May Panther Pride

May Panther Pride
May 2024


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:

  • Principal’s Message

  • Dates to Remember

  • Counselor Corner

  • In the Know

  • District Information

  • PTSA Information



Dear Fernwood Families,  


Throughout this school year we have highlighted the importance of our school-parent partnership in support of each of our students, in both their academic and social-emotional growth. We have been intentional in seeking to listen to you, our community, and students in order to learn and take action to create a better educational experience for all. We have held community listening sessions per trimester in which we invited parents to share their views and experience around Fernwood’s school action plan, goals and culture of belonging. We held student listening sessions on these same topics, inviting our students to share open and honest perspectives about their experiences.


These sessions have been valuable in guiding our next steps and setting future goals for Fernwood’s growth in supporting students in their academic and social-emotional growth. For example, as a result of listening to both parents and students this year we have: 

  • Increased student access to STEM activities and ways to share their work and learning through technology. 

  • Increased after-school programs in partnership with PTSA.

  • Created student leadership opportunities to increase a sense of belonging and inclusion for all students: assemblies, student newsletter, STEM co-design. 

  • Created opportunities for student to student shout-outs, recognizing peers for positive actions.


I share this with you in hopes that you will consider joining us for our final FW Community Listening Session on May 14th. We will be meeting in the library from 6:00- 7:00 PM, prior to our PTSA meeting. While this is an open forum in which we listen to you, our guiding question centers on strengthening our Family Partnerships: How can we better engage and partner with families?

I look forward to spending some time listening and learning from you. 


I also want to share my appreciation for the ongoing partnership our teachers strive to cultivate with their students and families. We are so grateful for the student-centered approach they take to carrying out our mission of creating a culture where all students achieve social, emotional and academic skills to be successful. Our PTSA will be celebrating our classroom teachers and all staff next week during May 6th -10th in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week. See the PTSA section below to learn more about how they will be recognizing teachers. They would appreciate your help in these efforts as well. Taking the time to share your words of appreciation through an email, a card, or otherwise will go a long way. Our amazing staff at Fernwood deserve to be appreciated!

With appreciation,

Cassie Morton, Principal









PTSA Multi-Cultural Night




Parent Input Form Due Today



PTSA Staff Appreciation Week



Track and Field Practice




   Track and Field Meet 

Skyview Middle School



Track and Field Practice




Track and Field Meet 

Leota Middle School



FW Community Listening Session

Library and Zoom



PTSA General Meeting

Library and Zoom



Track and Field Practice




Track and Field FINALS

Northcreek High School



Student Council - Dress Like a Fernwood Teacher



Regular School Day - Snow Make-Up Day




NO SCHOOL - Memorial Day Observed









PTSA General Meeting - Celebration




No School - Juneteenth Observed



5th Grade Celebration




Last Day of School


Dismissal @ 11:20am



For the month of May we will be finishing up Lunch Bunch for Kindergartners!  Lunch Bunch is an opportunity for students to eat in the counselor’s classroom, play games, and make new friends from other classes. Each student will be invited to give them an opportunity to spend time in the counselor’s space, create connections with others, and have fun.   

In the month of May, Fernwood school counselors will be engaging with students on the topic of self-care. Students in grades 3-5 whose teachers sign up for this optional counselor lesson will learn how they can manage their stress on a daily basis so they can learn to gain positive habits in self-care. This learning helps set a foundation for these life-long skills and can be important for students to increase their self-awareness (noticing & naming how feelings show up for them) and their self-management skills (having tools and strategies to use to keep big feelings manageable). 


In other news, throughout the months of April & May, Fernwood school counselors have been serving students via our spring small group counseling sessions. Students have been learning about Kelso’s Choices, Resilient Problem-Solving, and Worry-Wise. It has been a pleasure working with our students in our spring small groups and we love to see them applying their learning to their everyday lives outside of group settings!


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! 


Best Regards, 

Jennifer Brisbine (Grades K, 2, & 4) and 425-408-4570

Sarah Cue (Grades 1, 3, & 5) and 425-408-4572


May 2024 SEL Calendar




Parent Input Form 

As we head into April, we continue to think about providing a strong finish to the 2023-24 school year. In addition, we begin to look to the future. You may have started to envision the 2024-25 school year for your child. At Fernwood, our goal is to ensure that all Fernwood students have an equal opportunity for a positive and strong educational experience. We recognize that balanced classrooms are a key step in achieving this goal. We are providing this parent input form for you as an opportunity to share any specific learning needs, strengths, or conditions you would like considered in the 2024-25 classroom alignment process. Our staff across the school closely collaborate to consider any information you provide as well as our knowledge of our child within the school setting to carefully determine placement. Please see the form for more specifics. All forms are due by Friday, May 3rd. 


Fernwood Expansion Project Update

Construction on the new project at Fernwood will be beginning soon – forecasted for the end of May! 

The upcoming project here at Fernwood will remove our 16 portables and replace them with a new two-story building that adds 13 new permanent classrooms, 2 music rooms, 2 multi-purpose rooms, small group break out areas and rooms, inclusive restrooms, and a new front-facing main office. For a multitude of reasons such as connectedness to the existing building and overall campus security, the new building is planned to be constructed in what is currently the parking lot area south of the existing main building.


