Friday, October 29th, 2021

Principal's Corner

Hello families,

We are excited to be sliding into our Q2 (Quarter 2) classes in November. It is an opportunity for all of us to try something new. For Q2 we are still offering a variety of enrichment classes that will be fun and engaging. We were hoping to establish a schedule that brought our families back to campus and in the building, but that is still not possible.

We will be continuing to offer some Zoom courses, excursion (outdoors/off campus) and will be adding more in person in the building learning opportunities. We will be using the practice of “Sign-in North Star”. More information will be sent after registration from each instructor with details about the expectations, responsibilities, and procedures, but for now know that it means for the in person, in the building learning opportunities families will not have to stay on site….but you will need to stay close. As most of the courses are only an hour you are welcome to remain on campus, but outside. Again, more on that later!

The new courses and schedule are in AL*e for your viewing! How to read the courses:

I = In-person

O = Outside

Z = Zoom

E = Excursion

If there are two codes, it means sometimes one and sometimes the other. Codes are after the course title and grade level in AL*e.

For registration we are going to try something a bit different, and a little familiar, based on feedback from the last registration window. On Wednesday, November 3rd all grades will open at 8am and you will be allowed to pick one class. This will hopefully facilitate everyone getting their top choice. On Thursday, November 4th all grades will open at 8am and you will be allowed to pick 2 more classes. We know that there is no perfect way to run registration, there are glitches, systems errors and sometimes…well a lot of times, frustration.

We would like to have some conversations with families about what Semester 2 (Q3&Q4) might look like. We got some really helpful responses in the Family Survey (results coming next newsletter) and would like to include families in what that could look like. Be looking for a Thought Partner meeting announcement in late November/ early December and come join the conversation.

Thanks and happy registration! -k

AL*e Parent Login

AL*e Parent Login Instructions

Upcoming Events

  • 10/29 Able to view Q2 courses in AL*e

  • 11/3 Registration, 8am, 1 course per student, all grades open

  • 11/4 Registration, 8am, 2 courses per student, all grades open

  • 11-5 Purple Friday – No Classes
  • 11-11 Holiday – Veteran’s Day – No Classes
  • 11-12 End of Q1 – End of 1st Quarter Classes
  • 11-15 Beginning of Q2 – 1st day of 2nd Quarter Classes

Two New Adventure Opportunities for 3-5 Graders

One of the greatest strengths of our program is our ability to meet the unique and revolving needs of our collective. Each year when we gather, we get to assess current community needs and adjust our class and community offerings accordingly. These are two new adventure experiences I am excited to share with you in response to the most recent and urgent community requests.

Adventures in Writing – Jackie Brown and Erica Wolverton – Co-Teaching

We continually hear families say they are confused and curious about the best ways to motivate and engage learners in creative and authentic writing. We know one hour class per week is not enough time to influence writing instruction in any long-term sustainable way. We also know that as your child’s primary educator, you have the greatest influence in the learning of your writer. Therefore, Jackie Brown and I are partnering to offer an exciting new format for teaching a writing class which includes both parents and students. This class is called Adventures in Writing and you will see it listed in our course catalog next week so you can register for the class during registration.

This is the first time BFPP is offering a shared class for both students and teachers so we are reaching out to you before registration to help answer any questions. If you wonder about the format or the expectations, please reach out via email before registration. The class will run in person for kids on Thursdays at 11. The class for parents will run via zoom on Fridays at 10:00. We are really excited by this new opportunity to help parents and kids learn to love writing, together.

Adventure Based Counseling Group– Erica Wolverton, School Counselor

I am excited to offer the opportunity for small in-person Adventure Based Counseling Groups, which will help kids remember, reconnect and reorient towards positive socialization. This Adventure Based Counseling group will learn tools and strategies to help build and practice:

  • problem solving,
  • empathy,
  • communication,
  • collaboration
  • conflict resolution
  • collective safe, fun

This group is designed to teach the skills above through mental and physical challenges which require members to cooperate to complete team-based challenges. Group members will work together towards a shared goal to complete different tasks. Each session will end with different types of processing and reflection tools to help the group transfer the skills to other situations in their life and their learning.

