August 21, 2023
Dear Northshore Colleagues:
I really enjoy the weeks right before school begins. There are signs that a new school year is about to start everywhere. Store shelves are stocked with school supplies, high school athletic practices have started, and final preparations for Community Serve Day are underway. Like in past years, I expect that thousands of community volunteers will roll up their sleeves and help prepare our schools for the first day of school. This is a really special event in Northshore and just one way our broader community supports our students and staff. I am looking forward to working alongside our dedicated community members on Sunday, August 27, to ensure our schools are ready and welcoming.
Early August marked the beginning of the 2023-24 school year for our school and district leaders. Over the course of four days, they spent time learning together, reviewing student data, deepening relationships, and planning for a strong start to the school year. Last week, the Safety and Security Department supported by the Bothell Police Department hosted the Northshore Crossing Guard Academy for our students. I encourage you to check out this great video of our students’ swearing in ceremony.
This week, hundreds of educators are also taking training - refining and learning new skills in preparation for the new school year. And of course, many of our staff are back in buildings engaging with families and new students. It requires a lot of coordination and extra effort to launch a new school year, and I am grateful for the dedication of each and every one of you. Thank you.
As we look forward to the first day of school, I continue to reflect on how grateful I am to be leading Northshore at this time. As I shared in the Connections newsletter last week, I grew up in the deep south - Charleston, South Carolina. I was fortunate to have a strong network of adults watching out for me. In school it was two administrators that took it upon themselves to make sure the Tolley children thrived. They helped my parents chart our educational journey, resulting in my siblings and me going on to college. These educators changed the trajectory of my family.
This is why I have dedicated my life to public education - to ensure each and every student can achieve their hopes and dreams. I want every child in Northshore to have the opportunities I was provided, and more.
Every day I am thankful for the opportunity to lead this important work of educating our community’s next generations with you. Each of you play an important role - from instruction in the classroom, to making sure students get to school safely, to nutritious meals - you matter to the wellbeing and success of our students. This coming year, I will continue to be in schools and around the District on a weekly basis, consulting staff on what is working and what needs to change for students.
Finally, I want to remind everyone that we launched the Family Engagement and Resource Center in July. In launching the Center, my goal is to bring family services and supports into better alignment and increase access to District and community resources. The Center’s mission and goals, current services, and operating hours can be found on the Family Engagement and Resource Center webpage. Please take a few minutes to review the information. While families can contact Center staff at any time, school staff are asked to complete a Referral Form so we can assign a staff member to best meet the unique needs of each family. I am hopeful this new, streamlined approach will better serve our families furthest from racial and educational justice and support our schools.
There is a lot of work to be done prior to September 6, the first day of school for most Northshore students. I look forward to sharing our progress with our Northshore family via my new Instagram account. You can follow me @northshoresupt for updates.
I look forward to connecting with you very soon!