COVID-19 (Coronavirus) FAQ

Updated: March 20, 2020

Bellingham Public Schools will be closed beginning Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 24, or until further notice. Please continue to stay connected and refer here for the latest updates regarding student learning, childcare and nutrition.

Will the district be offering meals to children and families during the closure? 
Updated March 31: This week, our district is continuing to offer daily meal pick-ups at all of our ten school sites between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. each day (no need to come by last name).
Starting today, March 31, we are providing a multi-day meal box at our neighborhood sites and apartment complexes and discontinuing daily meals. We will not be back until Monday, April 6 at the following sites: Evergreen Ridge, Villa Santa Fe, Sterling Meadows, Eliza Court, Regency Park and Sudden Valley Community Center.

Starting next week, April 6, we will provide multi-day meal boxes at all 16 of our sites (schools and neighborhood complexes) between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. only on Mondays. We will discontinue daily meals. We believe this shift in service will be more efficient for families and staff; limiting our interactions with each other means practicing better physical distancing. If you have questions or concerns, families can call 360-319-8863 o en español 360-510-9174.

Families can go to the following schools to pick up meals:

  • Alderwood Elementary School
  • Carl Cozier Elementary School
  • Cordata Elementary School
  • Geneva Elementary School
  • Happy Valley Elementary School
  • Parkview Elementary School
  • Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Wade King Elementary School
  • Shuksan Middle School
  • Options High School

Or the following neighborhood/apartment complexes:

  • Eliza Court mobile home park
  • Evergreen Apartments
  • Regency Park Apartments
  • Sterling Meadows Apartments
  • Sudden Valley Community Center
  • Villa Santa Fe Apartments

We ask families who are sick to please stay home, and we are not able to sell meals to adults.

At this time we are unable to fill requests for special dietary needs. If you have questions about carbohydrates and allergens please email susan.dejong@bellinghamschools.org and we will try to get you that information in a timely manner.

Please be flexible as plans may change based on access to food, staff and supplies; guidance from the health department; or orders from the governor to prevent COVID-19 from spreading further. This service is possible with the incredible efforts of our food services team and the generosity of Bellingham Public Schools Foundation.

Please continue to check back here for the most up-to-date information.

If you have questions related to our meal service, please fill out this online form, click “school meals” and submit the form; someone will respond soon.

Learning Resources for Families

Please visit our Learning Resources webpage for more information.

What are our remote learning plans during the closure?

Updated: March 20

Remote Learning

Our educational technology coaches, teachers on special assignment, principals and district leaders have been working very hard behind-the-scenes to build sustainable and effective systems for remote learning during this closure. Teachers and other staff began acting on these plans on March 23.

Many teachers have already connected with students and families to check in, provide instructional content and support students’ continued learning.  Our staff will continue working through this crisis, and all students will be provided with learning opportunities every week beginning  March 23 and no later than March 30.

  • Middle and high school students will receive their instructional support through their personal school district computing devices using tools such as OneNote, Microsoft Teams, and Flipgrid.
  • For elementary students, teachers will initiate online connections using the SeeSaw program that most of our elementary teachers have already been using to connect school with home.

For our seniors in their final semester of high school, and our students receiving specialized services: we have teams working now in each of these areas, and we also expect more specific guidance from the state the week of March 23.

What child care options are available in Bellingham while schools are closed?

This information is now available on our child care webpage.

Will COVID-19 impact the last day of school?

In short, we do not know. We had anticipated sending a message to staff and families to confirm that the last day of school would be June 17 (as we had hinted in a message on Feb. 3). Unfortunately, at this point, there are too many unknowns about COVID-19 and potential impacts to our school calendar. We acknowledge that many people are curious about the last day of school and hoping to make plans for the summer. We will confirm the last day as soon as we are able, and please know that we appreciate your patience.

According to OSPI, emergency waivers will be granted so that the last day of school is no later than Friday, June 19.

What can parents do?
What are the facts about coronavirus (COVID-19)?
  • Current COVID-19 resources may be found at: 
  • It’s important to know the facts. 
  • Please remember that the risk of COVID-19 is not at all connected with race, ethnicity or nationality. We all play a part in reducing stigma and discrimination associated with a disease outbreak. Please don’t make assumptions about someone’s health status based on their ethnicity, race or national origin. Viruses don’t discriminate and neither should we. 
  • There’s no evidence children are more susceptible to the virus; 98% of confirmed cases to date are adults. 
  • We encourage all families to confer with their health care providers for specific medical advice or questions as needed. 
What plans does Bellingham Public Schools have in place in case of an outbreak of a communicable disease?
  • We rely on the direction of regional health experts for sharing communications relating to communicable disease outbreaks. We work with agencies including the Whatcom County Health Department, Washington State Dept. of Health, and the Center for Disease Control. 
  • Our district policy 3414 and procedure  3414 guides the protocols we would follow for any communicable disease. 
Will schools be closed?

Updated March 13:

Bellingham Public Schools will be closing all schools and extracurricular activities starting Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 24, or until further notice.

 

What are our plans for district and school events?

Updated March 13:

Effective Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 24, or until further notice.

All extra-curricular activities, trips, athletics and other school-based events, including facility rentals, are suspended.

Who can I contact if I have questions?
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to school nurses, Health Services (360-676-6470 ext. 6533), or School Safety & Emergency Management (360-676-6534). 
  • Please also take a moment to update your family’s communications preferences in Skyward Family Access by following the directions on our Skylert webpage so you will receive all communications from our schools and district in the way(s) you prefer. 
  • Submit questions or comments through this weblink.