Just like that, it’s here – the final day of the epic 2020-21 school year! Today, as I provide my final Weekly Reopening Update, I am led to think of every member of this Northshore community – students, staff, families, leadership and community partners – who have journeyed together through what has been one of the most difficult experiences in our lifetime. I also think about the challenges, the loss for many families, and the determination that has gotten us to this point - together. I am so grateful to be a member of this great Northshore community and I look forward to our continued journey; together, all things are possible.
The first day of school for the 2021-22 school year is September 1. As with every “normal” year, planning is underway for WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) Day at middle schools and Link Crew Day at high schools. Both programs help students entering grades 6 and 9 transition to their new school community. Once staff and student leaders have completed planning, individual middle and high schools will be in touch with their families to provide details for these important traditions. You can find information about the 2021-22 school year here.
During the June 14 school board meeting, I shared our planned phased approach to supporting healthy start times. The goal has long been to move start times so that all schools will eventually begin school no earlier than 8:00 a.m. This has been work that has been a focus for over a decade with countless reports and input from multiple stakeholders, and even with the pandemic supply chain challenges, we are moving forward for the coming year using a phased approach. You can review the start times here. Midway through the year, the Healthy Start Times Technical Work Group, in concert with our transportation consultant, will reevaluate and provide additional recommendations for the 2022-23 school year. There will also be continued opportunities for stakeholder input. Stay tuned.
Our Transportation Department has also piloted an app this spring that will allow parents, guardians and students to stay updated on bus arrival and drop off times. Staff plan to roll the app out to all families later this summer as we prepare for the coming school year. To parents and guardians of our late (just in time) risers, this does not mean their students should wait until the last minute to get to the bus stop. ;>) This tool will be a real support during inclement weather and provide time management and safety support as we continue to work on improving real time communication for key services.
Also today, staff across many departments have launched the Supplemental Learning Resources page for summer. While I don’t expect students to spend all summer on enrichment and school work, I do encourage spending an hour or so a week engaged in these useful online activities. They are worth it. Returning Northshore students who need a device can sign up to get one here. Northshore Technology staff will provide a schedule for you to choose a time to exchange your old device for a different one. If your student didn’t have a device, but needs one for summer learning, please sign up here. All of this work is part of our Student Academic and Well-being Recovery Plan meant to help our students be better prepared for school in the fall.
Please also keep in mind that summer school registration is still open. Again, summer school classes are online and that means students will need a device. If your returning Northshore student needs a device, please be sure to sign up to get one here.
Wishing you a safe and joyful summer, and we will see you in September!
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.