December Panther Pride

December Panther Pride
December 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.


In this issue:

  • HiCap Testing

  • Community Resources
  • Student Council Dessert Drive
  • PTSA Gift Card Drive
  • And More!


Hello Fernwood Families, 


Thank you families for attending parent-teacher conferences these last two weeks. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and efforts in making time for these important conversations that celebrate and support student progress. As we shared in September, our 2023-24 school year theme is “Make Learning Loud.” This refers to learning that is personalized and meets the needs of each student. By engaging in conversation with your child’s teacher, you were also “Making Learning Loud” by helping their teachers get to know their students better. That knowledge is used to design more personalized and engaging instruction to further the learning of each student.


Another way we plan to “Make Learning Loud” with students this year is by encouraging their participation with our i-Ready School-Wide Challenge. On Monday, November 27th, we will launch this challenge to support students in increasing their math and reading skills through individual i-Ready lessons. You can find details of this challenge and ways to support your student(s) at home, by visiting the link provided. 


For the month of December, we are focused on reaching a goal of students passing lessons with an average of 92% accuracy specifically in the area of reading. Focusing on accuracy encourages students to engage in quality time when working on individual i-Ready lessons, versus the quantity of time. If we reach our school-wide goal, we will have an extra fun recess (meaning they will be able to engage in activities not usually at recess) on Friday, January 5th. 


Although we are specifically focused on our reading, students can participate in this challenge by practicing i-Ready in reading and math each week for a maximum of 45 minutes in EACH subject area. While students may do some minutes at school, often learning is focused on collaborative experiences, so we are encouraging students to practice at home as well. 


Last year, 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 TikTok 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. 


We want to thank you for your support as students participate in this iReady challenge and work toward achieving their goals.


Have a safe and joyous New Year and holiday season!


With appreciation,

Cassie Morton, Assistant Principal












PTSA Gift Card Drive



PTSA Red Robin Fundraiser



Student Council Holiday Dessert Drive

12/18-1/1 Winter Break    



Date Event Location Time
1/2 School Resumes    
1/9 Live Listening Session Zoom and Library 6:00-7:00pm
1/9 PTSA General Meeting Zoom and Library 7:00-8:00pm
1/16 No School - Martin Luther King Jr Day    
1/27 End of the 1st Semester    
1/30 No School - Teacher Work Day    




For the month of December, all students are having their fourth classroom lesson with their school counselors. Students in grades K - 2 have learned about the differences between small problems and BIG problems. For big problems, we go to a trusted adult right away for help because big problems can be scary, dangerous and someone could get hurt. In December, students are learning more about Kelso's Choices (wheel) and the verbal ways to solve small problems. The five verbal ways are:  talk it out, apologize, tell them to stop, make a deal and share and take turns.  

For students in grades 3 - 5, the 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 will learn more about Bystander Power and ways they can be a supportive bystander.  The final lesson for grades 4 and 5 will include examples related to the 3R’s to help prevent cyberbullying.  


Lastly, if your family is facing financial hardship and you would like to be considered for community supports, please complete the following survey. Your privacy is important to us, therefore all information collected from the survey will be maintained confidentially. If you have a school-related need that is not mentioned in this survey, please let us know and we will work with you to see if we can help fulfill that need:


If you missed the November PTSA meeting, here is the presentation we shared with those present. We discussed the importance of social and emotional learning within school the school day, how we support students here at Fernwood, and what these supports entail. 


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!

December 2023 SEL Calendar




Thank You PTSA  

We would like to sincerely thank all the families that donated pies for our staff the day before Thanksgiving and all of the volunteers that collected and hand delivered them to staff. We appreciate the PTSA continuing the special “Pie Day'' tradition.


Screening for Northshore’s Highly Capable Program

Various testing will occur over the month of December to support screening for the Northshore’s Highly Capable Program. All testing is organized and supported through Northshore’s Highly Capable Department and their trained proctors. Details and times are listed below based on the grade level of the student:


  • First Grade - ALL students were screened on the NNAT3 in October. Parents were notified through the Highly Capable Department if their child was eligible to participate in the IOWA screener. If parents provided permission, students will test on:

    • Wednesday, November 29th at 9:35 for the math testing. 

    • Wednesday, December 6th at 9:30 for the math test.


  • Second, Third, and Fourth Grade - Students ONLY took the NNAT3 in October IF REFERRED by parents or if they met the criteria for screening. Parents were notified through the Highly Capable Department if their child was eligible to participate in the IOWA screener. If parents provided permission, students will test on:

    • Tuesday, December 5th at 1:30pm for math

    • Thursday,December 7th at 1:30pm for reading

* Please note, if a student has a highly capable designation in math OR reading, but not in both, they will automatically take the IOWA test in the area in which they have NOT yet qualified if permission has been provided.


