As we near the end of this challenging school year, the Mount Baker School Board wants to take a moment to recognize and deeply appreciate the hard work and dedication of our staff, students, families, and caregivers. We have heard from many families and students who are struggling with the isolation created by the pandemic and we have seen our community step up to support one another. We have also witnessed a division in the District, based in part on concerns about teaching assignments.
In an effort to bring unity to our community, we want to address these misconceptions, many of which were expressed during the public comment period during the Board’s Special Meeting on April 15, 2021.
No teachers (or other staff) have refused to work during the pandemic. The District received and was able to accommodate some staffing assignment requests; in some cases, staff chose to take a leave of absence for the year. With about thirty percent of the District students continuing remote instruction, the District has been able to balance remote teaching assignments with the remote learning need – all remote teachers have full class loads. Mount Baker must follow all local, state, and federal law, and the COVID-19 health guidelines – including those limiting how many students could be in a classroom together – prevented the combining of cohorts until after Spring Break.
We also want to dispel the perception that teachers have had a lighter workload during the pandemic than they have had in the past. This could not be further from the truth. Teachers and staff have worked implementing new curriculum, learning new teaching platforms, keeping families and caregivers informed of changes, and staying connected to students. Teachers, like parents, students, and everyone else, are working harder than ever to get through this pandemic.
Our teachers and support staff are your friends and neighbors. For the good of our children and community, we must strive to create a positive working environment where all can thrive. We look forward to getting through this pandemic with a greater appreciation for one another and a united Mount Baker community that is stronger than ever before.