Sehome High School Mariner Memo

Week of March 22 - 26, 2021

Letter from the Principal

Dear Sehome Community,

I want to start by addressing the traumatic events in Atlanta last week. This is another layer of trauma to a group of people who have already experienced so much trauma. We want our students of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to know that we care deeply about each one. We want Sehome to be a place where each person can be fully themselves. We continue to work to create a space where that is actualized. Below is an email Dr. Baker sent out last week related to this topic. It includes resources about what we can do as a community and his reflections as well.

Over the last year, I have shared many celebrations with each of you. I hope that it is clear that I love and care for this community. This week, I had several students reach out to me and let me know that they had some real concerns about how we as a school community celebrated Black History Month. I appreciate their honesty and call to action. I deeply apologize for the oversight on this celebration. I am sorry for the further hurt this caused to our students and community. As the principal of Sehome High School, the ownness is on me as a person with a position of power and opportunity to partner with our students and community to create a more intentional, meaningful celebration and to create opportunities for dialogue and learning. Our goal is to add black history into all areas of our curriculum, but until that has happened, we need to make more intentional time to celebrate the accomplishments of black and brown people. If you or someone you know is interested in partnering with us to develop a more intentional celebration of black history, please reach out to me. I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts on it. We celebrate the good things that happen at Sehome, but this week I appreciate that love looks like a call to do better. Our community deserves better.


We look forward to having 9-12th grade students back in the building all together this week! It has been really fun to see students in person and to see the evolution of hybrid learning over the past two weeks. Teachers continue to adapt and change their instruction and are trying new things each day. While we love having our students in person, we know that for many families coming into the building is not a possibility. We are grateful to be able to continue to connect with them remotely and value them as a part of our Sehome community. We know that these are challenging times for everyone and that each family is making the best choice for them.


As always, if there is anything I can do to support you or your child, please reach out.


Sonia Cole

Principal

Sehome High School

We see you

A Message from Superintendent Greg Baker

Dear students, families, staff and community,

This has been an especially challenging week. As our equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) team was preparing a blog post on anti-Asian violence to support our collective learning, the traumatic events in Atlanta unfolded. I want to acknowledge the fear and trauma that many of our community members from Asian and Pacific Islander backgrounds were already experiencing, now exacerbated by the tragic shootings on Tuesday in Georgia.

Our commitment to EDI, which is questioned and even attacked, needs to be shared by all of us in our community. Once again, we must ask ourselves the hard questions of how we hold ourselves accountable for enacting justice and dismantling the systems that enable racism, bigotry and hate in order to lift the invisible labor from the backs of our students and staff of color. You may find this webpage of resources helpful, which includes guidance on how to talk to children about traumatic events and racism.

Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement recently and said, “Washington is a place where all people should feel safe and included. This is a welcoming state and I have a zero-tolerance policy for hate and racism. We must all condemn the acts of hate and violence displayed in the rising incidence of anti-Asian hate crimes in both Washington state and across the country. This is wholly unacceptable and must not stand.”

I completely agree with our governor. Washington state may seem far from Georgia, but we are not disconnected from acts of racism and hate. In Bellingham, our staff, students and families experience acts of violence, including racial slurs, silencing and exclusion.

We continue to look to The Bellingham Promise as a guide. “We believe all children should be loved” is one of our core beliefs. I ask each of you to think about how our schools, district and community can re-energize our efforts against hatred and bigotry to ensure that our students feel loved, as well as our staff, families and community, then take action and communicate your ideas. Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with me and staff.

Please read the EDI blog on anti-Asian violence to increase our collective awareness and knowledge about Bellingham history. With greater awareness and more learning and support, we can act to interrupt factors that perpetuate systemic inequities.

Here is a snippet from the blog:

What can we do? As a community, we can raise awareness about systemic inequalities and their impacts on our families. Speak up when you witness discrimination and provide advocacy and support resources, along with district policies, as needed:

  • Seattle-based Asian Counseling and Referral Service promotes social justice and the well-being and empowerment of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities – including immigrants, refugees, and American-born – by developing, providing and advocating for innovative, effective and efficient community-based multilingual and multicultural services.
  • The Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs serves to improve the lives of Asian Pacific Americans in Washington state by ensuring their access to participation in the fields of government, business, education, and other areas (Chapter 43.117 RCW).
  • Bellingham Public Schools’ Harassment, Intimidation And Bullying procedure and reporting forms are available online.
  • The Washington State Employee Assistance Program, which supports Bellingham Public Schools staff, is available 24/7 and includes counseling supports.

I want to remind you that if you need support, you are not alone; we can help. Please contact your child’s teacher, counselor, principal, me or any trusted staff member in your child’s school.

