December 8, 2021
Dear students, staff, families and community,
Last week I sent out a survey requesting input from various groups regarding learning recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. A few people reached out for more information about ESSER funds and the purpose of the survey. ESSER stands for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief. Here is a link to more information: https://www.k12.wa.us/sites/default/files/public/communications/2021docs/2021-06-WashingtonState-ARP-ESSER-State-Plan-Template-Final-Web.pdf. These funds have been very important in providing us with an abundance of PPE; one-to-one technology for staff and students; hotspots; professional development for remote and hybrid learning; a great deal of extra staffing including counselors, nurses, teachers, and classified staff; facility needs; testing; and contact tracing. Some of the funds also offset loss of enrollment and transportation funding, so we can continue to operate. A large part of the funds will address learning loss and social/emotional needs. We offered summer school, homework help, before/after school care, and we have maintained very low class sizes to address the needs of students. We are asking you to prioritize these services, so we can use the data for planning. We are also asking for information regarding groups you identify with and who you are (student, parent, staff, community member) so we can be sure we are gathering information from a variety of community members. The specific groups listed are groups that I have to report to OSPI regarding their opportunities to give input. A survey seemed like the best way to do this. So far 180 people have responded. Those responses indicated that small class sizes are the first priority while in school tutoring is the second priority followed by before and after school tutoring. I was surprised that summer school programs were the least priority. Since only 180 people have responded, I am going to leave the survey open for another week to encourage more people to give input.
The adjustment for the school calendar prompted us to push our graduation date out by a few days. Graduation is now scheduled for June 14. Keep in mind that this could change again if there are additional school closures this school year. More specifics regarding the schedule for seniors will be shared by the high school.
Elementary and Secondary conferences are occurring this week. This is a great opportunity for parents and teachers to connect in support of students. We appreciate our family partnerships and all that you do for our school community. All of you make Mount Baker Schools great places to learn and grow for all students.
Mary Sewright, Superintendent firstname.lastname@example.org (360) 617-4600