The project also includes revisions to the site to provide new on-site parking locations, improve vehicular circulation, and revising the play areas for fully accessible inclusive play. As part of a phased strategy, construction of a new parking lot which doubles as a portion of a new parent pick-up/drop-off loop will begin in the Northwest corner of our campus, restricted to the west end of the field (~ ¼ of the field). The construction site will be fenced off for student/staff/community safety. Access to the rest of the field will still be available for our students during school and the community for after-hours use. This planned work is still undergoing permit reviews and pending these approvals, construction start is estimated to begin toward the end of May. You may see fencing and other equipment staging a bit earlier than that. This first phase will not affect the current pick-up/ drop-off operations of the school for this school year. As the project progresses, more updates will be shared regarding what to anticipate during the summer, at the beginning of the next school year and beyond.


Biking, Parking Lot Safety, and More!

With the increase in warm weather, we recognize many families may adjust their mode of transportation to and from school. Spring is also a good time for all of us to pause and revisit procedures to ensure we maintain our procedures during arrival and dismissal to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and families. Please revisit our arrival and dismissal procedures linked here. 

*Please note: Any student biking to school (even when accompanied by an adult) must have a consent form turned in and approved. Only students 10 and older can bike alone once their form is approved. 


Is Your Family Moving Over the Summer?

If your family will not be living in the Fernwood service area for the 2024-25 school year, please notify your current teacher and Mrs. Bickhaus ( Sharing this information in advance helps us to keep updated on our numbers for next year in relation to our goal of creating balanced classrooms. We believe balanced classrooms are the first step in setting all students up for success for the 2024-25 school year. We are sorry to see your family go and wish you the best in the future! Once a Panther, always a Panther - the Panther Pride is part of each one of us and cannot be forgotten!



Students in grades 3rd-5th will take part in our state’s Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) starting May 7th through May 21st. 5th graders will also take the Washington State Science Assessment. During our testing window, it is especially important your child is present and on time to school. Please see the testing dates to mark your calendar. *Please note: there is always the possibility students may become ill, so make up opportunities will be provided.  Please do not send your student to school when they are ill.


Here is a key to better understand the acronyms on our schedule:

  • ELA - English Language Arts (reading and writing)

  • CAT - Computer Adaptive Technology (online test)

  • PT - Performance Test (providing reasoning and evidence for an answer)

Supporting Your Child through SBA or Other Assessments

The results from the SBA will give a more accurate picture of whether students are on track to be college or career ready after high school than our state’s previous tests. State tests provide a snapshot of how your child performed during testing and are not the only indicator of academic achievement. Classroom performance should be the primary measure of your child’s skills and knowledge. As with any assessment, we consistently message to students to do their best – just as they would do with any task.


Included are some strategies to support students engaging in testing. While we include this with the SBA right around the corner, it really applies to testing at any time for grades K-5. Thank you for encouraging your child to both do their best while also helping them keep this test in perspective as one small snapshot in time. 






Know Someone That Will Be New to Northshore Next Year?

Enrollment is open for the 2024-25 school year for all grade levels, including kindergarten. Please visit the NSD website for full enrollment information for all grades.


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


Hello Fernwood Families!

It's our immense delight to invite you all to the Fernwood Multicultural Night '24.

Let's foster connections and partnerships across our community by sharing our diverse cultures. We are going to have vibrant, dynamic dance performances, songs, musical recitals, a skit performance, informative speeches, a cultural exhibit, flavorful food delicacies, and a fashion parade! 


A few specialty food trucks will also be there for us to have a cooking-free, fun-filled evening!

The event will take place on Friday, May 3rd, 2024 from 6:00PM - 8:30PM, inside Fernwood Gym and Cafeteria.

Please mark your calendar, we look forward to seeing you all there!


Thanks, and Regards

Fernwood Cultural Team


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Staff Appreciation Week

Next week, May 6th to May 10th, we will be celebrating our annual teacher and staff appreciation week! We would love for you to join us in showing how grateful we are for everything our teachers and staff do. This year's theme is "Thanks for Giving Us the Passport to Success" as our teachers and staff are the Best in the World!  

The PTSA needs your help to stock the staff lounge with inflight snacks and tasty treats (sign up here) as the teachers and staff travel the globe. We thank you in advance for your support. Please feel free to show your appreciation in other ways. You can find the Teacher and Staff favorite items here.


PTSA Meeting:

The Fernwood PTSA would like to invite everyone to their general meeting on Tuesday, May 14th, from 7-8 p.m in the Fernwood LIbrary.  Our special guest speaker is Northshore School District'sDeputy Superintendent; and the discussion will be about the recent budget cuts.  We will also hold an election for the nominating committee, next year's board of directors, and special ceremonies for the Educator of the Year and Golden Acorn recipients.

Zoom Link:   Meeting ID: 829 3167 3151


The results are in, yay ! We will be presenting the following awards for the year 2022-23.                          

  1. Outstanding Educator of the Year Award:

The WSPTA Outstanding Educator Award is presented to an individual who has exhibited continued and dedicated statewide contributions and efforts to enhance the educational outcomes of all children or youth. This is the "Educator of the Year" award from WSPTA (an educator is not limited to a teacher).

  1. Golden Acorn Award: 

Presented by a local PTA or council to a school or community volunteer in

Recognition  of her or his dedication and service to children and youth.

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