A group of smiling elementary students

Strategic Plan

Learning into the Future!

At Northshore, our mission is to strengthen our community through excellence in education.

Our actions are grounded in a strong belief in the capacity of every student to achieve academic and social-emotional success that prepares them to thrive in a world yet to be imagined. We are committed to equity, to safety and supports for students and adults, and to building on the strengths and addressing the needs of the whole child.

The ethic of lifelong learning is the catalyst for growth and continuous improvement. It powers the journeys of our students, educators, and community toward excellence.

Learning into the future guarantees that together, everybody grows every day!




Learning Into the Future

Since launching our 2017-22 strategic plan, we have wholly embraced the established building blocks, goals, and measures identified, and in doing so, we have learned so much about this wonderful community of ours. Bringing a plan like this to life in order to nurture the limitless possibilities of every student requires teamwork from our community: caring, committed teachers and staff; collaborative, visionary board; capable, empowering leadership; supportive, engaged parents and caregivers; and a responsive, generous community.

While we did experience unexpected challenges, we also stayed the course by focusing on our students. In preparation for the next phase of our strategic plan, we engaged in community conversations to learn from our collective experiences thus far and made adjustments in this updated plan, now covering 2022-27. We heard from our community that our plan is on target, so we are ultimately staying the course laid out in the original plan. However, we always have opportunities to grow and improve, and so we have made modifications to some measures in order to more effectively determine when we see successes and when we need to delve deeper.

The work continues as we advance steadily toward accomplishing our aspirational goals for ALL of our students and the hopes and dreams for our community. Thank you for joining us in this important work.

  Mr. Michael Tolley


Interim Superintendent Michael Tolley visits with a student

Four Building Blocks

Our Four Building Blocks provide a coherent, durable frame for our practices, programs, and processes. They define the most important competencies or “internal muscles” that we must develop in order to achieve our goals for student learning, growth, and success.

1. Equitable Access to Personalized and Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning

Teaching and learning is the central function of our school system. We will advocate for standards, practices and programs that engage every student in challenging work, regardless of their current level of performance. And, because “one size does not fit all,” we will differentiate and scaffold instruction and supports to meet the unique strengths, backgrounds, readiness, and learning styles of each student.

2. Safe Climate and Strong Relationships with Families and Community

Because schools can't do it alone, we will welcome all families as partners for student success; communicate via forums and media that are responsive to the preferences of our stakeholders; collaborate with our community to build strong schools where all students thrive; and involve Northshore citizens meaningfully in decisions about the future of our schools.

3. Results-Focused Professional Learning and Supports for Staff

By investing in people, we recognize that student learning depends critically on the quality and effectiveness of Northshore’s teachers, leaders, and staff. We will attract talented employees at all levels; provide safe, respectful environments for learning and work; and stimulate continuous professional growth through collegial collaboration and differentiated professional development.

4. Data-Informed, Needs-Based Resource Allocation

A focus on managing the whole ensures that all aspects of our school system are goal- aligned and moving together in an equitable, mission- focused manner. We will base decisions on fact, rather than opinion. Furthermore, we will ensure that resources – people, time, money – are allocated equitably, in line with the needs of our students and schools, and the priorities established by our community.



Goals & Measures of Student Success

Elementary students quietly reading books at their desk

Goal 1: Success in the Early Years

Each student will develop intellectual curiosity, persistence, social-emotional awareness, and academic skills to be positioned for success by the end of grade 3.


  • Increased percentage of students who have equitable access to pre-kindergarten programs and to developmentally appropriate teaching through grade 3
  • Demonstrated growth for individual students in pre-kindergarten to grade 3 meeting criteria for social-emotional, physical and cognitive development, and self-regulation and attention skills
  • Increased percentage of students achieving and maintaining grade level in the components of Literacy Development: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, writing and spelling
  • Increased percentage of students achieving and maintaining grade level in the components of Mathematics Development: numbers and operations, algebra and algebraic thinking, measurement and data, and geometry

Equity Means

Each student, regardless of background or experiences, demonstrates academic and social-emotional competence for successful transition out of grade 3 through equitable, targeted resources, instruction and individualized learning.

  • Equity Means Measure: Increased percentage of students in each subgroup meeting or exceeding standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics by the end of grade 3
Eight elementary students taking a break from playing during recess to pose for photo

Goal 2: Responsible, Resilient, Empathetic Learners

Each student will feel safe as a responsible and persistent learner, open to and accepting of diverse cultures and perspectives, and empowered to advocate for and pursue their own educational passions.


