Panther Pride

January 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:

  • New Security Cameras,
  • i-Ready School-Wide Challenge Update,
  • New District-Wide Communication System,
  • PTSA Information,
  • and more!

Principal Message

Dates To Remember

Hello Fernwood Families,

Happy New Year and welcome back from break! My staff and I hope each of you stayed safe during the inclement weather and enjoyed your time with family over the holidays and created positive memories to look back on in years to come. While it was nice to spend some quality time with my own family, it was a great feeling to welcome back over 750 smiling faces this past week. Seeing students excited to be back at Fernwood causes me to pause and appreciate all the efforts of staff, students, and parents alike in creating our positive learning community.

As we return, the end of the first semester is fast approaching, concluding on Friday, January 27th. Report cards for the first semester will be sent home with students on Friday, February 3rd. The information within the report card is more robust as compared to your child’s progress report from the fall. For assistance in understanding the scores provided, please see review the following documents based on your child’s grade level:

You may find the information provided similar to the conversations held during conferences as your child continues to make steady progress. As a result of the home-school partnership, you may also find that your child has made strong progress in an area that was once a challenge. If your child has encountered an area of challenge since conferences, consider having a conversation with your child about holding a growth mindset in this area. To learn more about growth mindset and/or strategies to support your child, we encourage you to explore the following links:

Taking a team approach to this work will support students in both hearing and using the same language when at home and at school. All of us praising effort will help students shift their thought process from “I can’t” to “I can”! Together, we prepare students to reach their full potential.

Kind regards,

Kate Eicher, Proud Principal

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Counselor Connection

For the month of January students are having their fifth lesson with their school counselors. Students in grades K - 2 will have a lesson about emotion management along with strategies to calm down. We all can have BIG feelings but we want to make sure we continue to be a safe, kind learner at Fernwood Elementary so we and all our friends can feel safe at school and do their best learning.

For students in grades 3 - 5, 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 have learned more about Bystander Power and ways they can be a supportive bystander. The final lesson will include cyberbullying for grades 4 and 5.

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

New Security Cameras on Campus

In support of safety during the school day and beyond, security cameras were installed at Fernwood over Winter Break. As we return, our office staff and administrative team will be trained on how to view these cameras in the outdoor area of our campus. These cameras will allow us to detect concerning activity during the school day so we can immediately determine the best course of action to take to maintain safety throughout our campus. In addition, the cameras will help deter criminal activity on campus. Should something happen, we can review footage to hopefully identify responsible parties.

Changes in Communication

As I shared out prior to break, thank you to those that provided input related to school-wide communication. Based on the results of our one-question survey, we will move to providing our monthly Panther Pride as well as weekly updates in the weeks that follow. This will help to provide reminders for families about important school information as well as to communicate when events get added such as Crazy Hair Day that was added following the distribution of our newsletter. You can find a visual of the survey results below.

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Construction Update

Members of the Design-Build team for our Expansions project will be coming to our school to observe the flow of school throughout the day. Their aim is to understand the inner workings and culture of our school as they prepare to begin the designs. They will observe pick-up and drop-off in the morning and afternoon, as well as the life and flow of students, staff, and administration inside the building. They will be like ‘flies on the wall’ and will not disrupt learning, but will be all around the campus so students, families and staff should be aware of their presence.

The Design-Build team will also be working with the district to host in-person and zoom Open Houses in early 2023. Additionally, small group engagement will provide an opportunity for specific groups to talk about their experiences in school. Along with the January 6 observations, they will be involving the students and community in various ways to make the design project as inclusive as possible. More information to come.

Additional Walking Gate

We are still waiting for gravel to be put down before we can use our new grate. Gravel will support safety by creating traction to prevent any falls as the slight hill can become slippery if it gets too muddy or icy. We expect the gravel to be put in any day now. As soon as it is down, we will create a video to demonstrate our new walking path and then begin using it soon after.

i-Ready Challenge Update

We are excited to share that students not only met their i-Ready school-wide goal, they exceeded it! The goal was to pass i-Ready lessons, especially in math with 95% accuracy or better. We set this goal to encourage students to produce quality work by doing their best when engaging in individual i-Ready lessons verses to focus on the quantity of minutes. Students passed their lessons with 96% accuracy. In addition, while it was not part of the goal, we have seen a total of 574 students participate to date which is a very high number since kindergarten is not able to participate until the middle of January. As a result of reaching the goal, students will be able to wear pajamas to school this Friday, January 6th! We will share the new school-wide goal for the month of January within the weekly update for this coming week. Thank you for your partnership in supporting students to do their best on individual school-wide goals. If you would like to know more about the who, what, why, and how of our school-wide i-Ready goal, please follow this link.

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.

IOWA Testing

The Highly Capable Department will be conducting make-up IOWA testing for anyone that qualified for IOWA testing but was absent. These dates are yet to be determined. First graders that qualify for IOWA testing will take their IOWA Reading test on Wednesday, January 11th at 9:45am. This date was scheduled as a result of students missing their original testing date on Wednesday, November 30th when school was canceled due to snow.

January 30th Non Student Day

The end of the first semester is on Friday, January 27th. Teachers are then given Monday, January 30th to use for grading and completing report cards. As a result, Monday January 30th is a non student day and there is no school.

