• June 4, 2021

    Dear Northwood Families,

    Summer is almost here, and we got a taste of the warm and sunny weather this week.  These last few weeks of school can be both exciting and anxiety-laden for our children.  As much as possible, providing children with consistency in their schedules and routines can support them feeling safe and secure as the school year winds down and they transition into summer.  As noted below, we will, of course, have opportunities to celebrate our learning community and provide closure for our learners before our last day of school.

    The remainder of this message contains the following content:

    • End-of-Year Celebrations & Video
    • School Supply Orders for 2021-22
    • Medication Pick-up
    • Technology, Library Book, and Non-Consumables Return Plan
    • Last day of School Assembly
    • Future Planning
    • Future School 2021-22
    • Mindfulness Challenges
    • King County Library System (KCLS Access)

    End-of-Year Celebrations & Video

    Please refer to your teachers' communications for specific information about your child's classroom.   Teachers and PTA Room Parents have been discussing options for safe and inclusive ways to celebrate our classroom communities for the end of the year.

    • Class Parties During our last weeks of school, many of our classrooms will be celebrating with a safe/virtual version of a classroom party.  Please connect with your child's teacher for more information.
    • 5th Grade Slideshow Northwood’s 5th grade students will be celebrating approaching the end of their elementary years and their coming matriculation to middle school on Monday, June 14.  As part of this grade level celebration, PTA leaders have put together a photo slideshow/video of our 5th grade students that we will be showing via Zoom on June 14 during the 1:20pm remote instructional block.  Parents of 5th graders are invited to join their children to view this photo slideshow.  Please watch for communication from your teacher with more detail.  We hope to see you online!

    School Supply Orders for 2021-22 (ACTION NEEDED)

    Again this year we have partnered with SchoolKidz/Teacher Tailored to give our families a one-stop-shop for ordering student school supplies. This makes getting school supplies easy! Grade level kits are put together based on the supply lists that our Northwood teachers create.School Supplies will be delivered directly to Northwood for the first day of school. Our students will receive their supplies in class on day one.

    To order a School Supply kit, visit the website below and enter the Northwood School account #:

    School Supply orders must be submitted by Friday, June 25th  to receive a supply kit from SchoolKidz.

    If you prefer to purchase your own supplies, you can do that too! You can find the grade level supply lists here:  https://www.mercerislandschools.org/Domain/2264

    If you have questions regarding the supply kits, contact the SchoolKidz/Teacher Tailored website here: https://www.shopttkits.com/pages/contact

    Medication Pick-up

    If your child has medication at school, please plan to pick up those medications on June 21 (or your child’s last day of in-person instruction).  Medications cannot be stored in the school over the summer and will be destroyed if they are not retrieved.  Please contact the school nurse if you have any questions or you wish to arrange pick-up.

    Technology, Library Book, and Non-Consumable Materials Return Plans


    • On June 21, our in-person learners will bring their school ipads and any ancillary technology tools (e.g., keyboards, hotspots, etc.) to school with them to return.
    • On June 21 from 1:00-3:00pm, our remote/streaming learners will drop off their school ipads and any ancillary technology tools (e.g. keyboard, hotspots, etc.) in the Northwood car loop, accessed from 86th Ave SE.
    • If your child’s last date of attendance for this school year will occur prior to June 21, please return their school ipad and any ancillary technology tools on their last date of attendance.

    Please watch your email for additional information/reminders from our Instructional Technology Department.

    Library Books:

    • Students' last day to check out books is Friday June 4.
    • All student library books are due Friday June 11.

    Non-Consumable Classroom Materials

    • In-person learners: Please plan to send any non-consumable learning materials to school with your child on their
    • Remote/streaming learners: Please plan to drop off any non-consumable learning materials on June 21 between 1:00-3:00pm at the Northwood car loop, accessed from 86th Ave SE.   When returning consumable classroom materials, please place them in a bag labeled with the teacher’s name and grade level prior to placing them in the dropbox. 

    All Learners:

    Consumable materials, such as student workbooks, crayons, markers, pencils, etc. are yours to keep and need not be returned to school.  Examples of non-consumables to return to Northwood may include:

    • Northwood library books (see due date above)
    • classroom library books
    • Book-in-a-Bag books
    • white boards
    • non-consumable counting chips or cubes
    • scissors
    • other non-consumable classroom manipulatives or tools

    If you have questions about whether materials should be returned to Northwood or kept at home, please contact your child’s teacher.

