Panther Pride

October 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:

  • Update from Capital Projects
  • Translation Support
  • October Spirit Day
  • And more!

Principal Message

Dear Fernwood Families,

While we have moved into Fall, the warm weather has made it feel like we are still in summer. We are hopeful that cooler conditions lie ahead and alleviate our smokey conditions. Thank you for your trust as we worked to adjust outdoor activities to support the safety of our students within these varying conditions.

In addition, so many of you were able to adjust your busy schedules to attend our Curriculum Nights last month. During this time together, you heard myself and my staff share about our desire to work with you in partnership to support your child, and all children at Fernwood, in becoming their best self through our collective actions around our school-wide goals. Within the classroom, teachers also spoke of instructional strategies as well as conversation starters parents can use at home to develop a common language between school and home. You are your child’s first teacher, and we value taking a team approach. Thank you again for attending.

In thinking about the academic goals we share for our students, we recently received our school-wide results back from the Smarter Balanced Assessment students took last spring. This assessment serves as one measure of student success, in addition to the many other assessments teachers conduct in the classroom throughout the year. We share these results school-wide because we believe these outcomes are the results of students’ culminating efforts since kindergarten.

In looking at these results, you will notice there are no results for the 2019-20 school year or the 2020-21 school year. This is because in 2019-20, the state canceled the assessment due to COVID-19 and in 2020-21, the state decided to delay the testing until the fall of 2021 in which students were tested on standards from the prior year. This means when you are looking at the 3rd grade results for the Fall of 2021, it was actually our 4th grade students being assessed on 3rd grade standards, and our 5th graders were assessed on 4th grade standards. There are no results for 5th grade in the Fall of 2021 since they already moved on to middle school.

There is so much to celebrate! I know how hard students, teachers, AND PARENTS were working when students were learning remotely. It is encouraging to see the outcomes of these efforts as our results from this spring were stronger than they were prior to moving to remote learning in 2020. While this data only reflects the outcomes for our current 4th and 5th graders, we believe it demonstrates a trend for our students in all grade levels as they continue to stretch their learning. Our students continue to show their best self in any setting and as they move through the grade levels and I couldn’t be more proud!

Kind regards,

Kate Eicher, Proud Principal

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Dates To Remember

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Counselor Connection

During the month of September, all of Fernwood students participated in a classroom lesson introducing them to their school counselor. Students were able to learn about the role of the school counselor, how to request to see their school counselor, as well as some of the exciting changes coming to our school counseling program this year!

One of those exciting changes is Lunch Bunch, offered to students in grades 2-5. Lunch Bunch is optional and participating students will play games, socialize, and strengthen their relationships while eating lunch with others.

Another exciting change includes school counselors teaching Kelso’s Choices and the Bullying Prevention Unit, an addition to our core SEL curriculum, Second Step. In October, we will begin teaching Kelso’s Choices and the Bullying Prevention Unit.

Throughout October, students in grades K - 2 will be learning about Kelso’s Choices, which emphasizes the differences between a small problem and a BIG problem. With this in mind students are reminded that they are strong and smart enough to solve small problems by trying one of the nine choices on Kelso’s wheel (see below). If there is a BIG problem, students need to go to a trusted adult right away and ask for help!

And students in grades 3 - 5, will have one lesson from the Bullying Prevention Unit throughout October. Students will be introduced to the 3 R’s of bullying: Recognize (is this bullying or is it a small problem, friendship issue, conflict, disagreement or miscommunication?), Report (by telling a trusted adult) and Refuse (assertively telling them to stop).

To learn more about these curriculums, we encourage you to explore the resources below:

Kelso’s Choices Parent Information

3rd Grade Bullying Prevention Unit Family Letter

4th Grade Bullying Prevention Unit Family Letter

5th Grade Bullying Prevention Unit Family Letter

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

October SEL Calendar:

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In The Know

Translations and Other Supports for Our School and District Website

There are several features on our school’s and district’s website to support readability for all such as a translation option as other visual support tools. Click here to visit this link to learn more and see these supportive features.

