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 912 Barton Dr.
 Ann Arbor, MI 48105
 (734)997-1232 FAX
 Monica Harrold, Principal

Principal's Page

April 2012 | March 2012 | February 2012 | January 2012 | December 2011 | October 28, 2011 | October 14, 2011 | September 23, 2011 | September 9, 2011 | September 6, 2011 | June 16, 2011

April 2012

Dear Northside Families:

I have had some of the most pleasant interactions with parents over the past several weeks and all I can say is, “Thank you.” It certainly helps us as a staff when we feel your support.

One of the teachers recently mentioned that there are only eight weeks of school left! 

On one hand, that feels like so little time. On the other hand, in eight weeks we can:

            * raise the reading level of a child

            * increase a child’s math readiness

            * give, collect, review and give feedback on several writing assignments

            * complete at least two science projects

            * host an Open House (April 25)

            * vote on a Technology Bond (May 8)

            * attend a 3rd grade concert (May16)

            * attend a 4th /5th gradeconcert (May 23)

            * conduct a Disability Workshop (May 24)

            * send our 5th graders to camp (May 29-June 1)

            * hold a Science Fair (May 31)

            * have two kindergarten graduations (June 8 & June 13)

            * have a 5th grade graduation (June 14)

           *and celebrate and cry as we experience the retirement of Mrs. McGarty.

I guess we can do a lot in eight weeks.

Thank you for participating in the Rotary Food Drive collection. It is always nice when we can collectively give to our larger community.

I am pleased to announce that Northside was awarded Evergreen status by the State of Michigan for our efforts to “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.” Mr. Dekeon says that is the highest ranking we can get! I especially want to thank Mr. Dekeon for spearheading and documenting our endeavors to be environmentally friendly.

If you have not yet done so, please remember to complete and return your Parent Input form to the office. We really do use your feedback from these forms in deciding your child’s placement. Additional forms are available in the office if you need them.

I want to extend to you a special invitation and reminder about our annual Open House. It will be held on Wednesday, April 25 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

We have now finished most of our emergency drills for the year. We have completed both of our required severe weather drills, the lock down drill, the shelter-in-place drill and five or our six fire drills. I’d like to ask if you are in the building when we are doing a drill that you fully participate. Any staff member can help you know what you should do. It is difficult to explain to children why adults are not following the rules. We will complete our final drill during the next couple of weeks as the weather warms more.

Speaking of warm weather, we will again start to have students remain outside of the building until the bell rings in the morning. In case of inclement weather, we will allow the children inside. If as parents you could also wait outside with your child, it will help us to be equitable in how we implement this practice.

As always, we appreciate your continued support. Let’s keep working to end the year on a high and positive note.



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March 2012

Dear Northside Families:

March is Reading Month and everyone is being encouraged to have special activities in the classroom. Our ‘Mystery Reader’ and ‘Community Celebrity’ traditions continue, where parents, staff and community members come and read to children. AAPS Superintendent Patricia Green is on our list of Community Celebrities, as is reporter James Dickson from the A2Journal. James gave us a nice shout out in the A2Journal. You can find it online. We hope that you will join us at home as we celebrate the joy of reading in a special way this month.

We are still recruiting volunteers for our Paint for Kids project March 22-25. You still have time to sign up and help beautify the school the school. You can wash walls, tape or paint walls, whichever you prefer. We are so pleased to have members of the Phi Sigma Pi Honors Fraternity from the University of Michigan join us in this effort

Please make sure you complete and return the Parent Placement Survey. This allows us to consider your input when placing your student next year. While we cannot guarantee placement preferences because of the many factors that go into making these decisions, your input is highly valued and taken into account. It is usually easier to make placements than to make changes. Remember, changes that you may want to make in the fall can take up to two weeks to happen.

Report cards will go home with students on Monday, March 19. Please take some time to review your child’s report and, where appropriate, discuss the assessment with your child. The report card, like the MEAP and NWEA, is additional data to help you get a fuller picture of your child’s academic progress. Please call your child’s teacher if you have questions, comments or concerns.

Ann Arbor voters will speak their voices about a Technology Bond to replace aging AAPS district technology and provide technology to support its strategic plan for 21st Century Learning on May 8. This is just a reminder that on March 20 at 6:30 p.m. Central Office staff will come to Northside to share information about the bond. This is the time to ask your questions and make sure you have the knowledge you need to cast your ballot.

