Back-to-School Orientations, Registration Information for 2017

We hope your family is having a wonderful summer.  We look forward to welcoming you back to Bellingham Public Schools this August. Here is some important information to help prepare you for the coming school year.

Summer Hours and Registration at Our Schools and District Office

The district office is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday the week of July 31. Regular hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) resume Monday, Aug. 7. For school and attendance area information, visit or call 676-6400.

Elementary schools, middle schools and Options High School (at Bellingham High School) reopen to the public from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 10. Families may pick up registration material for new elementary and middle school students through Aug. 10 at the District Office, 1306 Dupont Street.

During the summer, families of new high school students may retrieve registration information and make course registration appointments at Bellingham, Sehome and Squalicum high schools. High school offices are open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Starting Aug. 14, high schools return to their regular hours 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The first day of class for students in grades 1-12 is Wednesday, Aug. 23. For school start and end times, please visit our bell schedule webpage. The first days for kindergarten students are Thursday, Aug. 24 and Friday, Aug. 25. They will attend on a half day schedule from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. including time for lunch. Kindergarten entry conferences will take place those afternoons. If you have not received notification about your kindergarten appointment by the week of Aug. 14, please check in with your elementary school. The first full day for kindergarten students will be Monday, Aug. 28.

All registered district families will receive a Family Handbook and Calendar in early August.  Additional copies will be available at each school. The handbook/calendar contains important information about district and school programs, annual legal notifications required by federal and state law, and the following information:


General Information

Please visit Families on the district’s website for the following information or click on the links below:

For other school-specific information, contact your school or visit the school website. For general district information, call 676-6400.

Bus Routes

Transportation is currently updating bus routes to safely serve students’ transportation needs and operate as efficiently as possible. Transportation uses a computerized system to update pick-up and drop-off times as well as bus stops. This work has been occurring all summer. Routes will be posted at by Aug. 10. Eligible riders will receive a letter home when bus routes and times have been set for 2017-18.

Preschool and special education transportation information will be mailed the week before school starts. Please check this information carefully because your child’s bus pick-up and drop-off time, as well as your bus stop, may have changed from last year.

We kindly ask that you do not call Transportation prior to receiving the bus information in the mail. This will allow staff to stay focused on completing this work for all district families.


Elementary School Registration

Elementary school offices reopen Thursday, Aug. 10 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Children eligible to attend kindergarten must be 5 years old on or before midnight  Aug. 31. Kindergarten-age students must show proof of birth date. In addition, the immunization law requires that on or before the first day of attendance, the school must be provided with proof of full immunizations, initiation of a schedule of immunization, or a certificate of exemption for each child.

For kindergarten information, visit our Early Childhood Education webpage, contact your neighborhood school or call 676-6470 ext. 4457.

Middle School Orientations

Middle school offices reopen to the public Thursday, Aug. 10 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Fairhaven’s grade 6 orientation (C.U.B.S. – Caring, Understanding, Belonging, Support) is from 12 to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 17. An orientation for new grade 7 and 8 students will be held 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Aug. 21. Current Fairhaven students in grades 7 and 8 may pick up their schedules by last name during “Grizzly Grab” on Aug. 21. Students with last name ending in A-L should come from 1 to 2 p.m. and students with last name beginning M-Z from 2 to 3 p.m.

Kulshan’s grade 6 orientation and the orientation for new grade 7 and 8 students is 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 17 with schedule pick up 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Schedule pick up for all remaining students is 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 17.

Shuksan’s grade 6 student welcome and orientation is 6 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 21.  All grades will receive schedules the first day of school.

Whatcom’s grade 6 orientation is from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 17. Whatcom’s orientation for new grade 7 and 8 students is 10 to 11 a.m. Aug. 18. Schedules for continuing grade 7 and 8 students will be mailed by Aug. 22.


High School Registration, Orientations and Sports Clearances

Bellingham, Sehome and Squalicum high school offices are currently open to the public from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The Monday through Friday schedule begins the week of Aug. 14.

Registration packets are available at the main office of each high school.


Bellingham High School
Registration appointments for new Bellingham High students can be made by calling 676-6470 ext. 7110 beginning Aug. 8. Appointments for new students start on Aug. 16 when the counselors return.

Students in grades 9-12 may access their schedules online beginning Monday, Aug. 21. The BHS master schedule will be open to view online as well at that time. 

