We hope you find these resources helpful as you continue to navigate these often stressful and strange pandemic times. Always remember: Mental Health matters and reaching out for help if you are struggling is as important as going to the doctor if you feel physically unwell.
Last week Council held their 1st General Meeting of the 2021-2022 school year. We appreciate all the local leaders from across the district as well as community and school partners who took the time to attend! Continue reading for a recap of this meeting.
General Updates from President Jane Chiodo:
Open Council Positions: Council is still looking for a VP of Events. If you know anyone who would be a
good fit, please contact us! In October, Northshore Council will start to look for three people to be on the Nominating
Committee. Tip for Local PTAs: Discuss the Nominating Committee at your next PTA/PTSA meeting in order to start the process early.
Upcoming Trainings and Opportunities: Legislative Assembly will be virtual and is scheduled for October 23th and 24th. Training will be available beginning in October. Upcoming training courses are listed on Council's Training Opportunities page.
Council Business: In our meeting we reviewed the Year End Financial Review, our Mission and Goals, and our Standing Rules. These updated documents can be viewed in the About Us section of our website.
NSD School Board Update: Director Dave Cogan shared updates from the Northshore School Board updates.
Northshore Schools Foundation Update: Carmin Dalziel gave updates on the Northshore Schools Foundation and how they continue to work to give money to schools. She shared that classroom grants now have deadlines every other month. They also provide basic needs aid (crisis funds) now. Crisis funds are $200 per family that is sent to help buy gas, groceries and get people back on their feet. Each school has a staff care team lead available. Northshore Foundation are always looking for ambassadors at each school. The Bond and Levy committee will be available to come to general meetings, if needed. If you are at Kenmore School, the school foundation just received approval to do a cash disbursement for families in extreme need. Schools access these funds through the care team lead.
The business and updates part of our meeting adjourned allowing for time for breakout rooms. We were thrilled that so many local leaders participated in these rooms in order to share ideas, ask questions, and support each other!
We hope you will join us for our next General Membership Meeting on November 15th, 2021 @ 7pm.
For a full list of our upcoming meetings and events, check out our Calendar.
Northshore Council PTSA will be holding an in-person School Board Candidate Forum on October 5th from 7 - 8:30PM. This forum will take place at the Kenmore Community Club.
Please note that capacity is limited to 100 people on a first come, first served basis. For those who are unable to attend, a video recording will be posted to our website by Friday, October 8th.
Logistics for those planning to attend:
Have a question for the candidates? Email us!
This forum will be hosted and moderated by the Northshore Council PTSA.
July 15th School Board Primary - Candidate Q&A
King County Ballot Information
Snohomish County Ballot Information
November 2nd, 2021 General Election Dates & Voter Registration Information
September 28th - National Voter Registration Day
October 13th - Ballots mailed for King County
October 14th - Ballots mailed for Snohomish County
October 25th - Last day for voters to register or update voter information online
November 2nd - Last day for voters to register or update voter information in person
November 2nd - Election Day
“Are you thinking about suicide?”
This could be one of the most important questions you ever ask.
September is Suicide Awareness month.
Many of us are unaware that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34 and was the 10th leading cause of death overall in the United States in 2019. Among high school students, 1 in 5 has seriously thought about suicide, and nearly 9% have attempted. Four out of five teens who attempted suicide have given clear warning signs.
These statistics are scary, but there is hope! We can prevent this tragedy by identifying and supporting young people who are struggling with mental health symptoms, including thinking about suicide. Some individuals and communities are more at risk than others, including people of color, indigenous peoples, and the LGBTQ+ community.
Creating a caring community lets those in need know that they are not alone and that there is hope. Remember, silence hurts us all.
It has been proven that asking the tough question, "Are you thinking of hurting yourself?" does NOT lead to suicidal tendencies. In fact, it can reduce ideations and attempts. We should encourage everyone to become comfortable talking about suicide and make sure to check on friends and loved ones. The more we talk about it and provide support and understanding, the more lives we can save.
If you suspect someone is struggling, ask them or tell someone who is in a position to help. Don't be afraid to reach out to the parents of your child's friends or the student’s school counselor about their struggles or warning signs you see. This could save a child’s life! Kids need to learn how to spot signs in their friends, too, and feel impowered to speak up when necessary. If your student needs advice or assistance, their school counselor is always a good place to start.
Signs to Look For & Steps to Take
There are quite a few things that have been associated with increased risk for suicide. It is important to be aware of these signs:
• Prior suicide attempts
• Family history of suicide
• History of mental health conditions
• Substance misuse
• Impulsivity or aggressiveness
• Serious family problems
• Breakups or other major relationship losses
• Access to means for self-harm
• Social isolation
• History of traumatic experiences
There are also several things that might indicate that the person’s thoughts of suicide are escalating or that there is more acute risk, including:
• Talking, joking, or posting online about dying or life not being worth living
• Feelings of hopelessness, shame or of being a burden to others
• Extreme sadness, anger, or irritability
• Planning or researching ways to die
• Withdrawal from others, saying or posting “goodbye” messages, giving away possessions
• Erratic or disorganized behavior
• Seeking means to self-harm
If you have observed any of these signs or risk factors, and are concerned about someone, here's 5 steps you can take:
► Start by offering compassion (not advice), avoid judgment, acknowledge their suffering, and just listen.
