2021-2022 School Reopening Information

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Posted on 07/29/2021
As we continue to gather information on the guidance for the start of the 2021-2022 school year, we will be sure to communicate with staff and families. 

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at 360.354.4443 x3414

September 29, 2021

Good Afternoon,

We wanted to provide you with an update regarding the status of the Lynden School District related to COVID-19.   On Tuesday afternoon, our District’s administrative team met with Whatcom County Health Department officials to review the particular circumstances of COVID-19 cases in our student population.  This meeting was initiated by the Health Department as a result of the continued high COVID-19 rates among individuals residing within our District’s geographical borders.   At this time, we are confident schools will remain fully open and operating due to sacrifices requested of our families, students, and staff to follow recommended health & safety protocols.  The District also took an aggressive approach to developing a centralized testing program similar to professional athletic teams in order to quickly identify cases and mitigate transmissions at school. We need your continued support.

Please support the prioritized health protocols:  

  • Use of face coverings – although we’ve navigated many cases, we are not seeing evidence of spread in classrooms or on buses
  • Keep sick students at home – sending sick students to school or athletics only continues to increase chances of spread in the community
  • Keep students home if they have household members who are COVID-19 positive – close contacts need to quarantine, work with your school on an appropriate timeline to return
  • Consider vaccinations for children 12 and older. We anticipate vaccinations to be approved for younger students but are unsure of the timeline
  • Use the District testing site – testing is available 5 days per week for any student

We understand that our community holds a wide range of views and opinions regarding how and which safety requirements should be prioritized.  At this time we are simply asking for a bit of grace and goodwill as our staff work so hard to keep schools open for our students.  We also feel a strong sense of commitment to reducing spread of COVID-19 across the Lynden community. 

Our administrators, nurses, teachers, support staff understand the critical need to keep schools open and operational.  The potential of any type of closures is detrimental to student academic and emotional wellness, and often creates a hardship for all families.  Based on the numbers below we hope that we’ve weathered the storm, but understand that conditions could quickly change if we experience a spike in cases.  We are asking the community to “stay the course”.

School

Student Cases Week of September 7

Student Cases Week of September 13 (new cases)

Student Cases Week of September 20 (new cases)

BVE

4

1

2

Fisher

5

6

1

Isom

11

2

4

LA

3

3

1

LMS

6

5

3

LHS

15

8

7

Preschool

0

0

1

Total

44

25

19

Sincerely,

Dr. Mike Stromme

Interim Superintendent


PREVIOUS COMMUNICATION



September 24, 2021
Letter to Governor Jay Inslee
Letter to Governor Inslee 9.24.21


September 9, 2021

Board Statement - Governors' Executive Direction


August 27, 2021

Dear Parents, Families, Students and Staff,

Welcome back to a new school year.  District staff are excited to be welcoming a new school year and the opportunity for a full return of our students to in person learning.  Starting my 34th year as an educator, I have always looked forward to the fall and the start of the new school year, hopeful for a school year full of learning, student activities, athletics, continued development of relationships and spending time in the community eager to serve students.  I recently enjoyed time at the fair, taking in the rodeo and working with the Lynden PTA community and staff at the food booth.  We have much to be thankful for as we celebrate all that the Lynden community, and a new school year has to offer our children.

I recognize the school year is starting with additional challenges.  Specifically, there has been a good amount of concern regarding the state-imposed mask mandates.  Following a review of the articles and research provided to me and listening to parents, I have a great appreciation for the parent advocacy and understand the concern.

The priority of staff is for positive, healthy, and safe student learning environments.  As recently as last week, I spoke with local and state public health officials and listened to their concerns about the increased COVID case counts and impact on student and community health.  Additionally, I have spent a significant amount of time reviewing public health briefings and information. The Lynden School District has a legal obligation to follow the public health direction and guidance established for all schools in Washington State.  We rely on public health medical professionals to provide this direction and guidance.  As well, the current law directs public school systems to follow the:

  • Governor’s executive direction and Proclamations 20-25.14 and 20-09.4
  • State Secretary of Health direction and Order 20-03.3
  • Whatcom County public health direction
  • Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Guidance

Under state law, the authority of the School Board is expressly limited to the adoption of policies governing the operation of the public schools that are not in conflict with other law.  RCW 28A.320.015.

