The Sailor Signal

Cottage Lake Elementary - August 22, 2020

Cottage Lake is almost ready to set sail

Greetings Families!


I can hardly believe we are almost ready to launch the school year in a few short weeks. This past week was an incredibly busy one for our staff! For teachers, many stepped away from their summer break to engage in virtual learning around our new Learning Management System (LMS), Schoology. There were classes offered all day Monday through Friday. I believe the highest class count I heard from a staff member was 12 classes they attended last week. WOW! This is all voluntary for staff to attend, but it will help in our launch moving forward. If staff didn't attend this training, we will offer some of the classes for them this next week and offer asynchronous learning, as well.


For our office, it was incredibly busy! Sarah and Teri are working hard to make sure we have all students enrolled in our school, withdrew students if families are choosing a different option for fall, and ensuring students are assigned to classes. We are managing materials delivery to the school and prepping for teachers to stop by to gather items.


Our school custodians, Chris and Steven, are also busy making sure classrooms are ready for teachers to stop by and ensuring we maintain the rigorous cleaning schedule. For me, I was busy attending classes, managing enrollment, planning professional development for staff, and finalizing our hiring of staff. I am happy to announce we are fully staffed to start the year! I completed our final hire late Friday afternoon. Phew!


Cottage Lake is almost ready to set sail into the 2020-21 school year. There are final touches to be checked over, but we will be ready to welcome students and families on Wednesday, September 2. I can't wait to see our students very soon!


The remaining information is organized for you into new or time sensitive information and then repeat items from the August 15 newsletter.

•• New & Important Information ••

Technology Pick-Up or Trade-Out

It is our goal to support all families in their acquisition of technology or internet hot spots for the launch of our school year. We would love for each of our students to have a device they can use to access learning during our launch. These are your tax dollars at work.


If you are in need of a device for your student(s) or a hot spot due to not having internet, please complete this technology request form. Once this has been submitted, our technology teacher, Mr. Paganini, will be in contact with you to schedule you a specific time to come to school to gather the requested items. Additionally, please complete a request for each student who needs one. (This is specifically if you have more than one student in your home.)


Technology pick-up will occur between Friday, August 28 - Tuesday, September 1.

Family training for Clever and Schoology

I understand that emails have gone out regarding logging into Clever and I know Schoology trainings will be launching this next week, as well. Clever is going to be our one-stop for all your logins this year. This is where students can access Schoology, iReady, TCI science, etc. Schoology will also be where students will receive their instructional information. This is where teachers will share links for Zooms, links for assignments, etc. I highly encourage you to look for emails from the district and technology regarding these trainings.


If you are a 1st grade family and have experienced trouble getting logged into Clever, that is because we have just finished hiring a new teacher. Don't worry, your student is still enrolled. :) We will make sure all families can access their student's online information as we launch the year.

School Supplies

At this time we ask that all students have the following items available as their learning tools:


  • writing utensils (pencils or pens)
  • crayons
  • colored markers
  • glue sticks
  • scissors
  • paper for note taking (loose or within a spiral-bound or composition notebook)
  • an organization tool for their work (bins or boxes, a notebook, an accordion folder, etc).


Some teachers may also provide some additional materials at our Materials distribution time during the week of September 14. If you would like more information regarding school supples, Visit our School Supplies webpage to learn more.



The Northshore Schools Foundation is generously providing in-home school supply kits for families in financial need. Complete the Northshore School Foundation’s In-Home School Supply Kit form to request supplies or please reach out to Sarah McKinnon in our front office. Sarah can be reached at (425) 408-4201 or smckinnon@nsd.org.

Materials Pick-Up

This year, we will be scheduling a time where families can pull through our parking lot and pick up supplies their students will need for learning to start the year. For those of you returning to Cottage Lake, this will look similar to our end-of-year pick up. We will be providing essential supplies students would need through the end of October. This event will be during the week of September 14. Teachers need a bit of time to plan their launch of the year, while also looking at how lessons and activities will come off the page in the fall.


We will share more information about this soon.

Free and Reduced lunch application

We are now accepting free and reduced-price meal applications for the 2020-21 school year. Has your financial situation changed? Did you qualify for free or reduced-price meals last school year? If so, be sure to complete an application.

Remember: families must reapply every year!

Submit a Free or Reduced-Price application.

