• October 1, 2018

    Dear Northwood Families,

    We are happily into the swing of things for Northwood's 2018-19 school year.  
    Our teachers and students have spent time over this first month of school getting to know one another, building their classroom communities, and focusing on positive expected behaviors and routines for success.  In our first month of school, staff distributed 1,137 Soaring Owl cards to acknowledge and celebrate our students as they make good choices each day.  Wow! 

    The following topics are included in this message:
    • Car Loop Reminders for Safety
    • School Messenger -- Signing Up for Text Messages
    • New Families Orientation Screen-Cast:  The Basics of Northwood Curriculum
    • Parent Playground
    • Parent Advisory Council (PAC) - Members Needed
    • Child Find 
    • Construction at Northwood
    • Halloween Parties
    • Upcoming Events

    Car Loop Reminders for Safety
    Many thanks to all the parents and guardians who have learned the routines and procedures for a safe Car Loop at Northwood.  As a reminder, please review the procedures and safety guidelines below to help ensure a safe and efficient car loop for all our students.  Our Kiss-and-Go Zone 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.

    We recently received a request from an officer in the Mercer Island Police Department to pass on to our families:  Please do not park your car in the northbound queuing lane on 86th Ave SE that leads to our car loop.  When people park in this lane, it creates a traffic back-up that impedes the flow of traffic north and south along 86th Ave. SE.  Thank you. 

    More information about the Car Loop can be found in our in our Parent Student Handbook on p. 13 Car Loop "Kiss-and-Go-Zone" .

    School Messenger
    The District is now using School Messenger to enhance our phone/email/text notifications to be sent to families.
    You have already received emails and a welcome phone call from Superintendent Donna Colosky using the new system. But to opt in for texting, we are required to ask our families to enter your cell phone number(s) to be used for texts in Skyward’s Family Access. The District and individual schools will use texts for important information about events, school closings or delays and safety alerts. SchoolMessenger is compliant with the Student Privacy Pledge, so you can rest assured that your information is safe and will never be given or sold to anyone.
    Below is a graphic and a link to help with the process. 

    Opt In Text

    New Families Orientation Screencast
    Thanks to the families who joined us in September at our New Families and ELL Principal's Coffee.  For those of you who weren't able to attend, please visit the Northwood website to access a screencast capturing an overview of the Northwood curriculum under Latest Northwood Headlines.

    Parent Playground
    Parent Playground (with an emphasis on dads) starts this month!  Parent Playground occurs the first Thursday of each month, when we invite you to join your child for lunch recess (and lunch, too, if you like).  Please see the attached flier for more information about dates, times, and process to attend.  Please note:  Volunteer training and paperwork must be completed and verified by the Northwood office no later than 24 hours before the Parent Playground you wish to attend.

    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 Northwood PAC webpage on the Northwood website.  

    Child Find 
    The Mercer Island School District offers free, regularly scheduled developmental screenings for children aged 3-5 years.  For more information about Child Find, please see the MISD Early Childhood Services webpage.

    Construction at Northwood
    Northwood will be experiencing some construction and renovation this weekend to provide an additional classroom for the District's growing Early Childhood Special Education Program.  The shared learning space in the lower northeast corner of the building will be enclosed to create a new, flexible learning space for our community.  The construction is scheduled to be completed before school opens again on Monday morning, and we look forward to providing this new quality learning space for our littlest learners.

    Halloween Parties
    Classroom Halloween parties will occur on Wednesday, October 31.  

    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 wear their costumes for the party portion of their school day -- teachers will advise as to when this will occur. 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:

    · The 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 clothing.

    · No bloody or gory costumes are allowed at school.

    · No 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 evening use.

    · Please save the face-painting aspects of your child’s costume for home.

    · Please 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 frustrating.

    · Please 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.

    Upcoming Events
    10/4 - Parent Playground
    10/10 - Walk and Bike to School Day @ Northwood, 8:30am-9:05am
    10/18 - The Great Washington Shakeout - earthquake preparedness day
    10/23 - Parent Edge Speaker @ MIHS, 7:00pm
    10/29 & 10/30 - Mercer Island Schools Foundation Phone-a-thon
    10/31 - Halloween class parties
    11/1 - Picture Retake Day


    Aimee Batliner-Gillette

    Principal | Northwood Elementary School

Last Modified on October 3, 2018