I am hopeful for a school year focused on core academics and learning standards, student safety and health, the return of student activities and athletics and the continued support of a school community that serves the needs of all students.  We do have much to celebrate!

Sincerely,

Mike Stromme, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent

SPANISH TRANSLATION 
Aqui para la traduccion al espanol 


August 4, 2021
Dear Parents, Staff and Students,

Last week the Washington State Department of Health (WDOH) released guidance for K-12 schools for the upcoming school year.  The Lynden School District is currently reviewing the guidance and working on detailed protocols to start the school year.  We collaborate with the Whatcom County Department of Health and other county school districts regarding implementation of the guidance.  In some cases, more flexibility is being offered such as physical distancing, symptom monitoring, and other cleaning and disinfecting protocols. 

Additionally, as was shared in the spring, all Lynden school’s principals and staff are preparing for full-time, in-person learning this fall.  Schools will be on a regular schedule every day.  Principals, teachers and staff are looking forward to seeing students on a regular basis.

Here are some highlights of the updated Washington Department of Health guidance:

  • Daily Health Attestation
    • There will be NO daily health attestation for staff or students (stickers, attestation sheets, temperature checks, or sign in sheets attesting to symptoms)
    • Sick individuals are still required to stay home
  • Vaccinations
    • No requirements for staff or students to receive the COVID-19 vaccination
  • Face Coverings or Masks
    • All school personnel, volunteers, visitors, and students must wear masks at school when indoors and on school buses
    • Masks are not required outdoors (strongly recommended in crowded areas outdoors)
    • Staff who are verified to be fully vaccinated may be indoors without masks when students are not present (a verification process is currently being developed)
  • Physical Distancing (Social Distancing)
    • Classrooms will be set up to space students apart at three feet or more to the extent possible
    • Schools will work to implement as much distancing as reasonably possible
  • Handwashing
    • Frequent handwashing will be encouraged
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting
    • Custodians will follow guidance for cleaning and disinfecting
    • Cleaning and disinfecting will continue to take place each night after students leave
  • Testing
    • The district is planning to offer on-site testing for staff and students
    • Any testing for students will require parent consent
  • Quarantines
    • The need to quarantine individuals who have been exposed to someone who tests positive is significantly decreased
    • Classrooms who have one student who tests positive will not need to quarantine
    • The district is working on a “test to stay” protocol which would allow close contacts to remain at school as long as they do not develop symptoms
    • Any outbreak of two or more cases in a classroom may require additional quarantines

       Athletics/Co-curricular activities

    • We are waiting for additional guidance from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) that will shape our fall athletic and activity plans

Please keep in mind the face covering requirement is a legal requirement from the state that schools must follow.  Local school districts do not have the ability to implement less restrictive requirements.  You can access the (WDOH) guidance document here

The district will continue to provide additional details as we approach the beginning of the school year.  As we all experienced last year, we do expect this guidance to change and be updated as the year progresses.  Thank you for your support and understanding as we work to keep our students, school staff and community safe. 

Sincerely,

Mike Stromme, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent



7.29.21 Superintendent Message

Dear Parents, Staff and Students,

The Washington State Department of Health released guidance for K-12 schools in the 2021-22 school year. The Lynden School District is carefully reviewing the guidance and will collaborate with local health officials about guidance implementation. We understand that families need to know what to expect in the coming school year and we will share information on Lynden school district’s plans with our school community as soon as possible. Please note, the state announced that they will continue to require all students and staff to wear face coverings, regardless of vaccination status, in Washington K-12 schools this fall. This is a legal requirement from the state that schools must follow. Local school districts do not have the ability to implement less restrictive requirements.

I know many students, parents and families wanted to eliminate mask requirements this fall.  I am hopeful that in time we can move toward family choice regarding the wearing of a mask.  Again, public health guidance will shape this path for us.  Thank you for your continued patience as we seek to create safe and healthy learning environments for our school community.

Sincerely,

Mike Stromme, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent