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Principal's Message

April 2023

Dear Northwood Families,

I cannot believe it is already April.  Spring has sprung at Northwood. Your children are wonderful, hilarious, and energetic humans!  I have found so much joy in my job this year. The staff, students and families at Northwood are amazing and wonderful humans. I am looking forward to the next couple of months!

 A couple of things to talk about at the dinner table:

For those of you who have fourth and fifth graders, it is time to start talking about deodorant. We love our intermediate humans, but they smell just a smidge different in the spring.

Please remind your kiddos that there is a very easy way to prevent illness.  Encourage them to wash their hands.  If I happen to be walking by the bathroom sinks in the hallways, I notice some of our kiddos try to skip the scrub.

Northwood School Safety:
In light of recent events, parents, families, school staff, students, and community members may again have a heightened level of concern about school safety.  We want our schools to be welcoming, inviting, and comfortable places for our children to learn, grow and thrive.  We also want to follow reasonable protocols and procedures to support student and staff safety.

To that end, we will continue to implement the security measures that have been in place at our schools.  

While our main front and rear entrances are unlocked for student arrival and dismissal, our custodial team closes and locks all doors after the school bell rings to start the day. Thank you to Tony Ham and our custodians!

Throughout the school day, the main doors at the front of the building provide the only entrance for community members. Within this front vestibule, a second set of doors remains locked and are opened by our office staff only once visitors have signed into the building using their driver’s license at our Raptor Kiosk. Thank you to Bridget Haba and Ellen Marks!

Visitors are expected to wear their printed visitor badge at all times while in the building, and all staff are required to stop and redirect any visitors without a badge to the main office. Similarly, all staff are required to wear a staff or substitute badge while on campus.

We also attend to other safety measures, such as keeping fence gates closed during the school year, maintaining sight lines from our main office onto the front entry and entry to the playground, and engaging students and staff in emergency drills on a monthly basis.

It is unfortunate that we have to consistently consider this as part of the daily operation of an elementary school, but our commitment to student and staff safety requires it.  As the hub of a community, we will continue to work to keep our schools both safe and secure, as well as comforting and welcoming to our children.

AAPI Books:

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

"Asian Pacific American Heritage Month began in 1977 as a smaller ten-day celebration in May, and transformed to a month-long observance in 1990. The month commemorates the resilience and legacy, traditions, and culture of Asians, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders across the United States. Learn more and see stories in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month." (Harvard Office for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging) 

Northwood has a goal of representing our students and their various cultures.  Part of this work is building representation in our classroom libraries over time. (We will highlight various groups and share booklists with purchase options.)  Approximately 30% of our students identify as Asian and it is important for our students to have windows and mirrors into various Asian cultures.  Asian humans are not monoliths and it is important to acknowledge that there are many Asian cultures as well as different practices and traditions within them. 

Donate AAPI #ownvoices Books to your Classroom Library

In an effort to create transparency in our equity work and give families an opportunity to support the work, our teachers have chosen books that they would love to add to their classroom libraries.  If any families are able / would like, please select a book from the Northwood AAPI Book WIsh List to donate to a teacher's classroom.  We wanted to prioritize Asian voices and their representative works in our classrooms.  The books on this list feature Asian characters/people but were also written by authors who identify as Asian.  We are sending out the order form now so that we can have a large number of books in classrooms by May. 

Here are the directions on how to order: (PLEASE FOLLOW ALL OF THE STEPS OR IT WILL NOT WORK)

1. Fill out the form.
2. Pick a book or books from the class drop-down menu. (If your child's teacher is not listed it means that his/her books were already purchased. If you are purchasing multiple books please fill out the form for each purchase.)
3. After you have chosen a book, please follow this link to the AMAZON WISH list, order it, and have it sent directly to Northwood.  Please denote it as a gift and put your family name on the card. (We will add a donation label on the inside with your name.)  Northwood AAPI Book Wish List
4. You are done.

A huge thank you for supporting this work!  Please reach out if you have any questions!