  • Fifth Grade - ALL students were screened on the NNAT3 in October. Parents were notified through the Highly Capable Department if their child was eligible to participate in the IOWA screener. If parents provided permission, students will test on:

    • Tuesday, December 5th at 1:30pm for math

    • Thursday,December 7th at 1:30pm for reading

          * Please note, if a student has a highly capable designation in math OR reading, but not in both, they will automatically take the IOWA test in the area in which they have NOT yet qualified if permission has bee provided. 

The Highly Capable department will communicate with families about results from the IOWA test. For more information on the timelines and other related details, please visit their linked website.


Student Council Holiday Dessert Drive

For families needing support with groceries, finding the resources to purchase special treats to make with their loved ones, may not be high on their list of priorities. The Fernwood Student Council is hoping to create an opportunity for these families to come together to make a special dessert for their holiday tables. Join us in making this a reality by donating to our Holiday Dessert Drive. 



  • Cake Mix 

  • Cookie Mix Cupcake mix 

  • Cooking oil 

  • Powdered eggs 

  • Frosting Sprinkles 

  • Cupcake Liners 

  • Foil baking pans


The drive will run from December 6th through December 14th. Donation bins will be set up by the office doors. Please consider the list below for ideas on items to donate. All donations will benefit local food banks. 


Thank you and please contact Mrs. Berry at, if you have any questions.


Check The Lost and Found

As students wear more layers to school, our lost and found is beginning to fill up. If your child is missing something, encourage them to check the lost and found. You can also sign in at the office during the school day and check the lost and found. As a reminder, it is also helpful to write your child’s name on the tag of their jacket or sweatshirt so the clothing item can be directly returned. 


Fernwood Choir News

The following 4th and 5th graders sang in a concert with the Cascade Youth Symphony Orchestra (performing highlights from the Sound of Music) on November 18th at Benaroya Hall - Selah Fowler, Yvonne Yee, Natalie Doehne, Riyanshi Dey, Liam Byrne, Charlotte Li, Isabela Kim and Koulini Reddy.  


We've been practicing for months and I'm so proud of their hard work. 


Also, eleven 5th graders auditioned for the Junior All State Choir this year (select Choir made up of 5th and 6th graders from all elementary schools/middle schools/junior high schools in the state; only 150 students are chosen) and Yvonne Yee and Haridev Ezhillan have been chosen to represent our school and district in the Choir in Yakima in February 2024.   


Fernwood so proud of all of our amazing students and wanted to share this great news!


December Sing-Along Assembly 

We will be holding our December Sing Along Assembly on December 15th. In planning for this assembly we work to honor our diverse community by including a variety of songs related to winter celebrations.


Next Live Listening Session 

Our next Live Listening Session will be on Tuesday, January 9th from 6:00pm-7:00pm. Parents wanting to attend can do so in person in the Fernwood Library or by Zoom. Information on the Zoom link will be shared in our January Panther Pride. Our topic for this section will be: What does belonging at school look like from your perspective? Attached is our flier with more information.


Community Resources

Fernwood Elementary desires all students, regardless of background or financial abilities, to feel welcome and able to access community and school supports as well as resources. If your family is facing financial hardship and you would like to learn more about our services and supports here at school, please complete the following survey. Your privacy is important to us, therefore all information collected from the survey will be maintained confidentially.

Survey Link:


Emergency Procedures and Updates

We are continually working to make adjustments and improvements to our Safety/Emergency procedures.  In early October of this year, Fernwood had our annual REUNIFICATION DRILL practice.  Below are two videos that show a simulation/walk-through of the process (one is in real time and the other is sped up):



Also, use THIS LINK to see two helpful documents on our school website that provide detail on our emergency drills/potential situations, photos and the videos embedded into the links. 




Family Engagement and Resource Center 

As we approach conferences, progress reports and report cards, along with the impending breaks and holiday season, the staff at the center can provide a lot of help. Please visit the district website for more information:


Have you considered PACE at Woodmoor?

Parents Active in Cooperative Education (PACE), is a choice educational enrichment program offered through the Northshore School District. Placement is by blind lottery, open to children in grades 1-5 (space permitting). PACE is committed to an enriched learning environment, emphasizing active participation of parents, innovative teaching techniques, and creating a partnership of teachers, parents, and students. 


Upcoming Tour Dates. 

