PRINCIPAL UPDATE December 18, 2020
We have reached the last school day for the 2020 calendar year. I cannot express enough how grateful I am to serve a community as dedicated to their children’s learning as Spiritridge is. There is much I could share as I reflect over the journey, we have all been on since last March and it is difficult to synthesize into meaningful words. After some attempts and several edits, I landed on highlighting my key reflections in a concise bullet list:
- Fatigue – I feel this expresses much of what we feel now and have felt throughout this process. Get some rest the next weeks if you can and we will see you in 2021
- Resiliency – what I have seen in our students, staff and families time and time again. With each challenge you have all responded in a spirit of resiliency from some deep recess of your beliefs/values that what we do for children is critical and essential.
- Perseverance – resiliency needs to be partnered with perseverance in order to have staying power. Families have stayed present and persevered to help us deliver learning to your children.
- Adaptive – on this journey you have had to adapt, change and flex what you know to the demands of remote learning and engaging your children in learning
- Collaboration – we can do more together than we ever could alone. I am grateful for all the support given to us by our community, families and PTSA. Stronger Together
- Compassion – there are too many stories to share of what some of you have done during this time to support staff and families that in great need. It may be done privately but does not go unseen and is above/beyond what is expected. It is a value I cherish at Spiritridge.
- Grateful – to serve as a leader in the Spiritridge community. The grace, patience and understanding you extend as we strive to lead in authenticity and integrity is deeply appreciated. Thank you for your trust, collaboration and partnership.
- Hope – I have hope for a better day and when we can gather again at Spiritridge with our students, families and each other.
There is always hope and life even in the midst of the difficult journeys. May we all look back on 2020 with the truth of how difficult it was yet also seeing the hope and life that lies ahead for us. If you are feeling down and out, I get it. But lift your eyes to the horizon and know that you are not alone in the journey. Be encouraged and stay the course. We have hope – it’s our children.
Principal, Spiritridge Elementary
RETURN TO SCHOOL PLANS FOR K-2 STUDENTS
Families of K-2 Students – As you have heard earlier this week we are planning for K-2 students to return to school starting January 21 and February 1. We are excited to have our students return to us at Spiritridge and will be preparing to welcome them with all safety protocols and procedures. Please read the attached letter from BSD for more details and dates.
The most important action I need each of our families with K-2 students to take is to Please complete the survey for your kindergartner, first grader and second grader. A survey MUST be completed for each student independently. If you have questions, please contact us.
SURVEY LINK: https://intentsurvey.bsd405.org/
Surveys must be completed by Tuesday, December 22 at 5 p.m.
Traditionally in response to the efforts of our students and families during our annual Walkathon Fundraise, students get to celebrate reaching our donation goal by dumping Gatorade on Principal Hetherington. However, this year without the Walkathon we did a Virtual Pass the Hat fundraiser and our community showed up big again. To date over $30,000 was donated and more will be coming in with matching donations that could push us over the $40,000 total. That is simply AMAZING!!
To celebrate this effort and show gratitude for all your generosity, I decided to do a Polar Bear Plunge – this is the practice of jumping into freezing cold water. So on Thursday, December 17 I went to a families house on Lake Sammamish and we filmed myself jumping into Lake Sammamish. You can watch the Video here: POLAR BEAR PLUNGE VIDEO:
Thank you, Spiritridge Community, for your giving and support of all we do to provide children the best learning experience we can. It is a partnership and we blessed to be in it with all of you!!
Winter SEL Guide
Social/Emotional support for students and families during the Winter Break.
Family Engagement Advisory Committee
The Bellevue School District is developing a Family Engagement Advisory Committee to represent the diverse voices of families we serve.
If selected, members of this committee will participate in developing long-term practices of inclusion and representation of the diverse communities in our system. Further, members will both give AND receive critical feedback and advisement on matters important to four primary groups: BSD School Board, District Leadership Team, Equity Advisory Group, Department of Equity and Family Engagement (potentially others) and engage in experiences to deepen their knowledge and ability to impact organizational transformation.
This is a one-year commitment of 4-5 hours per month. The 2020-21 Committee will begin in February 2021 and serve for a 5-month term, with the option of extending through 2021-22. The first virtual meet and greet will take place on Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
Learn more on the BSD website
The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) recently announced their K–12 Internet Access Program which connects students in need to internet access at home with no cost to the student or their family. Through the program, students whose families are low-income and are not currently connected to the internet can get connected through the end of the 2020–21 school year for free. Learn more.
Get Help with Technology
Student and family technology support is available Monday through Friday online, by phone and in-person. Visit https://bsd405.org/departments/district-technology/tech-support-students-families/ for details.
- Curbside Technology Support
BSD’s Technology Department offers curbside service for students and families who need general tech support for issues that are difficult to resolve via email or phone. More information is available on the district’s website.
- Tech Centers at Sammamish and Newport Closed October 9
The Tech Centers at Sammamish High School and Newport High School will be closed on Friday, October 9, a non-school day. Student and family technology support is still available online and by phone. Visit https://bsd405.org/techsupport for details.