Northwood Middle School

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Principal's eNewsletter

May 2017

Dear Parents,



We are finishing up our last month of school with lots of activity, and we are will have a very busy May and June.  With so many things happening, on top of the learning that happens every day at Northwood, I appreciate you taking the time to read and stay informed.  I also greatly appreciate your incredible support.



Northwood Building Update


As you drive by the New Northwood, you most likely are amazed with the speed of progress and the awesome “good looks” of the emerging school.  It is very exciting for all of us to witness this great school take shape before our eyes. The current gym, wrestling, band and choir rooms will be remodeled this summer as part of the new building.  We will be “moving out” of the band and choir rooms in June, and we will be temporarily relocating those classes to P-5 (choir) and room 225 (band and orchestra) for the first half of next year.  Our main gym and wrestling room will be remodeled over the summer, and ready for use when return in September.  It will be a cozy fit for nearly 900 students to share our current building without the use of the band and choir rooms, but we are determined to get it done.


The new building is slated to be completed in December 2017, and we are currently planning for a January 2018 move-in.  The sixth graders will remain in their current location but still very much a part of Northwood.  As construction continues you will see more and more of the thought and planning that went into a fabulous place for students to learn and grow.  We are very proud of this new building and very thankful to the voters of the community for their support and vision.


Northwood Becomes 6th/7th/8th Grade Middle School


Prairie View Elementary sixth graders joined the Northwood campus this year, using six portables and sharing our school for meals, classes and activities.  The results have been wonderful as the addition of 110 sixth graders to our school added additional challenges and opportunities.  After evaluating the benefits and looking for additional ways to improve the integration, the Mead School District has made the decision to have the 6th graders from Prairie View have the same schedule next year as 7th and 8th grade students.  This will eliminate the need for separate bus routes and allow us serve students more effectively in regards to specialists and electives.  Next year Northwood will be considered a 6-8 school. This is an exciting development as we become a more cohesive 6-8 school. Check out the 6th grade link on our website.


Retirees at Northwood

                  Dave Barnes                  Craig Collings


This June two Northwood legends, Mr. Barnes and Mr. Collings, will be retiring. They have been good friends since they were both students at Whitworth, and they have spent a total of 63 years at Northwood.  They have been giants in the school, and they will leave some huge shoes as they begin their retirements.


Dave Barnes started his Mead career as an English teacher in 1978 at this building, which at that time it was 6th-7th grade building called Mead Middle School.  He watched the transition to 7th - 9th grade Northwood Jr. High in 1980 and finally to 7th-9th grade Northwood Middle School in 1997.  Mr. Barnes became a PE teacher and highly successful coach, coaching numerous cross-country, basketball, wrestling, and track teams.  It is highly likely that he holds the all-time record for most teams coached at Northwood, and perhaps in the district.  He is famous for his passion for students and athletics, and he was especially instrumental in the creation of the Northwood wrestling dynasty that lives on today.  Mr. Barnes became the athletic director for Northwood and he has been the driving force in helping create and maintain the astounding level of athletic participation at Northwood Middle School.  Mr. Barnes retires as the most senior teacher in the Mead School district.  


Craig Collings started his career at Northwood in 1992 following working for an athletic supply company.  Mr. Collings began teaching PE and within a couple of years moved to 7th grade social studies on the Watershed Team where he continued for 22 years.  He was instrumental in the planning and development of the famous “Watershed” field trips, where students integrated science, math, social studies and English curriculum into a hands-on study of the Little Spokane Watershed area.  Mr. Collings coached many seasons of sports, including 25 years of wrestling and 25 years as the 8th grade football coach where he compiled a combined record of 98 wins 18 losses and two ties.  He has also taught many Northwood Huskies how to hurdle in track, with several of them going on to become highly accomplished hurdlers.


We will miss these two giants at Northwood who have given so much to the school and to the community.  We wish them the very best as they begin their much deserved retirements.


Third Annual Keoni Lightning Tournament Coming Up Friday May 26


Two years ago last April, Northwood lost one of our students.  We were deeply saddened by the death of Keoini Aikau who passed away during the week of Spring Break 2015.  Keoni was a happy and friendly student in our DLC.  He had many friends, and loved basketball.  Students and staff wanted to do something to remember and honor him that would reflect who Keoni was.  As a result we will have the third annual Keoni Aikau Lightning Tournament during both lunches on Friday, May 26.  “Lightning” is a basketball elimination game like “Bump” without the bump.  During this tournament we will whittle down participants to a final 7th and 8th grade champion, and engrave their names on a special plaque.  We miss Keoni, and look forward to this special event in his honor.


