Wade King Elementary

January 2020

A Note from the Principal


Dear Wade King Families,


As we return to school, students will re-engage in units of inquiry, which are an important component of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program our school offers. Each unit of inquiry has a central idea, or conceptual understanding, that is important to know regardless of where you live in the world. Our teachers intentionally incorporate state standards for literacy, science, social studies, and math (when applicable) into units of inquiry so students are developing their understanding of central ideas at the same time they are developing as readers, writers, scientists, mathematicians, historians, and global thinkers - key outcomes of the Bellingham Promise. In addition to incorporating standards, teachers intentionally support our students' development of essential skills or Approaches to Learning (thinking skills, social skills, communication skills, self-management skills, and research skills). This leads to rigorous learning experiences for our students!


Our students are currently continuing or starting units with these central ideas:

  • Kindergarten - Scientists observe the world.
  • First Grade - Music creates images of narratives and events.
  • Second Grade - An object’s balance and motion can be described and changed.
  • Third Grade - Organizations use a variety of strategies to persuade society.
  • Fourth Grade - Forces of nature can be used to solve problems.
  • Fifth Grade - Ideas, feelings, beliefs and values are expressed when people align themselves with issues, movements and causes. This unit is the 5th grade Exhibition!


Mrs. Anderson, our PYP Coordinator and Technology Coach, worked with students to create the video below to show the learning each grade level was engaged in during December. Our whole school watched it during a school meeting, but I wanted to share it with you too!


Be sure to ask your child about the unit of inquiry he/she is engaged in and what questions he/she is hoping to find answers too!


Here's to great learning in 2020!

Stephanie Johnson, Principal

Peek Into The PYP Dec 2019

Important Dates in January & February

1/6 Welcome Back!

1/9 PTA Meeting in Library with visit from Dr. Baker 6-8 pm (childcare provided)

1/16 5th Grade Strings Concert at 9:30am

1/20 NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

1/23 Chinese New Year Celebration at 8:10am

1/28 NO SCHOOL - End of Semester

1/29 Field Trip: Mrs. Venter to Spark Museum 9:20am-12pm (sponsored by PTA)

1/31 Field Trip: Mr. Livezey to Spark Museum 9:20am-12pm (sponsored by PTA)

1/31 Set up for WK Chess Tournament after school

2/1 Wade King Chess Tournament all day (sponsored by PTA)

2/13 Family Game Night & Dessert Auction in cafeteria and gym 6-8 pm (sponsored by PTA)

2/17 NO SCHOOL - President's Day

PTA Meeting - This Thursday, Jan. 9th from 6-8 pm


Our PTA invites everyone to join them for their meetings in the Wade King library on the second Thursday of each month. At this week's meeting, Superintendent Dr. Baker will be joining us to share district priorities and answer questions. There will be supervision for school-aged children in the gym!

PTA Sponsored After School Activities

There is still room in many of our PTA sponsored After School Activities. You can see the catalog and register for winter activities online with this link. This is where you will also find information about scholarships. If you need support, call Mrs. McMeel or Mrs. Murphy in our office at 360-647-6840.

Do you know someone who has a child that will be 5 by August 31st? That child might be eligible for Promise K!

Promise K is a free, full day early entrance kindergarten for children who are scheduled to enter kindergarten in the upcoming fall. The program focuses on basic academic and social skills to help qualifying students get a jump start towards success in school. Students must demonstrate financial, academic and social-emotional needs and cannot be currently enrolled in another early learning program. Screening students for eligibility is happening now and schools sites are finalized based on enrollment. The first day of Promise K will be January 29th and it and runs until the end of the school year.


What is the Promise K screening?

The screening is an assessment used to determine your child’s development. During the screening your child may draw, count, name colors, jump and will have fun! Following the screening, you will have an opportunity to talk about the results and to ask any questions about your child’s development. The screening process usually takes about 15 minutes.


If you have a child who will be 5 by August 31st, contact Kris Newberry at 360-676-6488 to see if your child may be eligible for Promise K! You can also fill out an online application.

Celebrate Chinese New Year With Us - January 23rd at 8:10am

As part of our International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program, students learn the Chinese language and about the Chinese culture. During Chinese class, our Chinese teacher, Mrs. Hagin, is teaching students about the Chinese New Year. We will be celebrating our learning with our own Chinese New Year Celebration... complete with dragons, gongs, and songs sung in Chinese by our students.


We invite you to join us for this Celebration on Thursday, January 23rd at 8:10 am.


Our 5th graders will lead the dragon procession and our little lion buddy, Shizi, will explain the importance of Chinese New Year (in Chinese) with Mrs. McMeel providing the English translation. Hope to see you at school on the 23rd!


Gong Xi!

Mrs. Hunter Receives Grant

Congratulations to Mrs. Hunter, our Library Media Specialist, who wrote a grant for $5000 to buy new books reflecting diversity for ALL of our district's elementary libraries. Not only was Mrs. Hunter awarded the grant, but she also received an additional $1000 from the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation! And...Assistant Superintendent Mike Copeland matched that amount bringing the grant total to $12,000! Mrs. Hunter was presented with the grant at our Friday School Meeting with a surprise 'check' from Kathy Dooley and Kim Lund of our Bellingham Public Schools Foundation. It was a very exciting moment for both Mrs. Hunter and for our students. Mrs. Hunter is already working with other elementary librarians to buy books for all of our elementary libraries that reflect diversity, giving all students access to books that provide mirrors of their own culture as well as windows into cultures that are different from their own.

