Northshore Council PTSA is proud to announce the recipient of our 1st round of Educational Speakers & Community Events Grants for 2021-2022!
Local PTAs/PTSAs interested in partnering with Northshore Council PTSA to host speakers or events were able to apply for a Northshore Council PTSA Educational Speakers and Community Events Grant. 2021-2022 grants are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis and applications will be reviewed by the Northshore Council PTSA until the Council Programs budget is used in its entirety. The submission deadline for the next round of Educational Speakers & Community Events Grants is November 26, 2021.
For more information about the grants program, visit our Educational Speakers and Community Events Grant Program page.
“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!
School’s out, school’s out, teachers let the children out! Well, almost…
Oh, how we all could use time to reset. Our kids have gone through the wringer this year with so many changes and uncertainty. As parents, we’ve had to stay on our toes and stay positive for our kids. It’s all so exhausting!
Since February 2020, we never quite knew what would be around the bend as far as the virus, school, and guidelines. We started living day to day, week to week - often with something to be frustrated and worried about. Looking toward the future with our kids and school hasn’t been simple or certain. Many have felt overwhelmed and worried about kids falling behind in school and a growing concern for the quality of their mental health. As positive progress starts happening, the future will start to look bright and hopeful, but we may feel hesitant to admit it or accept it at first.
This is where mindfulness comes into play. When you start to notice anxiety, worry, or other negative thoughts, try to turn your focus on your positives, because what we focus on, we feel.
The fall and another school year will be here only too soon, which is why this summer we need to focus on recharging our bodies and minds. Mindfulness practice is an excellent (and simple!) way to ground ourselves in a busy world, to stay fresh, and to simplify our lives. Who couldn’t use that? When you focus on right now, this very moment and not the past or what is coming up tomorrow (or even in the fall), you can be more open-minded, intentional, have gratitude and grace.
Here are some great mindfulness exercises to try:
Remember: the purpose of these mindful exercises is to be intentional and focus on one thing at a time. By doing so, you will see improved balance and happiness in your daily lives.
Summer is the perfect time to slow down and smell the roses, as the saying goes. Play that extra board game with your kids before bed. Jump on the trampoline with them after lunch. Take a walk with your partner at sunset. Notice the little things that bring you joy. Is that a new freckle on your daughter’s nose?
Be mindful. You, your family, and your mental health deserve it.
Mindfulness websites, apps, and resources:
Seattle Children's 5 Tips for Teaching Mindfulness to Children and Teens
This article was brought to you by Northshore Council's Mental Health Committee.
Join Northshore Council PTSA as we welcome NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) Eastside for a mental health presentation.
Returning to Populated Places: How to Calm Your Anxieties
Date: Tuesday, May 18th, 2021
Location: Online via Zoom
After over a year of staying at home, it is normal to feel anxious seeing large, or even small, groups of people. This presentation, which will be given by NAMI Eastside's Executive Director, Barbie Collins Young, is designed to give attendees tips to calm these feelings.
This event is FREE and open to the community. Registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Click here to download a flyer to share this event with your community!
Thank you to Northshore Council's Mental Health Committee for organizing this event. For questions or to learn more about the committee, contact Melissa Kline.
To learn more about NAMI Eastside, visit https://nami-eastside.org/
Thank you to all that attended our fourth membership meeting of the school year! Each general meeting provides us with an opportunity to connect with our wonderful local PTA leaders and community partners and learn more about the great things happening across our district.
A little bit of fun:
We started off our meeting with a 30 minute “social” time. We invited all to join us to chat with Council and other local PTA leaders. We had great conversations and learned that “Flight” was the most desired superhero power in our fun poll!
Our guest speaker this month was Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid who graciously answered questions regarding the upcoming shift to hybrid learning in NSD. A great range of questions were asked including but not limited to: how PTAs can support the return to classrooms, the thinking behind the hybrid model, vaccination progress for teachers, when the learning model will be decided for Fall, what hybrid will look like for those 100% remote, and the latest updates on SBAC testing. We thank Dr. Reid for taking the time to join us during such a busy and stressful time.
