Friday, November 12th, 2021

Principal's Corner

Hello families,

Q2 (Quarter 2) classes begin on Monday! We are offering options for our families and students that support choice and safety. There are Zoom, excursion and more in-person options. We are particularly excited to be offering more in-person classes. We hope you've had a chance to read our email from Wednesday outlining in-person class guidelines. Below is that info again for your reference.

  • Students and families will meet their instructors at designated spots before entering the building. At that time, they will do a sign in process and check for any symptoms.

  • Masks are required at all times in the building. We do have extras on-site should students need them.

  • We are practicing social distancing, with students 3 feet apart and staff 6 feet apart. Students and staff can be closer than these social distancing guidelines for less than 15 cumulative minutes and not be considered a "close contact".

  • In normal times, you might send your child to class/school if they have a cold or the sniffles. We take care of each other during COVID by staying home if feeling sick at all. Should symptoms develop while in class, we will use the sign in contact to reach the family and send the student home.

  • Students can bring their own snacks if necessary. When students eat, they will be asked to move to a place that allows for 6 feet social distancing for a short time with masks off.

  • Upon entry students will wash their hands. We will also be using some assigned seating in order to monitor potential "close contact".

  • As many of our classes are project based and community building there is a potential for student to student contact. We will do what we can to support limited exposure but want to acknowledge the potential.

  • If you are late, please come to the main office and check in with the secretary before proceeding to the classroom.

Thank you for your partnership in working with these guidelines. We look forward to more in-person learning opportunities with students and we plan for our time together with whole families again in the future.

All the best, k

Upcoming Events

  • 11-12 End of Q1 – End of 1st Quarter Classes
  • 11-15 Beginning of Q2 – 1st day of 2nd Quarter Classes
  • 11-25 & 11-26 Thanksgiving Holiday - No School
  • 11-30 Homeschool 101 Workshop (see below for details)

Community Survey Data

Hello BFPP Community! Thank you for taking the time to respond to our recent Community Survey.

As you know, we use a variety of tools to stay connect to the needs and values of our diverse family community. One of the tools is community surveys that help to check our assumptions and gather input about the how you’d like this program to work in partnership with your unique family.

Please see below for a summary of our community responses and feel free to follow up with Kate Baehr or Erin McCarthy for more information or if you'd like to read the diverse responses to the open ended survey questions. We welcome your experience and partnership in creating this learning program.

Community Survey Data Overview

Middle School French Class - change in class day

Beginning second quarter, Francophonie for Grades 6-8 will be meeting on THURSDAYS at 11am-12pm, not Tuesdays as originally stated on the schedule. If you have questions please contact Teacher Piper.
Big picture

Homeschool 101: Getting to YES!! with Erin McCarthy

Tuesday, November 30th @12pm

This workshop, facilitated by BFPP teacher and homeschooler Erin McCarthy, will focus on the philosophical shift and home management techniques that support families in their role as primary educators. The intended audience for this workshop is families (adults) who are new to homeschooling and have chosen this option for a variety of reasons, but mostly because they feel in their hearts, heads, and bellies that this is how their child could best learn right now. Basically, we’ll be taking the energy of “Yayyy, I’m homeschooling!!” and addressing the “Well, now what?!”

Topics to be covered will be:

  • Empowering the educator inside me
  • Deconstructing “schooling” to promote “learning”
  • Using deep conversation and play to promote inquiry and development
  • Fostering independence in learning routines
  • Embracing the messy and normalizing uncertainty
  • Seeking mentors and establishing a support network

Enrollment is limited (capped at 20) to foster engagement and interaction, so please RSVP at

ZOOM link:

News from the library

The BFPP library is growing! Our goal is to match students with great books. This year our program welcomes library assistant Peggy Gallegos as well as librarian Lisa Christensen.

With these changes come some new services! Use the Library Catalog to search for books you wish to check out. You can email your list to your Learning Plan Partner. If there is a book that you would like to read but you do not see it listed in our school catalog, please email your LPP and we will see if we can borrow the book on your behalf from another school.

