Superintendent's Message

Second Semester Learning Plan

Dear Meridian Families,

Today’s message is to seek information from all of our families. We need your feedback to prepare our learning programs for the second semester. We are again asking for a commitment from families to select a learning program for each child. Doing so ensures we can hire and staff each grade level program so we may effectively serve our students in this challenging time.


We are quickly approaching the second semester. We continue to work closely with the Whatcom County Department of Health for guidance on how we provide learning in the district. We continue to provide in-person hybrid learning for grades K-5 at Irene Reither Elementary School. We are also serving groups of students with high needs in our middle and high schools. The implementation of protocols and health measures have allowed for the safe provision of instruction, services, and support to students. Our schools continue to serve students with the cautious, phased-in introduction of hybrid and in-person instruction and services, including in-person services for high-needs students.


Our other schools are providing remote learning programs. We will expand our learning programs to emphasize in-person learning when the conditions allow. On November 18th we received guidance from Dr. Stern, Whatcom County’s Health Officer, to pause bringing middle and high school students to campus. We will continue to prioritize health and safety as we also seek options to provide additional in-person learning opportunities. We desire to serve students in-person. To do so, we need to be able to plan accordingly and ensure staffing is in place – as well as understand the impact of the holiday season on the transmission levels of the virus. For these reasons, we are prioritizing the return of middle and high school students back to campus on February 1, 2021, should the conditions allow.


Below is information about our Meridian Parent Partnership Program and learning programs for each grade level. Today, there is a form in Skyward for each student enrolled in the Meridian School District. Please help us by selecting the learning program for each of your children for the second semester. We ask you to do so by 5:00 pm next Thursday, December 17, please.

Meridian Parent Partnership Program (MP3)

Some families continue to prioritize remote learning for their students for any number of valid reasons. We provide a great option for remote learning for students in grades K-8 through our Meridian Parent Partnership Program. Our parent partnership program provides curriculum funding and support, as well as certified teacher guidance for parents who provide the instruction and assessment of their children. Many families have found this flexibility to be a positive alternative. It is not for everyone, and for those who have questions and want to know more, MP3 principal, Michelle Siadal, will host a Zoom meeting to share details and answer questions. This Zoom meeting will be on Monday, December 14th at 7:00 pm.

Students in Grade K-5

Students in Kindergarten through 5th grade are now engaged in a hybrid learning program. This will continue during the second semester. It may be possible to provide a four-day learning program for Kindergarten and first-grade students beginning the second semester if the student numbers and the staff mix permits. We will not be able to make that determination until we hear from our families. If it is possible, we will prioritize the four day model for those two grade bands because they are our earliest learners who have had significant disruptions. We want to bolster their learning with as much in-person instruction and consistency as possible. IRE will continue to provide the current hybrid learning program for students in 2nd-5th grade. In filling out the form on Skyward, there will be two options. One will be in-person learning at IRE with a teacher who provides instruction and assessment at IRE. The other option will be remote learning through MP3, where parents provide instruction and assessment with guidance and support from a certified teacher at MP3.

Students in Grades 6-8

Students in 6th – 8th grade will also have two options. One option is to stay connected with the teachers and learning program at Meridian Middle School. We are planning to move to a hybrid learning model on February 1, if conditions allow. If it is not possible then, we will continue with the current remote instruction model being offered by the staff at Meridian Middle School and make plans to be ready when conditions permit. The other option will be remote learning through MP3, where parents provide instruction and assessment with guidance and support from a certified teacher at MP3.

Students in Grades 9-12

Students in 9th – 12th grade will also have two options. One is to stay connected with the teachers and learning program at Meridian High School. We are planning to move to a hybrid learning model on February 1, if conditions allow. If it is not possible then, we will continue with the current remote instruction model being offered by the staff at Meridian High School and make plans to be ready when conditions permit. The other option will be a remote learning program, yet to be developed. This August we had less than 1% of our high school students select this option. We will develop a program after we have a better understanding of the need.


If you are uncertain about whether MP3 is an option for you and your child(ren), please attend the informational session Monday evening – or reach out to your current principal. We have many families who have been patient and are waiting to either move from MP3 back to IRE – or would like to now sign up for MP3 – for the second semester. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding – And for providing your feedback with these forms as it helps us to ensure we have the appropriate staffing and support in place as we head into the second semester. We love your children and want to serve them in the best way possible. The deadline for submitting forms for your child(ren) is Thursday, December 17 at 5:00 pm.


Thank you,


James