Monday, November 13th @ 2:30pm    

Friday, December 15th @ 3pm


Friday, January 19th @ 3pm 

Thursday, February 8th @ 9:45am  


For more information, please email:


Preparation for Inclement Weather

If weather conditions are severe enough, there are times when our school schedule can be impacted. You can visit the "Closures and Delays" on the Northshore School District's website to learn more about how decisions are made related to this topic as well as how you can be informed if adjustments to the school schedule occur.


Woodinville High School Dance Team Mini-Camp

Please find more information linked HERE 


Please be sure to check the PTSA'S website for all the up to date information and calendar


PTSA Meeting:

There is no PTSA General Meeting in December.


In January, the PTSA meeting will be on Tuesday, January 9th at 7:00pm in the Fernwood Library or you can join via zoom. Look for Zoom information to be shared in our January Panther Pride.


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


Unwrap the Joy: Holiday Gift Card Drive! 

This holiday season, let's come together to spread warmth, love, and a splash of holiday magic to the Fernwood community. We have families in need who will appreciate your help. Our Holiday Gift Card Drive will start on Monday, 11/27 to Friday, 12/8. 

Give the Gift of Choice: With your generous gift cards, you're not just giving a present; you're giving the joy of choice! Whether it's a cozy cup of cocoa or a festive feast, these cards unlock a world of possibilities.

Brighten Lives, One Gift Card at a Time: Your generosity can make a difference. By participating in our Holiday Gift Card Drive, you're spreading joy to those who need it most. Let's make the holidays special for everyone; no one is left without a reason to smile.

How to Give:

*Drop off Your Gift Cards outside the Fernwood office from 11/27 - 12/8, from 9-9:30 a.m. Just look for your friendly PTSA representative. Drive Dates: November 27th - December 8th

Let's make this holiday season extraordinary for everyone. Unwrap the joy, share the love, and join our Holiday Gift Card Drive today! 

Spelling Bee

Thank you to those who have registered for The Fernwood Spelling Bee 2023-24. All the registered students would have received the word list for this year's spelling Bee. The first round is an online qualifying round where registered students are required to participate in the online testing. The spelling Bee team will determine the qualifying students based on their scores. Those who qualified will be allowed to participate in the in-person written spelling Bee. The second round qualifying students will be competing in the final round grade wise and then with all the finalists from all the grades. The final round will be a school-wide competition.


Important Dates:

  • Round 1: Dec 8th-Dec 10th, 2023 -Qualifying online-test for all the registered students grade wise. It includes words from the study list provided grade wise.

  • Round 2: Jan 11th, 2024 @Fernwood Elementary Cafeteria - This will be an in-person written exam for the qualifying students from round 1. The exam will be held at the same time for all the grades.

  • Final Round: Feb 12th, Feb 13th and Feb 15th, 2024 @ Fernwood elementary Cafeteria - This will be a school - wide competition.The qualifying students from round 2 will compete first with their respective grades, then the finalists from all the grades will compete with each other.


Regional Spelling Bee: March 17th, 2024 @ Town Hall Seattle @1pm.


*Dates are tentative and may be subject to change. The final round dates are changed from the ones on the registration form.


Keep looking for the updates on Spelling Bee 2023-24.


For any questions, please email to


Fernwood Dines Out!

After the  success of our MOD Pizza Fundraising earlier this year, the fundraising team is proud to offer our latest event Fernwood Dines Out!  On the 1st WEDNESDAY of EACH MONTH we will be working with a local restaurant to help raise money for Fernwood!  So mark your calendars, and get ready to enjoy some great food and a night of not having to worry about what's for dinner!


Upcoming Events:

  • December 6th, 2023 - Red Robin, Bothell: 20% of sales for purchases ALL DAY will be donated to Fernwood if you mention Fernwood!  Flier linked here.

  • January 3rd, 2024 - Panera Bread, Bothell: 20% of all sales for purchases ALL DAY will be donated to Fernwood if you used the code FUND4U when ordering online and on the app, or at checkout in store.  Flier linked here.

  • February, 7th 2024 - Chipotle Mexican Grill, Bothell: 33% of all sales between 4pm and 8pm will be donated to Fernwood if you use code PYYTMMX online or show the flier in store.  Flier Linked here.


Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink

The Fundraising team is happy to announce that we are once again partnering with The Bellevue Downtown Association and the Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink for the 2023-24 season!   Ice skating opened to the public on Friday, November 17 and closes on Sunday, January 15.  Simply mention Fernwood Elementary when you purchase your tickets and $3 from each ticket will be donated back to the school.  We look forward to seeing you at the Bellevue Ice Rink!


Other Information

Join the PTSA:


Keep up on events, key dates, spirit days, and more by following us on Social Media!

Check us out on:

If you have questions, please reach out to


Yearbook Sales information

The pre-order has been included in the first-day packet.  The single form can be found at the location below: