thankyou
A note from a student.

In 2011, Bellingham Public Schools launched Project Free Education, an initiative whereby families are not asked to pay towards school supplies and some activities. This is a budget priority that attempts to close some of the gaps in state funding without asking too much financially of our families. Since we started this project, we have:

  • Provided full-time kindergarten to all families until the state provided more funding
  • Eliminated the need for families to buy school supplies at elementary, middle and high school
  • Discontinued middle and high school course fees
  • Funded significant field trips such as Mountain School for fifth graders and sailing on the Snow Goose for sixth graders
  • Reinstated the elementary strings program, and provided violins for fifth graders and recorders for third through fifth graders
  • Provided enrichment stipends for after-school activities at all elementary schools with additional support for Title I schools for greater equity
  • Supplied high school scientific and graphing calculators, and world language Advanced Placement (AP) workbooks
  • Reduced high school college preparation testing fees, such as PSAT, and in some cases AP fees

In 2016-17, we eliminated middle and high school pay-to-play athletics.

Thank you to the many community partners who have lent their support over the past five years.

2016-17 School Supply List

High School

  • School supplies provided, as needed
  • No course fees
  • No testing fees except Advanced Placement (AP) tests
  • Students will need ASB cards
  • Backpacks are recommended but not required
  • No athletic pay-to-play fees

Middle School

  • School supplies provided
  • Students may need ASB cards and will need clothes for physical education
  • Backpacks are recommended but not required
  • No athletic pay-to-play fees

Elementary School

  • School supplies provided
  • Backpacks only

 

Previous Supply Lists by School Year:

 

2015-16

High School

  • School supplies provided, as needed

Middle School

  • Fully fund school supplies

Elementary School

  • Fully fund school supplies

 

2014-15

High School

  • Scientific and graphing calculators
  • World Language AP Workbooks (Spanish/French)
  • PSAT testing fees (Grades 10 and 11, Readistep for grade 9)

Middle School

  • Fully fund school supplies
  • Snow Goose field trip for sixth graders

Elementary School

  • Fully fund school supplies
  • Recorders for all third to fifth graders
  • Enrichment program stipends at Title I schools
  • Instrumental music program after school (funded by donations)

 

2013-14

Strides made to eliminate school supplies at both elementary and middle school level. Course fees eliminated at high school level. Staff have worked hard to reduce expenses for families with great progress at middle and high schools. 

High School

  •  Course fees
  • Reduced athletic fees

Middle School

  • Mostly fund school supplies
  • Reduced athletic fees

Elementary School

  • Fully fund school supplies
  • Mountain School at North Cascades for fifth graders

 

2012-13

The district provides school supplies for elementary level. Schools purchase the supplies students need for learning, as we do with books and other materials. Middle school fees reduced and school supply lists are simplified. High school course fees are reduced. This is a strong step in reducing expenses for families.

High School

  • Reduced course fees

Middle School

  • Reduced and simplified supply lists

Elementary School

  • Mostly fund school supplies

 

2011-12

Beginning in fall 2011, we asked our elementary families to bring three items for first day supplies. The district worked with principals to purchase other classroom supplies in bulk. Middle school supply lists have not been standardized yet. High schools have been taking initial steps to reduce and standardize course fees.

High School

  • No supplies provided

Middle School

  • No supplies provided

Elementary School

  • Families provide backpack, binder or notebook, pencil box or pouch