Superintendent's Message

October 14th, 2020

Greetings Meridian Families and Students,


As many of you have heard, we are starting our progression to bring more students back to campus next week. We have a plan for our Kindergarten students to attend school, two days a week, starting Monday, October 19th. They will be learning remotely for the remaining three days. Classes will be split in half to allow for social distancing. Irene Reither staff have been reaching out to families who are going to be bringing their Kindergarten students next Monday. Mrs. Christiana has also been sharing important information and talking with families in preparation for the transition.


We then plan on bringing our 1st and 2nd graders to campus the following week, on October 26th. This format will also be the two-day in-person/three-day remote hybrid model. Also, we are preparing to welcome additional, older students who are most in need of in-person support to attend their schools until their grades are slated to return. We will be monitoring the success of these transitions from remote to hybrid learning for a few weeks before bringing our 3rd- 5th-grade students to school. We will revise and refine our protocols with the addition of each group.


While we plan for the next groups we will also be monitoring the transmission levels of the infections in the county and community, the positivity rate, and the trends. Superintendents from around the county have continued to meet with the Whatcom County Health Department to review our plans and address guidelines and parameters for operating safely. The link below is to a letter shared with the Whatcom County superintendents earlier this week from Dr. Greg Stern, WCHD Health Officer. In it, he shares details about the county’s changing rates of transmission, what the WCDH will look at to determine if schools would constrict or stay open, and the need to follow tracing guidance. Here is that link: https://www.whatcomcounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/51085/Whatcom-School-Superintendents-COVID-19-update-letter-101220


Understandably, there have been questions about how quickly we will be able to return all students to our campuses. Our transitions are following health department guidelines to move slowly and cautiously while starting with our most impacted and youngest learners first. It depends on our ability to serve our students safely in our schools – and what is happening with the transmission rates across Whatcom County. Neighboring counties and several states have seen rapidly increasing transmission rates. That is not currently the case for Whatcom County. We also have some districts who have a week’s head start – and we are learning from them as they move forward.


Sport-Specific Athletic Training
Following changes in the guidance from the State Department of Health, the WIAA, and OSPI, we welcomed sports-specific athletic training to our high school this week. We know there is a deep desire to return to school and a sense of normalcy. For many students, school athletics provides a connection to school and motivates students to be healthy and fit. We have had much interest from our students. We are working with our coaching staff to ensure guidelines are in place and being followed. If you have any questions please reach out to Bryant Michealson, our Athletic Director, bmichaelson@meridian.wednet.edu.


Drinks with the Doc
On Thursday, October 15th at 6:00 PM I’ll be hosting a session on our transition to the hybrid model. I hope you can join me. If you have any questions leading up to the meeting please email them to communications@meridian.wednet.edu. The link for the session: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88629498269. I look forward to connecting with you!