Sunnyland Elementary

"The Scoop"

A Note from the Principal

Resources for grief and Lynn Heimsoth Memorial Scholarship

Some of our families, students and staff have acknowledged that we are approaching the one-year anniversary of the deaths of our late Sunnyland principal Lynn Heimsoth and her therapy dog Sukah.

I appreciate how thoughtful and caring our Sunnyland community is – so many of you are asking about others, wondering how our staff are doing and asking what our students and families might need. I think it’s important to recognize that we may all need support and help this winter and that may look different for each of us. We have some resources and reflective activities that may help you or your family. Please see this webpage and click on the content in the first two bullets (the down arrow expands) to find activities that support mental health and promote well-being.

I also wanted to share that the Whatcom Community Foundation has developed the Lynn Heimsoth Memorial Scholarship for graduating seniors who are first generation college students. Lynn was an equity warrior and a loving and devoted leader and educator. Her murder was tragic and a profound loss to our Sunnyland family and extended community. I hope that we can remember Lynn’s commitment and passion for kids and the important roles both she and Sukah played in the lives of so many children, staff and families.



Important Dates to Remember

  • Dec 15 Lockdown drill, 9:00 am
  • Dec 21-Jan 1 Winter Break

Counselor Corner

I can’t believe that it is already December and 2020 is coming to an end. This has been a very hard year for all of us and in the midst of the struggle we can lose focus of our parenting values. The next strategy from Positive Parenting I would like to showcase is called “Kind and Firm.”

Being Kind and Firm can be tricky. Sometimes we are too kind which can lead to permissive parenting that can lead to an entitlement attitude in our children. Other parents can be too firm resulting in a punitive outcome that can cause shame to develop in kids. Here are 6 things to remember when implementing Kind and Firm:

1. Validate feelings- this could sound like, “I know it is hard to stop playing, AND it is time for _______________.”

2. Show understanding- this could sound like, “I can understand work is hard, AND school work needs to be done first.”

3. Redirection- this could sound like, “You don’t want to brush your teeth, I hear you, AND we’ll do it together. I’ll race you.”

4. Agreement in advance- You would use this when you make a deal with your child like a “first____, then____” and it could sound like, “I know you don’t want to do clean your room, AND what was our agreement? (kindly and quietly wait for an answer).

5. As soon as…- This could sound like, “You don’t want to go to bed, AND it is bedtime. Do you want one story or two stories as soon as your pajamas are on?”

6. A choice and then follow through by deciding what you will do- this could sound like, “I know you want to keep playing on your ipad/computer, AND your time is up. You can turn it off now, or I can help you turn it off. I’ll give you one minute to make the choice.”

The neuroscience behind the strategy: Giving children choices empowers them to think about the problem and have some ownership with you, and as we talked about last month when children are asked to think it activates their PFC and keeps the Amygdala in check. When our PFC is engaged our children grow dendrites and create new neural pathways that help in problem solving and emotional regulation.

Until next month, I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family and if you want to contact me, I am always here to chat and support your child and you in their learning here at Sunnyland.

Ms. Miller

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Meal box distribution returns to Wednesdays in December, no boxes distributed over winter break

Starting Dec. 2, the weekly meal box distribution returns to Wednesdays. The December boxes will be given out on Dec. 2, 9 and 16 at the regular 21 locations.

The Dec. 16 box will contain 21 meals to cover additional days during winter break. The Dec. 16 box will also include a recipe for carrot ginger soup created by the Central Kitchen and Common Threads. All the ingredients needed for this soup are in the Dec. 16 box.

Important note: there will be no meal box distributions on Dec. 23 and 30. The Bellingham Food Bank will continue to operate around the holidays. Visit their website for more information on times and locations.

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

Meal box distribution will remain on Wednesdays starting in January 2021.

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Power Outage? Here's What to Do

Many of us have lost power in the last month, and it’s likely to happen again as we head into the winter months. With remote learning, power outages impact learning at a whole new level. Here are some general guidelines about power/internet outages that affect class:

1. ·If a student cannot login to class because your home has lost power or internet, please email or message their teacher(s) once they are able to. Our staff will help catch the student up.

2. ·If a teacher can’t start a class because of an extenuating circumstance, they will message their students and/or families as soon as possible with next steps.

3. ·If a teacher loses connection during a class, students should stay on the class for a few minutes while the teacher logs back in. If the teacher is unable to make it back quickly, please check students’ Seesaw for instructions from the teacher.

Some families have asked whether power outages would result in a cancelled day of remote learning, like a snow day.

The answer is that we will work to keep school running as much as possible. Just like with snow, the decision will be made at a district level on a case-by-case basis. The more an outage is short or contained to specific areas, the less likely schools would close. The longer the outage or the larger the area, the more likely schools could close.

The school district will use email, text messaging and the district website to communicate closures, if any. To be prepared, take a few minutes to login to Skyward Family Access and update your family’s communication preferences in the Skylert tab. If you need help logging in to Skyward Family Access, please contact Lil in the main office at (360) 676-6446.

We are all in this together.

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2nd-5th grade students: You can put library books on hold using the school library catalog. When your books are ready, you’ll be notified via Seesaw. Books will be distributed on Monday, Thursday, and Friday at the top of the stairs at the E. Maryland St. Entrance. See the attached video or document for more details on how to put library books on hold: video: document:

Sunnyland T-shirts

Each Sunnyland student gets a free t-shirt featuring this year’s winning lion design. If you have not yet received your shirt, you can pick it up from Christina in the school office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please remember to wear a mask and only one person is allowed the front vestibule at a time.

Time to Order Sunnyland Spirit Gear!

Sunnyland spirit gear is available to order! Visit the Sunnyland PTA website ( for details and to place your order. Spirit gear will be shipped directly to your house this year. Order deadline is Dec. 8 (to receive before Christmas).

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Holiday Wreath Fundraiser was a success

We received an abundance of support for the PTA wreath fundraiser this year and raised a total of $700! Thank you to those who participated. It was great to see your faces at the wreath pickup.

Sunnyland 2020-21 PTA Officers

Co-President-Nickie Rail 760-917-0468

Secretary-Megan Porter 801-319-3366

Treasurer-Katina Briles-Honda 360-224-2171

Scrip-Pat Kelly 360-325-5296

Enrichment-Abby Atkins 360-389-1805 and

Cari Chan 360-201-9547

Communications-Laura Wood 360-318-3835

Fundraising-Kami Westhoff 360-223-1817

Yearbook-Allison Lecky 360-527-3096

Contact us

Si desea esta información en español llame al 676-6456

Bellingham School District, 360-676-6400


Main Office: 7:00-3:30

Attendance: 7:45-3:00 -

School starts: 8:30 am 2nd-5th Grade, Remote

School starts: 8:00 am Kindergarten & 1st grade, In person

School ends: 1:30 pm Kindergarten & 1st grade, In person