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  • 6/15 - 6/19 End Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 6/18/2020 3:00:00 PM

    North Star News
    June 15 - 19 End of Week Message

    Dear North Star Families,
    Tomorrow is our last official day of school.  It has been a surreal to end this way, still in a social distancing mode and not in our normal way of running a last week of school.  Thank you to everyone that came by to pick up and drop off school items.   

    For the last activity, we invite you to drive through the bus loop tomorrow, Friday, June 19 11:00 - 12:00, honk your horn, and wave as the staff is there to cheer you on and wish you a great summer.  We hope to see everyone there.

    5th Graders Only will have an additional loop to make as they drive through the parking lot to have a special recognition before going off to middle school.  5th Grade only should go through the bus loop first and then drive to the main parking lot, staying all the way to the right where staff will meet your car.  


    Dropping off/Picking Up School Items
    Books can dropped in the drop box just outside the school entrance each day until 6/24.  This can be done anytime during normal school hours.  

    iPads and picking up items will turn into 'by appointment only' so we can assure there is someone here to assist you.  The current schedule is listed below.  Please call the library when you arrive so someone can meet you as the building will be locked and the doorbell disabled. 

    Times to Drop Off/Pick Up School Items 
    Thursday 12-1pm
    Friday (6/19)    1:30-2:30pm
    Library #. 253-800-8895

    Because of the school closures that occurred around the country, yearbook printing has been delayed.  Schools have been told that printing and delivery is at least a month or more out so we will receive ours until July at the earliest.  When they come in we will send out a message sharing when and how books will be distributed.  There will be extras in the order for those interested in still purchasing a yearbook.  However, please note that it is not an unlimited supply and will be sold on a first come basis.  

    Washington State Elementary Art Educator of the Year
    Congratulations to Mrs. Nettels, WAEA 2020 Elementary Art Educator of the Year! 

    It is with great pleasure that the Board of Directors of the Washington Art Education Association announces the 2020 recipients of our annual achievement awards.  The annual awards recognize outstanding professionalism, service, promotion and support of the arts by individual art educators in our state.  In receiving these awards, recipients also become eligible for future nomination for regional and national recognition.

    Mrs. Nettels was nominated by her peers to be considered for the WAEA 2020 Elementary Art Educator of the Year Award.  Using a comprehensive scoring rubric, Jillian outscored other candidates to become this year’s recipient of the WAEA 2020 Elementary Art Educator of the Year Award.  This award will be presented during a WAEA gala event at the association's Fall Conference in November.

    Jillian is a highly respected North Star Elementary School teacher in Bethel School District. She is a professional community leader in the arts and one of the first art teachers in the district to create a culturally responsive curriculum using the T.A.B. philosophy. Active in the local educational community, Jillian is a longtime arts advocate.

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  • 6/8 - 6/12 End Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 6/12/2020 9:00:00 AM

    North Star News
    June 8 - 12 End of Week Message

    Dear North Star Families,
    It was great to see students and parents during drop off/pick up this week.  It's astounding how long it has been since we were in session at school.  Thanks for dropping by and for those who haven't come to school yet, we look foward to seeing you next week.  If you have any questions before arriving, please don't hesitate to contact your child's teacher.

    Kindergarten & 5th Grade End of Year Recognitions
    Each year Kindergarten students have a special program at the end of the year to celebrate finishing their first year of school.  5th Graders take a special field trip to celebrate completion of elementary school.  Because of the school closure, we will have to modify that recognition. 

    Kindergarten and 5th Grade teachers will share the complete details with students and parents.  However, at this point I can tell you that Kindergarten students will have parents come by school on Wednesday, June 17 from 4-6 PM.  5th Grade students will make a special loop in the parking lot during the June 19 goodbye to all students from 11-12 PM.  We split the K and 5th Grade times to handle the amount of cars that will potentially show.  

