Welcoming the Whales 2021

Superintendent Newsletter

Welcoming The Whales Ceremony

2021 – Welcoming The Whales Ceremony (nearly post pandemic).

QTS honored the Quileute Tribes cultural custom of Welcoming The Whales Ceremony. This honoring has happened at the school since 2008. The 2nd Annual celebration resulted in a photo that is displayed in the Smithsonian Institute, when a photographer caught the expression of young students on the beach when a Gray Whale surfaced during the ceremony. Celebrations have been happening yearly, but due to the pandemic 2020 was skipped. Yesterdays, April 2, 2021 honoring marked QTS’s 13th Celebration of the Whale migration north and understanding of the cultural meanings for the Quileute People. A salmon is prepared and laid on a bed of cedar boughs upon a raft. Students push the raft out into the cold surf of the Pacific Ocean while performing traditional songs and drumming.

Afterwards a meal is served and fun activities for the students, prior to breaking for the Spring Break vacation.

QTS was successful (no COVID cases) in bringing students back to school for in person learning March 22, 2021 through April 2, 2022. Classes will resume on Monday, April 12th. We will remain with the schedule of in-person/or choice of online for Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Tuesday/Thursday 100% remote throughout the remainder of the School Year (tentatively June 16th)

Thank you QTS students, staff, school board members, tribal council, police department and invited guests for attending the 13th Celebration of the Whales. Next year we hope to be COVID-free and we can celebrate the event as an entire community wide event.

The Welcome the Whales Ceremony was a perfect example of a student centered activity.

Putting our students in leadership roles where they are honoring their culture and learning who they are and where they come from is key to their success, supporting them as young people and empowering them. Programs like this improve learning, promote healthy caring lifestyles and support success for all students at QTS.


The QTS Team!