September Panther Pride

September Panther Pride


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.

September 2023

In this issue:

  • First Day Details,
  • New Dates for Fall Conferences,
  • Northshore Required Forms,
  • First Day PTSA Packet, 
  • and more!


Hello Fernwood Families, 


It was so great to see many of you at our Supply Drop Off this past week! It was like you could feel our Panther Pride come alive with all the excitement and possibilities that lie ahead as we prepare to begin a new school year! To help all students and families have a positive transition back to school on their first day and beyond, I have included some specifics about arrival and dismissal within my message and you can find other relevant school-wide information within the rest of our newsletter below.


Parents on Campus in the Morning

In support of a smooth transition to the school year for students, we will allow parents to escort their students to class prior to the school day through Friday, September 15th. However, please know parking is VERY LIMITED, so please consider allowing your child to enter campus on their own! We will have additional staffing and PTSA volunteers present to help students find their way to class.


On Monday, September 18th, if you need to go on our campus beyond our main office prior to the school day, you will need to sign and wear a visitor badge or a sticker showing you are permitted to be on campus. This is to support safety across campus so our staff can quickly identify someone that should not be on campus. Thank you for your partnership in supporting safety for all. 


Adjustments to our Arrival Procedures This Year

  • When Arriving on Campus - All students will be expected to walk past the office when coming on campus. This includes students in portables. Making this adjustment allows us to better welcome students each day to support their sense of belonging and to increase supervision. 

  • Morning Bells - School begins at 9:20am. Parents will hear a bell at this time indicating the start of the school day. There will also be a bell that will be sounded at 9:18 to let students and families know that the school day is about to begin. 

  • Tardies - We understand that it can take some time for students and families to get into the school day routine. We will grant some grace to families at the beginning of the year. However, beginning on Monday, September 25th, students that are not past the office when the bell rings at 9:20 will be considered tardy. Being present first thing allows students to settle in and be ready for the day ahead. We encourage families to arrive closer to 9:00am when supervision on campus begins to avoid tardies. *The principal will determine if adjustments need to be made on days of inclement weather or other scenarios that may arise to ensure safety for all within the arrival process. 

Arrival and Dismissal 

If your family is new or if you would like to refresh your memory about our arrival and dismissal systems based on how you get home, please visit our school website linked here. As a reminder, families need to stay in their cars or behind the gate until students dismiss. *Also, if you have not yet communicated with your child’s teacher about how they will be getting home, please take a moment to send an email now. 

Safe Walk Path Through North Creek 

For those families living in surrounding neighborhoods, North Creek High School has designated a safe walking path through its campus within the school day. The use of this walking path ensures safety for Fernwood families and students in getting to school as well as for North Creek students and staff in monitoring those on campus during the school day. The safe walking path is highlighted in blue in the image on the right. 


We look forward to seeing you soon!


Kind regards, 


Kate Eicher, Proud Principal





Date Event Location Time
9/6 First Day of School - NOT EARLY RELEASE   9:20am - 3:50pm
9/6-9/8 WAKIDS Conferences for Kindergarten Families    
9/11 Staggered Start for Kindergarten - Last Names A - L    
9/12 Staggered Start for Kindergarten - Last Names M - Z    
9/15 Third Grade Curriculum Night Cafeteria 5:30pm
9/12 Second and 2/3 Grade Combination Class Curriculum Night Cafeteria 6:30pm
9/12 PTSA General Meeting  Library 7:30pm - 8:30pm
9/13 Early Release Wednesday's Begin   9:20am - 2:20pm
9/13 All Kindergarteners come to School    
9/19 Fifth and 4/5 Combination Class Curriculum Night Cafeteria 5:30
9/19 Fourth and 3/4 Combination Class Curriculum Night Cafeteria 6:30
9/21 Individual Picture Day   All D



Date Event Location Time
10/10 Listen and Learn Session: What Input or Thoughts do you have to Improve our School Action Plan? Gym 6:00pm-7:00pm
10/30 Health Screening Day   All Day




Welcome to a new school year! We are so excited to serve Fernwood as your school counselors. This year we counselors have looped up with your students. This means Mrs. Brisbine will support grades Kindergarten,  2nd, 4th grades and Mrs. Cue will support grades 1st, 3rd, 5th grades.

