Panther Pride

May 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, WA98021


In this issue:

Parent Input Form

And More...

Principal Message

Dear Fernwood Families,

While our spring weather has not been exactly very spring-like, I hope you and your family are taking moments to enjoy all the beautiful colors that spring brings. As I walk around campus, our multiple cherry trees have really stood out to me. Their stunning blooms continue to change and remind me of how spring is a time to stop and reflect on the changes we have also seen in our students over the course of the year.

There is so much to celebrate around the progress of each child. In thinking about academics, not only can students produce the answers when engaging in rigorous work, they can also explain their thought process along with other approaches or perspectives to arrive at the same outcome. In June’s newsletter, I plan to share about our school-wide academic progress. May is a busy month for both classroom and state assessment. While we will not have our Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) data back until the start of the 2022-23 school year, we learn so much about student’s academic growth from our district and classroom assessments as well as through 1:1 interactions between teachers and students. (To learn more specifics about this month’s SBA assessment see the information shared below)

It is also important to celebrate the ways our Panthers have grown in their student agency (ways students can intentionally influence their own circumstances). This year, just a few examples of our students demonstrating student agency include:

  • Students working together to create codes of conduct (agreements of how to play) for both soccer and 4-square

  • Sharing about cultures and cultural celebrations within our Monday Morning Announcements as well as within our monthly assemblies

  • Initiating clean up efforts around the school in small (putting paper towels in the trash) and big (cleaning up trash around the school) ways.

  • Demonstrating advocacy for others by requesting Fernwood provide support for refugee children in Ukraine (read more below to learn about these efforts the week of May 9th-13th).

Our students inspire me daily! It is so exciting to see the ways they are taking steps to make a difference for others both at school and beyond; they are truly carrying out their Panther Pride!

We know this growth in students is related to the work of our teachers. We are so grateful for the student-centered approach they take to carrying out our mission of creating a culture where all students achieve social, emotional and academic skills to be successful. While this week is National Teacher Appreciation Week, our PTSA will be celebrating our classroom teachers and all staff next week during May 9th -13th. They would appreciate your help in these efforts as well. See below our PTSA section below for more information. Taking the time to share your words of appreciation through an email, a card, or otherwise will go a long way. Our amazing staff at Fernwood deserve to be appreciated!

Kind regards,

Kate Eicher, Proud Principal

Fernwood Calendar and Dates to Remember

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Counselor Corner

Welcome May and Happy Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

This month, in our morning announcements and during our all school virtual assembly, we will be honoring how all Americans are enriched by Asian and Pacific Islander heritage and cultures. Students will learn about and discuss topics pertaining to the vast geographic regions that encompass this part of our world, what heritage means, and some notable and influential individuals in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities who have made significant contributions. In addition, we will be continuing our discussion on perseverance as we all prepare for doing our best to finish the school year strong, complete standardized and/or diagnostic testing, and remain steadfast in meeting our academic and social-emotional goals.

In other news, to provide additional support to all students’ social-emotional growth, throughout the months of April, May and June, I am visiting classrooms teaching mini-units to students. Topics have ranged from assertive communication, problem-solving and perspective-taking. Students have demonstrated a great desire to remain focused upon their growth in these areas. Why is this important? As I share with the students, this type of content knowledge and skills can help us have more supportive and positive relationships and feel better connected to our school community, an essential ingredient to school success.

Please see below for timely resources that I hope you find helpful.

If I can be of any further assistance to you or your student, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Jennifer Brisbine

School Counselor


May SEL Calendar

Read Aloud Books to Help with Testing Season

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In the Know

Parent Input Form

This time of year, we continue to think about providing a strong finish to the 2021-22 school year. In addition, we begin to think about the school year to come. You may have started to envision the 2022-23 school year for your child. The Parent Input Form is your opportunity to share information about your child as we begin our process of creating balanced classrooms for next year. Along with teacher input, this information will be reviewed and considered by your teacher, the current grade level team, and administration. Please see the form for more specifics. All forms are due by Friday, May 6th.

Supporting Refugee Children in Ukraine.

One of our Fernwood students wrote a compelling letter to request that Fernwood assist refugee children in Ukraine. As a result, we worked to connect with local organizations around age appropriate ways our students could demonstrate their support. During the week of May 9th - 13th, Fernwood will collect stuffed animals and emergency thermal blankets (example of emergency thermal blankets linked here) to provide to iMiracleProject. This organization will ship these materials to Poland where they will arrive in the hands of refugee children from Ukraine. The organization hopes to be able to provide us with photographs of our donation in use prior to the end of the year.

To Participate: If your child would like to participate, they can bring a stuffed animal, new or used, to be placed in a bin by the office as they arrive at school. Emergency Thermal blankets will be collected in the same way. If your child or family would like to make a monetary donation, you will need to go through iMiracleProject directly. We will not be taking monetary donations at school.

Is Your Family Moving Over the Summer?

If your family will not be living in the Fernwood service area for the 2022-23 school year, please notify your current teacher and Mrs. Bickhaus ( Sharing this information in advance helps us to keep updated on our numbers for next year in relation to our goal of creating balanced classrooms. We believe balanced classrooms are the first step in setting all students up for success for the 2022-23 school year. We are sorry to see your family go and wish you the best in the future! Once a Panther, always a Panther - the Panther Pride is part of each one of us and cannot be forgotten!

SBA Dates

As we shared in our April Panther Pride, 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 below to mark your calendar. The times provided are approximate. The SBA is not a timed test. If any student needs more time, they will be provided this opportunity. 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.

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Supporting Your Child through SBA or Other Assessments

The results from the SBA will give a more accurate picture of whether students are on track to be college or career ready after high school than our state’s previous tests. State tests provide a snapshot of how your child performed during testing and are not the only indicator of academic achievement. Classroom performance should be the primary measure of your child’s skills and knowledge. As with any assessment, we consistently message to students to do their best – just as they would do with any task.

Included are some strategies to support students engaging in testing. While we include this with the SBA right around the corner, it really applies to testing at any time for grades K-5. Thank you for encouraging your child to both do their best while also helping them keep this test in perspective as one small snapshot in time.

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Biking, Parking Lot Safety, and More!

With the increase in warm weather, we recognize many families may adjust their mode of transportation to and from school. Spring is also a good time for all of us to pause and revisit procedures to ensure we maintain our procedures during arrival and dismissal to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and families. Please revisit our arrival and dismissal procedures linked here.

*Please note: Any student biking to school (even when accompanied by an adult) must have a consent form turned in and approved. Only students 10 and older can bike alone once their form is approved.

Ongoing Information About COVID

Northshore is following the guidelines that students or staff with COVID must quarantine for 5 days from the day they start showing symptoms if they test positive or for 5 days for the testing date if they are asymptomatic. The first day of symptoms or a positive test counts as day zero and then we count five days from there. You can find more information about Northshore COVID Guidelines here. For other information related to COVID, follow this link to learn more about questions and answers related to vaccinations, close contacts, and more from our school nurse.

District Information

Know Someone That Will Be New to Northshore Next Year?

Enrollment is open for the 2022-23 school year for all grade levels, including kindergarten. Please visit the NSD website for full enrollment information for all grades.

PTSA Information

Principal Chat, Tuesday, May 10th, 6:30-7:00 pm

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

PTSA Meeting

May’s PTSA meeting will be on Tuesday, May 10th, from 7:00-8:00 pm following our Principal

Chat. Join the Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 892 8261 4971

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

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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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