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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

    Comments (-1)
  • 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
    Comments (-1)
  • 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
    Comments (-1)
  • 5/4- 5/8 Begin Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 5/4/2020 7:00:00 AM

    North Star News
    May 4 - 8 Beginning of Week Message


    Dear North Star Famlies,

    Welcome to week two of implementing the school-wide learning plan K-5.  Thank you to eveyrone for their effort and commitment to stuent learning.  We know this is a very difficult time for everyone and therefore appreciate even more the role that parents have in partnering with us in the endeavor of supporting students and their education.

    1.  Stay At Home Extended to May 31 - In case you hadn't heard this specifically, we are to continue the stay at home status until the end of the month.  This applies to our community at large, not to schools.  As it relates to schools, we will still not return to school buildings for the remainder of the year. 

    2. Video Meetings - This week I would like to challenge all students to increase their efforts to attend video meetings being set up with their teachers.  I checked with teachers to see how this aspect was going and learned that some classes have had 70% or more of their class attend a meeting with their teacher, while other classes literally only had one or two students attend.  Teachers are attempting to support students and parents through live instruction and discussion and the first step is to log in to the sessions.  I will be checking with teachers at the end of the week to see how well sessions were attended this week. Note: Staff are not required to use the live video format.  We just want as many students to participate when sessions are indeed scheduled so that the teachers can do direct instruction/discussion and, therefore, assist you the parents.  

    3.  Update your contact information - We want to be able to communicate with everyone for general annoucements and for personal contacts about support and learning.  Please make sure that we have your correct home address for receiving mailings we send out.  Also update your email address and phone number if either of them have changed.  All of these changes can be made by logging into Family Access.  

    4.  No-School Dates in May - The district will follow the original calendar in May.  May 22 and May 25 are No School Days.  Students will not be assigned lessons on those days.

    5.  Staff Car Parade - North Star staff will be visiting neighborhoods this week or next depending on the weather.  If the forecast holds true, we will be driving by to wave and honk hello to you.  At the moment it looks like Thursdsay is a good day and we will be leaving the school around 1:30 - 2:00.  We have mapped out the driving path with the help of our transportation department and several staff members.  It will take approximately one hour to drive the entire path of neighborhoods.  More information will be sent out close to the event with maps made available so you can see how we will be traveling.  

    Have a great day and great week.  We appreciate you so much.

    Mr. Rushing

    Comments (-1)
  • 4/27 - 5/1 End Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 5/1/2020 5:00:00 AM

    North Star News
    April 27 - May 1  End of Week Message

    Dear North Star Families,

    The end of the week has arrived and hopefully you were able to build some order to your days with the guidance of staff.  I will say again, this is a work in progress for everyone and we need your feedback on how best to support you along the way.  Please be communicating with your teacher about the lessons being sent and ways that communication is best achieved.  It was great hearing about the increase in participation that was occuring this week.  Keep up the effort and focus.  

    We close out the week with this message to you and your famiiies.  Around the world people are coming together to send a message of hope and connection through celebrating A World of Hearts.  Here is our contribution to this world community project.  

    Have a great weekend.  

    Mr. Rushing




    Comments (-1)
  • 4/27 - 5/1 Begin Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 4/27/2020 5:00:00 AM

    North Star News
    Special Annoucement

    Dear North Star Famlies,

    Please check your emails each day for the remaining Boosterthon character lessons as we are not allowed to publish them on our website or social media.  

    Thank you.

    Mr. Rushing

    North Star News

    April 27 - May 1 Beginning of Week Message

    Dear North Star Famlies,

    Welcome to a new week.  This week we will begin our full learning schedule with all subjects and specialists being shared with you.  Teachers and administrators have been working hard to organize and support you and we hope that you are noticing that effort.  I know that my first couple of messages were quite long so I will work to keep them shorter starting with today.  :-)

    1.  Technology Help:  If you have any issues with your iPad not working properly, call the Help Desk at 253-800-6767.

    2.  Adding Apps to iPad:  We have approved apps for use on district iPads.  To add apps, click on the Self-Service App to install apps.

                  This is what the Self-Service App looks like. Self Service

    3.  Boosterthon Character Lessons:  This Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we will post a message here from Boosterthon.  Please share this with your child each day.  The following is Monday's Boosterthon message.

