A Message from Superintendent Greg Baker & Back-to-School Reminders
It was wonderful to see many of you as I was out in schools today greeting students and families. Also as a parent, I am reminded that this is the ideal time to start forming healthy habits for a new school year. It’s important to help our children take time after school to share highlights of their day or any concerns with us, to decompress, eat snacks, complete homework and settle into a routine for a good night’s rest.
Please check in with your child’s teachers and the school’s principal if any issues arise. Our staff want to stay in close communication with you. Also, please remember that each year we have many students enroll during the first week of school and others move during the summer that we anticipated would return. This almost always creates a need to adjust class size and staffing in some schools where enrollment is higher or lower than expected. We closely monitor enrollment every day and will work quickly and effectively to balance class sizes using our available resources throughout our 22 schools.
Finally, please see below for some important back-to-school reminders.
I hope you and your family have a fantastic first week of school and wish you all the best year ever!
The first early dismissal for all schools will be Wednesday, Sept. 12. (Please note: Wednesday, Sept. 5, is a regular school day for all schools.)
On days when all schools dismiss early, the schedule is:
High schools dismiss at 11:15 a.m. (P.M. buses arrive at stops 3 hours earlier than a regular day schedule.)
Middle schools dismiss at 12:15 p.m. (P.M. buses arrive at stops 3.5 hours earlier than a regular day schedule.)
Elementary schools dismiss at 1:15 p.m. (P.M buses arrive at stops 1 hour and 45 minutes earlier than a regular day schedule.)
Please refer to the online calendar or the tear-out version found on the inside back cover of the Family Handbook and Calendar mailed to you in August. Your school office has extra copies of this handbook, if needed.
How Do Staff Use Early Dismissal Time?
On days that students are dismissed early from school, staff use this valuable time to meet to review student progress. Staff use this information to continue learning how to adapt instruction for students needing extra support and extensions for greater challenge. Middle and elementary school staff will also use this time to implement new family engagement models this year by communicating a student’s progress with families in a variety of ways rather than through annual parent-teacher or student-led conferences, which previously resulted in lost instructional time in November and a delay in receiving this information until the third month of school.
Skyward Family Access
Logins and passwords for Skyward Family Access (replacing ParentConnect and StudentConnect) will be mailed to all district families in mid-September. Thank you for your patience as we manage the conversion to this new student information system, which will allow us to better communicate your child's academic progress with you.
General information on this new system can be found online.
Application for Free and Reduced Meals
Bellingham Public Schools play a vital role by providing free and reduced-price meals to all students in need. The application process is simple and confidential.
Please complete the application in the 2012-13 Family Handbook mailed home in August and return it to your school office. Applications are also available online or in your school office.