In this week’s new, you’ll find professional pictures available from the auction, an invitation to earn school volunteer hours outside, Kids Heart Challenge information, a way you can be part of beautifying our school, Lenten activities at school, PTC news including fundraising efforts and volunteer opportunities, as well as some wonderful events planned for this Spring, staffing updates for next school year, new guidance re: health and safety protocol, a chance to attend an amazing concert next weekend, a call for help to ensure safety at recess, a request for your personal photos to fill our yearbook, a reminder about no Mass this Friday, and upcoming calendar events. Thanks for reading!
Mr. Anderson didn’t produce a video newsletter this week so that he could have highlights ready for families regarding the new DOH guidance. Please see these items under “Health and Safety Protocols.” The video will return next week on March 16th. Thank you!
Kids Heart Challenge
Join us Assumption families! We want each of our students to pledge to take care of their hearts and minds. Help your student choose their personal challenge to BE KIND or BE ACTIVE today!
Interior design and architecture for building restoration
Do you know anyone who has expertise in restoring old buildings to their original architecture? We are looking for parents or friends of Assumption who will help us plan a new design for the floors, hallways, and stairwells of the school. Specifically, we want to know if it’s possible to return the school to its original look from the early 1900’s starting with the first floor. This will likely be a long-term 2-3 year buildout, but we hope to start something this summer. Please contact Sharon Newbold at firstname.lastname@example.org (or (206) 300-7678) if you have an interest in these things or know someone who can help us with this design.
There’s still time to fulfill volunteer hours for the year, especially for anyone who needs to find hours outside of the typical workday. Our wonderful parishioner and grounds-beautifier, Mrs. Janis Jacobs, works tirelessly to keep the church and school grounds looking their best! She could use a few more pairs of hands as we get ready to welcome Spring!
Please join a work party with Janis on Saturday, March 26th to trim branches, pick up debris, and do general grounds maintenance. Your time will count toward school hours and is greatly appreciated! Sign up for a slot (or two) here: Work Party Sign Up
Two open positions have now been posted on the school’s website under “Employment Opportunities.” The preschool teacher position is part-time from 8 am to 12:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Qualifications for the position are posted in the job description and we look forward to receiving great applicants. If you know anyone interested, please encourage them to apply.
The second position posted is for a full-time office assistant. Mrs. Jessica Sidhu has resigned from her Thursday/Friday position, and Mrs. Dayna Dennis will be moving from office manager (Monday through Wednesday) into the Development Director position for 2022-2023 (replacing Shannon Zebrowski). We are thrilled to welcome Dayna into this new role, where she will continue to manage admissions and remaining COVID tasks, and are hopeful that we will be able to hire a full-time replacement who can work 7:45 to 4:15 pm, Monday through Friday. We are still configuring teaching positions for next year and will let families know when those vacancies have been posted.
We want to thank Mrs. Sidhu for so graciously jumping into her role this year and being willing to take on whatever needs were thrown her way. We’re so grateful she’s agreed to sub in the office as needed in the future!
Concert at Church of the Assumption
A community concert of Bellingham Chamber Chorale, presented by our own Dr. Frederick Mabalot. Saturday, March 12 at 8 pm and Sunday, March 13 at 5 pm. For tickets, please visit: www.bellinghamchamberchorale.org.
BRING YOUR PENNIES! Each week during Lent, we will focus on bringing a different coin to fill our school’s Lenten Almsgiving Jar (this is separate from your family Rice Bowl). You may want to give coins to your child in a small envelope or Ziploc for transporting to their classroom. Our first week will be pennies! This money will be given to the Rice Bowl, which benefits Catholic Relief Services, reaching families all around the world! We will be collecting pennies until Monday, March 14, when it switches to nickels.
First Week of Lent -Pennies
Second Week of Lent -Nickels
Third Week of Lent -Dimes
Fourth Week of Lent -Quarters
We are so very grateful for the success of our Growing Great Kids Auction and Gala this year! Preliminary numbers are in! Fund the Need raised approximately $32,500 that will go toward repairing the gym roof which is included in the approximately $183,000 raised for the evening (not including expenses). The net profit after expenses (somewhere between $110,000 to $120,000) will be allocated to support the school operations throughout the 2022-23 school year. Thank you, Tiffany and Lisa, volunteers and supporters!
Thank you to Sara Rush and Maureen Thomas who put together another helpful Used Uniform Sale! And to everyone who brought in donations! The PTC raised $895 during this sale.
Please remember to pick up your salmon orders this Thursday, March 10th in the gym. You will need to pay Fall Line Fisheries at pickup via cash, check or Venmo!
Need a great balsamic drizzle to serve with your salmon? The 6th and 7th grade class project of tasty Take and Bake Salad Dressing is still available along with a few other auction items. See the form in this week’s Wednesday Envelope!
Movie Night is back! Mark your calendar for movie night in the Assumption Gym on Saturday March 26th. We will have a full-length movie screening (free!) and concessions available. Doors open at 6:30; movie starts at 7 pm!
It’s not too late to order a yearbook! They are now $30 and orders can be placed online. Our school code is 189029 https://www.memorybook.com/online-pay/parent-pay/
Attention 8th grade parents! PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL INBOX FOR AN IMPORTANT EMAIL FROM YEARBOOK ADVISOR COLLECTING 8TH GRADE INFORMATION FOR YEARBOOK!! If you haven’t received an email please contact Kelly Segel email@example.com or 360 303 8277.
Missoula Children’s Theater is coming to Assumption May 16-21st! This is a great opportunity for all students to take part in a live theater production! We are looking for families who are willing to host one of the wonderful MCT directors in your home for the week. If you are interested in getting more information please contact Mrs. Sidhu, our volunteer coordinator. firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also looking for an adult pianist or guitarist to accompany the production. If you or someone you know might be interested, please contact Mrs Sidhu.
