Headmaster Update: Step Start Plan Progression - March 8, 2021

Greetings, 

I have quite a bit of information to share with you this week. Please take a moment to watch this video about our Step Start Plan progression and plans for the Bear Creek Choice program in 2021 – 2022.

Step Start Plan

I am pleased to share that the overall trend in the COVID-19 data is on the decline for community spread, hospitalizations, and deaths. Likewise, the number of cases in the communities where Bear Creek families live have also gone down significantly. We are therefore planning to move to Step 5 in our Step Start Plan for our students in grades 5 – 12, effective on March 22. This means that students will have the option of attending on campus five days a week. Of course, you may still choose to have your child learn remotely if that is best for your family circumstances. Preschool and Lower School schedules remain unchanged. Watch for more information and details from your Division Head later this week.

Vaccine Clinic for Faculty and Staff

In more good news, Governor Jay Inslee recently expanded the group of people eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to include all school employees. Thanks to the diligent efforts of Lea Hysom, our Health Services Manager, we have a vaccine clinic scheduled for faculty and staff on March 18 and 19. Nurses from QFC pharmacy will administer the clinic. The vaccine is optional, and while we encourage our faculty and staff to take advantage of this opportunity, we respect the right of our employees to make a personal health care decision.

Bear Creek Choice

As I mentioned in the Town Hall last week, we are working hard to plan for next fall and our Bear Creek Choice program. While many details are still being refined, we believe that offering a remote-only option alongside our on-campus program will better meet student and faculty needs. Development of a self-contained, fully remote program is a goal of our 2024 Strategic Plan, with the purpose of expanding the option of a Bear Creek education to students from a wider geographic area.  

Look for an email next week from Vice President for Academic Affairs Karen Blankenbeckler with more information on our plans to date as well as the process to select a modality for the first quarter of the next school year. 

Spring Break

As we look ahead to Spring Break, we want to remind you that we encourage all families to consider quarantining for a week after you return from domestic travel on an airplane, with students learning remotely during this time. While this request is voluntary, your cooperation and consideration of other families will help keep our entire community safe. All of our actions can help protect one another. The mandatory 14-day quarantine for international travel is still in place.

Gratitude Gala

Finally, I encourage you to register for our upcoming Gratitude Gala on March 27. I hope you will join me for this celebration of our community. 

#grizzliestogether 

Grace and peace, 

Patrick Carruth
President and Headmaster