Good evening students, staff, families and community,
I hope this email finds you and those you care about doing well. We are happy to report we have completed week one of a hybrid schedule for Kindergarten in the building and look forward to welcoming our “A” week Kindergarten students next week.
We have received good news that the case counts in Whatcom County are trending down currently, and we are working on bringing the next group of students to the campuses. We will plan on bringing our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students to the buildings on November 2, 2020, barring any new guidance from the health department, or an increase in cases that leads us to move this date back. All families with students returning in this group will receive an email in the next few days with their student’s A/B hybrid schedule or Online assignment and a link to an important transportation survey. If families could please review the email and let the campus know if you have any questions, it would be greatly appreciated.
In future weeks, around November 23rd, we plan to bring additional grade levels to complete the elementary school phase-in to the building. Those families will receive a similar email and transportation survey.
As a district we want to continue to allow our families as much flexibility as we can in our learning model choices, but we also want you to understand the options in order to decide the best instructional option for your students. We are just exiting remote learning for all students, so at this time the instructional models look very similar for all students. Moving forward, as teachers begin to teach students both in the buildings and at home, you should expect that the at-home week of Hybrid Learning and the Online Learning may involve less direct interaction with the teacher, and could vary by grade level. Please remember that the Online Learning option was initially created to provide our families schedule flexibility and comes with a higher expectation of independent work and parent involvement.
When attestations were completed in July anyone not selecting the online option was defaulted into the hybrid model of instruction. Currently anyone wishing to opt into an online learning model can do so. Prior to each grade level’s phase-in, an email will be sent that includes a way to respond and request to remain online only. Selecting this option will mean your student will remain in online learning through at least January 22, 2021. There will be an opportunity between December 1st and December 15th for families to request to change to the hybrid delivery model, and those will be reviewed based on space availability.
One of the most important things to know about a return to school during this time is that we are asking students and staff to not come to the building if they are sick, or feeling ill. Please review the symptoms and your student’s health daily before they head off to the bus stop or get in the car to come to school. If your student is ill, please contact the school office as you would in previous years to report their absences from school. What we have learned is that the building entry process runs much smoother when families have completed the wellness screening prior to arrival, and we want to do everything we can to assist in a smooth transition for everyone. If you haven’t already done so, please visit our website and familiarize yourself with the wellness screening process.
Upcoming Q&A and Other Events
Community Q&A: Monday, Oct 19, 2020 at 6:00 P.M.
REACH Parent Night: Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 6:00 P.M.
BMS Open House: Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 6:00 – 7:10 P.M.
Despite these difficult times we are all working through, I continue to be blessed to witness the hard work and commitment of our staff and the community support and connection among our families. These things remind me that it is a great night to be a Borderite, and, as always, a great night to be your superintendent.
Dr. Christopher Granger