Cordata Elementary

May 2021 Newsletter

Hello, Cordata Families!

April has been a great month here at Cordata! We are heading into May as we wrap up our first week of school with all students who opted for in-person learning back in the building four days a week. I am so pleased to see our Bobcats engaging in their learning and enjoying time with their classmates and teachers!

Friends, each year as we head into summer vacation we learn about a Bobcat or two who will be heading out for a different opportunity in the next school year. That said, let's extend our best wishes to Sarah Walker, our wonderful, stalwart assistant principal, who will be the head principal at Lowell Elementary beginning July 1! Congratulations to Sarah, and a big "thank you!" for her service to the staff, students, and families here at Cordata. It's been a great two years, and while I know she will be missed, she will do an awesome job at Lowell as head principal.

We have several important updates to share this month, so please take a moment to check out the topics included in the newsletter. Please note that we do not have school Friday, May 21 and Monday, May 31. As always, please feel free to contact us here at the school should you have questions or need information. You can reach us at 360.676.6461. Have a great month!

Kind regards,

Julie van Wijk

Cordata Principal

Fifth Grade/Middle School Transition Update!

On May 5 during morning meeting, all 5th graders will have the opportunity to have a Zoom session with middle school staff at their future middle schools. These sessions will be led by middle school counselors. After the sessions, students will receive an email with a link to enrichment class choice forms. Students can choose between taking band, orchestra, or two of the following one-semester classes: Art, Spanish, STEM Technology, and in some cases Choir. This is a good time to talk to your students about making those choices for next year. The enrichment choice forms need to be submitted by May 12. Middle school staff are excited to welcome next year’s 6th graders and are open to any questions.

ELPA 21 Testing

For the next few weeks, our multilingual students will be taking the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) assessment. This test is for students enrolled in Washington State’s ELL Program. It is an important test that multilingual students across our state take. The ELPA gives us information on how a student is developing and growing in English. This test is a way to help teachers determine the best ways to work with your child. Although this test in English, all the languages your child speaks are in important. At Cordata, we know multilingualism is a gift for your student and our community! For students to try their best, it is important they get a good nights rest for the school day. You will hear from your child’s teacher about the exact date for testing. If you have questions, please contact Shannon Lemieux, ELL Specialist: (360) 676-6461 x 2525 or the Multilingual Message line: (360)-647-6816. Families dial 2 for Russian, dial 3 for Vietnamese, dial 4 for Punjabi or dial 5 for any other language (say name of language at beginning of message). Please call 360-676-6456 for Spanish.

Mission Statement: Bellingham’s ELL Program is dedicated to building capacity at the district, school, and classroom level to ensure that ELL students develop English language proficiency and content knowledge in an environment where linguistic and cultural assets are recognized as valuable resources to learning.

Request from our School Bus Drivers

Our school bus drivers request that parents who are waiting in line to pick up their students at dismissal please pull close to the curb to allow our buses to safely pass as they head toward the building and bus loop. Thank you in advance!
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Quarterly Health Attestation Forms

Reminder: Please submit quarterly health attestation for in-person students

Dear families,

If your child is attending in-person school, please complete a new health attestation for the final time this school year. If we do not have it on file, you will receive a follow-up phone call or email from school staff.

Thank-you for following our COVID-19 safety protocols. If you have any questions about the attestation, please reach out to your school principal or nurse.

Essence of Bellingham Photography Contest

Student photographers are invited to join in the 16th annual Essence of Bellingham Photo Competition. Student categories are by age/grade: K-4, 5-8, 9-12. Complete competition details are available online, including a submission form and winning photos from previous years, at​. Entries are submitted free of charge and are due by Saturday, May 1, 2021.

The City of Bellingham and Whatcom Museum sponsor this photography competition annually highlighting what we love most about our community, inviting residents to submit photos that capture the “essence” of living, working, or playing in Bellingham. Awards will be given for Best of Show, Best of Class, Best of Category, and Honorable Mention. A new Climate Actions award will honor images that capture actions our community is taking to address climate change and its impacts. Winning entries from the competition will be featured in an upcoming First Friday and Art Walk as COVID-19 restrictions allow. All entries will be added to the Whatcom Museum photo archives and may appear on BTV, the City website, and in other City online and print publications.

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Youth Peace Poetry Contest open for submissions

April is National Poetry Month, and the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center (WDRC) Youth Peace Poetry Contest is open now for submissions! The contest is open to all youth ages 4 to 18 who live in Whatcom County. For more more information or to submit a poem, please visit the WDRC website:

Also, if you have a student who is a budding poet, be sure to let them know Bellingham Public Schools is sharing poems using the hashtag: #BPSPoetry. This is a great chance to share student poems in more public way.

Energy Assistance Available

If you are in need of energy assistance during this ongoing pandemic, please contact 360-255-2912 to schedule an appointment or go online to
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Kindergarten registration is open for fall 2021

Registration for kindergarten has begun in Bellingham Public Schools. All children who will be 5 before Sept. 1, 2021 can be registered for kindergarten. Families can register their kindergartner online through the link on our kindergarten webpage. Registering now helps us hire staff, balance our classes, connect with families and ready our schools to welcome our kindergartners.

All children who are currently enrolled in Promise K will automatically be enrolled in kindergarten for the fall and do not need to re-register.

We plan to start in-person learning at every elementary school this fall with strong safety protocols in place. We will be ready to support our early learners and welcome the class of 2034 to our schools.

Kindergarten open house videos and virtual tours will be posted on school websites and sent to registered kindergarten families in May.

To find out more about attendance areas, registration and childhood immunization schedules, please visit or contact our elementary schools directly. And thanks in advance for letting a friend or neighbor with a future kindergartner know the registration window is open and ready for them!

Take the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation’s JOY Project Challenge

Monday, May 3rd


A family is a group of people who dream, laugh, play and love together. They are the people in your life who want you in theirs, however that looks and feels.

Tuesday, May 4th


Who are the teachers that have made a significant difference in your life? Who are the staff that have supported you in large or small ways? There are SO MANY people who work to make our schools engaging, beautiful, healthy and safe spaces to learn.

Wednesday, May 5th


Animals are masters of finding JOY in the ordinary. They make us better humans by expanding our hearts. While nature never fails us − we receive far more than we seek when we explore and spend time outdoors.

Thursday, May 6th


Friends are the people who make us smile brighter, laugh louder and live better. Real friendship is the combination of a million little things that add up to one big truth: friends are the bacon bits in the salad bowl of life.

Friday, May 7th


Do one thing today that brings YOU joy! You are awesome so how can you treat yourself with more kindness and respect today?

Monday, May 10th


Moving our bodies makes us feel better in nearly every way. For many of us, we have been sitting a lot more than normal this last year – so it is time to get moving!

Tuesday, May 11th


Music and art can lift spirits, heal hearts and speak truth. Do one thing today that sparks a greater appreciation for music or the arts.

Wednesday, May 12th


Food has the power to bring people together and transport us to other places. In Bellingham Public Schools, we are lucky to benefit from the Good Food Promise which aspires to provide students with real food, made with love.

Thursday, May 13th


In BPS, we believe that we can achieve more together than alone. We want every student to feel included, connected and able to make their unique contribution to their school community. Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Zen monk, once said that “compassion is a verb.” When we act with kindness to help others become the greatest and truest versions of themselves, we also transform ourselves.

Friday May 14th


Giving is JOYFUL! It is a tangible act of love to share resources with others – in fact studies show you feel more abundance when you give things away. Donations to Bellingham Public Schools Foundation help fund a brighter future for students at every school.

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