Weekly Update from the Superintendent

September 1, 2021 

Dear students, staff, families and community, 

Welcome Back!  Today elementary schools had back to school events and there were orientations at the junior high and high school.  I hope everyone had fun and received the information needed for a great first day of school tomorrow.  Please keep in mind there are always a few things to iron out as we start a new school year, so be patient with us and reach out to your child’s school if you have questions or concerns.  We appreciate your support!  Thank you for sharing your children with us and for being part of our school community!

I don’t mean to lecture here as I am very grateful to the majority of people who are on board and appreciate that we are following all guidelines and laws.  For those not so on board, I am going to make it very clear where I stand.  We are starting the school year with all K-12 COVID-19 Requirements in place. This is not negotiable including all students and staff wearing masks inside.  Masks were not a problem last year, and we did not have anyone get sick from wearing a mask as they are a protective measure to prevent sickness.  Our staff are very good about determining when children need mask breaks and will be sensitive to that as students adjust to being back in school.  There have been no exemptions granted at this time. Anyone requesting an exemption must have a documented diagnosis that precludes them from wearing a face covering.  A signed exemption request from a physician that documents a diagnosis goes through the process of being reviewed by our nurse and myself with consultation from the Health Department.  If the exemption is accepted, the process would require that parents meet with us to determine a health plan that mitigates transmission.  Exemptions are not processed at the school buildings.  There are social media posts encouraging parents to bring a letter on the first day of school denying the mandate to wear a mask.  I hope no-one is entertaining that idea because that would be unacceptable.  I am hard pressed to believe that any Mount Baker parents would put their child in this position as it would be inappropriate and negligent. While we always want to work with our community, parents do not get to pick and choose what rules their children have to follow.  I would be extremely disappointed if any parent or guardian set up a child to be disrespectful to a school employee.  We do not want to be forced to send students home that are refusing to wear masks as directed by a parent and have to document it as an unexcused absence in order to keep our schools safe.  Help us make this a great day for all students!   There is so much to look forward to as we begin this school year together. I am looking forward to seeing kids at school and all of you at the many events and activities we can now engage in as we move more towards normal.  I appreciate your support so much!


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