Connections: February 13, 2023

Connections: February 13, 2023



News from the Northshore School District


Dear Northshore Families: 

February is Black History Month! Family. Strength. Joy. Faith. Education. Hope. These are six words that come to mind when I think about my personal journey as an African American student growing up in the deep south to my current position as Interim Superintendent of Northshore. I have been reflecting a lot on these concepts as we recognize Black History Month. 

Black History Month is an opportunity for all families, staff, administrators, and students to celebrate and center the voices, lived experience, and significant contributions of Black individuals and communities - past and present. From book readings and activities, to guest speakers and community events - February will be rich with opportunities. Resources including the recent virtual panel hosted by the Racial and Educational Justice Department can be found below in this newsletter. I encourage all of you to participate in some way. 

I also want to recognize that Black History Month comes on the heels of the tragic murder and funeral of Tyre Nichols. I have been contemplating what our District’s consistent response should be to national incidents of violence against an individual or community. It is one thing to condemn the incident - it is another to provide real support to our community and to those that are suffering. We must acknowledge these brutal injustices without also unintentionally inflicting additional trauma and pain. I plan to work with the Racial and Educational Justice, Student Support Services, and Communications Departments to determine a more predictable and supportive response - one that centers those most traumatized and impacted, also knowing all of us are affected by such horrific violence. While this work is underway, I want to draw your attention to current resources included in this week’s Connections newsletter, including a link to Tyre’s photography. By sharing his photography, I intend to help him and his family reclaim his narrative - one of joy, creativity, and appreciation for landscapes and nature’s unmatched beauty.  

These have been a few busy weeks, a mixture of great conversations and important work. Last Wednesday we hosted the annual State of Our Schools event. The event centered student voice and the concept of belonging. I hope that you take the time to watch the recorded event and learn from our wise students. 

Finally, two weeks ago I began internal 2023-24 budget forecast presentations. These will continue over the next few weeks. It is important that next year’s budgeting process is transparent and our community has the opportunity to ask questions of leadership. We are in the process of scheduling Northshore community meetings for March and April. 

While Northshore may be in a better financial situation than neighboring districts, we do anticipate a budget shortfall of $10-12 million for the 2023-24 school year. So what is contributing to the estimated budget shortfall? 

  • A loss of 666 students over the past four years, with the most significant drop between 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. Student enrollment is the largest driver of our budget. Every 75 students (FTE) = $1 million dollars;

  • An anticipated additional loss of more than 200 students next school year (2023-24); 

  • Inflation and increased costs for goods; 

  • Necessary investments in our pandemic recovery; 

  • Planning for upcoming contracts; and

  • The need to set aside funding for unknown issues or challenges. 


I want to remind everyone that our shortfall is an estimate and depends on the outcome of the state’s Legislative Session. As I shared earlier in January, this will be a critical session for public education across our state. Seventy-three percent of Northshore’s budget is paid for by the state based on student enrollment. Local taxes used for public education, referred to as levies, help make up the gap between what the state provides and what our students need. 

Last school year, Northshore invested over $23.6 million of local levy dollars on special education services and support for our students with disabilities. These aren’t “extras” but foundational supports students need to thrive and reach their full potential. Full funding of Special Education is a Legislative Priority of our School Board and staff. If the state fully funded special education, our budget forecast would look very different. I look forward to participating with the Northshore Council PTSA during Focus Day on February 20 in Olympia. Together, along with families and educators from across the state, we will share what full funding could mean for our students, staff, and community. 

In partnership, 

Michael Tolley

Interim Superintendent 


District News and Updates


Northshore Educators Earn National Board Certification

Congratulations to all the Northshore educators who recently earned or renewed their National Board Certification. Districtwide, 10.9% of Northshore Education Association staff, or 174 individuals, are National Board Certified. There are more than 12,100 National Board Certified Teachers in Washington State and more than 133,500 nationwide. National Board certification is recognized as the gold standard in teacher certification believing higher standards for teachers means better learning for students. 

Enrollment is Open for Northshore School District



Northshore is excited to welcome our new Kindergarten students! By registering now, families have the opportunity to learn about upcoming school engagement opportunities and prepare for the first day of school, Sept. 6, 2023. Enrollment is done online. Directions on how to enroll, including what documentation is required, can be found on the District enrollment webpage

If you have questions or require a paper-based enrollment form, please contact your child’s assigned school. School assignment is based on your home address. You can find your child’s school by using the Address Look Up Tool. 