    A letter was sent to all parents about medications.  If possible, it has been recommended that meds stay at school until next Fall.  If you need them for the summer, please call 253-800-8893 and leave a message. Mrs. Stewart will call you back and arrange for a transfer of medication.  

    Liberty MS and Frontier MS Info
    If you have a 5th Grader going to Liberty MS or Frontier MS, here are links from each school to welcome you.

    Liberty:  LMS Incoming 6th Grade Presentation

    Frontier:  FMS Incoming 6th Grade Newsletter

    District Survey
    Please take the district survey about remote learning if you have not already done so.

    Resources on Equity
    We continue the emphasis of working towards equality and equity for all.  A district resource page has been assembled to assist staff and parents.  Please take a look at this page as it has some really good information.  Confronting racism is challenging and these resources can be of assistance in talking to school aged students.  

    Talking About Race

    Teacher Assignments for Next Year
    Typically we place the name of next year's teacher on the report card.  Because of the shifting information regarding reopening schools in the Fall, we will wait until August to finalize student placements and share teacher assignments.  

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  • 6/8 - 6/12 Begin Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 6/8/2020

    North Star News
    June 8 - 12 Beginning of Week Message

    Dear North Star Families,
    Welcome back to a new week.  We will continue on with our routine as usual.  We have seen more students completing and turning in in work as we get near the end.  Keep up the effort.

    Family Access
    Thank you to everyone for checking and updating email address in Family Access.  We only have three more students to update, that is how on top of it you are.  We appreciate it.  

    Graduating Seniors
    If you have a senior in your home (or know of a graduating senior) that was a former North Star Husky, please let them know that they are invited to join the last day student car parade at North Star from 11:00 - 12:00 PM.  We will be waving goodbye to students and wishing them well.  

    Mr. Rushing

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  • 6/1 - 6/5 End Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 6/5/2020

    North Star News
    June 1 - 5 End of Week Message

    Dear North Star Families,
    As we close this week, it is clear that our world has been upended in significant ways.  First the virus, school closures and job loses.  Now the nationwide dialogue about race, justice, and equity.  This week's Second Step lesson focuses on empathy and working to understand our neighbors.  To take time and live in their shoes for a moment.  Be silent and listen to their words and stories.  

    I am going to re-post the link sent out by Superintendent Seigel titled How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism. Please take time to look at this as a resource to help you discuss current events with your children.

    SEL Lesson of the Week

    Theme: Making a difference/Setting a good example

    Getting along with others helps make our world  a better place. To get along with others, we need to have empathy for each other. Empathy is feeling or understanding what someone else is feeling. This week, be a feelings detective! Try to notice how your family is feeling throughout the week. Watch their faces and bodies for clues! Putting empathy into action is called showing compassion.When we’re able to understand how someone else is feeling and do something to show we understand, we are showing that person compassion. Listening, saying kind words, and helping are three ways to show compassion. Take a moment now to think about how you can show compassion to someone today. Then find a way to do it during the day.

    Watch: How Full Is Your Bucket By Tom Rath & Mary Reckmeyer


    • What does a “Full Bucket” mean?  

    • How can we ensure our bucket is full? 

    • How can we fill the buckets of others?


    Take care.

    Mr. Rushing

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  • 6/1 - 6/5 Begin Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 6/2/2020

    North Star News
    June 1 - 5 Beginning of Week Message

    Dear North Star Families,
    As we near the end of the year, some details for closing out have been firgured out.  Here is what I can tell you at this point.

    Students Turning In and Picking Up Items
    Dropping off items will be available in the evening from 3:00 - 6:00 PM today and next Tuesday, June 9.  This is for dropping off library books/textbooks that are not being used.  

    We will then run our last drop off AND pick up of items June 11,12,15, & 16.  From 8:30-11:30 and 12:00-3:00 you will be able to pick up items that were left behind and spring pictures.  Unfortunately, the yearbooks are not here yet and it is not certain when they will arrive.  We will communciate with families when we know more about yearbooks.  Here is how we would like to have parents arrive at school so we can manage efficiently.

