MARINER MEMO

10/18-10/22/2021

CLASS OF 2022

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PRINCIPAL'S NOTE

Dear Sehome Community,

It was a busy week with lots of different schedules, but we made it through! Students completed their state testing or Pre-ACT/PSAT on Wednesday. Hopefully, students were able to find time to relax and regroup on Friday. It has been a busy few weeks! We are still working to get into the routine of school.

We are looking forward to having the Homecoming Dance on Saturday, October 23. This will be an outdoor event and will take place on the Sehome baseball field. The gates will open at 6:45 PM. The dance will run from 7-8 PM. If you are interested in chaperoning, please contact Toni Ladner. All chaperones will need to show proof of vaccination. We still need about 5 more people.

Any student who wants to attend the dance will need to pick up a dance contract form from the ASB office ASAP. Students will need to show proof of vaccination or will sign up for a time for COVID testing. We will test at Sehome on Friday, Oct 22 before school, during lunch, or after school.

The dance is free but students must clear through the ASB office and pick up a ticket by Friday at 4:00 PM. We will not accept vaccination cards or proof of negative COVID-19 test at the door. Only students who have cleared by 4:00 PM on Friday will be allowed entrance to the dance on Saturday night. Please encourage your child to plan ahead if they plan to attend the dance.

It should be a fun night! We hope you will consider chaperoning!

Let's make it a great week!


Sonia Cole

IN THIS EPISODE

1 – Student Pantry

2 – Homecoming Dance

3 – Home Week Themes

4 – City of Bellingham Make A Difference Day

5 – Sehome PTSA

6 – Free and Reduced Variety of Benefits

7 – Learning Center

8 - School Nurse Reminders

9 – Grads Ads

10 – Senior Pictures

11 – College Fair and Career Visits

12 – COVID-19 Information

13 – Multi-Language Message Line

14 – Sehome Points of Contact

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Homecoming graphic

2 - HOMECOMING DANCE

Great news! We are pleased to share we plan to host an optional, free homecoming dance for our students on Saturday, October 23. These are the first dances our schools have hosted since the governor’s order to close schools in March 2020. Our homecoming dances will be held outdoors, will follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols, and will require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend.


Like everything throughout the pandemic, we have worked closely with the Whatcom County Health Department and other state authorities for guidance. Each of our high schools is following the same protocols to be able to provide a consistent homecoming celebration and dance. And, as always, each school is planning many activities for homecoming week that aren’t dances, because these are fun and celebratory weeks, and the dance is just one of many fun, community- building activities. Each school will share more about their homecoming plans through newsletters and social media.

Administrators and student leaders from all three high schools met together, and we consistently heard how important this social activity is to our students, as well as how committed our student leaders are to making this a successful event that will pave the way for possible future events.

Throughout the pandemic we have continue to carefully expand the full constellation of high school services and extracurriculars within up-to-date guidance to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Our students have shown immense grace and patience as they have experienced what will no doubt be remembered as unusual and challenging high school experiences. We also know that athletics, activities and social milestones like dances support the mental health and well-being of many of our students.

Our student leaders have also stepped up to the challenge of helping to lead the event to have fun and mitigate risk, and we thank them for their leadership.


General information about the dance:

  • 7 – 8 p.m., Saturday, October 23
  • Doors open at 6:45 p.m.
  • Tickets are free; students must sign up to attend
  • Location: outdoors at the location that makes the most sense for the campus.
  • Weather: Because this is an outside event, please dress accordingly and prepare for the weather. The event can be cancelled due to inclement weather. If the event is cancelled, our schools will communicate via email, text message and/or school website alert, similar to inclement weather messages for snow days.
  • All students who attend the home high school are welcome to attend. No guests.


COVID-19 protocols:

We expect all attendees to follow these protocols to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19.

  • Stay home if ill.
  • Wear a mask throughout the event. As of September 2021, the state of Washington requires masks at crowded outdoor events of more than 500 people. Additionally, our schools require universal masking while on site.
  • Observe hand hygiene: students will sanitize their hands and have access to sanitizer and/or hand-washing throughout the event.
  • Maintain distancing as able.
  • Before the event, provide negative COVID-19 test and/or proof of vaccination
    • Each school will have a process for verifying proof of vaccination.
    • All students will have access to free rapid antigen COVID-19 testing on October 22 at their schools. Students need to bring this testing consent form to be able to test at school.
    • Students need to provide either proof of immunization or negative COVID-19 test results by the end of the day on Oct. 22 to attend the Oct. 23 event.


