April 5, 2018
Dear Northwood Families,
Welcome to April. I hope you have enjoyed the gradual increase of the daylight hours and the flowering/leafing of the trees.
Contained in this email are the following topics:
· Family Engagement Activities
· Smarter Balanced/State Assessment Information
· Upcoming Events
Family Engagement Activities
In this edition of “Behind the Scenes”, we will be highlighting two of our brand new Family Engagement Activities; Parent Playground and Family Literacy Night.
Why do schools offer Family Engagement events? As a district, we are looking for ways to partner with parents, families and community members to support all students’ learning from a “whole child” perspective. We are working with your child(ren) during the school day regarding social, emotional, behavioral and academic learning and we know that you are working with them at home, as well. What better way to tighten the school-to-home bond than to organize events that all families can participate in? It allows school staff to showcase the learning that is taking place at school, a way for parents to have the opportunity to learn and grow, and a way for students to see that there are many adults in their lives who care about them and support their learning.
So far, this has been a tremendous success! We increased participation from February to March by over 100%! Students LOVE seeing their parents and other family members during a lunch and recess time. The feedback that we are hearing from parents and from staff is that it is going well and creating both a sense of excitement and pride in our students when their worlds come together.
We started this Family Engagement Activity to increase the participation of male role models on our campus, as research indicates that elementary students benefit from this type of relationship. While we welcome any/all parents to attend, our ultimate goal is to increase the male presence and so far, it has been such a joy to see so many dads on campus, eating lunch and playing a game at recess. We have also noticed that it has allowed some dads to establish a connection with other dads, as they wait their turn in a 4-Square Game or are standing in line waiting for the opportunity to play the basketball-based game called “Bump!”. We are excited to offer Parent Playground through the end of the year (check the school’s website for details) and then start the 2018-2019 school year with Parent Playground in place. Thank you to those parents/dads who have already joined us and if you haven’t yet had a chance, come on out! We have room for everybody and would love to see you.
FAMILY LITERACY NIGHT
Our inaugural Family Literacy Night was also a huge success! We appreciate the partnership of the PTSA, providing pizza and cookies for all who attended. We had all teachers committed to supporting this wonderful family event, whether they were gathering books ahead of time, leading a session, registering families or re-shelving books after the event was over. Many hands lighten the load and we had so many hands! This event meant that your child’s teacher was going above and beyond his/her workday to pull this event off.
We had 6 Intermediate Sessions (3rd-5th) and 8 Primary Sessions (K-2nd). Teachers did a mini lesson to show how literacy strategies that are taught at school can be easily implemented at home. While we used picture books to demonstrate the literacy strategies, they also are very effective with chapter books but we just didn’t have the time to enjoy an entire chapter book together! Some of the highlighted strategies included: summarizing, inferring, sequencing and visual imagery. It was wonderful to go from room to room to room watching parents and students enjoying a book together and talking about the different strategies. At the end of the evening, all families got a strategy sheet to take home, as well as a couple of bookmarks to use that had questions and prompts for reading together.
Our hope is to continue this academically-focused family engagement offering with a Family Math Night in the 2018-2019 school year. Hope to see you there!
Smarter Balanced Assessment Information
Our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students have begun the annual state testing called the Smarter Balanced Assessment. At these grade levels, students take the English Language Arts and Mathematics Assessments. In 5th grade, student also take a Science Assessment. All testing is done online, and we use the data as a district and school to both monitor individual student growth and learning and system-wide student growth goals. To lean more about these state tests, please see the OSPI Assessment/Testing webpage.
· April 9-13 - Spring Break (no school)
· April 16 - School Resumes
· April 24 - Poetry Alive! assemblies for students
· April 25 - Northwood PTA Science Fun Night, 6pm
· April 26 - State Science Assessment (5th grade)
· April 30 & May 1 - State Smarter Balanced Math Assessments (grades 3-5)
· May 2 @ 2:00pm - PTA "Northwood's Got Talent" Auditions
· May 11 @ 9:30am - Principal's Coffee and PAC Meeting @ Northwood Commons
· May 16 @ 6:00pm - PTA "Northwood's Got Talent" Show @ Northwood Stage in Gym
· May 23 @ 6:30pm - Northwood Drum/Mallet Club and Choir Performance
Have a wonderful Spring Break.
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.