Wade King Elementary

APRIL 2020

A Note from the Principal

Dear Wade King Families,

In the past two weeks, our focus has been supporting our four district goals:

1. Protect life, promote safety and minimize the spread of the virus. Our staff is doing a great deal of learning and collaborating while practicing physical distancing. We have also donated medical supplies and hand sanitizer from Wade King to support needs in our community.

2. Provide food to young people in our community. Wade King is one of many locations where you are encouraged to pick up food if that would be a support for your family. Come on Mondays and pick up a food box with breakfast and lunches for the week. We have a great pick-up system to maintain physical distancing!

3. Work with community partners in supporting child care options for our first responders, medical employees, and families in greatest need. Our school nurse, Alyssa Johnson, has been involved with this, and other Wade King staff may support this as well. This flier has information about childcare for EMS, law enforcement, firefighters, medical staff, pharmacy staff, and grocery store workers.

4. Develop innovative ways to support ongoing student learning. Beginning Monday, your child's teacher will use Seesaw to share a weekly learning plan and daily videos or messages to help your child renew, refresh, and review previously learned skills and content. We recognize that each family is in a different place. This is not meant to be homeschooling, with parents teaching their children new information. If you are looking for learning opportunities beyond what your child's teacher provides, remember there are many resources on our WK Catalog. If we are sending too much, you decide what your child engages with. The most important thing for your child right now is a predictable and loving environment. We are also working on getting laptops and the internet to students who need it. If you have filled out a Technology Request Form, you will hear from us soon.

Above all, what our children need most right now is predictability and love. In a time of uncertainty, that's not easy to do. There are some great tips from Jaymie Wakefield, our school counselor, below.

Like always, please connect with me if you have questions or if there is something you need.

With Gratitude,

Stephanie Johnson, Principal

Important Dates in April

As of Today...

4/30 Last Day to Turn in Talent Show Videos

5/5 UPDATED... This is the earliest we could return to school given Governor Inslee's extension of the Stay Home order.

Free Breakfast & Lunch - Spread the Word!

A district priority during school closures is to provide food for students 18 and younger. Starting Monday, Wade King is one of several locations across Bellingham where you can drive up to pick up a box full of breakfast and lunch food for the week between 11am-12:30pm every Monday. Don't hesitate to take advantage of this if it would be a support for your family.

Home Learning Through Seesaw

If you or your child are having difficulty accessing your Seesaw account, please let your child's classroom teacher know or email Hana Anderson, our Ed Tech Coach. They are both very willing to support you!

Your child's teacher sent you directions to connect to the CLASS app last week. The CLASS app is where teachers will post learning plans, videos, and messages and your child can reply and add his/her work. All of this will be done within the JOURNAL. Your child will not be able to see private messages you have sent to his/her teacher through the FAMILY app.

As a parent, you can see what your child's teacher is posting in both the CLASS app and FAMILY app. The FAMILY app gives you a way to privately message your child's teacher.

Counseling Support

Jaymie Wakefield, our school counselor, is always willing to support families as they work through challenges at home and access community resources. PLEASE email her if you'd like her to give you a call! She would love to provide support or be a thought partner.

Tips from Jaymie

Children co-regulate with trusted adults. They feed off our emotions and our internal states.

In other words, adults in the home set the tone. Even our body language can signal a lot to our children and we can unknowingly be sending out an “undercurrent” of distress or worry. As adults, we may have some real concerns and worries. Some are in our control, some are not. Check-in with yourself. Practice calming strategies such as deep breathing, exercise, and time in nature. You can even invite your child to do these calming strategies with you! Limiting news and social media may help you set some worries aside. Model for your child how to limit these things that may increase anxiety. Be that safe place; Signal to your child that while this is new and different, it is okay.

Some tips to help you:

Name those Emotions: By naming emotions and acknowledging them, we take away some of the risk of being overwhelmed by our feelings. Allow your child to share how they may be feeling and offer simple statements, “You are safe.” “I hear you, and we will get through this together.” And “I am here with you.”

Validate Feelings: When your child shares a worry with you, it is tempting to brush their worries off with “You’re fine” or “I’m the adult, I’ve got this.” We can validate their feelings by answering their concerns honestly, with age-appropriate responses. It is also okay to say, “I don’t have the answer to that and that might feel uncomfortable. What I do know is that we are safe and healthy, and I am here with you.”

Connection Matters: Add connections where you can. If your child is anxious when you head out to work, add a new routine like calling briefly during a lunch break (choose something you can stick to!). Some parents worry this may feed anxious behaviors, but increased connecting and routines actually help diminish anxious behaviors over time. If you can, join your child for some Lego building time, story-time reading, or some good ol' fort-building. Not only does this help your child’s stress level decrease, but you may also notice your stress level decreasing as well!

Routines, Routines, Routines… We have all heard that routines are important…because they are! Routines give children a sense of direction, allow them to predict their day, and limit feelings of chaos that can be overwhelming. Children are less likely to argue or protest if they know what is coming in advance. As much as possible, let your child know what to expect in their day. If they help build their schedule, they will be more likely to follow it. You may have “non-negotiables” on the schedule, and some tasks that are negotiable. Keep the schedule where children can easily see it too. Allow for free time in your schedule if possible. The schedule should be a guideline of how the day might go, but not every minute needs to be accounted for. Have a list of activities your child can self-selective from when the boredom hits. (And boredom is okay!)

