Panther Pride

December 2022

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:

  • Preparation for Inclement Weather

  • iReady Schoolwide Challenge

  • Screening for Northshore’s Highly Capable Program

  • Family Needs During the Holidays

  • And more!

Principal Message

Hello Fernwood Families,

Although it is not quite December yet, the weather sure feels and looks wintery! We are sending out our Panther Pride early. We want to make sure you have information related to school and district news and events connected to these three weeks before Winter Break.

As the New Year approaches, now is a time that we often take pause, reflect on the positives and challenges of the year behind us, and make goals for the year to come. Here at Fernwood, we use this cycle of thinking on a regular basis as we strive for ongoing improvement in the ways we carry out our school-wide mission. Our mission states that we are a “learning community”. Within this phrase, we believe the word “community” refers more to our shared interests and goals more than our physical location.

There are so many factors that impact the way we grow together as a learning community. I have been reflecting a lot about one factor - communication. In referencing communication, I am referring to how the school learns about families and students as well as how families learn about school. At Fernwood, we believe having strong two-way communication is essential in us working in partnership to support our shared goals for students.

During conferences, your teacher shared how we want to provide families with ongoing opportunities to have their voices heard through our parent cards that were distributed. You still have the opportunity to turn in your card through Winter Break. We will continue to place our box outside the office. You can also send it to school with your child if preferred. In addition, we would like to hear from you about how you would like to receive school-based ongoing communication such as the information and events shared in our Panther Pride. Please let us know your preference by completing this ONE QUESTION Survey. Options for ongoing communication include:

  • Continue to receive newsletters from Fernwood on a monthly basis ONLY.

  • Continue to receive newsletters from Fernwood each month AND receive weekly updates each Monday reminding me of the information relevant to that week.

  • No longer receive newsletters from Fernwood on a monthly basis. INSTEAD, receive a shorter weekly newsletter/updates each Monday providing the information relevant to that week.

Please note, this is referring to ongoing communication only. We will continue to communicate if an unanticipated event occurs such as a Safe Inside. We appreciate you sharing your input by no later than Friday, December 9th. We will share the results with families before we go to Winter Break. We want families to know what to expect, related to school-wide ongoing communication, in the new year.

Have a safe and joyous New Year and holiday season!

Kind regards,

Kate Eicher, Proud Principal

Dates To Remember

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Counselor Connection

For the month of December, all students are having their fourth classroom lesson with their school counselors. Students in grades K - 2 have learned about the differences between small problems and BIG problems. Students are hearing the mantra: We are smart enough and strong enough to solve small problems. For big problems, we go to a trusted adult right away for help because big problems can be scary, dangerous and someone could get hurt. In December, students are learning more about Kelso's Choices (wheel) and the verbal ways to solve small problems. The five verbal ways are talk it out, apologize, tell them to stop, make a deal and share and take turns.

For students in grades 3 - 5, the learning about the three R’s continues. Recognize (is this bullying or a conflict, a misunderstanding or a small problem?), Report (tell an adult that I trust) and Refuse (assertively tell the person to STOP). Students will learn more about Bystander Power and ways they can be a supportive bystander. The final lesson for grades 4 and 5 will include examples related to the 3R’s to help prevent cyberbullying.

Lastly, some holidays are quickly approaching. With this in mind, please reach out if your family could benefit from some community services and support. If you have any questions or would like to request any additional support for your student, please do not hesitate to reach out! We are here for your student’s success!

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

Thank You PTSA

We would like to sincerely thank all the families that donated pies for our staff the day before Thanksgiving and all of the volunteers that collected and hand delivered them to staff. We appreciate the PTSA continuing the special “Pie Day'' tradition.

Follow Up to Our Reunification Drill

Thank you to our PTSA volunteers that assisted us to completing a reunification drill on Friday, November 18th. With their help, we were able to practice our process to reconnect students and families in the event a real emergency were to occur. This practice allowed us to see the strengths and areas of growth within our system as we strive for ongoing improvement and readiness should a disaster occur.

