Dear Meridian Students, Families, and Staff,

All Meridian Schools, facilities, and buses have been cleaned and disinfected and will be operating normally tomorrow, Thursday, March 12. I again want to thank our community for their patience and support.

There have been many requests to know the results of the testing for our affected middle school staff member. The results are not yet available. We have been in contact with the staff member and will be informing our community of the results when they are available.

This morning I listened to Governor Jay Inslee’s briefing on COVID-19 where he provided information on methods to slow the coronavirus and reduce social interactions. You can see that information here. I also met with all the Whatcom County superintendents and our principals to determine our best steps forward at this point in time.

The governor and health department are asking schools to stay open and continue contingency planning for the possibility of a prolonged closure. As of this afternoon, Seattle, Lake Washington, Bellevue, and Shoreline school districts have closed for a period of approximately 2 weeks. We are not currently planning to close for a prolonged duration – but please know the landscape is constantly changing. Because of this, we are preparing in the following ways:

  • Refining our contingency plans for a possible prolonged closure;
  • Encourage our staff and students to stay home when they are sick;
  • Taking extra care in our schools and workplaces to follow the CDC’s recommendations for cleaning, hand washing, and personal hygiene.
  • Increase our effort to follow advice by the governor and the Whatcom County Department of Health for increasing social distancing, impacting meetings and events in our schools.

Governor Jay Inslee has asked all businesses and school districts to reconsider large gatherings and encourage social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Effective Thursday, March 12 through Monday, April 13:

​We will cancel or postpone:

  • Large gatherings outside of school hours that include both adults and students; e.g., concerts, guest speakers, and plays.
  • Large gatherings during school hours such as assemblies.
  • We are advising the cancellation of out-of-state travel for student groups.
  • Additionally, all Whatcom County superintendents agreed to cancel or postpone indoor events where crowds would gather and social distancing would be difficult to attain.

We will continue with the following types of events unless the group or school chooses to cancel or postpone:

  • Small gatherings of staff, such as staff, grade-level and department meetings.
  • Small school-based gatherings that primarily include students and staff; e.g., after school activities and clubs, YMCA child care.
  • Typical local field trips approved by building administrators.
  • Athletic practices, unless decided by the school or group to cancel or postpone. Large competitions, games/matches/meets and contests will be determined on a case by case basis.

Our nurses want you to know that there are guidelines for students who are not feeling well. Sick day guidelines state that students should stay home and must be fever-free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications before returning to school. More details can be found here.

Current COVID-19 resources may be found at:

We support families’ ability to make the choices they feel are best for them and their children. As of today, the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak is officially considered a pandemic. These are rapidly changing and unprecedented circumstances. As always, we appreciate your patience as we work through these difficult decisions together.

Sincerely,

James

Dr. James Everett