December 4, 2023: Preparing for Winter Weather

December 4, 2023: Preparing for Winter Weather

Northshore School District logo in blue




A photo of a snowy, tree-lined street with blue skies


Dec. 4, 2023

Dear Northshore Colleagues:  

In response to last week’s cold temperatures, I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone about our School Closure and Delay process relative to snow and inclement weather and our related communication protocols. By 5:30 a.m., our team begins communicating any districtwide schedule or route changes. If weather conditions make a schedule change necessary, we will communicate the decision through the following methods and in this order:

  • TV and Radio Stations. You can also sign up for Flashalert to get the same media information. 
  • District and School Websites
  • Northshore School District social media
    • Instagram: @teamnorthshore 
    • Twitter: @Northshore_SD
    • Facebook: Northshore School District
  • Phone calls, emails, and text messages: Staff and families will receive an email, phone call, and text. These communications will begin between 5:30 and 5:45 a.m. 
  • Northshore Information Line: You may also call the District’s information line, 425-408-6001, beginning at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday for school closure information. 

You can learn more about our inclement weather response on the School Closure and Delay webpage. The webpage includes a helpful FAQ that outlines our approach and priorities during inclement weather. 

If the District does not make an announcement, it means schools are open on time and buses are on a regular schedule. 

In other news, tomorrow, Tuesday, December 5, there is another public opportunity to learn about the 2024-25 School Year Budget Development Process. Please consider attending Conversations with the Board from 6-7:30 p.m., at the Northshore Admin Center (3330 Monte Villa Parkway, Bothell). This is one of four annual opportunities to engage in a two-way conversation with the Northshore Board of Directors. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the budget shortfall, ask questions, and provide feedback. 

Additionally, next Monday, December 11 starting at 5:30 p.m. there will be another Board Study Session about the 2024-25 School Year Budget. Content will include an analysis of the budget development survey feedback and what we have heard during our public meetings. The Study Session will be live-streamed and archived on the Board webpage. I encourage you to watch the presentation. 

This Thursday, I will also be meeting with our East Asian families as part of my regular engagement series. These focused meetings have been co-designed with parent leaders and community organizations to ensure they meet the needs of our diverse community. The purpose is to educate staff on cultural norms, practices, and student experiences in Northshore and provide a dedicated space for families and students to share feedback with district leadership. You can view my annual engagement calendar on the Superintendent webpage

Finally, many in our Northshore community will be observing important holidays during the month of December. For several years, the Racial and Educational Justice Department has been publishing a religious and cultural observances calendar. The calendar serves two primary purposes, to recognize and spread awareness about the diverse religions and cultures that are represented in the District and to identify for our staff the days that students may not be at school due to religious observances and the days that students may be fasting. This type of information is important so that, as appropriate, we can provide accommodations. 

Starting at sundown on December 7th and for eight days, many of our Jewish families, staff, and students will observe Hanukkah. To our colleagues celebrating Hanukkah, I recognize that your hearts may be very heavy during this holiday observance, and I wish you comfort and extend my continued care and support. 

I encourage you to read today’s District Highlights. In it you will find a number of important resources and reminders, including upcoming 2024-25 School Year Budget Development engagement opportunities, and numerous celebrations. 

This is my last Monday Message for staff before the December break (December 18 - January 1). I hope each of you have a joyful break, and I look forward to seeing you after the start of the new year. 

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.


School Year Calendar for 2024-25 Announced

The Northshore School District is pleased to share the key dates for the 2024-25 school year, including the first day of school and all school breaks throughout the year. We will begin school on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2024. Please visit our website for the complete one-page calendar.


Graduation Ceremony Dates Set for 2024 and 2025

Northshore’s high schools and programs are already preparing for graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2024, and now the dates are available for the Class of 2025 celebrations as well. The dates of the ceremonies are set and available online. We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of our students with their families, friends, and teachers.


Reminder: Invitation to Conversations with the Board, 2024-25 Budget Development - Dec. 5 

Members of the community participate in a 2024-25 budget development meeting in November 2023 in the Woodinville High library

The budget development process for the 2024-25 school year is underway, and you are invited to learn more and provide feedback. Like many other Washington school districts, Northshore is anticipating another budget deficit for the 2024-25 school year. As of October 30, the current expected shortfall for Northshore is $26 million.

Superintendent Tolley and the Northshore School Board are committed to transparency as we work through next year’s budget development process and potential solutions. 

Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 5, there is another public opportunity to learn about the budget development process. Join us for Conversations with the Board from 6-7:30 p.m., at the Northshore Admin Center (3330 Monte Villa Parkway, Bothell). Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the budget shortfall, ask questions, and provide feedback. Participants are encouraged to watch the Nov. 13 Board Study Session presentation in advance. No RSVP is required.


Wellington Teacher Earns Best of Western Washington Honor

Congratulations to Wellington Elementary teacher Nicole Van Avery for being recognized as the 2023 Best of Western Washington teacher, given by KING 5 through its annual viewers’ choice poll. Van Avery was nominated this fall, and voting took place during the month of October. This viewers’ choice poll is now in its 31st year and features a wide variety of categories, with only one teacher in Western Washington recognized. Congratulations, Nicole!


Outstanding Northshore Musicians Selected for All-State Ensembles

A total of 82 outstanding high school and middle school music students from Northshore have received top honors by being selected to participate in one of the 2024 Washington All-State performing groups. These musicians were selected through auditions to participate in this prestigious event, which is sponsored by the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA). The WMEA All-State Honor Ensembles will meet in Yakima on February 15-18, 2024. To view the complete list of students selected, visit our website.


Student Entrepreneurs Raise Funds for Families

Student leaders from The Good Act delivery a donation check to Superintendent Michael Tolley

The Good Act is a local youth organization run by a group of North Creek High School seniors - Amogh Babu, Rakesh Rajasekharan, Muralidhar Donthineni, and Rohil Verma. This organization has been working toward expanding entrepreneurial and business talent within the community through Children’s Business Fairs.

In August 2023, The Good Act hosted their third Business Fair, where students from across the Northshore School District were invited to set up booths and sell personal, handmade products to buyers and fellow students. Along the way, they learned business and finance skills and developed knowledge on marketing their products. More than 60 businesses with more than 150 students attended the event, making it The Good Act’s most successful event yet, raising $1,000. This money was donated to Northshore’s Family Engagement and Resource Center, where it will be used to strengthen partnerships between families and schools and support students’ needs.




Key Dates

Dec. 6 - Wednesday Early Release

Dec. 11 - School Board Meeting, 4 p.m.

Dec. 13 - Wednesday Early Release

Dec. 18, 2023 - Jan. 1, 2024 - Winter Break - No School


Additional Religious and Cultural Observances - Days of Highest Impact and Days of Fasting

Dec. 8 - *Hanukkah (Ends Dec. 15)

Dec. 24 - Christmas Eve

Dec. 25 - Christmas Day

Dec. 26 - Kwanzaa (Ends Jan. 1)


*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: 
Jerred Kelly
3330 Monte Villa Parkway
Bothell, WA 98021-8972
425-408-7622 or 7604  

Title IX Coordinator: 
Jerred Kelly
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.



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