Thursday Thoughts: Celebrating our Board of Directors, School Improvement Plan, Dramafest and more

What an amazing week, and as the calendar turned the page again for November's arrival, it continues to be so true that while the days are at times long, the years are becoming ever shorter… In reflecting on these days, I am reminded of something William Arthur Ward shared; "Three keys to more abundant living: caring about others, daring for others, sharing with others.” As I think about our amazing and abundant fall season, I am looking forward to getting outside this weekend and hope that you too find time to crunch leaves, tour trails, or whatever brings you joy during this time of the year. Imagine the possibilities...

Celebrating our Board of Directors

Please join me in celebrating our Northshore School District Board of Directors. Our very own School Board will again be honored at the upcoming Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA) statewide conference as a 'Board of Distinction'. They are one of only eight large school district boards to be honored statewide. When you have the opportunity, please congratulate Board President Bob Swain, Board Vice President Jacqueline McGourty, Director Sandy Hayes, Director David Cogan, and Director Amy Cast. We are blessed to have such hard working and dedicated board members as part of the team supporting our students and community. 

Board School Improvement Plan visit to Kokanee

Recently, we had our Board SIP (School Improvement Plan) visit as we ‘traveled’ to Kokanee Elementary School. These visits are so integral to the comprehensive work we do as a district. In highlighting the work of the school, Principal Joel Fagundes shared several aspects of the schoolwork this year; and shared "I learned so much from my own kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Moore, as I watched her create strong family partnerships with each of her families, as I saw how she created a truly inclusive environment in her classroom, and how she strived to meet the need of each student lucky enough to have her as their teacher. I’m beyond proud to lead Kokanee Elementary where it has become our mission is work in partnership with families to provide a safe, inclusive environment where we challenge each student to learn and grow to apply their knowledge to contribute positively in our diverse society. I’m inspired by the work our inclusionary practice team is doing to design student focused learning experiences that serve and embrace each child at Kokanee. I’m excited to begin to see how the committed effort and focus of all 94 staff members is leading to the elimination of outcome and opportunity gaps for each student we have the opportunity to teach." North Region Assistant Superintendent Obadiah Dunham shared his impressions, "The Kokanee learning community brings its mission to life by strong partnerships between families, students, and staff, creating a culture where all students are known by their strengths and needs, and ensuring each student is challenged to think critically, innovatively, and creatively. Mr. Fagundes and Ms. Tirado demonstrated student centered leadership in their presentation."  We all noticed the strong feeling of pride as we viewed classroom lessons and experiences. It is always so energizing to be ‘out in the schools’, physically or otherwise. Go Kodiaks!!


Even with all of our current challenges, I am always inspired by the accomplishments, resilience, and creativity of our staff and students. Continuing our drama theme from last week, I am so excited about the Bothell High School Virtual Dramafest that will take place at 7:00 p.m. Friday (Nov. 6). There are five shows all directed by seniors. 40 actors and technicians are involved! Four of the shows are student-written and some of the music was even composed by students. The show titles have piqued my curiosity -13 Ways to Screw Up Your College Application, Under Observation, COVID Condominium, Power of Choice, and Cinderella. Theatre Arts Teacher Chaya Glass says she is beyond proud of the students, and even though there was some hesitation about a virtual dramafest, everyone is happy with the outcome. The shows are all prerecorded and done completely remote. The shows will go live at at 7p.m. this Friday. In the meantime, you can view the promo video here. You can also watch the Dramafest Award show which will be streamed live on our Facebook page on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.  Well done, Cougars! 

Book-o-Lantern Contest​

In highlighting more creative student engagement - this time on the east side of the District - Timbercrest Middle School's Library held a Book-o-Lantern contest. What a creative way for Teacher-Librarian Kristin Briley to combine reading, comprehension, interpretation, art and so much more! What a 'novel' idea ;>) Congratulations to every student who entered the contest, and especially to First Place Winner Abagail Krick and Second Place Winner Julia Faulhaber. You can view the amazing contest submissions here. Way to go Wolves! Imagining the possibilities…

Safety Upgrades

As always, our staff continue the work of maintaining and upgrading our schools in preparation of a return to buildings when it is safe to do so. I’m excited to share that all 33 schools have now received new classroom security locks. Upgrades to push bar entry locks and secondary access points are in progress and are the final phase of classroom lock installations. To date, 18 of 33 schools have had these upgrades for their main access locks, push bar locks and secondary access points. The upgrades of push bars and secondary access points at the remaining schools are expected to be complete by March 2021. The new classroom locks can be locked from inside the classroom without the use of a key, while the old locks required someone to lock the door from the outside with a key. The new locks also have a visual indicator which will help in an emergency situation. These important safety improvements are made possible by the generous support of our Northshore community who voted to approve the 2018 bond. 

Finally, I want to acknowledge that these are anxious times and uncertainty contributes to our feelings and sense of hope and well-being.  Having said that --

What I know today – what I am certain about today – is that I am grateful for each of you in Our House.  

What I know today – what I am certain about today – is that together all things are possible. 

What I know today – what I am certain about today – is that we each have a transformative role in Our House. 

What I know today – what I am certain about today – is that while hope is not a plan, it is eternally alive. 

As I think about so many events transpiring in our world today, I am reminded that; “Each one of us can make a difference. Together we make a change.” — Barbara Mikulski.  Let’s enjoy this early November weekend. 

All the best and take good care,

Michelle Reid, Ed.D.



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