Headmaster Update: Step Start Plan Progression - January 11, 2021

I hope the first week back at school went smoothly for your family. Please take a moment to watch this video outlining the upcoming progress in our Step Start Plan.

I am happy to report that while we received reports of a few COVID-19 cases during the holidays, we have not yet experienced any spread of the virus through the school. To date, we have had a total of eight confirmed positive faculty and staff cases and two student cases. These low numbers are due to the combination of our strong risk mitigation protocols and the cooperation of our families. We are grateful to you for doing your part to keep all of us safe.

While the virus continues to surge in many places, in the communities where our students, faculty, and staff live, the trend lines are flattening, and case counts remain within the “moderate” range. We continue to monitor King County health data daily, as well as review our internal protocols and indicators.

There is increasing evidence that schools are not significant locations for virus spread. Further, we know that it is best for students to be on campus as much as possible and in a regular school routine.

Step Start Plan Progression

With all of this in mind, we have decided to move to a modified Step Four in our Step Start Plan for grades 5 – 12. This means that students in grades 5 – 12 will return to learning on campus four days a week, with one day a week remote. Early Middle School and Middle School students will move to this modified Step beginning Tuesday, January 19 (Monday, January 18 is a school holiday). Upper School students will move to this modified Step beginning on Monday, January 25. Preschool and Lower School students will continue in Step Five. See Daily Schedule for specifics.

Of course, with Bear Creek Choice, your child is still welcome to continue learning remotely.

Division Heads will share more details about the logistics of this change for Early Middle School, Middle School, and Upper School students in their Updates later this week.

State of the School

Even as we grapple with the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Board of Trustees and school leadership have continued to plan for the future of The Bear Creek School. Please save the date for our virtual State of the School event on Wednesday evening, February 10, when we launch our new Strategic Plan. Look for more details coming soon on how you can participate in this Teams Live event.

Finally, I want to remind you of the good work the Lord is doing through us to help students become the individuals God intends. In the midst of the tumult of 2020 and the beginning weeks of 2021, it is all the more important that we are graduating students who are prepared and motivated by their faith to engage the world with wisdom, compassion, and courage. Thank you for partnering with us.

#grizzliestogether

Grace and peace,

Patrick Carruth
President and Headmaster