SEHOME MARINER MEMO

10/11-10/15

PRINCIPAL'S NOTE

Dear Sehome Community,

Thank you so much for all the feedback, questions, comments, and encouragement around the TikTok challenges. Thank you for having conversations with your children and any kids who are within your circle of influence. We greatly appreciate it. It takes our entire community working together to keep our school culture positive and our school building nice.


We were able to land more information on our homecoming celebrations this week. Our student leaders have done an incredible job planning a fun-filled week that honors and celebrates who we are as Mariners! A huge thank you to Mr. Zentner, Mr. Cushman, and the entire student leadership class. We are looking forward to celebrating together in a safe way! Now we just have to keep hoping for sunshine for our outdoor events.


We will need several parents or guardians to help chaperone the dance on Saturday, October 23rd from about 6:30 - 8:15 PM. All chaperones will need show proof of vaccination. If you are interested in chaperoning the dance, please email mailto:toni.ladner@bellinghamschools.org to be added to the list.


This week we have several different schedules! Be sure to check out the information below. Tuesday we have an alternative schedule due to 10th and 12th graders completing the Healthy Youth Survey while 9th graders complete a survey and 11th graders pre-bubble for the PSAT.

On Wednesday, we will have an alternate schedule for Super Wednesday.

9th graders are completing the state assessments that were delayed last spring.

10th graders are doing the Pre-ACT.

11th graders will be taking the PSAT.

12th graders will be taking the WCAS Science Assessment and doing their senior photo.


Friday, we do not have school. It is a professional development day for staff across the district.


Here's to another great week! Reach out with any questions, comments, or feedback. We love hearing from you!


Sonia Cole

Principal

IN THIS EPISODE

1 – 10/11 Bell Schedule

2 – 10/12 Bell Schedule

3 – Homecoming Dance

4 – Homecoming Week Themes

5 – Sehome PTSA

6 – Anxiety Awareness Documentary and Live Panel Discussion

7 – SHS National Honor Society

9 – 2021 Healthy Youth Survey

10 – Free and Reduced Form

11 – Sehome Learning Center

12 – School Nurse Reminders

13 – College Fair and FAFSA/WASFA Information

14 – Grads Ads

15 – Senior Pictures

16 – COVID-19 Information

17 – Multi-Language Message Line

18 – SHS Points of Contact

10/12 BELL SCHEDULE
super Wednesday bell schedule
homecoming graphic

3 - 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.

4 - HOMECOMING WEEK THEMES

SHS Leadership students present Themes for Homecoming Week 10/25-10/29

10/25 Monday - is Adam Sandler day (which is just basically baggy clothes and hats)

10/26 Tuesday - going to be music star day and you can wear anything from a band t shirt to a full on outfit of your favorite artist

10/27 Wednesday - Disney day so wear Mickey mouse ears or anything else disney

10/28 Thursday - class battles day and the freshmen will be astronaughts (if no astronaut related clothes, wear white)

Sophomores will be galaxy pattern day (if no galaxy pattern, wear purple)

Juniors will be aliens (wear green if no alien related clothes)

Seniors will be space jam (wear bunny ears, long socks, basketball jerseys)

10/29 Friday - green and gold day so wear anything sehome or green or gold!

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.memberplanet.com/packetview/sehomehighptsa/sehomehighschoolptsamembershippages

anxiety graphic

6 -ARE YOU OR YOUR CHILDREN STRUGGLING WITH ANXIETY?

Do you or your kids have anxiety issues?

You are invited to attend the online event, with a panel discussion with mental health professionals.

Also, join in watching this documentary that will have Spanish subtitles and an interpreter for audience members who want to ask questions in Spanish.

This is an online event, please register here: https://bit.ly/WAfamily

7 - SEHOME NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY

We are now accepting applications for new members for the Sehome High School chapter of the National Honor Society.

Students in 10th, 11th or 12th grade may complete a membership application online using this form.

The application deadline for new members is MONDAY, November 1st.

Membership in the National Honor Society (NHS) is one of the highest honors that can be awarded to a high school student. Our chapter has worked hard to bring the accomplishments of outstanding students to the attention of parents, teachers, peers, and the community. Our chapter strives to give practical meaning to the Society’s standards of scholarship, service, leadership, and character in addition to the Sehome core covenants of inclusivity, integrity, perseverance, and respect. These ideals are considered as the basis for selection. No student is inducted simply because of a high academic average. The National Honor Society strives to recognize the total student—one who excels in all of these areas.

The standards used for selection are:

  • Scholarship: 3.0 cumulative grade point average or better
  • Leadership, service, and character: as demonstrated by activities and teacher evaluations

Membership, however, is more than an honor. It is an ongoing responsibility and an obligation to continue to demonstrate those outstanding qualities that result in a student’s selection. Membership also carries a responsibility to the chapter. If our NHS chapter is to be effective and meaningful, each member must become involved. Our chapter meets on the first Friday of each month beginning in November.

Additional questions regarding membership in the National Honor Society can be directed to the club adviser: angela.desler@bellinghamschools.org

9 - 2021 HEALTHY YOUTH SURVEY

Dear families of students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12,

Within the next few weeks, our district will be participating in the biannual Healthy Youth Survey. This student survey is voluntary and anonymous, and the results are used to identify and monitor factors that affect the health of youth in Washington. The results can indicate changes in health behaviors over time, and our schools use these results to identify important areas of need.

The Healthy Youth Survey focuses on health risk behaviors, such as violence, alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use that can result in injury and impact positive development among youth. The survey also includes questions about risk and protective factors that research has shown to be correlated with these health risk behaviors. Survey results are used to guide policy and programs that support our youth and reduce their risks.

Please take some time to review this information for parents and students, then talk about the survey with your child and decide if they will participate. The information sheet is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and additional languages upon request.

Sehome 10th and 12th grade students will take the HYS on Tuesday, 10/12 during Anchor class.

Again, this is voluntary and anonymous, and it provides our state with key information to support our young people. If you have questions, please reach out to Bethany Barrett at Bethany.Barrett@bellinghamschools.org.

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

10 - 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 Graphic
school nurse graphic

12 - 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.

13 - 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.

14 - 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.








https://bellinghampublic.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3Ei4VwD6MNIIdvw

Big picture
Big picture

16 - 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.

17 - 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.

18 - 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