Northshore School District Staff Appreciation Week is May 8th to May 12th.
Northshore Council PTSA wants to show just how much we and families all across the district appreciate ALL Northshore District Staff.
The video below is filled with messages from PTA Leaders, Volunteers, and Families.
Link to share Canva video. No sign in required: https://bit.ly/41mjemk (4:30)
Northshore Council PTSA, as part of its advocacy efforts, Northshore Council PTSA holds candidate forums ahead of upcoming elections, including school board elections. This year, we are beginning our advocacy work earlier by providing information about the role of school board directors to the community so that potential candidates can be informed ahead of filing deadlines.
What is a school board?
Each public school district is governed by a board of citizens who are elected to serve as school board directors. School board directors work together to oversee the school district. As a board, their primary responsibilities are:
How do you run for school board?
The WA Secretary of State’s website provides guidance and resources to guide you through the process of determining what positions are up for election, whether you are eligible to run for office, and how to navigate the process.
In Northshore, we have 5 school board directors, each serving a term of four years. Board members represent the district at large although they must reside in specific geographical areas of the district. Check out this map to see which director district area you live in.
In November 2021, voters elected School Board Directors for seats 1, 4, and 5 with terms ending in 2025. This November, School Board Directors seats 2 and 3 will be up for election for terms ending in 2027.
For election and candidate filing information, check out these additional resources:
What is it like to be a school board director in Northshore?
While there is a lot of general information available on the role of school board directors, we wanted to hear from our current school board. Here are some of the questions we asked them and how they answered. Note: The answers below have been summarized and anonymized from the current board’s responses to a poll and is not meant to promote any specific candidate. Northshore Council PTSA’s goal is to provide the community with general information about the role of a school board director.
Highlight over each question and click to expand to read the answers.
Question: On average, how many hours per week do you spend on school board business?
Answers: It depends on the week, but in general, between 10-20 hours. Those hours will often be split between different duties, such as community engagements, reading materials/meeting preparation, study sessions, and meetings.
Question: Is it possible to hold a full-time job and also serve on the school board?
Answers: Yes, but flexibility is the key. The board will do their best to work around work schedules as much as possible, and most required meetings will be 4pm or later. However, know that if you have a traditional 9-5 job there may be times you won’t be able to be there, so it helps to have a supportive boss.
Question: How much travel outside of the district is required for someone to serve as a NSD School Board Director?
Answers: There is none required, however, there are a few travel related opportunities throughout the year. One being the Annual WSSDA Conference which is held every year and rotates between Bellevue and Spokane. While not mandatory, this is an important event to attend, especially for anyone new to the role of school board director, as it provides training, professional development, and an opportunity for team building. Other opportunities that could require travel include regional board meetings and travel to our state capitol in Olympia for advocacy, however some of these things may be offered virtually as well throughout the year.
Question: What previous experience does someone need in order to run for a School Board Director seat?
Answers: There is no required previous experience. However, its beneficial if school board directors have a basic understanding of Northshore schools and programs as well as an understanding of what it’s like working in teams with long-term goals. It could be also useful to have a background in some aspect relevant to running a district, whether education, finance, program/management, legal, etc. Additionally, having experience in Northshore schools, such as being involved in their local PTA or volunteering in the classroom, is helpful because it allows for a perspective beyond just their own child.
Question: What skills do you think it takes to be an effective School Board Director?
Answers: There are many skills our current school board sees as beneficial to the role, including:
Question: What do you enjoy the most about being a NSD School Board Director?
Answers: Here are just a few of the things our current school board find most rewarding:
Question: What has been the most difficult part about being a NSD School Board Director?
Answers: School board directors shared that it’s not always easy to do this work and it can be stressful. it’s not always easy to do this work and it can be stressful. Being in the public spotlight you often have to deal with animosity and personal attacks. Northshore is a large district, and not everyone gets along or agrees with the decisions you will make. The time commitment to properly prepare for meetings can be challenging and it can be hard to balance the duties of school board director, personal life, and other commitments.
Question: What one piece of advice would you give someone who is considering running for a NSD School Board Director seat?
“Do it. It will be the most important contribution you can make to the people in your community.”
“It is a bigger time commitment than it appears but completely worth it. Being able to admit that you don't have the answers actually makes you a better board member than believing you have all the solutions.”
“Learn all you can about the role and responsibilities, have a plan to manage the time commitment, and plan your favorite stress management regimen (you might not need it all the time, but there will be a time when you will need it).”
“Standing for election is a very different thing from serving as a Director. This community is amazing and committed to our students and they will recognize and support a candidate who shows that commitment. Focus on the good you hope to do, if only just to serve the community, education and our students. Make it a conversation. Be willing to listen but also willing to turn the topic back to students.”
“To be aware that the Board is not a legislative body or executive agency that runs the daily activities of the district or makes decision on how things are run. It does not make employment, classroom, or school building administrative decisions. That is the job of the Superintendent, the Board's only employee. The Board is similar to the Board of Directors of a company. It provides oversight, advice, and sets goals, values, and aspirations based upon community and educator input.”
