August 2022 Panther Pride Newsletter

In This Issue:

  • Back to School Dates
  • Information about Supply Lists, Technology, and More
  • Changes in the Drop Off and Pick Up Process
  • Fernwood Staffing for the 2022-23 School Year

Principal Message

I hope this note finds everyone safe and well while away from school. It seems like the months of summer always go by so quickly, especially given that our first day of school is before Labor Day this year. It may be hard to believe the 2022-23 school year is just around the corner!

While you and your family continue to make the most of your time together before school begins, our staff here at Fernwood are busy preparing for the year ahead. Our custodians have spent all summer cleaning classrooms and spaces across our campus. Our office team is making sure teachers are set up with the resources they need to welcome students and supporting new families in the registration process. Teachers are beginning to return to school to prepare the welcoming classroom environments that set the foundation for the learning our students will engage in across the school year. It is truly a team approach to prepare to open our doors on the first day of school.

As we look towards the year ahead, we are excited to share adjustments and additions to our tiered approach we take to meet the needs of each of our students. At the district level, Mr. Michael Tolley is now the interim Superintendent. In addition, Fernwood will now be supported by Mrs. Melissa Riley as our Assistant Superintendent. Mrs. Riley will serve Fernwood and other schools in the north region of Northshore, most of which feed into North Creek High School. At the school level, through the support of the Northshore School District, we have been able to increase our staffing aligned to related services (these are supports provided in addition to those through the classroom teacher). Fernwood will now have two full time school counselors! As our enrollment continues to increase, we will once again have a dean of students. More information will be provided in future communications about how these two positions align and differ around support for students. At Fernwood we value our diversity and see the fact that we have many students learning English as a second language as an asset to students understanding that each individual has a variety of strengths, needs, interests, and cultural backgrounds that shape who they are as a person. Given our high number of students that are learning English as a second language, they now also have an increase in both certificated and classified staffing to serve our students receiving multi-language support. These additional resources will have a positive impact on carrying out our school- wide mission of

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.

A key piece of carrying out our school-wide mission is our partnership with families. A key phrase that always stands out to me within our mission is “learning community”. To us this means not only the ways in which we are a physical community but also the ways in which we create a feeling of fellowship between and among our students, families, and staff. To foster this connection as we prepare to begin the 22-23 school year, we would like to gather information about who we are as a community and the goals that matter to us for our students beyond our school-wide mission. We encourage you to share this information within

this Padlet for our students, staff, and families to see our collective and unique connections and goals for students as we deepen our relationship as a learning community. You can also use the QR code to access the Padlet by including words or pictures related to all or any of the following questions:

  • Who is your family?
  • What is one memory from your summer?
  • What is a goal you have for your child this school year?

Examples of posts are included here. If you are not familiar with using Padlet, please click here for assistance and more information. We encourage you to share your name within your response as responses are anonymous unless a name is included.*Please note, that the Padlet allows only sharing versus allowing commenting or liking others posts.

In addition to goals you have for your student this school year, many of you are also thinking about their physical safety in relation to COVID-19. The Northshore School District will continue to follow guidelines from the Department of Health from our State and local area. Based on these guidelines, daily mask use is not required and will remain a choice. Requirements for social distancing have also been lifted. Although we are not enforcing social distancing, we will continue to communicate positive cases to impacted classrooms as soon as they are reported. We will also communicate the total number of school-wide cases each week within our own Fernwood dashboard along with the Northshore COVID dashboard. This will be shared on Friday, September 2nd. In addition, guidelines around quarantine for individuals testing positive cases will continue to be followed.

On a personal note, I would like to share with the Fernwood community that my husband and I are expecting our second child this January! Once the baby arrives, I will go on leave for several months and return to wrap up the school year. More information about the interim principal and overall administrative support in my absence will be available in the next few months.