► After that, ask them if they are thinking of suicide. Be calm and direct. Asking will NOT put the idea into their mind.
► If you are confident that they are not in immediate danger, and they have a mental health treatment provider, contact them for next steps. If they do not have a mental health provider, contact the person's primary doctor or pediatrician.
► If you feel their life, or someone else’s life is in danger, then take away all objects that could pose a danger (medications, firearms, knives, ropes, chemicals).
► Next, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or any other resource listed. Call 9-1-1 in an emergency or last resort. Let the operator know that this is a mental health crisis.
Additional Resources & Helpful Websites
This article was brought to you by Northshore Council PTSA's Mental Health Committee.
Applications* are now being accepted for Northshore Council PTSA's 2021-2022 Educational Speakers and Community Events Grant Program!
This program is designed to help support Northshore PTAs in hosting relevant and timely speakers for our district families and to encourage them to create engaging events for our community. ALL local PTAs, within the Northshore School District and in good standing, may apply for a grant through a simple application process.
Learn more about our grants program by clicking here.
Download & Print the 2021-2022 Grants Application Form
*2021-2022 grants are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis where applications will be reviewed by the Northshore Council PTSA or until the Council Programs budget is used in its entirety.
Submission Deadlines for Applications
September 24, 2021 (Review by Council on Oct. 4th)
November 26, 2021 (Review by Council on Dec. 6th)
January 21, 2022 (Review by Council on Feb. 1st)
Looking for a speaker or event to bring to your community? Check out our past Grant Recipients and our Community Resource Page for inspiration.
Questions? Email us!
Below you will find links to Q&As from each of the eleven (11) Northshore School District School Board Candidates running in the August 2021 Primary Election. To view the responses, click on each candidate's image which will open a PDF of the Q&A. Note: These are best viewed from a desktop type device.
A message from our Co-VPs of Advocacy:
To reach as many voters as possible and provide them another resource to make informed choices on their ballots, we invited the school board candidates to answer seven questions taken from the most common questions and themes we heard from PTA and community members. We know that candidates are providing information on their own websites and social media, but it can be helpful to have one place where people can access information on all the candidates to compare them more efficiently. We chose questions that cover a variety of interests and concerns from across the district. We emailed each candidate using the email address listed on the King County Elections page.
We asked candidates to submit their answers via a Google form by July 12th to allow us time to publish everyone’s responses before the ballots arrive in the mail. This gave candidates one week to respond. We recognize this was a short turn around but we were eager to get information to the voters of our district after having to pivot quickly after canceling our Zoom forums. The candidates’ answers are cut-and-pasted from the Google form so you will see their complete, un-edited answers. If they have any concerns about how their responses are presented, we have asked them to let us know, so that we may address the issue. We really appreciate that all of the candidates took the time to answer our questions.
NSD School Board Candidates for Director District No. 1
NSD School Board Candidates for Director District No. 4
NSD School Board Candidates for Director District No. 5
Council's virtual school board candidate forums that were scheduled to be published later this month have been cancelled.
For a statement as to why these forums have been cancelled, please see the video below from Council President, Jane Chiodo.
Our hope is to work towards hosting an in-person forum this fall before the general election in November.
For a written transcript of the video below, please click here.
Northshore Council PTSA Mission Statement
Northshore Council PTSA is a welcoming organization that works to support our Local PTAs and serve the children and youth of our community through advocacy, education, mentoring, collaboration, and leadership.
Website Links for School Board Candidates
Contact Information Taken from King County Elections Page 6/29/2021.
¹No website listed. Link directs you to candidate statement on King County elections page.
Recently, Council has been sent several questions asking about our upcoming School Board Candidate Forum and felt it was best to address those questions publicly.
On June 22, 2021 at 7pm, the Northshore Council PTSA was scheduled to host the first of three scheduled Zoom Forums for each of the three open positions on the Northshore School Board. Unfortunately, all but one of the candidates pulled out at the last minute. We will leave it to the candidates to share their reasons. Due to this, the first recording was not able to be done. We are currently working on rescheduling this forum.
Northshore Council PTSA has held many candidate forums in the past including school board candidate forums and most recently state representative forums in 2018 and 2020. Council volunteers have done their best to create a fair, non-partisan forum in which each candidate is asked the same questions and has the same time to answer the questions. Council took input from PTA/PTSA members as well as community members for these questions which represent a wide spectrum of issues and concerns from across the district. The three recorded Zoom Forums, though recorded on different days, would be all posted to our website on the same day and will not be edited or altered in any way.