You can find visuals of our reunification process in action by visiting the linked powerpoint related to Fernwood’s Emergency Procedures. Please note, in the event of a real emergency, we can ONLY release students to parents with identification or those listed as an emergency contact once identification has been shown. Make sure you are prepared for an emergency by updating your emergency contacts in Parent Vue.

Preparation for Inclement Weather

If weather conditions are severe enough, there are times when our school schedule can be impacted. You can visit the "Closures and Delays" on the Northshore School District's website to learn more about how decisions are made related to this topic as well as how you can be informed if adjustments to the school schedule occur.

Bond and Levy Construction Update

Abbott Construction, LLC and NAC Architecture have been selected as the firms that will work in partnership to support our new build over the next few years. These two firms are considered our “Design Builders”. This means they work together to develop the plans of what the new build will look like and then carry out the construction. The planning process should begin soon after the new year. The main focus in the new build is the reduction of portables, the increase in classroom space, and putting in an inclusive playground.

i-Ready School-Wide Challenge

Yesterday we launched our school-wide i-Ready challenge to support students in increasing the math and reading skills through individual i-ready lessons. Details of this challenge were shared with parents during conference week through a QR code that was distributed. If you need to refresh yourself on the details and ways to support at home, please visit the link provided.

For the month of December, we are focused on reaching a goal of students passing lessons with an average of 95% accuracy. This goal encourages students to engage in quality time when working on individual i-Ready lessons, versus the quantity of time. If we reach our school-wide goal, we will have an extra spirit day, Pajama Day, on Friday, January 6th.

Students can participate in this challenge by practicing i-Ready in reading and math each week for a maximum of 45 minutes in EACH subject area. While students may do some minutes at school, often learning is focused on collaborative experiences, so we are encouraging students to practice at home as well.

One of our parents found a creative way to get students involved. He connected i-Ready into an X-Box game! You can watch his Tiktoc video here to see how he did it and consider if this would be a useful strategy for your family too! This is a true example of being a learning community and sharing ideas of how we can support students in achieving our shared goals.

Screening for Northshore’s Highly Capable Program

Various testing will occur over the month of December to support screening for the Northshore’s Highly Capable Program. All testing is organized and supported through Northshore’s Highly Capable Department and their trained proctors. Details and times are listed below based on the grade level of the student:

  • Kindergarten - Teachers will engage ALL students in the NNAT3 before they leave for Winter Break.

  • First Grade - ALL students were screened on the NNAT3 in October. Parents were notified through the Highly Capable Department if their child was eligible to participate in the IOWA screener. If parents provided permission, students will test on:

    • Wednesday, November 30th at 9:45 for the reading test.

    • Thursday, December 8th at 2:00 for the math test

  • Second, Third, and Fourth Grade - Students ONLY took the NNAT3 in October IF REFERRED by parents or if they met the criteria for screening. Parents were notified through the Highly Capable Department if their child was eligible to participate in the IOWA screener. If parents provided permission, students will test on:
    • Second and Third - Friday, December 9th at 2:00pm for math and reading

    • Fourth - Friday, December 2nd at 2:00pm for math and reading

* Please note, if a student has a highly capable designation in math OR reading, but not in both, they will automatically take the IOWA test in the area in which they have NOT yet qualified.

  • Fifth Grade - ALL students were screened on the NNAT3 in October. Parents were notified through the Highly Capable Department if their child was eligible to participate in the IOWA screener. If parents provided permission, students will test on:

    • Friday, December 2nd at 2:00pm for math and reading

* Please note, if a student has a highly capable designation in math OR reading, but not in

both, they will automatically take the IOWA test in the area in which they have NOT yet


The Highly Capable department will communicate with families about results from the IOWA test. For more information on the timelines and other related details, please visit their linked website.

Family Needs During the Holidays

Our Fernwood counselors are working to support families that may be in need of resources, especially during the holiday season, through Fernwood Elementary and/or the Northshore School District. Our goal is to ensure ALL students, families and our community has access to what they need in order to do their best learning and feel excited to come to our school. Please take a moment to review this survey and complete it if your family could benefit from learning more about these supports.