Thank You Snowflake Drive Participants

Taking ACTION is an important component of our Primary Year Program. Staff and students choose to take action by participating in events, advocating for something they believe in, promoting social justice, and making lifestyle changes. Our Snowflake Drive was evidence of our larger school community taking ACTION to support others.


We're sending a special THANK YOU to everyone who donated a gift and/or gift card to our Snowflake Drive. We were able to support many families!

Thank You PTA

We appreciate our PTA for sponsoring many special events and learning opportunities during the year. In December, PTA volunteers made the Scholastic Book Fair possible, organized our Winter Movie Night, funded our kindergarten field trip to Mt. Baker Theater, sponsored after school activities, and brought in storyteller Linda Tiffany, who shared an Ethiopian tale about 'The Perfect Orange.' THANK YOU PTA!

Strengthening Families

Strengthening Families Program now registering for 2020

Registration for the Strengthening Families Program is now open. Designed for families of youth who are ages 10 to 14, Strengthening Families is a nationally recognized program to enhance parenting skills, strengthen family bonds, learn effective communication and solve problems together.


The upcoming winter sessions will be held in English at Kulshan Middle School starting Feb. 11 and in Spanish at Shuksan Middle School beginning Jan. 8.


  • At Kulshan Middle School, it will run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Feb. 11 through March 24, 2020. Click here to register.
  • At Shuksan Middle School, it will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Jan. 8 through Feb. 26, 2020. Register at the Family Resource Center, Portable D at Shuksan. There is no online registration.


This seven-week program is for both parents and youth where they learn and practice together to help children develop into responsible young adults. The activities will help youth learn how to make good decisions and to reach their goals, and will also assist in building a strong, loving family that communicates well and has fun together. Parents and children meet separately and then together during each session.


Strengthening Families is an evidence-based substance abuse prevention program sponsored by Washington State University Extension and funded locally by the Whatcom County Health Department. For more information, contact kate.foster@wsu.edu.

Vinyl Stickers with New Logo

PTA spirit wear clothing sales have ended, but there are still vinyl stickers available for purchase with our new logo. Order forms can be picked up in the office and completed order forms (with cash or a check made out to Wade King PTA) can be placed in the locked PTA Mailbox in the office. These are great on windows, water bottles and hydro flasks, notebooks, and mirrors.


In additions to the vinyl stickers, our PTA has a few items left for sale from the Spirit Wear orders:


Adult Sweatpants in XL, L and M

Youth Sweatpants M

Adult Zip Hoodie L

Youth Gray, cotton t-shirt S and M


If you are interested in any of these items, please contact Julie Day, our Spirit Wear Coordinator at: julieaday@gmail.com

Weather Alerts and School

With the possibility of snow in the forecast, please plan ahead for winter weather and how it may affect our schools.


Depending on conditions school could:

  • close for the day,
  • open two hours late with regular bus routes or snow bus routes,
  • open on time with snow bus routes


Please familiarize yourself with our weather procedures here.


How can I get weather/emergency information?

Any changes to the school schedule are usually announced by 6 a.m., and we use a variety of methods to keep families informed:

  • Alerts: To receive email and/or text alerts, set your communication preferences on the Skylert tab within Skyward Family Access. (Need help? Go here for step-by-step directions or call 360-676-6520.)
  • Tune in to local media: 790 AM, 96.5 FM, 104.1 FM or Seattle media.
  • Check bellinghamschools.org
  • Check @BhamSD on Twitter or @bellinghamschools on Facebook.
  • Call 360-676-6400 for a recorded message.
  • Call 360-647-6815 for a message translated in Español, русский, tính từ and Punjabi


What is a snow route and how can I find it?

If your child rides the bus to school, please check bellinghamschools.org/snow-routes to find out your family’s snow bus route. If your students receive specialized transportation and may need to use an alternate inclement weather stop, you should have already received information about potential changes in your child's route.


A snow bus route (or snow route) is a modified bus route that generally runs on main roads rather than side streets or through neighborhoods. If snow routes are in effect, students must catch their bus at alternate stops. We have found that bus ridership is low on snow route days, so our snow bus routes run on main, well-traveled roads to increase the likelihood that we can keep school open (and reduce the need for snow make-up days).


During a weather event, please review Bellingham Public Schools weather communications carefully to determine if snow bus routes are in effect for the morning only or for the morning and afternoon routes. It is the responsibility of families to know their snow route bus stop and help their children know where to go.


If your child is a bus rider, please make arrangements to ensure the safety of your child at snow route bus stops.

Bellingham Food Bank

Food is available for families in our communicty at both the Food Bank, Christ the King Community Pantry, and Alderwood Elementary School Pantry.


Families are allowed to visit food bank sites two times per week. First time visitors need to bring proof of address within the Bellingham city limits dated within the past 30 days. Visitors may pick up food for two households total. (If you are picking up for another household, please bring a note from that family with their names listed as well as proof of address.)


Families are welcome to visit the food banks at the following times and locations:


Bellingham Food Bank main location — 1824 Ellis Street
Mondays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wednesdays, 1 to 6 p.m.
Fridays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Christ the King Community Church pantry — 4173 Meridian Street
Tuesdays, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.


Alderwood Elementary School pantry — 3400 Hollywood Avenue
Thursdays, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

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