• November 2, 2021

     Dear Northwood Families,

     I hope this message finds you and your family healthy and well.  With the transition into the autumn season and the upcoming change in the clocks (Daylight Saving Time ends November 7 @ 2:00am), we also move into a busy school season.  This month’s calendar is a bit wonky due to the Thanksgiving holiday, progress reports, and parent-teacher conferences.  As much as we are able, maintaining the school rhythm and routine we have built over the last few months can support our learners (and ourselves) in feeling successful during this busy time of year.

     This message contains the following:

    • Conference Reminders
    • Car Loop Procedures and Safety Reminders
    • Character Traits and Mindfulness
    • Winter Clothing and Labeling
    • Indigeonous Peoples Heritage Month
    • Upcoming Events

    Conference Reminders

    We believe that the connection between school and home is vital for the success of students.

    Please see my email message sent Friday, October 22, 2021 for more information about the elementary conference schedule in Mercer Island Schools.

    Teachers coordinate and schedule their own conferences.  If you have forgotten when you have scheduled a conference, or if you have not yet scheduled a conference, please reach out to your teacher.  Our teachers look forward to meeting with you and discussing your child’s growth and learning. Thank you for working with us for the success of our students!

     Car Loop Procedures and Safety Reminders

    As the weather gets wetter, we see more families using the car loop to transport students to and from school.  Below are some procedures to help keep all our students and their grown-ups safe:

    • To the extent possible, we ask that parents/guardians use the car loop lane for pick up and drop off rather than parking in the lot and crossing the car loop lane to collect students. Please do not use the parking area as a secondary loop. It creates both a safety issue and a slow-down in the loading/unloading process when our supervisors have to cross multiple parents and students to the lot.  For safety purposes, adults are asked to cross to the school to collect their child; we will not cross unaccompanied children to the lot. 
    • Some adults have been crossing the car loop lane (with and without students) at spots other than the designated crosswalk or against the direction of the car loop supervisors. Again, we ask that you please refrain from doing this; it creates an immediate safety hazard and also models unsafe behavior for our very observant students. 
    • Please also keep your car at a safe speed.
    • Please empower your children to put on their own coats and backpacks at drop off so that you can remain in your car.
    • Please pull as far forward as possible before stopping your car to let your child(ren) in or out. If all families pull all the way forward, we are able to accommodate more cars in our loop, unload/load students more efficiently, and alleviate traffic congestion on 86th Ave SE. 
    • To the extent possible, please refrain from turning left into the loop when heading southbound on 86th Ave SE.  This creates additional congestion and safety concerns.  It is recommended that families progress clockwise around the megablock to allow them to access the loop with a right-turn while heading north on 86th ave SE. 

    For additional information about protocols and procedures we use to keep our students and community safe in the car loop, please review our website About Northwood Elementary / Kiss & Go Zone (Car Drop-off & Pick-up).  Many thanks to all the parents and guardians who have been arriving in the car loop with kids ready to “Kiss and Go”.

     As always, thank you for your support of our Northwood community.

     Character Traits and Mindfulness

    Mindfulness learning and practice continues for our Northwood studentsOur team of Mindful Leaders are visiting classrooms to provide weekly instruction and to support our students’ developing mindful practice.  Additionally, each morning, we engage in a school-wide mindful minute.  Cultivating mindfulness and mindfulness strategies can help students be present, improve focus, improve emotional awareness, improve emotional self-regulation, and learn tools to help them respond (rather than react) in challenging situations.
    This month's mindful challenges can be found on the Northwood Mindfulness webpage here.

    Monthly Focus Character Trait:
    Our focus character trait for NOVEMBER is GratitudeGratitude is a feeling of thankfulness. When we feel or express gratitude, we often find we feel happier and more content.  Our call to action for students: this month, think about the people, experiences, and things that you have in your life that make you feel grateful. Let people know you are grateful for them.  Say “thank you” to others who support you, share their toys or games with you, make your lunch, invite you to join in on a game, help you with schoolwork…. 

    Winter Clothing and Labeling

    As students wear more layers of clothing in response to the variable weather, they also find more opportunities during the day to shed a layer and forget where they left it.  Please take a few moments to label your child’s clothing with their name to help us reunite clothing with the right child.  Unlabeled items are placed in the lost and found; unclaimed items left in the lost and found are donated a few times a year.

    Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month

    November is Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month, also referred to as National Native American Heritage Month. Our librarian has shared with our teachers multiple texts to support student learning about the rich history of indigenous peoples in North America, and these texts will also be on display and accessible for students to check out.  Last year, our Student Council engaged in a project to create a resource for classrooms to use in learning about and developing their own Indigenous Peoples Land Acknowledgement.  You may have heard some of these during remote instruction last year, or learned about them from your child this year, and many of our teachers are engaging their students in this learning this year.  The intent of this work is for our community to learn about Indigenous Peoples from our geographical area, to consider the ways in which their lands and cultural traditions were unfairly taken from them, and to consider using this learning to work toward a more just and fair future for all humans.  For information and to explore ways your family might engage in more learning at home, here a few online resources:


    Upcoming Events:

    11/05 - Northwood Soaring Owls’ Nest Story Time Celebration

    11/10 – Veterans Day Assembly School-Wide Virtual Assembly

    11/11 – Veterans Day - NO SCHOOL

    11/12 - PTA Staff Appreciation Lunch

    11/12 - PTA Books and Bites Fundraising Event (virtual patronage recommended)  

    11/15 – Half-Day of School:  12:15pm Dismissal for K-5 Students - Teacher Progress Report Preparation

    11/17 - Picture Retake Day

    11/17 - PTA Trivia Night (Virtual) @ 6:00pm

    11/19 – K-5 Progress Reports accessible on Skyward at 4:30pm

    11/22-11/24 - Parent/Teacher Conferences - NO SCHOOL for students

    11/25-11/26 - Thanksgiving Holiday - NO SCHOOL


    Have a great week.



    Aimee Batliner-Gillette

    Principal | Northwood Elementary School

Last Modified on December 11, 2021