Repeat of Information from August 15 newsletter

Classroom Placement

As teachers prepared for training for our new Schoology learning system next week, we had to go “live” with our class lists. Please note, student placement has NOT been finalized. We are still working on enrolling new students and unenrolling those not attending Cottage Lake in the fall. Additionally, we are watching our numbers so very closely right now, as they are directly tied to our staffing allocation. Please understand that at this time, we have turned off ParentVUE for this reason. We anticipate turning this back on for families on Tuesday, August 25.


Lastly, as in years past, your family will be receiving a letter from your child’s new teacher during this last week of August. This letter will arrive electronically to families.

First Day of School - September 2, 2020

With the shift of our school year launching remotely and a full district commitment to community building efforts to start the school year, ALL students, Kindergarten through 5th grade, will have their First Day of School on Wednesday, September 2. This is not a shift for our 1st through 5th graders, but this is new, updated information for our incoming kindergarten families. We will NOT be staggering our kindergarten start as originally planned for in-person instruction. Welcome all Sailors!

School Day hours

The school day for the 2020-2021 school year will be from 9:00 AM-3:30 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. On early release Wednesdays (most Wednesdays), the school day will run from 9:00 AM-2:00 PM. Please be aware that the first three weeks (September 2, September 9, and September 16) are FULL DAY Wednesdays.

Attendance Matters!

This year, we will be taking attendance every day, Monday through Friday. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each day and we are also developing a system that will record those who need to participate in learning in an asynchronous manner. More information is still to come, but do plan for your student to attend school each day. Attendance matters!


Community Building weeks

The first three weeks of school, September 2-September 18, will be a time when our full school team and each individual classroom will spend dedicated time emphasizing community building across the school, within classrooms, and with students’ families. As part of these community building weeks, we will also be holding individual parent and teacher conferences throughout the day. (See next section for further details.) All students are expected to participate each day in the Community Building Weeks. In the coming weeks, teachers will be developing a schedule of community building events, that will include both classroom-based events, along with school-wide events.

Student and Parent Conferences

At the core of our community building efforts, there will be conferences scheduled with each individual family during the first three weeks of school. (These conferences will take the place of the ones we typically schedule in November.) Teachers will begin working to set up a conference schedule plan which should be sent to you no later than the end of the day on Friday, August 28. We will be scheduling conference times initially within the time periods allocated during the school day, but please share if a different time is needed due to work or home commitments. We will make every effort to try to provide families with accommodations to support your access for these conferences. Please note all conferences will take place virtually.


Families of students with IEPs, you can expect that your child's conference may include the case manager or team members for your child's specific plan, or there may be a separate meeting scheduled, depending on circumstances. Families of students with 504s, we will also connect with you on whether there are needed/suggested edits to the supports your child receives given the virtual environment context. During these three weeks, you and your students should be meeting with the adults they will interact with at Cottage Lake.

Instructional Schedule overview

Around September 2, our teachers will share the individual grade level/teacher schedules with you. We will be working hard to align our grade level work, so we will have a consistent weekly schedule. The shared schedules will include both synchronous [live] teaching, asynchronous [recorded] learning and activities, along with instruction in whole-group and small groups to provide the support children need. I will also recognize these schedules will likely evolve over the first few weeks of school, as teachers get to know student’s learning needs. While our team is still finalizing what each part of the school schedule will include for content areas, you can expect that the school day will be divided into three big parts (9:00-11:00, 11:00-1:00 and 1:00-3:30). Within the 9:00-11:00 and 1:00-3:30 time blocks, your child's schedule will have some live teaching, some asynchronous or independent work periods, and some small group sessions. Every student, regardless of grade and schedule will have lunch, movement and options for asynchronous learning occurring between 11:00-1:00 daily. Students will experience instruction in Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies and Social Emotional Learning across the week. Students will also have Music, PE and Library embedded in their weekly schedules. In total, we have instructional blocks that account for 4.5 hours of school learning four days/week. Wednesdays will look slightly different, as the focus will be more on small groups, 1:1 learning and providing teacher office hours.


If your student(s) are supported through Special Education services, we will be working with classroom teachers to see when is the best time to provide support for their goals. For some students, this may be push-in support or pulled for small group/1:1 service delivery. Our teachers will be working very hard to get this up and scheduled quickly.


Lastly, teachers and grade levels will be working on creating their grade level schedules this next week. This will take a bit of time, but teachers will share those with you as soon as they are able.