Revised school schedules for grades 4-12 spring 2021

A Message from Superintendent Greg Baker

Dear staff, students, families, and community,

We are revising our school schedules for in-person instruction for grades 4-12, hopefully for the final time this school year, to align with recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) and Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee.

High school

  • Starting the week of April 19, our high school schedule will include classes on Wednesdays. Students will attend their live/hybrid classes from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will follow an alternating schedule for in-person Wednesdays. For example, the Monday/Tuesday group will attend class in-person on April 21 and the Thursday/Friday group will attend in-person classes on April 28. Look for details from your child’s high school. Wednesday classes will be offered to students served in BRIDGES and Life Skills.
  • In addition, there will be opportunities for students to attend five days of in-person instruction as classroom capacity allows, which aligns with the governor’s proclamation to reach a school’s maximum capacity and maximum frequency of on-campus, in-person instruction that the school can provide. High school families will soon be receiving more information from their school regarding the process and timelines for students to attend five days per week.
  • Students in Community Transitions will continue with their current schedule of in-person and remote instruction. Teachers will communicate with students and families regarding any individual schedule changes.
  • We encourage all high school students to come to school in person every day for on-site instruction because we believe it is best for student learning, community and mental health. We will continue to offer a remote/Zoom-in option this spring, because we recognize some family or health circumstances make it necessary.

Elementary school

  • Starting the week of April 26, elementary school students in grades 4-5 will move to a four-day in-person/week schedule similar to the current schedule for kindergarten to grade 3.
  • For grades 4-5, we will have a new asynchronous remote option for families who are interested. Please contact your child’s principal to discuss options for your child.
  • Kindergarten to grade 3 will maintain their current schedule 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Students served in preschool, BRIDGES and Life Skills will also follow their current schedule.
  • Wednesdays will continue to be used for morning meeting, remote learning, family engagement, collaboration and professional development for staff.

Middle school

  • Middle school maintains its current hybrid schedule 9:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday/ Tuesday or Thursday/Friday.
  • Starting the week of April 26, there will be opportunities for middle school students to sign up to attend all four days of in-person instruction as classroom capacity allows. Middle school families will soon be receiving more information from their school regarding the process and timelines for students to attend four days per week.
  • Students served in BRIDGES and Life Skills will follow their current schedule.
  • Wednesdays will continue to be used for homeroom meeting, remote learning, family engagement, collaboration and professional development for staff.

Why are we making these changes?

The CDC, health departments, and governor all shared revised recommendations for PreK-12 schools in the last month (you can see the CDC’s guidance, DOH’s K-12 guidance, WCHD’s letter to Whatcom County superintendents and Inslee’s proclamation from March 15), and we have been analyzing how to adjust our schedules and protocols to meet their guidance.

Thanks for hanging in there, and we hope this spring schedule gives some consistency to our students, staff and families over the next nine weeks. We miss serving and seeing our students every day, and we hope to be back to a more typical five-day-per-week, full-day schedule next school year. This revised spring schedule helps bring us a step closer!

Greg Baker