Together we soar!
Northwood Elementary: November 17, 2023
Dear Northwood Family,
Happy Friday! It was a busy week with lots of school activities, including Kindness Day, PTA pottery night, conferences, and more. The teachers loved meeting with many families this week for conferences to discuss all the ways your children are learning and growing. Our second evening of conferences is 11/30. Feel free to reach out to your child's teacher if you still need to schedule a conference. Thank you so much to our PTA for providing dinner for staff during conferences!
The PTA is sponsoring our Holiday Helpers program again this year. If your family could benefit from some assistance with holiday gifts or items for your child(ren) this year, please reach out privately to me at email@example.com by 11/29. I will communicate with you to determine what the need is and connect with our PTA to see how they can assist. Your family's name is confidential and will not be shared.
Just a reminder that there is no school 11/22-11/24. I won't plan on sending out a newsletter next week, since it's a 2-day school week. As we reflect on kindness and giving thanks, please let me share how thankful we are for our wonderful Northwood students and families!
Molly Bascom-Keller, Ed.S.
Northwood Elementary Principal
November 22-24: No School
November 29: Late Start Wednesday 9:20 AM
November 30: Elementary Conferences - evening
Late Start Wednesdays
First bell for students is at 9:20 AM.
Homework Club: 8:20-9:20 AM, only for students who are signed up. Students enter through the main office. Homework Club Form (1st semester was due by 8/21/23 and 2nd semester is due 1/8/24)
- Breakfast Club: 8:55-9:10 AM for anyone interested. Students enter through the main office
- During late starts, professional learning is taking place for staff.
Non-Late Start Wednesdays: Northwood Nests
On non-late start Wednesdays, we have our Northwood Nests meetings! Students are in multi-aged groups led by a staff member to work on our OAKS positive behavior expectations and character traits. See our PBIS section below for more information.
Celebrating Native American Heritage Month - November
This November Northwood is celebrating National Native American Heritage Month. Students are learning about many indigenous people from the past and present. This includes classroom activities and a PTA-sponsored assembly. Please feel free to contact your child's teacher if you or your family would like to share your Native American heritage and traditions with the class.
Photos From Our Week
Three of Ms. Nemecek's students wrote a proposal to Principal Bascom-Keller about their idea to keep Northwood green and clean by cleaning up litter outside the school. Through their inspiration and initiative, the class is going out to clean up the playgrounds! These three caring student leaders received recognition and OAKS tickets for their kindness and commitment to keeping our school grounds beautiful!
Our SMILE Club students made special "Thank you" gift bags for our support staff and a beautiful sign for our lunch monitors and kitchen staff thanking them for their hard work!
Northwood Breakfast & Lunch
Thanks to the Michigan School Meals Program, a state-funded program that allows all students to receive meals at no cost for the 2023-2024 school year, breakfast and lunch will be free to all students. Second meals are not free and will be considered ala carte. Elementary school second lunches will be charged $2.60.
Although all students can receive meals at no cost, it is still vital that eligible families fill out a free/reduced meal application: A school’s eligibility for federal Child Nutrition Programs such as Summer Food Service Program and others is based on free and reduced-price eligibility. Students and families may qualify for other program fee reductions based on their eligibility for free or reduced-price meals. Federal and state education finding uses free and reduced-price eligibility.
Please complete the 2023-2024 online application on our website under Free and Reduced Meals Information. Paper applications will be sent out this month and available at the district office and in all schools in August.
If your child is coming for Breakfast Club any time this year, they should arrive between 7:55-8:05AM (8:55-9:05AM on late start Wednesdays) and enter through the Main doors only. If a family member needs to enter the school to walk their child down to breakfast, the adult will need to sign into the office to enter the building and sign back out when leaving. Thanks so much!
Blessings in a Backpack
“Blessings in a Backpack” is a program designed to provide students on the free and reduced lunch program with enough food for three meals a day during the weekends. This program, administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester, is active in Royal Oak Schools. If you agree to take part in this program during the school year, your child will receive a bag filled with food for the weekend. A bag of food will be put in your child's locker for take home on Fridays. The simple meals may include food like macaroni and cheese, beef ravioli, canned fruit, granola bars, soups, juice and other items. Students will receive a bag every week.
If you would like to have your child participate in this program, fill out the form below.. Please be sure to indicate on the form if you child has any food allergies. If your child has a food allergy, you as the parent are responsible for checking all food labels when the food arrives home. Royal Oak Schools, as well as Blessings in a Backpack, will not be held responsible for any accidental food allergen exposure.
Sign up here: Blessings in a Backpack Form
Restorative Practices Opportunity for Families
We are in need of pies for Tuesday 11/21! This tradition is a staff favorite and is looked forward to every year! Please sign up to donate a pie and help show the outstanding Northwood staff how much we appreciate them!