Please see the rest of this newsletter for more information on back-to-school dates and events, information about our amazing 2022-23 Fernwood staff, for changes in our arrival and dismissal process, and more. We look forward to another great year of working in partnership around supporting our students to be their best selves! Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Kind regards,

Kate Eicher, Proud Principal

Back to School Dates

Throughout the school year, you can find out information about school-wide events through our monthly school newsletter as well as our website ( It is our goal this year to make sure our website is updated on a bi-monthly basis. Teachers may also choose to share about school- wide events within their own communications and newsletters. In the meantime, several notable events are coming up before school starts and soon thereafter. These are listed below:


8/1-8/31 Office Hours 8:00am - 4:30pm
8/19 Classroom Assignments shared via Email  
8/21 Community Serve Day 9:00am - 1:00 pm
8/22 PTSA New Family Tours 10:00am - 11:00 am
8/25 PTSA Ice Cream and Popcicles 1:30pm - 3:30pm
8/25 Supply Drop Off - Last Name A-L 2:00pm - 2:30pm
8/25 Supply Drop Off - Last Names M-Z 2:30pm - 3:00pm
8/29 5th Grade Safety Patrol Meeting 10:00am - 11:00am
8/31 First Day of School - Grades 105 Full Day - No Early Release 9:20am -3:50pm
8/31 - 9/2 WAKIDS Conferences for Kindergarten Families  



9/5  No School - Labor Day  

Staggered Start for Kindergarten
Last Names A-L

9/7 First Early Release Wednesday - Dismissal at 2:20pm 9:20am-2:20pm
9/7 Staggered Start  for Kindergarten
 Last Names M-Z
9/8 and Beyond  All Kindergarteners Come to School  
9/22 School Picture Day  All Day

Reminder of School Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday schedule:

  • 9:00 - Campus supervision begins (students may arrive) 9:20 – School begins
  • 3:50 – Dismissal

Wednesday Schedule:

  • 9:00 - Campus supervision begins (students may arrive) 9:20 - School Begins
  • 2:20 - Dismissal

Curriculum Night 
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. We appreciate your attendance in our shared efforts to form a strong home-school partnership in support of each child achieving their greatest potential.

Grade Level Date Time
Kindergarten August 30 5:30 pm
First September 13 5:30 pm
Second September 6 5:30 pm
Third and 2/3 Combination Class September 6 6:30 pm
Fourth September 20 5:30 pm
Fifth and 4/5 Combination Class September 20 6:30 pm

Other Back to School Information 

School Supplies
A list of school supplies for each grade level can be found on our Fernwood Website.

Are You Planning on Volunteering this Year
Individuals who want to volunteer at NSD, must follow the process to become an approved volunteer. Please find the process information here. This must be completed each year.

5th Grade Safety Patrol Meeting
To all of the 5th grade safety patrollers, please plan on attending a meeting on Monday, August 29th from 10:00am to 11:00am in Mrs. Berry's room. Also, please be watching your email account for an email from Mrs. Berry with a google form attached. If you have any questions, you may contact Mrs. Berry at

Student Technology

  • 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
  • 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.

Important Updates for Families From Northshore Food Services Northshore School District, like most districts in Washington, will again charge for school lunch and breakfast at the start of the 2022 school year. The Federal COVID-19 waivers that have allowed U.S. public schools to offer free breakfasts and lunches to all students regardless of income expired this past June.

Cost of Meals Elementary Breakfast:

  • $2.25 Elementary
  • Lunch $3.75
  • Milk- $.50

Paying for Meals Parents may pay online with Visa or MasterCard using a secure internet site called Titan School Solutions. To set up a Titan Family Portal account for making online payments, visit There is no charge for parents to register for a Titan account; however, there is a $2.60 convenience charge for

each payment made online. Parents can also pay by cash or check (made out to Northshore School District) at the school. There is no fee for paying with cash or check. Checks should indicate “school meals” in the memo/for line.

Free and Reduced Meals Parents whose income falls within guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture should apply for free or reduced-price meals. Families must reapply each year to receive benefits for the current school year. All students who qualify for free, as well as those who qualify for reduced-price meals, will receive both breakfast and lunch at no charge. You can apply online or download an application at or pick up a paper application from your school or district’s Food and Nutrition Services offices. To have an application mailed to you, call Food and Nutrition Services at 425.408.7657.

Changes for Drop Off and Pick Up this School Year

Walker Area

Snohomish County is expected to approve Northshore’s request to move our crosswalk on 39th Avenue north, a process that began last November. Once approved, Northshore will also be putting in another walking gate and gravel walkway. This will allow us to create an “Enter” and “Exit” loop for parents to collect their walkers. Students will wait for their parents in the parking lot west of the cafeteria, which will be closed for entering and exiting during this time. However, this project is estimated to be completed on or soon after Labor Day Weekend. Please see the image above.

Procedure to Begin the Year: We will use the same procedure to begin the year as last year.