The Rotate Your Food canned food drive will continue through March 23. It would be great if every family could send in a few nonperishable items to help those in need here in Washtenaw County. The Northside community has always been known for its generosity, and this is one way we can uphold that tradition. Thank you for your contributions and support.

I want to send a special thank you to Mrs. Hoover and the PTO for working to pull off our third annual “Northside’s Got Talent” extravaganza. This is always a wonderful event showcasing the various talents of our students. With about 20 acts on the schedule it was a night of talent, fun, and laughter and we appreciate all you did to make it happen.

As always I want to thank you for your continued support of Northside. All of us – students, staff, and I – realize how valuable you are and we want you to know how much we appreciate you.

All the best,


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February 2012

Dear Northside Families:

This month I want to take some time to share some things about some very special people – our community partners. In the past few weeks we have been fortunate to have people in our immediate vicinity and in the greater Ann Arbor area take notice of Northside and join in our efforts to provide our students with some great opportunities.

Bethel A.M.E. Church is our near neighbor, just down the street on John A. Woods Dr.  Bethel serves as an evacuation site for us. In the event of an emergency school evacuation, as part of our safety plan, we have an agreement with Bethel that allows us to come to the church for shelter and safety. In addition, the church recently donated several dozen pairs of mitten and hats for our students. We appreciate their kindness to us.

The Ann Arbor Journal covered our International Dinner and our December PBIS assembly. We are thankful that it is proving to be a great partner in getting out some positive words about the real Northside and the wonderful things happening in our school.

As a result of the article in the journal, the Community Relations Manager for Barnes and Noble showed up at Northside bearing gifts! She said she was very touched by our positive behavior program and that B&N wants to partner with us to continue our efforts. She brought bobble heads, board games, game pads and card games that we will use as raffle prizes and other positive behavior incentives. This initial interaction may well lead to other opportunities to partner with Barnes & Noble in the future.

Northside Community Church is another community partner that has reached out to our school community. On March 1, they will be sponsoring a Leslie Science and Nature Center program for our students called Hunters of the Sky. This science program involving live raptors is designed to provide “a memorable, hands-on experience for students” and to complement the curriculum. 

I think we can declare our Kindergarten Roundup a success. About fifty parents joined us to learn about a day in the life of a kindergarten student, kindergarten curriculum and what it takes for a student to get ready for kindergarten. We also had staff on hand to provide information about child care, medical issues, enrollment information and to allow parents to register students if they desired. After the question and answer session, parents and children had an opportunity to visit the kindergarten classroom for a foretaste of what school will be like for them in the fall.

I want to thank each parent that attended our National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID).  It was nice to share stories, talk and howl with laughter over the shenanigans of our students. Northside staff – you are phenomenal! Thank you for the scrumptious breakfast foods and delicious desserts that you provided. Thanks to our PTO for its contribution to the day as well. These are the kinds of things that help actualize our school’s vision statement:

 At Northside, we envision a school where academic achievement is consistently high and/or improving; where children of all races, cultures and ethnicities see themselves reflected in the language used to and about them; where they see themselves reflected positively in classroom literature and hallway displays; and where they feel a sense of security, warmth, and caring towards them and ownership within themselves as a result of significant adults helping to foster this climate and culture.

Please make sure that we have current telephone numbers and email addresses on file.  We want to be certain you are receiving the information we send.

I want to thank whomever it was that gave me the elegant paisley boxed, wonderfully scented candle right before winter break. Please let me know who you are so I can say thank you.

Mid-winter break begins at the end of the day on Friday, February 17. School will resume on Monday, February 27. I hope everyone has a relaxing, refreshing vacation.

Wishing you all the best,


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January 2012

Dear Northside Families,

As we begin a new year, I want to share with you the foundation of all that we do here at Northside: our Vision, Mission and Beliefs Statements. These are the guiding principles for all that we do. These determine how our school looks, how it feels and how it sounds. I think it is important to note that much of this has to do with the roles that we as adults play in the lives of our students. Please take some time to carefully look at these statements. Let’s all make sure that we are doing our parts to actualize these goals.       

Northside Vision Statement

At Northside, we envision a school where academic achievement is consistently high and/or improving; where children of all races, cultures and ethnicities see themselves reflected in the language used to and about them. We envision a place where children see themselves reflected positively in classroom literature and hallway displays, and where they feel a sense of security, warmth and ownership as a result of the significant adults helping to foster this climate and culture.

Northside Mission Statement

The Northside community will support the learning and education of all students by encouraging them to reach the highest academic standards while celebrating our diversity, fostering social responsibility, and nurturing positive relationships among our students, parents and staff.

