News from our Administrator (July 2021)

NHS Student visiting Yosemite National Park

Dear NHS Families,

There has been a lot of information in the news recently regarding the new CDC recommendation that staff and students who are vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks outdoors at school.  The Washington State Department of Health also revised its requirements for schools to state that face coverings/masks are not required for outdoors.  However, the King County Public Health Department’s masking requirements have not changed as yet and still require vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals to wear a mask in school, both indoors and outdoors.  Therefore, we will continue status quo with regard to masking for the time being. 

As a reminder, both the CDC and the DOH recommend masks that have two or more layers of washable breathable fabric, completely cover nose and mouth, fit snugly against the side of the face and don’t have gaps, and have a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask.  Please send your child to school with a CDC approved mask or we can provide one.  Please do not choose masks that are made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe, and have exhalation valves or vents which allow virus particles to escape.

The faculty and I met after the end of the 2020-2021 school year to discuss the year.  We felt that the following went well:

  • Using our Learning Management System (Schoology)
  • Students were very successful in remote learning
  • We adapted well and were resourceful
  • Students benefitted from increased 1:1s with teachers
  • New students benefitted from “onboarding sessions”
  • Students who joined us in hybrid in April did a good job of transitioning back to in-person learning
  • Remote application assessments with applicants worked well
  • Increased use of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
  • Able to accommodate the needs of all of our students
  • Able to serve several out of state students
  • Collaboration between remote teachers and in-person teachers during hybrid was good
  • Good job helping each other
  • Offered some clubs in remote learning
  • Added a new teacher
  • Put on two performances remotely
  • In-person graduation
  • Faculty teamwork at in-person graduation was good
  • Successfully integrated a lot of new students
  • Successfully transitioned to a new School Information System (PowerSchool)
  • Began using Xello
  • Added Digital Animation and Spanish
  • Using DocuSign for remote meetings

Here are some things that the faculty and I would change if we could:

  • Better work/life balance
  • We had a low turn-out for teacher/parent conferences
  • Takes a lot of time to figure out the best ways to do things
  • We missed having field trips
  • We missed using our point card system
  • Dance team missed having in-person rehearsals

According to our Student Satisfaction Survey results, our students felt good about their learning experience, felt accepted as individuals, and understand things that they were taught.  Additionally students feel that they understand how to get their assignments completed and submitted.  Student comments included: 

  • “I am working on myself, helping others when asked, and I have a kind mind”.
  • “I am impressed with my career project”.
  • “I am still learning”.
  • “I like coming to New Horizon classes because the teachers understand me and help me be successful”.

According to our Staff Satisfaction Survey results, our staff members feel that they have helped their students develop a positive attitude toward learning and understand the purpose of homework.  They also feel that the cultural environment of NHS provides for their students’ social and emotional needs.  Staff comments included:

  • “I turned problems into puzzles to be solved”.
  • “I relate homework and questions to real world scenarios”.
  • “Everyone works hard and tries their best to support each other”.
  • “A significant part of our teaching is about how to help students interact socially in a successful way”.

Our top goal for the upcoming school year is to help our students make a successful transition back to full-time, in-person learning, 8 AM – 2:30 PM, M-F.  We also want to continue to improve in our use of and our teaching of technology tools to support our students’ access to learning.

The faculty and I enjoyed a professional development opportunity last month as well.  We participated in a workshop titled “Strategies for Executive Functioning:  Teaching Organizational Concepts & Skills” by Michelle Garcia-Winner. We increased our knowledge about executive functioning and the ways it impacts academic performance, self-regulation, time management, and more.  We also learned specific strategies to help strengthen organized thinking and improve motivation and organizational skills for students with social learning challenges.

Summer School is going well so far.  The theme is “Summer Olympics”, and our students seem to be transitioning well to being on campus 5 days per week. There is an adjustment period, so if your son/daughter didn’t join us in hybrid or in Summer School, please anticipate that it may be somewhat overwhelming or challenging in the fall.

We have many new students and visitors joining us in Summer School.  Please join us in welcoming:

  • Trenton Bakke, Gr. 11
  • Clark Faryar, Gr. 4
  • Zion Glover-Hughes, Gr. 3
  • Brodie Hudgens, Gr. 3
  • Eben Levy, Gr. 5
  • Dylan Pack, Gr. 8
  • Leila Pickens, Gr. 4
  • Rayne Pires, Gr. 4
  • Micah Santana, Gr. 8
  • Erik Simons, Gr. 8

We hope that your child enjoys our Summer Olympics theme and learning about overcoming obstacles, working together a team, “measuring greatness”, and heroes/heroines!

We will be sending out our “Back to School Packet” during the first week of August.  In it you will find a Welcome Back Letter, updated information about graduation requirements, a list of contact names and information, a supply list, dress code information, and some forms to complete and return on or before the first day of school.

The first day of school is September 7th, and the hours will be 8 AM – 2:30 PM.  Drivers may drop students off as early as 7:45 AM, but not before.  Attached is another copy of our 2021-2022 Academic Year Calendar for your reference.

Please feel free to contact Judy, Vikki, or me with any questions.



Marla L. Veliz