COVID-19: March 12 Update

A Message from Superintendent Greg Baker

Dear students, staff, families and community,

Tomorrow, Friday, March 13 is a regular school day here in Bellingham Public Schools.  I want to specifically thank all our staff who continue to serve and love our children.

I sit here tonight after a long day engaged with this challenging situation related to COVID-19, which continues to evolve rapidly internationally, nationally, statewide and locally. I have received messages from many of you with thoughts about where we are and what we should do next. In my nearly 10 years serving this community, I have worked hard to listen, be transparent and in the end, do what I feel is best for our students and families. I am thankful for the trust you have in me, our team and our school board.

I have some information to share with you tonight and more that I will be prepared to share with you tomorrow. I ask that you continue to show patience, understanding and grace as we navigate these challenging times. Decisions of this magnitude affect thousands of people and numerous organizations, thus cannot be made in haste.

Today, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee ordered  (video link / statement) that school districts in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties close from March 17 through April 24, and he indicated this order to close schools will likely expand to other parts of the state soon.

Governor Inslee asked all school districts to put long-term contingency plans in place, which we are doing. We have been and will continue to work with community leaders and health authorities, and we will have more information for you tomorrow, Friday, March 13.

We acknowledge that there are a lot of questions about the impacts of a closure; please continue to check our  FAQ as a resource and take care of yourselves and each other.

For those of you inclined to email me, please know I work hard to personally respond to each person who takes the time to reach out to me by email. However, this situation is and will continue to require a great deal of my time and attention. If you have questions or comments related to COVID-19 or our closure, please send them here and my team and I will respond as soon as possible.

Please continue to monitor your email and our district website for new information, and thank you again for your continued support and patience.

Greg Baker