3/20 Principal Update

Dear Hollywood Hill families,


Here we are on Friday, March 20. I do hope this finds you well.


At this point, we are officially closing the building today to prep for what may come here in Washington like in California where we will all need to shelter in place. If you have an urgent need for something left behind--please let me know as soon as possible today and I will try to find it and put it outside a classroom door for your pick up. But please make sure it is an urgent need as I don’t want to put you or I at risk of exposure unnecessarily. If you do come to campus to pick up lost and found, check out the books I put in the bus lane or to use the playground, please do consider the social distancing recommendations.


We do not have news about what our next iteration will be regarding online learning, yet. I meet with my supervisor regularly and he meets with Dr. Reid. We are following guidelines from OSPI and the Department of Education and as this is a continually evolving situation, the information comes in fits and starts. We are so proud of the work we have already done and look forward to the next phase. Additionally, I have been so impressed with the content that is being added to the Norhshore Learns site: https://www.nsd.org/northshorelearns/home-learning I know that it feels like a lot of information along with all the authors and publishers offering free websites and read alouds. My favorites have been Lunch with Mo (Mo Williams), Writing with Ralph (Ralph Fletcher) and any number of bands sharing music online! The teachers and I are thinking about how we structure a day/week for you that helps you through the maze of all that is available.


And I would remind you that these are unprecedented times. When I met with the teachers this week, we talked about how we know that kids will be missing out on some learning and that is not a worry for us. We know how to assess and adjust when we do have the kids back in school. We will be sure to be ready to fill in any gaps! Our worry is the stress and the toll this is taking on you and them. We want them to laugh and play during these times. 


My own 5th grader climbed a tree yesterday and sat outside and read until it was too dark to read anymore. He found a stick and sanded it into a walking stick. Today, we are baking. My junior is taking his last Running Start final today and will be on spring break. We are having him go screen-free for 6 hours a day, including no phone! My freshman in college is, hopefully, flying in from Arizona today. He flew down there yesterday to pack up his dorm room and come home for the rest of the semester. While this is stressful for sure, we are playing games, hitting baseballs, shooting baskets, playing catch, reading and even napping! If online learning is causing stress in your family, stop. If reading is hard, listen to books. If your child is getting so sucked into screens that they won’t stop when you tell them to, stop using screens. 


I do know that many of you are also trying to work during this time--believe me, I know that is hard, but boredom is okay. Boredom allows creativity. I will be posting art lessons soon as well as information about the NW Discovery Art that is currently in our building. It is okay for your kids to watch things, and figure out what they want to learn. Miss McMains and her son spent a day learning about bunnies. In these unusual times, spend time with your family, find things to laugh about. I’m including the list I made at our house that offers some structure but not so much that they can’t find what matters to them. Anyway, that is all to say--make memories, this will be a time that we look back on and we want them all to be able to do it in a way that brings them joy--so that they say--yes, that was hard but we also had fun and laughed a lot. 


I will continue to keep you updated as soon as I have more information. We are devising plans now to ensure that our ongoing communication and plans are sustainable. We are worried about families being able to access school lunch, child care, if needed, and technology. We will be reaching out to some families early next week to ensure that you are doing okay, if something has changed since we were last together and you need something, do not hesitate to reach out to me. Email is best dwaters@nsd.org. I hope we get back to a routine soon and one that we can maintain, as soon as we have those plans I will email you again. 


Additionally, we are still registering kids for school this year or Kindergarten next year so if you know of anyone new to the area, send them to our website for more information. 


Again, if you have an urgent need for an item from school, let me know as soon as possible as the building will be closed after today.


All the best and don’t forget, I’m right here if you need anything.


Denise Waters, principal