Connections: February 27, 2023

Connections: February 27, 2023



News from the Northshore School District


I hope everyone had a relaxing mid-winter break. On Monday, February 20, along with the Northshore Council PTSA I participated in Focus Day in Olympia. It was a valuable experience and important advocacy opportunity. I want to thank the Northshore Council PTSA for inviting me to participate and representing the voices of our diverse community so well.

As I have shared before, this is a critical legislative 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. 

Together, during Focus Day the Northshore Council PTSA and our School Board Directors, along with families and educators from across the state, shared what full funding of special education could mean for our students, staff, and local community. Please be on the lookout for community budget meetings during the month of March and early April where you can learn more about our 2023-24 budget development process.

March is Music in the Schools Month! During this time of year music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation. As some of you may know, both my wife and daughter are public school music teachers. As a result, every school I visit requires a walk through of the music room. In Northshore we are fortunate to have strong and vibrant music programs. One of my favorite performances at State of our Schools - and there were many - was the Moorlands Elementary School Choir under the direction of Kelly Griffin. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to take a few minutes to enjoy the artistry of our students. 

I also want to personally congratulate the Bothell High School Jazz Ensemble 1, under the direction of Phil Dean, for being selected for the second consecutive year as a finalist in the Essentially Ellington Jazz Band Competition & Festival! The annual Essentially Ellington competition in New York is one of the most innovative jazz education events in the world. Learn more about this well deserved honor and student opportunity under District Highlights below. 

Finally, today marks the beginning of Public Schools Week, Feb. 27 - March 3, 2023, an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the amazing contributions of public schools, administrators, teachers, specialists, parents, and school board members who support Northshore’s 22,000 students and the nation’s nearly 50 million public school students. I continue to be proud and grateful for the opportunity to lead in such a strong public school system. 

In partnership,

Michael Tolley
Interim Superintendent


News and Updates



BHS Selected for Essentially Ellington

Congratulations to Bothell High School Jazz Ensemble 1, under the direction of Phil Dean, for being selected for the second consecutive year as a finalist in the Essentially Ellington Jazz Band Competition & Festival. The annual Essentially Ellington competition is one of the most innovative jazz education events in the world. Each year, high school musicians from across North America travel to New York City to spend three days immersed in workshops, jam sessions, rehearsals, and performances at the “House of Swing,” Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center. This year’s event will take place May 11-13. Bothell was one of 15 ensembles selected for this prestigious honor.

Safety Alert: Dangers of Fentanyl


In Northshore, we believe that by providing families with information about dangerous activities, together we can keep young people healthy and safe. We encourage parents and guardians to have meaningful conversations with your students about the dangers of fentanyl. This King County resource provides guidance on how to talk with your students about fentanyl. Laced & Lethal is a fentanyl awareness campaign for youth and young adults, including information on how to prevent, recognize, and respond to opioid overdose, and order free naloxone.

Taking steps to inform children and young adults about what these drugs are, what they look like, and their extreme danger will help in preventing overdoses and tragedies. 

If you ever encounter someone who may be experiencing an overdose, please call 911 immediately, as first responders carry the drug Naloxone, which can save lives. It's important for youth and adults alike to know that calls for medical help will not result in legal consequences under Washington State's Good Samaritan Law. If you encounter what you believe to be fentanyl in any form, do not handle it and call 911.


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 was February 14, 2023. At that time, Innovation Lab High School considered all applications that were completed. Families can still apply and they will be added to the end of any waitlist if necessary. The school will use its 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) are available on the Bear Creek Campus webpage

  • 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 continuous 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.

Log in to Your ParentSquare Account to Access School Communications


Since we launched ParentSquare in January, thousands of our families have activated their account. Thank you to the many who have joined us! 

By activating your account, you can log into ParentSquare, allowing you to:

  • Read all of the messages sent by your students’ schools in one location – no need to search your email inbox.

  • Utilize Two-Way messaging with district staff.

  • “Appreciate” or comment on a post – let the school know you see their message.

  • Complete forms, surveys, and more.

In order to interact with any of the messages you receive from ParentSquare via email or text, you need to activate your account. Without activating your account, you will continue to receive the messages, but you will not have access to the benefits listed above. 

Please join us at ParentSquare by clicking on the “Activate your account” button in the invitation sent from ParentSquare this evening, or enter the email address or phone number that matches your contact information on file with the school at

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


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. 