In addition to excellent neighborhood schools, Northshore offers a variety of choice schools. A choice school may be exactly what your child needs to thrive academically and socially. Learn more about choice schools and priority enrollment dates by visiting each school webpage: 

  • INNOVATION LAB HIGH SCHOOL, 9-12 grade: Innovation Lab High School is a place where students are empowered with the skills to build a future worth fighting for. The school focuses on mastery of critical skills like communication, collaboration, and problem solving while mastering rigorous content. Every student is challenged and supported to learn deeply through interdisciplinary projects. These projects are drawn from the community around them and  give students the opportunity to apply their learning in creative ways and make real positive change in the world.

  • Learn more about Innovation Lab High School from students and staff 

Innovation Lab High School Application for 2023-24

  • If your student is currently in 8th grade, use this link to access our application for 9th grade enrollment. 

  • If your student is currently in grades 9-11, use this link to access the in-district waiver application process.

Applications opened on January 3, 2023, and the First Consideration Deadline has been extended to February 14, 2023.  At that time, Innovation Lab High School will consider all applications that have been completed and if necessary we will use our Lottery and Waitlist Procedure to determine admissions. Families of applicants should receive notice by February 28, 2023 of their status, and they will be asked to complete a form indicating whether or not they accept the seat at Innovation Lab High School. They will then have one week (until March 3, 2023) to complete that form.


    • Northshore Family Partnership: Northshore Family Partnership is a program where homeschool students attend core and elective courses taught by Northshore teachers. It is available to students grades K-12. 

    • Northshore Networks: Northshore Networks aims to support students in realizing their academic potential through customized, independent learning with a high level of educator support. Enrollment is open to 1-12 grade students. 

    • Northshore Online Academy: The Northshore Online Academy supports students learning in a 100% online format for grades K-12. Classes are taught by Northshore School District teachers in conjunction with Edgenuity. 

Enrollment information for the three programs co-located at Bear Creek Campus (Northshore Family Partnership, Northshore Networks, and Northshore Online Academy) will be available on the Bear Creek Campus webpage beginning on Feb. 15, 2023. 

  • SECONDARY ACADEMY for SUCCESS (SAS), 9-12 grade: SAS educators are highly qualified in their subject content areas and are skilled in teaching students with alternative learning styles. SAS meets all the district and state requirements for graduation. Benefits of attending SAS: Learning is your #1 job, you are defined by your potential, SAS is a place where you become your best self, you can get a fresh start, receive support to make up credit when behind, experience a smaller learning environment, and where differences are celebrated. 

SAS enrollment is conducted 4 times a year. Info tours are provided before enrollment dates. If you are interested in enrolling this school year or for 2023-24 complete the application form. The enrollment process starts with the SAS application and completion of an in-district waiver. 


If your 1-12th grade student is new to the Northshore School District for 2023-24, please enroll now. Information about enrolling online can be found on the district’s enrollment webpage. Learn about your child’s designated neighborhood school by using the Address Look Up Tool. If you have questions or require a paper-based enrollment form, please contact your child’s assigned school. 

NSD Student Wellness and Safety Task Force Update


Northshore is committed to providing learning environments that are safe, respectful, and conducive to high achievement for each and every student. In November 2022, a Student Wellness and Safety Taskforce was created to make recommendations on a continuum of predictable and consistent services and support for students and staff to achieve this goal. 

The 29-member Student Wellness and Safety Task Force, representing the broad diversity of our community,  meets twice a month to learn together and develop recommendations. Initial findings and recommendations will be presented to the School Board at the end of April 2023. The Task Force’s work will be completed in June 2023. 

To review the charge of the Task Force, read detailed meeting minutes, and track progress please visit the Student Wellness and Safety Taskforce webpage. Questions can be directed to and will be routed to the appropriate staff member to respond.

Northshore Launches ParentSquare Communications Tool for Families and Secondary Students



Northshore School District is committed to continually evaluating and improving our communication services and supports for families and students. We are excited to announce that the District has adopted  a new communication tool called ParentSquare. This multilingual communications platform is designed to keep families, guardians, staff, and middle and high school students informed and encourage greater engagement and connection with our schools and the District. ParentSquare went live in January for the District, School Leaders, and Office Staff. Educators and other school staff have access to ongoing training opportunities to begin utilizing the tool. 

ParentSquare will provide families and students streamlined communications, responsive to your needs including, but not limited to: 

  • Communication in your preferred language;

  • Messages from school(s) or the District via email, text, or app notification;

  • Opportunity to receive information as it is sent, or all at once with a daily digest at the end of the day;

  • Ability to reply to staff directly from a post (similar to social media) in the app; 

  • Direct messaging to staff; and the ability to sign up for conferences, sign forms, permission slips, and much more all from your mobile device or computer.


2023-24 School Year Calendar Dates Available

The Northshore School District is pleased to share the key dates for the 2023-24 school year, including the first day of school and all school breaks throughout the year. We will begin school on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023. Please visit our website for the complete one-page calendar.