      In addition, we are welcoming back Hannah Dickinson to our counseling team, as our mental health specialist. Ms. Dickinson served Fernwood during       the 21-22 school year.  


As we settle into the 23-24 school year, you may find your child has mixed feelings about school. At the start of each school year, students and teachers alike can experience mixed emotions (excitement with unease, for example). As a parent you also may have similar feelings at this time. Please know that as a school community, we consider their social-emotional well-being as our top priority. Take comfort in knowing we strive to nurture a safe and welcoming learning environment.  We will begin our classroom lessons soon after school starts to re-introduce ourselves to students.  


You may be wondering what you as a parent can do to help your child who may be struggling with anxiety or school refusal. 


Here are some tips and resources linked below:

  • Talk to your child about their feelings, explore and answer their questions

  • Without judgment, validate your child’s feelings (talking about worry makes it smaller)

  • Follow routines with consistent bedtime and wake-up schedule

  • To manage wellness, make good nutrition choices, and keep sleep and exercise a priority

  • Practice deep breathing to help regulate the body’s stress response

  • Use Second Step’s strategies when big feelings show up: Stop, Name the Feeling, Calm Down 

If your child needs additional support from your school counselor, please do not hesitate to reach out.


Resources for returning to school:


Best Regards, 

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

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



23-24 Fernwood Parent and Student Handbook

Our 23-24 Fernwood Parent and Student Handbook is linked here. This handbook offers specific information about the policies and guidelines at Fernwood Elementary. 


Early Dismissals on Wednesdays

Just a reminder that early dismissal times will begin on Wednesday, September 13th. Students will be let out at 2:20pm. Thank you for adjusting your schedules accordingly. 


Fall Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent- teacher conferences will be held in November. This is an opportunity for teachers and parents to engage in conversation around the growth and progress of their student(s). The schedule has changed from previous years. This year the schedule will be as follows:

  • November 13th, 14th, 16th, 17th and 20th conference days, early dismissal at 12:30.

  • Wednesday, November 15th is not a conference day- early dismissal at 2:20.

  • Tuesday November 21st is a full day, not a conference day- dismissal at 3:50.

  • Wednesday, November 22 is not a conference day- early dismissal at 12:30.


District Devices

  • Returning students 3rd-5th Grade: Students should have Chromebooks that they received last year. Now is a good time to make sure you know where your child’s device, charger, and bag are located. Students entering 2nd grade will receive devices once school begins. 

  • New students in 3rd-5th Grade and those in 2nd Grade: Students will receive a device soon after the first day of school. More information to come.

  • New and Returning students in Kindergarten and First Grade: Students will have 1:1 access to iPads during the school day, but will not transport devices home. 


Curriculum Nights

Please make it a priority to attend your child’s Curriculum Night. This is an important opportunity to meet your child’s teacher, find out about the instructional focus for your child’s grade level, and learn about our school-wide focus and goals. This year, Curriculum Nights will be held in-person and WILL BEGIN IN THE CAFETERIA. We appreciate your attendance in our shared efforts to form a strong home-school partnership in support of each child achieving their greatest potential. *If you need an interpreter for Curriculum Night, please contact Kate Eicher,

Picture Day is September 21st

Soon your student will be bringing an order envelope to order picture packages or you can use this link to place an order:  All order forms are due on September 21st.  Late order can only be processed on line at the link above.  Purchased Pictures package should arrive in November and will be sent home with students.

Helpful tips for picture day:

  • Schedule haircuts 7-10 prior to picture day

  • Wear simple clothing.  Solid shirts or small prints photograph best

  • Avoid logos and text on clothing


Cross Country for 3-5th Grades

Cross Country will begin this month for students in grades 3-5. Be on the lookout for more information to come home soon through our Weekly Updates.


