January 12, 2022
Dear students, staff, families and community,
We remain tenacious regarding keeping students at school for in-person learning even though we are prepared to implement remote learning only when needed due to inclement weather and/or an inability to operate due to COVID cases impacting staffing. Currently we have a few classrooms temporarily working remotely due to COVID cases. An entire school going remote would be a last resort because of lack of staffing. We hope this does not happen, but we are prepared if needed.
Our Health Services Team along with office staff are doing the best they can to keep up with notifications and testing. Families will be notified only if students are close contacts. Given the number of cases, we do not have time to send out general letters stating there is a positive case in a school. You can assume there are positive cases at every school right now and check our MBSD COVID-19 Dashboard for weekly updates. We hope the down turn of cases predicted towards the end of the month will come to fruition. Please be patient and courteous with our staff. They are working hard and putting in many hours to keep up with Health Department’s guidelines. Along with all of the other amazing health workers in our community, I would like to thank our nurses and health team for their dedication.
The Department of Health and OSPI have released updated K-12 Guidance focused on keeping students in school. This one-page document provides a concise summary of the updates. I have met with the Whatcom County Health Department Health Officers. They will be releasing their updated guidelines that align with the K-12 updates in the next few days.
I will have an updated calendar to share with you next week that will reflect make up days and any changes going forward. We have decided to make January 28 a school day for students. If we don’t have any further school cancelations, the last day of school for students is Thursday, June 23. Graduation will be moved to June 16.
There is no school Monday, January 17 in honor of Martin Luther King. This week elementary students learned about Martin Luther King in their classrooms, the library, and music class. Secondary students had a virtual assembly that was very well done by staff and students. I hope the take away for all students was the importance of civil rights and a culture of belonging for all. Noah Lien is a college student studying to be a teacher who reached out to me to share a song he wrote while he was in high school to encourage world peace and working together. He has a personal mission to spread kindness through this beautiful song, Grow Together.
Mount Baker is an amazing community. As we continue to embrace challenges, I know we can grow together and make our District a great place for all students to grow and learn.
Mary Sewright, Superintendent