  • Walkers will wait in designated grade level spots.
  • Parents will wait in their designated area along the fence.
  • Grade level signage will be in place to indicate when individual classes are out.
  • Once a child sees their parent, our staff will assist them in exiting the walker gate and connecting with their parent.
  • A video of this procedure will be shared prior to the start of the school year.

Procedure Once New Crosswalk and Walker Gate Installation:

  • Walkers will wait in designated grade level spots. Older students with younger siblings will wait in the area of the youngest student.
  • Parents will wait in their designated area along the fence until they see their student. Grade level signage will be in place to indicate when individual classes are out.
  • Once their student is present, parents will walk through the “Enter” gate, collect their student(s) and go out through the separate “Exit”gate. We will continue to monitor and send independent walkers on their own.
  • More information and a video showing the adjusted procedure will be provided once changes for the new crosswalk and additional walker gate are in place.
  • A video of this procedure will be shared once in place.

Car Drop Off and Pick Up Area

In partnership with Northshore's Support Services, Transportation, and Security Departments along with collaboration of a traffic engineering company, Fernwood will be making changes to our car drop off and pick up procedures for the 22-23 school year. The intent is to improve the traffic flow, take steps to improve safety of our students, staff, and families during these times, and to ensure the construction occurring across from Fernwood can operate as needed. The image above is a visual of those changes. Within these changes:

  • Cars can enter the drop off and pick up loop off of 39th from the north or south.
  • Parents will be asked to have a sign on the lower right side of their dashboard including their child’s first and last name, teacher, and grade level. Color coded signs will be handed out on the first day of school, so we can quickly identify the pick up area in which your child will be located. Families with more than one student will fill out their sign with the information of their youngest child as siblings will wait in the area of the youngest student. 
  • Families will stay in their car to pick up students. No parking and coming to pick up students waiting in the car pick up area.
  • We will ask cars to pull forward to keep the flow of traffic moving and we will bring your child to your car. Students are to enter from the driver side only to ensure safety.
  • Families are asked to turn right only when they exit the drop off and pick up area and to use 35th Ave instead of 39th Ave to minimize traffic congestion.

2022-23 Fernwood Staff 

Welcome New Staff

We are fortunate to welcome several new and a few returning highly qualified staff members this year. Here is a little bit about each new individual’s previous experience:

  • Sarah Cue, Counselor - Mrs. Cue has been a counselor in the Lake Washington School District for the past three years. Prior to being a counselor, she was a teacher in the Bellevue School District with a history of teaching special education.
  • Nada Chakroun Samet, Crossing Guard and Multi-Language Para Educator - Mrs. Chakroun Samet has been working with students in grades K through 5 for the last seven years. She has experience as a teacher assistant in the Bellevue School district and has been a trusted classified substitute at Fernwood.
  • Bronsyn Foster, Speech and Language Pathologist - Ms. Foster is new to Northshore and will split her time in this role between Fernwood and Westhill Elementary.
  • Kristie McVay, Dean of Students - Mrs. McVay was previously at Fernwood as a kindergarten and third grade teacher. She also has taught at schools outside the district in the surrounding district as well as within the state of Arizona.
  • Alyssa Mueller, 2/3 EAP - Mrs. Mueller has previous teaching experience in the state of California as well as Missouri, including teaching multigrade levels.
  • Sarah Ordona, .8 Music - Mrs. Ordona has been a part of the Fernwood community over the last several years. We are grateful to be able to bring her back with an increase in teaching time.
  • Lena Panescu-Reich, First Grade - Ms. Pansecu-Reich most recently completed her masters in teaching from Gonzaga University. While at Gonzaga, she completed her student teaching experience in Spokane Public Schools.
  • Manjula Senthivelu, Kindergarten Special Education Para Educator - For the past three years, Mrs. Senthivelu worked in early childhood education within our area. She has experience in planning and implementing academic and social-emotional curriculum.
  • Michael Shumate, Physical Education - Mr. Shumate joins us from Lockwood Elementary where he completed his student teaching experience with their physical education team. Mr. Shumate has a long history of making a difference for kids through his work as a coach.
  • Izilandria Alcorn, .1 Physical Education - Ms. Alcorn joined the Fernwood community last year as both a part time PE teacher and part time librarian. We are grateful to be able to welcome Ms. Alcorn back to the Physical Education team.

Ongoing School-Wide Communication

The Panther Pride Newsletter will be sent out on the first Tuesday of each month via the Blackboard system. If you have an email address change, please log in to Parent Vue to make the changes. If you prefer a hard copy be sent to your household, please reach out to our friendly office staff.