Thursday Thoughts: Woodin and Kokanee Visits, National PTA Reflections Award Winners, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and More

Hello Team Northshore,

What a blustery spring week we have had !!  I appreciate the flexibility each of you continue to demonstrate as we navigate this spring. 

Woodin Elementary Visit

Last Friday, I made my way to Woodin Elementary to visit with parents and guardians as well as our young Wildcats. What I found was an energy and deep commitment to the best possible educational experience for Woodin students. Parents and guardians of all backgrounds are ready to jump in and use their skillsets and networks to deepen the work that is already being done in and out of the classroom. I then met with a group of Wildcats who briefed me on all things happening at Woodin, including academics and making friends. They also shared ideas for improving the student experience. Needless to say, their ideas were a little different from the parents and guardians. One student suggested a student lounge similar to the staff lounge they were sitting in, just way bigger. My visit to the classrooms was equally exciting. I also watched the dual language program in action. This program for English and Spanish speakers has been part of Northshore for more than a decade ad the benefits are plentiful. Go Wildcats! 

Kokanee Elementary Visit

Earlier today, I enjoyed visiting with some outstanding students at Kokanee Elementary, home of the Kodiaks! It was wonderful to have an opportunity to connect with parents and teachers today and to see so many great examples of learning taking place in our classrooms. I know one of the challenges facing many of our schools currently is something Kokanee experienced today as well – a high need for substitutes as sickness increases for our staff as well as our students. I am reminded again how fortunate we are to have such dedicated employees and families in Northshore, and I am thankful for parents and other community members who received emergency substitute teaching certificates. Today I met Karen Houret at Kokanee, a parent who received an emergency certificate earlier this year and today was subbing in one of our classrooms. To her and everyone else working hard to help us ensure we are supporting our students, thank you! Way to go, Kodiaks! Tomorrow, I’ll be heading to Hollywood Hill to visit the Stars! 

National PTA Reflections Award Winners

Please join me in congratulating two students who made it all the way to the National PTA Reflections competition. Hayley Francisco, from Timbercrest Middle School received a National Award of Merit for her Literature Entry, The Shield. Hayley actually made it to Nationals in two categories, literature and art, which I’m told is an unusual accomplishment. Hailey Bacalzo from Innovation Lab High School also won a National Award of Merit for her work, Lifting up Nature. The arts play such an important role in a student’s education, their mental health and their careers. I want to thank our Northshore Council PTSA for all they do to keep the arts at the forefront through the Reflections program. Congratulations to Hayley and Hailey! 

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a tribute to and celebration of the cultures, histories, contributions, and achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the country. This is a time, as it is always the time, to spread awareness and gain knowledge about the stories of these communities nation-wide and continue to learn about, value, and appreciate our own diverse Northshore community. In Our House, we celebrate the differences between and among us and respect every individual who is a part of it. As we recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Racial and Educational Justice Department has planned a virtual AAPI Heritage Month Community Panel on Tuesday, May 31 from 4:30 - 5:15 p.m. Panelists will include Northshore students and staff. Please copy and paste the following link into your web browser to access the panel: https://nsd.zoom.us/j/85385403555  

Mental Health Awareness-Student Voices

Last night, the Student Services and Communications departments hosted an event, “Mental Health Awareness-Student Voices.”  During the evening, families heard from a panel of student advocates and two mental health therapists. I want to thank our students from Inglemoor High School Amari Love, Laney Brackett and Leah Klots. I also want to thank Lily Sul from Innovation Lab High School, Saanvi Shetty from Woodinville High School and Sarah Rees from North Creek High School. Student Services Director, Rick Ferrell, says he was impressed by the courage that these students portrayed as they incorporated personal experiences of how they deal with stress, how the pandemic has affected them, and how families can help destigmatize the topic of mental health and mental illness and have meaningful conversations with their students. It was a step in the right direction for the district as we continue to encourage families to openly engage in difficult conversations while destigmatizing mental health. The event was to also highlight Mental Health Action Day which is today - a day meant to encourage and empower individuals to take action for themselves, their loved ones, and/or their community. 

