October 11, 2017
Dear Northwood Families,
Welcome to Fall! I hope you are enjoying our change to crisp fall weather. As the weather changes with the
season, please remember a few things to support your children during this time:
• Help your children dress for the weather. Typically, students will go out to recess during the day,
except in the event of extreme weather. Please help them be prepared with appropriate footwear
and jackets that suit the weather (and the weather that might show up).
• Consider layered clothing. With variable weather, students will be more comfortable if they are able to
put on (or take off) a sweater or sweatshirt as needed.
• Label your child’s removable clothing and other items. Putting your child’s first and last name on their
jacket or sweatshirt tags, water bottles, lunch boxes, or other loose items will help them find their
way home to you.
School Attendance and Illness
Attendance in the early years of school is very important. Students are building foundational skills and
developing learning habits during their elementary years. Sporadic absences, not just those on consecutive
days of school, matter. Before you know it – just one or two days a month can add up to nearly 10 percent of
the school year. Attendance matters as early as kindergarten. Studies show many children who miss too many
days in kindergarten and first grade can struggle academically in later years. They often have trouble mastering
reading by the end of third grade. (from attendanceworks.org)
While we want our students to be here as often as they are able, we also recognize that children get sick and
illness can prevent them from being at school. For the health and wellness of all our students, our nurses
provide the following guidelines when determining whether your child should remain at home due to illness.
• Fever: If your child has a temperature of 100 degrees or greater, keep him/her at home for a minimum
of 24 hours after the temperature returns to normal without the use of fever reducing
medication. Your child will be sent home from school if they have a temperature of 100 degrees or
• Vomit/Diarrhea: Keep your child home for a minimum of 24 hours after the final episode. Your child
will be sent home from school if he/she vomits or has diarrhea at school.
• Cold Symptoms (cough, runny nose, headache): If your child is too sick to participate in outdoor
recess, PE, or the classroom activities, keep him/her at home. If your child’s cough becomes
productive with colored sputum, it hurts to cough or if he/she develops a fever, it is time to call your
• Strep Throat: When diagnosed your child is considered contagious and needs to be kept home until
he/she has been on antibiotics for a full 24 hours. Please keep your child home while he/she is
Nurses at Northwood
At Northwood, we have a three-person nursing team in the healthroom. If you need to contact our nurses,
please call 206-275-5801 or use this email address to ensure the nurse on duty, and all nurses, get your
Our team is as follows:
Monday - Emer Nolan
Tuesday - Anastassia Konnova
Wednesday - Betsy Harmening
Thursday - Emer Nolan
Friday - Betsy Harmening
Communicating with Teachers
• If your child's plan for the end of the school day unexpectedly changes, please contact the
main office by phone to get the message to the child and his/her teacher prior to 3:30. During
the school day, teachers' focus is on the students in their classrooms, and they frequently do not
check email until after dismissal. As a result, they generally will not get an emailed message in time
to share it with students before the end of the day. Calls or messages received by the office after
3:30 often do not allow office staff enough time to get the message to the child before dismissal.
• Northwood teachers value building partnerships with parents. If you need to speak with a teacher,
please contact them to set up an appointment. Drop-in conferences while school is in sessions
disrupts the learning environment, and teachers are unable to give parents the full attention they
deserve. Please call or email to set up a time to talk with your child's teacher.
Mindfulness and Character Focus
At Northwood, our Social Emotional Learning Curriculum includes instruction in Mindfulness and Character
Traits. Each month, you will find Mindfulness Challenges and a description of the Character Trait focus of the
month on our website. There is a quick link on the grey navigation bar in the middle of the page; look for the
symbol of a head with gears in it and click to get to our Mindfulness webpage.
Teachers are coordinating with their Room Parents to schedule and plan Halloween parties for their
classes. Please see your teacher's communications for specific information on your child's party. Students are
invited to bring their costumes to school and to change into them for the party. As you consider costumes for
your kids, please consider the following guidelines:
• Students are invited to change into costume for the party, but not required. Not all families engage in
this tradition, and we respect their choices.
• If students do change into a costume, please ensure:
oThe costume is something they can easily put on and take off themselves or with minimal
adult help. Consider leggings or sweats that can be worn to school that day and that can
easily go under the costume, thereby avoiding a need to visit the bathrooms to change
oNo bloody or gory costumes are allowed at school.
oNo props are allowed at school (e.g., brooms, weapons, fairy wands, horses, etc.). These can
be a hazard in a room full of excited kids, and they frequently get left behind, making them
inaccessible for the “big event” of trick-or-treating. Please keep these items at home for
oPlease save the face-painting aspects of your child’s costume for home.
oPlease consider comfort and maneuverability. Kids will want to engage in the games and
activities room parents have planned, and some costumes make this challenging or
oPlease send the costume in a bag with your child in the morning. Your teacher will let the kids
know when it is time to change for the party. If your child’s party occurs at the end of the
day, your child may wear his/her costume home from school.
If you are participating in planning the party, please ensure all food allergy guidelines for your classroom and
safety considerations are followed for the protection of all our students.
• 10/11 @ 6:00-8:00pm - District New Families Event at Islander Middle School
• 10/12 - Going Green Assembly for Students
• 10/12 @ 6:00pm - Northwood Outdoor Education School (Islandwood) Parent Information Night in
• 10/19 - Great ShakeOut Earthquake Readiness Safety Drill
• 10/23 & 10/24 - Mercer Island Schools Foundation Fall Phone-a-Thon
• 10/25 @ 6:00-7:00pm - LAP/Title 1 Curriculum Night @ Northwood Commons
• 10/25 Parent Edge Event, 7pm @ MIHS PAC Tweens, Teens, and Tech• 10/26 - Picture Retake Day and Class Picture Day for ECSE
• 10/31 - Halloween Parties; see your teacher's communication for details about your child's party
• 11/1 - ChildFind
Have a wonderful week.
Principal | Northwood Elementary School
The Mercer Island School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national
origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, marital status, disability, or the use of a trained dog
guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.