    Thursday 6/11

    K-1 grades (& siblings)

    Friday 6/12

    grades (& siblings)

    Monday 6/15

    grades (& siblings)
    Van Cour Pre-School

    Tuesday 6/16

    Anyone left 

    12:00 - 3:00


    12:00 - 3:00


    12:00 - 3:00


    3:00 - 6:00


    The dates and grade levels above are to try and control the flow of traffic so please bring the entire family's items or pick up in one trip.  Our goal is to not have you waiting for a long amount of time and to practice our county's social distancing guidelines.  

    Families are asked to park (bus loop or regular lot) and follow the signs into the building to drop off and gather items from the gym.  Markers will be set up for waiting in line until a station is ready and for traffic flow within the building. 
    If you are NOT keeping your iPad over the summer, please make sure you bring it charged to at least 70%, turned on, and with both the charging block and cable. 

    End of Year Send Off
    Every year we send students off to summer with the busses driving around the bus loop and the whole staff outside to wave goodbye.  Since we don't have busses, we would like to invite parents/students to drive by school between 11:00-12:00 on June 19.  Staff will be at school that day and share a heartfelt goodbye to our students for the summer.  

    Report Cards
    This year report cards will be delivered to you digitally through Family Access.  On June 22, Student Records will post report cards to Family Access and notify parents that report cards are available to be viewed.  It is critical that you 1.) Know how to log into Family Access and, 2.) That you have an accurate email address in Family Access so that we can send the notification.  If you need assistance with Family Access, please call the school and leave a message.  Our registrar will get back to you and assist with your login.  

    iPads During Summer
    Students will be allowed to keep their iPads at home during the summer.  While we won't have formal instruction during the summer, there will be opportunities for students to continue learning with apps on their iPads. 

    In closing, I will take a moment to recognize the current situation happening across our country and the fear and anxiety this is causing children across the nation and in our community.  I want to send a message to students at North Star Elementary to let them know that we care about them very much and that students of all backgrounds are welcome and valued at North Star.  The recent incident in Minnesota, and subsequent social media post by a staff member in Bethel, may put that into question for students of color at North Star and I want to be clear that both situations are not what we as a staff or district stand for.  We reject racism and racial inequality.  What we do love and support is having every single one of you at our school and we look forward to seeing you in classsrooms again.  You, tomorrow, and into the future.

    Mr. Rushing
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  • May 26 - 29 End Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 5/29/2020

    North Star News
    May 26 - 29 End of Week Message

    Dear North Star Families,
    We hope that the long weekend was kind to you and that no classes on Friday and Monday helped to prepare you for this week.  As we close out this week I want to once again thank you for all that you do in this remote learning environment.  

    End of Year Close Out
    I will be publishing the end of year procedures soon.  We will have class pictures, yearbooks, and things left behind in the classrooms ready for pick up as we near the end of the year which is June 19.

    Report Cards
    This year we will be handing out report cards digitally through Family Access.  Please be sure you have an accurate email address in our student records system.  If you are having trouble logging into Family Access, please call the school and leave a message.  Our Registrar will call you back to assist.

    Bethel Middle School 5th Grade Parent Night
    Last night's parent night was a success with families attending to learn about the upcoming middle school transition.  If you didn't make it to the meeting, that is OK.  We have a recording for you.  Here is a message from Mrs. Schultz-Bartlett, BMS Principal.

    Future Bethel Middle Students:
    Thank you to the parents who were able to join us for the live Zoom orientation on May 28th. We are excited to welcome you next year. Another support we have is our 6th-grade newsletter. The link is: The Zoom recording of our orientation is linked in this newsletter.  Please feel free to share this with other future bulldogs who may not be on this email.
                                                                   ~ Julie Shultz-Bartlett, Bethel Middle School, Principal

    End of Week Message from NS Staff to NS Students
    Have a great weekend.  Here is a video we put together for you.  We miss all of you.


