November 25, 2020
Greetings Meridian Students, Families, and Community,
We have received additional guidance from the Whatcom County Health Department. Last evening, Whatcom County Superintendents received word the WCDOH now recommends all public and private schools discontinue in-person learning for grade bands of middle and high school students. At the same time, they also recommend we continue to serve our elementary students and our more vulnerable students with limited in-person learning, “In-person instruction and services for elementary and high-need students may continue to be provided.”
This guidance does not change our current level of support for students in Meridian. At this time, we will continue to serve our elementary students and those students of all ages with high needs who are attending in-person learning. This follow-up guidance is in response to the rapid escalation in COVID rates as of November 20 in Whatcom County.
In addition to meeting regularly with the Whatcom County Health Department and Whatcom County Superintendents about evolving health conditions, we must also pay attention to the strains on our system providing the educational program for all the students we are currently serving in-person. Illnesses, leaves, quarantine requirements, securing substitutes, and travel of staff, students, and families, are all challenges to ensuring consistent in-person learning opportunities. In our continued effort to keep students and staff safe, I would like to request if your family is traveling, please follow state and local guidance. Also, if you or your student is exposed or showing symptoms, please do not attend in-person learning next week. With these challenges, if rates continue to escalate, it may be difficult to sustain our model. We are hopeful the rates will drop soon so we may continue and again plan for bringing the rest of our students back for in-person learning.
As I have shared previously, we want our students back in our schools. Our teachers and district staff have performed tremendously…and I want to thank them for their love and commitment to serving our students both in-person and remotely. In addition to my gratitude for our district’s teachers and staff members’ dedication, I also want to thank you for your partnership and patience.
My hope is you and your family are safe and able to enjoy each other during this Thanksgiving holiday weekend.