Beliefs Statement

1.  We believe all children can learn and that they share responsibility for their own learning.

2.  We believe in the value of children and respect them as thinkers.

3.  We believe all students can learn to be caring, socially responsible citizens who value and respect each other.

4.  We believe children must have a safe, supportive, positive environment in which to learn and grow.

5.  We believe that all members of our community have a part in providing for the academic and social needs of our students.


All the best,


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December 2011

Dear Northside Families:

The last time I said something about the weather we had a complete turn around, so I carefully note the rather balmy days we are experiencing. I guess, technically, it is still fall since our last day of school (Dec. 22) is the first day of winter. It looks like no one will win the snow prediction contest before next year!

Our community has worked very hard in the few months since school began and we have accomplished a lot.  

Our students began the fall learning all the components of our new PBIS initiative. Following our core values of being Safe, Respectful and Responsible, our September data indicated that 93.2 % of our students were meeting set behavioral expectations; in October that number increased to 95.4 %, and in November 96.2 % of our students were observing these standards. This good behavior has earned them weekly visits to our PBIS School Store. We have actually seen a good example of this expected behavior in our assemblies. At our November 22 assembly, 94 students were acknowledged and received certificates for “Staying in the Green.”  Kindergarten student, Angela Z., won our raffle and received a gift certificate to the movies! A group of fifth graders did a skit about respect. At our December 20 assembly, 95 students were acknowledged for “Staying in the Green!” Third grader David G. won our raffle and received a gift certificate from Domino’s Pizza. Members of the Student Council did a skit about being safe. You should be getting specific information about PBIS in your child’s class from each classroom teacher. Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher if you have questions.

Students drove in deeply to another component of school life and completed Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP), English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA), Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI), Scholastic Phonics Inventory (SPI), and a number of other classroom assessments that help determine their academic proficiencies and aid teachers in planning appropriate instruction.

Not wishing to be dull from all work and no play, our students also played floor hockey, enjoyed Bagel Fridays, visited the Farmer’s Market and Tantre Farms, skated at Yost Arena, enjoyed the Book Fair, visited the Ann Arbor District Library, went to a ballet at Eastern Michigan University, and reveled in CD days  – just to name a few enjoyable experiences they’ve had. We also had second grader Mridula S. put us on the map by getting into the Guinness Book of World Records for her hula hooping skills!

Our staff administered all of the above-mentioned assessments. In addition, they participated in a variety of professional development opportunities to enhance their own practice, began implementing the new AAPS evaluation tool and framework for teaching, and are participating in school and district committees from literacy to technology. We also completed three rounds of parent/teacher conferences. We finally let our hair down at an end of year party featuring food, friends and White Elephant gifts.  I think the bowling pin was the best one.

Our School Improvement Team (SIT) hosted our first Town Hall meeting of the year. The topic was PBIS. We are continuing to work to recruit parents and we are looking to ensure that our composition is representative of our student population. One effort to do so was a Meet & Greet at the Arrowwood Hills Cooperative, where a number of our community members reside. It was a great evening, enjoyed by 50 participants including parents, students and staff. We hope to host events in the near future at Carrot Way and at the University of Michigan Family Community Center. SIT currently meets on the third Thursday of each month at 7:45 a.m. In January, we will begin our work for next year’s School Improvement Plan.

Our Winter Break begins at the end of the day on Thursday, December 22. The school will be closed until January 9, 2012, when classes resume.

I wish everyone a safe, relaxing and happy time with family and friends.

Warmest regards,
Monica Harrold

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October 28, 2011

Dear Northside Families:

Good afternoon. First, I want to thank all of you who came to the International Dinner last night. It was a very successful evening. The food array was marvelous, the special clothing that people wore was a feast for the eyes and everyone appeared to have a good time. There was a journalist there and perhaps soon we’ll be in the news!

To the delight of the entire school, we are expecting Mr. Dekeon to return to work next week! He has been anxious to get back to work and we have all missed him a lot. I know he will be glad to see all of you.                    
I want to remind folks that if you would like to receive a Thanksgiving dinner, the deadline for letting me know is Nov. 1. Last year when we got responses after the deadline date, the M Den was not able to provide additional dinners, so the Northside staff rallied together and provided the extra boxes. This year, however, we hope everyone will be conscientious about responding in a timely manner.

