August 17, 2018
Dear Northwood Parents and Guardians,
Welcome back to school!
We hope you have had an enjoyable summer with friends and family. We look forward to welcoming students and families to the 2018-19 school year in a short few weeks.
I would like to extend an extra warm welcome to families new to our district and our school. We look forward to meeting and working with you.
We have several events to welcome families to the new school year:
Our Northwood PTA is hosting a Welcome Coffee for families of our 1st-5th grade students on their first day of school, Wednesday, September 5 from 9:15-10:30am. This is an opportunity to connect with other parents/guardians in our community, learn more about the PTA, learn about ways to become involved in the Northwood community, and sign-up to volunteer.
For our incoming Kindergarten families, the Northwood PTA is hosting a Kindergarten Welcome Coffee on the first day of Kindergarten, Friday, September 7 from 9:15-10:15am. This is an opportunity for our Kindergarten parents to connect with other Kindergarten parents/guardians in our community, learn more about the PTA, learn about ways to become involved in the Northwood community, and sign-up to volunteer.
For families of students who are English Language Learners and families who are new to our district, we are hosting a Northwood ELL and New Family Welcome Coffee on Friday, September 21 from 9:15-10:15a.m. We hope new families and ELL families will join us for this opportunity to learn a little bit about the Northwood school community and the English Language Learner programs and supports we provide.
New Families are also invited to attend our all-district New Families Event on October 3 at Islander Middle School from 6:00-8:00pm. Please join district leadership to connect with other new families and learn about the broader Mercer Island School District.
District Back-to-School Forms - Required
Our Mercer Island School District forms and payment information are all ONLINE, through a process called RSVP. A postcard and email was sent to families in mid-August to explain the District Back-to-School forms. Families are now able to log into their Skyward Family Access account and complete all the district forms, permission slips, and notifications required for the start of school. Parents and guardians will also verify their student demographic information and update phone numbers, email addresses, and emergency contacts. All parents will be required to complete and/or acknowledge all forms for their children prior to the first day of school. RSVP information and directions can be found on our district website at Skyward Access and RSVP .
How to Get Involved
We have a wonderfully involved community in Mercer Island School District, and we invite everyone to be a part of our school community. We welcome and encourage parent volunteers and hope that you will take advantage of the many opportunities available to you. These opportunities include supporting in the classroom or common learning spaces, attending/volunteering at PTA events, chaperoning field trips, attending Parent Playground, and more. Please contact your child’s teacher for ways to become involved in our school. Our partner organization, the Northwood PTA, led in the coming year by Co-Presidents Michelle Ritter and Ursula Panagiotou, offers multiple and varied opportunities for families to be involved in the community. You can also find information on upcoming events, informative newsletters, and volunteer opportunities on the Northwood PTA website. All volunteers are required to complete an annual training and volunteer paperwork, found on the Volunteers page of our MISD website. If/when you plan to volunteer, please ensure you have completed and submitted your required paperwork at least 24 hours in advance of your volunteer time.
A great deal of effort went into the process of student placement for the 2018-19 school year and the entire staff at Northwood is looking forward to getting to know your children.
You will have access to your student’s placement via Skyward August 29. Please see the Back to School information page on our website for instructions on how to access your Skyward account to learn about class placement. Since we understand how unsettling it can be waiting to find out who your child’s teacher will be next year, it is important that you understand the process that we have gone through to place your child in his or her class. This process started in the end of the 2017-18 school year, and we can honestly say that each child, each class, each mixture of children, all special programs, etc. were carefully scrutinized for a proper balance and good mix.
As this is a lengthy process that we take very seriously, please understand that class placement changes will not be made during this first grading period; any change creates a ripple effect through the whole grade level. It is important that placement be given a chance. Typically, it takes a few weeks for a child to acclimate to a new school, grade, peer group, and teacher -- this is a normal transition period and an important part of elementary school learning. Thank you for understanding the placement process and speaking positively with your child regarding their placement to help them understand that our staff has worked hard to ensure a positive school experience for everyone. All our teachers are looking forward to meeting their new students and creating a nurturing, accepting, positive classroom environments.
Our teachers have written welcome letters to their future students, which can be accessed on our Northwood Website after class assignments are available on August 29.
