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  • November News at North Star

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 11/9/2020 5:00:00 PM

    Hello North Star Huskies,

    As we enter the true fall season and with Thanksgiving soon approaching, there is much to be thankful for even in these difficult times.  We are thankful for the opportunity to work with students and families, that the virus has not hit our community hard, and that we are healthy and able to continue the educational work that we value.  Please take precautions so that you, your family, and the community continue to stay safe.  

    Mr. Rushing

    Here are a few things that are happening the next couple of weeks:

    Veteran's Day
    The officially recognized observance of our brave and committed service men/women, retired and active duty, is this Wednesday.  We will not have school that day.  There will be no live Zoom sessions or new assignments on that day.  Students have been learning about Veteran's Day during specialist time last week and this week along with music lessons and activities.  Thank you to our specialist team.

    Husky Food Drive
    It's time! Today was the official kick-off for this year's food drive! Our annual food drive helps Harvest House to feed families in our community every school year, and they need our help more than ever. We will ensure everything is covid friendly. 

    1. Teachers will share information about the food drive starting Monday Nov. 9th. 

    2. From November 9th until November 13th, families are invited to drop-off non-perishable food items from 10:30 am to 1:30pm. (If you cannot make it during this window of time, please call the office to arrange a time that works better for you.)

    3. Please park in the bus loop or parking lot and carry food items.  We ask that you do not park along the parking lot curb so that the Meals in Motion lunch program participants are not blocked. Parents will place donations in their child’s grade level bin. The bins will be located under the building awning. Masks are required and parents and students should keep a distance of six feet from other families. 

    4. To ensure covid safety, the food items will be counted after 72 hours.

    5. The contest is different this year. The top two grade levels (1 from K-2 and 1 from 3-5) will receive a virtual pajama day, dance party & kahoot during their lunch time in December.

    6. The final winning grade level will be announced virtually 11/17/2020.

    Panorama Social Emotional Survey
    Student well-being is a priority to the Bethel School District and North Star Elementary. We want to foster and promote healthy social-emotional skills for all our students so they can learn and thrive.  One element of Bethel’s Strategic Plan is to build a caring, safe environment that supports high expectations, student voice, and social-emotional competencies.

    We will be asking for your child’s feedback using the Panorama Social Emotional Learning Survey. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is a process through which individuals build awareness and skills in managing emotions, setting goals, establishing relationships, and making responsible decisions that support success in school and in life. Students in grades 3-12 will be asked to complete the Panorama SEL online survey during November. The survey will ask students to self-reflect on their own social and emotional skills. The questions students will answer can be found at the end of this email.  

    3rd-5th grade students at North Star will take the Panorama Social Emotional Survey between November 12th and 20th.  Classroom teachers will provide additional directions regarding how and when to access the survey.  

    The data we get back will inform our educational practices and help us continue to identify opportunities for growth and development with our students. The survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. As with all screeners and assessments, student data will remain confidential and secure.

    Please notify the office if you desire clarification or wish to discuss any concerns.  We appreciate your partnership in supporting students in Bethel.

    To see the questions that will be asked, go to this PANORAMA SOCIAL EMOTIONAL SURVEY to see the questions.  

    Limited In-Person Learning to Begin
    We are gearing up to begin a gradual return to in-person learning.  One-on-one and small groups are being planned to begin in the next two weeks.  Please note that we must do this in a slow and measured way so as to 1.) make sure that we as a school have solid enough protocols to keep everyone safe, and 2.) follow Department of Health recommendations for in-person learning.  We still need to be mindful of how many students we have in a classroom at a time to ensure we can maintain social distancing.  Therefore, only the highest need students and situations will be invited for this first phase of in-person learning and support.  Please be patient and understanding that a limited number of students will be returning two-days per week for 2 hours each.  When the school board and superintendent assess how this initial phase is going, we may be inviting more students to join.

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  • In-Person Hybrid Learning vs 100% Remote Learning Preference Survey

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 10/13/2020

    Please remember to fill out the district survey stating which option you would likely pick when the time comes that our county recommends students can come back to school.  


    Elementary Families: Choose whether your student will move to in-person learning or remain in remote learning

    Even though there is not a set date for a return to in-person learning, we are continuing to plan for our eventual return. To help us with this, we need to hear from our elementary families.

