Wade King Elementary
August 27, 2020
A Note from the Principal
Dear Wade King Families,
I hope you have been enjoying your last bit of summer!
Although most of our staff doesn't officially return to school until next Monday, many of our teachers have been engaged in district-level work teams throughout the summer. Many have also been collaborating with each other to get ready for what will be a different... but fantastic year. We are very excited to be back together... even if it can not be in person.
I have spoken to many of you in the past few weeks. You have had important questions about timing, logistics, equity, and access to learning opportunities. You have also been incredibly patient when I haven't had all the answers. Thanks for that! At the district and school level, we have truly re-envisioned learning using community feedback and our urgency to create a more equitable system. I believe we have a strong educational plan for your child.
Over the next two weeks, you will be hearing from us frequently. I will be sending email updates and your child's teacher will be emailing and calling you. This newsletter will help you and your child know what to expect in the next two weeks. You might not have time to read every email when it arrives, but key information will be shared, so if you are looking for answers, check these resources. Mrs. Hunter, our incredible librarian links all of the Wade King Newsletters on our website, so you can also search there.
As we begin a school year like no other, know that our staff is here to help! We hope you will connect with us if you have questions or concerns. We are here to support you!
Stephanie Johnson, Principal
Important Dates For Fall
August 28th (Friday) - Expect an email with a message from your child's new teacher by the end of the day.
August 31st (Monday) - Teachers begin a full week of professional development and collaboration.
September 3rd (Thursday) - School Supply and Laptop Pick-Up (see below)
September 3rd (Thursday) - 'Coffee and Conversation' with Mrs. Johnson from 7:30-8:30am and 6:30-7:30pm (see below)
September 4th (Friday) - Virtual Meet & Greet from 8:30-9:00am (see below)
September 7th (Monday) - HOLIDAY - Labor Day
September 8th (Tuesday) - First Day of Remote Learning for Students
Stephanie Johnson (Principal) - Stephanie.Johnson@bellinghamschools.org
Greg Holmgren (Assistant Principal) - Gregory.Holmgren@bellinghamschools.org
Jaymie Wakefield (Counselor) - Jaymie.Wakefield@bellinghamschools.org
Your Child's New Teacher
Our teachers are excited to meet you and your child!
Laptop and Ipad Pick-Up
Thursday, September 3rd from 9am-7pm
All Bellingham School District students will have access to devices to support remote learning.
All Kindergarten and 1st grade students will receive an ipad in early October.
2nd-5th grade students will receive a laptop next week, if they did not already receive one last spring. Families do not need to request devices. We will have laptops ready for students who need them during our supply pick-up next Thursday.
If your child already has a school laptop, please charge that laptop and bring it with you when you pick up your child's school supplies. We will give you directions to connect to our BPS Wi-Fi from the school parking lot, restart the laptop, and log in to update it. This process takes 5-10 minutes.
School Supplies - Pick Up
Thursday, September 3rd from 9am-7pm
As part of Project Free Education, we continue to be able to provide all essential learning supplies for every child. We invite you to come to Wade King on Thursday, September 3rd any time between 9am and 7pm to pick up your supplies. If there is a long line, you might consider coming back at another time later in the day.
We will be following the same safety protocol we used when families picked up their child's belongings from school in June. This will enable us to maintain physical distancing to keep our community healthy. When you arrive, drive into either the carpool or bus loop and stay in your car. When you are close to the front of the line, one of our staff will ask you (from a distance) for the names of your children. You will then pull up to a table. Our staff will put your child's bag of supplies (and laptop if needed) on the table and step back. After the staff person steps back, an adult in the car can get out to pick up the bag of supplies and/or laptop from the table, get back in your car, and drive away
If you are unable to pick up your child's belongings and work at one of these times, our staff will connect with you to make arrangements for you to get your
Phone Call From Your Teacher
This year, collaboration with our families is a priority. Next week, between September 1st and September 4th, your child's teacher will contact you by phone. Our teachers want to introduce themselves to you and give you an opportunity to let them know if there are things your child needs to start the school year. You can expect this introductory conversation to be 10 minutes or less. Your child's teacher will also talk to you about scheduling a longer conversation soon.