Masking - It's Your Choice


In the Northshore School District we respect and support student and employee’s personal decision to wear a mask while at school. There are many reasons why an individual may wear a mask: 

  • They are immunocompromised or live with a loved one that is immunocompromised 

  • They are following the recommendations of Public Health which change based on infectious disease rates in the community

  • They are recovering from COVID-19 or another respiratory disease, and choose to wear a mask to protect others 

  • It provides a level of comfort 

All of these reasons are valid and must be respected. If you or your child experiences harassment about mask wearing you can use the SafeSchools Alert system to report: 


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.

Upcoming Events


Join the March 4th for Climate Event


Innovation Lab High School's Climate Action Club would like to invite the community to the March 4th for Climate event in downtown Bothell! The March 4th for Climate event aims to showcase the many different ways everyone in our community can make a difference in protecting our environment: with their everyday choices as well as local volunteering opportunities. Meet at Pop Keeney Stadium at 12:30 p.m. for a march to Bothell City Hall Plaza where there will be speakers and informational booths with activities for all ages until 3 p.m. At Bothell City Hall Plaza, attendees can:

  • Explore the WA For Our Future art expo which will showcase art from students K-12! Students and families, click here to find out how to submit artwork! Your art can empower and inspire people to help save our world.

  • Bring your old electronics and plastic film to be recycled at our easy-to-spot recycling booth.

  • Hear from guest speakers.

  • Visit booths hosted by Recology, the Sno-King Watershed Council, and more.

To find out more about this event, and who to contact if you have any questions, visit the ILHS March 4th for Climate webpage

Leota Open House: Learn About the Construction Project, Provide Feedback

Join us on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 from 6-8 p.m. at the Leota Cafeteria, 19301 168th Ave. NE, Woodinville to learn about the phased replacement project for Leota and provide input. This open house is part of the 5th Grade Parent Preview Night on March 8. All families and community members are welcome to join the construction project open house portion, taking place in the Cafeteria. The 5th Grade Parent Preview Night runs from 6:30-8 p.m., so traffic may be busiest from 6-6:30 p.m. Stop by the cafeteria at any time from 6-8 p.m. to talk with the architects and school design team members.

Integrus + YGH was selected to design the future of education for Leota students. They will briefly discuss the status of the project and welcome community engagement. The Leota Middle School project includes a 150,000 square foot building and onsite improvements for vehicular and pedestrian circulation and will be completed in two phases. This project was made possible thanks to voter approval of the 2022 Capital Bond.


Parents and Students Invited: Career and College Readiness Open House


Northshore School District’s Career and College Readiness Open House takes place Thursday, March 9 from 6:30-8 p.m. at North Creek High School. This annual event provides first-hand information from instructors and current students about our Career and Technical Education course and student leadership offerings.

There are many reasons to consider Career and Technical Education courses. Join us to learn about expanding your educational and career options in many high demand fields of study and gain access to current, future-oriented training by skilled education professionals. Career and college courses provide engaging, academically rigorous, and relevant hands-on learning. Join us on March 9 to learn more. For more information, visit

Racial and Educational Justice


Responding to Incidents of Violence, Racism, and Hatred


Prior to the mid-winter break, there were a number of national incidents of violence. District leadership recognizes that students are often affected by these highly publicized events. Below are mental health resources for families to use as needed and information about reporting school-based incidents of bullying, racism, and or harassment. 

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


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:


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.

PTSA Sponsored Online Mental Health Events

The Northshore Council PTSA and a number of school level PTAs are sponsoring two online mental health events titled "Parent Education: Cher Anderton Navigating Teen Mental Health". The will be two sessions, each starting at 7 p.m. going to 8:30 p.m.:
  • March 2: Teen Behavior & Knowing the Red Flags
  • March 9: Supporting Teens through Transitions & Changes
Each session will involve a one hour long presentation followed by a Q&A. Please use the following link to access the events:

Key Dates


Key Dates

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

March 1: Wednesday Early Release

March 8: Wednesday Early Release

March 12: Daylight Saving Time - Set Clocks AHEAD One Hour

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

March 15: Wednesday Early Release

March 22: Wednesday Early Release

March 27: School Board Meeting, 7p.m.

March 29: Wednesday Early Release


Additional religious and cultural observances:

Ta’anit Ester; Fast of Ester March 6.

Nowruz/Ugadi/Gudi Padwa March 22.

Ramadan (ends April 21).