May 15, 2019

Message from Michelle Kuss-Cybula

Dear families,

Last week, after our lockout experience, I heard feedback from many of you.

After debriefing with staff and talking with our student body, it became evident that we have two things to improve upon: communication in a timely manner and clear, cohesive vocabulary. I wanted to reach out today to tell you what steps we’re taking in these areas and give you some reminders and information on how we communicate in times of emergency.

Our number one goal with emergency preparedness is to keep students safe and respond immediately to any potential threat. We work closely with first responders to make decisions and relay accurate information to staff, students and families.

On May 21, we will be conducting a drill during Anchor. In order to ensure accurate information and cohesive vocabulary, we will be “talking through” this drill with the student body. Staff will first review the procedures with students to make sure all are prepared. After the drill is conducted, we will have a debrief with students and staff.

It is important for us to practice these drills for accuracy and reflect on any areas in which we can improve. It is also important for us to help students and families feel informed and prepared.

Below are some things that you, as a family, can do to help support our work with emergency preparedness:

Update your contact preferences in Skyward Family Access:

Our school district messaging system allows each family to enter up to six phone numbers to receive calls, six email addresses to receive emails, and five text message phone numbers. We found last week that far fewer families had enabled text messages than we would have guessed. Please take a couple of minutes to review your contact preferences; you can also consider adding your child’s cell phone number to receive messages as well. This may help students to be more reassured in the event of a real emergency and get more accurate and timely information in addition to what they are hearing from staff members in the school.

For step-by-step directions to verify or update your preferences, go to The Bellingham Public Schools communications office is also available for help at 360-676-6520.

Familiarize yourself with the terminology and protocols:


A lockout is initiated when there may be a danger outside of the buildings or off campus. Students and staff are moved (or remain) in classrooms and perimeter doors remain locked, including the front office. Classroom instruction continues as normal, and necessary movement can occur within a building. Law enforcement will typically notify administration when the All Clear can be given.


Doors Locked, Voices Off, Out of Sight

A Lockdown is initiated when there may be an immediate threat or hazard near or on the school campus. Students and staff are moved (or remain) in classrooms, sit away from sight line of the doors or windows, and doors and windows are locked and covered. Classroom activities cease until the incident concludes. The office will be closed and phones will not be answered.


An Evacuation is initiated when there are conditions inside the school building that could be unsafe, such as no water, no electricity, or fire. It might apply to the entire campus or to individual campus buildings. Students and staff evacuate the buildings to an outside location and assemble at predetermined locations. An off-site evacuation may be necessary depending on the incident. School district officials will coordinate bussing of students to an off-campus location. Information on student reunification will be sent out by the district automated phone, text, or email system.

Shelter in Place

Shelter in Place is initiated when students and staff need to be inside the building for safety, or protection from dangers or unsafe conditions outside of the building, such as hazardous material releases. During Shelter in Place, students and staff may be moved to a central part of the building and air systems shut off if hazardous conditions are present outside. Necessary movement can occur within a building, but may be limited as needed.

If you have any questions about our drill process, communication plan, or procedures, please do not hesitate to ask. You can also find more information about our emergency and safety work here.

Listen to and debrief with your child:

Finally: please know that the adults in our school care deeply about your children and their safety.

School safety drills that practice “best practices” can increase students’ confidence and knowledge in an emergency situation, without causing undue anxiety or fear. With that in mind, your child still may come home from a drill or an experience like last week with some worries. It is important to listen to their concerns and encourage them to connect with a staff member or counselor that they can unpack these concerns and come up with a plan to help them feel supported.


Michelle Kuss-Cybula


School Community Culture and Data Walk

Dear Sehome Families,

The Sehome Administrative Team, in partnership with the PTSA, invite you to participate in a school community culture and data walk this Thursday, May 16, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. in the Sehome Commons. Students from Sehome’s Peer Centered Outreach Club will lead engaging conversations around the culture and climate student survey. We look forward to sharing this valuable look into student perception of their school.


Michelle Kuss-Cybula

Marty Atkins

Mike Couto

Kim Kirk

Sehome PTSA

Peer Centered Outreach Club

Parking and pick up and Buses!!