Faculty and Staff Changes
While the vast majority of our staff is continuing into the 2018-19 school year, as in any organization, we have experienced some personnel changes and additions this year. As of the today, new additions to our staff include:
Current Classroom Teacher Roster (as of August 17 - subject to change)
- 5th Grade Teacher: Angela Mitchell
- 4th Grade Teacher: Lopa Jacob
- 3rd Grade Teacher: Emily Geng
- 1st Grade Leave Replacement Teacher: Elizabeth Melton-Grace
- Kindergarten Teacher: Sean O'Callaghan
- Resource Room Teacher (to partner with Taylor Frese): Brenna Nelson
- ECSE Teacher: April McNeill
- Overload Specialist Teacher: April McNeill
- Spanish Teacher: Lyndsey Daniels
- PLP Paraprofessional: Jane Smith
- Resource Room Paraprofessionals: Hannah Reutercrona, Yashmi Malik
- ECSE Paraprofessionals: Bekah June, Caitlin Whitfield, Jacqui Winn, Andrea Dickman
- Sean O’Callaghan
- Lacey Borgen
- Kerry Sundholm & Veronica Golden (co-teachers)
- Cindi Pacecca
- Kate Lepp
- Andrea Dunbar
- Alexa LeCerf/Elizabeth Melton-Grade (leave replacement teacher)
- Trina Sherman
- Erik Wallin
- Kelsey Sims
- Heidi Clark
- Tiffany Nelson
- Emily Geng
- Lindsay Oliveira
- Amy Kerby
- Lopa Jacob
- Marisa LeVeque
- Alyssa Mitchell
- Tori Vermiglio
- Angela Mitchell
Early Childhood Special Education
- Ashley Tyler
- Hillary Altenberg
- April McNeill
Personalized Learning Program
- Nina Nierman
- Taylor Frese
- Brenna Nelson
Our school hours are as follows this year. Please make note of the times. The first bell rings at 9:10am, at which time teachers will bring students into the building. Please note that there is no outside supervision prior to the first bell, and students should not arrive on campus prior to 9:00am. The tardy bell rings at 9:15a.m.
School hours for Kindergarten - 5th grade are 9:15am-3:45pm
Early Release Wednesday school hours are 9:15am-2:05pm
Early Childhood Special Education Program hours are:
- Morning program: 9:30am-12:00pm
- Afternoon program: 12:45pm-3:15pm
- Extended day program: 11:15-3:15pm
Important Dates for Fall 2018-19
Please mark your calendars for the following fall events:
September 4: 3:00-4:00p.m. - Northwood Open House – Families are invited to come by Northwood during this time to see their classrooms and meet their teachers.
September 5: First Day of School for 1st - 5th grade students. NOTE: This is an early release day like all Wednesdays throughout the year. Students will be dismissed at 2:05pm.
September 5: 9:15-10:30a.m. - PTA Welcome Coffee in Northwood Commons. All Families are welcome; we encourage you to come make new parent connections and learn about PTA volunteer opportunities.
September 5, 6, and 7: Kindergarten Family Connection Conferences by Appointment. Kindergarten families will receive a letter in the coming days with their appointment date and time.
September 7: First Day of School for all Kindergarteners; NOTE: This is an early release day for Kindergarten students only; Kindergarten dismissal at 12:00 noon.
September 7: 9:15-10:15am - Kindergarten PTA Welcome Coffee in Northwood Commons
September 13: First Day of School for ALL Early Childhood Special Education Program (AM Classes, PM Classes, and Extended Day)
September 17: K-5 Curriculum Night & Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Program Night
ECSE Program Sessions 5:00 & 6:00
September 21: 9:15-10:15 Northwood New Families and ELL Welcome Coffee
September 25: Northwood Student Picture Day
October 3: Mercer Island School District New Families Event, 6:00-8:00pm at Islander Middle School
Getting to School
One of the advantages of a neighborhood school is the possibility of walking to school. If you haven’t already done so, please review the information about getting to school on our Northwood website, found on the Safe Walking Information page. We have posted information about designated safe walking routes, recommendations for teaching your children safe walking skills, and recommended driving routes if you choose to drive to drop-off & pick-up your child by car. Please also see the Northwood Parent Student Handbook for information about our car loop pick up and drop off procedures. Please use only the curb-side lane for student drop-off and pick-up.
If your family lives in a neighborhood served by our school buses, please contact the Transportation Department with any questions about bus routes, times, or other topics.
Where Does My Child Line Up at the Start of the Day?
We have designated locations under the covered area of the playground for each grade level and classroom to line up outside the school building each morning. The start of each line is marked by a painted classroom number on the concrete. When the first bell rings at 9:10am, teachers will meet their students at these locations and walk them into their classrooms. On the first day of school, signs with teacher names will help children find their classroom line.
Please note that there is no outside playground supervision before school and, for safety reasons, children are asked to line up with their classmates and not to engage in recess activities prior to the start of school.
Northwood Parent Advisory Council
The Northwood Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is seeking members for the 2018-19 school year. The purpose of the PAC is to inform, encourage, and provide opportunities for parents and community members to be involved in the school’s instructional program and improvement processes. By definition, the PAC is an informational and advisory body.
For more information about the PAC, scheduled meeting dates and times, and to access the online application to be a parent representative on the PAC, please see the Parent Advisory Council page on the Northwood website.
Parent Student Handbook
Our Parent Student Handbook contains much more information about Northwood, Mercer Island Schools, and the Mercer Island community. We invite you to visit the website and view the Northwood Parent Student Handbook to learn more.
We are excited for the start of the new school year, and we look forward to welcoming all your children into their school community. Thank you to all of the PTA members and parent community members who continue to support our wonderful learning community.
Principal, Northwood Elementary
Associate Principal, Northwood Elementary
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.