• June 1, 2022

    Dear Northwood Families,

    Welcome to June!  Many thanks to the Northwood families for your continued support of students, staff, and our Northwood community.  The next few weeks are packed with more learning and fun, and community activities.  For many of our students, this time of year is an exciting segue to summer vacation, while for others it can bring on feelings of anxiety and nervousness as the routine of school comes to an end.  Please support your child(ren) through the end of the school year by providing as stable a routine as you are able during these last weeks of school.  

    The email contains the following content:

    • School Safety

    • End-of-Year Events

    • School Supply Orders for 2022-23

    • Student Medications 

    • Last day of School

    • Future Planning

    • Mindfulness Challenges

    • Library News

    • Upcoming Dates

    School Safety

    In light of recent events in Uvalde, Texas, across the nation, parents, school staff, students, and community members may again have a heightened level of concern about school safety.  We want our schools to be welcoming, inviting, comfortable places for our children to learn and grow and thrive.  We also want to follow reasonable protocols and procedures to support student and staff safety.

    To that end, we will continue to implement the security measures that have been in place since Northwood opened its doors in 2016.  While our main front and rear entrances are unlocked for student arrival and dismissal, our custodial team closes and locks all doors after the school bell rings to start the day.  Throughout the school day, the main doors at the front of the building provide the only entrance for community members.  Within this front vestibule, a second set of doors remains locked and are opened by our office staff only once visitors have signed into the building using their driver’s license in our Lobby Guard machine.  Visitors are expected to wear their printed visitor badge at all times while in the building, and all staff are required to stop and redirect any visitors without a badge to the main office.  Similarly, all staff are required to wear a staff or substitute badge while on campus.  We also attend to other safety measures, such as keeping fence gates closed during the school year, maintaining sight lines from our main office onto the front entry and entry to the playground, and engaging students and staff in emergency drills on a monthly basis.

    It is unfortunate that we have to consider these sorts of safety measures as part of the operation of an elementary school, but our commitment to student and staff safety requires it.  As the hub of a community, we will continue to work to keep our schools both safe and secure, as well as comforting and welcoming to our children.


    End-of-Year Events

    Please refer to your teachers' communications for specific information about your child's classroom calendar.  We hope your family will be able to join us for our PTA-hosted community Hootenanny on Thursday, June 2, 2022.

    • Northwood Spring Hootenanny  Our Northwood PTA is organizing our returning-to-annual Northwood Spring Hootenanny.  We can expect a return to our fun-filled community event this year.  We hope to see you on Thursday, June 2, from 6:00-8:00pm for music, food, fun, and community connection.  Please revisit the PTA's recent Parliament Press publications for more information about this event or check out the PTA website.  We hope to see you there!

    • Class Parties  During our last weeks of school, most of our classrooms will be celebrating with a classroom party.  Please connect with your child's teacher for information about their classroom party.

    • 5th Grade Party & Slideshow Northwood’s 5th grade students will be celebrating the approaching end of their elementary years and their coming matriculation to middle school on Thursday, June 16.  As part of this grade level celebration, PTA leaders have put together a photo slideshow of our 5th grade students that we will be showing in the commons before students depart for a field trip at the Family Fun Center.  Parents of 5th graders are invited to join their children to view this photo slideshow, scheduled to begin at 10:00a.m.  If you are interested in joining, please plan to arrive before 10:00a.m., with enough time to find parking and sign in with the LobbyGuard.  We hope to see you there!

    • Yearbooks The Northwood PTA has again compiled a yearbook available for purchase. For those who pre-ordered the yearbook, they will be delivered to your child’s teacher on June 10 for distribution the following week at a date/time determined by the classroom teacher.  For those who did not pre-order a yearbook but would like to purchase one, please contact the PTA to inquire about availability.


    School Supply Orders for 2022-23

    Once again, we are working with SchoolKidz to make school supplies shopping easy.  Kits include the exact colors, quantities, and brands teachers are requesting in a personalized box ready for your child’s first day of school. Place your order by Friday, June 17th to have all your child’s necessary supplies delivered for the first day of school.

