December 2, 2019
Dear Northwood Families,
I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving with friends and family.
We are looking toward a busy December with picture retakes tomorrow, an exciting Book-It Theatre Company presentation and Parent Playground this Thursday, and the Northwood School Musical performances next week. We are also preparing our 5th graders for their upcoming trip to Islandwood Outdoor Education School in January. We will be celebrating our Soaring Owls through a Soaring Owls’ Nest Lunch and all-school Soaring Owls assembly before we head out for Winter Break.
This email includes the following content:
- Mindfulness and Character Trait Focus
- Emergency Contact Update
- Northwood Student Council Food Drive
- Lost and Found
- Attendance Changes in Washington Law and MISD Policy
- Upcoming Events and Dates of Note
- Winter Break Wishes
Mindfulness and Character Trait Focus
Our Mindfulness and Character Trait instruction continues at Northwood. Each week students are given a mindfulness challenge to practice. This month's challenges can be found on our Northwood website here. For the month of December, we are reviewing with students the positive character traits we have learned about and practiced so far this year: Kindness, Cooperation, and Perseverance. Please consider ways you can continue the learning at home by discussing these traits, pointing them out when you see them in family and friends, and considering situations when practicing a given trait might be worthwhile.
Emergency Contact Update
Have your contact phone numbers changed? Have you provided emergency contacts and contact numbers to the school? Please take a moment now or over the winter break to check Skyward and ensure we have correct information to contact you or an alternate care provider in case of an emergency. You may make needed changes through the online Skyward RSVP Process. You may also use the Student Change of Information Form found on the MISD website. Thank you.
Northwood Student Council Food Drive
Many thanks to all the families who contributed to the Northwood Student Council’s food drive in November. As a school community, we gathered 2, 798 food items. These were donated to the Mercer Island Food Pantry to support members of the Mercer Island community. Thanks for your generosity!
Lost and Found
Thanks to all the students and families who located and retrieved lost items from our Lost and Found during Conferences. Any remaining items were donated at the end of conference week.
As we move toward Winter Break, please check the Lost and Found for any items of clothing or lunchboxes that go missing over the next few weeks. Any remaining items will be donated at the end of the school day on December 20. Thank you!
Attendance Changes in Washington Law and MISD Policy
Over recent years, MISD has made concerted efforts to address absenteeism in our schools to ensure that all students fully benefit from their education. In addition, there has been a significant change made at the State level in regards to attendance. The Mercer Island School District has updated their Attendance Policy in accordance with this State level change.
DISTRICT POLICIES AND STATE LAWS
Beginning in January 2020, the following District policies will be fully implemented in all four elementary schools.
According to Board Policy 3122, absences may be excused if they are arranged prior to the day of the absence or the school is provided with a written explanation within 5 school days upon return. District policy allows the following explanations for excusing absences:
- Illness or health condition
- Pre-arranged medical appointment
- Family emergency
- Religious or cultural holiday or participation in religious or cultural instruction
- Pre-arranged participation in a school-approved activity or instructional program
- An approved pre-arranged activity that is consistent with district policy and is mutually agreed upon by the principal or designee and a parent/guardian
*Note: Vacations are not considered excused activities consistent with district policy or state law.
Any student who is absent without a reason as described above will be marked unexcused.
Thank you for your attention and support in our efforts for improved attendance.
Upcoming Events and Dates of Note
- 12/03/19: Picture Retakes
- 12/03/19: Islandwood Information Night for 5th grade Parents; 6:00-7:00pm @ Northwood Commons
- 12/05/19: Parent Playground
- 12/06/19: PTA Hosts Books & Bites fundraiser at Island Books
- 12/12/19: Northwood School Musical Presentations; Assembly @ 10:00am, Evening Presentation @ 6:30pm; Northwood Stage in the Gym
- 12/19/19: Soaring Owls' Nest Lunch
- 12/20/19: Soaring Owls Assembly
- 12/20/19: Last day of school before Winter Break
- 12/23/19 - 01/03/20: No School - Winter Break
- 01/06/20: School Resumes
- 01/08/20: MISD ChildFind @ Northwood by appointment
- 01/13/20 - 01/16/20: Northwood 5th Graders at Islandwood
- 01/20/20: No School - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- 01/21/20 – 01/31/20: Northwood's Great Kindness Challenge!
- 01/27/20-02/14/20: Mercer Island Community-wide Random Acts of Kindness event
- 01/28/20: Kindergarten Parent Information Night (for incoming Kindergartners in 2020-2021 school year)
Winter Break Wishes
The Northwood staff wishes all of our families a safe winter break filled with friends, family, and activities that fill you with happiness. In keeping with our school-wide practice, we hope each of our Northwood students, grown-ups, and siblings take time throughout this Winter Break to be present, mindful, and heartful with whatever you are doing.
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.