Connections: March 13, 2023

Connections: March 13, 2023



News from the Northshore School District


Since mid-January, I have been sharing information about our 2023-24 budget development process. Specifically, I have been sharing the gap between our 2023-24 projected revenue, driven by student enrollment, and what it currently costs to run our district and educate our students. 

Part of the budget development process has been initiative mapping. Initiative mapping is the process of identifying all of the District’s expenditures beyond those associated with levies, bonds, or grants. The purpose of initiative mapping is to bring better coherence to our strategies, identify duplication in efforts, and help us make better-informed budget decisions. 

I want to thank the many people that have spent countless hours documenting our collective work. Through initiative mapping and the budgeting process, we identified additional expenditures that have grown our projected 2023-24 shortfall to $21-22 million. These expenses include certificated staff, administrators, contractual commitments, and additional student services. 

The District has already taken steps to slow spending this year, requiring schools and central departments to limit spending to 75% of their budget through March 2023. We are also restricting additional activities and freezing all unnecessary discretionary spending. This will likely result in some additional dollars rolling forward into future budgets, but it is not a long-term solution. 

So, why does Northshore have a projected $21-22 million shortfall for next school year? 

  • Declining student enrollment while we maintained or increased staffing levels over multiple years. Since 2019-20 and the start of the pandemic, Northshore has seen a decline of 600 student FTE and projects another 200+ student FTE decrease in the 2023-24 school year. Every 75 students is the equivalent of $1 million dollars. While we have lost students, we have maintained and in some areas added staff to address student needs. As a side note, the school-age population in Washington is shrinking due to declining birth rates - the pandemic accelerated anticipated enrollment loss;
  • Increased student and staff needs as result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike districts with higher populations of students qualifying for Free and Reduced Lunch status, Northshore received minimal ESSER funds (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund). In total we received $7.4 million. Emergency and recovery efforts were primarily paid for by our general fund and local levies;
  • District decisions regarding programming and operations. We have provided increased instructional program opportunities for many students; 
  • The state’s continued underfunding of public education, specifically special education services. For example, in 2021-22, Northshore spent $23.6 million dollars of local levy funds to make up the gap between what the state provides for special education services and what our students need and deserve. If the state was paying the full cost of legally required special education services, our budget forecast would be very different. This year’s legislative session ends on April 23; and
  • State spending on public education hasn’t kept pace with inflation and the true costs associated with operating schools. Inflation has impacted fuel and energy prices, supplies and parts, food, etc. - all costs outside our control but that we must respond to. 

The Seattle Times interview with state superintendent Chris Reykdal helps provide additional information about the financial challenges faced by Districts in Washington, including Northshore. 

What are our next steps? 
This evening at 5:30 p.m., March 13, 2023, staff will provide a budget update to the School Board at a special study session. During this meeting we will review what makes up our budget shortfall and guiding principles for reductions. We are legally required to submit a balanced budget to the state - so, we must bring our expenditures into alignment with our projected revenue. Staff, students, and families can watch a livestream of the study session (5:30 p.m., March 13) or view the recording on our School Board webpage. 

I am personally committed to making sure the District is transparent about the budget challenges, solutions, and timeline. Cabinet has been asked to attend school staff meetings to present this information in person and answer questions. In addition, the Budget and Finance Office will be hosting community budget meetings in March and April. More information can be found in the Connections newsletter below. 

As a lifelong educator and someone who cares deeply about our students and staff, I recognize how challenging this is. None of the solutions will be easy, and it will likely require reductions in multiple areas across the system. I am committed to continuing to center our students - minimizing reductions that are closest to classrooms, racial and educational justice, and commitments outlined in our strategic plan as we work to balance our budget. Thank you in advance for partnering in the hard work that lies ahead. 

In partnership, 

Michael Tolley
Interim Superintendent 

News and Updates


Superintendent Finalist Community Forum

                                   Photo of superintendent finalists

The Northshore School Board has announced three finalists for the 2023-24 superintendent positionYou are invited to provide your feedback on the final candidates at the upcoming Community Forum. 

The Community Forum will be held on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Northshore Performing Arts Center (18125 92nd Ave. NE, Bothell, WA 98011), which is located on the campus of Bothell High School. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m.

Forum participants will be invited to submit questions at the event for the candidates. Questions will be gathered from the audience before the candidates take the stage. Feedback to the School Board will also be collected at the forum to inform final School Board deliberations.

For individuals not able to attend in person, the Northshore School District will be live streaming the forum. Information about viewing the live stream (including closed captions with auto-translation) and how to submit electronic feedback will be provided on the Superintendent Search webpage. The feedback form will go live on March 15. 

The Northshore School Board is expected to make a final selection at a Special Meeting of the Board on March 17, 2023. The new superintendent is scheduled to begin July 1, 2023.