Question: Is there anything else we didn't ask about that you feel someone who is considering running for a NSD School Board Director seat should know?
Answers: Overall, our current board emphasized how this is the most rewarding work they have ever done. Serving as school board director will expand your understanding of how a complex organization functions and empowers you to be a part of making education better for students and staff. However, it’s important to note that being on the school board can make it harder to be an advocate for your own child or to express concerns about a teacher or other student when you are in the public eye than when you are not on the board.
Most importantly, our school board wants to thank those who are considering running for a school board seat; for taking the time from work and family to serve our community's children.
Thank you to the current school board directors who took the time to answer our questions.
We hope you have found this information to be both helpful and insightful to anyone considering running for a school board seat. Please make sure to share this article with your school community.
If you want to learn more about running for school board or how to get involved in advocacy, check out the additional resources below or email Northshore Council PTSA VP of Advocacy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elementary Art 4 Northshore
A group of parents, educators, and visual artists began an awareness and action effort to secure consistent and frequent visual art instruction from certified art educators for K-5 students in Northshore School District. Schools across the country and in Washington state already offer this instruction. Visual Art is important: the benefits on both well-being (mental health, social-emotional learning, reducing stress) and on future positive outcomes (higher engagement, success in school and life, creative future, and the global economy) are well documented.
The catalyst for this effort was the passing of SB 5878, March, 2022. This bill requires visual arts and performing arts in Washington State's education systems, especially in elementary schools. Visual arts taught by certified art teachers in elementary schools was eliminated in 1967. A volunteer Art Docent program has filled this gap. With certified visual art educators providing a consistent and frequent foundation, the Art Docents will be able to further enhance the artistic experience of all students.
This group has met with NSD district leaders, community groups, and individuals about this cause. A Statement of Support was developed and is available for individuals to endorse and find further ways to engage in this effort. The creation of a Facebook Page allows people to be informed and connected. The group has also led a letter writing campaign, invited individuals to speak at school board meetings, presented at multiple elementary school PTA meetings, and attended legislative and district meetings.
Facebook Page: Elementary Art 4 Northshore: Support the Implementation of Senate Bill 5878
Statement of Support: https://forms.gle/kLv7f1y2mdj1zHRC7
Senate Bill 5878: SB 5878, March, 2022
Do you have an advocacy effort you would like highlighted in our blog?
Email Council's VP of Advocacy, Jennifer Drury.
Council is gathering messages of gratitude to share with the many Northshore School District Administrators and Staff who work behind the scenes every week to make NSD the great district that it is!
Complete this form to leave a message to let NSD Staff know how much you appreciate them and all that they do for our district. Messages will be shared by Council PTSA with NSD Staff. Please make sure to submit your messages no later than Friday, April 21st.
Note: Northshore School District will be recognizing May 8 - 12 for 2023 Teacher Appreciation Week and Teacher Appreciation Day will be recognized on Tuesday, May 9.
Click to complete form.
Questions? Email email@example.com
On Presidents Day, about 25 Northshore PTA parents and students travelled to Olympia and met in person with three lawmakers that represent our district, Representatives Berg, Donaghy, and Kloba. Joining them was Interim Superintendent Mike Tolley and School Board Director Sandy Hayes.
Leading up to and during Focus Day, members of Northshore PTSA Council met with all nine Senators and Representatives that cover the large territory of Northshore School District. These advocates shared the Top Washington State PTA Legislative Priorities including Special Education Funding, Addressing Student Mental Health, Gun Safety and Suicide Prevention, School Safety, and Addressing Critical Gaps in Funding. Specifically, students and their families shared how educational policies and gaps in funding directly impact them. They also advocated for specific laws like raising the cap on Special Education Funding and Universal Highly Capable Screening. Here is a complete description of Washington State PTA's Platform.
More on Advocacy:
November 17 Membership Meeting Recap
On November 17th, 2022 Northshore Council PTSA held its second General Membership meeting of the school year.
We would like to say thank you to all of the local leaders from across the district, as well as community and school partners for taking the time to join us!
Continue reading below for a recap of the meeting.
After reviewing and approving the meeting minutes from our September General Membership meeting, Council Treasurer Serena Xu presented the October 2022 financial report for review, as well as requesting volunteers for the Mid-Year Financial Review Committee. Please email Serena Xu if interested in serving on the committee.
Next on the agenda, Communications VP Jenn Snyder proposed changes to our social media policy by adding Instagram, as well as removing our inactive YouTube account, which were then approved by vote.
Co-President Mary Khouzam asked for volunteers to serve on the Nominating Committee. If you would like to serve on the Nominating Committee, please email the Council Co-Presidents at before December 16th. The election of the Nominating Committee will take place at the January 19 General Membership meeting.
Thank you community partners for joining us!
