• September 12, 2019

    Dear Northwood Families,
    We have had all our first days for the 2019-20 school, and we are happy that all of our learners (from Early Childhood to 5th grade) are getting into the routines of learning and growing here at Northwood.  Thanks to all our families for helping your students get off on the right foot for the new school year, coming to school ready to learn and engage in our community.  Special thanks to our PTA leaders and volunteers who launched the year with a Welcome Coffee and PTA Membership meeting earlier this week.  

    This newsletter contains the following content:

    •Do your children know your phone number?
    •Northwood’s School-Wide Expectations
    •Arrival and Dismissal
    •Mindfulness and Focus Character Trait
    •Northwood Parent Advisory Council (PAC)
    •Curriculum Night
    •Inclement Weather and Appropriate Student Attire
    •Parent Playground - Mark Your Calendars!
    •Northwood Fall Family Social
    •Upcoming Events and Activities

    Do your children know your phone number?
    With the proliferation of smart phones, all of us have increasingly come to rely on our devices to “remember” phone numbers and other contact information.  However, it is still a good safety practice to ensure your children know “by heart” a phone number to use to contact you in case of emergency.  Kids can remember and store a phone number as early as Kindergarten.  Please take some time this month to see if your children have your phone number memorized; if they don’t, now is a good time to help them learn it.  Once they have the phone number mastered, it is good practice to move on to learning the home address.

    Northwood’s School-Wide Expectations
    During these first several days of school, your students have been learning about Northwood’s school-wide expectations for behavior in the classrooms and in all the common spaces at Northwood:  Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible.  This is part of our Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) program.  PBIS is a school-wide effort to provide students with clear expectations that will help them feel confident in navigating the school environment and making positive choices that will help them be successful.  All our students engage in instruction to help them learn the school-wide expectations.  We also practice, reteach, and acknowledge the expectations when students demonstrate them.  Students may receive Soaring Owl tickets when they make choices and engage in behaviors that are Safe, Respectful, and Responsible.  Additionally, we celebrate student showing these behaviors through various classroom-based acknowledgements, weekly announcements of Soaring Owl students, monthly Soaring 
    Owls Assemblies, and monthly Soaring Owls’ Nest lunches. We have a display near the front office showcasing our fabulous Soaring Owls from our monthly lunches . 

    Arrival and Dismissal
    The school bell rings at 9:10am and the tardy bell rings at 9:15am.  Students should not be on campus prior to 9:00am unless they are enrolled in a supervised child-care or enrichment program.  We do not have supervision on campus prior to 9:00am.  At the end of the school day, 3:45pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and 2:05pm on Wednesdays, students are expected to go directly home or to their supervised activity according to the plan determined by their parents or guardians (e.g., car, bus, walking, child-care, etc.).  Students may not remain on campus to play after dismissal unless they are under the direct supervision of their parent our guardian.  Thank you for supporting these safety-promoting expectations with your children.
    Please check out our Northwood website pages Safe Walking Information and Kiss & Go Zone (Car Drop-off and Pick-up)  page on our website for more information about safe ways to get to school.  Please note:  For safety reasons, the car loop for pick-up and drop-off is along the curbside closest to the building ONLY.  There is no pick-up or drop-off in the lane that goes through the parking lot.  Click on the Kiss & Go Zone link above for an image of the car loop route.  

    Mindfulness and Focus Character Trait
    Throughout the year, we engage students in Mindfulness instruction and practice at Northwood, and we provide instruction and practice on a Focus Character Trait each month.  Over thirty years of research show that mindfulness practice in adults can result in decreased stress and chronic pain and improved emotional and mental well-being.  Emerging research with children further offers compelling evidence to support the use of mindfulness in education, leading to benefits in students such as improved: attention, emotional regulation, behavior in school, empathy and understanding of others, social skills, and management of test anxiety and stress.  Mindfulness is the quality of paying attention in an open, balanced, and curious way.   Please see our Mindfulness webpage for weekly Mindfulness challenges for September and for more information about supporting your children in practicing Kindness, our focus trait character trait for September.

    Northwood Parent Advisory Council (PAC) - Members Wanted!
    The Northwood Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is seeking members for the 2019-20 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.  

    Curriculum Night
    Northwood teachers are hosting K-5 Curriculum Night & Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Program Night on Tuesday, September 17.  On this night, teachers will welcome parents and guardians into their classrooms to learn more about what to expect this year for grade-level learning and classroom expectations.  The presentations are designed for adults, and, although our teachers are very engaging during the school day, students are likely to find these presentations challenging to sit through.  We hope you are able to join us; please see the schedule below for planning purposes.
    Curriculum Night Schedule, Tuesday, September 17:

    •5:00-6:00pm - 3rd-5th grade
    •5:00-6:00pm - ECSE Program Sessions
    •6:00-7:00pm - K-2 

    Inclement Weather and Appropriate Student Attire
    As we move through September and into October, and the weather changes with the seasons, please remember a few things to support your children at school:
    •Help your children dress for the weather. Typically, students will go out to recess during the day, except in the event of extreme weather. Please help them be prepared with appropriate footwear and jackets that suit the weather (and the weather that might show up).
    •Consider layered clothing.  With variable weather, students will be more comfortable if they are able to put on (or take off) a sweater or sweatshirt as needed.
    Label your child’s removable clothing and other items.  Putting your child’s first and last name on their jacket or sweatshirt tags, water bottles, lunch boxes, or other loose items will help them find their way home to you.

    Parent Playground - Mark Your Calendars!
    Our Parent Playground events are starting in October.  During Parent Playground, we invite you to join your student(s) for lunch and/or on the playground during lunch recess.   Dads, Moms and other special guests, are invited to join us for lunch and/or recess on the first Thursday of each month.  Visitors must sign in at the front office to get a visitor’s badge prior to joining your students for lunch and then transitioning outside to play!   IMPORTANT:  In order to participate in Parent Playground, you must complete the MISD Volunteer training & paperwork. You can then submit paperwork either via email to Sarah Peshkin (sarah.peshkin@mercerislandschools.org) or by bringing hard copies to school.  Training and paperwork must be submitted NO LATER THAN the day before you join us for your first Parent Playground.  We hope to see you for Parent Playground this year!  Please see the attached flier for more information.Parent Playground Flier 

    Northwood Fall Family Social
    Please plan to join us for the annual Northwood Fall Family Social, hosted by our Northwood PTA, on Thursday, September 26 from 5:30-7:30pm.  They have been busy planning food, games, and fun ways to get to know other students and parents/guardians in our Northwood community.  For more information, please see the Northwood PTA website.

    Upcoming Events and Activities
    •September 12:  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
    •5:00-6:00pm - 3rd-5th grade
    •5:00-6:00pm - ECSE Program Sessions
    •6:00-7:00pm - K-2 
    •September 26:  5:30-7:30pm Northwood PTA Fall Family Social
    •October 3:  Mercer Island School District New Families Event, 6:00-7:30pm at Islander Middle School
    •October 22:  Northwood Student Picture Day
    Have a wonderful week.

    Respectfully,

    Aimee Batliner-Gillette
    Principal | Northwood Elementary School

Last Modified on September 13, 2019