Columbia Splash

February/March 2021

Note from the Principal

Hello Columbia Families!

It has been so exciting here at Columbia! We have brought back kindergarten through 5th grade students and once we bring our second cohort of 4th and 5th graders back on Monday, we will have had everyone back who was planning on coming back. It has been a heavy lift for everyone and so worth it for our kids and for us as adults as well. Being together safely has been so good for all of our social and emotional well-being. We want to extend a big THANK YOU to our families for working with us through this transition and supporting your kids so they are able to come to school safely.

HERE ARE A FEW SAFETY ITEMS TO HELP US CONTINUE TO BE SAFE AT SCHOOL:

MASKS and PHYSICAL DISTANCING:

Thank you all for supporting students with coming to school prepared to follow our safety protocols. They are really doing such a great job!

TRAVEL ADVISORY:

The Governor’s office instituted a travel advisory in November that continues to stand. Here is an excerpt from the advisory:

Travel Advisory for Non-Essential Travel: Here is the travel advisory,

Persons arriving in Washington from other states or countries, including returning Washington residents, should practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. These persons should limit their interactions to their immediate household. This recommendation does not apply to individuals who cross state or country borders for essential travel.

The direction from the Governor’s office states quarantining for 14 days is a recommendation not a requirement. If followed, it will help keep everyone more safe in our Columbia community. If you have questions, please call Nurse Tobi or me.

AFTER SCHOOL PLAYGROUND:

Please help us by not gathering on the playground after school. Although this is a wonderful time to connect, it is also supporting too many people in one area which is not safe. In order to be as safe as possible during recess, each class plays only with the students in their class. Our kids are doing a great job with this protocol during school and I know they can also be safe after school.

THANK YOU all for everything you are doing and have done this year to support our Columbia community. We have a great school in a wonderful community!


~Aaron

Upcoming Events:

FEBRUARY:

Black History Month

Feb. 2 - No School/Semester Break

Feb. 15 - No School/Presidents Day

Feb. 18 - 3rd Graders back in-building

Feb. 25 - 4th/5th Graders back in-building

MARCH:

Mar. 14 - Daylight Saving Time: Set clocks ahead one hour

PROMISE TOMORROW LEARNING OPPORTUNITY

Here’s a great opportunity for 3rd-12th grade students looking for academic enrichment in a group setting with peers:


The Promise Tomorrow Initiative is a great opportunity for motivated students to engage in student-driven inquiry! This is project-based learning at its best. Students will work on quarterly projects that envision creative solutions to transition to a better world. Students will research complex topics, then innovate technologies, designs, or plans to mobilize behavior. Student teams will meet weekly via Zoom, be supported by a volunteer, and be supervised by a Promise Tomorrow Coordinator. Projects will be presented quarterly with a final symposium in June. Those interested, please see detailed information and sign up link on the district website. Questions about the project can be directed to the project administrative team, by level: Margi Smith (Elementary) margi.smith@bellinghamschools.org, Eva Chazo (Mid—level) eva.warnerchazo@bellinghamschools.org, or Erin Burke (High School) erin.burke@bellinghamschools.org.

TECH HELP LINE: 360-676-6470 ext. 4357

BSD Learning Resources (tips and tricks for navigating tech platforms):

https://bellinghamschools.org/resources/learning-resources/

Reminder: The health attestation is an important safety step for in-person instruction

Families sending their children to school in-person are asked to sign a quarterly health attestation which says they are screening their children every morning before sending them to school. We thank families in advance for this important safety step. School staff will be in touch if we do not have a attestation on file.

ATTENDANCE


Attendance is taken every day by teachers
We know this is an unprecedented time in remote instruction, and student learning is our primary focus. Being present in class is the first critical piece to the school day.

Be sure to be an ally for your children by encouraging their daily attendance and helping them engage in learning. Helpful parent/guardian tips are found on the Attendance Works website.

To excuse your child from an absence, please call 360-676-6413 or email Michele.Foster@bellinghamschools.org and/or JoAnn.Benson@bellinghamschools.org.

School staff is also able to help if you need family support around attendance. Reach out to your teachers, principal or counselor with any questions or concerns.

Additionally, review AttendanceWorks.org for helpful action plans and thinking on attendance. Also review the COVID-era attendance tips for parents.

Big picture

A Note From Our Counselor

Families, are you feeling cooped up or needing new activities or learning to embark on together during the winter months? Here are a few community resources for events, outdoor fun and learning resources around Black History Month to share together!


As always, please reach out to the counselor via email if you need additional resources or support.


Virtual Events:

https://www.bellingham.org/event-calendar/

Outdoor Fun from the City of Bellingham:

https://cob.org/services/recreation/parks-trails/trail-guide

https://cob.org/services/recreation/parks-trails/parks-guide

https://cob.org/services/recreation/activities

Learning Together About Black History Month:

https://www.tolerance.org/

https://centerracialjustice.org/resources/black-history-month-resource-guide-for-educators-and-families/


To reach the School Counselor:

Email Alisson.bonner@bellinghamschools.org

Phone: 360-676-6413


BSD Mental Health & Wellness Resources:

https://bellinghamschools.org/resources/mental-health/

Changes to Library Book Pick-up


As more students are returning to in-person learning, we are making adjustments to our book check-out system. Students attending school in-person will get library books at school during school hours.

Our book pick-up time for remote students has changed to Wednesdays, 1:00-1:30, at the front door on Utter Street.

Please contact Kirstin Copeland if you have any questions. kirstin.copeland@bellinghamschools.org

The RECONNECT Plan

Our Reconnect Plan for the 2020-21 school year outlines five stages for a return to in-person instruction at school based on safety and equity. We are now in Stage 2 and 3 of our Reconnect Plan. Learn more about our Five Stages. Taking care of yourself and your family is taking care of your community.

School Cafeteria Menus and Weekly Meal Boxes

The cafeteria menus are updated every two weeks. In-person school meals for our returning elementary students will be posted here.


We encourage all families to pick up a free box of 14 meals and support our Food Services Program and the Good Food Project. For students attending in-person, a modified meal box will be given out. Boxes and fresh items will be distributed from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at 15 school locations and six community locations.


If you need additional support, please contact the Family Resource Center now by filling out the help form or calling 360-676-6456.

Big picture

School Playgrounds Open; Safety Reminders

We understand the importance of physical activity for children and the need for a safe place to play and run and move. School playgrounds are open for public use with safety protocols in place.


With elementary schools back in-person for some grades, playgrounds can only be used outside of school hours.

Thank you for following these safety precautions:


  • Wear a mask at all times;
  • Practice social distancing;
  • Rotate through if the playground has too many children on it; and
  • Wash hands before and after use.

School Grounds...

Students are 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.

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.

IB Learner Profile

Big picture

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.