Thursday Thoughts: Moorlands Elementary Visit, Student Board, Ramadan, Student Justice Conference, and More

Well, here we are; the last week of March. As I have mentioned earlier, March certainly came in like a lion and is going out like (you guessed it;>) a lamb. And so, here are my thoughts this evening...

Moorlands Elementary Visit

Today, I had an opportunity to visit with our Moorlands Elementary Mustang community. After meeting with parents and guardians, I met with a group of students who were able to give me an even deeper understanding of how anxiety presents itself and the impact it has on their learning and wellbeing. The Communications Department is collaborating with Student Services to plan a district-wide mental health event to be held in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more information as it comes available. As I later toured classrooms, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the learning and innovation taking place. I especially enjoyed hearing students read their classroom assignment, “Ode to...” Go Mustangs!  

Washington State Health Occupation Students of America

I want to offer congratulations to all high schools who competed at the Washington State Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) competition March 7-11, 2022. More than 200 students represented Northshore schools. HOSA’s mission is a noble one, to empower HOSA-Future Health Professionals to become leaders in the global health community, through education, collaboration, and experience. Many of our students finished at the top of their category and qualified for the National HOSA competition in June – well done! 

Student Board

I had a great meeting with our Student Board last week.  We reviewed a number of topics and began the planning for the Student Summit slated for later this spring.  This has become such an important opportunity for student voice to be amplified as we collaboratively identify concerns and ways in which we can best resolve them.  I continue to be inspired by our students as they navigate these curious times and prepare for the future yet to be imagined.   

Ramadan

I want to remind everyone about an important religious observance to begin on Friday. Ramadan is an Islamic religious observance and is expected to begin at sundown on April 1 and end on May 1 this year. It is possible that Northshore's practicing Muslim students will fast, including no food or drink, from dawn to dusk through the duration of this observance. The following ideas are ways that we can support our Muslim students during Ramadan. 

  • Prayer, and praying during the times that students need to, is important for Muslims who observe Ramadan. Please respect the windows of time that students may need to step away from classes or activities. 
  • Be sensitive to the fact that students who fast will not be able to participate in assignments that involve the consumption of foods or liquids during classes or activities.  
  • Keep in mind that a student’s energy may fluctuate over the course of the month-long duration of Ramadan. 
  • Provide students with alternative activities if class or extra-curricular activities require any type of physical activity.  
  • Remember that not all Muslim students fast during Ramadan. Please do not assume that a student is fasting or ask them why they aren’t fasting. 
  • You can click here for more information about Ramadan.  

We remain committed to ensuring that all Northshore students feel seen, valued, included, and supported. Ramadan Mubarak to all of our students, families, and community members who will be observing Ramadan. 

Lent

For many other members of our district, we are in the midst of the season of Lent. This year, Lent is from March 2, 2022 to April 14, 2022.  Traditionally, Lent is a period of spiritual discipline which culminates in the big celebration of Easter and is a Christian annual period that starts on Ash Wednesday lasting for 40 days (not Including Sundays) representing the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness.

Lunar New Year 

Ugadi, Yugadi, and Gudi Pawda is a Lunar New Year celebrated by Hindus and takes place on April 1 this year. The terms mean “arrival of new year.” Hindus celebrate the festival by decorating their homes, wearing new clothes, and preparing a special feast. The prepared dishes come with six tastes to represent the wide range of experiences that individuals have in life. I wish a happy Ugadi, Yugadi, and Gudi Pawda to all who celebrate! 

Transgender Day of Visibility

Today is the International Transgender Day of Visibility which is an annual day dedicated to celebrating transgender and gender non-binary peoples, spotlighting the discrimination that continues to harm transgender and gender non-binary peoples, and highlighting the work that still has to be done to advance gender justice and inclusion. In Our House, we value and affirm the lives and experiences of each gender that is represented in our district-community.  

Business Services

As we slip into April and tax season, I want to recognize Business Services staff for their work when it comes to preparing tax rate information for our bond and levies. Staff are conservative in anticipating what the local tax rate will be for property owners in our district, and there are many factors that factor into the final rate. That being said, the tax rate announced for Northshore in 2022 has been set at $3.25 per $1,000 of assessed value, which is lower than what was projected at $3.28 per $1,000 of assessed value. It is important that we deliver on the promises made when asking our residents for their support, and I’m proud to say we have done just that, yet again. 

Career and Technical Education Courses

The Washington Network for Innovative Careers is finalizing summer Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses including two programs in the Northshore School District; Welding and Mobile Electronics. There are 21 summer CTE course offerings located throughout our King County consortium. If you know of a student who may be interested in any of these program offerings, all information, including summer semester dates, class times and the application window, can be found here

Student Justice Conference

I want to highlight our inaugural Student Justice Conference which brought together approximately 200 high school students from across the District last Friday. This diverse student group was able to learn from and connect with each other in ways that they may not have been able to before. I was able to attend and was inspired and energized by the students’ response and engagement. This event gave students the opportunity to celebrate their intersectional identities, build community and collaborate with their peers, grow their knowledge and understandings about various forms of justice, and learn about a range of higher educational opportunities. Keynote speaker Christopher Emdin, Ph.D., captivated the audience in a passionate talk about youth voice, leadership, agency, activism, and authenticity. Workshops varied in topics from social media algorithm bias to the importance of higher education for first-generation students. Imagine the Possibilities… 

Paying it Forward

Finally, as this Women’s History Month comes to a close, and many of us are engaged in March Madness basketball events, I want to share an example of what it looks like to pay it forward with inspiration and support.  For those following the Women’s Final Four, South Carolina is one of the top ranked teams in the country.  The team is coached by Dawn Staley, a former basketball standout in her own right.  Prior to this year’s season, she chose to continue and build on the tradition started by Purdue coach Carolyn Peck who had become the first Black female coach to win a women’s basketball national championship.  In 2015, Coach Peck gave Coach Dawn Staley a piece of her championship net with the expectation that when Coach Staley won her first national championship she would pass along a piece of her own championship net.  Staley kept this piece of net in her wallet until two years later when she won her first championship net in 2017.  Prior to the start of this season, Coach Staley sent a piece of her prior national championship net to every Black woman collegiate basketball head coach as an inspiring act of support and teamwork.  As the weekend approaches, I am looking forward to the big games and bright futures for all our student athletes and coaches as we reimagine possibilities…

All the best and take good care,

Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 

 

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