    Orders can be placed online at:


    Northwood Account: 28891

    If you’d like to buy school supplies on your own, you can do that too. Supply lists are found on the website here: NW Student School Supplies


    Student Medications 

    As a reminder, student medications must be picked up by parents and taken home for the summer (unless they are enrolled in Summer School at Northwood).  Students cannot transport their own medication. Please plan to collect any student medications on the last day of school, Friday, June 17, 2022.  Any medications not picked up by 4:00pm on Friday, June 17th will be destroyed.  Thank you.  


    Last Day of School

    • June 16 - Last Day of Early Childhood Special Education Class (both sessions)

    • June 17th - Last Day and Early Dismissal at 12:15 for K-5 students 

    To celebrate our successful school year, staff and students will engage in a brief assembly on Friday morning to acknowledge all that we have accomplished and learned this year.  We will conclude this assembly with a special good-bye for our 5th graders.  Teachers and students will then have time in their classrooms to bring closure to their year together. 

    Please note that our Northwood summer office hours begin on Monday, June 27.  They are as follows:

    • June 27 - June 30: Office hours, 9:00AM-12:00PM, Office closed Fridays.

    • July 1 - August 8: Office closed

    • August 8-August 30: Office hours 9:00AM-12:00PM, Office closed Fridays.

    • August 31:  First Day of School - Regular Office Hours Resume


    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 Fleury at Laura.Fleury@mercerislandschools.org  Thank you!


    Mindfulness Challenge

    June and Summer Mindfulness Challenges for Students:

    • Week of June 6:  This week, students consider how to use mindfulness and heartfulness to show kindness and caring on the playground.  They may send kind and grateful thoughts to the kids 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 on the playground allows us to make choices about how we act.

    • Week of June 13:  Mindful Breathing:  This last week of the school year can be an exciting and anxious week.  Students feel excited for summer, sad to leave their friends, nervous about next year, impatient for the school year to be over, 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 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.

    Library News

    Northwood Library Books:

    • Students' last day to check out books is Friday, June 3.
    • All student library books are due Friday, June 10.

    King County Library System (KCLS) Summer Reading for All Ages:

    The KCLS Summer Reading Program will run June 1st through August 31st. Visit the KCLS webpage for more information about the KCLS All Ages Summer Reading Program.  After reading 500 minutes, students can bring their reading log to the library for a prize. After reading 1,000 minutes, students can return their reading log to the library for a final prize.

    Participants can track their reading on a summer reading log. Miss Harnish, NW’s Teacher Librarian, will be sharing details about the program and sending home these paper reading logs with all NW students the week of June 6- 10th. Reading logs are also available to download on the KCLS Summer Reading Program Page.  Check out the Summer Reading Program page of the KCLS website 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.

    Upcoming Dates:

    • 6/2/22 - Northwood Spring Hootenanny @ 6:00-8:00pm, Northwood Field

    • 6/10/22 - Grading Day Early Release @ 12:15 for K-5

    • 6/16/22 - Last Day of School for Early Childhood Special Education

    • 6/16/22 - 5th Grade Celebration

    • 6/17/22 - Last Day of School for K-5, early dismissal at 12:15

    • 6/17/22 - Medications must be picked up by 4:00pm


    Thank You and Farewell

    As I write my final monthly newsletter to Northwood families, I’m filled with gratitude for the support you have provided me and our learning community since we opened our doors in 2016.  I have been privileged to lead an amazing and dedicated group of educators as we worked together to build a school culture that fosters joy, growth, learning, and connection.  I’m grateful to the students and families who have brought our hallways, classrooms, and playground to life these past six years.  It has been a pleasure to see our current 5th graders – who comprised our first class of Kindergartners – grow up and get ready to move to middle school.  I will look back most fondly on the small moments of connection with kids that I’ve been lucky to enjoy these past years as Principal of Northwood Elementary. 

    Thank you, and best wishes to you all.

    Have a wonderful summer.


    Aimee Batliner-Gillette

    Principal | Northwood Elementary School

Last Modified on September 11, 2022