If you have questions, please contact your school.

Sincerely,

Marty Atkins, principal, Bellingham High School

Sonia Cole, principal, Sehome High School

Miguel Perez, principal, Squalicum High School


Esta es información sobre la educación de su hijo/a. Solicite traducción o interpretación gratis si necesita al 360-676-6456.

HOMECOMING WEEK THEMES

Dress Up Days for week of Oct. 25-29.
Homecoming Week Themes

4 - CITY OF BELLINGHAM MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY AND ARBOR DAY WORK PARTY

COB and NSEA volunteer opportunity for Make a Difference Day 2021

Celebrate Make a Difference Day and Arbor Day with the City of Bellingham and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) by helping improve water quality and salmon habitat at Whatcom Falls Park. We will be planting native trees and shrubs, removing invasive plants, and maintaining social trail closures together on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 9 a.m. to noon. All ages, abilities, and experience levels welcome! Participants under age 14 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. We will provide tools, gloves, and instructions, as well as free Tony’s coffee and Papa John’s pizza that are being generously donated. Please dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes and a face mask. This event will follow current Health Department guidelines and COVID-19 safety protocols. To learn more and register for this event, please visit www.cob.org/madd2021.

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5 - SEHOME PTSA

Hello Mariners,

We want YOU, to join our crew!

Become a part of a team that supports our community.

· Share new ideas.

· Join a committee.

· Ask about leadership opportunities.

· Meet community members.

Would you like to learn more about SHS PTSA? Click here to visit our website (add link).

https://sehomehighptsa.memberplanet.com/

Email us at sehomehighschoolptsa@gmail.com with questions, or to schedule a phone call with a board member.

As always, we would LOVE for you to become a member. Join SHS PTSA now! (add link below)

https://www.smore.com/hjvrb-sehome-mariner-memo#:~:text=https%3A//www.memberplanet.com/packetview/sehomehighptsa/sehomehighschoolptsamembershippages

6 - FAMILIES ENCOURAGED TO FILL OUT FREE AND REDUCED MEAL APPLICATION FOR VARIETY OF BENEFITS

We encourage eligible families to return income information on the free and reduced price meal application. While all students in Bellingham Public Schools are provided meals at no charge this school year, collecting this information helps with more than just meals.

Students and families who qualify will access district or community reduced fee benefits, including fees associated with athletics, health benefits and after-school care.

In addition, the information may be used to qualify eligible children for SY 21–22 and summer 2022 P- EBT if programs are extended.

Please use the online application available here for the quickest and most efficient way to submit this information. (Please use Google Chrome browser to fill out.) The 2021-22 income guidelines and eligibility charts are also found online.

Please note: Meal applications can be submitted any time during the school year. Households that experience a change in income due to job loss or other circumstances are encouraged to apply. In addition, there are no citizenship requirements for participation in these programs, and immigration status is not requested or disclosed on the application.

If you have additional questions about the free and reduced meals application, contact Food Services at (360) 676-6504.

Learning Center details

7 - Learning Center

The tutoring center offers help with most subjects taught at SHS…Contact the Learning Center and we will try to find you the help you need.

About the tutors:

They work with students 1:1 or in small groups in their content areas of expertise

· Answer questions on course content

· Aid in comprehension of course material, review, and test preparation

· Patient, dependable, and responsible when working with students

· Friendly, flexible, and sensitive to demands of high school students

Schedule a tutoring appointment
https://sehome.bellinghamschools.org/schedule-tutoring-appointment/

Visit the learning center website
https://sehome.bellinghamschools.org/students/learning-center/

Questions?
theresa.wines@bellinghamschools.org

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8 - REMINDER FROM SCHOOL NURSE

Reminder: As we enter cold and flu season, please continue to monitor your student(s) for symptoms of COVID-19 (sore throat, cough, fever, congestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, runny nose, recent loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, and fatigue). If your child has 1 or more symptom of any duration, they cannot come to school for 10 days OR they can return after getting a PCR COVID-19 test with a negative result. You can find information on the school district website: https://bellinghamschools.org/covid-19-information/. Testing is available through Whatcom County Health Department (360-778-6075) OR through the Bellingham airport site at testdirectly.com/whatcom.