Dr. Chris Bigelow Honored by Central Washington University

I always enjoy taking time out to highlight members of this amazing Northshore staff. No matter where you are in the District, the work you do contributes to our goal our strategic goals. Last week, Racial and Educational Justice Executive Director Dr. Chris Bigelow was honored by Central Washington University for the depth and breadth of the work he is leading in Northshore and for “demonstrated a strong commitment to diversity and have consistently engaged and actively nurtured a supportive environment for equity.” Dr. Bigelow and his team consult with school and department staff within Northshore. They are also called upon regularly by other school districts  and organizations regionally and across the country. This work of changing hearts and minds, of celebrating our differences and understanding our lived experiences is important to every student and staff member here in Northshore. Thank you, Dr. Bigelow for your steadfast commitment to a racially and educationally just education system. 

Johah Shull Named WIAA/Gesa Credit Union Athlete of the Week.

Congratulations to Bothell High School baseball player Jonah Shull, who was selected as the WIAA/Gesa Credit Union Athlete of the Week April 24-30. This award is designed to honor student-athletes across the state for their outstanding performances and impactful contributions in their communities. Jonah has had an outstanding season, shared Baseball Coach Kent Schaefer. Outside of baseball, Jonah is an excellent student and involved in ASB where his advisor, Sydney Fee, describes him as a humble servant leader. 

DECA's International Career Development Conference

We had remarkable representation from our Northshore schools at DECA’s International Career Development conference and competition in Atlanta last month, and I want to recognize the students for their outstanding accomplishments! The competitions are designed to simulate real-life business scenarios and test students’ academic understanding and skill development. This event showcased more than 18,000 students from 4,000 high schools representing all of North America. A total of 46 Woodinville High School students went with the hopes to achieve DECA Glass (1st, 2nd, or 3rd place). Out of the 46 students, 23 received recognition for their performance, 17 made it to the final round, nine placed in the top 10, and three got the Glass. North Creek High School sent 30 competitors, 10 students earned recognition, and 6 top-10 finalists, including a team that earned DECA Glass (first ever for North Creek), by finishing 2nd overall. Inglemoor High School also represented at the international competition with 14 students, and two students were finalists. This was another great season for our DECA teams and advisor!  

Advance Placement Exam Season

This week marks the completion of the 2022 Advanced Placement exam season. In the month of May, the Career and College Readiness Department partnered with Bothell, Inglemoor, Innovation Lab, North Creek, and Woodinville high schools, as well as the Northshore Virtual Academy, to proctor 3,958 Advanced Placement exams to 2,502 students in 25 different content areas. Scores will be released by College Board in the second week of July. A big THANK YOU to the AP teachers, building administrators, AP Coordinators, AP proctors, building support staff, and all of those who assisted. 

Interim Superintendent Survey

Last week, more than 4,000 students, parents, staff, and community members participated earlier this month in the online survey about selecting an interim superintendent for the next school year. You can see the results of the survey here. The Northshore School District School Board determined 11 priority traits desired in an interim superintendent during their May 17 meeting, using this feedback from our community. An interim superintendent is likely to start next month, and I look forward to having time to help transition them to this role. The Board will start a robust process for hiring a full-time superintendent this fall, with additional opportunities for community engagement and feedback. To learn more about the process, visit the Superintendent Search page.  

Last Day of School, June 17 is an Early 2-hour Release

I want to remind everyone that we are less than one month away from the last day of the 2021-22 school year. We will have an early release 2-hour day on Friday, June 17. I am continually grateful for our amazing staff and subs. As the year comes to a close, I think back on the many challenges, creative solutions and accomplishments across Northshore. I am simply in awe of your commitment to our students and our community. We are so close! With positive COVID cases still running high, I want to remind everyone we are still taking precautions. Let’s do everything we can to finish the year strong and healthy! 

Warmest regards,

Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 

 

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