Thursday Thoughts: COVID Testing Update, Student Justice Collective and More

Well, we reveled in the last day of summer and this week starts our fall season. I must say it is a moment when I finally turn the heat on in the car for the morning commute ;>) There are so many celebrations as we mark the changing of the season.  As we are completing our third week of the school year, I want to remind you that the work you're each doing to educate and nourish our students and keep them and each other safe in our buildings continues to be so important. I appreciate each and every one of you, your work, and as important how you are going about doing the work even when at times it doesn’t feel as though anyone notices.  Our epic start of school has been executed and we are working collaboratively to problem solve challenges that continue to give us pause. We are practicing patience with one another and enjoying the remarkable traditions this great district treasures as we learn into the future together.  Loving how we continue to re-imagine the possibilities…

Wellington Meet & Greet

Dr. Reid with 8 Wellington Elementary students

I want to thank the Wellington Elementary families who joined me this morning in person and via Zoom for the before school meet and greet. I know these conversations are important and help us in our thinking and planning. After meeting with parents and guardians, I visited with a group of students. We discussed everything from math and district budgets to masks, devices and new friendships. What a bright and attentive group our young Wolverines were!

COVID Testing Update

Our District COVID -19 Supervisor and Deputy Superintendent Duggan Harman provided updates on all things COVID on this morning's Northshore News. This livestream is just one more way of connecting with and informing our families.  This batch testing project is one more layer of protection to keep our students, staff and families healthy and safe, as well as to sustain our schools being open. Currently, our batch testing numbers (though not yet complete for this first week) are being processed. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday over 14,000 students and staff participated in COVID batch testing. Of the more than 1600 batches that have been processed, 14 have shown a positive result so far. There are a little over 400 batches still in process. There is a 0.86% positivity rate for those batches that have been processed. Reflex PCR testing is ongoing for individuals in the positive batches and will wrap up tomorrow. We will continue to monitor and adjust the process as we move forward and we share a deep debt of gratitude for the many staff involved in this process in all their different roles; together all things are possible.  I also want to share a special shout out to our school nurses and their unwavering commitment to the health and safety of our students, staff and families; it matters.

Student Justice Collective

To continue to expand justice-driven student leadership opportunities, the Racial and Educational Justice Department is launching a Student Justice Collective for high school students in Northshore. The Collective’s aim is to build community, work together in solidarity, and (re)imagine justice-driven educational experiences in Our House. For students to apply for the Student Justice Collective or read more about it, they can click here. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, October 7, 2021. Imagine the possibilities…

Financial Aid Night

On Oct. 6 our high school counseling departments will come together to host a Northshore Financial Aid Night focused on preparing for college expenses. The event, which will be held virtually, will help families navigate through the world of financial aid. Financial Education Services Specialist, David Aramaki will share important information about the various sources and forms of financial aid, how to prepare for the FAFSA, and discuss college savings options. A representative from the Scholarship Foundation of Northshore will also share information about scholarship opportunities that are available to Northshore seniors. Families can register for the Financial Aid Night by visiting our District website.  This is such important work in supporting our strategic plan goals and the dreams and aspirations of each of our students and their families.

Music Technology

I was excited to hear that Lockwood music teacher Adam Bacot found a way to increase students' access to keyboards (musical ones) in his music classes thanks to the Technology Levy. Because each student has a District-issued Chromebook, headphones, and a PTA-funded midi keyboard, all students in the class can simultaneously practice the keyboarding skills he is teaching. He even had a fourth-grade class using Chrome Music Lab and is starting to plan some digital music production skills to weave into his program this year. District-issued Chromebooks were made possible because of the generous support Northshore voters demonstrated by approving the 2018 Technology Levy. The creativity is inspiring!  Go Leopards !!

Career & Technical Education

In great news from Career and College Readiness Director Damen Schuneman our program growth continues. With the hiring of new CTE staff in the summer, the NSD CTE program continues to grow in FTE. Below is a snapshot of our current enrollment as compared to the past 4 years. The programs that are experiencing the most growth are Engineering, Computer Science, Business/Marketing, and Health Science. The CTE departments goals for this year include the development and growth of new programs for the 2022-23 school year that include Systems Medicine, Photo and Video Productions, Technical Theatre, and Project Lead The Way Engineering (Civil Engineering).

SCHOOL YEAR

CTE STAFF COUNT

CTE STUDENT FTE COUNT (MS & HS)

2017-18

53

838

2018-19

59

879

2019-20

69

1018

2020-21

72

1022

2021-22

80

1085

International Day of Peace

Each year, on the 21st of September the International Day of Peace is observed around the world . The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples and the theme for 2021 is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.” I can't help but think how much of a match this is to the bold strategic plan we are committed to in our Northshore School District and the circumstances we find ourselves in as a district, community, and country. “In 2021, as we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience, and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier. The pandemic is known for hitting the underprivileged and marginalized groups the hardest. By April 2021, over 687 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but over 100 countries have not received a single dose. People caught in conflict are especially vulnerable in terms of lack of access to healthcare.”  As part of our introspective work in our own community, I think it is wise to heed the thoughts and words of others experiencing this pandemic around the globe as well as the invitation from the UN General Assembly; “We invite you to join the efforts of the United Nations family as we focus on recovering better for a more equitable and peaceful world. Celebrate peace by standing up against acts of hate online and offline, and by spreading compassion, kindness, and hope in the face of the pandemic, and as we recover.”  Imagine the possibilities…

As the leaves turn, I wish a joyful fall weekend for you and yours. And so, in the changing of the season, “We need to remember that circumstances don’t make a person, they reveal a person. ” — Emma Jameson. I am off to the IHS home soccer match....

Warmest regards,

Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 

 

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