5th Grade Band and Orchestra

Students have now made their selection between engaging in band, orchestra, or general music. To support our 5th grade music classes in building a positive classroom community as well as background knowledge of their content, we ask that students/families requesting to make a change in their assignment do so no later than the end of the day on Friday, October 7th.

October Spirit Day

On Monday, October 31st, we will have our first Spirit Day of the school year: Costume/Character Day. They could also dress as someone they admire!

Students can dress up in a costume they already have, put one together from materials at home (maybe come as the teacher), or dress up as a storybook character (Pinkalicous or Where’s Waldo).

Here are a few guidelines for this spirit day:

  • Students will need to wear their outfit to school. There will not be an option to change as this would make the restroom areas too crowded given our safety protocols.

  • No inflatable costumes are allowed.

  • Please make sure students can adjust their outfit on their own to use the restroom.

  • Limit accessories. Students can wear glasses for example, but we ask that accessories that would get in the way of student learning or interactions with others remain at home (face masks, plastic weapons, wigs that become itchy, etc).

If you have specific questions, please email your child’s teacher.

Vision and Hearing Screening at Fernwood, October 21st

Each year in Northshore schools, students in grades Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, and 5 receive hearing and vision screenings. We are currently scheduled for vision and hearing screenings on October 21st. If you would like to exempt your child from either of these health screenings, please contact the school nurse (425-408-4506).

It is important to understand that these are basic screenings and are designed to identify students who may require further testing. They are not intended to replace regular exams by qualified health care providers. A student who does not pass any screening will be rechecked in a few weeks, and you will be notified only if there are concerns after the second screening.

Vision screening uses the PlusOptix. The PlusOptix is an autorefractor that takes a measurement of the refraction of the eyes. The result is a baseline refraction measurement. The illumination technique used by Plusoptix, is totally harmless to the child's eyes. If your child wears glasses or contact lenses for distance or near vision, please be sure they have them on the screening day.

If your child has a hearing loss and is being followed by a healthcare provider or specialist and you do not wish for them to participate in the screening, please let the school nurse know. If you have concerns about hearing loss and school accommodations, contact your student’s teacher or the school nurse.

November Conferences November 17-23rd

Elementary conferences will be November 17th through the 23rd. We will be scheduling conferences in person. If you prefer a virtual conference, please let your teacher know. Also, translators are available to attend, so please let your teacher know if this option is preferred.

Dismissal will be at 12:30 for those days.

COVID Weekly Summary

As we shared during Curriculum Night, we are providing a weekly COVID summary of the cases that have occurred across our school that week. This page will be updated each Friday no later than 5:00pm, but can be accessed anytime through our school website. One adjustment that has been made since we shared at Curriculum Nights is that we will no longer provide a visual representation of the number of cases from that week as well as overtime. To ensure consistency in communicating our positive COVID cases, Northshore would like all staff, families, and community members to use the Northshore 22-23 COVID-19 Data Dashboard to view the visual number of cases for individual schools as well as across our district. This website is updated each Monday by 5:00pm.

Crosswalk and Additional Walking Gate

Great news! Capital projects has just confirmed that our crosswalk adjustment that was requested last November has finally been approved by Snohomish county. This will move our crosswalk slightly north on 39th Ave. This will alleviate some of the conjunction that occurs right at our school’s front gate to support safety for all during arrival and dismissal. When this crosswalk is put in, they will also be putting an additional walking gate so we can create a pick up loop in the afternoon for families picking up students that are walking home. It is believed this project will be completed this month. However, no specific installation date has been provided. Thank you for your patience and more information is to come once the new crosswalk and additional walking gate are installed.

Capital Bond Update for Fernwood School Improvements

I want to share an update with all of our families about the next steps related to the voter approval of the 2022 Capital Bond and what that will mean for our school and student learning in the future. As you may recall, the Capital Bond included expansions or modernizations of eight school buildings in the Northshore School District, including our school, Fernwood. (Learn about all of the bond projects on the District’s website.)