Parent 'Coffee and Conversation'
Our principal, Stephanie Johnson, invites you to join her for an virtual ‘Coffee & Conversation’ on Zoom. This is an informal time to ask any questions you have.We are stronger together!
Thursday, September 3rd, from 7:30-8:30am and 6:30-7:30pm
Join us using this Zoom link!
Virtual Meet and Greet - Friday, September 4th from 8:30-9:00am
School SCHEDULE for Kindergarten & 1st Grade
School SCHEDULE for 2nd Grade
School SCHEDULE for 3rd, 4th, & 5th Grade
How Will Remote Learning Look Different This Fall?
As you can imagine, this summer has been a very busy time for many district staff. Some of the smartest, most dedicated people I know, (about 400 of them) volunteered to collaborate and redesign what learning can look like during a pandemic. Teams identified the most essential of the essential learning standards. For those of you who cleaned out your house after reading Marie Kondo's book, you can imagine a similar process as teams of experts identified the most essential grade-level standards while also questioning whether those learning opportunities would engage and inspire our students. We believe learning should be rigorous and joyful, and the essential standards that were identified do both!
The daily and weekly calendars above, have gone through multiple work teams, clearinghouses and revisions. If you are someone I talked to this summer, our conversation was based on the most current version of the schedules. You might notice some minor changes since we talked.
These schedules are also the product of our collective steep learning curve last spring. These are the important themes we learned or heard from you.
- Distance learning is hard.
- We are concerned about children falling behind grade level.
- Teaching our own children is challenging and is compounded while families are also working and caring for others.
- We are concerned for the children and families who have been most impacted by the pandemic and economic downturn.
- Remote learning, using menu options, is far less engaging than seeing and interacting with a teacher and peers.
- High-quality instruction that is individualized through teacher interaction is better for all learners.
Some important themes we have heard from students and teachers:
- Students and teachers need to see one another. Students need to see their friends in class and have a chance to engage with them.
- Every single student needs a device. A device has the same importance as a pair of shoes, it's what gets you to school. Sharing something this essential is possible, but not sustainable.
- The best instruction is that which is designed with individual students in mind. Teachers are masterful in their ability to support some students, challenge others, and inspire all with high quality instruction and person to person interactions. Learning Menus cannot replicate what happens in a powerful learning environment.
As you look at the daily schedule, you will see that there are consistent times for synchronous or real-time learning. There are also times where students will be working on the practice tasks or demonstration tasks assigned by the teacher. Our teachers will be able to connect with students, deliver instruction, provide work time, conference with students in small groups, provide feedback and support engagement. We learned a lot last spring about how to use technology to better meet the needs of our students and are ready to put those things in place.
You will also see, a lot of time is devoted to teachers and families working together. You are your child's first and most influential teacher. We will need to listen and learn from you, before we can best meet the needs of your child or your family. Many of us are working parents ourselves with young children at home. Our staff are eager to talk with you, and in partnership, design what schooling will look like for your family. We know each family has a different child, a different set of circumstances, and different goals. We are eager to learn from you, and partner to support creating the best possible learning opportunities for your child. We also understand the need for flexibility, so your child's teacher will be asking about when and how you prefer communication to occur.
Many of us miss life before COVID-19. Our team at Wade King misses you, misses each other, and most importantly, misses your child. The closer we get to September 8th, and our first day of our school year, I am excited and proud of the work we have done. We are eager to see your child engage and learn with friends, to play, learn and grow as a member of our Wade King community whether that is in a brick building, or a virtual classroom.
We don't always get to choose our journey, but I feel grateful and humbled to have such competent, compassionate, resourceful and resilient travel companions!
Free Food Boxes CONTINUE - Next MONDAY... Then every WEDNESDAY... at WADE KING
We will have printed copies of these forms available during our school supply and device pick up next week and during food distribution. Just ask!
The RECONNECT Plan
Click this to go to the frequently asked questions page on our district website.
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.