Members of the community have asked about the possibility of us hosting an in person forum. Due to the short time-frame, we do not have time to find a venue and organize an in-person forum before the primary school board election, but we will consider hosting one before the general election. Click here to learn more about the format of Council's 2021 School Board Candidate Forum.
We hope that given another chance, all school board candidates will choose to participate in our Zoom Forums as it is important for voters to have the opportunity to hear about their experiences, views, and vision for the education of Northshore students in order to make informed choices.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to our Co-VPs of Advocacy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northshore Council PTSA is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a 2021 Northshore School Board Candidate Forum just in time for the 2021 School Board Primary. This forum is being held to educate voters within Northshore School District about the school board candidates that are running in the Primary election. We will be sharing this pre-recorded event on July 15th. We will use social media as well as our website to promote the forum to the voters within Northshore School District. It is a great chance to get to know the candidates!
The format will include 3 separate videos, one for each of the three seats that are up for election. Candidates from each seat will appear with their opponents. The moderators will be from the Northshore PTSA council’s advocacy team. There will not be an audience. We have offered each candidate two minutes for an opening statement. Following that will be a short question and answer period rotating between the candidates. The questions are being solicited from citizens of Northshore. Concluding, we will offer one minute to each candidate for a closing statement.
If you have questions you would like asked during this forum, please email them to email@example.com.
Keep an eye out for this important resource arriving on our website and social medias around July 15! Ballots should be arriving around the same time. See below for more information on the Primary and voter registration.
This is a great resource for your PTA members and school community - please share it out!
Diana Christiansen and Jennifer Drury
Co-Vice Presidents of Advocacy
Northshore Council PTSA 6.10
Thank you to everyone that attended our fifth and final membership meeting of the school year! This meeting was especially impactful as there were over 55 attendees from our local PTA’s and community partners in attendance.
The meeting kicked off with an approval of minutes from our March general meeting, before moving on to hear the Treasurer’s Report for the month of May from the Council Treasurer, Liz Nord. May’s report reflected income from membership service fees, as well as expenses related to the Spring Recognition Event, Moneyminder software renewal, WSPTA scholarship funds, WSPTA convention registration fees and awards.
Next on the agenda was an update to the Northshore Council PTSA Standing Rules. Changes recommended were:
Our VP of Communications, Rachel Fitzgerald, then shared with everyone the importance of updating the contact information for positions being filled for next year in your PTA. If you are an officer next year, please update your contact information before July 1st, 2021. This information will be used to contact you by council board members that want to support your PTA. It is also how you will be on the list to receive communications from council, including the council newsletter, that will keep you updated on events and happenings in our district. Remember to update officers into memberplanet as well!
District and Community Reports:
School Board Director David Cogan shared an update in regards to Northshore School District that included, but was not limited to:
Lauren Lewis, acting NSD Partnerships and Volunteer Coordinator, reported the following:
After the updates were given by the community partners there was a reminder to the local PTA attendees to please remember to fill out the end of year survey from Council. This survey lets us know how we can better serve your PTA with your valuable feedback. We will be taking survey responses up until midnight on Friday, June 25th.
Our Council President, Jane Chiodo, then shared a personal message of thanks to the council as well as the local leaders and community partners. Click here to read that message.
Last, but certainly not least, the evening ended with our 2020-2021 Spring Recognition Event! This event was hosted by our Co-VP of Events, Mary Khouzam and Karrie Palis. The theme was "Thank You for Making Lemonade". This was such a fitting theme since all of our local PTA’s did exactly that this year, when handed lemons, they made some lemonade!
The event included performances from Skyview Middle School's symphonic band, orchestra, and choir as well as a performance from the Bothell High School Bel Canto Choir.
The highlight of the event was celebrating all the achievements of our local PTAs/PTSAs as well as the recipients of their Recognition Awards. Council was also honored to present this year's Council Recognition Awards. Congratulations to:
🌟 Outstanding Educator: Natalie Campbell
🌟 Outstanding Advocate: Cathi Davis
🌟 Outstanding Student Advocate: Diya Gupta
🌟 Outstanding Service: Melissa Kline
🌟 Golden Acorn: Lauren Lewis
🌟 Golden Acorn: Liz Nord
🌟 Honorary Life Membership: Nancy Chamberlain
Click here to learn more about each of our 2020-2021 Council Award Recipients.
Thank you to our Council Awards Committee Members Diana Christiansen, Rachel Fitzgerald, and Karrie Palis for the beautiful awards presentation and speeches given during the event!
Thank you to all that attended this fun evening! It was a fun night with lots to celebrate for making it through this unprecedented school year! Looking forward to our next membership meeting in the fall. Have a wonderful summer and enjoy this much deserved time to relax with your families.