Panther Pride

April 2023

We create and maintain a safe and consistent learning community by establishing positive behavioral supports and a culture where all students achieve social, emotional and academic success.

Fernwood Elementary

3933 Jewell Rd

Bothell, WA 98021


In This Issue:

  • New Construction Update
  • Track and Field Information
  • Parent Input Forms
  • SBA Information and dates

Principal Message

Dear Fernwood Families,

At the end of the week we will be wrapping up our third quarter and heading into Spring Break. We hope everyone enjoys the week away! May your family take part in some rejuvenation whether sticking nearby or traveling afar.

During the month of March, in partnership with our PTSA, Fernwood participated in a school-wide fundraiser. It was exciting to be able to provide our students the opportunity to fundraise in a manner that aligned to our school-wide pillar of kindness. To kick off this fundraiser, we asked students in grades 4 and 5 to create a design that captured our message of kindness at Fernwood. We had so many amazing entries it was hard to select a winner as we were so proud of their efforts and to share their perspective of how kindness can be expressed through illustrations. Our staff provided input and selected the following image as a symbol of our shared messaging around kindness.

During the fundraiser, students were coming up to me and expressing the acts of kindness they did both at home and at school. Our PTSA worked to capture these acts by creating a paper chain link throughout halls. Each link represented one act of kindness. Throughout or fundraiser, we saw of variety of acts of kindness being demonstrated some of which included:

  • Collected donations for local charities

  • Left kind notes for fellow students and made new friends

  • Wrote thank you notes to our teachers, custodians, and lunch staff

  • Completed extra chores to help our families

  • Left water & snacks by the front door for delivery drivers

  • Picked up litter in our community

  • Chalked the walk

  • Made kindness rocks

As a result of these efforts, we raised $21,122 and our school’s net profit is $19,384! That is 92%. A big thank you to our PTSA for organizing this opportunity, especially our chairs, Bethany Lamens and Aleah Dometita. We also want to thank you, our community, for your contributions and support for students by paying your generosity forward and spreading kindness within our community.

Thank you again for your ongoing partnership and support!

Kind regards,

Kate Eicher, Proud Principal

Dates To Remember

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Counselor Connection

For the month of April we are focusing on emotions management (taking steps to calm down when we have big feelings). During our April virtual assembly, students will learn: 1) how emotions are processed in the brain, 2) how to recognize signals in the body when big feelings show up, and 3) how to use tools to find calm.

The diagram below illustrates the hand to represent the brain and demonstrates what it can look like when we have big feelings that make it hard to think–we call that “flipping our lid.” You can see that where the thumb is located on this diagram, it is being compared to where in the brain emotions are processed. We lose our “thinking cap” or flip our lid when the amygdala takes over and we lose access to our prefrontal cortex where our executive functions are processed. This can make solving small problems very difficult.

Students are learning that when we react with big emotions when we encounter small problems the small problem then goes into the background. It goes into the background and the new problem then becomes that we’re losing control. As we go throughout our day things can happen to us to cause these different emotions, for example, my friend wants to play another game during recess so I may be sad. In order to improve our ability to manage our emotions, we are increasing our focus on the brain and body connection and tools students have available to help them find calm.

Students are learning all about Calming Kits. Beginning this April, all learning spaces are equipped with a special kit filled with visual aids for deep breathing strategies and other calming tools. Throughout April’s assembly students will learn what a calming kit is, when to use it and how to use it. They will see many examples of students using the tools.

We want all students to know that all feelings are ok; it’s how they respond to them that really matters!

Best Regards,

Jennifer Brisbine (Grades 1, 3, & 5) and 425-408-4570

Sarah Cue (Grades K, 2, & 4) and 425-408-4572

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In The Know

Fernwood’s Emergency Action Plan

As we hear about events within our national news around school shootings, we know the safety of our students and staff remains at the forefront of everyone's thinking. Linked is our Emergency Response plan that includes resources that are specific to Fernwood and those used across Northshore to guide our actions in the events of various emergencies.

New Construction Update

The Northshore Communications Department has created a webpage dedicated to informing our community related to our Fernwood Expansion Project. Information will be added and updated as decisions around this project become finalized. At this time, information is still general since the project is still in the planning phase. This will be a great website to bookmark and revisit overtime to stay informed of the expansion changes to come.

Track and Field Registration Now Open!

We are happy to announce that our season is right around the corner. Registration is now open for students in grades 3-5. Practice will begin right after break on Monday, April 17th from 8:00-9:00 in the gym for those that have enrolled. Please see the linked flyer for more details about practice and meet dates. Meet schedule can be found here.

The cost is $35 and scholarships are available. Please contact the office about scholarship information. You can register via TouchBase ( Opens a New Window.) T-shirt orders are due by April 16th.

