Thursday Thoughts: 60th Anniversary, Goal 4 Think Tank, Pen Turning and More

What a beautiful September day we have enjoyed and what interesting and exciting times we are experiencing in our many and varied schools and departments. So many amazing and well attended Open House and Curriculum Night events. We are truly well connected and making a difference for thousands.

We have another great example of Northshore Inspires. As we continue the celebration of our great district's 60th anniversary, I want to call your attention to our beautiful 2019-20 printed calendar. The inspiration behind the "Then and Now" theme of the calendar came from our own Cecilia Shumate in the Communications Department. With over 19 years in the District, Cecilia knew where the treasures (amazing photos and stories) were hidden. She led the calendar project from beginning to end, and the result really looks like an award-winning product. Because of her inspiration and leadership, all of us, including our families of more than 23,000 students will learn more about Northshore. Thank you, Cecilia, for being an inspiration!

We had our first Goal 4 Think Tank Wednesday evening. It was exciting to be in community and conversation about Goal 4 and the importance of innovation in our contemporary world.  If you were not able to attend, please know that we welcome you attending at an upcoming meeting, October 3, in the board room from 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm.  As a reminder, I will be focusing on Goal 4: Innovative, Creative, Critical Thinkers as we contemplate innovation on a system wide scale.  I am planning to facilitate a Goal 4 Think Tank that will meet every two weeks during the course of this school year.  We will be looking at research on innovation and how schools and school districts make space for it at scale.  We will be highlighting innovative projects happening here in our district and also those we select from outside our district to learn more about.  We launched this conversation formally during our recent August Advance and our thought partner on this topic, Dr. Tony Wagner, (former Harvard Innovation Lab lead) presented his perspective and thoughts on this necessary conversation. We will also be sharing the PowerPoints and video links in future correspondence.

If you have an interest in participating in this Think Tank, please email me directly (you can reply to this email) and copy Cindy Benson, and we will add you to our email list of invites for the meetings. I am excited about this conversation and how it will inform our newest high school program planned for the school to be housed in the CP-4 building recently purchased.  I also want to reiterate that this will not be the only topic related to innovation so please feel free to consider attending no matter what grade level you are working with or department/program you are a part of. The book we will start out reading is Creating Innovators, by Tony Wagner.  If you are not able to make it to the Think Tank meetings and would like a copy of the text, let me know and we will get a copy out to you.  Imagine the possibilities….

And thinking about innovation, we have another great example of Northshore Innovates. Last week, I stopped by to observe Crystal Springs Teacher Tim Rhoades welcome his students to a new school year and share the teaching process through the art of pen turning.  This was a fabulous lesson, illustrating in an innovative way, how the educational process works.  Imagine the possibilities…

As we are starting a new school year, I’m providing another reminder as several of you have asked again how best to tune into my Twitter account for late breaking school weather plans and other news so I will include the directions again. I want to share with you that after hearing from students and community members at recent school and activity visits, I have decided to continue Twitter ;>) Visit my page and follow me at @Northshore_Supt. Please feel free to send me questions, suggestions, and innovative ideas. I love to hear from students, staff, parents, and community partners. Like the Thursday memo and my blog, Twitter is another tool that will help us all stay connected and share information. As you ‘follow my Twitter account’ you too can be among the first to know about school snow closures, inclement weather issues, wildlife challenges, safety messages, etc. I will also be sharing up to date news on what’s new around the district. The really good news is that I am limited in characters in those Twitter communications ;>) !!

As we are starting the school year, I had the opportunity to connect with one of our fabulous parents and benefactors, Raji Ram.  She shared the gift of her voice in the form of the poem following (see below)  I continue to be so moved and inspired by those in our community. Imagine the possibilities….

As the children leave their homes in pursuit
of knowledge and experience,

May they find the paths that lead them to
their fair goals.

May their lives be shaped by love and
kindness for fellow humans,

May they learn to live and treat every life as
their own,

May they banish bias and malice from their

May they learn that groups don’t constitute
the world,

May they blaze a trail with honesty and

May they realize that hearts can hold
infinite love,

And that everyone is as unique and divine
as them.

-- By Raji Ram

And so, I wish each of you a fabulous late summer weekend and the bountiful opportunities possible.

Warmest regards,
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.



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