We also have a library budget this year to add books to our own collection. If there is a book that is not currently in our collection that you feel should be added, please fill out this form to suggest it. Happy Reading!

free dinner for any youth under 18 at Shuksan Middle School, Mon- Thurs, 5-6pm

Community Holiday Resources

Check out information on community holiday supports on the Family Support Services page of the district website. Details on the Community Toy Store and Toys for Tots with be posted there soon.

Homeschool Ski/Snowboard

Dear Bellingham Family Partnership and Whatcom County Homeschool Community:

This note is to let you know that our family is currently in the process of organizing the 2022 Homeschool Ski/Snowboard Group. This group is in partnership with Mt. Baker Ski Area and takes advantage of the Mt. Baker Winter Ride Youth Discount Program to get participants up to the mountain mid-week to build skills in skiing and snowboarding. Many of you have participated in this program in the past and this year we are going to see if we can offer it for two separate weekdays (Thursdays or Fridays) for 4 or 8 (optional) consecutive weeks. Here are the details for the program this year:


  1. Ages 7-17
  2. Participant of Homeschool Ski/Snowboard Group


  1. Session 1: (available on 1 midweek day for 4 consecutive weeks)
    1. Thursday, February 10- March 3, 2022
    2. Friday, February 11- March 4, 2022
  2. Session 2: (optional: continued for another 4 consecutive weeks= 8 weeks)
    1. Thursday, March 10- March 31, 2022
    2. Friday, March 11- April 1, 2022
  3. Lesson Times:
    1. 9-11am each day for 4 weeks
    2. Ski or snowboard lessons for abilities 1-6*
  4. Rentals and Lift Tickets:
    1. Lift tickets are valid all day on the 4 program days (necessary unless students have a Mt. Baker Season pass or are enrolled in the 5th Grade Free program)
    2. Rentals are valid all day on the 4 program days (not necessary if students have their own equipment)
  5. Online Registration will begin in early January 2022


  1. Lessons: $66 plus tax
  2. Rentals: $95 plus tax
  3. Lift Tickets:
    1. Child 7-11: $93 plus tax
    2. Youth Age 11-15: $134 plus tax
    3. Young Adult 16-17: $210 plus tax


  2. Contact Winter Ride Instruction at or 360-734-6771
  3. *Ability levels: 1—first timer, 2- has some experience, 3- comfortable beginner, 4- intermediate, 5- beyond intermediate, 6- advanced

If you are interested in having your child(ren) become a participant of our Homeschool Ski/Snowboard Group, please follow this link ( to provide the requested information by December, 1st. We will be adding your information to our “Participant Roster” and submitting our list of participants to the Mt. Baker office the following week. In January, you will be contacted to register online for the Mt. Baker Mid-Week Winter Ride Program using a discount code for our group.

**Please note that families are responsible for getting their child(ren) to and from the mountain. Additionally, we will be sharing an invitation to Slack—for those who want it—to organize ride-shares, gear-exchanges, and other community related information.

Please let us know if you have any questions. We’re looking forward to another great year!


Erin McCarthy and Kris Shimkus

(Parents of Lincoln and Finn Shimkus)

Inner Child Studio

Inner Child Studio is an event space for family play, community gathering, and educational opportunities.

Check out their many event options, such as PlayPods (rent a space/time to play with all kinds of different toys and materials), Open Play, Teen Lounge, and more. They even have an option to book a private workspace plus child supervision for folks looking to get a little work done.

Marine Life Center

Come explore the jewels of the Salish Sea in our aquarium!

We offer free 20 minute appointments at the Marine Life Center to visit with up to eight people in our facility. All visitors who have celebrated their second birthday must wear a mask. We keep our windows open to improve ventilation so please dress appropriately when you visit!

To make an appointment, please click here.

Or, join us at the beach for Whatcom Water Wednesdays. Follow us on Facebook to see where we'll be each Wednesday morning.

Logo Design Contest

Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award is celebrating 40 years of wonderful books by updating their award logo.

Students are invited to design a new award logo that will appeal to Kindergarten through 3rd grade students and represent Washington State. Our BFPP staff will choose two students' entries to represent our school in the contest.

If your student would like to participate, please download an entry form. Completed logos are due back to Principal Kate by Friday, December 3rd.

Check out the nominees for this year's best picture book (featuring Bellingham's own Phoebe Wahl among the nominees!) as well as see a list of the past 40 years of winners.