Dear Sehome Families,

I would like to request your help on a situation that continues to impact our school community. In the month of September, we had several students decide to participate in the TikTok Challenge that challenged people to vandalize their school bathroom. Our custodial staff spent a lot of their time replacing soap dispensers, paper towels, fixing sinks where students tried to pull the sink off of the wall. Our students have the amazing ability to do great good or cause great harm. Instead of using their energies for these sorts of things, think of the good that could be accomplished if this energy were used to improve our community. Please talk with your kids about this trend. Remind them that their actions can have huge impacts on our whole community. We would like to keep our building looking brand new.

Additional challenges have been rumored to include such things as smacking a teacher on the backside, kiss your friend's girlfriend at school, and jab a breast. These challenges can get students into huge trouble inside and outside of the school building. Please have conversations with your child and their friends about the impact of these choices.

We are learning how to be together again. We are teaching kids how to cheer in a positive way at our games, how to encourage one another, how to clean up after themselves, and just how to generally be a positive influence in our community. Your help with reminding them how to behave will really help out!

I have gotten several questions about homecoming for this school year, so I thought I would address some of the things we know about homecoming and update you on a few of the pieces we are still working to figure out.


- We will have a homecoming week.

- It is scheduled for the week of October 25-29.

- We will have a spirit week with dress-up days throughout the week. Our student leadership class is developing what those days will be.

- We will celebrate what it means to be a Mariner through all of our athletic teams' meets and games, concerts from the band, choir, and orchestra, and other extracurricular events.

- Having all students vaccinated certainly helps our ability to add extracurricular activities. If your child is not already vaccinated, I encourage everyone who is able to do so.


- We will have some sort of assembly with the class dances, performances from the dance and cheer teams, and class competitions. Where it will be held is still being worked on. The hope is to have it outside so that everyone can be at the same event while following health guidance. We have also looked at options of having classes in different spaces so that everyone is distanced and livestream the dances to the other classes. We have lots of options. Our student leadership has done an incredible job of thinking through the challenges and coming up with fun options.

- Students really want to have a dance. We are collaborating and brainstorming options with the other Bellingham Public Schools high schools, district officials, and our health department to determine what options are available. We hope to have more information coming soon as those details are landed. We do know the dance would need to be held outside. Masking would be required. Please have your child dress for the weather! If we are able to have the dance, we will need LOTS of volunteers to help to pull it off.

- We hope to be able to have a tailgate at Civic Field before the football game on Oct. 29th. Details are still being determined.

Please know that we are doing our very best to provide as many events and activities that we would have in a typical school year. However, our main focus at all times is prioritizing the health and safety of our students and also keeping our focus on in-person instruction.

Please reach out with any questions, concerns, or feedback.

Sonia Cole



1 – Congratulations, Jennifer Styer

2 – Free and Reduced Meal Application

3 – Sehome Learning Center

4 – WA State Healthy Youth Survey

5 – Nurse Reminders

6 – College Fair

7 – FAFSA/WASFA Information

8 – WA Student Achievement council Financial Aid Info

9 – Senior Photos

10 – Grads Ads

11 – Parking Permits

12 – WTA Info

13 – 2021 BSD Unified Fall Activities

14 – Volunteer Application

15 – Bellingham Public Schools Hiring

16 – COVID-19 Information

17 – Sehome Points of Contact


Jennifer Styer, Sehome CTE teacher, has been selected as a 2021-22 Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Equity Fellow.

Jennifer Styer has been teaching high school STEAM classes in Bellingham, Washington for 18 years. Jenny’s passion for equity began when she came to the realization that being female didn’t improve the diversity in her classroom. Throughout her career, she has attended inclusion and diversity workshops in computer science and participated in anti-racist education and book groups. As a result, she has tried everything from bunnies in the classroom to an all-girls middle school club. She believes that if everyone learns computer science the world will be a better place. Jenny intertwines art and creativity with technology to assist her students in solving problems. When she isn’t teaching, she can be found on horseback or enjoying the outdoors.

The CSTA Equity Fellowship is a year-long program that will provide leadership development opportunities to fellows and identify opportunities for the group to develop ongoing, peer-to-peer professional learning experience focused on addressing issues of equity in the computer science classrooms for CSTA members.