Check The Lost and Found

As students wear more layers to school, our lost and found is beginning to fill up. If your child is missing something, encourage them to check the lost and found. You can also sign in at the office during the school day and check the lost and found. As a reminder, it is also helpful to write your child’s name on the tag of their jacket or sweatshirt so the clothing item can be directly returned.

District Information

Quiet Spaces in Schools

  • Why Do we Need Quiet Spaces in Schools: ​​Northshore educators are dedicated to ensuring that all students perform at their best. We strive to provide an environment that supports students to perform their best all the time. There are many reasons why students lose their concentration during a school day. Research studies proved that students learn better when they concentrate better, are free from anxiety, anger, and frustration. Educators already use many techniques to support students who need mental health breaks. In addition to those techniques, we propose providing a quiet room in your buildings. Some of you may be already providing such spaces for students. We want you to continue with the practice.

  • What is the Purpose of the Quiet Space: A quiet room is a space in all NSD elementary, middle and high schools for every single student who wants to take a few minutes break during the school day. Everyday there are students who feel physically and mentally exhausted while engaging in learning. Quiet room is a space for all those students who need a place to center themselves using various relaxation techniques of their choice such as breathing, meditation, and prayer.

  • Where is the Quiet Space at Fernwood: Our space is located within the administrative offices in the back of our main office.

  • How Can My Child Access a Quiet Space: During the day, a student can communicate to their teacher that they need to use this space. If you would like your child to have the consistent opportunity to pray at school within the quiet space, please contact your teacher.

Resources During the Holiday Season

In addition filling out the survey above from our Fernwood counselors so they can learn more about your needs, please see other resources provided:

  • Center for Human Services: This organization provides mental health support for those in the Bothell area. See the flier for details and contact information.

  • Holiday Assistants: This flier shares more community resources in both King and Snohomish County if your family is in need of support for gifts and food this holiday season.

PTSA Information

There is no PTSA General Meeting in December.

The next Principal Chat is Tuesday, January 10th, at 6:30-7:00 pm

There is no formal agenda. This is a time to come and share your thoughts or ask questions. This meeting will be held virtually through Zoom:

In January the PTSA meeting will be on Tuesday, January 10th at 7:00pm in the Fernwood Library or you can join via zoom. This meeting will focus on understanding the similarities and differences between general education classrooms and those designated as Highly Capable.

Join the Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 892 8261 4971

On behalf of the Fernwood PTSA Board of Directors: we hope to see you there.

Please Join the PTSA

This is the last week to join our PTSA fall drive! Class with the most memberships will win goodies and their teacher will get a gift basket! Please join today@

Hello Fernwood Families

We are back with the holiday gift card drive. The PTSA will accept gift card donations that can be distributed to the families in need . Please consider donating any amount of your choice. Some ideas for the locations to purchase them are : Fred Meyer, Safeway, Walmart, or QFC. A PTSA volunteer will accept the gift cards near the office between 9 to 9:20 am from Dec 9th to Dec 14th. The distribution is planned to take place on16th.

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Spelling Bee

The first round of the Spelling Bee starts on December 2. Parents, please remember to register your speller before December 2 at

Good luck to all the Spellers!


To all our dads and father figures, please join us in learning about how you can be a volunteer and support your child and other students' learning at Fernwood Elementary through the Watch Dog Dads program. We will be hosting an informational pizza dinner on January 10th, from 6:00-6:30 in Fernwood's cafeteria. You will be able to sign up right then or come to learn more about this incredible opportunity to make a difference in our children's educational experience.

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Ongoing School-Wide Communication

The Panther Pride Newsletter will be sent out on the first Tuesday of each month via the Blackboard system. If you have an email address change, please log in to Parent Vue to make the changes. If you prefer a hard copy be sent to your household, please reach out to our friendly office staff.
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