Reflections - Artwork Due by 11/21
Thank you to the Northwood students and parent volunteers who participated in the Reflections art workshops on 11/8 and 11/13. If you have a creative child that was unable to attend, they can still produce artwork at home (no parent/sibling help please) and compete in the National PTA Reflections artwork competition. This year’s theme is I AM HOPEFUL BECAUSE… Students may submit visual artwork, literature, photography, a music composition, film production or dance choreography. A completed entry form, including artist statment explaining how the artwork related to the theme, must be submitted with each artwork submission. Refer to the Michigan Reflections Rules for more information. All artwork is due by Tuesday, November 21st before break. Physical artwork may be turned into the main office and digital files can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Take-home art kits are available in the office vestibule while supplies last. We can’t wait to see more student creations and hear what they're hopeful for!
Stay up - to - date with Northwood PTA Activities! Every Monday a PTA newsletter is sent out to Northwood families containing important school announcements, volunteer opportunities, save the date info, ways to connect with the Northwood community on social media, along with how to support Northwood when shopping at local stores.
We would love for this communication to reach as many Northwood families as possible! You do not have to join the PTA to receive, however you do need to sign up!
To receive the newsletter, either:
Please contact Crystal DeLeon @ email@example.com with questions.
New PTA Website Alert!
We are excited to introduce our fresh Northwood Elementary PTA website!
Discover event updates, join the PTA, access resources and stay informed, find volunteer opportunities, or connect with us for any questions or suggestions. Visit www.neropta.com and let's dive into a year of learning, community, and growth together!
Special Education News
Royal Oak Parent Advocacy Committee - November Meeting 11/21 @ 6:30 PM
The Royal Oak Parent Advocacy Committee (ROPAC) is our school district's Parent Advisory Committee - a group made up of parents/caregivers of students with IEPs or 504 Plans, those that want to learn more, those that think their student may benefit from special education services. ROPAC sincerely welcomes any parent or caregiver with a student(s) in Royal Oak schools to join us in our mission to make this a destination for students receiving special education services. Learn more about the ROPAC here: ROPAC Info Flyer
The PAC's November meeting will be held Tuesday, 11/21 @ 6:30 PM - this meeting will be held in person at the Administration Building. BABYSITTING WILL BE AVAILABLE! This meeting will be a community conversation, where we will be compiling information about what families are looking for in their relationships with special education providers and the district: communication, transitions, programming and educational opportunities. We intend to share this with the school district. Let your voice be heard! To join our mailing list for meeting reminders and other updates, complete this quick form: ROPAC Email List
Physical Education Newsletter
Social Work Corner
Haven Lessons for K-2
HAVEN is visiting our K-2 classes 11/10 and 12/7 to present a Haven's Helping Kids Help Themselves lesson. The lesson is taught by HAVEN educational specialists. An informational letter to families with an opt-out option was sent home with K-2 students in advance.
HAVEN is a non-profit organization that provides direct services to victims and families experiencing domestic violence and sexual assault. Helping Kids Help Themselves introduces young children to personal safety and body ownership through the use of a story involving a bird named Daisy. The program helps children identify, trust, and communicate their own feelings. The children will view a video and talk with our educational specialist about child sexual abuse in an age-appropriate manner. The presentation will focus on identifying “good touches” and “bad touches.”
The following safety rules are stressed:
∙ It’s O.K. to say NO!
∙ Try to GET AWAY!
∙ If someone has touched you or tried to touch you in a private area, tell a trusted adult and keep telling until someone believes you.
∙ It is never your fault.
∙ It is never too late to tell a bad secret.
OCHN Offers Mental Health Tips Following Global Violence
OCHN Offers Mental Health Tips Following Global Violence
Contact: Suzanne Weinert - firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-758-1991
OAKLAND COUNTY, MI (October 26, 2023) – Oakland Community Health Network (OCHN) is re-releasing tips for families and individuals to manage stress or trauma associated with recent violence. Situations of global violence can be difficult, and this is especially true if residents are concerned about family members abroad and/or members of their community.
To help manage anxiety, fear, sadness, or stress associated with these traumatic events as well as graphic news reporting, OCHN is recommending the following mental health tips:
Tips for Adults:
- Be mindful to consider your amount of exposure to the news / media and ensure the news you consume is from a trusted source to limit misinformation.
- Everyone experiences events and trauma in different ways and however they think or feel after an event like this is okay. Some people respond with fear, some anger, some shock, sadness, etc.
- Encourage people to talk about what they are thinking and feeling. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from mental health professionals, especially if thoughts of self-harm or suicide arise.