    Last Day of School Assembly

    Our last day of school is Monday, June 21.  On this day, we will host a school-wide virtual assembly for our students via Zoom.  Our staff and student community will also engage in our traditional celebratory “clap-out” of our 5th graders to wish them well as they matriculate to middle school.  Dismissal will be at 12:35, and there will be no afternoon synchronous or asynchronous instruction. 

    Future Planning

    If you and your children will not be returning to Northwood for any reason, and you have not yet notified the office, please do so at your earliest opportunity.  We rely on accurate enrollment counts to staff our classrooms and programs. Contact Laura.Bowers@mercerislandschools.org . Thank you. 

    Future School 2021-22

    We continue to monitor changing guidance from the CDC and King County Seattle Public Health, as well as guidance from OSPI.  At this time, we are planning for a return to a full day, five-day-a-week schedule for in person learning.  We continue to work on specific challenges related to ongoing COVID-19 mitigation guidance and safety measures, such as scheduling lunches and snacks for our learners.  We are eagerly anticipating this return to a familiar schedule and the opportunity to work with our learners throughout the school day.  Thank you to all families who have responded to district, school, and teacher surveys to provide input as we plan for the 21-22 school year.

    Mindfulness Challenge

    June and Summer Mindfulness Challenges for Students:

    • Week of June 7:  This week, students consider how to use mindfulness and heartfulness to show kindness and caring when they play.  They may send kind and grateful thoughts to those they are playing with when things are going well.  If they find themselves in conflict, they are asked to notice how they are feeling, take some mindful breaths, and think about how or whether they want to act on those feelings.  This then allows them to access some of the conflict resolution tools they have learned through Second Step or Kelso's Choices.  Being mindful of how we feel when we play allows us to make choices about how we act.
    • Week of June 14: Mindful Breathing:  The transition to summer can be exciting and stressful. Students may feel excited for summer, sad because they continue to miss their friends, nervous about next year, impatient for the school year to be over, anxious about their change in schedule, or many other emotions. Returning to mindful breathing can help us become more aware of our feelings.  It can help us slow down our reactions and give us the time to choose how we want to act.  Support your child to take some time each day to engage in mindful breathing and to notice and be present with their feelings.
    • Summer Challenge:  Over the summer, challenge your child to continue a regular mindfulness practice, helping them to be present with whatever activity they are engaged in at the time.  Bringing awareness to the present moment helps children develop skills in emotional and self regulation as well as the ability to choose how to act, rather than to just react, in situations.  At Northwood, we do a Mindful Minute each morning as we start our day; consider how this practice might translate into your summer schedule.

    King County Library System (KCLS) Access

    The KCLS Summer Reading Program will run June 1st through August 31st. View this video for more information about the KCLS All Ages Summer Reading Program.  By reading to a 500 minutes goal, kids and adults alike can enter to win a gift card to a local bookstore. There will be one winner per library location for that prize. Children ages birth to 5 can complete a series of early literacy activities for the program, and ages 5 and up are invited to track minutes spent reading all summer, with a 500-minute halfway goal to enter the gift card drawing and a 1,000-minute final goal.

    Participants can track their reading or activities online using Beanstack. For kids (and adults) who prefer a print version, reading logs will be available as downloadable pdfs on the KCLS Summer Reading Program Page after June 1st and will also be available at libraries via curbside and in the library at open locations. Mercer Island is still a Curbside Pickup location only but will likely open in July for in person library use. Check out the Summer Reading Program page of the KCLS website after June 1st for information on other summer programs.

    As a reminder, ALL of our Northwood students have library accounts that allow them to access KCLS online resources at  www.kcls.org/students  from school, home, or from any other computer, ipad, tablet, smart phone, or device.  In partnership with the Mercer Island School District,  KCLS has created special library accounts in its system for our students so they may seamlessly log-in from any computer or device.  The account numbers are formatted as the student's school ID number preceded by the Mercer Island School District's three digit number (400). Please contact our Teacher Librarian- Miss Harnish if you have any questions or need help accessing your account.

    We wish you a safe and healthy June.


    Aimee Batliner-Gillette

    Principal | Northwood Elementary School

    Nondiscrimination Notification

    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.

Last Modified on June 7, 2021