Sunnyland Elementary

"The Scoop"

A Note from the Principal

Greetings Sunnyland Families,

We are two months into the school year, and it has been heartening to watch students slowly get to know one another as they share their unique personalities, strengths, and interests. Given the nature of remote learning, it has taken longer to build those relationships than when we are in-person, but the connections are there, and they are strong. The authentic smiles and spontaneous laughter that I have observed in so many classes this past month have brought me a lot of joy.

One of the reasons I believe our children have been able to form solid relationships with their classmates and their teachers (even through Zoom!) has everything do with you. You have been by their side supporting them, guiding them, and co-teaching them. We have asked you to meet with teachers on an ongoing basis as academic partners this year, in a way that has been new for many of us. Thank you for investing the time to do so. We value your partnership. We know that children do best when families and schools work together to help them achieve their full potential. While teachers can share expertise on curriculum and instruction, you are experts on your children – from birth through adulthood. You play an essential role in your child’s education by supporting learning at home and advocating for your children. Our teachers are here to listen and learn from you, as well as to make sure you have the resources and information you need as we move forward together.

The relationships being made in service of student learning are so incredibly important and we want those to continue to grow. There is also an evolution of family conferences. For the next few months, you and your teacher may decide that fewer family meetings are needed, while still maintaining the academic partnership. Your input matters, and your teachers will continue to reach out to share decisions about frequency of meetings as well as the content of your time together, to make your family meetings relevant for you in support of the growth of your child. Thank you. We appreciate you.



Important Dates to Remember

  • Nov 2 Kindergarten returns back to school
  • Nov 6 No School for Students, Teacher workday
  • Nov 11 No School, Veteran’s Day
  • Nov 12 1st graders return back to school
  • Nov 16 Headstart returns back to school
  • Nov 25 Early Dismissal, 12:45
  • Nov 26-27 No School, Thanksgiving Break

Dear Families,

I am excited to start a monthly insert in the Sunnyland Newsletter. Each month I will highlight something from the book, Positive Discipline by Jan Nelson. This book is a helpful resource for raising kids who learn and grow into responsible, respectful and kind humans.

This month I want to ask you the question: What do you want for your children? Imagine your child is now twenty-five years old and has knocked on the door for a surprise visit. What kind of person do you hope to see in front of you? Someone who is kind, loving, responsible, nicely dressed, polite perhaps those were some of the words that came to mind? Many parents don’t realize that the methods they use to “discipline” their children are not helping to achieve what they really want for their children. Let’s create a road map:

Activity: Using a T-chart create a list of behavior challenges that you experience NOW and under the FUTURE create a list that you hope for your child. After you create this list, focus on the FUTURE list and think about the long-term goal for your kids.

You may ask, “But what do I do when my child doesn’t listen to me?” The first strategy in positive discipline is “Asking vs. Telling”, here’s what this is all about:

  • Children will listen to you AFTER they feel listened to.
  • Model what listening looks and sounds like for your child.
  • When children don’t listen, it could be that you are lecturing or making demands that create power struggles.

How to use this strategy:

1. Try listening first before responding, this includes the thinking in your head about what your response will be (try to fight that urge.) 😉

2. Try validating your child’s feelings by saying, for example, “I hear what you are saying, it sounds like that is really frustrating.”

3. Try asking questions that encourage conversation and motivation with your child.

Here are some examples:

1. Telling: Go brush your teeth

Asking: What do you need to do so your teeth feel squeaky clean?

2. Telling: Do your schoolwork

Asking: What’s your plan for getting your schoolwork done today?

3. Telling: Hurry up and get dressed you will miss

Asking: What can you do so that you will be ready for your zoom meeting with your class


4. Telling: Stop whining

Asking: How can you tell me what you need in a respectful way?

5. Telling: Pick up your toys

Asking: What is your responsibility when you are finished playing with your toys?

