Thursday Thoughts: Westhill & Lockwood Visits, Mental Health Awareness Month, Jewish American Heritage Month, and More

What another fantastic Northshore week. There continue to be so many exciting activities going on all across this amazing district.

Westhill Elementary Visit

On Tuesday, I visited Westhill Elementary School. I started the morning by learning so much from our parents and guardians at the meet and greet before sitting down with an insightful group of students. The discussion was rich and ranged from students challenging us to provide even more challenging content to sharing the fun of learning new math techniques. I then visited the classes. There was so much amazing learning going on that I couldn’t possibly say what I enjoyed the most. However, I will say learning about bubbles and engaging in PE games to celebrate “May the 4th Be With You” were as much fun as watching students make geometric shapes in math. Way to go, Mustangs! What an awesome community! 

Lockwood Elementary Visit

I also want to share that last month (the day before spring break), I had the opportunity to visit with parents, students, and teachers at Lockwood Elementary, home of the leopards! During the visit, students shared great insights about how technology supports learning and how that has changed in just a few short years. I was excited to see great learning happening in the classrooms and loved the excitement of the kindergartners as their literacy and art project about baby chicks hatching from their spring nests helped them learn about vowel sounds. I should add that Communications Assistant Director Jennifer Piplic accompanied me on this visit. I don't know who was having more fun in that learning community, the current students or Jennifer who reminisced about her time as a Lockwood Leopard. I always enjoy spending time amongst our Lockwood Leopards! Imagine the possibilities… I am looking forward to visiting the Woodin Wildcats tomorrow morning. 

Innovation Lab High School Celebrates Better World Day

Congratulations to the students at Innovation Lab High School, who last Friday shared their ideas and celebrated learning during Better World Day, a nationwide annual event in which students showcase projects and presentations of their research and ideas that contribute to a better world. Projects spanned areas of environmental and civic stewardship, literacy at the elementary level, and other themes. Principal Peter Schurke shared: “Our students are incredibly talented and have so many ideas about how they can make a difference. Their voices matter, and through these demonstration projects, they identified and began to implement real solutions to issues that are close to them.” Way to go, Ravens! 

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Our Student Services and Communications departments are collaborating with high school students to host a student-led Mental Health Awareness talk. During this important event, students will discuss the need to remove the stigma around mental health, share how the community can best support students, and provide helpful ways to encourage open communication amongst families. The event will take place next Wednesday, May 18 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at North Creek High School. Also present will be community members working in mental health. Community partners will also be on hand to provide resources to attendees before and after the event. This evening is appropriate for students grades 6-12 and their parents/guardians. However, younger students are welcome with parents/guardians. I ask our staff to encourage students and families to RSVP at this link. The planning team is also exploring a live streaming option for students and families who are not yet comfortable attending this event due to COVID. 

Jewish American Heritage Month

This month is also Jewish American Heritage Month. This month has been set aside to acknowledge the contributions of Jewish Americans to our great country, as well as acknowledge their lived experiences. I encourage you to learn more about this month and its significance by visiting this website.

Safety & Security Train Community Members to Perform Lifesaving CPR

Last month, after previously attending an ACT to Save a Life training offered by our own Safety & Security team, two staff members from the City of Woodinville performed lifesaving CPR on an individual who collapsed on a sidewalk in Woodinville.  I am so proud of our work to strengthen our community through partnerships, and this example from Safety & Security is a powerful one. Thank you to Clark Combs and Henry Simon from Safety & Security for their dedication to this effort. 

Support Services

I’m excited to share that the staff in Support Services is busy preparing for community engagement and design work to begin in fall 2022 on the school expansion, renovation, and replacement projects approved by voters in the 2022 Capital Bond. Preconstruction and planning are already underway in preparation. If you’d like to learn more about the work led by Support Services, please take a look at the recent presentation to the school board shared by Support Services Executive Director Dri Ralph. 

National School Nurses Day

I want to recognize a special group of staff members here in Northshore. Thursday, May 11, was National School Nurse Day. This is a time to celebrate school nurses for all they do to help us maintain a healthy and safe environment for all of our students and staff. I want to thank our school nurses for all they have done and continue to do, especially during this pandemic. THANK YOU! 

Interim Superintendent Community Survey

As a reminder, the School Board wants to hear from our community! Please take a moment to complete this short survey and share your thoughts regarding the search for our new interim superintendent. Responses must be submitted by t11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 13. To learn more about the current interim superintendent and the upcoming superintendent search, please visit our website

Inclusiveness and Extending Grace

As we approach this season of celebrations and the marking of traditions long held, with proms, end-of-year parties and graduations; it is incumbent on us to remember the importance of inclusiveness and at times extending grace. This season of celebrations can also be a stressful time for those who are struggling to make ends meet or meet assessment and graduation requirements, and who at times feel isolated with their struggles and challenges. Thank you for taking that extra moment to check in on our students and one another... “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word... all of which have the potential to turn a life around." — Leo Buscaglia   

All the best and take good care,

Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 

 

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