Students read their way to Silverwood Tickets


For the second year, Northwood was part of the Silverwood “Reading is the Ticket” program.  Students were given the opportunity to document 10 hours of recreational reading and earn a free ticket to Silverwood.  This year 187 students met the requirements and turned in entries to our Silverwood “Reading Is the Ticket” program.  Of these students, 98 are seventh grade, 91 are th grade.  We will receive the free tickets for the kids sometime after May 16.  Although these tickets cannot be used on the June 12th Northwood day at Silverwood, they can be used later in the summer.  Thanks Silverwood for adding a little reward and encouraging our students to read for enjoyment.


Job Shadow - Huge Success


This year’s Job Shadow took place on Friday, March 24th.  Northwood’s Job Shadow experience has been an annual event for many years, designed to encourage students to consider their own job interests, and to spend a day experiencing being “on the job” with someone who has agreed to share some of their work day with an eighth grader.  The eighth grade STEM science program has taken on this experience, as it provides a wonderful link to real world applications of skills taught in middle and high school.  Participation is extremely high, and the range of placements that our students find is truly amazing.  Thanks to everyone helped with this year’s Job Shadow experience.



DAWG Squad Training Friday, May 12


Over the years at Northwood we have had literally hundreds of parent volunteers, and even now during the last days of the school year you can find them walking our halls before school and hanging out with kids at lunch.  Parents of incoming sixth and seventh graders are invited to join this group and be part of next year’s DAWG Squad.  This is an easy way for you to spend time at Northwood, increase the adult presence in our halls, meet friends and see your kids ‘in action.”  You can come when it works into your

schedule.  To join, simply show up at the next DAWG Squad Orientation meeting on Friday, May 12, 7:30 AM in the Northwood Library.


SBA Testing coming in May


SBA Testing is underway for sixth graders at Northwood, and takes place the last half of May for seventh and eighth graders.  State testing includes math and language arts assessments for all students, and the state Science MSP Test for eighth graders.  Testing will begin on Monday, May 15th with all eighth graders testing in the morning until 11:00, and seventh graders following a normal, test-free schedule.  Seventh graders will begin their tests on Tuesday, and eighth graders will not be testing.  This pattern of alternating 7th and 8th grade testing will run through the last two weeks of May, with Fridays designated as test-free.  The specific schedule of tests is shown below.  Thanks for making attendance a priority encouraging students to arrive rested and ready to do their best.


March Madness Food Drive  Results


The thirteenth annual March Madness Food Drive resulted in over a ton of food of food being collected and donated to the Mead Food Bank through Second harvest.  The 6th grade winning classroom was Debbie Morrill. The 7th grade winning classroom was Mrs. Ediger’s homeroom, and Mrs. April Beck-Friends’s homeroom was the 8th grade champions.  Thanks for so much help providing food in our community.


NJHS - Huge Success


The 34th National Junior Honor Society Presentation took place on Thursday evening, April 28 in the Northwood Gym.  Over 600 family and friends witnessed each student honored with the recognition of maintaining a 3.6 or higher GPA at Northwood.  Because of construction and severe parking problems, this ceremony was the first that was not held during the school day.  Of the 179 students being honored, 63 have maintained a 4.0 grade point average.  Over the last 6 years Northwood has seen 1044 students honored in this ceremony.  Congratulations to these students and their families


Thanks so much for all you do and for your great support of Northwood.

Dave Stenersen


Some Important Dates and Happenings


May 5          11:30 - 2:30 Marching Band Practice (periods 4-6)

May 10         9:10 - 12:00 Marching Band Practice (periods 2-4)

May 12         8:15 - 11:00 Marching Band Practice (periods 1-3)

May 13        Jr. Lilac Parade

May 15        SBA Testing - 8th grade/periods 4-6 PM

May 16        SBA Testing - 7th grade/periods 4-6 PM

May 17        SBA Testing - 8th grade/periods 1-3 PM

May 18        SBA Testing - 7th grade/periods 1-3 PM     

May 22        SBA Testing - 8th grade/periods 4-6 PM

May 23        SBA Testing - 7th grade/periods 4-6 PM

May 24        SBA Testing - 8th grade/periods 1-3 PM

                    All City Track Meet - (some track athletes dismissed early)

May 25        SBA Testing - 7th grade/periods 1-3 PM

May 26        Keoni Lightning Tournament

May 31         MSP Science Test - 8th grade/periods 4-6 PM            

June 6         6:00 PM  Prairie Wood Graduation - NW Cafeteria

June 8         7:30 Choir Awards Concert - NW Gym

June 5 - 9    Fun in the Sun - Leadership

June 9         Yearbooks distributed during lunch

June 12       8th grade to Silverwood  - 6th grade/5th grade visits

June 13       Awards Assemblies - 8th grade locker cleanout

June 14       Last day of school - 11:00 early release