Friday, February 10th

Students will be dismissed at 12:30 pm on Friday, February 10th. The remainder of the day is set aside for parent-teacher conferences. Teachers selected families with whom they would like to meet to further discuss student progress for the 2022-23 school year. Since only an afternoon is set aside, teachers are not able to meet with all families. If you have further questions, please reach out to your teacher.

Buddy Bench

Last spring our Buddy Bench was burned and had to be removed from the playground. We are pleased to announce that a new Buddy Bench has now been reinstalled for use. This bench is used to foster friendships. Students can sit on the bench to signal they are looking for a friend to play with during recess and other students can then invite the student to join in their play.

Lost and Found

Please visit our Lost and Found located in front of the gym if your child is missing clothing items. Any clothes that have not been claimed by January 13th will be donated to Threads and Treads at the end of the day Friday, January 13th. In addition, please remember to write your child’s first and last name inside of clothing items. This helps us to reconnect clothing items with students.

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Changes in Music Staffing

One of our music teachers, Mrs. Courtney Teter, is currently out on maternity leave until the middle of May. Filling in for her will be Ms. Kelly Lynn. Ms. Lynn shares the following about herself as a person and professional: Hello! My name is Ms. Lynn and I am SO excited to be teaching music at Fernwood! I am a Western Washington University graduate. This is my first-year teaching in Bothell, but I went to high school here. I have two dogs and one cat who I consider my "fur-babies". I love doing craft projects, going on walks, finding treasures in thrift stores, and experiencing new things! Ms. Donia Webb, another music teacher at Fernwood, was splitting her time between two schools. She will now only be at Shelton View and will no longer be a part of the Fernwood Staff as of January 3rd. Our new teacher, Ms. Lynn and our current music teacher, Mrs. Sarah Ordona will now be teaching her classes in order to continue to provide high quality music instruction in the following way:

  • Redmon - Keely Lynn

  • Mueller - Keely Lynn

  • Castelli - Sarah Ordona

Student Council Spirit Days

Culture Day is on Friday, January 27th. Students are encouraged to wear traditional clothing of the culture from which they most identify. We are appreciative of the ways our Student Council creates opportunities to celebrate and learn about the various cultures within our Fernwood community.

Variety Show

The Music teachers at Fernwood are excited to invite all of our Panthers to participate in our all school Variety Show! Please use the below links to help you log in to the Flipgrid Topic where all of the student performances will be uploaded.

How to Access Flipgrid as a Student:

OR How to Use Flipgrid:

Here is the link to the Fernwood Variety Show Topic in Flipgrid:

Students must log in using their school email address (ending in to access the Flipgrid account. (NSD accounts are Google accounts.). All video submissions will be moderated which means that the Music teachers will watch each video before posting them to be viewed. Videos can be submitted until January 13th. (Please email Mrs. Ordona if you have any questions: We look forward to seeing your talents!


Mrs. Berry, Ms.Lynn, Ms. Smith, Ms. Newman and Mrs. Ordona

District Information

Parent Square

Parent Square is the new communication system that will soon be used by Northshore School District to communicate with families. This change is being made to support streamlining communication for families, especially with those that have students at multiple schools. Our current system, Blackboard, will no longer be in use as of Monday, January 23rd. More information will be shared in the next few weeks communicating about this change.

Kindergarten Registration

Do you or a neighbor have a child(ren) who will be starting kindergarten this fall? If so, we look forward to welcoming your child(ren) to Fernwood and the Northshore School District in beginning his or her educational K-12 journey. At this time, Northshore is still in the process of making decisions for the 2023-24 school year, details around kindergarten registration being one of them. We are hopeful to have more information in the near future. Check the Panther Pride each month for more information about kindergarten registration.

Food & Nutrition

Food & Nutrition Services is working on bringing back more of the variety offered in our menus prior to COVID and major supply chain issues. December is the start of the Winter menu cycle and Food & Nutrition Services will resume offering three daily menu options at the Elementary level.

Please review the choices with your student. You can find updated picture menus on the NSD Food & Nutrition webpage daily.

PTSA Information

The Spelling Bee Live Events

The first round of competition was held between December 2 and December 4, using an online spelling test. From that first round, 75 students were selected to move on to the next level of competition - the live Spelling Bee events. Good luck to all the Spellers!

  • Qualified First Grade Students - The live event will happen on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 at 7pm in the Fernwood Cafeteria.

  • Qualified Second and Third Grade Students - The live event will happen on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at 7pm in the Fernwood Cafeteria.

  • Qualified Fourth and Fifth Grade Students - The live event will happen on Thursday January 19, 2023 at 7pm in the Fernwood Cafeteria.

Principal Chat, Tuesday January 10th, 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 held in the Fernwood Library as well as virtually through Zoom:

PTSA General Meeting

The month’s PTSA meeting will be on Tuesday, January 10th at 7:00pm in the Fernwood Library.

You can also join by Zoom: The link to attend virtually is included below:

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


To all our dads and father figures, please join us for this PTSA event to learn about how you can be a volunteer and support your child and other students' learning at Fernwood Elementary through the Watch DOGS 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.

Click here for the form if you are interested in participating.

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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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