- Try to get back to routines and schedules to promote feelings of consistency and balance to reduce fear and provide a feeling of returning control and predictability.
Tips for Parents:
- Acknowledge what happened. If your child is talking or asking about traumatic events, it is important for the caregivers / loved ones in their life to acknowledge what happened, provide age-appropriate information, and be supportive.
- Parents may want to approach older children who may have seen the news or videos on social media and find out what they know and what their thoughts / feelings are about what happened.
- Recognize the effect this has on your child. Talk to your child about their thoughts and emotions as it pertains to the event and validate their feelings and concerns.
Tips for Community Members:
- Building and maintaining authentic relationships will help your partners and allies better understand and respond.
- Engage in implicit bias training and ongoing opportunities for meaningful dialogue.
- Establishing relationships with neighbors can create a cadre of allies who can provide support and help counter injustice in the community.
- As a community member, you have the power to stand up to injustice.
- OCHN’s non-emergency behavioral health access department is available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. at 248-464-6363.
- OCHN’s Mental Health School Navigators (MHSN) connect youth and families to behavioral health and substance use supports, as well as financial assistance. For more information about the School Mental Health Navigator Program please call 248-462-6294 or email SchoolNavigator@oaklandchn.org
- Call 988 for Crisis and Emergency Support
Resources for Discussing Injustice
- Helping Students Mark Sense of News Stories about Bias and Injustice
- Empowering Young People in the Aftermath of Hate
- OCHN is contracted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to lead a provider service network and manages care for approximately 29,000 Oakland County citizens at more than 400 service sites across the county. People who receive public behavioral health services through OCHN's provider network include those who have an intellectual or developmental disability, mental health concerns, or substance use disorder. Most of these individuals have Medicaid insurance coverage.
- OCHN's goal is to ensure these individuals are aware of and have access to services and supports that will improve their health and quality of life, as well as ensure their engagement in full community participation. Its mission to “inspire hope, empower people, and strengthen communities” reflects an unyielding belief in a "Valuable System for Valued People." Programs and supports provided by OCHN's service network are available at oaklandchn.org.
Growing Confident Females
Studies have consistently shown that many girls and young women struggle with feelings of low self-confidence. This unfortunate trend seems to persist across various aspects of life, including academics, body image, and career aspirations.
In the realm of academics, girls often exhibit lower levels of confidence compared to their male counterparts. They may doubt their abilities and hesitate to take on challenging subjects or leadership roles. This lack of confidence can impact their performance and limit their academic achievements.
Body image is another area where girls often feel inadequate. Unrealistic media portrayals of beauty standards, combined with societal pressures, can lead to body dissatisfaction and a decrease in self-confidence. This can have long-lasting effects on mental and emotional well-being.
Furthermore, many girls struggle with confidence when it comes to career aspirations. They may underestimate their skills and downplay their ambitions, leading to a smaller presence in traditionally male-dominated fields. This self-doubt can hinder their pursuit of fulfilling careers and limit their potential for success.
It is crucial to address these issues and foster an environment that empowers girls to believe in themselves. By promoting self-acceptance, resilience, and a growth mindset, we can help girls develop the confidence they need to thrive and reach their full potential.
Click on the link below for the first-ever, large-scale national 2023 survey designed to develop a deeper understanding of the thoughts, experiences, behaviors and attitudes of teen girls throughout the U.S:
Young Oaks Latchkey
If you have students currently enrolled in the program you will be contacted directly by the Young Oaks Coordinator. Any families interested in the program can use the link below for information about the program.
Salvation Army After-School Program
Arrival, Dismissal & Parking
Parking: Please do not pick up or drop off in the teacher lot. This lot is for staff parking, along with a bus lane. Thank you for your understanding. If you need to leave your car for any reason, please find a parking spot in the visitor parking lot. You may park and walk your students to their entry door. If you would like to park on the street, please consider parking on a side street other than McDonald Avenue.
Walking & Biking: These are great options and decrease traffic. Adults and students should remain on sidewalks and cross at crosswalks only. Please do not stand or park bikes in the Kiss & Go lane.
Kiss & Go Lane (along the front of the building - See photo below): If you are dropping off your child, please pull into the Kiss & Go lane along the curb in front of the building. This is a quickly moving lane for drop-off and pick-up (no parking). Pull all the way forward, allow your child to exit on the passenger side of the vehicle, and move forward to exit. If you need to exit your vehicle, please find a parking spot. This will keep things moving, which is safest and most efficient for everyone. If there is a line, we appreciate your patience. Thank you for your cooperation!
