October 2, 2019
Dear Northwood Families,
Fall has arrived! I hope you have enjoyed the transition of the seasons over the past few weeks.
As happens each 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 1,228 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:
● Northwood Site Visit - School Board of Directors Special Meeting
● Northwood Family Social Emotional Learning Night
● Parent Playground
● Fall Festival Parties - October 31
● Fine Arts Education at Northwood - Did You Know?
● Upcoming Events
Northwood Site Visit - School Board of Directors Special Meeting
The Mercer Island School Board will be holding a special meeting at Northwood Elementary on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. Each year, the Directors visit a few of our Mercer Island schools to tour classrooms, talk with teachers, staff, and administration, and connect with students and the parent community. The Directors will plan to meet with any interested parents from 11:05am-11:30am in the Northwood Commons. We hope to see you there!
Northwood Family Social Emotional Learning Night
Northwood Teachers and Staff are hosting our first ever Family Social Emotional Learning Night on Wednesday, October 23, from 5:30pm-7:00pm! This event is a chance for you and your child to learn together about great tools we use to help our students (and ourselves) with social and emotional growth. You start your evening with a pizza dinner in the commons and then you head to classrooms where you will be led in two Social Emotional learning sessions. Topics that will be covered are Mindfulness, Growth Mindset, Second Step learning and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) at Northwood. The evening will conclude with cookies, a survey, and a raffle - we have great prizes to support social emotional health! Please see the attached flier for more information. We hope to see you there!
Registration: Space is limited! Please RSVP by October 16th to ensure enough materials and food are ready. Click here to register: https://forms.gle/aDQFWi8timDrfR8j8
Parent Playground 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.
Fall Festival Parties - October 31
Northwood’s Fall Festival parties will occur on Thursday, October 31. In collaboration with the Northwood PTA, Northwood will host Fall Festival parties on Thursday, October 31. Teachers are coordinating with their Room Parents regarding the schedule and plan for their classrooms. Please see your teacher's communications for specific information on your child's party. To foster a productive day of learning, students are expected to wear regular clothing for most of the school day; they are invited to change into 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:
o 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.
o No bloody or gory costumes are allowed at school.
o 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.
o Please save the face-painting aspects of your child’s costume for home.
o 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.
o Please send the costume in a bag with your child in the morning, unless otherwise requested by your child’s teacher. 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.
o No costumes that demean self or others.
o No racist or promiscuous costumes.
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. Many thanks to the Northwood PTA and room parents for organizing fall festival activities for our learners.
Fine Arts Education at Northwood - Did You Know?
Our Mercer Island elementary students experience a rich fine arts curriculum during their K-5 years. Beginning in Kindergarten, in addition to the classroom-based learning that includes visual arts and singing, our students experience instruction in visual art concepts in skills through bi-weekly sessions with our Art Teacher, Kelly Tran. Mrs. Tran supports students’ development and learning in various aspects of visual arts, including color, composition, line, texture. They explore different concepts of art and create works of art using a variety of materials as they progress through each year and through elementary school. Excellent examples of student art are visible throughout Northwood: in the hallways, in classrooms, and in the display cases near the main office. Additionally, some of our student masterpieces are “on loan” to the Administration building at various times of the year. The Spring Fine Arts Showcase, our district-wide celebration of the arts occurring on March 24 and 25 this year, offers another venue for every child to display their art at Mercer Island High School. Additionally, all our elementary students engage in regular musical instruction through their specialist rotations with our Music Teacher, Erin Brown. Ms. Brown shares her passion for all things musical with our Northwood learners, helping them grow and develop their skills as musicians, singers, and composers. We have a variety of musical instruments in our music classroom, and students learn how to play them both individually and as part of an ensemble. Movement is also a regular part of musical learning at Northwood. Students learn about music history, various genres of music, and composers and musicians throughout history. As students move into the intermediate grades, they have the option to join one of the musical clubs at Northwood: Drum and Mallet Club or Choir. Every other year, Ms. Brown joins forces with a colleague, Mrs. Lepp, to form a Musical Performance Club in which interested intermediate students rehearse and perform a musical play.
● 10/3 - Parent Playground @ Lunch/Recess times
● 10/17 - The Great Washington Shakeout - district-wide earthquake preparedness day
● 10/17 - Northwood PAC meeting, 9:30-10:30am @ Northwood Commons
● 10/22 - Northwood Student Picture Day
● 10/23 - Northwood Family Social Emotional Learning Night, 5:30-7:00pm
● 10/28 & 10/29 - Mercer Island Schools Foundation Phone-a-thon
● 10/31 - Fall Festival class parties
● 12/3 - Picture Retake Day
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.