Wow, what a great week. 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 have the VCR version ;>). I can also acknowledge that I feel a bit like Charlie Brown in the pumpkin patch waiting for the great pumpkin as we wait for the election season to be over ;>) Seriously, this election is one that is garnering significant attention and unusually high levels of participation. That is what a healthy democracy does; we participate and care deeply about what is best for each member of our community. In this great nation, we do not always agree on which ideas best support everyone; but, I believe we do agree that civil discourse is an imperative and that the free and respectful exchange of ideas is an important aspect of our community, both locally and nationally. I trust that in Our House, we will remember to be kind to one another and thoughtful about the example we are setting for the next generation, those young and watching. As we traverse the coming week of votes and decisions; words matter and perhaps our actions matter even more…
Set Your Clocks back one Hour
I have really been looking forward to the excitement of having an extra hour this weekend, there are so many options ;>) You might take the extra hour this weekend as we "fall back" to complete your ballot for the 2020 election. I want to share how important it is to exercise your right to vote. While the elections for federal offices are key to our democracy, local elections are equally important. State and local offices influence the things that impact our everyday lives, including school resources, state and local taxes, public safety, transportation, roads and infrastructure, state laws and ordinances, and so much more. So, I encourage you to take the time to vote as soon as possible. If you have a first-time voter in your household, provide the guidance necessary to make sure their vote is counted.
And now I want to turn our attention to another day that traditionally carries a great deal of importance for children of all ages – Halloween. I want to share a message from Seattle & King County Public Health. I hope this message is helpful in understanding both the risks of trick-or-treating this year and the tips for reducing those risks as much as possible. With the number of positive COVID cases on the rise, we want to make sure our students and families remain safe and healthy...
Further, as Halloween is approaching quickly, I want to take the time to remind our Northshore community of some topics to consider. This information is again being provided by our Racial and Educational Justice Department. With regards to costumes, it is important for all students and staff to feel safe and comfortable. This means that dressing up to depict a race or culture other than one’s own, or a historically or currently oppressed figure is harmful. Further, doing so perpetuates stereotypes, cultural appropriation, discrimination and insensitivity. Cultures and races are not and should never be considered costumes. For those who participate in Halloween festivities by dressing up, please remember that this day and every day should be one that is fun, inclusive, and respectful of the diversity that we have in and outside of Northshore School District. The following resources can serve as discussion starters among us all. Learn more about cultural appropriation on Halloween through this article from Teen Vogue. Learn more about why cultures are not costumes by viewing this YouTube clip.
This week, our community is in for a special treat thanks to the innovation and creativity of the drama departments at Woodinville and Inglemoor high schools. During the summer, when it became clear that classes in our district would begin online, Woodinville High School Drama teacher, Josh Butchart, decided to innovate by drawing from the past. This year, the school’s award-winning theatre company ventured into the world of physically distant, but creatively connected, radio plays. And the first series is just in time for Halloween! On Tuesday, the theatre company held its opening performance for Tales of Terror, and I hear it was a frighteningly good time!
Mr. Butchart and some of his students joined me for Northshore Learns News on Wednesday and I was inspired by the students, how they came together as a community with resourcefulness and resilience. Senior Stage Manager Lauren Prescott proudly shared that members of the company took on new roles and worked with less-than-ideal resources to bring the director’s vision to life. Out of it came an understanding that they can be prepared to go into any space using what they have, and they can be successful. You can watch the interview and see a clip of this family-friendly series on Northshore Learns News. And the radio drama doesn’t stop there! I just learned today that the Inglemoor High School Valhalla Players are excited to present Lead Rings on the Merry-Go-Round, a murder-mystery radio play by Edward F. Emanuel. This radio show will air on Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31 at 7:00 p.m. through a streaming service, that will be sent to you after your ticket purchase. Tickets are $5. Tickets for both high school radio shows must be purchased online at schoolsales.nsd.org using either your parent TouchBase credentials or a "guest login" for non-parents. So many opportunities to stay connected to our talented students ;>) I am so proud of our staff and students in these programs in the arts and across our great district community for continuing to reimagine education in these challenging times.
Bothell High School students make the National Concert Band and Orchestra
In late breaking and seriously inspiring news from Bothell HS Director of Bands Philip Dean, please join me in congratulating Skylar McDavid and Julia Fung for making the National Concert Band and Orchestra! This is a huge honor. Since Mr. Dean has been a teacher at Bothell High School, the only other student to achieve this honor was celloist Tim Pizzichemi who went on to receive a full ride music scholarship to the University of Texas. According to Director Dean; ”This, of course, is happening remotely this year. For a couple of days in January 2021, they will participate in their respective ensembles playing with some of the top high school musicians in the country and premier conductors in the world.” Way to go Skylar and Julia! We are so proud of you and all the amazing music educators who continue to nurture and inspire the fine and performing arts here in Our House.
Northshore Concert Hall
In other inspiring and community building news, the Northshore Concert Hall at Inglemoor High School is beginning to take shape this month. In October, the footprint of the building was laid out and the team formed and poured the concrete walls of the foundation. Utilities are being coordinated and located with installation to start in the next few weeks. The team awaits the final permit for the Concert Hall and tennis courts, which are both anticipated in the coming weeks. Expect ongoing concrete pours for floor slabs and more foundation walls in the meantime, with vertical construction to start taking shape once the permits are in hand. You can follow the progress of this project and others across the District by visiting nsd.org/buildingforthefuture. So grateful for our visionary community…
Books on the Bus
In follow-up news, I want to provide an update on the work that our amazing librarians, bus drivers, other staff, volunteers and school board members are doing with our Books on the Bus program. I had an opportunity on Tuesday to jump on a bus to help deliver books to more than 50 Maywood Hills students. Anyone who knows me knows that I treasure the time I have with students. Even with the physical distancing and safety protocols, the smiles and excitement from both students and adults really made my day. At this time, more than 15,000 books have been delivered and every school library across this amazing district is participating. Students interested in checking out books from their school library, please see the sign-up form on their school's library page or connect with the school librarian.
A Bit of Inspiration
Finally, I want to leave you with a bit of inspiration that you may want to share with your students. I was just sent this precious viral video of little Sam who decided to encourage everyone to be whatever they want to be. He is clearly talented and knows he has a whole world of opportunities in front of him. While I didn’t see ‘superintendent’ as his ‘S-choice’, I will continue to imagine the possibilities…. ;>)
I wish each of you a ghoulishly great weekend, and trust that you will find some time to get out and enjoy these fall days. I love the crunchy 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…
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Northshore School District