All absences should be called in to the Safety Check number. Absences that are not reported are considered unexcused. Safety Check number: 248-541-0229 option #1
In our efforts to continue to keep our school community safe, anyone visiting the school will need to check in with office staff from the vestibule. Any parent, caregiver, or adult entering into the school for any reason, including PTA and classroom volunteering, will need to sign in at the office and get a visitor’s badge. Visitors who would like to meet with a staff member will need to have a scheduled appointment. Thank you!
Dropping Off Forgotten Items
If your child forgets items at home, we are asking that only essential items be brought up to school. Please do not drop off nonessential items. We do not want to interrupt teaching and student learning, unless it is essential. If you need to drop off an essential forgotten item for your child, please enter the main doors, put it on the table, and leave a note with your child’s name and teacher. The office staff will check the table periodically and let the class teacher know there is something for the child in the office. If you are dropping off something for the office, like medication, a form, or other important information, please proceed to the office door and our office staff is happy to help.
Essential item examples - OK to drop off
Medication - Take into office secretary
Note: Students can get a hot lunch if a lunch is forgotten, and water fountains are available throughout the school if a water bottle is forgotten.
Nonessential item examples - Please do NOT drop off
Homework - Turn in the next day
Library Books - Turn in the next day
Pajamas for Pajama Day*
Tiaras & Hats for Hat Day*
Stuffed Animals for Stuffed Animal Day*
Other clothing or items for themed days*
Toys & Recess Items
* While it is disappointing when special clothing or items are forgotten on special theme days, it happens. Luckily, there are many special days and more opportunities to remember to bring or wear special items. We do not want to interrupt classrooms during the school day, unless it is necessary. Thank you so much for understanding!
Lost & Found
Our Lost & Found is bursting with jackets, sweatshirts, lunch boxes, water bottles, and so much more! Please come take a look and help us get these things home. Lost & Found is located in the vestibule, just inside the main entrance. Reminder to label your child's items so we can help get them back to students. Thank you!
Northwood PBIS Program - Positive Behavior & Character Traits
Our Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS) program at Northwood uses the acronym of O.A.K.S to promote positive behavior throughout our building. Our O.A.K.S. program serves as a reminder to our students that they are to be:
- Outstanding Learners
- Always Respectful
- Kindness Counts
- Safety First
Here is our Northwood Behavior Expectations & Character Traits Matrix, which focuses on expectations for all of the areas of our school. Teachers and staff emphasize this daily and we also have monthly "Nest" meetings to work on OAKS expectations and being role models and leaders at school. One of the tools we may use if a student has a behavior challenge is a "Think Time Sheet", which allows the student to think about their behavior, consider how it relates to OAKS expectations, and most importantly reflect on how they can grow from the experience and make better choices in the future. These forms go home to communicate with families and foster positive conversations about our OAKS expectations for positive behavior. Thank you so much for your support at home to reinforce these important expectations and traits!
If your student is bringing an electronic communication device to school (ex. smartwatch, phone), please make sure they know that they cannot text, call, watch videos, etc. on their device during the school day. It's important that everyone is aware of the school policy, which can be found in our Northwood Student Handbook on page 9:
"Students are allowed to possess electronic communication devices on school property; however, such devices shall not be used during the school day or in a manner that disrupts school activities or events. Any device found to be used for any illegal purpose or in a manner that violates the Student Code of Conduct may be confiscated pending a parent conference. Where appropriate, police authorities may be contacted. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen electronic devices."
Thank you so much for your support with this important issue!
Allergy Awareness & School Food Policy
Classrooms: Do not send snacks containing peanuts or tree nuts.
Lunch Room: There is a separate table for any students with nut allergies.
Class Parties: If party donations are requested, do not send items that have peanuts or tree nuts.
- Halloween - If you send in goodies to be sent home, do not include any food items.
- Valentine's Day - If you send in goodies to be sent home, do not include any food items.
Birthdays: Do not send food or beverages as birthday treats.
Royal Oak Schools App
Download the Royal Oak Schools app on your mobile device today and choose to receive push notifications for the latest news and updates from the District and your child's school. Easily save calendar events directly to your device from the app's calendar section. Access both district-wide and school-specific news all in one place. Find lunch menus, connect to MiStar, and more, all conveniently at your fingertips. The custom app is available on Google Play and the App Store. Use this link to download it and find out more.
Social Media Posting
At Northwood we take pride in making sure we have a kind, caring, environment. Our parents & families play a large role in helping us to achieve this goal. Before posting to social media or any other venue, please consider the feelings of all our community members. Before you post, remember to T.H.I.N.K.
Northwood's Mission Statement
Northwood Elementary School will provide higher-level learning opportunities for all students to maximize their potential in a safe, nurturing, respectful, and diverse environment.