick together as a school community and remember that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.  I want to remind us that when we are done with this flu outbreak, and we surely will be at some point, our community will still be our community and our district will still be our district.  What we say to one another now and in the coming days, and how we say it matters, as we will remember how we felt far into the future. In Our House, in Our Community, rather virtual or physical, we will remain one that is inclusive, civil and inviting. We are Northshore !!

🐝 "Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway." --- Mary Kay Ash

Let’s do this !!
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 

 

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