MEDICATIONS AT SCHOOL

When a student requires medication at school, either prescription or over the counter (OTC), parents/guardians must return a completed medication authorization form with directions from a licensed health care provider (LHCP) to Sehome. One exception is that certain OTC medications that are self-administered do not require LHCP instructions, but they do require a parent/guardian to complete the medication authorization form. There is no situation that a student taking medications at school does not need a medication authorization on file.


The privilege of students self-caring their medications, whether prescription or OTC, requires students to take their medication as instructed on the authorization and being aware that they may not share their medications with anyone. Medications brought to school must be in the original prescription container or manufacturers labelled OTC container. Medication authorizations expire at the end of the current school year, or sooner as per LHCP instructions.


Link to Medication Authorization Form can be found here.

9 - GRADS ADS FOR YEARBOOK

Time to order your grad ads! This year all seniors get a quarter page in the yearbook for FREE. Grad ads are due Friday December 10th. Information about grad ads and how to place your order are included in the link (or by scanning the QR code) below. Please contact the Sehome yearbook staff with any questions at SHS.Yearbook@bellinghamschools.org.
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11 - FAFSA/WASFA INFORMATION

Seniors! Two virtual events in October to help you file the FAFSA/WASFA for financial aid


The window is now open to file for financial aid, an important step in your college and beyond plans. FuturesNW is hosting two virtual events where you can access some expert help:


1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 10

Register here.


or 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20
Register here.


Please talk to your career specialists/counselors at your school for more information or assistance.

COLLEGE VISITS

10/18 2:45pm Eastern Washington University - In Person

10/19 9:00am Oregon State University - In person


10/19 Both lunches WA state Army National Guard - In Person


10/20 11:15am Central Washington University - In person


10/20 5:30-7:30pm FAFSA/WASFA completion Help Event – free register here

https://bit.ly/FAAD1020


10/24 10am-3pm NACAC College Fair https://virtualcollegefairs.org/conventions

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COVID-19 Q&A FROM COVID SAFETY TEAM

Q: How do you do contact tracing? How will I know if my child is a close contact?

A: When we find out that someone with COVID was at school, we launch a thorough investigation to identify close contacts. This process often includes staff, school nurse, director of health services and COVID-19 safety team. You can see this chart for a definition of a close contact and how vaccination status impacts quarantine requirements.


If there was exposure, we do contact tracing, which is another way of saying we determine if there are close contacts. If there are close contacts, we prioritize communication with close contacts as quickly as possible. We work in partnership with our COVID safety team and the health department to determine and share exposure date, return date and resources.

After we have notified close contacts, we update the COVID dashboard on our website, which we update regularly. If we learn of multiple cases in a classroom over a short duration, we will communicate that. These cases may be coincidental and unrelated. If the health department determines transmission is occurring, we will work closely with them on next steps and communicate.

Please remember: if your child is a close contact, you will be notified. If you’re not notified but you see a case on the dashboard, you should assume your child was not a close contact.


And as always, keep masking, washing hands, keeping distance as able, watching for symptoms, etc. Vaccine and masks continue to be our most important mitigation tactics.


Our two primary goals for the 2021-22 school year are to maximize in-person instruction by keeping kids in school and to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 among students and staff and to their families and our broader community. Our best protections are the COVID-19 vaccine and masks.


Here is the current guidance that we will follow:

- Masks are required inside schools for everyone regardless of vaccination status.

- Masks are optional outside but recommended for crowded events.

- Physical distance should not be a barrier to in-person instruction. Our goal is to have a distance of 3 feet between students in the classroom.

- We will not be doing health attestations for students. We ask that everyone stay home when they are sick.

- We are hoping to expand testing access to every school.

- We will continue to do contact tracing.

- We will continue to focus on handwashing and sanitizing.

13 - 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

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

Colin Cushman, Athletics & Activities: colin.cushman@bellinghamschools.org


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

Jeff Smith, Counselor E-K: jeffrey.smith@bellinghamschools.org

Hana Schutz, Counselor L-Re: hana.schutz@bellinghamschools.org

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