Update Your Calendar: Friday, May 26 is Now a School Day

Due to the inclement weather and cancellation of school on Nov. 30, 2022, school will now be in session on Friday, May 26. The last day of school is currently Tuesday, June 20, 2023. If additional make-up days are needed, they will be added to the end of the school year. Download the revised 2022-23 school year calendar for the most current information.

2022 Capital Bond Report: Design and Family Engagement Begins


The 2022 Capital Bond school growth projects that will take place at eight schools continue to progress. The timeline for each project’s design work and community engagement varies but all have builders and/or architectural firms selected and will begin the design phase in late winter/spring 2023. Both Crystal Springs and Woodin elementary schools will host community engagement sessions in-person this week. These projects were made possible due to the generous support of Northshore voters, who approved the 2022 Capital Bond.

Northshore Wins Government Finance Officers Association Award for Excellence


The Northshore School District was selected as one of seven winners of the 2022 Awards for Excellence in Government Finance. Given by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), the winners represent a diverse set of governments and agencies. The District is the only public school system in the U.S. and Canada to receive this award. GFOA recognized Northshore with this honor due to the District adjusting its budgeting process to ensure alignment between the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan and its available resources. While still following the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s budgeting guidelines, the District also uses performance measures to align the budget and pursue Strategic Plan goals.


Inglemoor Student Named Among Top 300 Teen Scientists

In January, Society for Science announced the top 300 scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2023, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Congratulations to Inglemoor High School senior Pinyu Liao for receiving this award. The 300 scholars are awarded $2,000 each and their schools will be awarded $2,000 for each enrolled scholar. The students hail from 194 American and international high schools in 35 states and China. Scholars were chosen based on their outstanding research, leadership skills, community involvement, commitment to academics, creativity in asking scientific questions and exceptional promise as STEM leaders demonstrated through the submission of their original, independent research projects, essays and recommendations. 


SAS Students Visit, Learn From Business Partner

Picture of students from SAS visiting McKinstry
In January, McKinstry hosted 25 SAS seniors for a day of exploring careers and opportunities. McKinstry staff provided a full tour of their building in Seattle, arranged guest speakers, helped students prepare for future interviews, and provided a delicious lunch spread. Students left the day thankful for the opportunity and with new excitement for their futures. Thank you to our partner McKinstry staff for making this day happen.


Winter Weather Reminders

This is a good time to remind our Northshore community about the District’s snow and hazardous road condition response. The decision to close or delay schools due to inclement weather is made by the Superintendent as early as possible, typically by 5:30 a.m. 

Northshore is a large district that covers more than 60 square miles. While conditions may seem normal in your neighborhood, it may be unsafe in others. All of this is taken into consideration when a decision is made to cancel, delay, activate snow routes, or keep everything on a normal schedule. Remember, if the District does not make an announcement, it means schools are open and buses are operating normally.


Staying Home When Sick

Let’s continue to work together to support our school community’s health! Students and staff are encouraged to follow these easy steps to limit the spread of respiratory illnesses including the flu, COVID-19, and RSV: 

  • Stay home if you’re sick

  • Test for COVID-19 if you feel sick and before returning to school or work. You can get  free tests  for your family. 

  • Wash your hands frequently

  • Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Stay up to date on vaccinations

Learn more about our tips for staying healthy on our District’s Health webpage. Families are also highly encouraged to review current guidance from Public Health so you can make informed decisions about masking, community risk, and vaccinations. 


Safety Reminders

In an effort to ensure we all have home environments that are safe for students, please remember to store firearms locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition. Safe storage of firearms can reduce the risk of unintentional firearm injuries among children and teens up to 85 percent. Visit  King County Lock It Up  for more information on safe storage. 

We can all play a role in keeping our students safe by asking about the presence of unsecured guns in any home your student visits. A simple conversation with friends, relatives, and caregivers before your student visits another home can help save lives. Make it part of your general safety conversation along with questions about pets, food allergies, video games, adult supervision, etc. Visit Be SMART for Kids for more tips on how to approach this conversation.



Racial and Educational Justice


Black History Month Resources

The concept of this celebratory month was created by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a scholar, activist, author, and historian. He has come to be known as the “Father of Black History” for his efforts to elevate the experiences, histories, key contributions, and the lives of Black peoples and communities in American history. You can read Woodson’s full biography here. You can also view a pre-recorded virtual panel on Human Rights, Black Lives Matter at School, and the 2023 Student Justice Conference, by clicking here. This panel was hosted by the Racial and Educational Justice Department and included the voices of students; teachers; and a community educator, author, and activist. Additionally, Northshore recognized the national Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action from February 6 – February 10, 2023. This was an opportunity for all staff, administrators, and students to celebrate and center the voices, lived experience, and significant contributions of Black individuals and communities - past and present. 