Council Committee Updates:
Before adjourning the meeting, Co-President Mary Khouzam gave a thank you to those who planned and coordinated the Presidents and Principals Event, and reminded everyone to complete and submit the Presidents and Principals Event survey. Mary also shared that Council is looking for someone to volunteer as VP of Events, and another volunteer is needed to serve as Council’s Family and Community and Engagement (F.A.C.E.) Chair. If you are interested in volunteering, please email the Co-Presidents as soon as possible.
After adjourning our meeting, attendees were given an opportunity to join two training sessions (“Volunteers and How to Find Them”, and “Roles and Responsibilities of the Board”).
Please join us for our next General Membership Meeting on January 19th at 7pm via Zoom!
The meeting kicked off with an approval of minutes from our March 21st general meeting, before moving on to hear the Treasurer’s Report for the month of April from Council Treasurer, Serena Xu.
Next on the agenda were updates from Council President, Jane Chiodo, which included:
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, 2022. 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 in memberplanet as well!
The Council business portion of our meeting ended with a farewell for Dr. Michelle Reid who will be leaving Northshore School District at the end of June to serve as the Superintendent of the Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia.
Jane Chiodo read a letter with messages of appreciation from Council leaders for all that Dr. Reid has done for our district over the years. Click here to read the thank-you letter.
District and Community Reports:
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 17th.
Last, but certainly not least, the evening ended with our 2021-2022 Spring Recognition Event! This event was hosted by First Vice President and Awards Committee Chair, Mary Khouzam.
The event included performances from the Woodinville High School String Quartet and the Canyon Park Middle School Advanced Drama Class. Two of Northshore's Reflections artists were also able to showcase their submissions which received awards from National PTA!
The highlight of the event was celebrating all the achievements of our local PTAs/PTSAs that make us #PTAProud. Council would also like to celebrate the local award winners in a future blog. To include your local recipients, please complete this form.
During our Spring Recognition, Council was also honored to present this year's Council Recognition Awards.
Congratulations to the following eleven (11) individuals:
🌟 Golden Acorn: Diana Christiansen
🌟 Golden Acorn: Jennifer Drury
🌟 Golden Acorn: Rachel Fitzgerald
🌟 Outstanding Educator: Steven Hopkins
🌟 Outstanding Educator: Peter Schurke
🌟 Outstanding Advocate: Clark Combs
🌟 Outstanding Student Advocate: Esther Kim
🌟 Outstanding Service: Jane Chiodo
🌟 Outstanding Service: Melissa Kline
🌟 Outstanding Service: Pauline Wray
🌟 Honorary Life Membership: Tracy Jokisch
Click here to learn more about each of our 2021-2022 Council Award Recipients.
Special thanks to Council Members Jane Chiodo, Jennifer Drury, Rachel Fitzgerald, Mary Khouzam, and Claudine Miller for their work to make this event a success! Many volunteer hours were spent reviewing nominations, selecting recipients, organizing the slideshow, arranging for student entertainment, and surprising the award winners - all to make our 2022 Spring Recognition Event a memorable one!!
We want to thank all the volunteers, district employees, and community members who attended this meeting and all the previous meetings held this year. We hope you will continue to join us for our General Membership Meetings in the 2022-2023 school year.
For a full list of our upcoming meetings and events, check out our Calendar.
Northshore Staff Appreciation Week 2022
May 2-6 is Staff Appreciation Week!
As a Council, we wanted to put together something that showed just how much we and families all across the district appreciate ALL Northshore District Staff. The video below is filled with lovely messages from PTA Leaders, Volunteers, and Families.
This video can also be viewed at this external link: https://tinyurl.com/bvn8f9bv
3/21/22 General Membership Meeting Recap
Guest Presentation by Northshore School District Ethnic Studies Framework: NSD Assistant Director of Equity and Pedagogy, Melissa Riley, and Northshore students shared a presentation on ethnic studies in the Northshore School District. This presentation answered the questions "What is ethnic studies, why is it important, and what will it look like for kids?" The curriculum will be for grades Pre K-12 and more information can be found here: https://bit.ly/pesbccdei.
Approval of the January 20th, 2022 Meeting Minutes which were accepted with minor changes. Approval of the preliminary budget for the 2022-2023 school year.
Election of our 2022-2023 officers:
Thank you to our hardworking Nominating Committee, Diana Christiansen, Cherry Holmes, and Jasmine Lee Fry, for putting together the slate of candidates! Diana Christiansen read the Nominating Report. The self-nomination period was held in accordance with our e-voting policy with no others submitting their names for nomination. The election script was followed with a reading from the WSPTA bylaws. A motion was cast to accept the slate as presented, seconded, and approved by a voice vote.
Congratulations to our incoming 2022-2023 officers!!
*Please be advised that by the time the self-nomination period closed, no candidate had come forth for either Secretary or VP of Events. Council will continue to seek volunteers for these positions with the goal of holding elections for them at a future General Membership Meeting. If interested in serving in either of these roles on an interim basis, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you will join us for our next General Membership Meeting on May 16th, 2022 @ 7pm. This meeting will also include our annual Spring Recognition Event!
For a full list of our upcoming meetings and events, check out our Calendar.