We are one of four schools that will be expanded, meaning the District will build additional permanent classrooms on our campus for student learning. Our school project has been bundled together with three other schools that will receive similar expansions (Crystal Springs Elementary, Woodin Elementary, and Sorenson Early Childhood Center). This summer and into the fall, the District Capital Projects team has been busy with the Request for Qualifications process, which includes the procurement of architecture, civil engineering, and other consulting services that will assist the District with these school construction projects. The consultants should be selected by the end of October.

We will provide additional updates as more details regarding the timeline and design come together for our expansion at Fernwood. While it is still early in the process, we wanted you to know that pre-planning work is taking place, and we will keep you informed as we move forward through this process. We are excited for this opportunity and thankful for the generous support of Northshore voters, who approved the 2022 bond.

District Information

Translated Northshore District Calendar

The Northshore School District's "Welcome 2022-23 Calendar" was mailed to each district family in late August, and it includes important information about key dates for the school year as well as the annual notifications about school programs and services. All information contained in this calendar is now available on the District's website, which can be viewed in 132 languages using the website translation tool. Please visit and click "Translate" in the top banner to select your preferred language. You can also find a PDF of this information in various languages is linked here.

Northshore Early Childhood

Northshore Early Childhood is currently enrolling for the Ready Start Tuition Program. It is a blended multi-age, inclusive model, serving students, ages 3-5. Currently there are openings at Sorenson ECC and Woodmoor Elementary for the 2022/23 school year. Classrooms are taught and supported by a general education teacher, a special education teacher, and a paraprofessional. Inclusive classrooms create a dynamic learning environment for all students. The average class size is 16 students, with class make-up of 8 students with IEP’s, 4 students who pay tuition, and 4 students who are income eligible. Classrooms utilize The Creative Curriculum & Teaching Strategies GOLD Assessment Tool. The staff is committed to fostering student learning and cultivating friendships while creating a sense of community for our students. Utilizing developmentally appropriate teaching strategies to support a whole child approach to learning, within an inclusive environment, fosters high levels of student learning and social and emotional growth for all students.

For more information and enrollment paperwork please visit our Northshore School District website: program or contact Sorenson at (425) 408-5570.

Return all forms including deposit to: Sorenson Early Childhood Center 19705 88th Ave NE, Bothell, WA 98011. Tuition Cost: $300 per month

PTSA Information

Connection with the Principal, Tuesday October 11th, 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:

PTSA Meeting

The month’s PTSA meeting will be on Tuesday, October 11th at 7:00pm in the Fernwood Library. Since it is Mental Health Awareness month, our guest speaker, Mr. Mike Bingen, will be focusing on this topic. He is a member of the WSPTA Advocacy Committee.

Join the Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 892 8261 4971

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

22-23 PTSA Supported Enrichment Programs

We are pleased to announce that the Fernwood PTSA After School Enrichment Program is back for the year 2022-2023. Because space is limited, this is an interest-only form. Selection is done based on a lottery system.

Note: Please keep in mind that we require a PTSA parent/guardian volunteer to be present during each enrichment session. This person can also help coordinate the class. PTSA parent volunteers must complete the Northshore Volunteer Application Process in advance. If you are interested, please specify in the form below. Without a volunteer, the classes would be canceled.

Classes are slated to begin in late October. If you are interested, please sign up by filling out the form linked here by October 15th at 6:00pm. Please include a parent/guardian email address; do not provide your student's NSD ID; and fill out a separate form for each child.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at Thank you.

Book Fair

Mark your calendars! The PTSA sponsored Book Fair is coming soon. The dates are November 4th - 10th. More information to be shared in the week ahead.

PTSA Membership

The October membership drive starts this week and we've some fun exciting things planned for the classes with the most memberships! Please consider joining the PTSA today if you haven't done so already. Thank you to everyone who already joined.

Being a PTSA Member does not sign you up to attend meetings or volunteer or be on the board. But, your membership goes a long way to help all kids! As a reminder, PTSA memberships must be renewed annually. By becoming a PTSA member you are supporting these and many other great programs at Fernwood: Popcorn Fridays, Art Docent, Book Fair, Science Fair, Teacher Appreciation, After School Programs, Watch D.O.G.S., etc. Thank you for joining the Fernwood PTSA today!

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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