September 16th, 2020
Greetings Meridian Families and Students,
Today marks two weeks into this school year. We appreciate the energy, support, and patience of our families as we continue to work to start the year off well. I also want to acknowledge the
incredible Meridian District Staff for their work, enthusiasm, love, and dedication they have
demonstrated to support our students. I have a great appreciation for the Meridian School District students, staff, and community members for creating a positive learning environment these past weeks.
Many of you have been watching the Whatcom County COVID-19 transmission rate movement. You can see that information on Whatcom County’s COVID-19 Data web page. Understandably, I have had questions about when we may consider moving to a different model of learning than the current remote model. When we announced we would be following the Whatcom County Health Department’s guidance to start the school year in a remote model of instruction, we also indicated we would be watching the rates and assess the ability to move to a hybrid model as soon as it was safe to do so.
At the time we identified nine weeks as a potential target. Some of that preparation is to also address the needs of students who require additional services. We are now working on details for how we may provide services for students who require predetermined support and therapies on campus. This involves ensuring we have protocols and procedures in place to provide that support safely. After successfully bringing this group to campus we will bring additional groups back in steps aligned with the Whatcom County Department of Health guidance. You can see more about the transition steps here. The health department has recommended a slow and cautious approach to bring students back to campus. These transition steps are dependent on the continued low transmission rates for Whatcom County as a whole. We will update you as we know more about this process.
Our Food Services team has been outstanding in their ability to provide meals to our students. We received information just before school started that we could make meals available. We are now delivering meals to students who are ages 2-18 a couple of time a week so students may have breakfast and lunch seven days a week. Those details may be found on our Food Services web page.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This month is a time to raise awareness, provide support and break down the stigma surrounding this very real issue. Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. Suicide is preventable and each one of us can do out part to recognize the warning signs, show compassion and offer support to those who are struggling. Our goal is to raise awareness about this issue and connect those who may be struggling to the proper resources. People in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, or those who know someone who may be should do the following:
· National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
· Crisis Text Hotline: Text HOME to 741741
· Whatcom County Crisis and Triage Stabilization Center: 1-360-676-2020
· If there is an emergency dial 9-1-1
· Visit the link below for additional mental health treatment and support resourceshttps://www.whatcomcounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/28170/Accessing-Behavioral-Health-Services-2019?bidId=