**If you are interested, please email me with your child’s name and grade and a preferred day and time for meeting. Groups will be on Tuesday or Wednesdays. This group will not be part of class registration. Once the group is created, I will follow up with specific information.

I look forward to learning from and working with you and your learner.

In Great Anticipation,

Erica Wolverton

Big picture

Homeschool 101: Getting to YES!! with Erin McCarthy

Tuesday, November 9th @12pm OR Tuesday, November 30th @12pm

This workshop, facilitated by BFPP teacher and homeschooler Erin McCarthy, will focus on the philosophical shift and home management techniques that support families in their role as primary educators. The intended audience for this workshop is families (adults) who are new to homeschooling and have chosen this option for a variety of reasons, but mostly because they feel in their hearts, heads, and bellies that this is how their child could best learn right now. Basically, we’ll be taking the energy of “Yayyy, I’m homeschooling!!” and addressing the “Well, now what?!”

Topics to be covered will be:

  • Empowering the educator inside me
  • Deconstructing “schooling” to promote “learning”
  • Using deep conversation and play to promote inquiry and development
  • Fostering independence in learning routines
  • Embracing the messy and normalizing uncertainty
  • Seeking mentors and establishing a support network

This workshop is offered twice—11/9 and 11/30

Enrollment for each workshop is limited (capped at 20) to foster engagement and interaction, so please RSVP at

ZOOM link:

News from the library

The BFPP library is growing! Our goal is to match students with great books. This year our program welcomes library assistant Peggy Gallegos as well as librarian Lisa Christensen.

With these changes come some new services! Use the Library Catalog to search for books you wish to check out. You can email your list to your Learning Plan Partner. If there is a book that you would like to read but you do not see it listed in our school catalog, please email your LPP and we will see if we can borrow the book on your behalf from another school.

We also have a library budget this year to add books to our own collection. If there is a book that is not currently in our collection that you feel should be added, please fill out this form to suggest it. Happy Reading!

Scholastic Book Order

Scholastic books make great gifts! Here's our chance to order before the winter holidays.

Please place your online order by Friday, November 5th.

New to ordering? Here’s how:

1. Go online to:

2. Click on 'Connect to a Teacher' and enter our BFPP Class Code: RT8NH

3. Sign up using your student's first and last name.

4. Shop the flyers and pay online for your order. You can choose from any and all of the many different flyers available.

*You can either choose to have your books shipped to your home (free with $25 purchase) or to the school (free with any dollar amount purchase). If you choose not to have your order shipped to your home, please email Heidi Zollner and let her know so we can arrange pick up/delivery of your books.*

Books should arrive the second week of December.

Thanks for supporting our school library with your purchase!

Every purchase earns us free books and other goodies for our school.

We'll have book ordering opportunities 2-3 more times through the year.

***Important update***

The 'ship to home option is currently unavailable due to supply chain issues. Orders are backlogged and it is hopeful but not guaranteed they will arrive before winter break.

Request for David Wiesner Books

Next quarter I will be teaching an Enrichment Class that focuses on creating thinking using the books of David Wiesner as the core of our weekly workshops and I’m hoping to have multiple copies to share with students in class.

If you have any of his books and want to let us borrow them (Quarter 2 runs 11/15-1/28), we would greatly appreciate it. Please bring them to school, labelled with your name (post-it), and leave with Peggy at the front desk. They will inspire LOTS of creative story telling and we promise to keep them in good shape. Thank you!

–Erin McCarthy

After-school dinner program free for all children 18 and under

Bellingham Public Schools serves hot dinner at no cost to all children 18 and under. These meals are offered from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday through June 16, 2022. Dinner is served in the Shuksan Middle School cafeteria, located at 2717 Alderwood Avenue (at the corner of Northwest and Alderwood). It does not matter what school you attend in the district.

