Salmon Update

IMG_1621The eggs have all hatched!  The alevin, the next stage in the salmon life cycle, are now hiding in the rocks.  In the wild they would do this to protect themselves from predators.  In our aquarium you will find dark clusters of alevin hiding between the large rocks in the front.  Slowly they are growing and using up the energy from their yolk sacks.

Stop by the library to see them next time you visit Briarcrest!

Principal’s Message – 1/26/2016

Dear Briarcrest Families,

I had the distinct privilege of representing our school last week at the Schools of Distinction award ceremony.  I was joined by Trisha Massot, Cindy Ebisu, and Sara Sokolowski, along with the award winners from two other Shoreline Schools – Lake Forest Park Elementary and Cascade K-8.  We were given the award for five years of sustained improvement in English/Language Arts and Math.  It definitely reflects all of the good work that we have collectively been doing with our students, and I truly felt honored to receive the award on our school’s behalf.  Way to go, Briarcrest!

Next week brings one of my favorite events of the year, our World Heritage festival.  We will have a potluck dinner, crafts for the kids, a fashion show, and a dance performance.  We ask families to bring a dish to share, representing their cultural heritage.  Children who come dressed in clothing related to their heritage are invited to be part of our fashion show, and the Gualaguetza Dance Group will also teach us a dance as part of their performance.  Everything begins at 6:00 in our school cafeteria on Tuesday, February 2nd, and we will be done around 7:30.  I would like to thank Binh Thai and our Cafecitos group for all of their work in planning and putting on this wonderful evening!

We had a great turnout at our KinderFest event on Saturday, with over 40 new families visiting our booth.  Registration for Kindergarten in Shoreline begins on February 1st.  If you have neighbors with kindergarten-age children, please help spread the word and encourage them to come in and see us.

I hope you are also marking your calendars for our 5th/6th grade Performing Arts presentation of ‘Tut, Tut’.  Tickets are on sale now, and will be $7 for adults, and $4 for children.  All proceeds go right back into our program, and pay for licensing fees, costumes, sets, and theater costs.  All are encouraged to come and see the show!  It will be February 11th and 12th at the Shorecrest High School Performing Arts Center, with a curtain time of 7:00.

Wishing you all the best,

Jonathan Nessan
Principal | Briarcrest Elementary School

Minions Movie Night – Wednesday, January 20th

Family Movie Night – Minions

Wednesday, January 20th – Please note new date!

6:30 – 8:00

Briarcrest Gym


We will watch Minions at our January Family Movie Night.  It will be on a Wednesday this month, because Mr. Nessan will be going to a School of Distinction Award Ceremony Thursday night!  Popcorn and water will be for sale for 50 cents each.  To save our gym floor, we ask that water be the only beverage.   Please bring pillows, blankets, bean bags, sleeping bags, etc.  To help you decide if this is an appropriate movie for your family, please visit:


Principal’s Message – 1/12/16

Dear Briarcrest Families,

I hope you had a truly wonderful winter break with your family, and are settling back in to the new year.  It is so nice to see the children back at Briarcrest, and to hear about their adventures over the vacation.  I’ve been asking many students about their favorite thing about the vacation, and it’s pretty neck and neck between “Time with my family” and “Sleeping in”.

We have had a few staffing changes in the past couple of weeks that I wanted to share with you.  Shoreline is allocating counselors to our elementary schools, and we are so fortunate that Kelly Akemann has a strong counseling background and is able to move into that position for us.  Doing so created an open Family Advocate position, for which Val Anker has been selected.  Val has spent many years in similar positions throughout her career, and will be a great asset for our families and school.  I’ve been collaborating with both Kelly and Val on how they will best serve our students and families, and am grateful for their support.  We also have learned that John Ames, our orchestra teacher, will be out on leave for the remainder of the school year.  After much searching, Nick Wade has been hired to be our orchestra teacher in his stead.  Nick comes to us from North Carolina, with a wealth of knowledge to share with our students.  Finally, our head day custodian, Larry Erickson, has retired from the district after many years of service.  His last five years were here at Briarcrest, and I know that we all appreciated his hard work, good humor, and attention to detail, and wish him the very best.  Our new head day custodian will be Ian Kern, who most recently was the head night custodian down the street at Kellogg Middle School.  He is eager to become a vital part of our school community.

I have made a couple of small presentations to our PTA and Cafecitos group, and also to our school board, about a truly exciting potential opportunity for future Briarcrest students in the form of a Dual Language immersion program.  I look forward to sharing more information with you in the near future, and also hosting an information night next month.  The general idea that we are exploring would be to create a English/Spanish bilingual, biliterate (able to speak, read, and write in both languages) pathway for children, starting with one class of kindergarteners and first graders in 2017-2018.  There is a great deal of academic and brain research showing strong benefits to children who become bilingual/biliterate at a young age, and the lasting impact it has on them throughout their high school and collegiate years.  I will be firming up a date and time for an evening event, and will invite everyone to come and learn more about our proposal.

January is turning into quite the busy month.  I will be attending the School of Distinction Awards Ceremony on January 21st, and will be joined by Trisha Massot, Cindy Ebisu, and Sara Sokolowski.  Our district’s annual KinderFest, for incoming kindergarten families, will be on Saturday, January 23rd from 10:00 – 12:00 at the Shoreline Center.  I also have a team of teachers joining me for a trip to Houston, Texas, for the national Title I Reading Conference at the end of the month, which we are very much looking forward to.  Because of the evening events, I will need to move our Family Movie Night to Wednesday, January 20th, from 6:30 – 8:00.  We will watch Minions.  Hope to see you there!