Contributing to Family Needs: Students at Wade King feel valued in many ways. One important way they contribute to our school community is by having classroom jobs. At home, we might call this ‘having chores.’ The idea is that all family members help take care of the home. This might be a time to introduce, or revisit, what it means to have chores at home, like having a job in our classroom. We all contribute to our learning and living space.

Setting a Positive Tone, our Language Matters: Have you felt out-of-sorts? I know I have! It is tempting to mutter out loud our feelings of being cooped up or stuck at home. And on occasion, it may be a good idea to validate those feelings that family members may be having around being “stuck at home.” And we can shift the perspective. We can appreciate the gifts this time may be offering us (some will only be evident as we return to the bustle of our previous life). We can monitor our language and focus on some positives. At Wade King, we offer opportunities to share compliments with our classmates. These are words of appreciation and acknowledgment students offer one another. Students often state what it is they might like to be acknowledged for and students would offer that acknowledgment specifically. Creating a morning, or an evening ritual of compliments in your home can help everyone focus on the positives.

Forgive Yourself and Ask For Forgiveness – Your worries and stressors won the day? It is healthy for adults to apologize to children. We can model the complete apology when we say, “I’m sorry for… I realize that my action made you feel… Instead, I will… (or I wish I had….)”

And, don't hesitate to email me if I can be a thought partner!


Salmon Release

The salmon we watched grow were released into Padden Creek on March 16th. If you haven't seen the video of their release, check it out! We plan to have another group of salmon eggs to watch next winter.

Ethiopian Pottery

As part of our schoolwide inquiry into the culture and geography of Ethiopia, our PTA visited each classroom to teach students about the importance of clay pots in Ethiopia. Then, each student was able to make a clay pot. Those clay pots have now dried and when we return to school, we will be able to paint them and take them home. Ask your child to tell you about the pot he/she made!

Math Olympiad Competition

These students participated in Math Olympiad after school since this fall. Students put their math skills and collaboration skills to work during the county-wide Math Olympiad competition in March.

Our 4th grade team, with only 3 students, managed to lock in the third-place team spot out of 28 teams. In addition to that Jasmine, Llyr, and Owen all placed in the top 10. For competing as a team of 3 instead of 4, they were amazing!

Our 5th Grade team had 24 mathletes forming six teams. This included several students from our neighbor schools. All six of our 5th grade teams placed in the top half with four of those placing in the top 10. Logan, Vivian, Easton, Andrew, Chelsea and Dean placed in the top 10 during the individual competitions.

Big picture

YETI-- Just under the Wire!

On Friday, March 13th we finished our school YETI season with the 5th grade competition. It was the culmination of a winter full of reading 12 exciting novels, solving lots of fun puzzles (happily made by yours truly), debating the best/worst of the villains, the happiest/saddest of endings, and the most/least envious settings. New friendships were made, real and imaginary! (Some of my best friends live only in books.)

Congrats to our 4th graders, too, who finished their YETI season Feb. 28. If you'd like to see a slide show of the YETI books, click here. Almost all the titles are in the Washington Anytime Library and can be downloaded for free with Libby. We hope that our school champions will somehow get a chance to compete in a city-wide competition, but the real fun happened while we enjoyed each other’s company once a week to play and chat.

Long live YETI!

Virtual Talent Show

Our Annual Talent Show was rescheduled for May 22nd, but we may not be able to be together in a large group so we are trying something new!

This year, Talent Show performers will submit a 30-60 second video before April 30th to share their talent. These video clips will be compiled into a 'Wade King Has Talent' video that we will either share live on May 22nd (if we can be together) or send out to Wade King families as a link.

This is a wonderful opportunity for your child to demonstrate the attributes of the I.B. Learner Profile. Talent show performers are open-minded, thinkers, knowledgeable in their area of talent, and they are definitely risk-takers. Acts previously premiered in the Talent Show include dances, gymnastics routines, instrument pieces, magic tricks, acting and skits, singing groups, joke-telling, poetry, martial arts routines, hula hooping, and more. Being able to videotape your talent opens it up to many talents that would be hard to share on a stage. Who are our rock climbers, ice skaters, etc?

Video clips need to be emailed to Ms. Adita (who is a WK parent, staff member, and PTA Vice-President) or texted to Mrs. Johnson (360-201-7801) before Thursday, April 30th. There are a few guidelines for planning your act...

  • Video clips need to be 60 seconds or less.
  • Students who wish to sing songs must do so acapella or have accompaniment (pre-recorded, karaoke or live instrument). No lip-synching.
  • If an act includes music, parents should support students in choosing music with content that is appropriate for all ages.

State Testing Cancelled This Year

Each year, our 3rd-5th graders take our state Smarter Balanced Assessment. As a result of the statewide school closure, state testing will not happen this year.

April 1st - 2020 Census Day

The U.S. Census Bureau sent you an invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census between March 12-20. Responding to the Census helps our community get its fair share of funding.

You can complete the Census online, by phone or by mail. Your responses are safe and secure. The law requires the U.S. Census Bureau to keep your information confidential, and your responses cannot be used against you in any way.

Learn more about how you can shape your future at 2020census.gov.

Safe Schools Reporting and Tip Line

Students, parents or community members who have information, tips, or concerns regarding a safety issue in our schools are encouraged to text or call 844-310-9560 or visit bellinghamschools.org/safe for confidential, anonymous, two-way communication with our safety staff.

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