    We understand the importance of allowing families the flexibility to choose whether they move to an in-person hybrid learning model or stay in the current remote learning model. Your selection will enable us to divide students into remote and hybrid learning groups, and properly staff each of those options.

    Families with students in preschool through 5th grade must complete the Elementary Learning Model Selection form before Tuesday, October 13 at 4 p.m.  

    Students enrolled in the Bethel Virtual Academy do not need to fill out this form.

    Families must complete a separate form for EACH of their enrolled elementary students and select one of these three options:  

    1. Remain in 100% Remote Learning even when in-person learning resumes (This option may require a change in teacher.)
    2. Shift to in-person Hybrid Learning when it becomes safe to do so (This option may require a change in teacher.)
    3. Stay with Current Teacher (This option will waive family choice, and have the student adopt the model their teacher is assigned to. With this option, we cannot guarantee that sibling schedules would align.)

    Families who DO NOT complete the Elementary Learning Model Selection form will automatically be selected to return to the in-person hybrid learning model when it becomes safe to do so.

    We will do our best to accommodate family choices, and to maintain current teacher-student connections, but we cannot make guarantees as we must also balance class sizes and take into consideration health issues that may impact staff availability for in-person teaching.

    To help elementary families make this decision, we have created a Frequently Asked Questions page you can access by clicking here:


    Comments (-1)
  • iPad Forms Due

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 9/30/2020 1:00:00 AM

    Hello North Star Families,

    This is a reminder that today is the last day to pay for iPad insurance online.  Beginning tomorrow, October1, if you choose the optional insurance, you will have to come to the school to pay in person.   If you choose not to purchase insurance, we ask that you still go online and fill out the Hold Harmless Agreement AND mark decline on the insurance.  That way we know who has and who has not responded to both of these items. 

    iPad coverage can be paid for by cash/check/credit card in-person at the school.
    iPad coverage can be declined online.  

    If you are a previous student and held onto your iPad over the summer, you still need to complete these forms.  Note that if you kept your ipad and are purchasing insurance, the librarian will need to do an inspection of the iPad.  This can be done over video chat, in-person at school, or pictures can be sent to show that the iPad is not damaged.  If you are new to North Star you don't need to have the iPad inspected as yours was already inspected at the beginning of the year.  

    Thanks very much for taking care of this.  At this time 50% of our families have completed both forms.  Please help us to get this necessary task complerted.  Click here to get to the forms you need.  

    Mr. Rushing

    Comments (-1)
  • Hold Harmless Forms Due for All Students

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 9/21/2020
    What:  iPad - Required Hold Harmless Form plus Optional Insurance

    Who:  ALL STUDENTS WITH AN IPAD including students that kept their iPad over the summer. 

    How:  Click Here for directions on how to go online and accept/decline insurance and sign a Hold Harmless Agreement.  

    When:  By September 30    (October 1 online payments will no longer be accepted.  Only in-person payments will be accepted.)

    Just as students/families are responsible for taking care of textbooks, library books, equipment, and instruments that are borrowed from school, so too are they responsible for iPads.  While using iPads at home, please take care to ensure they are handled properly and stored in a way where they cannot get damaged or lost.  If an iPad goes missing or is damaged, it could cost you between $140 to $400 to fix or replace the iPad.  Bethel School District offers low cost, optional iPad insurance.  For full details click Here.   

    Note:  If you kept your iPad over the summer, you still need to fill out a new Hold Harmless Form for the 20-21 school year.  The one you filled out in the spring was good until the end of August.  
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  • We need your help!

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 9/1/2020

    Good afternoon North Star Families,

    The school district is in the process of moving to a new student records system.  This is creating a variety of issues with class rosters and being able to connect to our curriculum management programs called Seesaw and Canvas.  Technicians are working hard to get this corrected before Thursday.  

    In anticipation that these issues will continue, I have asked teachers to send the Zoom Link for their class to you by email since students cannot get the link from their Seesaw or Canvas pages.  

    To ensure everyone gets the link, we need your help.  Please check your email and look for an email from your teacher and then REPLY to them.  This will let us know if you are getting emails that are sent to you.  Our first step is to make sure that when the link is sent, you can are sure to get it.  Teachers will try to contact you by phone if they don't see a reply by tomorrow morning.  

