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!
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
Dec. 1 - Family Connection Hour 6:00pm
Dec. 2 - All School Assembly 9:15am
Dec. 21-Jan. 1 - Winter Break
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.
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
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/.
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.
- Salvation Army: Parents/guardians can submit an online application at https://saangeltree.org/. If someone is unable to use the online form they can call 360-733-1410 to apply over the phone.
- Toys for Tots: Parents/guardians can review the Toys for Tots website to see which local agencies they can call to request toys. The following link lists which agencies in town are participating and list their corresponding contact info: https://bellingham-wa.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/request-toys.aspx.
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.firstname.lastname@example.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
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.
Columbia Parent Association (CPA)
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.