Thursday Thoughts: Science Olympiad, Norshore Middle School Visit, Woodmoor Family Math Night and More

It is so great to be back to school this week !! So many exciting and inspiring events going on all across the district. As we continue through this glorious spring, I love the quote; "Always be on the look out for the presence of wonder." -- E.B. White. After visiting schools recently, I saw wonder aplenty. So exciting!! 

Speaking of finding that sense of wonder, we are so blessed to have the amazing volunteers we have here in the Northshore School District.  This week, April 15 -19 marks the celebration of Public School Volunteer Week.  We are a better school district for all the efforts of these folks so generous with their gifts of time and talent. Natalie Campbell, our NSD Partnerships and Volunteer Coordinator, estimates that we have approximately 5,000 volunteers serving in our schools, programs, and activities.  Community Serve Day alone draws over 2,000 volunteers in our community and the Art Docent Program has over 500 volunteers as this important content area work is supported.  We are so grateful for these volunteers and I know you will join me in sharing our heartfelt gratitude with each and every one of them. 

In exciting news from Bothell HS, Science Olympiad Advisor Sheila Guard reports; “Following a phenomenal year of intense scientific research, design, building, and testing, Bothell High students earned the Science Olympiad State title last Saturday. Twenty-seven students found camaraderie and fun while preparing for twenty-four different events including design of cars, planes, proteins, and Boomilevers; chemical testing and investigation in a variety of other scientific fields. They put in hundreds of hours after school and weekends; working with scientists to learn everything from engineering techniques to authentic experimentation (with topics like protein modeling, forensics, water quality, and circuitry).”

Please congratulate these incredible Science Olympians as they celebrate their hard earned victory at the State Finals. Students earned top scores in nineteen of twenty-four events. Our Cougs represented Bothell with passion, skill, and wonderful sportsmanship.  Imagine the possibilities…

Individual State Champions

  • Anatomy: Elena Baraznenok, Phedora Layanto
  • Astronomy: Diandre Sabale, Roshan Skariah
  • Disease Detectives: Hannah Bauer, Elena Baraznenok
  • Experimental Design: Sanjana Chava, Diandre Sabale, Liza Yusem
  • Fossils: Raveena Nair, Kylie Neal
  • Mission Possible: Rohan Skariah, Aidan Gray
  • Protein Modeling: Phedora Layanto, Lara Yusem, Liza Yusem
  • Sounds of Music: Thomas Elley, Aidan Gray
  • Wright Stuff: Elena Baraznenok, Stryder Morrison

Second Place

  • Boomilever: Elena Baraznenok, Stryder Morrison
  • Chem Lab: Rohan Skariah, Liza Yusem
  • Circuit Lab: Diandre Sabale, Rohan Skariah
  • Designer Genes: Phedora Layanto, Liza Yusem
  • Forensics: Aidan Gray, Rohan Skariah
  • Herpetology: Raveena Nair, Lara Yusem
  • Water Quality: Raveena Nair, Diandre Sabale

Third Place

  • Experimental Design: Chimeh Esegbue, Thomas Monohan, Keane Sabale

Fourth Place

  • Forensics: Malavika Santhosh, Kiylie Munson
  • Geologic Mapping: Diandre Sabale, Lara Yusem
  • Mousetrap: Taylor MacMahon, Sophia Schultz

Fifth Place

  • LEAF: Thomas Elley, Stryder Morrison
  • Mousetrap: Aidan Gray, Kylie Neal

After a highly successful tournament and season, the Bothell Science team will now represent the state of Washington at the National Science Olympiad Finals. This group portrays perseverance, focus and incredible sportsmanship. They now proudly represent the State of Washington at the National finals at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.  Great Skill Cougars!!

During my recent visit to Northshore Middle School, I happened across a provocative video and conversation in Robin Smith’s Leadership Class.  As we stepped into the room, I could immediately feel the rapt engagement of each student in the room, and soon I knew why.  The video illuminating the definition of human rights as put forward by the United Nations is extremely compelling and hard-hitting in terms of the facts presented and the progress (or lack thereof) we are making as a global community in this area.    I continue to be so impressed with the quality of the conversations our students and staff are engaged in as we make sense of our community and the world around us.  I urge you to take a few minutes and watch the video and then have a conversation with a colleague, friend or family member about your thoughts.  Imagine the possibilities…

As we review our current enrollment Chris Brenengen, our Director of Finance, recently prepared a report that shows the actual monthly enrollment (as full-time equivalent, FTE) that was reported at Northshore for the last four years plus this year's current monthly enrollment as of the start of the school year. In addition, the report displays the budgeted annualized average FTE of 22,265 (royal blue line) as well as the updated projected annualized average enrollment of 22,372 (green line) based on a five-year historical average as of March. This is an essential report for us as it tracks our student enrollment to budget and annual projections. This data is important to track as it affects all aspects of our operations including facilities planning, budgeting and all staffing, etc. Looking at this report regularly enables us to monitor and adjust when necessary as the year progresses. Our actual current headcount is 22,872 students. Specifically, we have approximately 500 more students this year in a year over year headcount. Imagine the possibilities...  Interestingly, even with many districts in our region experiencing unexpected enrollment declines, we have the largest kindergarten class in the history of our district.  This is an epic group who will surely exuberantly make their way to graduation in 2031, where their mark on the work will be game-changing...  Imagine the possibilities...

Principal Ebony Harvey shared great news about a recent event; Woodmoor Elementary celebrated its love of math Tuesday at "Count Me In" Family Math Night. Family members enjoyed an Estimation Station,  activities from Mathnasium of Woodinville, and a "Storytime STEM" book read aloud by UW Bothell professors Allison Hintz and Antony Smith.  As part of Woodmoor's Strategic Action Plan goal, families had an opportunity to learn about number sense and how they can support their children in developing a mathematical growth mindset at home. Families saw how students make their thinking visible as they interacted with quick images, games, "Notice and Wonder" math tasks and classroom number talks. The evening culminated with a surprise visit from Woodmoor's mascot-Splash, who announced the bike and raffle prize winners.  Organizers, Susan Hadreas and Barbara Mossakowski did an outstanding job supporting this important event and encourage us to peek inside Woodmoor's "Count Me In" Family Math Night. Imagine the possibilities..... 

We have more exciting news from Career and College Readiness Director, Damen Schuneman to share.  “As we begin preparing for another year of Advanced Placement testing, I wanted to share what our registration numbers look like for this year. We have increased yet again across the entire district. We will be proctoring a total of 3117 exams which is 630 more than last year. Here is a quick look at our numbers compared to last year. I applaud the efforts of the Principals at each school to grow and sustain AP programs. The testing window is May 6-May 24. Best of luck students!”

School

2018

2019

BHS

303 exams

375 exams

IHS

171 exams

295 exams

NCHS

585 exams

1052 exams

WHS

1434 exams

1401exams

NSD TOTAL

2493 exams

3123 exams

As an update on my sojourn through the district, I have now visited 723 classrooms as of today. I enjoyed my recent visits to Lockwood Elementary School and Northshore Middle School and am looking forward to Friday’s visit to North Creek HS.  It is so great to get out and meet our students and staff. There are so many amazing moments that I cherish from my visits. Never doubt that regardless of your role in this work, that you are making a difference.

As we approach another beautiful spring weekend, I trust you will find time to enjoy the outdoors and its ever evolving moments.  As many of us will be celebrating a holiday weekend, I am reminded of a quote I hold dear; “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”  -- Nelson Mandela

Wishing each of you, both a hopeful and joyful weekend….

Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 


 

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