Accompanying adults are charged $4.75 per meal — please bring cash or check. Please plan to eat onsite in the Shuksan cafeteria.

The daily Monday through Thursday dinner menu is listed on the school menu webpage by day after the lunch listing.

Please note: Dinner will not be served on school holidays or on the following all school early dismissal days: Nov. 4, Nov. 24, Dec. 9, Feb. 10, March 10 and April 28.

Free Strengthening Families Program

Who: Families and youth 10-14 in Whatcom County

When: Tuesdays 6:15- 8:30pm November 2- December 14

Cost: No cost to you (sponsored by Whatcom County Health Department)

Where: In your own home (virtual offering~ for now!)

What: Over 7 weeks, families share communication skills, stress management tools, and ways to connect. Families meet once a week for 2 hours to connect and learn together. Meetings will be conducted over Zoom with trained facilitators. A phone or computer with a camera is required, however prior experience with Zoom is not. You will receive an email with further information after you complete registration.

Please note: This program is intended for any family seeking to guide youth and teach children the skills to avoid peer pressure and deal with stress. It is not a remedial program.

Community Holiday Resources

Check out information on community holiday supports on the Family Support Services page of the district website. Details on the Community Toy Store and Toys for Tots with be posted there soon.

Free Chess Opportunity

Whatcom Youth Chess Tournaments: Pre-registration required -- do so here

The 2021 Autumn Grand Prix Quad Tournaments are open to any 2nd-12th grade players that desire to play competitive NWSRS rated tournament games. Beginner players are welcome! You need to learn the rules of chess before you arrive. Learn or review the rules of chess here (web page) or here (video) if you wish.

Play in one, some, or all:
Autumn Quads I --- Saturday, Oct. 30
Autumn Quads II -- Saturday, Nov. 6
Autumn Quads III - Saturday, Nov. 13
Autumn Quads IV - Saturday, Nov. 20
Autumn Quads V -- Saturday, Nov. 27**
Autumn Quads VI - Saturday, Dec. 4
Autumn Quads VII - Saturday, Dec. 11
Autumn Quads VIII - Saturday, Dec. 18

**Thanksgiving weekend -- confirmation TBA

Where: Ferndale Public Library --- 2125 Main Street, Ferndale -- map here

Check-in: From 9:00 - 9:09am sharp, at each tourney.

All Grand Prix players must have pre-registered and must also check-in before 9:10 in order to play. Due to pairing restrictions, late arrivals cannot be accommodated, sorry. Get there early!

Entry fee: Free! However, pre-registration is required for each Quad. Sign up by 10pm the day before.

Energy fee: Everyone, help set up tables, chairs, boards, sets, clocks, and board numbers.

Please see the Northwest Washington Scholastic Chess webpage for more information.

Coding Resource

Girls Who Code has a treasure trove of at-home coding activities. Geared toward upper elementary, middle, and high school students, these lesson plans and activity ideas span a broad range of topics and programming languages.

Logo Design Contest

Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award is celebrating 40 years of wonderful books by updating their award logo.

Students are invited to design a new award logo that will appeal to Kindergarten through 3rd grade students and represent Washington State. Our BFPP staff will choose two students' entries to represent our school in the contest.

If your student would like to participate, please download an entry form. Completed logos are due back to Principal Kate by Friday, December 3rd.

Check out the nominees for this year's best picture book (featuring Bellingham's own Phoebe Wahl among the nominees!) as well as see a list of the past 40 years of winners.

NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, empowering approach to creative writing. The challenge: draft an entire novel in just one month. Why do it? For 30 wild, exciting, surprising days, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create!

NaNoWriMo's Young Writers Program (YWP) takes that joyful, focused approach to creative writing and makes it accessible to young writers, educators, and families. Participants aged 17-and-under can sign up for accounts at

Learn more about how it works for young writers.

Also check out the Educator Resource Page, it's full of lesson ideas, workbooks, pep talks, and more!