Greg Baker

Graduation Update

We want to update you regarding tentative dates and plans for graduation.

The last day of school for seniors will be Friday, June 11. Graduations will likely be during the weekend of June 11. The exact date and time for each school will be shared soon.


We are currently planning for possibilities for graduations and creating plans for limited in-person and/or virtual events. As you may know, the governor recently updated guidance about events here and we expect the state Superintendent of Public Instruction and health officials to follow with guidance for schools. We also recognize that families may wish to begin making plans now, so we are sharing what we know for sure.


No matter what our ceremonies look like, there will be a live-streaming/video option for families and students who are not able to or choose not to attend in person.

Cup with Couto Ep4
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Where To Go for Asynchronous Time at School

Students can be in the Commons, Library or individual classrooms working with teachers during Asynchronous time. Remember to sign in the same way as you would in class.

Please do not remain in hallways during this time.

Thank you.

Pandemic EBT 2.0 is now here!

If you haven't already done so, families are encouraged to apply for free and reduced priced meals, making them automatically eligible for P-EBT 2.0. This EBT program provides additional support during the pandemic. Go to bellinghamschools.org/food-services for the free and reduced price meal online application.

If you have questions about the free/reduced price meal application, call 360-676-6572. All questions related to the P-EBT should be directed to 833-518-0282

¡Ya está aquí el EBT de la Pandemia 2.0!

Para más apoyo durante la pandemia, invitamos a que las familias apliquen para el lonche reducido o gratuito si es que aún no lo han hecho para este ciclo escolar, haciéndolos elegibles para el P-EBT 2.0. Vaya a bellinghamschools.org/food-services para llenar el formato en línea de la aplicación de lonche reducido gratuito.

Para asistencia con la aplicación del lonche reducido o gratuito, por favor llame al 360-676-6456. Todas las preguntas sobre la elegibilidad para el P-EBT pueden ser dirigidas al centro de contacto de P-EBT al 833-518-0282.

We are hiring!

Now hiring for substitute paraeducators, food services staff, teachers, bus drivers, and more!

Bellingham Public Schools is hiring for part-time supervision paraeducators as well as other substitute paraeducator positions. Hours for the supervision para are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., four days a week — Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. This might be the perfect opportunity for someone looking for shorter hours on a school year schedule.

We also have openings for substitute teachers, bus drivers and food services staff for the remainder of the school year.

To view current vacancies and to apply online, go to bellinghamschools.org/jobs. If you have questions after visiting the website, please call (360) 398-5572 about substitute work and (360) 319-3999 about other positions.

Junior Parent Night

Junior parents and guardians: Please Save the Date for a Junior Parent Night on Wednesday, March 31st at 6:30pm. We will be hosting a webinar with a focus on supporting your student through their senior year, ideas for helping with post-high school plans, and updates and trends on college admissions during this unique time. A zoom link will be emailed to families prior to the event. Please reach out if you have any questions. Thank you!

The Sehome Counseling Team

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Medication at School

If your student requires medication at school please provide a complete Authorization for Medications at School. Students may self-carry some medications with physician, parent/guardian and school nurse approval. Any medication that a student brings with them to school, must have a medication authorization form complete and on file at school. If you have any questions about your student’s health needs while at school please contact your School Nurse, Alyssa Johnson at 360-201-8766 or alyssa.johnson@bellinghamschools.org. We are looking forward to welcoming your student(s) back to Sehome!

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Sehome High School PTSA

Email: sehomehighschoolptsa@gmail.com

Website: https://sehomehighptsa.memberplanet.com/

Instagram: @sehomehsptsa

Facebook: @SehomeHighSchoolPTSA

Multi-Language Message Line

Families whose first language is not English can leave a message on our multi-language message line at 360-647-6816. Families dial 2 for Russian, dial 3 for Vietnamese, dial 4 for Punjabi or dial 5 for any other language (say name of language at beginning of message). Please call 360-676-6456 for Spanish.

Sehome Points of Contact

Sonia Cole, Principal: sonia.cole@bellinghamschools.org

Mike Couto, Assistant Principal: A - K mike.couto@bellinghamschools.org

Bethany Barrett, Assistant Principal: L - Z bethany.barrett@bellinghamschools.org

Kimberly Kirk, Dean of Students: kimberly.kirk@bellinghamschools.org


Jeff Smith, Counselor 9th Grade: jeffrey.smith@bellinghamschools.org

Amy Hjelt, Counselor A - G: amy.hjelt@bellinghamschools.org

Hana Schutz, Counselor H - M: hana.schutz@bellinghamschools.org

John Vandermolen, Counselor N - Z: john.vandermolen@bellinghamschools.org