Dear students, staff, families and community,
I never thought I would be wishing for rain in October, but I am all for anything that is going to help get rid of all of this smoke. We have been watching the smoke forecast closely this week. When the smoke levels are unhealthy, we keep students inside, and we have canceled some athletic practices or moved them inside. The health and safety of students is always our top priority. As I write this, I have to acknowledge all of the dedicated fire fighters and first responders that are fighting fires and dealing with all of the health impacts caused by these wild fires. We are all so grateful for their service!
A well-deserved shout out to our child nutrition staff and our entire transportation department. Last week was National School Lunch Week. This week is National School Bus Safety Week. These amazing people play a significant role in making sure our students are ready to learn at school. Please take the time to tell them thank you for all they do this week.
I talk to groups of students about what they appreciate about school and what challenges them in a negative way. Bullying always surfaces as a problem that prevents belonging for all students. Bullying has no place in Mount Baker and yet it is a reality in our society that we have to deal with more often than we would like. October is National Bullying Prevention Month. We take bullying and all things impacting the safety and well-being of students seriously. We have several things in place including but not limited to the following:
- Tip Line
- Counselors at every school including our elementary schools
- Mental Health Specialists
- Family Service Coordinators
- Therapy dogs on two of our campuses
- Social Emotional Learning Curriculum at every grade level
- Class meetings for elementary
- Student advisory for junior high and high school students
- Board Policy regarding harassment, intimidating, and bullying
- Multi-Tiered Systems of Support
- We survey students regularly
- Focusing on relationship building in classrooms so every student has an adult they feel safe going to if they are struggling
In addition, I meet with superintendent advisory students at every school. The purpose is to increase student voice and belonging district-wide, so ALL students feel like they belong at school. When bullying occurs and is reported, we have systems in place to address the behavior right away. It is hard to do that when it does not get reported. Social media is also difficult to control but we do intervene when we are aware of it. Dismantling bullying takes a concerted effort by everyone in our school community.
It is my intent to make every school a place of belonging for all students. School should be a home game for every single student!
Mary Sewright, Superintendent