                                                            Morning Message from Zig Zag Zoya (click here for video)

    North Star Elementary Families:  Our program is back! We hope no one is feeling too stir crazy, and you’ve been able to find ways to stay active and get outside! 

    When we first began our program, your student(s) traveled back in time to join the MindSpark S.T.E.A.M. team on Wild West adventure. The MindSPark S.T.E.A.M. Team needs our help to get their zanny S.T.E.A.M. Professor, Dr. Shock back from Bully Malone, and his no-good gang. In previous character duels our student(s) learned about honesty vs. dishonesty, gratitude vs. ingratitude, and generosity vs. selfishness. If you would like a recap you can re-watch these videos on Starting today we are continuing our adventure with another character duel! 

    Check out today’s Character Video here:   Kindness vs Bullying Video


    4.  Wifi Hotspots
    Access points for outdoor wifi have been placed at:
    Parents can drive up to these locations and update iPads and download new content.


    Comments (-1)
  • 4/20 - 4/24 End Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 4/24/2020 5:00:00 AM

    North Star News
    April 20 - 24  End of Week Message

    Dear North Star Families,

    We hope that you had a good week and are feeling comfortable using the new tools for ogranizing learning.  We will move to using this for the full schedule starting next week.  Remember to communicate with teachers and let them know how things are going at home so that we can discuss them in our team meetings and make adjustments as needed.

    Second StepSocial Emotional Learning Skills to Help Students Succeed in School

    Our recent schoolwide theme was emotion management. In particular, students were taught to notice their own feelings by paying attention to clues in their bodies.  Today we want to remind them how to use their Second Step skills to calm down when they are feeling strong emotions such as anger, disappointment, frustration, and anxiety:

    • Stop—Use your signal (The first step is to use a stop signal to catch your own attention and to tell yourself to stop. You might say “Chill out!” “Stop!” or “Relax!”)
    • Name your feeling (Next use your feeling detective skills to name your feeling. When you recognize your feelings, the thinking part of your brain can start to manage them.)
    • Calm down (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.)

    Calm Down

    These skills help students calm down strong emotions when faced with learning and social challenges, which helps them succeed academically and get along well with others.

    Activity:  Calm Down Song

    DISCUSS: What are the steps for calming down? (Step, Name Your Feeling, Belly Breath, Calm Down)

    PRACTICE: Belly Breathing (Inhale through the nose, feel the belly expand, exhale through mouth).

    PTA Fundraiser: Message from the Fundraiser Staff 

    Dear North Star Elementary Families,

    It’s been an unbelievable few weeks with everything surrounding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. This has obviously affected schools across the nation and ours as well. During this time, we had our major fundraiser of the year, North Star Husky Fun Run, in full swing. As we’ve learned more about the length of school postponement, I want to provide an update about the North Star Husky Fun Run.
    First, I want to assure you that our partners at Booster have provided resources and guidance to complete our fundraiser under the new circumstances. As you know, we were in the middle of our North Star Husky Fun Run program, which was set to happen March 19. After conferring with their team, below is how we will adjust our program due to the interruption.

    CHARACTER LESSONS || When school was in session, we did 10 minute character lessons.  We will do three more lessons through video this coming Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Check here each day for the message of the day and link to the day's video.  
    FUN RUN || We invite you to participate in our virtual, at-home event on Thursday, April 30th! We will send out more details as the day approaches, but this is a FUN way for our students to get active at home—plus allow you to join in, too! Every student will be recorded as completing 35 fitness challenges, unless you notify us otherwise. 
    PLEDGING || We were able to gather pledges for 4 days before program interruption. We want to say THANK YOU for your support during that time. Due to the current situation, pledging will now be closed.
    PAYMENTS || With our collection process being completely online, the payment method associated with your pledges will be processed when the laps or fitness challenges are entered. We will be notifying all of our sponsors of this action as well. 
    PRIZES || Don’t worry! 😊 Booster has all of the records on who needs what, and we are working with North Star admin and PTA to determine the best method of delivering those prizes to your students.  
    That’s the update for now! Thank you for your continued support of North Star Elementary. Be on the lookout for more updates surrounding our North Star Husky Dance Fit Event, and we hope to see you soon!