After approving our minutes from our January general meeting, we moved on to hearing the Treasurer Report for the month of February. We then moved on to learning about our 2021-2022 preliminary budget. Our budget committee worked along with our Treasurer, Liz Nord, to evaluate what our needs would be for next year taking into consideration the decrease in memberships that we had experienced in 2020-2021 possibly continuing next year. A few changes were recommended, such as lowering our income expectations and cutting costs where we could (obtaining a smaller PO Box, lowering line items such as hospitality, grants, office supplies, etc.). We also added line items for our new DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) position and our new Mental Health committee. The preliminary 2021-2022 budget was approved by a unanimous voice vote.
Next up on the agenda was electing our 2021-2022 officers! Thank you to our hardworking Nominating Committee, Grace Jurado and Liz Nord, for putting together a rocking slate for next year! Liz Nord read the Nominating Report. The self-nomination period was held 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 unanimously approved by a voice vote.
Congratulations to our incoming 2021-2022 officers!!
Tracy Jokisch, our Emergency Prep and Safety Co-Chair, gave us an update regarding the bulk purchase of Stop the Bleed kits for district schools. There will most likely be over 500 kits ordered in total, which will include 2 kits per school contributed by Council. In conjunction with the Stop the Bleed effort, Clark Combs, district Eprep specialist on the district Safety and Security team, has been offering virtual ACT training to staff.
Diana Christiansen, our Council Vice President of Advocacy, gave us an update regarding the exceptional attendance by WA State PTA members at this years National PTA Legislative Conference. It was great to see big representation especially at “Hill Day” when attendees met directly with legislators and their staffers. Check out our NPTA LegCon recap here!
We got an update on the Reflections program. 55 pieces were forwarded to the state competition and we were waiting to hear results. (Results now in - check them out here!) The Council Reflections Celebration website was a big hit allowing many families – as well as family and friends around the country! - to experience all the works of art from artists all over the district. Next year’s theme was announced as, “I Will Change the World By…”.
Diana Christiansen and Karrie Palis announced that our Council Recognition Awards Nominations were open. They are looking for nominations for the following awards: Outstanding Educator, Outstanding Advocate, Outstanding Student Advocate, Outstanding Service, Golden Acorn, Honorary Life Membership. They are also looking for members to join their committee to review nominations and select winners.
Melissa Kline gave an update regarding membership. Three (3) PTAs had reached 100% staff membership and, in total, we have reached 4,826 members which is 62% of last year’s number. Melissa also gave an update about the newly formed Mental Health Committee. The committee had their first meeting recently, at which they discussed goals and things they would like to work on which included communicating about mental health awareness programs.
Lauren Lewis, our Council F.A.C.E. (Family and Community Engagement) Chair, talked about the Equity Inventory Committee, which was established to assess where our Council stood in regards to equity and diversity. The goal of the committee was to look at all facets of our operation through a DEI lens and then to make suggestions on areas that we could improve on. Lauren was also working on finding a presentation about how to navigate the US high school system that could be offered to families in our district that speak other languages or who have moved here from other countries. Natalie Campbell, the District Partnerships and Volunteer Coordinator, said that we could partner with her and Elizabeth Meza to bring something like this to the district. It was also noted that through the Council Educational Speaker and Community Events Grants program, Woodin Elementary was offering "Guide to Helping Your Children Succeed in Elementary and Beyond", presented by Sistema Escolar, USA, to district parents.
District and Community Reports:
School Board Director David Cogan presented an update in regards to Northshore School District that included, but was not limited to:
Natalie Campbell, NSD Partnerships and Volunteer Coordinator, reported the following:
Carmin Dalziel of the Northshore Schools Foundation gave updates regarding her organization and their work to support NSD:
Our last guest was Patsy Treece of the Citizens for Northshore Schools group to talk about Bond and Levy support. Her group’s purpose is to give citizens information about the bond and levies on the ballot and to urge them to vote. Bond and levy votes only happen every four years. Bonds need 60% to pass and levies need 50%. She was looking for volunteers to serve the group and was particularly interested in adding diversity so that all voices could be heard. She also asked if PTAs could add a line item to their budgets to help support the Citizens group. Learn more about Citizens for Northshore School here.
Our next membership meeting will be held on Monday, June 7th. We hope to see you there!
Sistema Escolar USA presenta "Guía para ayudar a sus hijos a tener exito en la primaria y más allá".
Abril 6, 6:30 PM en español a través de Zoom
¡Pulse aquí para registrarse!
