Thursday Thoughts: Woodmoor Visit, Western Aerospace Scholars, Diwali and More

What another great week !! It is hard to believe we are on the tail end of October as it feels like we just started the school year...  I actually have had occasion to watch Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin this week and must say I still consider this seasonal favorite a personal favorite. I love the commitment and the hope in the unseen ;>)

Woodmoor Visit

This past week, we had our second School Board SIP visit and traveled to Woodmoor Elementary School. These visits are so integral to the comprehensive work we do as a district. In highlighting the work of the school, Principal Ebony Harvey and Assistant Principals Sam Ramirez and Renee Williams highlighted several aspects of the school work this year.  Principal Harvey added;  "I am proud to say that at Woodmoor, I believe we have a winning equation; strong powerful relationships + personalized education = student success that really makes a difference. In order to help students learn in a way that works for them, our staff is dedicated to tailoring each student’s education based on their strengths, challenges and interests. We as a staff are digging deeper, creating a common language, establishing a safe space for sharing in hopes that we can foster an all-inclusive culture of respect and support to ensure that each students needs are met !"   This work is part of the strategic work we have been doing as a school district these past several years and enables our students to find serious success.  South Region Assistant Superintendent, Heather Miller observed: “There was intentional work by the classroom teachers to focus on mathematical discourse and the sharing of students' thinking around problem solving.  I was most impressed by the students sharing their math strategies with one another and the level of respect exhibited by students to their peers.”  We all noticed the strong feeling of pride as students greeted us as special guests and we certainly enjoyed sharing their classroom experience with them. It is always so energizing to be out in the schools.  I especially took note of the innovation work and creative problem solving our young engineers were engaged in ;>)  Go Dolphins!!

National School Bus Safety Week

It has been great to be celebrating National School Bus Safety Week so parents, students and the entire community can address the importance of school bus safety!  Our Communications and Transportation Department have teamed up to develop a fabulous guide to school bus safety for students, staff and families.  I would encourage each of you to take a few moments and Refresh Your Safety Skills for National School Bus Safety Week.  This is such an important topic as we transport so many of our students !!

Northshore Inspires

In a Northshore Inspires segment, Bothell High School is proud to report junior Sean Lowe's success story. According to BHS Assistant Principal Elizabeth Cano, “His family shared they heard about the Western Aerospace Scholars program and applied when our counseling department sent a letter to parents regarding the program.  The "Western Aerospace Scholars (WAS) is an online distance learning course and summer experience specifically designed for high school sophomores and juniors interested in pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) pathways through the exploration of space and space travel."  As part of Sean's application process, he wrote an essay telling of his interest in aeronautics, engineering, and space exploration since he was four years old and the academic struggles he faced in comparison to his other two siblings as a triplet.  Sean was accepted and then spent a weekend last summer putting together a space mission to Mars with a group of other students from Washington, Idaho and Montana. Sean's mom shares, "He was so happy and we are all so proud of him. He has come a long way and we truly appreciate the support CPMS and BHS has given to all of us over the past several years!" Sean is now enrolled in the junior program which includes a week-long event next summer at the Boeing Renton plant and Museum of Flight. The kids will stay overnight and take part in workshops related to space travel. Sean has also interviewed for the paid internship next summer at Boeing.  Good luck Sean!  We are so proud of you and just Imagine the possibilities

Northshore Middle School Visit

As part of my commitment to be in each of our classrooms this year, I am continuing my school visits this year and had a great visit this morning at Northshore Middle School. It has been great to get back to my school and classroom visits this year. Prior to the school day, I met with parents who were very positive about their school experience and expressed such appreciation for our teachers, support staff, transportation department and all those who are positively supporting them and their children.  Who knew Orange Chicken was such a hot menu item ;>) Following the meeting with parents, after school started, I had the pleasure of meeting with students for our Breakfast Club meeting. My heart beats strongest when I am with our students in the schools. The students were so eager to share with me how much they appreciate their teachers and support staff. They are excited about their classes this year, loved that they have such great access to their counselors, and were a bit concerned about the impact of social media on their stress level as well as the safety and security of on-line activities. Their positive energy is so contagious. My visit last month to Sunrise mirrored the energy and excitement of my visit this morning.  There are so many amazing, inspiring and innovative moments to savor all across this great district.  Imagine the possibilities…

Northshore Kindness

In a Northshore Kindness segment, Crystal Springs teacher Michelle Waite recently shared a project at their school.  They embarked on a universal book read of sorts.  The book titled, "A Little Spot of Kindness" by Diane Alber is about a little spot who goes on a journey to SPOT kindness. By all accounts, it's a really great read and gets the kids watching out for kindness. According to Michelle, their Principal Anne (Nielsen) made the rounds of her school to read the book this month to all the classrooms. As part of the reading of the story, Principal Nielsen is putting a "spot" (colored sticky dot) on each child's hand to remind them to spot kindness around them.  Michelle shared; “I've seen so many of our kids (and teachers) with the spot on their hand and they've all been so excited to tell me about it when I've asked. I'm hoping it has a big effect by the time all the kids have heard the story. Next time you're at Crystal Springs, swing by our classroom and we'll be happy to read the story for you!”  I am so excited to visit though I might just order an early copy ;>)  Think of all the kindness moments, large and small, that have been inspired, -- and simply Imagine the possibilities


As many in our community celebrate Diwali this weekend, I am reminded of Raj Hariharan, who represents a group who have raised money and partner with six surrounding school districts to support students with school related needs.  This is such a generous and gracious gift for our students.  Over time and the deepening of our relationship, we have discussed the holiday and its meaning as connected to the topic of light.  She shared a poem with me that she had written to celebrate this time of year and so I thought I would share it with you as well.

From Raj, -- "In the true spirit of Deepavali/Diwali, here's my Poem! ---

Let the earthen lamp be our mind,
Let the wick be our sacred knowledge,
Let the oil be our brimming kindness,
Let us light the lamp of hope,
Let the light shine into the dark chambers of hearts,
Let the rays dispel differences and prejudices,
Let people discover their inner treasure trove,
Let the children of the world blaze a trail of love!”
Raji Ram

Strategic Action Plan Reviews

As part of our district-wide commitment to our bold equity driven strategic plan, I have been meeting with school principals and reviewing their Strategic Action Plans for the year. To date, I have held twenty seven meetings and reviewed plans for schools at all grade spans in the district, with the rest of the schools scheduled for the coming weeks. I am so impressed with the reflective thought and committed work planned for the year. As you may remember, all schools are responsive to Goal 3:Growth for Every Student, Elimination of Outcome and Opportunity Gaps, and one other of the four remaining goals in our district-wide plan. I am confident that we are a better district for this strategically focused work. Thank you to our teachers, principals, SDLTs, support staff, Equity and Diversity Department, and Regional Assistant Superintendents for their work on these plans. Imagine the possibilities...

I wish each of you a ghoulishly great week-end, and trust that you will find some time to get out and enjoy these fall days. I love the crunchy and colorful leaves and am reminded of the line from Emily Bronte, “Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree." I think our workout will include raking for the foreseeable future…

Warmest regards,
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.



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