Last Friday the power went out in the building. Some of you may have been without electricity as well. I cannot tell you how proud we were of our students (and I of our staff) as everyone adjusted and improvised so that we could finish the day at school. We finally got it back about 2:00 p.m. or so. You received an email informing you that the power was out, but things were going well. It was sent as if I was addressing the community. I feel the need to inform you that I did not send that email. District personnel created it. While I was informed that standard operating procedure was followed, and I believe the intention was good, it is important to me that when you receive anything with my name on it you can rest assured that I am its author. That being said, I appreciate the effort to ensure that the community was informed of the events of the day.

One final reminder, parent/teacher conferences will be held on November 3 and 7. Some teachers have additional dates and they will inform the families of their students. Please make sure you attend your conference, it is one of the most important meetings of the year.

There is no school for students on Tuesday, Nov. 8. It is Election Day. Staff will engage in professional development in the morning and teachers have the afternoon to do report card writing.

I wish each of you and safe and enjoyable weekend.


Monica Harrold
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October 14 2011

Dear Northside Families:

With the NWEA testing done, things appear to be slowing down just a bit. We are still getting the results of the assessments. Our Central Administration is working on communicating a consistent message to parents across the district about this process. It is new this year and we are still learning about it.  

Though NWEA is done, our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are now in the process of taking the MEAP. Thanks to the PTO and parents in individual classes for providing healthy snacks for our students.

I want to thank you for your increased cooperation in reducing the number of cars in the parking lot while our buses are in the circle. We are aiming for zero vehicle or pedestrian traffic in the circle while the buses are present.

Parent/Teacher conferences will be held October 25, November 3 and November 7.  This is the perfect time for you to spend time collaborating with your child’s teacher, learning about his/her academic progress, sharing your hopes and dreams for them for the school year, and communicating your concerns and support. If you have not already done so, please contact your child’s teacher and schedule your conference.

On Thursday, October 27, our students will have the opportunity to learn more about the Energy Awareness & Sustainability Education (EASE) program. This is a program designed to help save energy (and money). The EASE booth will contain an idea tree for students to populate, a pledge for them to take, a building performance update and an interactive lighting display. You can find out more about EASE by visiting the AAPS website and choosing About…Major Projects and Initiatives.

October 27 is also the date for our annual International Dinner from 6:00-8:00 p.m. This is always a fun event as well as a time to try delicious food from around the world. Many participants dress in clothing of their native land or country of origin. It’s feast for the mouth, the eyes and the cultural soul. Please join us – dress up – bring a dish to share.

Tuesday, November 8 is Election Day. There is no school for students. Staff will be engaged in professional development in the morning and teachers have the afternoon for writing report cards.

Thank you so much for your continued support. Northside is a great place and you help make it so.

Warmest Regards,

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September 23, 2011

Dear Northside Families:

Well we have certainly had a busy start to our school year! It was wonderful seeing so many of you at Curriculum Night. That says so much to us about your interest in your children’s education and your willingness to partner with us on behalf of our students. We have already had our first staff meeting, our first PTO meeting, our first School Improvement Team meeting, and our Welcome Picnic! We are experiencing so many new and exciting things.  

Speaking of new, I’d like to introduce you to our new fourth grade teacher, Ms. JaeJung Lee. Ms. Lee is already busy getting to know the students, staff and parents. Please join me in welcoming her to our community.

This week we began the Northwest Education Association assessments that we have been telling you about. The NWEA is intended to provide us with timely information about each child’s performance in both reading and math. We will use the results of the assessments to better address the needs of each of our students. Each classroom teacher is administering the assessment to his/her own class in our computer lab. The testing window for Northside is Monday, September 19 through Tuesday, September 27.  

We have started our school wide positive behavior plan, PBIS for short. We actually think we feel a difference in the school already. When you walk throughout the building you will see behavioral expectations posted for each area of the school. We are explicitly teaching students about these expectations. Students are being involved in role playing, rehearsing and dialoging about school behavior. We actually had the school buses come to school and each class went on the bus to reiterate appropriate behavior. The PBIS team has asked the SIT to sponsor a town hall meeting so that as parents you can become more informed and join us in this effort.  

Our first Town Hall meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 18th from 6:30-8:00. The evening will begin with light appetizers and we will spend the time discussing the program and answering any of your questions. We plan to provide childcare. You will receive more information under separate cover soon.

Just a friendly reminder – students who are picked up and dropped off by car should enter and exit the building at the back parking lot door. We are experiencing an exponential increase in the number of cars that are using the front parking lot to pick up and drop off students. This is a safety hazard. We ask that when the buses are in the parking lot, please do not drive around them. Our children are watching, and if we as adults don’t follow school rules and expectations, we decrease our level of success of having our children do so. Thank you for your cooperation.

