March 13, 2018
Dear Northwood Families,
Welcome to March. This newsletter contains the following content:
· Partnership: MISD & MIPD
· Mindfulness and Focus Character Trait
· Start with Hello and Spirit Week
· Family Literacy Night Thanks
· Kindergarten Enrollment for 2018-19
· PALS - Practicing and Learning Skills
· Car Loop & Parking Lot Procedures
· Upcoming Events & Activities
Partnership: Mercer Island School District and Mercer Island Police Department
I'm excited to share with you a new level of partnership between Lakeridge and the Mercer Island Police Department. MISD and MIPD already have a deep and longstanding positive partnership here on the Island. Our School Resource Officer, Art Munoz, is known and loved by many students, their families, and our staff.
Now, we get to expand this partnership even more. MIPD officers will be connecting up with our elementary schools on a more regular and visible basis. They might stop in to have lunch in our cafeteria, stroll the hallways to give students high fives, or even play a quick game with kids out on the playground! We are thrilled to have our local officers connecting with our kids and school in such a personal and supportive way.
So, please do not be alarmed should you see a police vehicle around the school or an officer wandering our grounds. Just like every visitor, they'll be signing in at the office, and we'll know they're here. Together, we're all keeping kids safe, happy, and learning at school. Please join me in welcoming our officers to our schools.
Family Literacy Night
Thanks to all the parents and kids who joined us for our first Northwood Family Literacy Night. All of our Northwood teachers contributed to the success of the night in some way: organizing the materials for the lessons and activities; writing the lesson plans; registering and checking in families; presenting the lessons and activities; serving pizza or cookies; setting-up and cleaning-up after the event. I appreciate all they did to make the night a success. Thanks, also, to the PTA leaders who picked up and served all those pizzas and cookies. A great community effort led to a fantastic night of learning together!
Mindfulness and Focus Character Trait
Mindfulness and Social Emotional Learning continues at Northwood.
Please check out our Mindfulness Challenges and information about our March Focus Character Trait, Patience, on our website Mindfulness Page
Start With Hello and Spirit Week
As part of our Social Emotional Learning activities, during the week of March 19-23, we are engaging students in a week of activities to continue to build our inclusive Northwood community. This week includes some instruction from the Start With Hello initiative that arose from the Sandy Hook community. Start With Hello is a prevention program that teaches children how to be more socially inclusive and connected to each other. As parents, you can help by modeling the steps students will learn: Start with hello in 3 simple ways: 1. See someone alone 2. Reach out and help. 3. Start with hello. Make an intentional effort to greet each other with hello and ask questions about each other's day. Actively listen to your child. Talk about a time you have reached out to others. Talk about what your child can do if they feel lonely. And finally, share strategies for starting conversations.
At Northwood, we will engage 2nd - 5th grade students in a lesson to support the inclusive strategy noted above. Additionally, we will have daily themes for all our students to engage in as follows:
· Monday: Hey Day! (Students will be provided with name tags and we will greet one another using our names.)
· Tuesday: Teamwork makes the Dreamwork: Wear pajamas or support your favorite team!
· Wednesday: Crazy for Cooperation: Wear your favorite crazy hat or hairstyle!
· Thursday: New Friends Day (Students will connect with kids at another grade level to make a new friend and learn about one another.)
· Friday: Let your Northwood Spirit Shine and be Kind: Wear your Northwood gear or yellow and gray to show school unity!
Kindergarten Enrollment for 2018-19
We are already in the planning stages for the 2018-19 school year, and we need your help. Do you have a child who will be starting Kindergarten in the fall? Does your neighbor? Do your friends? Please register your child and/or encourage others to register their children for Kindergarten as soon as possible. The more we know about our incoming class of students, the better able we are to plan for staff and classrooms to welcome them. Registration is online at: MISD Kindergarten Registration 2018-19
PALS - Practicing and Learning Skills
Welcome to this month’s installment of “Behind the Scenes”, the monthly feature where we shine the spotlight on what takes place in school that you may not see but that is instrumental in supporting your student(s) and making Northwood a premier learning institution. This month, we talk about PALS. PALS stands for Practicing and Learning Skills. The focus of PALS is to support students by offering additional social and emotional skills instruction. Our PALS program is currently run by Liz Kuhn, a Northwood Paraprofessional.
