August 21, 2023: Preparing for the start of school

August 21, 2023: Preparing for the start of school

Northshore School District logo in blue




Northshore school leaders in August 2023


Staff members at an August training day
Superintendent Tolley addresses staff
Staff members attend an August training session



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! 

In partnership, 

Michael Tolley



Have a story you would like to see shared in the "Highlights from Around the District" section of this message and on our website? Submit using this form.

Summer Institute Classes Underway

Northshore staff participate in a Summer Institute training workshop offered by Safety and Security

The 2023 Summer Institute began today, August 21, at Inglemoor High School. These learning opportunities provide cohesion around system-wide initiatives and enable educators to launch their learning for the school year through meaningful, relevant, and collaborative workshop experiences. Classes begin at 8:30 a.m. and run through 3:30 p.m. each day. More new classes were recently added to the Summer Institute schedule, and most classes are now available in Performance Matters. Workshops offered include: “Antidote, CPR/AED, Tourniquet (ACT) & Alert, Avoid, Deny, Defend (Active Threat),” “Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics: Getting Started,” and “Is the Earth Flat? Addressing Critical Thinking in Your Classroom.”


Community Serve Day: Volunteer to Help Schools Prepare for the Return of Students

In partnership with Northshore Community Church, Community Serve Day will take place at Northshore schools on Sunday, August 27 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Volunteers will be helping our schools prepare for the new school year by assisting teachers in setting up classrooms and tidying up the grounds. Last year, more than 2,000 volunteers participated in Community Serve Day. For more information and to volunteer, please visit the Community Serve Day website.  

Northshore Schools Foundation’s Backpacks for Kids Seeks Support

The Northshore Schools Foundation annual Backpack for Kids program provides backpacks and school supply kits to families in need who otherwise would not be able to purchase the items. This year, the demand has stretched the Foundation’s resources, leaving a depleted inventory and an ongoing stream of requests. Please help spread the word about this need and the effort of the Foundation to support our students. More information is available on the Foundation’s website.


2023 Inductees Added to the Wall of Honor

The 2023 inductees in the Northshore Wall of Honor at Pop Keeney

Last week, Northshore School District Wall of Honor partners recognized the outstanding contributions of nine alumni, former staff, and volunteers to our community and beyond. The Wall of Honor launched in 2010 and is memorialized at the north end of Pop Keeney Stadium, near the entrance. This year’s class of inductees includes educators, medical and emergency responders, musicians, athletes, and more – each dedicating their time and commitment to bettering their community. Learn more about these remarkable individuals on our website.




Key Dates

Sept. 4: Labor Day

Sept. 6: First Day of School (see website for complete details as some schools and programs have staggered start dates) – Full Day of School

Sept. 11: School Board Meeting, 4 p.m.

Sept. 13: Wednesday Early Release

Sept. 20: Wednesday Early Release

Sept. 26: School Board Meeting, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27: Wednesday Early Release


Additional Religious and Cultural Observances

Janmashtami is Sept. 6

*Rosh Hashanah is Sept. 16 (ends Sept. 17)

Ganesh Chaturthi is Sept. 18

*Yom Kippur is Sept. 25


*Begins at sundown of previous day/ends at sundown



Northshore School District is enriched by the many experiences and perspectives each individual member brings to our District and community. Therefore, our District prohibits discrimination based on age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the presence of any sensory, cognitive, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability.

Civil Rights and ADA Coordinator for Staff: 
Obadiah Dunham
3330 Monte Villa Parkway
Bothell, WA 98021-8972
425-408-7622 or 7604  

Title IX Coordinator: 
Obadiah Dunham
3330 Monte Villa Parkway
Bothell, WA 98021-8972
425-408-7622 or 7604  

The Northshore School District shall provide equal educational opportunity and treatment for all students in all aspects of the District’s academic, activities, or employment programs without discrimination. In addition, the District provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups in its programs and activities.

Section 504 and ADA Coordinator for Students
Rick Ferrell
Director of Student Services
3330 Monte Villa Parkway
Bothell, WA 98021-8972

Any Northshore School District staff and community member has the right to raise concerns or make a complaint regarding discrimination under this policy without fear of retaliation. The above-listed employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged unlawful discrimination.



Superintendent's Blog



District Stories