The final “first day” of in-person instruction; new CDC guidelines

A Message from Superintendent Greg Baker

Dear students, staff, families and community,

Today marks the last first day of welcoming students back for in-person instruction. Our second and final group of high school seniors had the opportunity to attend school in person today. At this moment, we have fully reached stage 4 of our Reconnect Plan, the plan we developed last summer ahead of the 2020-21 school year.

It is hard to believe we have had more than 15 “first days” since November, and it is in reality closer to 25, when we include the smaller, targeted programs and the different groups in grades 4-12! View graphic online.

We are proud and excited to offer in-person instruction for our students, and we want to recognize all the planning, time, emotion and commitment on the part of our school-based staff and other leaders to bring us to this place. Here is our “first days” photo album, which captures our journey back to in-person school since November.

Alongside the Reconnect Plan now in stages 3 and 4 for in-person learning, we are also proud to offer and maintain remote offerings in Bellingham Public Schools for those who are not ready or able to return to school in person.

You may have heard that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released its new guidance for K-12 schools, which includes revised physical distancing recommendations for three feet between students in classrooms and clearer guidance for when a greater distance (such as six feet) is recommended.  At this moment, we are maintaining our current safety protocols, and we will continue to learn more and refine in-person plans and communicate if and when we change them. We are committed to continuing our approach to the world pandemic and evolving guidance since March 2020: we will listen to the experts, work together to come up with plans to improve and reconnect, and keep safety as our number one priority. Vaccine availability expands every week and that is a real measure of hope.

I appreciate staff, students, parents/guardians and community members for your resiliency, innovation and flexibility. This past year has been the definition of a collective commitment to our children.

Happy spring!
Greg Baker