Please make sure to read the entire newsletter. It contains a lot of important, useful information. I’d like to thank Amy Fraleigh for the great work she does as our editor.
As always, we welcome you as members of our school community. Stop in and see us. Come see the wonderful student work that is on display in our halls. Northside is a magnificent school and you help make it so. Let’s have an epic year together.

Monica Harrold
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September 9, 2011

Dear Northside Families:

The first week of school has proven to be as exciting as ever.  We have fifty new students in the form of our kindergarten students and a number of new students in our other classes.  If your family is a neighbor to one of our new families, please reach out to help them feel welcome to our community.  Make sure you come to the Welcome Picnic next Thursday, September 15 from 6:00-8:00 p.m., and maybe our veteran families can extend a personal invitation to our new families.  I’ll see you there!

Next Tuesday, September 13 is our annual Curriculum Night.  The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with classroom presentations by the upper grade teachers (3-5).  From 7:00-7:30 p.m. we have a general meeting of all parents and staff in the multipurpose room.  At 7:30 p.m. primary grade teachers will do presentations in their classrooms, with the evening ending at 8:00 p.m.  Join us and learn about our plans for your child’s academic school year as well as other pertinent happenings here at school and how you can be involved.

Thursday, September 15 is Picture Day.  This year we are going with a new vendor.  We would appreciate any feedback that you can give us.  You should have already received your packets.  There are additional packets in the office if you need one.
September 15 is also the date of our first School Improvement Team meeting.  If you are interested in being part of the team, or if you just want to attend to find out more, please feel welcome to join us at 8:00 a.m. in the media center.

On Tuesday, September 13, Wednesday, September 14 and Friday, September 16 all of our students will go through vision and hearing screening.  This is a free service provided by Washtenaw County to all school age children to help with early detection of vision and/or hearing problems.  

Each day one of the buses has been late either getting students here in the morning or picking them up from here in the evening.  I have spoken with the transportation department and they are working to correct the routing issues and other controllable circumstances that they encountered this week.  Please continue to call the office and let us know if there are problems so we can work with transportation to correct them.

Finally I want to once again appeal to those of you who drive your children to school – please follow our traffic rules.  Cars in the parking lot while buses are present is a real safety hazard.  We would really appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Let’s keep working together to make this an exceptional educational year for our children.



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September 6, 2011

Dear Northside Families:

Welcome to the 2011/2012 academic school year.  I must admit I’ve been a little stressed over the past couple of weeks with so many things going on in the district.  But when the first bell rang today and I saw the smiling faces of the children, and I got hugs from students (and parents!), when parents started sharing funny stories about the kids and I met new parents – everything just seemed to fall into place and I knew everything would be alright.

There are a number of things going on with our school that I want to share with you.

First I want to let you know that Mr. Dekeon, our Lead Teacher and PE teacher has been hospitalized for a couple of days for a medical procedure. We expect him to be fine, but he will be out recovering for a number of weeks. We will have a substitute teacher this week.  Beginning Monday, September 12, his former student teacher, Austin Hammond-Bennett, will be here for the duration of his absence. I spoke with Rick on the telephone last night and he was upbeat and of course his concern was for the children.  He told me “to go to school the first day, HAVE FUN, and no stressing allowed”.  If you would like to send a card or anything to the school, I will make sure that he gets it.

I also want to let you know that we have a few classes that are fairly large, most notably our fourth and fifth grade classes.  I have been communicating with human resources and central administration for a while about the impact on our students and will continue to advocate for them.  By now you have heard from the PTO and how they have joined our efforts on behalf of our children.

This year we have a couple of new initiatives that I want to mention here and will elaborate upon in the coming days.  One is our school wide Positive Behavioral Interventions Supports (PBIS) initiative.  I mentioned this at the end of last year.  This is a state and federally mandated program that we will be implementing that will provide a  \consistent, positive, proactive and responsive approach to reinforcing appropriate school behavior and eliminating unwanted conduct.

This year we will also begin assessing our students with tests from the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). The assessment is a nationally-normed evaluation that is intended to give us immediate feedback on student performance so that we can adjust our instruction to meet the needs of our students.

I will be sharing more about this at our Curriculum Night next Tuesday, September 13.  Watch for backpack mail, school messenger announcements, and email for more information.