Parent Input Form

As we head into April, we continue to think about providing a strong finish to the 2022-23 school year. In addition, we begin to look to the future. You may have started to envision the 2023-24 school year for your child. At Fernwood, our goal is to ensure that all Fernwood students have an equal opportunity for a positive and strong educational experience. We recognize that balanced classrooms are a key step in achieving this goal. We are providing this parent input form for you as an opportunity to share any specific learning needs, strengths, or conditions you would like considered in the 2023-24 classroom alignment process. Our staff across the school closely collaborate to consider any information you provide as well as our knowledge of our child within the school setting to carefully determine placement. . Please see the form for more specifics. All forms are due by Friday, May 5th.

Arrival and Dismissal Reminders

As the weather shifts and changes, so do parents drop off and pick up plans. Below is a reminder of our procedures. A video can also be found linked here.

  • Cars can enter the drop off and pick up loop off of 39th from the north or south.
  • Parents will follow our pick up line as it weaves through our parking lot. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO YIELD TO BUSES.
  • Parents will be asked to have a sign on the lower right side of their dashboard including their child’s first and last name, teacher, and grade level. Color coded signs will be handed out on the first day of school, so we can quickly identify the pick up area in which your child will be located. Families with more than one student will fill out their sign with the information of their youngest child as siblings will wait in the area of the youngest student.
  • Families will stay in their car to pick up students. No parking and coming to pick up students waiting in the car pick up area.
  • We will ask cars to pull forward to keep the flow of traffic moving and we will bring your child to your car. Students are to enter from the driver side only to ensure safety.
  • Families are asked to turn right only when they exit the drop off and pick up area and to use 35th Ave instead of 39th Ave to minimize traffic congestion.


Students in grades 3rd-5th will take part in our state’s Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) this spring. 5th graders will also take the Washington State Science Assessment. During our testing window, it is especially important your child is present and on time to school. Please see the testing dates to mark your calendar. You will notice our testing schedule is more compact this year. This is a direct result of moving to 1:1 devices and no longer needing to share devices.

*Please note: there is always the possibility students may become ill, so make up opportunities will be provided. Please do not send your student to school when they are ill.

Here is a key to better understand the acronyms on our schedule:

  • ELA - English Language Arts (reading and writing)

  • CAT - Computer Adaptive Technology (online test)

  • PT - Performance Test (providing reasoning and evidence for an answer)
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District Information

April Progress Reports

As we noted in November, progress reports in April will only be mailed home if a student is not yet at grade level in one or more areas. In addition, it may also be mailed home if behavior needs to be communicated. If you do not receive a progress report, it means your student is performing at standard in reading, writing, and math at this time and that their strengths and/or needs around behavior have been communicated through previous conversations.

If you do receive a progress report, teachers will note specifically where students are not yet meeting grade level with an “N”. Other areas in which they are meeting grade level will be marked with a "Y". These reports also contain a section on "Behaviors that Promote Student Learning.” The teacher may elect to complete this section if a student has behavior needs. They may also leave it blank if a student is consistently demonstrating these behaviors or fill it out in a manner that conveys that consistency.

Whether your child receives a progress report or not, we know teachers are working tirelessly in the classroom to provide effective feedback to all students. This feedback supports student self-efficacy so that each child is aware of their strengths, needs, and steps to take to make progress towards those needs.

PTSA Information

PTSA Meeting

There is no April PTSA Meeting. The next meeting is May 9th from 7:00-8:00pm in the Library.

Fernwood PTSA Mariner Game Fundraising Event

SAVE THE DATE! Join us on Sunday, April 23 at 1:10pm to attend the Seattle Mariners game vs. St. Louis Cardinals at T-Mobile Park with your family and fellow Fernwood Community. The Fernwood Choir has been selected to sing the National Anthem at the start of the game - you won't want to miss it! Tickets will be on sale soon and will be $30/ticket for Main Level (100 level) seats. We hope to see you at the ballpark! Go M's! Deadline to purchase tickets is April 4th! See flyer for details.

Staff Appreciation Week

On the week of May 8th to May 12th, we will be celebrating our annual teacher and staff appreciation week! We would love for you to join us in showing how much we value their hard work, dedication, and commitment. This year's theme is "We’re Your #1 Fans" as our teachers and staff are the ultimate All-Star Line Up! The PTSA will need your help to stock the concession stand, give tasty treat timeouts, and popcorn fun including sports trivia with prizes for the appreciation week. Look for sign-ups and an Amazon wish list to make this week possible for our Fernwood Teachers and Staff to be coming out soon! If you have questions, please reach out to

Ongoing School-Wide Communication

We will send out a Weekly Update each Sunday between now and our May Panther Pride with information and events specific for that week.

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