Remembering Tyre Nichols

“My name is Tyre D. Nichols. I am an aspiring photographer. Well I mostly do this stuff for fun but I enjoy it very much. Photography helps me look at the world in a more creative way.” - Tyre Nichols 

Tyre Nichols’ photography: 


Responding to Incidents of Violence, Racism, and Hatred 

NSD Mental Health Supports

Students will likely need emotional support from school and home after they become aware of incidents of violence and/or are the victim of racism, hatred, and or bias. Resources: 


SafeSchools Alerts allow students, staff, parents/guardians, and community members to anonymously report concerns, including incidents of bullying, racism, and harassment to the District. If there is an emergency, immediately call 9-1-1.

High School Students: Second Annual Student Justice Conference Planned for March 24


The Racial and Educational Justice Department will offer its second annual Student Justice Conference on Friday, March 24, 2023, and the event will be open to high school students in Northshore. This year’s theme is  “Unapologetically Dreaming, Designing & Doing for Justice.” The  purpose of the Student Justice Conference is to create space for Northshore’s high school students to celebrate their intersectional identities, build community and collaborate with one another, grow their knowledge and understandings about various forms of justice, meet and work with educators and community partners, and learn more about various higher education opportunities.

Learn about the Racial and Educational Justice Department


Partnerships and Volunteers


Wall of Honor Nominations

Picture of the Wall of Honor plaque at Pop Keeney Stadium
The Northshore School District’s Wall of Honor committee seeks Northshore School District alumni, retirees, and volunteers who have made a significant contribution to the Northshore community, state, nation, or world. The committee invites the community to submit nominations for Northshore’s Wall of Honor by completing a nomination form detailing information about the nominee, including background information, special honors, and notable achievements. The deadline for nominations for the Wall of Honor 2023 inductees is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 7. 

Annually, the Northshore Wall of Honor recognizes the outstanding achievements of those individuals who built upon the educational foundation they received in the Northshore School District or who have made unique and lasting contributions in their adult lives to our community. For your ease and convenience, the following website can be used to submit a nomination online:


Students: Hispanic Scholarship Fund Applications due Feb. 15

Every year, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) selects 10,000 outstanding students as HSF Scholars from a broad and talented pool of applicants from across the nation. HSF Scholars have access to a full range of Scholar Support Services, including career services, mentorship, leadership development, knowledge building, and more. HSF also awards more than $30 million in scholarships annually and, depending upon available funds, HSF Scholars may be eligible to receive a scholarship, which ranges from $500-$5,000 and is awarded directly to students. 

It takes an average of 30 minutes for students to complete Phase I of the 2023 HSF Scholar Program Application, and there are no essays, recommendations, or document uploads required in Phase I. To get started and learn more about eligibility requirements, visit and log in or create your myHSF profile to access the HSF Scholar Program Application.

High School Seniors: Apply Now to the Scholarship Foundation of Northshore

The Scholarship Foundation of Northshore is now accepting applications from current high school seniors for spring 2023 scholarships. The deadline to apply is Feb. 22, 2023. Visit to view the opportunities available, which include 93 different new and returning scholarships, including ones specific to students interested in the trades. The Scholarship Foundation of Northshore provides annual awards to deserving graduates of the Northshore School District’s high schools, distributing scholarships valuing more than $4.3 million to over 2,270 students since 1984.

Scholarships Available to Seniors Planning a Career in Education

Sno-King School Retirees (SKSR) announced scholarships are now available for seniors graduating in 2023 from a public high school in Edmonds, Northshore, or Shoreline School Districts. Applicants must be planning a career in a school-related field, such as teacher, counselor, school psychologist, speech and hearing specialist, physical therapist, etc. SKSR offers four scholarships of $2,500 each that can be extended for three more years when proof is shown that the student is studying for a degree in one of the accepted fields. Application forms are available with school career specialists, school counselors, and online at the SKSR website Applications are due March 17, 2023.

Key Dates


February 13: School Board Meeting, 4 p.m.

February 15: Wednesday Early Release

February 20: Presidents’ Day – No School

February 21-24: Mid Winter Break – No School

February 27: School Board Meeting, 7 p.m.


Additional religious and cultural observances:

Maha Shivaratri is February 18.

Isra and Mi’raj are February 18.

Japanese Internment Day of Remembrance is February 19.

Ash Wednesday is February 22.

Lent begins February 22 and ends April 6.

Orthodox Lent begins Feb. 28 and ends April 8.