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  • 5/18 - 5/21 End Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 5/22/2020

    North Star News
    May 18 - 21 End of Week Message

    Dear North Star Famlies,
    You have made it through another week and now it is time for a short break in learning activities.  Friday through Monday is a scheduled break on the district calendar.  Enjoy this time as a family.  

    I will close out the week with our regularly planned Second Step lesson of the week.  We appreciate your viewing the videos each time and learning about ways that we are trying to help students be able to focus better on learning through building strong interpersonal skills.  

    SEL Lesson of the Week

    Theme: It’s Okay To Have Strong Feelings

    It’s okay to have strong feelings. But when you have strong feelings, it can be hard to think about what to do. You can get back in control by calming down. When you have a strong feeling, it’s hard for your brain to think. After you use your stop signal and name your feeling, you’re ready to calm down! You can calm down by doing some slow deep belly breathing, counting, or using positive self-talk. Think for a moment about your favorite Way to Calm Down. Using our Calming-Down Steps helps us be better learners! There are many opportunities to practice your calming-down skills at home. You may have a strong feeling when you have to wait, or when you make a mistake, or when you have trouble finishing a difficult assignment. These are perfect moments to practice using your stop signal, naming your feelings, and calming down. Remember to use it this week if you need too. 



    • This character felt a bunch of different emotions. Is that okay?

    • Do you experience different types of strong feelings throughout the day?

    • The book mentioned speaking to a trusted adult. Can you identify a trusted adult?

    See you on Tuesday for our next message. :-)

    Mr. Rushing

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  • 5/18 - 5/21 Begin Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 5/18/2020

    North Star News
    May 18 - 21 Beginning of Week Message

    Dear North Star Famlies,
    Today begins the tenth week since we closed our school due to the health emergency.  It feels like a loooooonnngggg time because it has been.  I am hoping that you and your family are well and want you to know we will be here with you even if at a distance.  

    Short Week - This week we have prepared assignments for students for Monday through Thursday.  Friday is an official non-school day per the district calendar.  Monday is a holiday so we will not have lessons on Monday as well.

    Library Book Drop Off - On Friday I shared details on how we will have staff available for you to drop off library books.  Swing by 10:00 - 1:00, Monday through Thursday this week and drop off any library books that you are not using anymore.  For right now, we will collect LIBRARY BOOKS ONLY.   Read through the directions from Friday to learn what books your child has checked out.

    Bethel Middle School 5th Grade Parent Night - BMS is holding their parent night through a Zoom meeting on May 28th at 6:00 PM.  It typically takes 45 minutes to an hour to share information on 5th graders moving up to 6th Grade.  I will send the Zoom link, through your email address and text number, that are entered into Family Access.

    Mr. Rushing

    Comments (-1)
  • 5/11 - 5/15 End Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 5/15/2020

    North Star News
    May 11 - 15 End of Week Message

    Dear North Star Famlies,
    It has been another busy week.  And, now that some/many/most of you are getting back to work outside the home again, school work is presenting yet another challenge.  Hang in there and know that we will work with you to accomplish as much as possible with your child(ren).  Keep communicating with teachers so that they can help you problem solve your unique situations.  

    Just a note that it is a good idea to put eyes on student assignments to see if they are getting done and turned in.  This week I heard a few times of situations where a student said they had completed work and it turns out they hadn't.  Even if you aren't helping with the work directly, please do check in with your child and verify that they actually completed and turned in work.  

    Library Books Drop-Off - We are in the process of putting together plans to collect items you may have out before the end of the year.  Our first phase will be library books only as we have 1200+ books checked out to students.  Starting next week you can drop off library books during the lunch hours (10 am-1 PM) Monday through Thursday. You can swing through the North Star parking lot [not the bus loop] and a staff member will be there for you to place the items into a basket - no need to leave the vehicle.  You could grab lunch at the same time if you'd like. 