Speaking of new, we have a number of new staff members this year. Geoff Anderson is our new special education teacher.  Rodney Mancini is our new school nurse.  Lenore Webb will be teaching fifth grade Spanish. Caroline Fitzgerald and Tim Krohn are teaching instrumental music.  Bonnie Kidd will be teaching some of our vocal music sections and Katie Millenbach is our new speech and language pathologist.

Rick told me to have fun, and a parent told me this morning “this is going to be a great year”.  With those things in mind, I am looking forward to a memorable year with you.


Monica Harrold

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June 16, 2011

Dear Northside Families:

We have completed another year together and I want to again thank you for all you do to make Northside such a wonderful community. I say this often, but I want to share some correspondence with you to let you know I am not the only one who thinks so.

From parents...

Dear Mrs. Monica Harrold,
We are Florentin and Aliona Paladi. Our son, Cristian Paladi, has finished his 2nd grade at Northside on May 27th, because the Fulbright fellowship at the University of Michigan ended on May 31st, and we return home to Moldova.

My son always had positive things to say about your school. It was comforting for us to know that not only is Cristian getting a great education, but he is happy at school as well. I and my wife thank sincerely his great teachers: Mrs. Sandra Chung, Ms. Jane Taylor, and Mr. Rick Dekeon.

Thank you very much for all your hard work! We really appreciate it, and the whole family thanks you! You're doing a fantastic job!

Yours truly,
Florentin and Aliona Paladi

Ms Harold,

My name is Andre, I am Gabriel Pinheiro’s dad. Gabriel has studied in Northside School in the last two years (Kindergarden and 1st Grade). In August we are returning to Brazil. I would like to thank you and your team for the excellent job that has been done in Northside School. I know how difficult is to administrate after last economic crisis but I recognize the efforts to teach in high quality.  My son loves the school, I would like in special thanks his teachers Ms. Chang, Ms Taylor and Ms Smith(Excellent Teaches) that help my child to acquire a new language (English) that was very important to integrate him in this rich environment where people from different places and cultures living together.

Congratulations you and your team in this noble job. Thank you very much, It was a
great pleasure to be part of Northside community.

Best Regards,
Lt. MS Andre Pinheiro
Naval Architect


Four years ago, I moved with my toddler son to Ann Arbor. Ben’s team at Northside has been wonderful. His teacher, Jan Smith, is a caring, smart educator who can handle him beautifully in the classroom. She has been instrumental in assembling a supportive web for Ben with his other helpers, all of whom I consider full partners in his education.
 My son and I “choose” to be a Northside family. It won’t always be perfect,
 because there are always problems in any human institution. However, Mrs. Harrold and her team of committed, excellent teachers will keep us there until Ben enters Clague.

Peace, shalom, salaam,

Cynthia L. Bostwick

Ben’s Mom

Dear Mrs. Harrold,

We just wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything you do to provide a positive, safe environment in which our kids can learn and grow. Our kids, Leif and Zoe have attended Northside since kindergarten and they truly look forward to going to school every morning. We have been very lucky to have such outstanding teachers for our kids at Northside – they all provide the right balance of challenge and support and they all make learning fun too.

Thank you for all you do.

Carissa Van Heest and Chad Doxey


My name is Jan Smith and I have been an Ann Arbor Public Schools teacher for 13 years. 12 of those years have been spent at Northside School. Northside is an amazing place. The biggest draw is the students. It is a multi-cultural, tight-knit community. The students and staff have bonds that will last a life time. It is never surprising to have high school and middle school students in the building because Northside will always be a part of their lives. I feel it’s important to take the time to spread the word about the great work and great leadership happening at Northside School. I consider it a privilege to work there everyday.

Evangeline Burgers…I had the opportunity to visit many schools throughout the district through various practicum and course meetings. In no other building have I seen the sense of collegiality, commitment to equity, and strength of student involvement (as at Northside).
Northside is a huge family, full of students who enjoy their time at the school so much that they keep coming back!

In addition to the student aspect of this community, I am struck with the honest dialogue colleagues at Northside have on a daily basis…I am constantly inspired to try new methods and think about situations through a different lens as a result of these courageous conversations. I am nervous that any other school I end up teaching at in the future will not compare to Northside Elementary School, because I truly believe it is the complete package.

…and kids

Mecca, 5th grade: I wish this school went all the way to high school, I never want to leave.
Adrianna, 4th grade…Northside is the most excellent school that I have ever been to.
Mridula, 1st grade: Northside is the best (complete with a colored picture and heart).

When I read and hear things like this I swell with Northside PRIDE.

I wish each of you a wonderful summer vacation.

With fond regards,


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