Welcome Back 2021-22

August 19, 2021

Dear students, staff, families and community, 

I am going to try to address questions that have been coming my way regarding the upcoming school year.  Please know that office staff and administrators just returned this week, and they are working hard to get information to students and parents.   


  • First Day for grades 1-12 is September 2nd
  • First Day for Kindergarten is September 8th
  • First Day of Pre-school is September 13th
  • All Elementary Schools:  9:05 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with early dismissal at 2:00 p.m.
  • MBJH/MBHS:  7:55 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with early dismissal at 1:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday 90-minute early releases for professional development start October 6th.
  • 2021-2022 School Calendar

School Supplies: 

All Pre-school through 6th grade school supplies will be provided.  Please do not purchase personal supplies for school.  7th through 12th grade students will receive information from their school and individual teachers regarding supplies because what they need is dependent on their class schedule.  Many basic supplies are available, and we will be distributing Chromebooks to students during the first few days of school.   

Bus Routes: 

Information regarding bus routes will be posted on our website Thursday, August 26th.  If you have questions after they are posted, please call the Transportation Department at (360) 383-2060.   


High School athletics begin this week and next week.  Junior High athletics begin August 30th and during the month of September.  Here is the link for more information and to sign up for sports. There are no fees for students to participate in athletics this year.   


This summer we have been following the K-12 COVID-19 Requirements for the 2021-2022 School Year.  When students have not been present, vaccinated employees have not needed to wear masks inside.  Therefore, you may have seen employees not wearing masks this summer when students are not present. This includes employees working in departments with no students present as well as school board members and board meeting attendees when children have not been present.  With the mask mandate that came out yesterday during Governor Inslee’s press release, the masking expectations will change starting Monday, August 23rd.  All adults and students regardless of vaccination status must wear masks in our facilities when interacting with one another or the public.  Masks are not required for anyone outside.  This means when students are outside for instruction, on a break between classes, or at recess they do not need to wear masks.  Inside with the exception of eating breakfast and lunch, students will need to wear masks until guidelines change.  If and when guidelines change is unknown.  I have been told there is a possibility for changes sometime in October.    


COVID-19 is not a required vaccination for students.  However, students 12 and older are eligible for the vaccine.  We post information about vaccination clinics on our website.  There are vaccinations that are required.  You can obtain information about required vaccinations as well as medical and religious exemptions here.   

The Mount Baker School District wall calendar and descriptive guide should arrive in the mail early next week. Please look for it and keep it handy for important information, dates, and events.   

Congratulations to all of our FFA students and animals who are competing at the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden.  If you attend the Fair, stop by the barns and displays to see how our FFA members are making us proud.

Go Baker! Sincerely,

Mary Sewright, Superintendent | msewright@mtbaker.wednet.edu | (360) 617-4600

August 18, 2021

Subject: COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for K–12 Employees

Dear Mount Baker Families,

I am writing to share information about a new legal requirement for school employees in Washington state. On August 18, 2021, Governor Jay Inslee announced a new directive legally requiring all K–12 school district employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination or a medical or religious exemption by mid-October.

This proclamation does not apply to students. The COVID-19 vaccine is not required for students. The proclamation also does not replace the requirement for all staff and students to wear masks or face coverings in schools and on school buses.

Please note that this announcement will not delay our return to school buildings this fall. Our first day of school will continue to be on September 2, 2021.

Some of the key elements of the proclamation are outlined below:

  • Mount Baker School District and our Board of Directors do not have local control over this matter. We are legally required to follow the Governor’s directive. Employees may obtain a medical or religious exemption.
  • There is not an option to undergo regular testing for COVID-19 instead of receiving a vaccination or exemption.
  • Employees will need to provide proof of vaccination. Attestation is not an allowable substitute for vaccination.
  • Vaccination is a condition of employment in the proclamation. Only a medical or religious exemption will substitute for the vaccine requirement.

Again, this proclamation does not include vaccine requirements for students. We are sharing this information so families understand some of the health and safety requirements in place for the 2021–22 school year.


Mary Sewright, Superintendent | msewright@mtbaker.wednet.edu | (360) 617-4600

August 11, 2021

Dear students, staff, families and community, 

I hope you are all enjoying summer and have found time to connect with friends and family as well as enjoy our beautiful surroundings.  You have a few weeks left to rest and rejuvenate before starting school on September 2nd.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone and launching a new and better school year with full-time in-person attendance.  We have come a long way.  Being all together again is something to celebrate!

Back to school events at the elementary level will take place on September 1st from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at each of our elementary schools.  Ninth grade orientation will be September 1st from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Mount Baker High School.  Mount Baker Junior High has seventh grade orientation on September 1st from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.  Families will be receiving more information directly from their school. 

Complete meals for breakfast and lunch will be at no cost to families for the 2021/22 school year.  This is true for every student nation-wide as well as in Mount Baker School District.  Our Child Nutrition Department is proud to provide this service.  If you have questions, please call Child Nutrition at (360) 383-2024.

Thankfully the updated health and safety guidelines  provide more flexibility. The Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Health, (DOH), and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) will be reviewing and revising the guidelines again once school gets underway.  I am anticipating these updates mid-October.  While both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals must wear masks inside, and we will continue cleaning and hygiene protocols, we will no longer require attestations.  Physical distancing will be three feet in classrooms to the extent possible.  When students are three feet apart and wearing masks, they are not considered close contacts. The overriding goals are to have all students in-school full-time and to limit transmission of COVID-19.  Cases will be reported and contact traced, but with more vaccinated individuals and testing availability we hope to keep quarantines at a minimum. 

There has been controversy regarding Governor Inslee’s emergency order requiring students and staff to wear masks at school, regardless of whether they are vaccinated.  I have been urged by some community members to defy these orders and make masks optional in our schools.  This is not a local decision for superintendents or school boards.  Under the authority of RCW 43.06.220, the Governor has broad emergency powers, and they have the power of law.  Along with all other public schools, charter schools, private schools, and tribal compact schools, Mount Baker School District must follow all of the health and safety guidelines.  Again, it is our goal to provide full-time in-person learning for all students and to limit the transmission of the virus. 

For clarification, COVID-19 vaccinations are not required at this time.  However, I do encourage all eligible students, staff, and family members to consider vaccination to protect your personal health as well as the health of our school community and greater Whatcom County.  It is clear that until vaccination rates reach higher levels, we will continue to have to implement strategies to mitigate transmission.  This is not a political statement.  I simply want to get to the point where masks can be worn at the discretion of individuals rather than as a mandate in our schools.  At the end of the day, I always respect the decisions that families make and respect that they are in their best interest. 

We may be feeling the heat right now but soon we will be able to detect that hint of fall in the air that signals a new school year.  The yellow buses will be rolling and our schools and fields will be bustling with activity and excitement.  Thank you in advance for your support in making this year an awesome experience for everyone. All students, parents, staff, and community members are valued and appreciated in Mount Baker!

Go Baker! Sincerely,

Mary Sewright, Superintendent | msewright@mtbaker.wednet.edu | (360) 617-4600