    To see what your child has checked out you can watch this video and then use the following Library Page Link to access that information. Please only return library books and textbooks that you are not using.  

    The second phase will most likely occur, the last two weeks of school.  That will include iPad collection, yearbooks and other items that need to be picked up.  The district is working on putting a safe plan in place and we will let you know that process as it will involve parking and entering the building.  If you have any questions about items being returned please contact Beth Gould (egould@bethelsdorg) or leave her a message at 253-800-8895.

    PTA Video - Our wonderful PTA put together a video for the staff.  If you haven't seen it yet, here it is for you to enjoy as well.  Thank you parents, we sincerely appreciate all that you are doing with your children and for celebrating with us last week at the car parade. 

    Have a great weekend!

    Mr. Rushing
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  • 5/11 - 5/15 Begin Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 5/11/2020

    North Star News
    May 11 - 15 Beginning of Week Message

    Dear North Star Famlies,
    It was a busy week last week and ended with a wonderful experience of the car parade.  I want to thank everyone so much for make this event a success.  The staff was so excited to do this, and as we was so obvious by all the smiles and signs, so were you.  Thank you for your patience as it took a bit longer to make it to all neighborhoods.  With 32 cars on winding paths, we were intent on getting to everyone and made it in about 2 hours and 15 minutes.  Thanks again for being great to work with and for.

    I didn't get Friday's message out so I am going to add it to Monday's message.  The last Friday we shared the World of Hearts so this time we have a Second Step video to share and a few discussion questions.  Thank you to Miss Baisa, our wonderful school counselor, for putting this together for us.

    SEL Lesson of the week

    Theme: Feelings in my Body

    Everyone feels a lot of different feelings. We feel these feelings in our bodies. Some feelings are comfortable, and others are uncomfortable, but all of them are okay! This week, notice what feelings you have. Pay attention to clues in your body and in the situation to help you understand how you feel. Which feelings are comfortable, and which ones are uncomfortable? See if you can name your feelings. 


    Listening To My Body By Gabi Garcia

    Listening to My Body


    -What are some ways your body can tell you you’re feeling angry?

    -What are some ways your body can tell you when you’re worried?

    -What are some things you can do to help calm your body down? 

    School Pictures and Yearbooks - School pictures have arrived and we are waiting on yearbooks.  When those come then we will work times to be available for families to swing by school to pick them up.  Stay tuned as we get this figured out for you.  

    Learning for this week - Thank you to all parents, relatives, guarians, and siblings for helping our elementary students with their school work.  At this time it looks like quite a few of you are geting the hang of using Canvas and Seesaw.  Participations levels seem to happen in waves with some weeks being more active than others.  If you don't understand how to access or complete any of the assigned tasks, please ask your teacher.  Sometimes students don't actually think of asking the teacher for help and that should be a first step when you get stuck.  Teachers are available every single day to work with you.  They need you to contact them so they can be a part of your learning and support all of you great teachers at home.  

    Have a great week!

    Mr. Rushing

    A message from the District Office...

    I know this does not come as a surprise, but Bethel School District Seniors are not having a traditional end-of-year due to the school closure. Here is where you can help!

    We are asking elementary students to draw pictures or write special notes to our Seniors. Notes and pictures will be distributed to Seniors during our modified end-of-year celebrations. Your note/picture should not be labeled for any specific graduate. If you can support this project, please ask your child to draw a picture or write a positive message/note and drop it off at one of our 8 Meal Sites (list below) from May 11 through June 5. 

    Thank you for helping to make our end-of-year celebrations a memorable one for Bethel School District Seniors!

    Drop-off is from 10:00-1:00

    • Camas Prairie Elementary

    • North Star Elementary

    • Roy Elementary

    • Shining Mountain Elementary

    • Cougar Mountain Middle School

    • Spanaway Middle School

    • Graham Kapowsin High School

    • Spanaway Lake High School

    Kelley Boynton
    Executive Director of Elementary Schools
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