Dear Northshore Families,
Recently I had the opportunity to attend school assemblies at which the Special Education Parent and Professional Advisory Council (SEPAC) awarded grants to Northshore Junior High School and Westhill Elementary School to promote inclusion activities at those schools. SEPAC is a support and advocacy network of parents, staff and administrators who work on behalf of students in our district, particularly students with disabilities.
Inclusion is a major focus of SEPAC's efforts. Simply put, inclusion is the opportunity for all students to feel welcomed at school and to participate fully in the range of activities and services-educational and social-our schools offer. The SEPAC grant-the James MacDonald Inclusion Grant-challenged students and school communities to create innovative, student-initiated opportunities to promote positive peer interactions, build a stronger school community and exhibit leadership.
SEPAC is one of the oldest such advisory councils in the state. It is led by a dedicated and committed volunteer leadership team that works collaboratively to improve opportunities and outcomes for all students. We are fortunate to have SEPAC's energies and passion engaged on behalf of Northshore kids.
Similarly, the Northshore Schools Foundation (NSF) recently donated $35,000 to the district to support STEM activities (science, technology, engineering and math). NSF's mission is to raise funds to support academic excellence and success for all Northshore students. Over the past two years, NSF has donated $100,000 in support of district students and staff.
NSF partners with the district to support such things as teachers pursuing their National Board Certification, funding for innovative classroom grants, the needs of homeless students and the after-school program at several junior highs. Over the years, NSF has given generously to support the purchase of textbooks to grow our International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement programs as well as science kits for our elementary classrooms. Last December, NSF purchased over 5,700 books for the classrooms of beginning teachers.
Comprised of parents, community members and staff, NSF participants volunteer their time and talents to raise funds through a variety of means to make these donations possible. NSF's sole mission and reason for existence is to provide opportunities that would otherwise not be available.
We are fortunate and blessed to have organizations such as SEPAC and NSF working on behalf of our students. I invite you to learn more about these organizations by visiting their Web sites. If you are looking for ways to make our great district even better, here are two great opportunities to consider.
Larry Francois, Superintendent