A student in the PALS program receives additional support during the school day to allow the student to successfully access his/her overall learning. Oftentimes, the support is a quick check in at the beginning of the day and/or the end of the day. There are often one or two goals that the student is working on which support the student’s successful access to all learning. Sample goals may include a Binder Reminder check, getting started on assignments, or a variety of playground skills, just to name a few. Research indicates that positive adult relationships help foster success in a school setting and the PALS program provides this type of relationship.
In addition to working one-on-one with students and their individualized goals, Liz is partnering with classroom teachers to provide a seamless flow to the student’s day. Liz often times goes to the classroom to do check ins/check outs or work with students around a particular goal but if the situation dictates, Liz may also meet with students in a shared learning space.
Liz is also a standing member of Northwood’s Student Support Team (SST), a team that meets weekly to talk about how to best support all students at Northwood. Liz is able to provide strategies for classroom teachers to use with all students and is able to talk at depth with a teacher if there is a student who is being considered for the PALS program.
Our PALS program is PTA-funded and is a critical part of the support for our Northwood students. Before a student may access the PALS program, he/she must be recommended by his/her teacher and/or the SST and once this step has taken place, Liz reaches out to families and sends home a permission slip. The PALS support may last a few weeks or a few months; support is dependent on individual student need.
Car Loop and Parking Lot Procedures
Please help promote safety and efficiency for all Northwood students by following the procedures below (excerpted from Northwood's Parent Student Handbook). Please do not park in designated handicapped spots unless you have a valid handicapped parking placard. We have several families in our community who need these spaces to accommodate their mobility. Please continue to respect our neighboring organizations by not using their lots for school visits and pick-up/drop-off.
Our Kiss-and-Go Zone (Car Loop) can accommodate an efficient drop-off and pick up process if all parents and students follow these guidelines.
· Use the school bus or walk whenever possible.
· Never leave your vehicle at the curb, even for “a minute.”
· Use the inside curb lane for picking up or dropping off your children. Do not allow your children to walk across the lot to find you.
· Children should enter/exit cars on the curbside for safety.
· As you enter the lot, pull up as far as you can before stopping to drop off or pick up your child.
· Be ready. Please have backpacks ready, coats on, breakfast eaten BEFORE you enter the drop-off line so your child is ready to “Kiss-and-Go” when you stop the car.
· Please exercise patience at all times.
· Refrain from cell phone use while operating your vehicle in the parking lot.
· If your child care provider or other family member will be dropping off or picking up your children, it is your responsibility to make sure that those designated persons are also familiar with the policies and routines.
· If you need to park, please use a designated parking spot, get out of your car, use the crosswalk to meet your children, and use the crosswalk to escort them back to your car.
· Please do not use the parking area as a secondary “pick-up lane”. Children will not be allowed to cross from the curb to get to your car in that area of the lot. Please only use the designated pick-up loop.
· There are parking lot “attendants” present at the drop off and pick up. Their primary responsibility is student safety.
· The parking lot layout can be busy and confusing. Our goal is to get the children to school safely and keep the cars moving. Please follow the parking attendants directions when in the parking lot.
Thank you for supporting the safety of all our students and families.
Upcoming Events & Activities
· 3/13 @ 4:30pm in the Northwood Commons - Global Reading Challenge Finals
· 3/15 @ 6:00pm in the Northwood Commons - ELL Night
· 3/16 @ 9:30am in the Northwood Commons - Northwood Principal's Coffee and PAC
· 3/16 @ 5:00pm - Elementary Progress Reports available on Skyward
· 3/20 @ 7:00pm @ MIHS PAC - Parent Edge Speaker Jessica Lahey: The Gift of Failure
· 3/23 Visiting Author Lynn Brunelle
· 3/27 @ MIHS - Fine Arts Showcase (Visual Arts)
· 3/28 @ MISH - Fine Arts Showcase (Performing Arts)
· 3/29 Soaring Owls' Nest Lunch
· 4/24 Poetry Alive presentations for students
· 4/2 & 4/3 - Smarter Balanced Assessments (3rd, 4th, and 5th grade)
· 4/5 - Parent Playground
· 4/9-4/13 - No School: SPRING BREAK
· 4/16 School Resumes
· 4/30 & 5/1 Smarter Balanced Assessments (3rd, 4th, and 5th grade)
Have a great 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.