March 18, 2024: Honoring our Education Support Professionals and all Classified Staff

March 18, 2024: Honoring our Education Support Professionals and all Classified Staff

Northshore School District logo in blue




Northshore Superintendent Michael Tolley and Sunrise Elementary Principal Megan Lenz talk with Sunrise students


March 18, 2024

Dear Northshore Colleagues: 

I hope everyone was able to spend some time in the sun this last weekend. It was an unexpected gift after days of rain and typical March weather. 

This time last year, the School Board announced that I had been selected as the District’s next superintendent beginning July 1, 2023. I am so honored to lead Northshore during this time, even as we work to bring our 2024-25 budget into alignment with state revenues. Throughout this challenging process, I have been personally committed to making sure the proposed solutions and our timeline are transparent. 

This commitment to transparency has resulted in: 

  • Fall budget presentations at all 36 schools;
  • Multiple community meetings to gather feedback and share information;
  • A budget development survey, gathering responses from 2,600 individuals;
  • Ongoing engagement with the Superintendent Student Advisory Board;
  • Numerous PTSA budget presentations;
  • A 2024-25 Budget Development webpage where information is archived;
  • Four Board Study Sessions this school year;
  • And ongoing, direct communication about the 2024-25 Budget Development process. 

While very challenging, I want to thank all of our staff for helping to navigate the budget shortfall with compassion and keeping students front and center in our decisions. As I shared last week, I will continue to advocate for you - our staff, students, and their families. The fight for full funding of public education is not over. 

Lastly, I would like to again recognize that Education Support Professionals Week was March 11- 15 and take a moment to share my deepest gratitude for our outstanding employees. You can see last week’s celebratory message in the District Highlights below. The work of educating students takes all of us. Our classified staff play critical roles in the day-to-day lives of our students, often the first to welcome them to school on the bus, support them when they aren’t feeling well, serve them nutritious meals, help them learn in group settings, and more. We could not be the strong education system that we are today, and will be tomorrow, without the dedication and care of these invaluable individuals. Thank you again for all that you do.

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.


Education Support Professionals Week was March 11-15

Education Support Professionals Week graphic with blue background


March 11-15, 2024 was Education Support Professionals Week (formerly Classified Week), and an opportunity to recognize all of the contributions of our dedicated classified staff here in Northshore. To our classified staff - last  week and every week we honor you for the many contributions you make to the well-being and education of our students. Whether you drive a school bus, prepare nutritious meals, provide small group instruction, maintain school grounds and facilities, support students when they aren’t feeling well, repair vehicles or manage a busy school office, you are essential to providing our students with an excellent education. Your work is seen and deeply appreciated. Thank you for all that you do every day.


Music Students Advance to State Solo and Ensemble Contest

Music students from the four comprehensive Northshore School District high schools performed very well at the Northlake Regional Solo and Ensemble Contest on February 10, 2024. Several entries from our schools won first place in their divisions and will go on to compete at the state WIAA/WMEA solo and ensemble contest in April. Several more entries were named as 1st or 2nd alternates for the state contest. Congratulations to these outstanding Northshore student-musicians!


Turn Off the Lights Day is Friday, March 22

Northshore staff are invited to consider participating in Turn Off the Lights Day on March 22. For more information, please see this information from Inglemoor High School Student, Annika Wegener.


Ramadan takes place now through April 9

As a reminder, many of our Northshore families are currently observing Ramadan. Ramadan is an Islamic religious observance and is expected to end on April 9 this year. Ramadan is a time for connection, celebration, deep reflection, and continued prayer. It is possible that Northshore's practicing Muslim students will fast, including no food or drink (as well as water), from dawn to dusk through the duration of this observance. You’ll find insights and ideas to support our Muslim students during Ramadan linked from this weekly Northshore Learns & Announcements message


Nowruz is March 19

Nowruz takes place on the spring equinox, which is the first day in the Persian calendar. The new year is celebrated at the exact moment of the vernal equinox, which is March 19, 2024, this year. Over 300 million people all around the world celebrate Nowruz and it has been observed for more than 3,000 years. It is observed by various ethnic groups across Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Balkans, including Iranian, Pakistani, Afghan, Turkish, Tajik, and Kurdish communities. Note that the spelling of Nowruz varies by country. It can be spelled correctly in numerous different ways, including Nawrouz, Novruz, Navruz, Nooruz, Nevruz, and Newroz. We want to wish a joyous Nowruz to our students, families, and educators who celebrate! 


Holi celebrated March 24

Holi is a festival of colors celebrated by Hindus around the world this year on Sunday, March 24 (note this date has been correct from what was originally published). Holi is celebrated to mark the arrival of spring, victory of good over evil, spreading friendship, peace, and joy in the community.  On the previous day, people light bonfires and dance around it. The next morning people join together on the streets, sprinkle colors on each other, and share sweets. The bonfires represent destroying bacteria in the air, and colors represent strengthening the immune system and adding beauty. A number of community events are taking place on Saturday, March 23 in celebration of Holi.


Looking for other student celebrations?

Our Northshore community has so much to celebrate, and the most recent edition of our district’s Connections newsletter included student awards, recognitions, and other celebrations. You can review the Connections message on our website. You can also find posts celebrating our schools, students, and staff on our Instagram and Facebook pages. Watch for next Monday’s Connections newsletter for new highlights.




Key Dates

March 18 - School Board Retreat, 5 p.m.
March 20 - Wednesday Early Release
March 25 - School Board Study Session, 5 p.m., School Board Meeting, 7 p.m.
March 27 - Wednesday Early Release
April 3 - Wednesday Early Release
April 5 - End of Third Quarter
April 8-12 - Spring Break, No School


Religious and Cultural Observances

March 19 - Nowruz (Persian New Year)
March 24 - Holi
March 29 - Good Friday
March 31 - Easter
April 9 - Ugadi/Yugadi
April 9 - Eid Al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)





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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