Dear Northshore families and staff
My hope is that you are all staying safe and healthy and that you’ve enjoyed a beautiful spring weekend. In extraordinarily challenging and unpredictable times like these, it really helps to slow down, take a breath and remember what is most important to the well-being of your family and community.
After taking a breath myself, I want to provide you with an update since my last message. Last week was our project-focused Learning Week when we took a pause from our Classroom to Cloud (online learning). This provided time for District leadership and partners to collaborate on the best possible educational delivery model for moving forward. At the same time, we waited for critical guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on how we might avoid significant financial penalties as we continue education for our student body during these unprecedented times.
On Friday morning, I was invited to a phone conversation with representatives from the U.S. Department of Education to explain our situation and the negative financial impact that we, and school districts across the country, could be facing based on federal regulations. I am appreciative for that conversation as well as Saturday’s notification from the Department advising school districts of more flexible guidelines.
A short time ago, Governor Jay Inslee announced a statewide stay-at-home order enforceable by law. This action will help us “flatten the curve” or reduce the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus. The better we can be at this, the sooner we may be able to return to some semblance of normal. Until that time, we will continue to do our part. Today marks the first day that working remotely became a reality for District staff as all buildings are closed, with the exception of spaces being used to prepare meals for our children up to 18 years of age (see below).
Also, until further notice, all School Board meetings will be a virtual experience. You can find today’s and future meetings here. We continue to work together to provide the best possible learning experience for all of our students.
New educational delivery model
Today, with this new information in hand, our team of education leaders and partners have been thoughtfully and collaboratively planning a new model to engage our students in the learning experience moving forward. We expect to have more details this week, so my hope is that your students have been keeping their learning spaces warm and their minds sharpened using the learning resources provided last week that they could do on their own or with an adult.
Class of 2020
To the Class of 2020, I know senior year is one filled with college and career preparation, acknowledgments, celebration, ceremonies and so much more. We have a team researching the impact of our current situation and the possibilities for celebrating our seniors’ major life milestones. Also, please note that I will be holding a live video information session for the Class of 2020 this Wednesday, March 25 from 2-3 p.m. to answer as many questions as possible. We are still waiting on some guidance from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the State Board of Education. To help me provide the best possible answers on Wednesday, we have developed a survey feedback form for you to provide your questions ahead of time.
We will continue to serve meals to all children up to age 18. This week, our Food Services and Transportation staff have served up more than 14,000 meals at 33 different locations. Remember to pre-order between 6 p.m. the evening before and 9 a.m. on the day of meal pick-up.
Northshore has created space where our community partners, the YMCA and Champions are providing childcare for families who are in need, especially first responders and frontline workers in this health crisis.
Our team continues to develop ways to keep our students connected. In addition to our learning resources, I shared in my message to students last night that we have just released an opportunity for students to submit book recommendations. My hope is that the reading continues and the connections grow as students share their favorite books. Coming soon – opportunities for students to share their book recommendations via video and their work in the arts.
I am proud of how everyone – our educators, staff, students, families, and community – has risen to the challenge over the past few weeks as we have been navigating completely new territory. I am also very appreciative of the patience you’ve each exhibited as we continue to come together for our students. I am confident that, if we keep moving together on this journey, we will be successful.
We are Northshore. We’ve got this!
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.