Geneva Family Gnome News

March 2022

A note from the principal...

Hello Grown Gnomes-

Spring brings longer and brighter days. Our hallways are filled with excitement as our students eagerly share what they are mastering. Our walls are covered with artwork and various products of learning. With a few more months of learning and growth there is a lot to celebrate this year. As the world returns to a new normal following the shutdown and tight restrictions, there is joy and appreciation for a typical school day.

All students have returned to eating in the cafeteria together with distancing, and masks are now optional. It has been fun to watch students see their friends faces for the first time in a long time. A friend from Promise K told me, " I like your face Mrs. Steinkamp!"

Some of our COVID protocols have been opportunities to reimagine school systems and routines. Our revised morning drop off behind the school has been something that is effective and efficient. We will continue to keep the back parking lot open with an adult to greet children arriving by private vehicle going forward.

Before COVID, families who picked up their students after school met their child in the cafeteria. This was a practice that was hectic, crowded and complicated to manage. You will be receiving a PDF and a video describing our dismissal procedure that will go into effect on April 11th. We will no longer use the afternoon car lines, name cards and rolling pick up procedure.

Starting April 11th, students who are being picked up, will meet their grown up on the black top on the playground. Families choosing to transport their child will bike, walk or park to pick up. More detailed information will be shared early next week.

The Geneva Family Gnome News this month has a lot of information including several ways we are seeking your input and feedback. Dr. Baker has invited all families to join him via Zoom on March 29 from 5:30-6:30 to provide input about the search for the principal who will join our community next school year. The Zoom link is included below.

This is the time of year that we begin to think about welcoming and registering our new Kindergarten class as well as preparing our 5th graders as they get ready to head to middle school. Details are included below.

If there is anything we can do to support your child or your family at Geneva, please reach out. We are here to help!


Sharece Steinkamp

Upcoming Events

Mar. 24 - Early Release

Mar. 29 - 4th Grade Field Trip to Whatcom Falls Park (Salmon release)

Mar. 29 - Mrs. Neyman's 5th Grade Class Field Trop to Whatcom Falls Park

Mar. 29 - 6:30-7:30 PTA Meeting

Mar. 30 - Vision/Hearing Re-Checks

Mar. 31 - Early Release


Apr. 2-10 - NO SCHOOL - Spring Break

Apr. 11 - Mrs. Miller's Health Class

Apr. 12 - Mrs. Revard's Health Class

Apr. 13 - Mrs. Neyman's Health Class

Apr. 14 - Early Release

Apr. 18 - Class Picture Day

Apr. 21 - Early Release

Apr. 28 - Early Release

For 5th grade families-

Middle school teams will visit our 5th grade classes the later half of April to begin to talk about next year.

May 11- Hold the date for Family Night at your new middle school

May 13- Enrichment forms will be due

June 3- 5th Grade Track Meet

June 15- 5th Grade Promotion Celebration

A Message from Superintendent Greg Baker

Dear Geneva Elementary School families,

As we begin the search for a new Geneva Elementary School principal, we would like to request your input. Please join me and district staff from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 29 via Zoom. During that time we will share the hiring process timeline and opportunities to provide input on the desired characteristics and qualities for a principal.

Please join the meeting using this link, passcode: 647165. To simply listen in via phone, call 1-253-215-8782 and enter meeting ID: 882 5762 7860.

If you’re interested in providing feedback but unable to attend this meeting, we would still love to hear from you. You are welcome to complete this form if you’d like, using The Bellingham Promise as a guide or simply email us your thoughts by April 5. We’ll use this information, as well as input gathered from staff, to inform the hiring process.

To request an interpreter for this event please contact or 360-746-9132. Si quiere un intérprete para este evento por favor contacte o 360-746-9132.

As always, your participation and feedback are appreciated.

Thank you,

Greg Baker

Your voice matters, we want to hear what you think.

Please set aside 5-10 minutes and help us collect important information about how our families and students experience our school: We use this confidential information to help us know what we’re doing well and what we can improve on. The feedback link is live between March 22-April 1.

There's Gnome Place Like Geneva!

We are partnering with Geneva PTA to collect a yard gnome for each of our Geneva neighbors who has graciously and patiently supported our COVID pick up and drop off procedures. Our Geneva neighbors have had driveways, mail boxes and access blocked to their homes and neighborhood for 18 months so that we were able to maintain distance and cohorting during COVID.

As restrictions lift, and we return to pre COVID practices, we want to acknowledge and show appreciation for our neighbors. Each of our 21 classrooms (including Promise Kindergarten and our Preschool) will adopt a neighbor to send notes of gratitude and well wishes along with a garden gnome.

If you are interested in supporting this project, our PTA will help us collect garden gnomes through April 8th. Donated gnomes can be dropped off in the main office.

5th Grade Track Meet - June 3rd

5th Grade Track Meet - June 3rd

This year is the 50th 5th Grade Track Meet!

On June 3rd ALL 5th grade students from around the district will come together at Civic. This event showcases their learning, builds community, and is really fun! Families are welcome.

The Bellingham Schools Foundation is purchasing a special Geneva track meet t-shirt for all 5th grade students. Our fifth grader students will be invited to submit logo designs to be selected by the 5th grade student body with the top honor being featured on our t-shirt.

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Free books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library arrive in Whatcom County

Free books for children aged birth to 5 will soon be available in Whatcom County thanks to the Dolly Parton Foundation and her flagship early childhood reading program called the Imagination Library. United Way of Whatcom County is serving as the local affiliate for Dolly’s world-wide program.

Once a child is registered, a free, age-appropriate book is delivered monthly to them until they are five years old. That’s it. It’s that simple. The books are selected “to provide a variety of inclusive and diverse titles,” according to United Way’s news release. Read the full news release here.

Register your babies, toddlers and preschoolers today!

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Calling all future Kindergarten Gnomes!

It's finally here, it's time to register for Kindergarten! Registration is open for next fall. Let your friends and neighbors know.

Attendance Matters

Showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic success starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school. Even as children grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day and understand why attendance is so important for success in school and in life.

We realize some absences are unavoidable due to health problems or other circumstances. But, we also know that when students miss too much school, regardless of the reason, her or she may fall behind academically. Research shows:

  • Children chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade are much less likely to read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade.
  • By 6th grade, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign for students at risk for dropping out of school.
  • By 9th grade good attendance can predict graduation rates even better than 8th grade test scores.

Absences can add up quickly. A child is chronically absent if he or she misses just two days every month!

Please ensure that your child attends school every day and arrives on time. Here are a few practical tips to help support regular attendance:

  • Make sure your children keep a regular bedtime and establish a morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
  • Ensure your children go to school every day unless they are truly sick
  • Avoid scheduling vacations or doctor’s appointments when school is in session.
  • Talk to teachers and counselors for advice if your children feel anxious about going to school.
  • Develop back up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, neighbor, or another parent to take your child to school.

Let us know how we can best support you and your children so that they can show up for school on time every day. We want your child to be successful in school! If you have any questions or need more information please contact the front office, we are here to help.

Do you know how to report a safety concern?

I you have a safety concern for your child or others, you are always welcome to call the Geneva office and ask to speak with Principal Steinkamp. 360-676-6416 is the phone number for the front office.

Below is an additional way to to anonymously and immediately report safety concerns through our Safety Tip Line. If you have a concern, we want to hear from you!