Wednesday, September 9th, 2020
Principal Kate's Corner
Dear BFPP Families,
Some of you have heard of the “Kid President” and if not, you have some YouTubing to do. While I was preparing to write a note for our first newsletter of 2020-21, the “Kid Superintendent” came across my screen. He truly says it all!! We can do VIRTUALLY ANYTHING.
There is no denying that this year will be unlike any other, but I believe that, that could be a good thing. Why not embrace it and take it for the best adventure ride possible.
I believe in us, I believe in BFPP, WE GOT THIS!
Worth the 4 minutes.
Hugs from afar, Kate
Please join us on Zoom, Wednesday, September 9th from 11-12 for our Welcome Back Kick Off!
Sept. 4th through Sept. 18th - Teachers and Families engage in LPP Initial Meetings
Monday, Sept. 21st - BFPP Virtual Classes Begin
Caring Connections - Conversations with Erica
Welcome Back BFPP.
WE GOT THIS.
Breathe. It’s really that simple.
Come back to the breath.
Every time. No matter what is happening.
Breath gives us something to be grateful for even if we are struggling to find gratitude in other ways.
Breath reminds our body to work for us, with us, on our behalf.
Breath integrates our left and right brain so we can think clearly and creatively at the same time.
Breath regulates our emotions and decreases stress, so we are calm when we interact with our learning, with our people, with our own hearts.
Breath increases immunity and energy so we can continue to show up to this big work of teaching and learning.
We know this, don’t we? But we forget.
So we breathe to remember. Again and again.
And if you just took a deep breath, all the way to your belly so it puffs out like a giant rainbow-colored puffer fish, imagine our entire BFPP community breathing with you as collectively we all Begin Again.
We Begin Again with this new school year, which is full of possibility even if it looks different than expected.
We Begin Again with new schedules and our routines, remembering to mark the transitions and the important days.
We Begin Again with our intentions for home learning, as we follow the lead of our learners who will constantly grow and evolve.
We Begin Again Together/Apart.
We Begin Again with every breath.
I am Erica Wolverton, School Counselor, and I am here with you and for you all year, breathing alongside your joys and your challenges and your successes and your stumbles.
We Got This – Together – Breath by Breath.
Back to School FAQ
Will BFPP students receive tech support from the district?
Yes, BFPP students will be loaned technology on an as needed basis. During your LPP meeting we will ask if you need a laptop, headphones and support with Wi-Fi. That information will be compiled and shared with the district. Once it is all processed we will start distributing the technology.
I have a laptop from a previous school, or one that was loaned to me last spring, do I need to do anything with it?
Hold on to it, you don’t need to return it. However, it will need some upgrades. Drive to a local Bellingham Public School and park close enough to access the Wi-Fi. Turn the computer all the way off and restart. It will then take a few minutes to load the upgrades.
What if I have a problem with my laptop or something is broken?
You can submit a work ticket with the district to have it taken care of. The work tickets can be found on the resources page: https://bellinghamschools.org/resources/ You may have to bring it in to be serviced. The district team will let you know the needed steps.
I heard that families were getting back to school supplies at their neighborhood schools, what about BFPP?
We don’t usually get to give school supplies, but because the other schools are doing so, we get to as well. Thanks to Project Free Education funds, we will be pulling together some supply kits. Those will be handed out when we are able to hand out curriculum materials.
Oh yeah…..what about curriculum materials? How does that work?
You will work with your Learning Plan Partner to order the materials that you need to support your learning plan. We want to be good stewards of our budget so it is not quite “sky's the limit” but we know how important the materials are for home learning. Your LPP will then pass along the curriculum requests to Caroll and she will start the process for getting those. A fair warning, it typically takes a few weeks for the process and this year it will take a bit longer. All systems are a bit slower, with distributers, publishers and shipping all taking more time. We will do our best but please have some patience. Remember there is lots of good learning outside of the books.
Devices, supplies and curriculum, oh my! When will we get all of that?
Hang tight, when there is a substantial enough amount to distribute we will set up a distribution day. We may need to do those on a regular basis as materials come in and tech needs are discovered. Also, because many of our classes are hands-on and project-based, there may be some kits we need to distribute. We’ll keep you posted.
Are there going to be classes this year?
Yes, we are excited to be developing a schedule for you that will include some enrichment classes. As we are following the same stages as BPS, we are in Stage One and meeting virtually. Teachers are creating a schedule that will include multiple sessions of popular classes and as many opportunities as possible. Classes are 20-30 minutes for the youngers (minimizing screen time and developmental appropriate duration) to 45-60 minutes for the olders. The enrichment classes are mostly intended to be an opportunity to gather socially and are supplemental to home learning. They’ll be fun and engaging and help build connections. We are going to ask that families only sign up for 2 or 1 or none a week. Another opportunity we are implementing is offering some classes on a quarterly basis, allowing more variety and flexibility. More information about the schedule and registration will come out next week.
Free Meal Boxes Continue
The USDA has extended the free meals program into the 2020-21 school year. This means all children ages 0 to 18, plus our Community Transitions students, will continue to receive free meal boxes. You will not need to provide a name or PIN at pickup.
We encourage all families to pick up a free box of 14 meals. In every week’s box, we will provide a scratch-made entrée out of our Central Kitchen with ingredients sources from local farms. By picking up a box, you will keep farmers in business, district staff employed, and families fed.
Every Wednesday starting Sept. 9, boxes will be distributed from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at 15 school locations and six community locations.
The school locations are as follows:
Alderwood, Birchwood, Carl Cozier, Cordata, Geneva, Happy Valley, Northern Heights, Roosevelt, Wade King, Fairhaven, Kulshan, Shuksan, Whatcom, Bellingham, and Sehome.
The six community locations are:
Evergreen Ridge Apartment Complex, 3451 Woburn Street;
Regency Park Apartment Complex, 2050 Fraser St.;
Sterling Meadows Apartment Complex, 512 Sterling Drive;
Sudden Valley Community Center, 8 Barn View Drive;
Villa Santa Fe Apartment Complex, 804 West Bakerview Road
Bakerview Mobile Park, 4015 Eliza Avenue
Note on free and reduced priced meals application: Families should apply for free and reduced priced meals online as we start the school year. It is unclear how long the USDA funding for free meals will continue.
Note on Pandemic EBT: Families have until Sept. 11 to apply for the Pandemic EBT food assistance program. Apply online at www.WashingtonConnection.org (choose “Pandemic EBT — Emergency School Meals Program” box in the Food Assistance section).
Community WiFi Access and Hotspot Lending
Bellingham Public Library now has WiFi Hotspots available for checkout. Take a peek at https://www.bellinghampubliclibrary.org/wifi-hotspots for more information.
Girls on the Run
Check out Character Lab at https://characterlab.org/.
This week's tip about Back-to-School looks at how rituals can be used as resets. Author Angela Duckworth writes:
"My advice in this strange and challenging time is to repeat rituals, even when they aren’t strictly necessary. In our family, this means getting dressed up for the first day of school and taking a photo on the front steps—even if this year, we’ll all head right back into the house afterwards.
Don’t underestimate the power of physical cues to influence motivation and behavior.
Do help your kids make a fresh start this fall. Years from now, they may look back and remember that going back to school in 2020 was surreal by nature and, at the same time, familiar by design."
Newsletter Ideas and 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 let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you!