Community Budget Meetings

The Budget and Finance Office will be hosting budget development community meetings in March and April. Families, students, and staff are encouraged to attend to learn more about the 2023-24 budget development process, timeline, projected shortfall, and guiding principles for budget reduction. 


Happy Education Support Professionals Week!

March 13-17, 2023 is Education Support Professionals Week (formerly Classified Week), a tradition started in 1975 to recognize the contributions of Education Support Professionals (ESPs) in the public school system. It is a statewide celebration to recognize ESPs for the difference they make in our schools. In Northshore, we have 1,392 Education Support Professionals, contributing in numerous ways to student success, growth, and learning. ESPs work one-on-one with students, support students during recess, provide support in offices across the District, drive buses to transport our students, provide students with nutritious meals, and more. Join us in celebrating and thanking our Education Support Professionals!

Now Accepting Submission for Northshore Speaks

Photo of student participants of last year's Northshore Speaks

In honor of National Poetry Month, the Northshore School District once again looks forward to showcasing Northshore Speaks, featuring original student spoken word poetry. This year’s event will take place virtually on Thursday, April 27 at 6:00 p.m. 

To be considered for the Northshore Speaks event, Northshore parents must submit original spoken word poems by video on behalf of their student using this form by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 2, 2023. If the student’s entry is selected, District Communications staff will connect directly with the student and their family. Students will need their parent/guardian to complete the Northshore Speaks participation form

Information on how to view this inspiring evening, designed to connect, reflect and hear diverse perspectives from our student community will be shared at a later date. The event is suitable for Northshore families.


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.


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.


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 continuing to accept applications for students to attend beginning in the fall of 2023. If your student is interested in experiencing a learning environment focused on tackling real-world problems, that gives students the opportunity to master critical 21st century skills, and that challenges every student to find meaningful ways to demonstrate and apply their learning, then Innovation Lab may be the place for them.


    • Northshore Family Partnership: NFP is a personalized education model where certificated teachers and advisors guide students’ education and provide resources. Students take enrichment classes on campus. 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. 


ParentSquare Featured FAQ: Translated Messages

Photo of the parent square logo

Northshore has a growing list of Frequently Asked Questions on the ParentSquare & StudentSquare website. Answers to questions about language preferences, computer-generated translations, and more are available. Learn more:


Eight Northshore Students Named National Merit Finalists

Photo of the merit finalists
Congratulations to the eight Northshore high school students who were named National Merit Finalists. These high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered in the spring. The students recognized are: Josephine Anderson, Justin Chae, and Liana Modovanu from Inglemoor High; Hansel Lee, Shreye Shaji, and Andrew Zhang from North Creek High; and Meagan McGuinness and Colin Pascual from Woodinville High. High school students entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Congratulations to our student finalists for your remarkable accomplishments!

BHS Student Selected for 2023 National Youth Orchestra


Photo of Annie Song

Annie Song, a junior at Bothell High School, was recently selected to participate in the 2023 National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) as a violinist. NYO-USA is sponsored by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, which brings together the brightest young players from across the country. After a multi-week training in New York, Annie will go on a North American tour with renowned conductor Sir Andrew Davis and soloists Gil Shaham and Hilary Hahn as part of NYO-USA and perform in venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York and Rady Shell in San Diego. Congratulations, Annie!


IHS Student Earned National Award

Photo of Isabel Amaya
Isabel Amaya, a senior at Inglemoor High School, was recognized during an event on March 11 as one of 40 recipients for the 2023 National Center for Women and Information Technology Award for Aspirations in Computing. This award honors 9th through 12th grade women, genderqueer, or non-binary students for their computing-related achievements and interests and encourages them to pursue their passions. Isabel is dedicated to helping vulnerable people. She developed a software for sustainable mental wellness, ran a gender-affirming clothing drive, and got therapy dogs at her school. Thank you for your contributions, Isabel, and congratulations!

IHS Students Earn Journalism Honors

Photo of student awardees
Congratulations to Inglemoor High School students Arushi Sharama, who won Washington Journalism Education Association (WJEA) Journalist of the Year, and Kath Shelden, who won 2023 Outstanding Journalist at the WJEA State Conference. Arushi’s portfolio will be sent to the Journalism Education Association for the national competition in April. Many other students participated and brought home top honors in competitions at the event. Learn more about the awards.

Bothell High Teacher a Candidate for National Language Teacher of the Year

Photo of Mr. Tolley visiting Ben-Fisher Rodriguez
Interim Superintendent Tolley made a surprise visit to congratulate Bothell High School German and Spanish Teacher Ben Fisher-Rodriguez last week. Fisher-Rodriguez is the 2022 Washington Language Teacher of the Year, Pacific Northwest Council for Languages Regional Teacher of the Year, and one of five candidates for National Language Teacher of the Year award, which will be announced in November 2023. The award for ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year is intended to elevate the status of our profession at the state, regional, and national levels by creating opportunities for recognizing the most accomplished members of our profession.