Choir for 5th Grade Students

Are you in 5th grade and are interested in auditioning for the Jr. All State Choir? This choir is made up of 150 students in 5th and 6th grade from all over the state.  Auditions are due on Oct. 4 and information is in this link -

Please email Mrs. Ordona with any questions -




Northshore Required Documents

Annually the District provides parents/guardians with notification of forms that must be acknowledged, including:

  • WA State Attendance Letter 

  • Rights and Responsibilities Handbook 

  • Weapons Letter 

  • Student Housing Questionnaire

  • Permission to Withhold Student Directory Information


We ask that you login to ParentVUE today to view these forms. If you have never logged into ParentVUE, you will find instructions on how to do so when you click the link above. Please know that when you next login to ParentVUE, you will be prompted to download, read, and take action for each of the forms listed above. Additionally, secondary students will be prompted to download, read and acknowledge the Rights and Responsibilities Handbook when they login to StudentVUE. Families with elementary students are encouraged to review the handbook together in ParentVUE with their students. These forms must be completed no later than Oct. 14.  


The forms are available in English, Spanish, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Russian, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Korean, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. If you would like to access a paper copy of these forms, please contact your school’s main office.


If you have any questions about these forms, please contact Student Services at (425) 408-7725 or by email at


Financial Assistance for Internet Connectivity

The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.


The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is offering eligible households high speed internet (100Mbps download) for $30 a month with no additional out of pocket costs.

Please visit the NSD website at this link for more information. 


Signing up for Free and Reduced Lunch

The 2023-24 school year applications are now available.  Don't forget... families must re-apply every year. 

Parents whose income falls within specified guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture should apply for free or reduced-price meals for their students. 


If you qualify for Free or Reduced Meals you may also qualify for:

  • School fee waivers:  a fee waiver form must be completed online by logging on to ParentVue.

  • Other services such as health insurance:  contact your school nurse for more information.


The online application only takes a few minutes and is the fastest, easiest way to get approved.  Paper applications are available. Parents wishing to have a paper application mailed to them should contact the Food Services office at 425-408-7657.  Visit the NSD website at this link for more information.


Parent Square

We encourage you to sign up for Parent Square, Northshore’s communication platform

  • Translation options in a family's preferred home language

  • Opportunities to message back in a family's preferred language

  • One location to view and read messages from school at your convenience

  • Families will receive school-wide communication regardless


Volunteering in Northshore

All persons interested in volunteering in the Northshore School District must complete their volunteer application and background check online. Family members of students and community members who volunteer at more than one school will only need to complete the application once a year. Once approved, applications will be available for all school office staff to access districtwide. Volunteers can learn more and complete an online application here. 


Please note: The District has two levels of background checks. A Level 1 Background Check, or Washington State Patrol Background Check, is required of all classroom volunteers that will only have interactions with students while District staff is present. If a volunteer plans to chaperone, serve as an athletic volunteer, drive students in their own car or another role that could require the volunteer to be alone with a student(s), the District requires a Level 2 Background Check, or National Background Check, which has a cost of $12.95. A Level 2 Background Check is only required once during the duration of the volunteer's time in the District. In subsequent years, the volunteer will renew with a Level 1 Background Check. For more information, please visit


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


1st Day Packets

Please use this 1st Day Packet link to view the contents of the Fernwood/PTSA 1st Day Packets.


PTSA Meeting

The month’s PTSA meeting will be on Tuesday, September 12th at 7:30pm in the Fernwood Library.  Please note that this month’s meeting will begin 30 minutes later than normal to accommodate curriculum night.  The zoom link for PTSA General meetings is as follows:

Meeting ID: 829 3167 3151


Join the PTSA

Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year, we hope you are settling into your new routines for an amazing year ahead. As the PTSA, we are proud to support the students, staff, parents, and the Fernwood community. This year we are starting to plan fun events, programs, planning our yearbook, after school enrichment, supporting teachers with classroom supplies, and more. 


To help support us, we invite you to join our PTSA if you haven’t done so already. Membership is for everyone, students included! The annual fee is just $12 dollars for an adult and $10 for students, which is about the same cost as two fancy lattes or three boba teas! This purchase though will help us make this school year amazing for your students. Many events are possible only through stronger membership numbers and volunteers. 

Thank you to everyone who joined!

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:



Follow this link to Fernwood's past newsletters for the 23-24 School Year.  

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