BFPP NEWS

Friday, January 8th, 2021

Principal's Corner

Hello BFPP Families,


It’s a new year and while I typically would open with something like “Happy New Year” and “we are off to great start”….I am honestly having a bit of a challenge with that today. This pandemic is hard, the isolation is hard, the Zoom environment is hard, this political climate is hard, the social justice and racial tension is hard…..well things are just hard. But that is not going to stop me, or us, for moving forward, and I am glad to be in that charge with you.


Our themes this year are “We are GROUNDED/ROOTED, We are STRETCHING and We GOT THIS!" Let’s lead this year with that! Let’s charge forward with We GOT THIS!


As a staff we made a list of some of the things we have accomplished so far this year. These include you! I invite you to make your own family list of what you have accomplished and celebrate. Then look forward!


Onboarded 4 teachers + 1 +1 +1

Virtual Retreat Day

Themes of Rooted, Grounded and Stretching

Learned to teach – again – on Zoom

Learned new information system – AL*e

New Family Orientation

Back to School Celebration

Created a master virtual class schedule

Put on a Radio Show

Doctober

Sing Along

12 Big Bodies of Work

MAP Testing

WA kids testing

Weekly Materials Distribution

9 Learning Together Workshops

271 New Students

Ordering Round 1 Complete- over 1,500 orders

Nurtured community through tragedy

Partnered with district Mobile Response Team

Online Resources in district alignment - Lexia and Dreambox

Created an Instagram account and updated Facebook

Laptop Distribution – over 150 laptops

Bi-weekly newsletters

Community Survey Monkey/Course Evaluations

Self-Care and Community Care – Food Delivery

Loads of hands raised in mistakes


WE GOT THIS, LET’S DO IT, CHARGE FORWARD BFPP!


Hugs from afar, k

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HOLD THE DATE ~ Thought Partner Meeting, 1/14 at 6pm

At BFPP we work to build opportunities to gather feedback and hear from our families. We value our check ins, and surveys but also like to set up intentional meeting times to focus in. Our next Thought Partner meeting is coming up. Please join us and share in the conversation!


Thursday, January 14th at 6pm.


The purpose for this Thought Partner meeting is to check our assumptions about who we’re serving and how we’re meeting the needs right now.


Please RSVP by Tuesday the 12th to kate.baehr@bellinghamschools.org. We will follow up with some “think about questions” and meeting link. We look forward to hearing from you!

Time Change: Materials Pick Up & Returns

Materials pick up and return will continue in January on Wednesdays from 9-10 am (for one hour only) and 4:30-5:30pm.


Remember: If you or someone in your household has a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, please do not come onsite for supply pick up/materials distribution or any other reason until your quarantine period is over. Thank you!

Resources to Talk About Current Events

This has been a heavy week in our country and therefore our community. We realize that the events occurring on 1-6-21 have an impact on Bellingham Family Partnership families. It can be challenging to talk to our children about these violent acts, but it is important that we do so.


We have included a few resources below that may be helpful when processing with your child. If you need additional supports reach out to your LPP.


As Dr. Baker said in response to 1-6-21: “When in doubt, lean into listening, caring, and our belief in the Bellingham Promise that ‘all children should be loved.’”


Resources For Families & Staff

Guide from Teaching Tolerance

E Pluribus Unum: Resources for Talking to Students About the Attack on the U.S. Capitol

Martin Luther King Jr. Conference and Youth Summit

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Conference will be held on January 15-17th. Hosted by the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, this annual conference is a local tradition that honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


In addition to the adult conference, this year's event includes a Youth Summit on Jan. 18. This is an opportunity for students to learn about social justice and anti-racism, gain experience in leadership, organizing, and public service, share a project or assignment that relates to the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or connect and collaborate with other youth in our community.


To learn more about how you can get involved, contact Michelle Goldman at michelle.goldman@bellinghamschools.org.

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Taking Care of Ourselves When Our Children are Experiencing Challenges

By Crystal Holtzheimer


In a previous newsletter, I shared some basic information and resources to support kids with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and anxiety. In this article, I want to share some resources that might be helpful to parents of kids who struggle for a variety of reasons - be it anxiety, OCD, or other issues relating to sensory processing/neurodiversity.


We hear this message all the time: self-care is important. We cannot help others when we ourselves are struggling. For those of us whose kids struggle, we can frequently become stuck in a vicious cycle of grief, anger, and self-blaming that is unproductive and damaging. It also impacts our ability to be fully present and supportive for our kids. Recently, I stumbled across a couple of podcast episodes that I found to be very helpful, so I wanted to share them with all of you.


Both of these podcasts are by Natasha Daniels, a child therapist I mentioned in my last article who has a significant online presence in the pediatric anxiety and OCD community.


The first podcast focuses on coping with the grief that can come with an anxiety or OCD diagnosis. Even though OCD and anxiety diagnoses are the focus of the podcast, I believe her suggestions would be equally helpful for parents of kids with ASD, kids with SPD, or kids with many other challenges.


The second podcast focuses on the ugly thoughts we can sometimes experience as parents. It helps us normalize secret negative thoughts that many of us have, yet do not talk about. Additionally, suggestions are provided for what to do with these thoughts.


I listened to these recently, and found they were giving me exactly the right messages at the right time. Our coping skills are all being stretched to the limit right now. My hope is that the messages in these podcasts will be as helpful and restorative for you as they were for me.


Upcoming events: The International OCD Foundation is hosting a virtual family camp at the end of January. Click here for more information about this camp. Also, Natasha Daniels is presenting an online 3 part video series on self-care for parents of kids with anxiety or OCD. The videos will be coming out starting January 21st. To get signed up to receive them (it is free) visit this link.

Meal Boxes

As we have in weeks past, we encourage all families to pick up a free box of 14 meals and support our Food Services Program and the Good Food Project. Boxes are distributed from 4 to 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday at 15 school locations and six community locations.

Child and Family Well-Being Task Force is Looking for Members

The Whatcom County Council is forming a new task force, aimed at identifying ways that the Whatcom County Government can better meet the needs of young children and families. The group will review Whatcom governmental impacts on young children and their families and make specific recommendations for improvements for all departments.


Among other sectors, the County Council is particularly interested in having participants representing non-traditional education, faith communities, families of color, immigrant families, and those with parenting/caregiving experience.


To find out more information and download an application, click here. Applications are due January 19.

Education Lessons from a Pandemic

"Make Schools More Human" is a thought-provoking article from the New York Times that shares lessons the pandemic has revealed about education - many of which homeschoolers have already learned - including the limits of "one-size-fits-all" schooling, and the benefits of humanizing educational systems to better support families. This video collaboration of 35 student songwriters and musicians across 11 states is an example of the magic that can happen when creativity and connection are prioritized!

Salish Sea Resource

A program of the SeaDoc Society, the Junior Sea Doctor website has videos, articles and activities for the young marine scientist in your life.

Bellingham Parks and Rec Playbook

The Winter Playbook is full of recreational activities for all ages. Highlights include a free teen financial literacy class, a Valentine's themed scavenger hunt, community work parties in local parks, and cooking classes from Tiny Onion Cooking School.

Newsletter Contributions Welcome

Do you have a news item to share with our school community at large? How about ideas on how to help this newsletter better meet our school's needs? Please reach out to Heidi Zollner.