Bothell High Coach Inducted into Hall of Fame

Photo of Tom Bainter
Tom Bainter, head football coach and health teacher at Bothell High School, was inducted into the Washington State Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Feb. 25, 2023. This is a well-deserved honor, as Coach Bainter is an inspiration to many students past and present and a gift to the whole Bothell community. The 2022 season marked the 23rd season for Coach Bainter as Head Coach at Bothell High and his 34th year of coaching. He began the season with an overall record at Bothell High School of 195 wins (surpassing 200 wins during 2022) and 58 losses. Congratulations, Coach Bainter.

2022 Capital Bond Report: Replacing Fiber Optic Cable 

Photo of a school and two figures
Fiber optic cable across the Northshore School District is in need of updates, and thanks to the generous support of Northshore voters, who approved the 2018 and 2022 Capital Bond, these technology infrastructure improvements are in progress. The current fiber was installed in the early 1990s, and the new fiber optic cable provides an immediate speed improvement of 20-30 percent, which prepares schools for the next phase of higher speed connections to wireless networks planned to begin in summer 2023. These fiber improvements are part of the ongoing network modernization for all schools aimed at improving network speeds for student and staff devices. This supports the 1-to-1 deployment of technology devices for student learning made available through the voter-approved 2018 and 2022 Technology Levy. Learn about the fiber optic cable replacement projects completed, underway, and scheduled in 2023.

Northshore Announces 2023 Cricket Tournament

The Northshore School District is excited to announce the second annual Northshore Cricket Tournament, with games taking place in late April through mid-May. Cricket is a game that is commonly played by students from and in India, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, South Africa, and more. The sport is becoming increasingly popular to the point that clubs have formed across the United States, including men’s and women’s U.S. National teams. In response to family requests, in June 2022, we offered the first Northshore Cricket Tournament, with nearly 200 middle and high school students participating. This year, we will once again offer a free tournament after Spring Break in the same format as last year. Learn more and register now for the Northshore Cricket Tournament.



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


Kenmore Elementary and Maywood Hills School Modernization Open Houses

                     Fliers for the open house

The Northshore School District will be upgrading and expanding Kenmore Elementary and Maywood Hills Elementary with an expected completion date of Fall 2025. Come and share your ideas!

  • Kenmore: 

    • Virtual Open House: Monday, March 20, 2023 from 6-7 p.m. on Zoom: The virtual open house format will be a presentation. 
    • In-person Open House: Tuesday, March 21, 2023 from 6-7 p.m. at the Kenmore Elementary Gym, 19121 71st Avenue NE in Kenmore. The in-person open house format will be interactive. Drop-in any time from 6-7 p.m.
  • Maywood Hills: 

    • Virtual Open House: Monday, March 27, 2023 from 6-7 p.m. on Zoom: The virtual open house format will be a presentation. 
    • In-person Open House: Tuesday, March 28, 2023 from 6-7 p.m. at the Maywood Hills Elementary Gym, 19510 104 Avenue NE in Bothell. The in-person open house format will be interactive. Drop-in any time from 6-7 p.m.
Talk with the project team, ask questions, and tell us about the school and community. All are welcome. There will be activities for children. Questions? Email These projects are made possible thanks to the generous support of the Northshore voters, who approved the 2022 Capital Bond.


Racial and Educational Justice


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


Community Assistance Website


We are currently updating our Community Assistance resource page. This page is for non-profit programs and/or organizations that would be beneficial to our communities. Organizations or programs are welcome to submit a request to be listed on the page or submit a request for their entry to be revised. Visit the Community Assistance page, where you will find the link to submit a request to be added.

The information on the Community Assistance page is provided as a courtesy and does not constitute or imply recommendation or endorsement by the Northshore School District. Please keep in mind that we are currently updating and reviewing the resources to ensure that they have accurate information listed. Thank you for your patience.

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.

Art Docent Newsletter

The Art Docent Newsletter is back, with the first issue of the year going out to subscribers last week. The newsletter highlights art docent events, gives info on any upcoming trainings, and provides resources for art docents to use during their classes and/or activities. Sign up here to receive future Art Docent newsletters.

Key Dates

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

April 5: Wednesday Early Release

April 7: Third Quarter Ends

April 10-April 14: Spring Break – No School

April 19: Wednesday Early Release

April 24: School Board Meeting 7 p.m.

April 26: Wednesday Early Release


Additional religious and cultural observances:

Nowruz/Ugadi/Gudi Padwa March 22

Ramadan* begins March 23 (ends April 21)

Good Friday April 7

Easter April 9

Orthodox Easter April 16

Lailat al-Qadr April 18

Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) April 21

*Begins at sundown of previous day/ends at sundown