Thursday Thoughts: National Poetry Month, Skyview Middle School Visit, Washington State Thespian Festival and More

What a great first week of April. I cherish the many opportunities we have to shape our future and nurture the positive energy that transforms our community and world. It is so often the simplest of acts, that when accumulated, support outrageous success. As we remember, we remain focused on patience and not perfection, so I want to share a thought; “Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in the quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.”  — Mary Jean Irion. Thank you for all you each do...  And enjoy these spring days so precious in their glorious colors and new budding life.  

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month! In honor of this designation, the District hosted our annual spoken word event this evening. If you weren’t able to join us for the premiere, it is already available for the community to enjoy at www.nsd.org/northshorespeaks. We have 29 students from kindergarten through high school seniors participating, and they represent many of our schools. It truly is a remarkable opportunity to sit back and enjoy the creativity of our students. Each year, I am moved by their performances. We did interview two of the student performers, Phebe Emmanuel from Bothell High and Olivia Owyang from Frank Love Elementary, on this morning’s Northshore News. They both talked about what inspired them to share their message with our community, and I think you will find their responses inspiring as well.

Skyview Middle School Visit

This week, I had an opportunity to visit with parents, guardians, students and staff at Skyview Middle School. As always, I was there to listen and answer any questions. It was inspiring to witness the collaborative spirit of parents and guardians who support each and every student’s success. I then met with a group of students who expressed their thoughts on many topics from grading and homework to mental health. I am always appreciative of each and every student who lends their voice to helping us improve upon our work to support them. I then visited Eagles’ classrooms where I was treated to a lively welcome from the drama class, a student teaching about weather systems, and educators who proudly shared overviews of their lessons for the day. I am very impressed by the Eagles’ academic and social environment that is developing leaders of today and tomorrow. Re-imagining the possibilities…  

Washington State Thespian Festival

The Washington State Thespian Festival took place in late March, and I’m proud to share that many of our high school students received high honors for their accomplishments. From one-act plays to school productions, our students flourish when given the opportunities to share their creativity and joy with their community. Congratulations to the students and staff at Bothell, Inglemoor, and Woodinville high schools for their recognitions. Nice job, Cougar, Vikings, and Jaguars! 

Techonology Student Association

Congratulations to the high school Technology Student Association (TSA) teams who competed in the state TSA competition in March. TSAs enhance personal development, leadership, and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and encourage members to apply and integrate these concepts through intra-curricular activities, competitions, and related programs. Our district had more than 150 students participate in TSA competitions, and many students qualified for the national competition, which will be held June 26-30 in Dallas, TX. Congratulations to our Inglemoor, North Creek, and Woodinville high students for their high rankings at the state competition!

Multi-Factor Authentication

Earlier this week, our Technology Department deployed Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) across the District to improve cybersecurity. As of April 5, more than 3,100 Northshore staff members successfully set up MFA. Thank you for taking the time to prioritize this security measure, which has been proven to stop an overwhelming majority of cyberattacks worldwide. The community entrusts us with a great deal of personal information, and it is critical we do our best to protect it. Thank you for your attention and commitment to this important safety measure especially with the challenges of the spring upon us; it matters.

Districtwide Refresh of Mac Devices

In other news from Technology, the districtwide refresh of staff Mac devices began with early adopters last week and will continue through June. These new devices are made possible thanks to the voter-approved 2018 Technology Levy. Over the course of the first two weeks of deployment, Technology has worked with about 200 staff members to sort out the wrinkles, and after Spring Break, the building-based deployments begin. This deployment will look different than ones in the past, with the goal to increase computer security while minimizing the impact to staff. When your deployment day comes around, you’ll take your current device to your appointment, receive support in making sure your new device is set up properly, and then depart your appointment time with your new device in hand. There will be no downtime when you will not have access to a device. The older devices being swapped out will then be refurbished to replace the substitute laptops in each building and serve as supplemental student devices. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding when working with Technology on this process. Visit the Staff Deployment website and FAQs for more information. 

Career and College Readiness

From our Career and College Readiness Department, I received word that the Washington Award for Vocational Excellence (WAVE) relaunched this week after a 10-year hiatus due to budget cutbacks during the Great Recession. The award recognizes high-performing career and technical education (CTE) students at both the high school and college level, covering up to two years of tuition, based on the tuition charged by the institution—up to $11,000 per year. WAVE recognizes high-performing CTE students at both the high school and college level in each of the state’s 49 legislative districts for as many as 147 potential award winners each year. But students will need to act fast! The application deadline is May 6. If you know a student who would be a great candidate for this, please don’t delay in passing the news along. See the Workforce Board’s WAVE landing page for all the details as well as the Northshore Career and College Readiness website.

Holy Week and Passover

Looking ahead to next week, Holy Week for those of the Christian faith is celebrated this year from Palm Sunday on April 10, 2022 ending Saturday, April 16, 2022, the day before Easter Sunday. During this time, those who practice Christianity engage in commemorating the Passion of Jesus Christ, culminating in time spent with loved ones and friends, celebrating the belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Happy Easter to all who celebrate!  Additionally, as we look ahead, for those of the Jewish faith, Passover begins on April 15, 2022 and ends April 23, 2022. During this time, those who practice Judaism commemorate the journey to freedom and liberation. It is an 8-day celebration, spent with loved ones and friends, and is a time for reflection and giving thanks for new beginnings. Happy Passover to all who celebrate!

And so, as we approach the coming spring break, I wish for each of you a joyful and energizing week.

Warmest regards,

Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 

 

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