Consent to rapid antigen test
In your Wednesday Envelope today, please sign and return the consent form that allows us to test students for COVID on campus. If you have multiple children, one form with all of their names listed will be sufficient. This will allow negative-testing students to stay in school whether they have symptoms or have been exposed. If you do not give permission for testing, please note that on the form when you return it so that we may follow up when needed with alternative mitigation strategies (additional masking or days for isolation/quarantine.) Even if you filled one out previously for Holy Hoops or middle school sports, please fill out and sign a new one for the current calendar year.
The required fact sheet for antigen testing is available here: https://www.fda.gov/media/141569/download
Health and Safety Protocols- changes to mask mandates
On Tuesday, the Washington Department of Health published updated guidance for K-12 schools, early learning, and child-care programs to prepare for the change in mask mandate starting on Friday, March 11th. The following guidance takes effect on Monday, March 14th in all Washington State schools. We will include this information and language into our own Health and Safety Protocols document (posted on the webpage but wanted to put this information out in advance for your information).
- Requirements and Guidance to Mitigate COVID-19 Transmission in K-12 Schools, Child Care, Early Learning, Youth Development, and Day Camp Programs (wa.gov)
We’ve provided a summary of the changes and updates here but will continue to review the document and ask questions to the Whatcom Health Department, WA DOH, and Archdiocese for areas of clarification.
Required Actions (summarized with language for Assumption students and staff)
- Masks will be optional for students and staff in the school building starting on Saturday, March 12th. However, with some exception (after exposure, during an outbreak/cluster, etc.) students may be required to wear a mask for a short period of time. The choir will also require masks until further notice.
- All school employees must be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption.
- Students/staff with symptoms must isolate, testing at school is encouraged with parent permission.
- Isolation room will be available/used to separate symptomatic individuals; masks must be worn by all in isolation room.
- Anyone who tests positive is required to isolate at home. He/she can return after 5 days if symptoms have improved AND there has been no fever for 24 hours without medication, OR the child has been asymptomatic for the duration.
- Upon returning, the student will need to test negative (with antigen test) or wear a mask for Days 6-10.
- Schools must ensure access to testing. We use the Learn to Return and Test to Stay programs.
- Anyone wishing to continue wearing a mask must be encouraged/supported to do so.
Contact tracing has changed:
- School must directly notify any student/family who has been identified as immunocompromised, medically fragile, or high risk of potential exposures.
- School must inform families of cases/outbreaks through group notifications (i.e., by class or activity); notification of individual close contacts not required (although there may be instances where individual contact tracing is necessary). This is done through our email system.
- All positive cases must be reported to the Archdiocese and WCHD.
Optional/Recommended Actions that Assumption will follow:
- On site testing (Learn to Return & Test to Stay programs), particularly for symptomatic individuals, household exposures, & high-risk activities
- Regardless of vaccination status, anyone potentially exposed can remain at school and will need to:
- Monitor for symptoms
- Wear a mask at school (with parent permission)
- Get tested 3-5 days after last exposure
- Continue mitigation strategies such as ventilation, social distancing (to the degree possible), hand washing, and cleaning/disinfecting
- Maximize distancing to the degree possible:
- When eating in the classroom or other areas
- In common areas (hallways, gym, library, etc.)
- During high-risk activities (i.e., P.E., singing, playing instruments)
- Students will wear masks during Choir (5th and 6th graders only) until further notice; masks may be worn during high contact sports (none of which happen in the spring).
Important Points for Students & Parents (From the DOH):
- “While we are moving into a new phase of the pandemic, COVID-19 remains with us, and it should be recognized the COVID-19 pandemic response must remain flexible with the possibility for changes that occur at the state and local levels.”
- “While masks are no longer required universally in schools or provider settings, there will be situations when the use of well-fitting masks may be temporarily required.”
Note on masks: Although teachers won’t be “policing” the use of masks in the classroom, it is important for them to know when your child will be wearing a mask- either permanently due to a family decision or temporarily because of exposure (or returning from isolation). Communication will be VERY important with your child’s homeroom teacher, and please include the office staff in that communication.
- Staff need to teach students that some may need/choose to wear a mask for a variety of reasons – there will be no tolerance for bullying/harassment.
- Parents are responsible for ensuring their children remain at home when ill and inform the school when there has been exposure. Use the Symptom Decision Tree to determine when students should remain at home and when they should be tested.
WE HAVE A GREAT NEED FOR VOLUNTEERS OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS! Spring is waiting around the corner. In the meantime, our students need the outlet of playing outside each day! Angels help keep our students safe on the playground, which we are so grateful for and cannot offer recess without. Thank you in advance for your help!
Yearbook photos needed!
This year, we have a wonderful new yearbook leader, Kelly Segal. We’d love to support her with lots of content to build us a great collection of memories. We’ve been so blessed with a return to having school events and activities and want to fill up those pages!
If you’ve taken photos that you’d like to contribute to this cause, please send digital images to Mrs. Dennis (email@example.com).
NO SCHOOL this Friday
Just a reminder that there is no school this Friday, March 11th. It was originally planned as a curriculum day, but Archbishop Etienne saw fit to award it as a mental health day for all. Enjoy!
We’ll resume school Mass on Friday, March 18th with our second grade leading.
Upcoming calendar items:
March 10th– Volleyball assembly, 10 am
March 11th– NO SCHOOL
March 16th– Early Release @ 11:45; Casual uniform
March 21st– Track & Field season begins
March 28th– Pizza Lunch
April 4th – 8th-Spring Break