Thursday Thoughts: Fall 2020-2021, Pride Month and More

I trust this note finds each of you enjoying moments, both large and small, that bring meaning to our collective lives and work.  These are challenging times for sure, and yet these are also times of great opportunity as we look at the shifting paradigms for education.  As I think about so many events we are challenged with, I am reminded by Rosa Parks who shared; “To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step.  We will fail when we fail to try.”  In Our House, I continue to be inspired by each of you and our resolute commitment to acting in times of epic transformation.  Imagine the possibilities…

Fall 2020-2021

Gov. Jay Inslee issued a proclamation outlining the state's plan to re-open schools in the fall for the 2020-2021 school year. The plan follows the state's Safe Start phased approach to reopening on a county-by-county basis.  Further, today, our WA State Superintendent shared; “It is my expectation that schools will open this fall for in-person instruction.”  Having heard this, it is important that each of you review the fall reopening guidance we have received from the state. I will continue to monitor these recommendations and the guidance from state officials as we move forward and assure you that the health and safety of each of you, our students, families and community will remain our unwavering focus as we plan forward; together, all things are possible.  Please stay in touch and know that we will work through these challenges together.  We are Northshore!!

Our House Conversations

As we host the Our House Conversations events, I continue to be so grateful and inspired by each of you and your work.  In approaching the end of the school year, I have had the opportunity to engage with NEOPA, NASA, NNRAP, NASCOED, Bus Drivers, Mechanics and Food Services about their experience in Northshore during COVID-19 through conversations on Zoom. Next week I plan to hold similar conversations with custodians, warehouse, maintenance, grounds, ESP and NSEA staff. Staff members, please watch your inbox in the coming days for an invitation, if you haven’t received one yet. We know these have been unprecedented times, filled with both challenges and opportunities. These conversations have been and will continue to be a time for staff to share what went well, hear about successes, and help us understand where we have an opportunity to make change. Staff are also encouraged to share their ideas about how we can move forward and what it may look like when we are able to return to our school buildings safely. These are optional opportunities and are not mandatory. Thank you for all that you do to support each and every student. I look forward to seeing those of you who I haven’t yet connected with next week! Imagine the possibilities…

Pride Month

As we are in the middle of our recognition of Pride month, I wanted to take the opportunity to share the Proclamation from Governor Inslee as he “encourages all people in our state to join in celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion and equal protection under the law, and I further encourage people to join me in eliminating discriminatory policies and practices toward any culture, race, or group.”   As we internalize and actualize this message, I encourage us to be mindful of the ongoing recognition that one of our greatest strengths is the diversity of our students, staff and families in this great district.  “In recognizing LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, Northshore School District strives to ensure every students’ safety, increase a sense of belonging and personally meaningful friendships, and affirm the belief that their school (and, at a broader level, their school district) is vibrant and inclusive, with practices that are fair and equitable. At the end of the day, it is the District’s commitment that all of our students are seen and heard. This commitment aligns with Goal 2 of the District’s  Strategic Plan, which endeavors to shape responsible, resilient, empathetic learners who are open to and accepting of diverse cultures and perspectives.”  As we stay in conversation with one another on challenging topics, I invite you to view Woodinville HS teacher Rick Lizotte and Equity and Diversity Assistant Director Ayva Thomas as they share their perspectives on our Northshore Learns News segment.  We will continue to explore inclusive practices; together, all things are possible…

I recently watched this powerful Nike commercial titled, “For Once, Don’t Do It”, and encourage all of you to do the same. It urges all of us to look at racism head on and recognize that it is on us to be the change. In Our House, we turn our ideas into action, our discomfort into courage, and our hesitation into bravery. Together, we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the systemic and institutional injustices that have gone on for far too long. And yet together, I know we can build a district-community that nurtures, sustains, and radically cares for all who are in it. Let us push past complicity and boldly step into much needed action. Imagine the possibilities…

PTSA Survey

We know it is important that we hear from as many voices as possible as we plan for the coming year.  We are collaborating with PTSA leadership to develop a survey for families to learn what went well during our three months of distance learning and what we should be considering in addition to the guidelines provided by OSPI. I am so grateful for our PTSA leaders who are working so diligently to gather family voices as we move forward. In addition, we are developing surveys geared to hearing the voices of those at the center of our work – our students. We plan to send those out by the beginning of next week.

Northshore Inspires

In a Northshore Inspires segment, Northshore Music Instructor Charlie Fix shared that the secondary band and orchestra directors from NSD and LWSD got together - virtually - to perform Pomp and Circumstance for our graduating seniors. Check it out at the link to the video on YouTube.   We all wish our Class of 2020 the very best !!  Imagine the possibilities…

Northshore Innovates

In a Northshore Innovates segment, Leota Middle School’s Future Problem Solving Team recently participated in the virtual International Conference held online from June 2-9.   This year's topic was Terraforming and the teams and individual students were all coached by Leota teacher Matthew Bohannan.  In the Scenario Performance individual competition, middle division, Tanya Bhandari placed 2nd.  In the Global Issues Problem Solving team competition, middle division, Sophia Kawamura, Ali Kulaga, Mason Stuart, and Allan Xuan placed 7th. According to conference officials; “With teams from twelve other countries competing and at least 30 states, Matthew's students from Leota demonstrated remarkable insight into the topic of terraforming and effective implementation of the six-step problem solving process.”  The MAGIC (Multi-Affiliate Global Issues) virtual competition will take place later this month. The Washington State team will include six students from Leota Middle School.  All the MAGIC students from Leota are also coached by Matthew Bohannan,  We are so excited and proud of our Northshore staff and all the Leota students involved in Future Problem Solving.  Imagine the possibilities…

Please enjoy these last days of a truly special year. Savor each moment and especially amidst the turbulent excitement that accompanies every end of the year, find those small joyful moments and be thankful for all that we have and all that we will yet experience as the result of our good work. The days are long but the years are short...

Warmest regards,

Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 

 

Superintendent's Blog

 

 

District Stories