In support of student and faculty well-being and continued learning during COVID-19, Northwest School faculty designed a Remote Learning Program for students 6-12. Congratulations to our faculty for their creativity, hard work, and care, and to our parents and students for their flexibility and willingness to adapt and engage. For details about the Remote Learning Program, click the links below.

We are so lucky to have such thoughtful leadership at our child's school. Thanks for all you are doing in this trying time. I am more grateful than ever for The Northwest School.

Parent of a current Northwest School student

Remote Learning Goals

In keeping with our mission and commitment to supporting The Northwest School community, a remote learning experience should: 

  • Continue the learning goals of the class. Focus on the skills needing to be acquired rather than a specific assignment needing completion.
  • Support our students and families in continuing our academic program. 
  • Include a variety of fun and creative activities that engage multiple modes of thinking and learning.
  • Offer opportunities for social connection, e.g., through small and class-wide videoconferencing.
  • Be collaborative and creative to support remote learning.
  • Create opportunities for faculty to gather for ongoing planning.
  • Support each other, learn together, keep a flexible mindset and maintain a can-do attitude!
  • Remote learning is not students sitting in front of their computers 6-7 hours a day watching hours of lectures and lessons and then completing worksheets to show they watched the lesson.

Norms for Student Behavior

These norms should guide your behavior as we work together online. We know that not all our students are able to join live/synchronous classes and we will support students who are logging in from different time zones.

  • Given the extraordinary nature of online learning in this time, even higher behavioral expectations for school are required. When behavior expectations are not met, teachers may report this to the Deans of Students, as they would when at school. The Deans of Students will communicate with students and families as needed. 
  • Join your class on time and follow all instructions given by the teacher. Teachers will be taking attendance for each class period. Log on before the start of class, so you join the class on time. To better replicate the classroom experience, all students should attend online classes with video on and microphones muted. Only students registered for the class should attend remotely.
  • Email, Zoom, Teams chat, Canvas Inbox, etc. should be used for school purposes during school hours. Outside of class time, students may use these social technologies, with parent/guardian agreement, to connect with one another.
  • Help maintain the integrity of our on-line learning experiment and maintain trust with your teacher and other students in the school. Students will not share videos, documents, chats, etc.
  • If you are needing extra support:
    • First go to Canvas and message your teacher in the inbox.
    • Independent work time and office hours can be used for this communication.
  • Be patient. Technology may not work quickly, and it may not work at all.
  • Stay in frequent communication with your teachers through the Canvas inbox and email. Ask clarifying questions, don’t delay in reaching out. Message your teachers if you are unable to complete an assignment, as you would while at school, and ask them for help and/or an extension. Keep in mind that your teachers are available during set office hours.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum. Avoid using your phone or having several tabs open when meeting with your class online. Keep only the tabs needed for your work open.

General Guidelines

  • Make sure you have a working device and internet connection. Use Chrome or Edge when using Canvas and update your browser frequently.
  • Install Office 365 apps and make sure you have any necessary software installed (Adobe, etc.).
  • Report issues with your device or internet connectivity to  Restart your computer from time to time and install updates for the device.
  • Know that Zoom meetings will be recorded and will be shared with students in the class.

Additional Guidance and Tips for Families

Please email to communicate student absences.

  • Designate a workspace for remote learning. Keep supplies (computer, texts for school, paper, pencils, etc.) easily accessible and organized.
  • Assignments are posted in the Canvas calendar. Help students make a daily plan, including how to break up larger assignments into smaller chunks. When completing homework, encourage a 15-minute break every hour, if possible. 
  • When completing schoolwork, help keep distractions to a minimum. Although a phone call or text to a classmate can sometimes be helpful, encourage limiting the use of media (TV, phone, internet browsing, online games, etc.). 
  • If there are continuing problems with the online learning environment for your child, reach out to your child’s advisor and ask for support.
  • Consider revising family media agreements to explicitly state when and where students should be on their devices, how long they should be on screens, and what appropriate use of the devices entails in your households.
  • If there are continuing problems with the online learning environment for your child, reach out to your child’s advisor and ask for support.
  • Tech support will be available throughout the school day via Teams and email:

Student Support Resources Content

School Counseling

During our school’s move to online learning, the counseling office will be available to students and families for solution-focused, and strengths-based support to problem solve, provide resources and referral resources. These include brief 20-minute sessions for students and families during our online “school day” and “off hours” support for our international students and families spread out across time zones.

Our school counseling department is not able to provide Telehealth services. Students who are already connected with a mental health provider outside of school are encouraged to maintain regular therapeutic check points.

If you are looking for therapeutic support resources for your student, please email our counselors for recommendations. Families may also reach out to Washington’s Mental Health Referral Service for Children and Teens. Resources may also be available from: your student’s primary care provider, a parent/guardian's employee assistance program, or a student’s insurance company.

Click here for more information about school counseling services at Northwest.

Learning Resources

The Learning Resources team is working in consultation with teaching faculty to help guide their thinking and approach to remote learning with an emphasis on supporting all learners. In addition to offering professional development opportunities, the department will remain in close contact with faculty through online meetings and emails to ensure students with LSPs are supported effectively. We will continue to check in, advocate, and support students with an academic need from a distance during this time of remote learning through email communication and Teams check-ins as needed.

Rae Page (grades 6-9) and Hillary French (grades 10-12) are accessible by email during regular school hours (8:00 am-4:00 pm). They will be relying on teachers, students and families to be in close communication should a need arise to partner together and help provide support. Do not hesitate to reach out to us anytime, as we are available and want to make this new way of learning as seamless as possible for all.


Upper School head coaches will communicate instructions for athletes to continue fitness and skill work remotely for the duration of this period of online learning and are available for questions and needed support. We urge athletes to plan each day with specific time allotted for sports practice as well as complementary activities for general health and wellness. For information about middle school athletics, please see updates from PE, Health and Wellness.


The Library team is working in consultation with teaching faculty to help support research projects and access to electronic library materials during this time of remote learning. Librarians will also stay in close contact with students to support research needs via teams/email/zoom. Students wishing to obtain research support or who have questions regarding works consulted lists/annotations, should email both Alicia and Charlotte to schedule an online meeting.

Overall E-Library Resources

  1. When utilizing NWS databases off-campus, you will need to enter username/passwords. Access the full list with password information here.
  2. Need access to an article/book and having trouble locating it? Email Alicia or Charlotte.
  3. Explore our e-book collection through the Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) using the location code tnws.
  4. All project LibGuides are organized by project name. You can also search or sort by subject.
  5. Audiobooks via Destiny Discover. You can access audiobooks on your personal devices. Log into Destiny using your Northwest School username and the password "Welcome 2019." Click here for instructions.
  6. Use Noodletools for student research or for close reading/reading comprehension help.

All Northwest Library Resources can be found online here.