From: Northshore School District <communications@nsd.org>
Sent: Saturday, March 02, 2019 3:01 PM
To: Northshore School District Recipients <recipients@nsd.parentlink.net>
Subject: Important message from Northshore School District: Last day of school information

Hello Northshore families,

I trust this note finds you enjoying a fabulous winter weekend.  I am writing to share the snow affected calendar decision we have made.  As you know, due to the epic snow storm we endured in February, we cancelled school for eight days.  Governor Inslee proclaimed a State of Emergency as it was the worst February snow storm since 1923, and so we are able and we have chosen to request a waiver for five of the days.  We must still make up the instructional time (number of minutes for these days) and absolutely want to maximize the lost learning time.  Having said that, we do need to make up the remaining three school days and plan to add these to the end of the current school year calendar.  Therefore, the new last day of the school year will be Monday, June 24, 2019.  As we need the minutes garnered from the last day of school, the last day will also now be a full day of school rather than a shortened day. 

With regard to our previously scheduled Wednesday early release days, while we steadfastly believe in the capacity building outcomes of this precious professional development time, this year we must reluctantly reclaim this time to meet our instructional minutes particularly prior to State testing, AP testing, IB testing, etc. Adding days to the end of the year does not support success for students in these assessment endeavors as the dates for these high stakes exams are set (for us, not by us) prior to the end of the school year.  To that end, we are cancelling 10 of the 13 remaining Wednesday early release days for this year only.  The only remaining early release Wednesdays will be scheduled for March 6, March 20, and June 5.  The March 6 and June 5 days will be individual teacher planning time as our teachers prepare for grading periods. 

The March 20 early release time will be used for an all staff professional development event.  In keeping with our strategic plan, it is incumbent upon us to keep a steadfast focus on equity.  Our Equity and Diversity Department has constructed a training module focused on cultural competence that will be presented to all district staff on March 20.  The training follows Dr. Caprice Hollins’ Pillars of Cultural Competence, in which she explains that the steps to practicing cultural competence are building awareness, gaining knowledge, developing skills, and engaging in action and advocacy. This training is a continuation of the critical equity work that we are doing, with a focus on building self-awareness, to support all of our district staff in becoming culturally competent leaders to make sure that each of our students and families feel welcome, understood, and celebrated.

We will also, like many other school districts, be adding minutes to each remaining school day beginning on Monday, March 11.  In our case, we will be adding ten minutes to the beginning of each school day as we capture our lost learning time.  Schools will have the flexibility to integrate these ten minutes into their instructional schedule as their unique instructional context best suggests. 

We will plan to host our previously cancelled elementary conferences on Friday, April 5.  The elementary conference day schedule will be the same as it traditionally has been and will be shared in school specific communication over the coming days.  All graduation dates will remain the same. 

I know this has been a trying time for many and again want to express my appreciation for your thoughtful consideration and patience as we have together traversed this challenging time; together, all things are possible…

Warmest regards,
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Superintendent