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  • 4/20 - 4/24 Begin Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 4/19/2020 7:00:00 PM

    North Star News
    April 20 - 24 Beginning of Week Message

    Dear North Star Famlies,

    Now that we have the official word that school buildings will be closed, we have been hard at work developing a plan for how to continue students' education.  Each week I will post a message on Monday and Friday.  It is our way of kicking off the week, and ending the week, with a positive message.  We hope you enjoyed the video on Friday.  We will alternate the Friday message with a staff greeting one week and a Second Step message the next.  This Friday you will see the Second Step message.  

    1.  First Week School-wide Distance Learning Schedule:  To get us all on the same track across all grade levels, this week we will start the use of Seesaw for K-2 students and Canvas for 3-5 students.  While a few teachers had been utilizing either of these programs, this week we will begin uniform use of the tools.  Each program is a tool for organizing and building two-way communication between teachers and students.  They are not the curriculum, however.  Teachers will still spend time planning the actual curriculum and you will use Seesaw and Canvas to stay organized and share your learning.  

    These programs are not new but they were never required for schools to use.  This means that there has been a sharp learning curve for many staff on how to set up and use the programs.  This week we will start using these tools but do it as a slow entry by having only Reading/Writing taught to students.  This will allow students and parents to experience the programs and then ask questions of their teachers to be sure using the programs makes sense and work.  The following week we will move to doing the complete schedule for all subjects.  The slow start is intentional and I hope that it supports everyone in getting a solid rhythm going for seeing assgined work, doing the work, and turning in assignments/showing learning. 

    *Note to K-2 families.  Your iPads will be handed out on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  Don't worry about the Monday, Wednesday, Friday distance learning schedule.  We know that some of you won't have your iPads until Wednesday.  Instead, make adjustments to do the three days of work by doing them on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  

    2.  Fundraiser Update:  Before the school closure, we were in the middle of our Boosterthon fundraiser.  Since schools are closed for the reaminder of the year, we will finish our fundraiser as a remote experience.  More information will be shared but we wanted you to know that the 10 minute character lessons for classrooms (ask your child about this) will start up again during the week of April 27.  We will then have an at home version of the run.  To get you prepated, we sent home t-shirts with 3-5 grade students last week and we will do the same with our K - 2 students during iPad distribution.

    3.  iPad Distribution Continues this Week:  Thank you to everyone who came to pick up their iPad last week.  It was great to see you all. This week we will continue to distribute iPads to students in K-2.  Please see the schedule below for your specific time window, based on grade and last name. Some teachers may also have paper packets for students to pick up as well.

    If you missed your scheduled pick up time, please feel free to come during one of the upcoming distribution times. Once iPad distribution is complete, we will make arrangements to get the remaining iPads to families who were not able to pick up.

    Also listed below, you will find directions for iPad distribution.  We will be practicing safe social distancing and cleaning protocols, so it is imperative to follow the directions.  We are looking forward to distributing iPads to families in order to support ongoing distance learning.  If it is raining, we will direct you to drive through the bus loop to the back of the building and pick up the iPad under the playshed.  

                                                                       iPad Distribution Schedule:




    Last Name

    April 21, 2020




    April 22, 2020




    Directions for iPad Distribution:      

    1. Before coming to school, complete the Hold Harmless agreement online at In Touch Receipting.  Here are step by step directions on getting in and finding the form.  Paper copies will be available on site, however online completion will result in faster pick up.
    2. Enter through the BUS LOOP driveway.  iPads will not be distributed in the main parking lot. 
    3. Wait in your car until you reach the pick up tables.  
    4. A staff member will then provide directions regarding the pick up process.  We are limiting the number of people in the pick up area, so please be sure to follow the guidance.  
    5. Please remember to have only one person exit the car to pick up the iPad.

    Comments (-1)
  • 4/13 - 4/17 End Week

    Posted by STEPHEN RUSHING on 4/17/2020 5:00:00 AM

    North Star News
    April 13 - 17  End of Week Message

    Dear North Star Families,

    It has been a busy week of planning, training, and implementing.  We are making gains in getting routines set up for your child and will continue to work hard to make each week work for families.  iPad distribution went well on Thursday, in part because we got to say hello to students and parents.  Thanks for coming out and keep coming out.

    Here is a video that we want to share with you to let you know we are thinking of you.

    Mr. Rushing

    Comments (-1)