    Because of these technical issues, we will have classroom teachers meet with you live during your grade level morning Zoom time on Thursday and Friday.  Teachers will do their live activities and then then give you directions on what activities to complete for the remainder of the day.  Without access to Seesaw and Canvas, we need to use Zoom and email to provide directions for activities.  Once the management programs are up and running, you will get all of your information from Seesaw and Canvas.  

    The second topic is regarding what to do if you are working during the day and aren't available to help your child.  There is a big concern about students needing to be on Zoom sessions all day long.  I would share your concern if my child had to be at Zoom sessions continuously for 6 hours a day.  Our schedule is actually more flexible than that and does not consist of that much Zooming.  

    The part of the day that we ask that you try your best to be at is the 70 minute block of time in the morning for SEL/Math & Language Arts.  If you can work that out, the rest of the Zoom sessions are additional opportunities for your child to get help from their homeroom teacher or support staff.  The 70 minute morning block and Specialist time (Art, Music, PE, Library, Computers) will be recorded so that you can watch them if the those session times won't work.  The rest of the Zoom times on the schedule are by appointment only and are for specific types of support.  Meaning, all students are not attending all extra Zoom sessions, every day.  

    I hope that clarifies the schedule.  If you still have questions about the schedule or any other topic, please send me an email at and I will check in with you.

    Now, first things first!  Please check your email today and reply to your child's teacher.  That will help us tremendously.  

    Take care and thank you for your time.

    Mr. Rushing

    Hi again,

    If you didn't see an email from your teacher, be sure to check your Junk or Spam folder.  It should be a address but just in case, look for a reference to Synergy which is the new student records program.  

    Some of you have seen messages in ParentVue and tried the button that says "Click here to reply to message".  When clicking it we are experiencing an error message.  If that is happening to you, just email me at and I will forward the message to your teacher.  Please include the name of the teacher so I can get it to them quickly.  If you aren't sure of your teacher, then provide the name of your child and I will look up their teacher.

    Thanks again for working with us to problem solve until the systems are up and running smoothly.

    Mr. Rushing

    Comments (-1)
  • Welcome Back!

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 8/26/2020

    Principal's Video Message

    School Office Hours:
    9 AM-Noon, 1-3 PM
    Phone:  253-800-8800
    Please call before coming to the school to see if we can help you remotely.  If that is not possible you are welcome to stop by and we will assist you.

    Grade Level Schedules can be found in the Schedules tab at the top of this screen.

    iPad Pick Up K-5

    Greetings North Star Families,

    Hope you are all safe and well.  The staff at North Star is looking forward to a year full of learning together!  We will distribute iPads beginning next week to all students who do not currently have one.  This includes incoming Kindergarten students, students new to North Star, and those who turned in their iPad in June.  The date for preschool iPad distribution will be published soon.

    This year families will have the option to purchase insurance for the iPad.  Before coming to school please make your selection regarding insurance, and complete the Hold Harmless form online.  iPad insurance is optional, and if not selected families would be responsible for any loss, theft, or damage to the iPad. Click here for additional information on iPad insurance.  For those families who kept their iPad over the summer, please complete the Hold Harmless form and make your insurance selection online prior to September 15th.  

    Listed below, you will find directions for iPad distribution.  We will be practicing social distancing and cleaning protocols.  Masks will be required for anyone entering the building.  We are looking forward to distributing iPads to families in order to support remote learning.  

    iPad Distribution Schedule:




    August 31, 2020


    All K-5th

    September 1, 2020


    All K-5th

    Directions for iPad Distribution:

    1. Before coming to school, make your insurance selection and complete the Hold Harmless agreement online at   Paper copies will be available on site, however online completion will result in faster pick up.
    2. Enter through the front doors and follow signs to the gym.
    3. Wait until you are called to a table for the check-out process.
    4. Follow the exit signs when you are finished at the check-out station.

    Back to School Information

    Click here to see a revised calendar and quick links to things you may want to know about.

    Click here to see directions for ParentVue, the online tool for seeing everything from teacher assignments, grades, attendance and more.  


    Yearbooks are in.  If you purchased a yearbook please swing by school during the iPad distribution times and we will get that to you.  If you didn't purchase one, we will have some extras available.  But remember first come first served on the extra yearbooks.  

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