Thursday Thoughts: Teacher Appreciation Week, National School Nurses Day and More

What another fantastic Northshore week!! There continue to be so many exciting activities going on all across this amazing district. It reminds me to be so grateful for all that we have here and not to take for granted the special experience we have each and every day. Especially at this time where there is so much that is uncertain, I am more certain than ever about how proud I am to serve alongside each of you as together, we continue our journey into the future.  “Almost every significant breakthrough is the result of a courageous break with traditional ways of thinking.” —Dr. Stephen Covey 

Teacher Appreciation Week

On behalf of our elected Board of Directors, I want to share my appreciation for our teachers as this week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I know that our future is safe in their hands as all persons and students of all professions will pass through our teachers' classrooms. Quality, well-resourced public education is our best hope for the next generation, and the courage, innovative thinking, and conviction required by our teaching professionals to meet the education challenges we face go far beyond the classroom, especially during these unprecedented times. If you have a moment, take the time to reach out and thank a teacher you have had that made a difference in your life or the life of a family member. Thank you for all you do...

National School Nurses Day

In other celebrations this week, we also honor our school nurses. In celebrating National School Nurse Day, we recognize the hard work and dedication of our school nurses as they support our students in so many ways. One of the many examples of the service and support provided by our Northshore nurses, a real Northshore Inspires story features Kokanee nurse Michelle Song and her colleagues who have recently sewn over one thousand masks for use during these times.  Thank you so much!!

Northshore Innovates

In a Northshore Innovates example, I want to share how proud I am of our own, Cottage Lake FSA teacher Casey Klinich, and colleague Melissa Ward, a Cottage Lake psychologist, (along with their team and their helpful feedback), who presented with a challenge, created a data collection form. This optional form was created to increase ease of use and address some of the challenges of data collection for teachers of students with special needs during distance learning. It was created to support the required components of the Continuous Learning Plan.  Our regional PSESD has asked to be able to share this resource with teachers all across our region !!  In their own humble fashion, Casey, Melissa and their team, along with all of our amazing teachers supporting students with special needs, demonstrate again for all of us, that if we work together, we can streamline some of the requirements currently expected as the paperwork requirements for all of us are becoming more demanding.  Well done!!  Imagine the possibilities as our Northshore family continues to forge a path forward supporting so many…

I encourage you to tune in online and watch our virtual C.P. & Dorothy Johnson Humanitarian Award ceremony next week at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 14. During the event, sixty-eight Northshore students who exemplify humanitarianism will be recognized! The award was established in honor of two educators who dedicated their lives to improving the lives of all children in our community. Learn more about the award on our District website, where you will also be able to tune in to the event. The ceremony will be streamed on YouTube too. I look forward to honoring each of these students!  Imagine the possibilities…

In a Northshore Innovates segment, Julie Westerbeck, IHS EL English Teacher and Librarian, recently shared something innovative that the Inglemoor HS staff has tried to reach some of our EL students who were either not participating in online schooling at all, or who were sporadic and may need more encouragement.  She shared that they started an EL Students of Concern spreadsheet to try to be sure none of their students fell through the cracks. Teachers let her know weekly if the student participated, and they have listed what avenues they have tried to reach them, as well as successes.  Julie shared; “It occurred to me that we have students who do not open their emails, who are not responding to phone calls by administrators or our family liaison, and maybe they need a physical reminder that we are worried about them and want to know how they are. So the idea of "Porch Packages" was started.  Yesterday I got to deliver them to 19 students (and 6 siblings got mini-encouragement packages too since I would have felt terrible delivering treats and a note to 1 IHS student and ignoring the sibling IHS student).” Thanks to all the teachers who helped make the teacher page for each kid so impactful. And thanks to Jazmin Loreto, our family advocate for the South Region, who translated into Spanish the key message pages. Excitedly, our students are responding and connecting to their teachers and engaging in the educational experience we are providing.  SO inspiring and imagining the possibilities…

In a student example, inspired by Skyview Middle School teacher Lori Hardwick, we see a classic Northshore Innovates example, I am excited to share that Skyview students Sophia Kang, Katie Cho, and Hayley Hong (The 3 Orcas) won the 7th grade Washington State Ecybermission competition and beat out seven other western state's first place winners to be able to compete at the regional level. Their project on effectiveness of seaweed to reduce ocean acidification as a means to save the Puget Sound whales was highly complimented by the judges.  Although they did not make it to the national competition, they are still very excited to have ranked in the top three in the Western region.  Teacher Lori Hardwick shared; “I am so proud of the hard work they put into this project.  This trio of young women is a perfect example of the way people can achieve more by working together.  They each brought their own skill set to the project, and supported and learned from each other along the way. It is so gratifying to see a small nugget of Climate Change instruction in sixth grade, blossom into a project of this magnitude.   The girls took their inquiry, and ran with an idea. These young women might perhaps choose to go on to careers in science. If, though, they choose a different path, I am confident that they will each be global citizens, and good stewards of this planet.  It has been by honor to be one of their teacher along the way.”  Imagine the possibilities…

As I complete my contemplations this evening, I was struck by the impact of a recent news story and its message of gratefulness and how acts of kindness are never forgotten.  The example serves as a reminder that the power of good remains eternal and inspires not only one another in real time; but, also generations far into the future.  What we do today matters today, and for many days into the future.  Imagine the possibilities…

And so, I wish each of you all the best this coming weekend.  If you are a mother, Happy Mother’s Day!!  As this weekend promises to be a sunny and warm couple of days, I trust you will have an opportunity to find and savor both quiet and abundantly joyful moments.  These are our best days…

Warmest regards,

Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 

 

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