  • Increased percentage of students reporting a perception of safety, fairness, inclusiveness and supports for emotional, behavioral, mental, and physical health
  • Increased percentage of students with at least 95% average school attendance and minimizing the loss of instruction due to mandated testing
  • Increased percentage of students who have continuous access to an advocate, mentor, or counselor
  • Increased percentage of students who report engaging in clubs, sports, employment, or activities
  • Increased percentage of students who successfully navigate critical transitions in their educational experience (e.g. elementary to middle, middle to high school)

Equity Means

Each student embraces own voice, accepts ownership of own actions and experiences, and honors the diversity, unique needs and contribution of others.

  • Equity Means Measure: Increased percentage of students who are invested in, and advocate for, their educational goals and the supports to reach them
Student working on a touch screen tablet at her desk

Goal 3: Growth for Every Student, Elimination of Outcome and Opportunity Gaps

Each student will experience continuous growth in all subjects, progress toward graduation at a pace that eliminates opportunity and outcome gaps, and receive fair and equitable treatment with regards to discipline.


  • Increased equitable access to social-emotional supports and services (e.g. counseling, mental health, and psychological) regardless of location, circumstance, or student characteristic
  • Minimum annual academic growth rate of one year for students at/above grade level, and more than one year for students below grade level
  • Increased percentage of students achieving mastery in their classes
  • Reduction of the disproportionalities in discipline, suspension and expulsion rates across student-groups

Equity Means

Each student actively engages in rigorous standards-based curriculum, effective instruction, timely, targeted enrichment and intervention, and proactive social-emotional supports.

  • Equity Means Measure: Increased enrollment and completion rates for traditionally underrepresented student-groups in advanced course sequences and specialized programs


High school student controlling a small, tabletop robotic vehicle

Goal 4: Innovative, Creative, Critical Thinkers

Each student will be involved in relevant and engaging learning that fosters creativity and imagination, and will gain the confidence and competence to address personal, community, and global issues in collaborative and resourceful ways.


  • Increased equitable access and enrollment across student subgroups in the arts, social sciences, sciences, and technology classes
  • Increased percentage of students who can justify a position with supporting evidence and can solve real-world challenges in imaginative ways
  • Increased percentage of students who demonstrate the ability to critically analyze, interpret, and responsibly use data and information
  • Increased percentage of students who access technology/digital tools in innovative learning spaces to enhance student learning and expand personalization (e.g. adaptive technology, collaborative learning, and critical-thinking projects)

Equity Means

Each student engages in culturally relevant and cognitively challenging, real-world learning, while applying knowledge and skills in a variety of ways.

  • Equity Means Measure: Increased percentage of students who apply learning to solve real-world, culturally relevant challenges in imaginative ways
Two Bothell High School graduates posing for photos after the ceremony

Goal 5: Ready for Lifelong Success after Graduation

Each student will graduate from high school with the habits for post-secondary success, productive citizenship, and lifelong learning.


  • Increased percentage of students who have support in the transition to life after high school (e.g. support in the college application process, access to alternative career prep programs and apprenticeships)
  • Increased percentage of students meeting academic standards and on track to graduate on-time from grade 9 on
  • Increased percentage of students who demonstrate acquisition of practical skills and dispositions for life after high school (e.g. goal-orientation, self-responsibility, time management, teamwork, finances, insurance and housing)
  • Increased percentage of high school graduates entering college without need for remedial classes

Equity Means

Each student receives equitable access to experiences crucial for success in college and beyond, and meets or exceeds Washington state’s college and career readiness graduation requirements. 

Equity Means Measure: Increased percentage of students who have access to, and successfully complete, multiple advanced high school classes or career and technical education classes



Community Voices

“I promise that I will always make it my priority to ensure you feel safe, respected, valued and important in my classroom.”
- Northshore Teacher

“We will honor and value each individual and their unique abilities while striving to equip each with the tools for future success in ways that are both engaging and relevant.”
- Northshore Community Member

“I want the school district to guarantee all kids a good education and a good environment to learn and grow. I want teachers to always push me and to help me when I’m falling behind.”
- Northshore Student

“I promise to bring engaging and meaningful learning experiences to you each day.”
- Northshore Teacher

"I want my school to give me a strong voice in what I think."
- Northshore Student

“Students will leave our school prepared to think critically, act responsibly, live compassionately, and confident they can meet the challenges that lie ahead.”
- Northshore Community Member