Flamingo Fridays:

A new and exciting Staff Appreciation program at Northwood! Each staff member will have their own desktop flamingo with a number on the bottom. Each Friday, a random number will be chosen and that staff member will receive a $5-10 gift card to a store of their choice! To launch this fun and festive program, the PTA is asking that families donate any amount of their choice -  $5, $10, $20 to a gift card fund that will be used each week to award our lucky winner and show some gratitude for the talent and dedication of our Northwood Staff! If you prefer to donate a physical gift card (to any store of your choice), please drop them off to the PTA Mailbox in the main office.

Each family who contributes any amount will be assigned a week and credited and notified as that week's donor when each prize is announced. If PTA collects extra donations, we will award gift cards to multiple recipients at a time and/or during May’s Staff Appreciation Week.  Deadline to contribute: Sun, April 16th!


Volunteer Opportunity:

Do you love recess?  We have the perfect volunteer opportunity for you!  Northwood student council has started an Arts & Crafts club on Thursday afternoons.  Student council would like to scale this club to allow both K-2 and 3-5 student access to this fun recess alternative.  Volunteers are needed to keep this popular club going.   We are looking for several volunteers to help on Thursday afternoons from 2:00-3:00.  Please use this Volunteer Interest Form if you would like to join in on the fun!

Duties include: setting out material tubs, supervising students at K-2 and 3-5 recess, putting away materials and wiping down tables.

Important Dates to Remember:

April 10 - 14: Spring Break

April 26 - May 11: State SBA Testing (3rd thru 5th grades only)

April 29: PTA sponsored NW Campus Clean-up 10am-1:30pm

May 10: PTA sponsored Bike/Walk to School Day

May 15 - 19: Ridwell Plastic Film Collection Drive

May 17: PTA sponsored Multicultural Night 6-8pm

May 24: K-2 Music Concert 5-7pm

May 26: Scheduled Weather Make-Up Day - No School

May 29: Memorial Day - No School

June 1: Spring into Kindergarten Event 

June 9: Student Half Day

June 19: Juneteenth

June 23: Last Day of School

Grown-Up Recess:

Outline for Participation:

1.  Unlimited parents/caregivers are able to sign up.  (We are removing the cap.) However, you MUST register via the Google Form.  In order to check volunteer paperwork, the Google Form will close 48 hours before the event.

2.  All parents/caregivers who come to Northwood for Grown-Up Recess need to have filled out the volunteer paperwork in totality. Volunteer Paperwork.  Paperwork must be received in the front office or via email by 3pm on the Wednesday prior.  You may email paperwork to This is for the safety and security of our students.

3.  Lunch will no longer be included as part of the Grown-Up Recess.  There are capacity and safety issues in the lunchroom.  Since we are letting all parents and caregivers join, it will happen outside only.

4. You will still need to sign in/out in the front office and wear your pre-printed name tag at all times.

Remaining Events:

May 5: 12:15-12:35pm  (grades K-2). All caregivers need to sign up and have paperwork completed by May 3.

June 2: 12:45-1:05pm (grades 3-5) All caregivers need to sign up and have paperwork completed by May 31.

State SBA Testing (3rd-5th Grades only):

Each year, we take several annual assessments to meet state and federal accountability requirements. While the impetus is to meet these requirements, the assessments also provide us with valuable information about how we are doing as a system to support our students in meeting standards. 

Please plan to have your child present for testing, so that we can fully participate as a class, school and district. 




April 26 & 27

May 10 & 11

May 3

On testing days, please do your best to ensure your child is well rested, fed, and has his/her/their iPad charged and ready. Your child should also bring earphones to use during testing. 

As families, you will get score reports for this testing in the fall, when the state releases the data to our district. You will be notified in email when these are available in Skyward.

Classroom teachers will be communicating directly with families with additional testing information.

Ridwell Plastic Film Collection Drive:

Save the Date! We're doing a hard-to-recycle plastics drive with Ridwell! Bring in your plastic film (stretchable plastic like plastic bags, bubble wrap, and bubble mailers) to the Northwood main office between May 15-19  to be recycled by Ridwell and upcycled into composite decking and outdoor furniture. Let's see how much waste OUR SCHOOL can divert from the landfill! If you sign up for Ridwell between now and May 31st using our special Northwood promo code (coming soon!) Ridwell will donate $25 to our school!

I hope your family has a wonderful spring break.  


Julie Newcomer

Principal-Northwood Elementary