March 4, 2019
Dear Northwood Families,
Welcome to March! We’ve had a beautiful, sun-shine filled weekend to kick of the month.
This newsletter contains the following content:
· Parent Playground – March 7
· Mindfulness and Focus Character Trait
· Great Kindness Challenge Video
· Family Math Night Thanks
· Book Fair
· Kindergarten Enrollment for 2019-20
· Smarter Balanced Assessments in Grades 3-5
· PALS - Practicing and Learning Skills
· Upcoming Events & Activities
Parent Playground – March 7
Our March Parent Playground is scheduled for this Thursday. Please see the Northwood Parent Playground page for more information. If you haven’t already done so, please remember to complete and submit all your volunteer paperwork at least 24 hours in advance of the event to ensure you can attend. We hope you will join us!
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 .
Great Kindness Challenge Video
Northwood was recently featured in a Vision 2020 Spotlight video that took a look at our Great Kindness Challenge 2019! If you haven’t had a chance to see it, take a few minutes to see what our Northwood and West Mercer students and staff have been doing to focus on fostering kindness. https://www.mercerislandschools.org/Page/7114
Family Math Night Thanks
Thanks to all the parents and kids who joined us for our first Northwood Family Math 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 Northwood PTA volunteers who helped serve the pizza and were there to sell Spirit Wear. A great community effort led to a fantastic night of learning together!
Many thanks to Ms. Harnish and all the parent volunteers who made our annual Scholastic Book Fair such a great success! We earned $8,000 in Scholastic Dollars for free books/ products from Scholastic. We raised $400 in ALL FOR BOOKS donations to gift free books to students in need in our Northwood community. We were also able to gift books to 38 of our Northwood teachers. These books will help surround our students with the gift of books and love of reading, wherever they are in our school! Thank you all for supporting the book fair and making everyone a reader!
Kindergarten Enrollment for 2019-20
We are already in the planning stages for the 2019-20 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: Kindergarten Registration 2019-20
Smarter Balanced Assessments in Grades 3-5
Our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students will soon be taking 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 Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science. All testing is done online, and we use the data as a district and school to monitor both individual student growth and learning and system-wide student growth goals. To learn more about these state tests, please see the OSPI Assessment/Testing webpage.
PALS - Practicing and Learning Skills
PALS stands for Practicing and Learning Skills. The focus of PALS is to support selected 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.
Upcoming Events & Activities
· 3/04 @ 6:30-7:30pm PTA Council Reflections Art Celebration @ IMS
· 3/06 @ 7:30am – Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Breakfast @ Mercer Island Community Center
· 3/06 Visiting Author Dana Sullivan – K-2 Students
· 3/11 School in Session – Regular Schedule (weather make-up day)
· 3/13 ChildFind 10:30am-12:30pm
· 3/13 @ 6:00-8:00pm Northwood PTA Marketplace
· 3/21 @ 5:30-7:00pm – Gator Night at IMS (5th grade to 6th grade transition event)
· 3/22 @ 12:00noon – Early Release for K-5 Elementary Students; ECSE students follow normal schedules
· 3/29 @ 5:00pm - Elementary Progress Reports available on Skyward
· 3/25 & 3/26 - Smarter Balanced Assessments – English Language Arts (3rd, 4th, and 5th grade)
· 3/26 @ MIHS - Fine Arts Showcase (Visual Arts)
· 3/27 @ MIHS - Fine Arts Showcase (Performing Arts)
· 3/29 Soaring Owls' Nest Lunch
· 4/4 - Parent Playground
· 4/8-4/12 - No School: SPRING BREAK
· 4/15 School Resumes
· 4/15 @ 4:00pm Northwood Parent Advisory Council
· 4/17 ChildFind 10:30am-12:30pm
· 4/25 WCAS 5th Grade Science Test
· 4/29 & 4/30 Smarter Balanced Assessments - Mathematics (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.