Panther Pride

May 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:

  • Image of Construction Proposal,
  • Biking to School Information,
  • Parent Input Form,
  • SBA Information and Dates,
  • And More!

Principal Message

Dear Fernwood Families,

I am so appreciative of the opportunity to begin this newsletter by congratulating our students on their tremendous effort towards achieving our school-wide i-Ready goal of 93% accuracy when engaging in individual math and i-Ready lessons. Overall, 701 students participated in this challenge. They were rewarded this past Friday with an extra fun recess including options to engage in cricket, dance, scooters, hoola hoops, jump ropes, playing with bubbles, and having fun with table games. While this celebration concludes our school-wide i-Ready challenge, you can continue to practice these lessons at home. Please see the link for more information.

I see the same effort that students applied within their i-Ready lessons to their work in the classroom as well. This effort is adding up to academic progress for each student. 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 8th-12th. Since each person has an opportunity to have a positive impact on a student within each interaction, we appreciate that our PTSA includes all staff within this celebration. See the PTSA section below to learn more about how they will be recognizing teachers as well as other staff members. They would appreciate your help in these efforts as well. Taking the time to share your words of appreciation with teachers 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

Dates To Remember

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Counselor Connection

This school year, students have been working hard on how to recognize small and big problems. We have used our Kelso’s Choices curriculum to supplement important learning in our classroom core Second Step curriculum. For your reference, we have discussed Kelso’s Choices in previous Panther Pride editions this school year. (for a reminder see Kelso’s visual and visit:

An important step to problem-solving is emotions management (taking steps to calm down when big feelings happen). During the month of April, we have been focused upon skills in emotions management and have been reviewing these skills in our morning announcements and in our Virtual Assembly. Our Second Step emotions management lessons teach students the steps to Calm Down (stop, name the feeling and calm down).

In our last Panther Pride edition, we talked with you about the brain and body connection and how big feelings can override the “thinking cap” portion of the brain, responsible for problem-solving. With students, we are using the words “flipping my lid” to explain what can happen when big feelings show up. When we flip our lids, we can struggle solving problems effectively. Reversely, when our thinking caps our on, we can better see possible solutions.

During the month of May, we are emphasizing the importance of taking steps to calm down prior to attempting to problem-solve, especially when their problems involve their peers and classmates. We will also be reviewing our problem-solving strategies including Kelso’s Choices and using STEP (pictured below).

Students should recognize the value in emotions management and use the tools provided. Throughout our school, students can see our Second Step and Kelso Choices posters and can access our Calming Kits while in any learning space.

You can help your child with their emotions management too. Talk with your child and ask them: What small or big feelings did you have today? How did you manage your feelings? What problem-solving steps did you try today? Engaging with your child in discussions like these will help validate their feelings and highlight to them that there are strategies that can help them solve their small problems.

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

May 2023 SEL Calendar

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In The Know

Construction Update

Our core planning team has met with our architect and construction companies over the last few months and are excited to bring you a draft or our proposed site map that includes a new building to minimize portables. As I have previously shared, our core values as we engaged in decision making to create this draft proposal include:

  • Celebration of student, staff, and community culture and diversity

  • Student learning spaces outside the classroom

  • Minimize stress at arrival & dismissal

  • Improved site accessibility

  • Teacher collaboration

  • Community gathering spaces for entire school

  • Improve security and visibility of students

  • Avoid long walks and improve school circulation

This is just a proposal and the design may still be adjusted. Please note that note images are drawn to scale.

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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.

Band/Orchestra Concert

The Fernwood Band and Orchestra students will join with Ruby Bridges students for a concert on May 16th at the Northshore Concert Hall at Inglemoor High School. The concert will start at 6:00pm.

Performing students should arrive by 5:30pm for rehearsal.

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.

Is Your Family Moving Over the Summer?

If your family will not be living in the Fernwood service area for the 2023-24 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 2023-24 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

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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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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Fernwood Choir

Congratulations to the Fernwood Panther Choirs for their amazing performance singing the National Anthem at the Mariner's game on April 23rd! I am so incredibly proud of all 59 singers!

Thank you students, for always giving so much of yourself to each of our musical adventures! A huge thank you to the parents who drove our students to Seattle before 9 am on a Sunday morning! Thank you to Mrs. Omiste, Mrs. Park, Mrs. Cho and Mrs. Hough for chaperoning the 5 hours of time we were together before we sang! We did a sound check, rehearsed, played games, and had lunch in the stadium. It was so much fun.

Thank you to all of the Fernwood Staff and Administrators that were in attendance to support our Fernwood community! The students saw you and it means so much to them! Last but not least, a huge thank you to Aleah Dometita and Bethany Lamens for organizing such a huge school community event. I am so thankful to have been able to team up to have our Mariner's game night for Fernwood when our Choir was able to sing! It was an event I will never forget and I am so thankful to be part of such a wonderful school community! Musically, Mrs. Ordona

District Information

Know Someone That Will Be New to Northshore Next Year?

Enrollment is open for the 2023-24 school year for all grade levels, including kindergarten. Please visit the NSD website for full enrollment information for all grades.

Returning Hot Spots

If your family still has a hot spot you check out for use during the Pandemic, please email Ben Huizenga at We need to collect these back.

PTSA Information

Connection with the Principal

There is no formal agenda. Join us on Tuesday, May 9th from 6:30-7:00 in the Fernwood Library or through Zoom share your thoughts or ask questions. The Zoom link to attend is:

PTSA Meeting:

The month’s PTSA meeting will be on May 9th at 7:00pm in the Fernwood Library

The results are in, yay ! We will be presenting the following awards for the year


1. Outstanding Educator of the Year Award:

The WSPTA Outstanding Educator Award is presented to an individual who has

exhibited continued and dedicated statewide contributions and efforts to enhance

the educational outcomes of all children or youth. This is the "Educator of the Year"

award from WSPTA (an educator is not limited to a teacher).

2. Golden Acorn Award:

Presented by a local PTA or council to a school or community volunteer in

Recognition of her or his dedication and service to children and youth.

Join the Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 882 7327 8271

Passcode: 413952

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

We Need Your Help

Without filling up empty seats on the PTSA board next year, the PTSA will not be able to function.

Do you know someone who is interested in joining the board and serving the community? Please Fill out the nomination form at FERNWOOD BOD 2023-24 NOMINATION FORM.

We are looking for the following positions:

  • Treasurer

  • Secretary

  • VP of Membership

  • President Elect

  • Advocacy (two seats preferred)

Questions? Reach out to Nan Nan at

Staff Appreciation Week

Next week (May 8th - May 12th), we will be celebrating our annual teacher and staff appreciation week! The PTSA would love for you to join us in showing how grateful we are for everything our teachers and staff do for our students and community. This year's theme is "We're Your #1 Fans" as our teachers and staff are the true MVPs. The PTSA needs YOUR help to stock the staff room with a concession stand/tasty treats(sign up here) and provide a popcorn break with trivia (Amazon wish list for a popcorn break) for some fun. We thank you in advance for your support. Please feel free to show your appreciation in other ways. You can find the Teacher and Staff wish lists here.

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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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