Los invitamos a una charla para aprender cómo puede ayudar mejor a sus hijos desde la primaria y las oportunidades que existen en el distrito escolar, para obtener lo mejor que la educación pública tiene a su servicio.
En esta charla también conocerá un poco del sistema escolar y sabrá a quien recurrir cuando tenga preguntas o necesite ayuda académica, tecnológica o emocional para su hijo o hija.
La escuela tiene muchos recursos y queremos que usted conozca cuales son y lo mas importante, que usted sepa que es parte esencial de nuestra comunidad escolar.
Este evento es copatrocinado por Northshore Council PTSA y Woodin Elementary PTA.
Habrá interpretación al inglés disponible para quienes lo soliciten.
"Guide to Helping Your Children Succeed in Elementary and Beyond" presented by Escuela Sistema USA.
April 6, 6:30 PM in Spanish via Zoom
Click here to register!
We invite you to a talk to learn how you can better help your children from elementary school and the opportunities that exist in the school district, to get the best that public education has at your service.
In this talk you will also learn a little about the school system and know who to turn to when you have questions or need academic, technological or emotional help for your son or daughter.
The school has many resources and we want you to know what they are and most importantly, that you know that you are an essential part of our school community.
This event is co-sponsored by Northshore Council PTSA and Woodin Elementary PTA.
English interpretation will be available for those who request it.
Northshore Council PTSA is excited to offer this Parent Education Event on the conversation of screens & teens. This event is FREE for all Northshore parents and guardians.
Join us for a virtual movie* presentation of the film "Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience". Filmmaker and physician Dr. Delaney Ruston takes the conversation around screens and teens to the next level with a film that examines the science behind teen’s emotional challenges, the interplay of social media, and most importantly, what can be done in our schools and homes to help them build crucial skills to navigate stress, anxiety, and depression in our digital age.
Click here to register and view a trailer for the film!
*Once registered, you will be given access to view the film virtually from home. This can be done "On Demand" anytime between the viewing period of March 8th-23rd.
Join us virtually on March 4th at 7:00PM for this upcoming Parent Education event: A Solution for (Almost) Every Struggle: Parenting Outside the B.O.C.S.!
Have you ever felt defeated by your child's behavior? Do you recall a time when you were at a loss for how to manage your child's big feelings or felt your own pulse rise over the latest annoyance or transgression? Then join us for this webinar where you will learn real, practical parenting tools to help you parent with heart!
This “Live” Workshop is presented by Parent Coach® Christy Keating, J.D. who will explore a new framework for addressing (almost) any conflict or challenge that arises with children, whether they are toddlers, teens, or in-betweens, and helps parents when that “I don’t know what to do or say” feeling happens.
Topics during the workshop will include:
• How our brains hijack our best intentions while parenting;
• How to respond rather than react;
• What our children’s challenging behaviors may actually be telling us and how to decode the messages;
• Why time-outs, rewards, punishments, and bribes don’t work and what to do instead;
• How to problem-solve with our children; and
• How to ensure our solutions help our families THRIVE.
Drawing on principles of positive discipline, research and writings by Dr. Daniel Siegel, Jane Nelsen, Lynn Lott,
Rudolph Driekurs, and her own experience as both a parent and parent coach, Christy teaches parents a new
framework for interacting with their children and solving problems. Attendees will walk away with clear
strategies they can use to parent in a way builds love, joy, connection, along with important social emotional
Register to attend at: https://heartfulparentacademy.mykajabi.com/northshore. **Space is limited**
Questions? Contact us!
This event is co-sponsored by Northshore Council PTSA, Cottage Lake Elementary PTA, and Hollywood Hill Elementary PTA.
Check out the flyer below or download it by clicking here.
Northshore Council PTSA is proud to announce the recipient of our third round of Educational Speakers & Community Events Grants for 2020-2021!
Local PTAs/PTSAs interested in partnering with Northshore Council PTSA to host speakers or events were able to apply for a Northshore Council PTSA Educational Speakers and Community Events Grant. 2020-2021 grants were offered on a first-come, first-serve basis and applications were reviewed by the Northshore Council PTSA. Submissions are no longer being accepted for the 20-21 school year, but this program will return in the fall of 2021.
For more information about the grants program, visit our Educational Speakers and Community Events Grant Program page.