The neuro-science behind this strategy: Telling creates physiological tension in the body, and sends a message to the brain to resist. Asking creates physiological relaxation, and sends a message for the brain to search for an answer. Your child is learning to feel capable while searching for an answer to feel inspired to contribute to the problem at hand.

I hope this strategy is helpful for you as you navigate the hard job of parenting.

Your school counselor,

Ms. Miller

P: 360-746-4591

Sunnyland Rebuild Community Meeting

We are excited about the process of our new school. Below is the link to our Sunnyland Rebuild Community meeting that was held October 15th. The first half is the presentation of our design specs, and the second half is the Q&A portion. Thank you for all that were able to attend!

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Power Outage? Here's What to Do

Many of us have lost power in the last month, and it’s likely to happen again as we head into the winter months. With remote learning, power outages impact learning at a whole new level. Here are some general guidelines about power/internet outages that affect class:

1. ·If a student cannot login to class because your home has lost power or internet, please email or message their teacher(s) once they are able to. Our staff will help catch the student up.

2. ·If a teacher can’t start a class because of an extenuating circumstance, they will message their students and/or families as soon as possible with next steps.

3. ·If a teacher loses connection during a class, students should stay on the class for a few minutes while the teacher logs back in. If the teacher is unable to make it back quickly, please check students’ Seesaw for instructions from the teacher.

Some families have asked whether power outages would result in a cancelled day of remote learning, like a snow day.

The answer is that we will work to keep school running as much as possible. Just like with snow, the decision will be made at a district level on a case-by-case basis. The more an outage is short or contained to specific areas, the less likely schools would close. The longer the outage or the larger the area, the more likely schools could close.

The school district will use email, text messaging and the district website to communicate closures, if any. To be prepared, take a few minutes to login to Skyward Family Access and update your family’s communication preferences in the Skylert tab. If you need help logging in to Skyward Family Access, please contact Lil in the main office at (360) 676-6446.

We are all in this together.

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Computer support, repair, internet issues or ZOOM?

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2nd-5th grade students: You can put library books on hold using the school library catalog. When your books are ready, you’ll be notified via Seesaw. Books will be distributed on Wednesdays between 3 pm-6 pm via contactless service in the covered play shed; previously checked out books can be dropped off at the same time. See the attached video or document for more details on how to put library books on hold: video: document:

*Kindergarten and 1st grade students – Please send an email to with titles that you would like to check out. You’ll be able to put books on hold, too, once you have your school issued iPad and network account.

**Please fill out this survey if you would like to check out books but would not be able to pick the up on Wednesdays between 3-6pm.

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Lion Design Winner

Jasmin Gonzalez in second grade is our winner of the Lion Design Contest and her lion will be printed on this year’s Sunnyland t-shirts. Congratulations, Jasmin!

Thanks to all our Lion Design contestants, and to everyone who participated by voting. All design entries will be featured in the 2020/21 yearbook.

New Sunnyland T-Shirts Coming Soon!

This year’s t-shirts featuring the winning lion design will be ready for pick up in the next 2-3 weeks. We’ll provide more information as soon as we have specific dates. Remember, every student gets a free t-shirt!

Sunnyland 2020-21 PTA Officers

Co-President-Nickie Rail 760-917-0468

Secretary-Megan Porter 801-319-3366

Treasurer-Katina Briles-Honda 360-224-2171

Scrip-Pat Kelly 360-325-5296

Enrichment-Abby Atkins 360-389-1805 and

Cari Chan 360-201-9547

Communications-Laura Wood 360-318-3835

Fundraising-Kami Westhoff 360-223-1817

Yearbook-Allison Lecky 360-527-3096

Contact us

Si desea esta información en español llame al 676-6456

Bellingham School District, 360-676-6400


Main Office: 7:00-3:30

Attendance: 7:45-3:00 -

School starts: 8:30 am 2nd-5th Grade, Remote

School starts: 8:00 am Kindergarten, In person (1st grade starting 11/12)

School ends: 1:30 pm Kindergarten, In person (1st grade starting 11/12)