I trust this note finds each of you enjoying a joyful and productive fall week. I have heard so many positive community and parent comments about the upcoming parent conferences, each of your herculean efforts every day, and the many exciting school events. I so appreciate your positive energy and approach to challenging times and issues; it matters.
School Action Plan Visits
On Nov. 10, I traveled with the School Board members to Kenmore Middle School and members of our leadership team for our second school visit to learn more about the Kenmore MS School Action Plan. Assistant Superintendent for the south region, Heather Miller shared her thoughts, “Principal Bryan Stutz and Assistant Principal Hernandez are to be commended for their excellent leadership of the Kenmore Middle School community. Students are welcomed to the community and staff consistently create meaningful relationships and connections with all students. The staff is committed to the whole child, social-emotional and academic needs.” Principal Stutz expressed pride in the school’s learning environment, “I am really proud to be able to share the hard work the Kenmore Middle School staff is doing to support each and every child both in their social/emotional needs as well as their academic needs. This work is at the core of how we make our school a great place for our kids to learn and grow." It was a great visit; well done. Go Colts !!
On Wednesday, Nov. 17, I joined School Board members and members of our leadership team for a visit to Innovation Lab High School where Principal Peter Schurke presented their School Action Plan. This was our third School Action Plan visit for the year. I continue to be so impressed with the collaborative teaching and learning at the schools and the climate that students and staff have been able to create even in the pandemic. Principal Peter Schurke agrees, “I am very proud of the extraordinary things our staff and our students have accomplished in such a short time and under such unusual circumstances. In just 15 months we’ve opened a school in the midst of a global pandemic and we have persevered through the difficulties to achieve incredible results. Our students have already begun to win recognition at the state level and to win the right to advance to national-level competitions. Their success is a testament to the hard work put in by our outstanding staff to build a culture of caring and support in which our focus is on each student’s learning and growth.”
Assistant Superintendent for Northshore’s west region, David Wellington, took note of Innovation Lab’s forward-thinking practices, “With project-based learning, portfolios, expeditions, mastery transcripts, passage presentations, and student-led conferences, Mr. Schurke and the Innovation Lab High School staff are weaving together a rich tapestry of innovative learning experiences and unique, forward-thinking assessment and grading practices. It was wonderful to see how each of these components engages, empowers, and connects students to the learning and, most importantly, to their future.” Go Ravens!
Breakfast Club at Northshore Networks
Today, I visited with Northshore Networks families and students at the Bear Creek campus. I appreciated hearing about students who have found their place and are flourishing in this alternative educational environment. I heard from parents, guardians, and students about the importance of mental health education and opportunities to build connections as a community. Kate, one of our youngest learners, inspired me as she discussed the idea of maintaining a sense of wonder. I agree. When we lose that sense of wonder, we risk losing sight of the possibilities. In the classrooms, I saw interdisciplinary approaches to subjects, like math and biology, English, and mental health. I appreciate the great teaching, learning, and caring that I witnessed at the beautiful Bear Creek campus led by Principal Gary Keeler!
Northshore Students Selected for 2022 All-State Ensembles
Now, changing gears as I share great news about our Northshore School District music students! Each year, the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) selects outstanding musicians from Washington State to participate in All-State and Junior All-State performing groups. Accomplished musicians are selected from thousands of students who audition to participate in these prestigious ensembles. This is a tremendous honor for students, their families, and the Northshore School District. This year, Northshore is well represented with 67 students selected for the 2022 All-State ensembles. Names of selected students can be found here. I want to thank our music staff, school administrators and families who support our amazing young musicians. A special thank you to District Music Coordinator Hillary Radocaj for the passion she brings to this work. We value music and fine arts in Northshore and we are committed to continuing music education. It is an important piece of educating the whole child.
Bond and Levy
This level of music education is possible because of the support of our voters who approved our 2018 Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy. To learn more about the renewal of this levy, which funds many of our music programs such as band, orchestra, and choir as well as theater and athletics, please visit our Bond and Levy webpage. This page will provide information on the three resolutions approved by our school board to be put before voters on the Feb. 8, 2022 ballot. In addition to the EP&O Levy renewal and the Technology Levy renewal, Northshore will also have a Capital Projects Bond on the ballot. This morning, I asked Executive Director of Capital Projects and Operations Dri Ralph to join me on Northshore News to provide highlights of the Capital Bond, including the number of school buildings that would benefit. You can see that segment here.
Woodinville High School Robotics
In Career and Technical Education news, Woodinville High School Robotics participated in their first state qualifier tournament last weekend. The Junior/Senior team went undefeated and currently sits 14th in the world rankings and 3rd in the world in total scoring during the driver-controlled period! The Freshman/Sophomore team did excellent as well placing 4th overall in their first tournament. The next event will be held on December 11 and the final state qualifier will be held on Jan. 14. Way to go Woodinville Robotics! Go Talons !!
Advance Placement Exams
The Career and College Readiness Department has been working hard with all high schools Advanced Placement coordinators and teachers to assist students in registering for Advanced Placement exams, which are administered in May. Our current registration numbers are strong in all buildings and increasing from last year as we are now back for in-person learning. With many students dropping the exam last year due to virtual learning/test preparation challenges, we are excited about increased student participation and anticipate even higher scores this spring. A huge shout-out to all of the AP coordinators, teachers, and staff who continue to work hard on this initiative. More information on AP testing will be provided as we continue to register students throughout the year.
Adding to the Northshore pride, I want to share how proud I am of all of our staff, leadership, and substitutes. Last week, we faced a possible shortage of educators because of the holiday. I am so proud of the steps every school building and department took to make sure they had coverage so the learning could continue. I heard from several schools that pulled together to make the day work. East Ridge Elementary reached out to say they had 100% staff attendance. Office Manager Kris Held said, “The East Ridge staff took to heart the sub-shortage and some even made personal adjustments to ensure they wouldn’t add to the burden on the system.” Way to go Suns! Where there were shortages, members of the admin building staff rolled up their sleeves, prepared with their emergency certification, and jumped into action. This is what community is all about. A big THANK YOU to everyone!
North Creek and Bothell Vollyball Teams Qualify for State Playoffs
The North Creek and Bothell volleyball teams have both qualified for the 4A State Playoffs this year in Yakima! As the Cougars (#1 seed) and Jaguars headed across the mountains this morning, both schools were confident that their students will represent Northshore well in the competitions as we have amazing students in Northshore! I know Principal Price and Principal McDowell, as well as athletic directors Yonni Mills and Melton Jefferson, are proud. In fact, our entire Northshore community is extremely proud of these student-athletes and we wish them well on a few days of intense competition! Learn more about watching livestreams of the games here. Go Cougars and Go Jaguars!
Vaccine Clinics for 5-11 Year Olds
It is difficult to believe we are just over a week away from some of our younger learners receiving their second pediatric dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Many of our families have expressed gratitude for the vaccine clinics that we hosted in Northshore over the past couple of weeks. In all, our partners vaccinated more than 3,000 5-11 year-olds. I want to thank Safeway/Albertson's/Haggens, the Shoreline Fire Department, Bothell Fire Department, UW Medicine, our staff, and our dedicated volunteers for making this possible. We will communicate about additional vaccine clinics as we have more information.
As I close my remarks tonight, I am oft reminded of the challenge provided by one of my favorite authors, "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all -- in which case, you fail by default." -- J.K. Rowling Here's wishing you a joyful weekend....
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.