Current plans: Homecoming dances Oct. 23 for SHS, BHS, SqHS

A Joint Message from Bellingham, Sehome and Squalicum High Schools

Dear students and families,

We are pleased to share our current plans about homecoming dances with all Bellingham, Sehome and Squalicum high school families. Each of our schools plans to host an optional, free homecoming dance for their students on Saturday, October 23.  These are the first dances our schools have hosted since the governor’s order to close schools in March 2020.

We plan for these dances to be held outdoors, to follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols, and to require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend. (More detailed information on COVID protocols below.)

Like everything throughout the pandemic, we have worked closely with the Whatcom County Health Department and other state authorities for guidance. Each of our high schools is following the same protocols to be able to provide a consistent homecoming celebration and dance. And, as always, each school is planning many activities for homecoming week that aren’t dances, because these are fun and celebratory weeks, and the dance is just one of many fun, community- building activities. Each school will share more about their homecoming plans through newsletters and social media.

Administrators and student leaders from all three high schools met together, and we consistently heard how important this social activity is to our students, as well as how committed our student leaders are to making this a successful event that will pave the way for possible future events.

Throughout the pandemic we have continue to carefully expand the full constellation of high school services and extracurriculars within up-to-date guidance to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Our students have shown immense grace and patience as they have experienced what will no doubt be remembered as unusual and challenging high school experiences. We also know that athletics, activities and social milestones like dances support the mental health and well-being of many of our students.

Our student leaders have also stepped up to the challenge of helping to lead the event to have fun and mitigate risk, and we thank them for their leadership.

General information about the dance:

  • 7 – 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 23
  • Doors open at 6:45 p.m.
  • Tickets are free of charge; students need to sign up to attend
  • Location: outdoors at the location that makes the most sense for the campus.
  • Weather: Because this is an outside event, please dress accordingly and prepare for the weather. The event can be cancelled due to inclement weather. If the event is cancelled, our schools will communicate via email, text message and/or school website alert, similar to inclement weather messages for snow days.
  • All students who attend the home high school are welcome to attend. No guests.

COVID-19 protocols:

We expect all attendees to follow these protocols to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19.

  • Stay home if ill.
  • Wear a mask throughout the event. As of September 2021, the state of Washington requires masks at crowded outdoor events of more than 500 people. Additionally, our schools require universal masking while on site.
  • Observe hand hygiene: students will sanitize their hands and have access to sanitizer and/or hand-washing throughout the event.
  • Maintain distancing as able.
  • Before the event, provide negative COVID-19 test and/or proof of vaccination
    • Each school will have a process for verifying proof of vaccination.
    • All students will have access to free rapid antigen COVID-19 testing on October 22 at their schools. Students need to bring this testing consent form to be able to test at school.
    • Students need to provide either proof of immunization or negative COVID-19 test results by the end of the day on Oct. 22 to attend the Oct. 23 event.

If you have questions, please contact your school.

Sincerely,

Marty Atkins, principal, Bellingham High School

Sonia Cole, principal, Sehome High School

Miguel Perez, principal, Squalicum High School

Esta es información sobre la educación de su hijo/a. Solicite traducción o interpretación gratis si necesita al 360-676-6456.