March 25, 2020
Dear Northwood Families:
I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and safe. First, let me thank you for all you are doing to care for your family and provide guidance in your child(ren)’s learning. I hope that whatever you are doing and however you are doing it, you are being kind to yourself, allowing yourself to improvise, and receiving the joy that one gets from sparking a child’s curiosity about wonders of the world. Remember, you are sending the important message that parents are teachers too; you are the first and most important teacher a child comes in contact with each day.
I know that these words can provide only so much solace as you adjust to the role of teacher. Please know that you are not on your own. We are working hard to provide you with resources to assist your children in learning. I hope you have discovered the district online learning resource page at https://www. mercerislandschools.org/Page/ 16096. It provides a large menu of activities as well as tech support. You should have also received a letter from Laura Falsgraf, our Mercer Island Youth and Family Services counselor, outlining information and support that can be accessed to help you and your family address the emotions and behaviors associated with stress, as well as the uncertainty that comes with changes in routine and isolation. Additionally, in keeping with our Northwood practices, I hope you will consider engaging your children in Mindfulness practice regularly. Mindfulness educators suggest that asking children to teach parents about the Mindful practices they have learned at school is the most effective way for parents to learn about it themselves. Please see our Mindfulness webpage for weekly Mindfulness challenges.
The Northwood staff, while finishing up with progress reports, is also busy preparing new learning opportunities that will start coming your way shortly. We are all trying to keep pace with evolving state and federal guidelines. Our intent is to provide engaging lessons that are adult and child friendly, address state standards, are accessible and adaptable to all learners, and nurture academic and social growth.
I am extremely proud of what our district has accomplished in a very short time. We are providing nourishment to those who want a healthy lunch. We are almost up and running in providing childcare to our first responder and health care provider families. We are finding ways to harness the passion and creativity of our staffs in order to create powerful at-home learning. We are a profession that is also quickly learning new ways to communicate and connect on your and our students’ behalf. Thank you so much for your patience. We are working with a great deal of deliberation and speed while tending to our own health and loved ones.
Stay well and take care. I miss everyone immensely, especially our wonderful students. The generosity, kindness and support of the Northwood community are in my thoughts and heart every day.
Principal | Northwood Elementary School