Columbia Splash

November 2020

Note from the Principal

Hello Columbia Cohos!


It is hard to believe we are already heading into November. This transition comes with the opportunity to bring students back into school. Starting on November 2nd, we are bringing back students in Mrs. DeGolier, Mrs. Quigley, and Mrs. Goette's classrooms. We have been working hard as a team preparing and are very ready to bring students back to school safely. We will bring additional 1st graders and students in Mrs. Dalvit’s class back on November 12th. I truly can't wait to have kids back in our school!


At this time, I also want to acknowledge how hard everyone is continuing to work remotely. Staff and students are doing an exceptional job engaging in learning at high levels albeit remotely. Kudos to our students for being principled and working hard to keep their learning going during this time. Keep up the great work! Parents and guardians, I really cannot tell you enough how appreciated you are. We know being a parent/guardian and a school teacher at the same time is really challenging work. Your partnering with your child’s teacher in support of your child’s learning has been nothing but truly exceptional. We deeply thank you!


Thanks again and have a great month of November!


Aaron

Upcoming Events:

NOVEMBER:

Nov. 1 - Daylight Saving Ends

Nov. 3 - Election Day (Remember to vote)

Nov. 4 - All School Assembly 9:15am

Nov. 6 - No School for Students/Teacher Workday

Nov. 11 - No School/Veteran's Day

Nov. 18 - CPA Meeting 6:00, followed by Family Connection Hour 7:00pm

Nov. 26/27 - Thanksgiving

DECEMBER:

Dec. 1 - Family Connection Hour 6:00pm

Dec. 2 - All School Assembly 9:15am

Dec. 21-Jan. 1 - Winter Break

Power/Internet Outage

Some of our teachers and students have experienced power outages that affected their classes.


Here are some general guidelines to follow when there are power/internet outages:


  • 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 your student up.
  • 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.
  • If a teacher loses connection during class, students should stay on the class for a few minutes while the teacher logs back in. If the teacher in unable to make it back quickly, please check students' email/Teams/SeeSaw for instruction 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 Michele Foster at 360-676-6413.

School Grounds...

With students returning, school grounds (campus) is closed to our community members. Thanks for helping us keep our kids safe!


Students will be using the playground and the field. Please help us by following the expectations for dogs on the playground:

  • Dogs are not allowed on campus from 7:15-2:00
  • Dogs must always be leashed on school grounds
  • Please clean up after your dog and dispose of waste in a garbage receptacle


Thank you for being principled neighbors and helping our kids be at school safely.



IB Learner Profile

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We encourage you to print the learner profile poster and hang it up on your fridge. Talk with your child(ren) about the ways in which they are demonstrating the attributes of the learner profile and how they can become more responsible members of local, national and global communities.
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COUNSELING & WELLNESS

We want to continue to provide you with supports and resources during the year. The following are a few supports available to families for holiday support and connection with the school counselor. Additional mental health and wellness resources are also listed on our district website at: https://bellinghamschools.org/resources/mental-health/.


HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE:

The following agencies are offering holiday assistance this year. Families may contact these organizations directly for support. Many organizations have application deadlines of early November, so families are encouraged to apply for assistance as early as possible.


School Counselor Resources:

Our school counselor, Alisson Bonner, is available to meet with families to provide mental health resources, information on food support options, parenting resources and other community supports. Please email her directly at Alisson.bonner@bellinghamschools.org to set up a phone or zoom appointment. She's also available for individual connections.


She's also interested in collecting feedback about additional supports that could help your family. If you are interested, please click here. Your feedback is appreciated!


Family Connection Hour: "Screen Time! Managing Technology in Remote Learning"

As the school shutdown has continued, families may be experiencing continued challenges at home juggling technology, work, childcare, teaching, and the changing social-emotional needs of their children. If you find yourself needing more tips and resources for support, or wanting to connect with your school staff and other families, please join Columbia’s School Counselor, Alisson Bonner & IB/Tech Coordinator, April O’Halloran, for our second Family Connection Hour of the year. This gathering will be conducted via Zoom and will offer parents an opportunity to connect, share success stories, discuss struggles and learn tips for managing the screens in our lives.


Family Connection Hour: *Offered in conjuction with Columbia's CPA Meeting this month

Tuesday, November 18, 7:00pm – 8:00pm

(*NOTE: Screen Time conversation will immediately follow CPA business)

Topic: Screen Time! Managaing Technology in Remote Learning

To join CPA/Family Connection via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88463748972?pwd=NGxuSzRtVjJsSUZoMFBkcWE2dGl1Zz09

Meal Box, FREE for All kids!

Every Wednesday, free meal boxes will be distributed from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at 15 school locations and six community locations. Each box contains a scratch-made entrée out of the Central Kitchen of Bellingham Public Schools. Any updates will be posted at here or shared on Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to follow @BPSCentralKitchen for photos and news.

Columbia Library Book Checkout

If you would like to checkout books from our library, students can sign into their library accounts and put books (10 total) on hold through our library catalog. Click here for more instructions or contact Kirstin.Copeland@bellinghamschools.org.


The link to the library catalog is https://search.follettsoftware.com/metasearch/ui/25719

SCHOOL GARDEN - HELP NEEDED

Without classrooms visiting school gardens this fall, we are missing the many hands that usually help put the gardens to bed for the winter. If you would like to help winterize our gardens, please visit Common Threads Farm website at https://commonthreadsfarm.org/ to volunteer. Families are welcome. (Note: There are COVID-19 safety protocols in place to keep everyone safe).

They also have cooking classes for kids ages 5+ on Zoom and are open for registration! Classes take place on Tuesdays 4:00-5:00pm. Sign up to secure your spot in one of the next classes (Veggie Sushi, Mixed Greens Pesto with Plant Part Sandwiches, and ABC Salad!).

Keeping Students Information Updated

It is important that you contact our office when there are changes made regarding your students address, health, or contact information. Throughout the year, you will receive emails and phone messages concerning your child(ren), from Columbia and the Bellingham Public Schools. Please take the time to update your preferences at here.

The RECONNECT Plan

Our Reconnect Plan for the 2020-21 school year outlines five stages for a return to in-person instruction at school based on safety and equity.

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Columbia Parent Association (CPA)

Parents & Teachers Building Community & Enriching Learning Together

The Columbia Parent Association (CPA) is a volunteer team of parents and guardians, teachers, administrators, and community members who work together to support the mission of Columbia Elementary School. As a registered 501(c)(3)non-profit association, we raise and spend funds to supplement school programs and organize volunteers to help teachers provide enriching learning opportunities for Columbia students and families. CPA works closely with our teachers and principal to ensure all our children receive the best experience possible while attending Columbia.


If you are interested in being a part of our CPA, or would like to volunteer, please complete an online Volunteer Application.

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.