May 1, 2019
Dear Northwood Families,
Welcome to May! We had a great turn-out this morning for walk and bike to school day. Thanks to the Northwood PTA for organizing this event to encourage safe and healthy ways to get to and from school. As the weather continues to warm and brighten, take a look at the Safe Walking Information page on our Northwood website.
This letter includes:
- Student School Supplies for 2019-20: New Process!
- Northwood Family Folk Dance Night
- Northwood Spring Hootenanny
- Special Considerations & Class Placement Process
- Kiss and Go Zone (Car Loop Drop-off and Pick-up)
- Mindfulness and Character Trait of the Month
- Northwood Main Office Staffing Change – Welcome Laura Bowers
- Upcoming Events & Activities
Student School Supplies for 2019-20: New Process!
As we prepare for the start of school next year, we have decided to change the process for collecting school supplies and wanted to alert you to this as soon as possible.
In the past we have collected monetary donations at the beginning of the school year (via the PTA back to school packet or online process) and then purchased all of the supplies ourselves. We have identified some problems with this system: 1). Not enough money is being collected to fund the supplies for all our students. As a result, we have spent more than was collected and this has put some pressure on our school budget. 2). The ordering process has required significant time for our office manager, during an already very busy period of student enrollments and registrations. 3). Another concern voiced by some of our teachers is the apparent lack of ownership some students are feeling regarding taking care of the supplies provided.
In an attempt to rectify these problems, we will be offering two methods for purchasing supplies.
Each grade level will have a “list” of items. You can use the list and shop on your own, and bring the supplies in at the Open House the day before school starts; or you can purchase a box from SchoolKidz (we are working with them to get exactly what the teachers have asked for at each grade…we have heard great feedback from schools using this option); the SchoolKidz box will be delivered to school in August so that it will be ready for your child on the first day of school.
We recognize that this change will come as a surprise to many of you but please know we have not made this change without careful thought. The teachers and PTA team have been discussing this issue and looking at alternatives for a few months. Our West Mercer colleagues were the trailblazers with this system last year, and the reviews have been very positive.
You will receive additional communications regarding this process in the coming days and weeks, including a link to the SchoolKidz ordering site once it is live. We anticipate the link will be live in about a week, and it will remain live for order through the last day of school, June 21.
Thank you for your continued support; we know that without your help we could not provide the extraordinary education to your child(ren) that we do now.
Northwood Family Folk Dance Night
For the second year in a row, our wonderful music teacher, Erin Brown, received a grant from the Mercer Island Schools Foundation to augment her music program with enrichment instruction about folk music and folk dance, including the support of a folk dance "caller". Students and families are invited to join in a celebration of this learning at our Northwood Family Folk Dance on Tuesday, May 7th from 6:30-8:00pm in the Northwood gym. Wear some comfortable dancing shoes, and be ready to join in the fun! Northwood Family Folk Dance Night
Northwood Spring Hootenanny
Our Northwood PTA is organizing our third annual Northwood Spring Hootenanny. This event is a great opportunity for our Northwood families to get together, enjoy each other’s company, and celebrate as we round out another successful year. We hope to see you on June 12th, from 6:00-8:00pm for music, food, fun, and community connection. Please continue to watch the PTA's Parliament Press for more information about this event. We hope to see you there!
Special Considerations & Class Placement Process
At this time of year, we begin to look forward to the next school year, which includes considering future class placements for all our students. Our teachers and staff engage in a very thoughtful and student-centered approach to building classrooms. Please see the attached letter for more detail about our class placement process. If you have additional information about your child that you would like us to consider, you may submit a Special Considerations form . The deadline for this optional submission is May 15.
Kiss and Go Zone (Car Loop Drop-off and Pick-up)
The Kiss-and-Go Zone and parking lot is at the front of the building, with access on the south end of the lot from 86th Ave SE. (NOTE: The bus lot at the rear of the school cannot be used for parent drop-off or pick-up). We highly recommend parents take the clockwise route around the North Mercer Complex block to facilitate a smooth process. There is a car queuing lane northbound on 86th Ave SE to access the Northwood lot. There is not a queuing lane southbound, making access from that direction challenging. For a map of the recommended route, please see our website here. For more information about Car Loop processes that help keep our students safe while efficiently completing pick-up and drop-off, see page 13 of the Parent Student Handbook on our website.
Mindfulness and Character Trait of the Month
Mindfulness instruction and practice continues at Northwood, beginning each day with a school-wide Mindfulness Minute. This practice helps students develop self-regulation skills and provides them with tools that can help them be present with whatever tasks they are engaged in, help them maintain or regain focus, and help them manage emotions, which can lead to more positive choices. If you are in the school building at the start of our school day, we invite you to join our school-wide Mindfulness Minute. Pause, focus on your breathing, and be present with us as we start our day; you might be surprised at how good it makes you feel!
In May, our Focus Character Trait is Generosity. Our Kindergartners kicked-off our focus on Generosity last Thursday with a school-wide assembly. They created a video to help us understand generosity, and provided us with ideas for practicing generosity. Please see our Northwood Monthly Mindfulness and Character Traits webpage for more information about this learning.
Northwood Main Office Staffing Change – Welcome Laura Bowers
Please join me in welcoming Laura Bowers to the Northwood main office as our new Administrative Assistant and Registrar. Rachel Hood is no longer at Northwood as she has taken another job in the district where she will continue to support Northwood and the other Mercer Island schools. We look forward to Laura joining our team starting on May 9. In the meantime, Sarah Peshkin and our steady substitutes, Kim Wilinski and AnneMarie Guedel, are keeping the office running, along with generous support from the registrars at our other MISD elementary schools. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we make this transition.
Upcoming Events & Activities
May and June are busy, busy months at Northwood. Many of our classes are taking field trips, hosting guest speakers or special events, and otherwise expanding their learning beyond our regular classroom lessons. Please refer to your teachers' communications for specific information about your child's classroom calendar.
- May 2: Parent Playground @ lunch/recess times
- May 6-10: Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week
- May 7 @ 6:30-8:00pm: Northwood Family Folk Dance Night, Northwood Gym
- May 8 @ 2:30-4:30pm: Spring into Kindergarten Event (by appointment for newly registered Kindergartners), Shared Learning Space 112 (near the art room)
- May 14 @ 5:30-6:30pm: Spring String Fling (5th/6th Orchestra)
- May 15 @ 6:00pm: PTA Northwood's Got Talent Event on the Northwood stage
- May 16 @ 6:30-8:00pm – IMS 6th Grade Parent Information Night
- May 22: Childfind, 10:30am-12:30pm
- May 24: SCHOOL IN SESSION - Scheduled Weather Make-up Day
- May 27: No School - Memorial Day
- May 29: Northwood Choir/Drum/Mallet Assembly @ 10:00am; Evening Performance @ 6:30pm
- May 30 @ 9:30am - Northwood PTA Membership Meeting in Northwood Commons
- May 30 @ 6:30pm: Band Blast (5th Band)
- May 31 @ 6:00pm: 5th Grade Mixer at IMS
- June 6: Parent Playground @ lunch/recess times
- June 11 @ 9:30am: PTA Volunteer Reception, Northwood Commons
- June 12 @ 6:00-8:00pm: Northwood Spring Hootenanny!
- June 14: Last Day of Early Childhood Special Education Program (regular schedule)
- June 14: 12:00noon Early Release for K-5 students for teacher progress report preparation
- June 17: 5th Grade Party/Field Trip
- June 21 @ 11:00am: Last Day of School, Early Dismissal
- June 21 @ 4:00pm: Progress Reports Available on Skyward
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.