Freshman and any new student to Bellingham High are invited to an orientation 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (parent meeting 8:30 to 9:15 a.m.) Thursday, Aug. 17. Students will be given a tour of the school after meeting in the performing arts center. Parents of new students are invited to take part in a question and answer session in the performing arts center as students head out on tours with their schedules. Parents are also welcome to get a tour of the school following the Q & A session.

Bellingham High Athletics

The BHS activities office reopens Tuesday, Aug. 15.

To be eligible to participate in a fall sport, athletes will need to complete the online sports registration using Skyward Family Access and have a current sports physical on file in the activities office (valid for 24 months but cannot expire during the season.) Financial clearance through the ASB office is required at the times below. Once this is all complete, the athlete will be cleared. Fall sports include cross country, football, girls swimming, girls soccer, girls slow pitch, boys tennis and volleyball.

Clearance will begin Wednesday, Aug 16 during normal business hours 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. First day of practice for football (grades 9-12) is 2 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 16.

All other fall sports clearance will begin at 12:30 p.m. Monday, August 21 in the ASB and athletics offices. All athletes must clear on these dates and times prior to their first practice.


Options High School

Returning students will receive information by mail in mid-August. New students interested in attending Options may pick up application and enrollment materials at Bellingham High on or after Aug. 10. Application packets are also available at the district office from the summer registrar and online during the summer. Any applications picked up or downloaded during the summer can be returned to the district office, mailed to Options High c/o Bellingham High School, or returned in person beginning Aug. 10.

Once the application packet is complete, prospective students will be scheduled to meet with the principal to determine their acceptance.

On Aug. 21, a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the community, students and staff will take place at 3 p.m., followed by schedule pickup and class viewings until 5 p.m.

In addition, all families and students are encouraged to attend the open house/back-to-school night at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11. This is an opportunity to meet the Options High staff and learn about the school.


Sehome High School

Registration packets are available in the main office. Beginning Aug. 10, appointments for new SHS students can be made by calling 676-6470, ext. 5205. Appointments for new students start on Aug. 16 when the counselors return. Schedule pick-up and school photos for grades 10-12 is Wednesday, Aug. 16 with the following schedule:

All sophomores 2 to 2:45 p.m. in the cafeteria

All juniors 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. in the cafeteria

All seniors 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. in the cafeteria

Freshman and new student orientation is 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 16 in the gym.  All incoming freshmen should plan to attend. Details regarding the orientation will arrive via letter from the principal in early August.

Sehome High Athletics

The Sehome athletics office reopens on Monday, Aug. 14. To be eligible to participate in a fall sport, athletes must complete the online registration form, bring the signed signature sheet to fall sports clearance day, have a current sports physical either on file or brought with them to clearance day, and clear with the ASB office, paying all fees and fines at that time. Fall sports clearance times:

Football: 9 a.m. (gear issued at 9:30 a.m.), Aug. 16, with a 10 a.m. practice.

Cross country:12:30 p.m. Aug. 21, practice at 3:45 p.m. in the Mat Room, Sehome gym.

Girls soccer: 1:30 p.m. Aug. 21, practice at 3:45 p.m. at Civic Field.

Volleyball: 2:30 p.m. Aug. 21, practice at 3:45 p.m. in Sehome gym.

Boys tennis: 3 p.m. Aug. 21, practice 3:45 p.m. at WWU.

Girls swim: 2 p.m. Aug. 21, practice/meeting follows at 3:45 p.m. in Sehome Room 104.

Girls slow pitch softball and sailing will clear after school starts.


Squalicum High School

Registration packets for new SQHS students may be picked up at the main office any day during office hours. A registration appointment will be scheduled prior to the start of the school year.

All Squalicum students report to school on Thursday, Aug. 17 by grades according to the following schedule:

All freshmen 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Athletes pictures at 10 a.m.

All sophomores at 12:30 p.m.

All juniors at 1:30 p.m.

All seniors at 2:30 p.m.

Squalicum High Athletics

To be eligible to participate in a fall sport, athletes must complete the online registration form, bring the signed signature sheet to fall sports clearance day, have a current sports physical either on file or brought with them to clearance day, and clear with the ASB office, paying all fees and fines at that time.

The Squalicum activities/athletics office reopens on Monday, Aug. 14. Forms will not be accepted until that time.

Sports clearance dates:

Football: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Aug. 16
Volleyball: 9 a.m.
 Aug. 21
Girls soccer: 9:30 a.m.
 Aug. 21
Cross country: 10 a.m.
 Aug. 21
Girls swim and dive: 10:30 a.m.(followed by 11 a.m. meeting) 
Aug. 21
Boys tennis: 11 a.m.
 Aug. 21