Thursday Thoughts: Graduation Ceremonies, Northshore Learns News, Capital Bonds Project and More

I trust you have been able to get out and enjoy the beautiful and warming late spring days. This is such an exciting time of year as we celebrate our students’ accomplishments and their plans for next steps.  While we are all preparing for the end of the school year, including the programs and celebrations to mark major milestones for our students, many of us are also busy preparing for the Northshore School District’s 2021-22 school year. I so appreciate each of you and your thoughtful input as we prepare for our end of year traditions and our new year plans; together all things are possible.   

Graduation Ceremonies

Graduation season has kicked off with the Adult Transition Program and the Adult Transition to Independence Program this past Tuesday. Like so many others in attendance, I was inspired by the stories that our students shared. Next week, graduations will be in full swing, beginning with Northshore Networks and Secondary Academy for Success on Monday. We will then continue with the graduations for the four comprehensive high schools on Tuesday and Wednesday.  As a reminder, for the four comprehensive high school celebrations, all graduates will be allotted four tickets. Schools are providing details regarding ticket distribution and any lottery for extra tickets. I am looking forward to this celebration at Pop Keeney Stadium. Anyone can watch the ceremonies by clicking here

Northshore Learns News

This morning on Northshore Learns News, I had great conversations about two topics that center on equity in our district. First, I talked with Racial and Educational Justice Assistant Director Ayva Thomas, Assistant Director of Equity Pedagogy Melissa Riley and Inglemoor Counselor Chase Stevens about Pride Month, and how our District continues to grow in becoming more welcoming to all students, and the intersectionality of the ethnic studies curriculum development. I then talked with Kenmore Mayor David Baker and Pocock Foundation Executive Director Jenn Gibbons about the new Kenmore Boathouse and the equity and accessibility our partnership will create for our student athletes by removing barriers to the sport of crew and potential college opportunities.  So exciting…

Student Academic and Well-being Recovery Plan

In support of Northshore’s Student Academic and Well-being Recovery Plan, staff will be publishing a webpage with a variety of summer enrichment and curriculum support resources to help prepare students for the fall. While we don’t expect students to be online all summer, an hour or two per week will go a long way. To support that work, all schools are holding a summer device exchange. All District-issued computing devices, cables and hotspots will be returned so we can update them for the next school year. When returning students bring back their device, they can exchange it on the spot for an updated device to have available for summer enrichment and learning opportunities when appropriate. Thanks to voter support of the 2018 Technology Levy, Northshore is able to continue providing devices to our students through the summer months. 

Capital Bonds Project

This summer our Capital Projects team will lead an Energy Savings Company (ESCO) building improvement project to replace the heating boilers at Bothell High School. The project will include replacing the heating pumps and other associated equipment involved with the hydronic heating system, which serves the gym, locker rooms, weight room and aerobics/gymnastics rooms in the Physical Education building. The boilers also provide hot water to the music and orchestra rooms, as well as to the Northshore Performing Arts Center, commons, and kitchen. A rooftop heating furnace serving the Industrial Arts building is also being replaced by a new natural gas unit. These improvements are necessary as the equipment has reached its design life of 20 years, meaning it’s harder to maintain if critical parts fail and require replacement. Additionally, the new equipment will be more energy efficient and more dependable. The old equipment is expected to be removed at the end of this month, and installation will begin in mid-July. The project is scheduled for completion near the end of August. Thank you to our generous Northshore voters who approved the 2018 bond, which makes these necessary building improvements possible. You can learn more about Northshore’s Capital Bond projects here

Elementary Science Olympiad

I always enjoy sharing stories of our Northshore education making an impact in the lives of students. Often, the “Aha! moment” comes in the traditional classroom. Often, it happens when members of our community come together to create and support something powerful. This year, North Creek High School student Diya Gupta planned and ran Northshore’s first Elementary Science Olympiad. The virtual event was quite a success in the participation and, in at least one case, the impact it had on the life of a student. Andrew Waller was one of dozens of students who spent months preparing for the competition. He worked on two design challenges: building a container to keep ice from melting and constructing a Rube Goldberg machine. For the ice challenge, Andrew created a vacuum chamber by attaching a bicycle valve to a glass jar and pumping out the air with a plastic syringe. His Rube Goldberg machine set in motion a chain reaction involving a toy airplane on a zipline, a parrot cage, a tennis ball, a pepper grinder-on-a-string pendulum, and a roller-skating toy monkey that delivered pennies for his sister’s candy dispenser. For the written test, Andrew’s Learning Center teacher, Jessica Cottrill, ensured that his IEP supports were fully extended, working with him on skills like persistence and personally supporting him during the test. Andrew earned first place in the Olympiad along with fellow Kokanee student, Sushanth Vegineti. Andrew has since been inspired to present a series of hands-on science demos to his 5th grade class. 

His mother, Sarah Waller, said it best, “Andrew's teachers - Rich, Sophia, Jessica and Deb - have all ‘seen’ Andrew in really meaningful ways. They have helped Andrew make academic strides and fanned the embers of his scientific curiosity. Neuro-diverse students don’t always get a chance to shine, but Northshore’s dedication to inclusion is making that possible.” Congratulations to Andrew and all of the students who participated in Northshore’s inaugural Elementary Science Olympiad. You can see the list of awardees here.  Also, because of her visionary leadership on the Science Olympiad, Diya Gupta was named Outstanding Student Advocate this Monday by the Northshore Council PTSA. What an honor! Together, all things are possible!  

2021PTSA Award Winners

On a related note, I want to take a moment to congratulate several of our staff members who were honored on Monday by our committed partner, the Northshore Council PTSA.  The 2021 award recipients included Ruby Bridges Elementary Principal Cathi Davis who received the Outstanding Advocate Award, Volunteer and Partnerships Coordinator Natalie Campbell for Outstanding Educator, and the newest member of the Communications team (filling in for Natalie until the fall), Golden Acorn Recipient Lauren Lewis. I am proud of each of these individuals and thrilled that their work was recognized by our community. I also want to congratulate three amazing volunteers who were also recognized, Liz Nord (Golden Acorn), Melissa Kline (Outstanding Service) and Nancy Chamberlain (Honorary Lifetime Membership). The work we do in this district is dependent on our community, committed volunteers, and amazing organizations like the PTSA. You can read more about the awards here.  Imagine the possibilities… 

Ingelmoor High School's Spring Concert

Finally, Inglemoor High School’s Instrumental Music Director Charlie Fix shared that the Music Department’s Spring Concert will premiere on YouTube this Friday, June 11 at 7:00 p.m. Click this link to access the concert, which can be viewed “live” at 7:00 pm, or at any later time using the same link. The concert features students from all performing ensembles at Inglemoor. We all send a special thanks to Inglemoor Music Boosters and all of our Northshore Boosters for their generous support this year!  Go Vikings !!

And so, as I contemplate the waning days of this epic school year, I am reminded of the many and inspiring ways in which each of you showed up this year.  You each did the amazing, loving, and transformational work of educating our next generation and nurturing the passion for learning we are committed to in Our House.   Dr. Martin Shaw best captures this sentiment; “There’s nothing “ordinary” about decency, courage under fire, compassion, tenacity, lion-heartedness, and that is what is being called forth in a moment – a deeply mythic moment – like this.”  Thank you for repeatedly seizing the moment over the course of the past year and making the most of every opportunity we have experienced.  I continue to learn so much from each of you; together all things are possible…

All the best and take good care,

Michelle Reid, Ed.D.



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