Thank you,

Jonathan Nessan
Principal | Briarcrest Elementary School

The Salmon Have Arrived!

IMG_1607This morning Jim Siscel, retired Shoreline teacher, delivered our salmon eggs.  We have about 230 Coho salmon eggs in our aquarium.  Already there are several wiggly eggs.  I have a feeling we will see some hatched when we return on Monday!

Please feel free to stop by the library and take a look at the aquarium when you at school.  Raising salmon is an exciting experience for our whole community.

Special thanks to Adam Weybright for all of his help getting the salmon tank set up this year as well as Tim and Leah Sullivan for all of their IMG_1608research.  I really appreciate all of their support!

Carrie Wandler

Principal’s Message – 12/15/2015

Dear BC Families,

I am so proud and honored to announce that Briarcrest has won an award as a Washington State School of Distinction!  Our school is being recognized as one of the top 5% of schools in the state in our sustained reading and math improvement over the past five years.  I know it comes from the combined efforts of our staff, students, and families, and receiving this sort of recognition is both validating and gratifying.  Dr. Rich McBride, Superintendent of the North Central ESD and leading this work as President of the AESD leaders group stated, “In a year of unprecedented change across our state with new Common Core State standards and new Smarter Balanced Assessments, it is cause for celebration to see so many schools rising to these challenges and causing great improvement for our students. This award process highlights our need to continue to support improvement efforts of our schools and the dedicated and talented leaders and staffs that make this kind of increased student achievement happen. Our congratulations to the staff, students, leaders, and communities across our state for their exceptional efforts in service to our students.”  Way to go, Bulldogs!!!

As we head into our Winter Break, I would like to send you my warmest wishes for a wonderful and joyful vacation.  I will look forward to seeing you and your children back at school in 2016, and continuing our work here at Briarcrest!

Wishing you all the best,

Jonathan Nessan
Principal | Briarcrest Elementary School

From Nina Laden’s Visit

DSC00698 Thank you again to our PTA for bringing author and illustrator Nina Laden to our school!  We all enjoyed her engaging presentation.  We especially enjoyed her lesson on drawing dog characters.  Our students’ work was quite impressive! DSC00704  DSC00706DSC00705 DSC00707 DSC00708 DSC00709 DSC00710

Coming to Briarcrest: Author and Illustrator Nina Laden!

December 11th author and illustrator Nina Laden will be coming to Briarcrest!  Her books are witty and fun for the whole family to enjoy.  I have been sharing her books with our K-3 classes over the past couple of weeks and they have really enjoyed them.  Hopefully you saw the book order form that came home on Friday.  Nina will be autographing all of your orders!  Please have the orders and cash or check turned in by Monday, December 7th.  You can also download the order form here: Nina Laden Book Order Form Briarcrest

If you have a KCLS library card you can read some of her books in their premium databases Bookflix and Tumblebooks.

Special thanks to the PTA and Jamie Tuttle for organizing this event for our school!

Principal’s Message – 10/19/2015

FullSizeRenderDear Briarcrest Families,

Thank you to everyone who was able to come to our Alex Zerbe Comedy Show on Friday night!  That was really a hoot; I brought my son, and he kept talking about ‘the funny man’ all weekend long.  Alex did a Science assembly for us Friday morning, and used his various skills to teach the students about laws of physics.  Our PTA provided the funding for both shows, which is greatly appreciated!

As part of the event, we had our WatchDOGS volunteers sign up area.  I had over fifty volunteers sign up for a day this year, and would like to encourage others to join in, as well.  I’ll be adding our volunteers to our school calendar, which is on our school website at  If you would like to volunteer, just send me an e-mail with your name, child’s class, e-mail address, and preferred date(s).

I really enjoyed our conference week, as well – it’s such an important time for parents and teachers to be able to connect and talk about each child.  Our second round of conferences will be later in the spring this year, during the week of March 8 – 11.  Our elementary schools are switching from trimester to semester report cards, and it made much more sense to have the parent/teacher meetings in early March, rather than in January.

We have a number of fun and engaging events coming up at the school.  Our first movie night will be this Tuesday, October 20th.  I will switch back to Thursdays for the remainder of the year, but thought I would defer to the Seahawks for this week.  Next week, we also have our Cafecitos meeting on Tuesday, for our Spanish-speaking families, and our first Skate Night next Thursday.  And don’t forget to mark your calendars for our 3rd and 4th grade production of Disney’s Jungle Book.  It will be Tuesday evening, November 10th, at the Shoreline Center auditorium.  I’ve had some sneak peeks of the students practicing their songs in Music class, and I know it will be great!

Wishing you all the best,

Jonathan Nessan
Principal | Briarcrest Elementary School

Usborne Book Fair! Coming Soon!

Come to the Usborne Book Fair!

Wednesday October 14th– Friday October 16th


An Usborne Book Fair is coming to Briarcrest!

Shop the display of non-commercial titles for all ages, infant through teen.

Select from award-winning non-fiction, fiction, activity books, and homework helpers.

Purchase books for gifts, your home library, or for the school (teacher Wish Lists available at fair & online).

Browse the full Usborne catalog & place your order online at now!

Briarcrest will receive up to 50% of the sales in FREE books!!

For your convenience, cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are accepted