Thank you EVERYONE! The parent pickup/drop off area has been running pretty smoothly. I appreciate your patience as we continue to work through construction. Our buses now have their temporary entrance/Exit at the front of the building. Thank you for keeping away from that area as construction is still happening there. It’s so great to be able to welcome all of our students to school in one area. It’s taking 15-20 minutes to clear out in the afternoons. The flaggers on Bill McDonald Pkwy are doing the best they can so please give a thank you to them on the way by. Coming earlier to school, having students carpool or having students take the bus will help with the traffic and parking issues. We have had many students speeding in our parking lot and kicking up gravel from their vehicles. Please remember the speed limit is 5mph. Please drive slowly as we have students, staff and children all around us out in the parking lots. If you see me rolling by on my Segway, which the kids have named “Pegway”, give a wave.

Peggy Fogarty

Campus Security Monitor



Summer Athletics Registration & Clearance

To participate student and parents must complete the following 2 steps

Step 1. Registration -

Students and parents must complete an “Online Registration” each year through the Skyward Family Access. You must log in under the 1st Family’s - Parent Access login & password

Click on the “Online Forms” tab to the left of the screen and complete the Activities/Athletics Registration. This registration will be good for the 2019-20 school year.

Step 2. Clearance -

Once you have completed the skyward online registration, the parent/student must contact the Sehome High School to be CLEARED for their individual sport.

The Athletic Secretary will check to make sure the Online Registration is complete

and that the student has a current sports physical on file.

Questions: Call 360-676-6470 Kelly Gookstetter Ext 5201 or Andrea DaCosta Ext 5203

Sehome High School Summer Camps - Programs

Clearance through Sehome High School IS required to participate in the following:

DATE CAMP /Program (Grade 2018-19) COACH

Jun Football Program (9th-12th) Kevin Beason

Jun Volleyball Team Program (9th-12th) Kristy VanEgdom

Jun - Jul Girls Basketball Program (9th-12th) Ayne Turner

Jun - Jul Boys Basketball Program (9th-12th) Sklyer Gillispie

Jun - Jul Boys Wrestling Program (9th-12th) Scott Schroyer

Jun - Aug Cross Country Program (9th-12th) Kevin Ryan

July Fast Pitch Summer League (9th-12th) Jim Emerson

July Girls Wrestling Program (9th-12th) Brian Porteous

July WWU Tennis Team Camp (9th-12th) Bonna Giller

(clearance with Sehome Athletic office is NOT require for WWU tennis camp)

For information on the Sehome HS camps and programs please contact the coach

Register through Bellingham Parks & Rec

DATE CAMP ___ (Grade 2018-19) DIRECTOR

Jun 25-29 Mariner Cross Country Camp (5th-12th) Kevin Ryan

Basketball Boys Skyler Gillispie 360-903-1511

Basketball Girls Anye Turner 360-810-7803

Cross Country Kevin Ryan 360-510-4288

Fastpitch Jim Emerson 360-961-6010

Football Kevin Beason 360-739-3665

Tennis Bonna Giller 360-739-3360

Volleyball Kristy White 360-220-7435

Wrestling Boys Scott Schroyer 360-441-5747

Wrestling Girls Brian Porteous 360-296-5574

Big picture


Yearbooks will be available for $65 from the ASB office


Mariner Mentors are recruiting now for 2019-2020. You need to have an Anchor Class next year and be available August 20-21. See Ms. Brewster for details and application.



Every day after school …Room 232

3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.



  • Supervised and collaborative study environment

  • Sehome and Western Washington University tutors

  • An opportunity for students to study with friends and work on group projects.

    This is a drop-in center; students choose how long to stay! Modeled after college tutoring centers, students are treated as young adults. Tutors model proactive learning approaches and create a caring environment for all learners.


  • Reserved one on one tutoring by subject, day, and time

  • 30-minute tutoring sessions (maximum of 2 concurrent sessions)

  • Reservation confirmation

  • Consistent tutor support


    Brenda Apt, Coordinator Brenda.apt@bellinghamschools Phone extension 5249