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Ferndale School District Communication Updates and Information Resources

Governor Jay Inslee mandated that all K-12 schools in Washington State close for traditional, in-person learning due to COVID-19 in March 2020. This web page provides communication updates and resources for families during the pandemic.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Ferndale School District Information Update

A letter families from Superintendent Dr. Linda Quinn sent Friday, January 8, 2021 with an information update.

Find previous communication update letters archived below the latest featured update.

Dear Ferndale Families,

Happy New Year. I hope you and your children had a good Winter Break and a successful first week back to school.

Right before we headed into Winter Break, I let you know that we had received a green light from the Whatcom Health Department to bring our secondary students back into some level of in-person learning in the new year. I committed to sharing our district’s plan and timeline by the end of the first week in January. That is the purpose of this letter.

In a nutshell, here is our plan for in-person learning for secondary students. 

  • At the beginning of second semester, which is the week of February 1-5, we will bring back all of our secondary students (grades 6-12) who choose to return to in-person learning.
  • They will come back on a hybrid AA-BB (Monday/Tuesday--Thursday/Friday) schedule, just like students do in our elementary schools. (Because of the complexities of secondary scheduling, we are still working out which students will be assigned AA days and which will be assigned BB days.)
  • Their daily schedule will be much the same as it was prior to the pandemic, with similar start and end times.
  • Wednesdays will remain asynchronous learning days.

Also right before we headed into Winter Break, we sent you a survey to find out whether you would choose to have your student(s) return to in-person learning when that option becomes available. Thank you to all of you who returned your surveys. If you did not, please contact your child(ren)’s school.

We are also working on a plan for accommodating our students who said they do not want to come back to in-person learning. Here are our plan(s) for remote learning for secondary students. (Because of different needs and conditions, the middle school delivery model for remote students will be different than the high school model.) 

  • At our middle schools, where all students experience a more standard curriculum, we are creating a separate “school within a school” with dedicated teachers who will just be working with remote learners. Although we believe this is the best option for leaners, we know it will create the need for some schedule changes for both students and staff.
  • At the high school, where the master schedule is very complex, student schedules are very diverse, and we have to ensure students can get all the classes they need for graduation, all teachers will livestream their lessons.
  • That means, on their assigned cohort (AA or BB) days, remote high school students will Zoom into their classes and watch their teachers on their screens.
  • Remote students at the middle level will continue in the same remote model they have been using since September, although student schedules and teacher assignments may change. 

Please be assured that we will be following all of the health and safety guidelines in our secondary schools that we have already implemented in our elementary schools, and we will make sure staff and students are trained on these expectations. The encouraging news is that we have amassed a great deal of evidence that the mitigation strategies we have in place work. To date, we have had no indication of transmission of the virus inside one of our schools, even when we have experienced positive cases.

We still have lots of details to work out over the next few weeks, which we will be doing in partnership with the Whatcom Health Department and our staff. However, we are excited to be taking this next step.

I suspect you have a number of questions. We don’t have all of the answers yet, but we will keep you posted as our plans develop. Your next opportunity for any update on our reopening plan for secondary students will occur next Thursday (January 14, 4:00 pm), where we will devote our whole Every Thursday Facebook Live program to this topic.

Thank you so much for your patience and partnership.

All my best,

Linda Quinn

Archived Letters from Superintendent Dr. Linda Quinn:

Week of August 10 - August 14

Week of August 3 - August 7

Week of July 27 - July 31

Week of July 13 - July 17

Week of June 29 - July 3

Week of June 15 - June 19

Week of June 8 - June 12

Week of June 1 - June 5

Week of May 18 - May 22

Week of May 10 - May 16

Week of May 3 - May 9

Week of April 26 - May 2

Week of April 19 - April 25

Week of April 12 - April 18

Week of April 5 - April 11

Week of March 29 - April 4

Week of March 22 - March 28

Week of March 15 - March 21

Week of March 8 - March 14

Week of March 1 - March 7

Week of February 23 - February 29

Quick Links Resources

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Additional resources

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention