I trust this note finds each of you enjoying a beautiful spring week. While all around us the news is difficult to watch, I know there are an equal number of stories we could each share about the generous and heroic sacrifices so many of you and others are making at this time. For each dark moment, there are infinitely more light ones we must remember. Together, We will get through this; We are Northshore !!
For our district, this has been quite a year. And with a community like ours, we continue to meet every challenge thoughtfully, creatively, and with an eye toward the future. Such is the case with planning for the 2020-21 school year. We worked collaboratively with NSEA on a calendar that considered the needs of our families and staff. Today, we finalized dates for elementary conferences, and we now have an approved calendar. So, barring any unusual circumstances ; >), this is the calendar for the 2020-21 school year. Of course, if any unusual circumstances do arise, we will be ready because We are Northshore! Together, all things are possible…
Donation from Chinese American Civic Association
So inspired by the generosity of our Chinese American Civic Association and families — masks, gloves, cash, sanitizer to support our nutrition efforts. We are Northshore !! Thank you. pic.twitter.com/6b3Fc6UwNF— Michelle Reid (@Northshore_Supt) March 31, 2020
Jing, one of our Northshore parents, just this week, dropped off two stacks of donation boxes to support our district nutrition and food service mission; one from the Chinese American Civic Association and the other from a group of related families. The Chinese American Civic Association boxes included 1,260 masks. The parent group donation box included:185 masks, 400 nitrile gloves, 5 x 2 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer, and an envelope with $120 in cash. This is definitely a Northshore Inspires moment !!
I’m excited to share that on Wednesday, April 29 we will host Northshore Speaks for students and staff to share their own spoken word poetry. The event location is to be determined or it will be held on Northshore’s Virtual Stage. In addition to the event and in honor of National Poetry Month, spoken word entries will be highlighted on the District’s Facebook and Instagram pages during the month of April. Original spoken word poems submitted to Flipgrid before 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 16 will be considered for the Northshore Speaks event. Northshore students and staff should log in to Flipgrid using their Northshore School District account. If an entry is selected, District Communications will connect directly with the student and their family, or the staff member. If students and staff are not interested in speaking, they are more than welcome to attend. The community is encouraged to reserve tickets as seating may be limited, depending on whether the event is held on campus or virtually. The event is suitable for Northshore families and is an effort to connect, reflect and hear multiple perspectives from the Northshore community.
A particular poignant note I recently received embodies the Northshore spirit. As a Northshore Inspires moment for sure, Secondary Academy for Success Principal Donna Tyo shared that SAS Office Manager Beth Schoen went the extra mile to support a student and their family. When notified by a family that they were down to several pieces of fish, a few potatoes and $7, and the realization that mailed gift cards would not arrive for several days, Beth went out to Fred Meyer (all gloved and masked up - just in case) and bought them groceries until the gift cards could get to them in the mail. In Beth’s own words; “I couldn't let them not have enough to eat over the weekend.” I continue to be so inspired by so many acts of kindness and care.
In another Northshore Inspires moment, Woodmoor planned a Virtual Spirit Week for staff students and families as we kicked off Northshore Learns 2.0. Spirit Week was planned to celebrate our sense of belonging and school spirit as we also engage in learning. The week included School Spirit Wear, Wacky Tacky Wardrobe and Crazy Hair, and Superhero Day. The Virtual Spirit Week idea came from Anne Price, a third grade teacher at Woodmoor. Her idea created an opportunity for students to get involved virtually and was a way to encourage connection between students, families and staff. Go Dolphins! So important to stay connected at this time.
Not to be outdone, in another Northshore Inspires moment, Kate Bradshaw, Fernwood Elementary Principal, shared a Panther Pride moment; “As we launched Northshore Learns v.2.0, Fernwood's goal was for all students to see how their teachers throughout our school miss them and continue to wish them well. We believe in our students and want them to keep giving their best effort. To show our students we care, our staff put together a slideshow including positive words of encouragement to remind students to be safe, kind, and learners no matter where they are.” So powerful to support and sustain these connections…
I continue to be so inspired by the stories I've heard of students and staff making sure connections stay strong during this time of social distancing. If you've come up with an idea that is working with your class, school or colleagues, share them with us. Send videos, photos or just the story to the Communications department. Each week, I will share examples of our amazing Northshore family as we sustain our connectedness as a community. Together, all things are possible.
Recently, I have had the pleasure of reviewing a number of the submissions coming in for our book review segment on our Northshore Learns website. To date we have had over 160 reviews. The vast majority have been from elementary students, but in the last few days middle school students, and now high school students, are gaining ground. We have even had a few submitted by staff. It’s been truly wonderful to see the level of interest this has generated. Every genre imaginable has been represented, from Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina to Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man, from S. E. Hinton’s Outsiders to Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. I was delighted to see some authors from my childhood as well: Roald Dhal, Michael Crichton, Madeleine L’ Engle, and Judy Blume. One of the reviews ended with the phrase “I’ve never reviewed a book before.” Music to my ears. There is no time like the present to read a good book and share it with others, whether you have ever done that before or not.
One review, from Jill at Timbercrest, really spoke to me. She reviewed the book, Anne of Green Gables, written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, a personal favorite. In the review Jill said, “I liked how the main character grew and changed visibly, like we all have to do right now. Anne is just so human, and by the end of the book, I loved her as much as Matthew and Marilla. I found myself dreaming of Avonlea, and Green Gables, along with my school. I have linked the two in my head, thinking that when I can see my school I can let go of my friend, Anne Shirley, in my mind, for I will have my own friends again.” Wow, so insightful !!
Jill, I trust when the time comes you will have more than enough room in your mind for both: your dear friends from Timbercrest, and the new friends you will carry with you from all of the reading you have done. Keep reading! Imagine the possibilities…
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, and 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 COVID-19 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, whether virtual or physical, we will remain one that is inclusive, civil and inviting. We are Northshore !!
🐝 "Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway." --- Mary Kay Ash
Let’s do this !!
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.