Each CSTA Equity Fellow will receive professional learning with premier leaders in the field, including in-person summits and ongoing virtual meetings throughout the year. They will also receive support from CSTA staff, expert partners, and dedicated resources to implement their project, as well as recognition across CSTA’s communications channels and at the CSTA 2022 Annual Conference in Chicago.

For additional information, visit


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.

Sehome Learning Center hours


Washington State Healthy Youth Survey 2021

Our school is participating in the Washington State Healthy Youth Survey on October 12 during Anchor class. The survey will be given to students in Grades 10 and 12.

The Healthy Youth Survey includes questions related to physical activity and diet, unintentional and intentional injury, substance use, sexual behaviors, abuse, risk and protective factors, and access to school-based services. Survey results are used by schools, communities and state agencies to plan programs to support our youth and reduce their risks. Participation in the survey is voluntary and the students’ answers are anonymous. We will be administering the survey online this year. No privacy issues were identified in the E-survey pilot conducted in 2019.

This year, our school disable any recording, keystroke tracking, and video capture software on school-issued devices used to take the survey. They are also going to instruct students to do the same on personal devices used to take the survey before they begin. If you use any software to monitor the device your student will use to take the survey, please turn it off before they begin to ensure their honest participation.

Please read the Parent and Student Notification Letter for more information about the Healthy Youth Survey.

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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: Testing is available through Whatcom County Health Department (360-778-6075) OR through the Bellingham airport site at


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.


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.

FAFSA Night Information


12th Year Campaign! Financial Aid Information
Wednesday 9/29 5:30pm- 7:30pm Virtual

Register in advance

FAFSA/WASFA completion help session for BSD students and families

Sunday, October 10th 1:00pm- 3:00pm Virtual
Register in advance

Scholarships 101- where to find them- what to look for
Tuesday, October 12th 7:00pm- 7:45pm Virtual

Hosted by Martha Zender –Sehome High
Zoom link here Meeting ID 862 2435 4107
must log in with Student BSD ID and password


2022-23 Financial Aid Applications Open Oct. 1

Information for Students & Families

Please consider sharing this information with students and families in your community.

Student & Family Messaging

Apply Now for 2022-23 Financial Aid
A family of four making up to $102,000 may be eligible for aid

As of October 1, 2021, students can apply for financial aid for the 2022-23 school year. With all the uncertainty caused by COVID, education beyond high school is more important than ever. Applying for financial aid gives you more options for the future.

In Washington, there are two ways to apply for financial aid:

  • Most people should complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA is used by U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens to apply for both state and federal financial aid.
  • The WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) is an application for state financial aid only. The WASFA is for people who are undocumented or who do not qualify for federal aid because of their immigration status, and can be used in limited circumstances by others who cannot or choose not to file a FAFSA.

Applying for financial aid is a crucial first step toward college or job training. Many families assume they won’t qualify, but there’s more help available than ever before. This year, a family of four making up to $102,000 can qualify for financial aid in Washington. The only way to know for sure if you’re eligible is to apply.

Learn more, get support, and apply for financial aid at

Senior Photo information


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

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Parking passes will be available beginning the second week of school. Stop by the ASB office and speak with Cathy Moran to get your application. While parking for students is free, we do require that all part-time and full-time students register their vehicles with the school.
WTA information
Unified Activities information


Adult volunteers are incredibly helpful to our schools and we are currently in need of additional volunteers. All volunteers need to be listed in our volunteer system and due to COVID-19, previously cleared volunteers will need to upload additional documentation and view additional training videos. Please go to ttps:// to complete or update your application and upload all necessary documents.

Contact Bellingham School District Volunteer Coordinator, Jennifer Gaer, with any questions: at

Bellingham schools is hiring
Graphic of masking/vaccination


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 symptom of any duration (with the exception of only 1 short term symptom lasting less than 24 hours), 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: Testing is available through Whatcom County Health Department (360-778-6075) OR through the Bellingham airport site at

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.


Sonia Cole, Principal:

Mike Couto, Assistant Principal: A - K

Bethany Barrett, Assistant Principal: L - Z

Colin Cushman, Athletics & Activities:

Amy Hjelt, Counselor A - D:

Jeff Smith, Counselor E-K:

Hana Schutz, Counselor L-Re:

John Vandermolen, Counselor Rh - Z:




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.