GRADS (Graduation, Reality And Dual-role Skills) is a program for pregnant and parenting students that provides the academic and childcare support necessary to stay in high school and graduate. GRADS is available at no cost to pregnant teens and young parents under the age of twenty-one who live in Bellingham or Whatcom County and have not graduated from high school. The program is located at Sehome, Options and Squalicum high schools. Students attend regular high school courses as well as receive instruction in units of study related to: pregnancy, parenting, positive self-image and economic independence.



  • Advise the Department of Teaching and Learning and superintendent on work to establish long-term programming for parent/child from prenatal to age 5 as a key strategy of The Bellingham Promise.
  • Support the department in highlighting the services,needs and accomplishments of the GRADS Program that helps keep young parents in school and prepared for successful futures.

Basis for Establishment:

  • Fulfill The Bellingham Promise mission that our students are cared for and respected, and that they will graduate from our schools prepared for success in the global community through the key strategies of student, family, and community engagement and great teaching with strong support.

Decision-Making Process:

  • Collaborative group processes will be utilized to form recommendations.
  • Program recommendations will be made to the superintendent.

Plan of Work:

  • Publicize the group and share their with stakeholders.
  • Meet every other month through the school year.
  • Make recommendations for program improvement.
  • Create a business plan to allow for program expansion.
  • Review/update by-laws.
  • Manage GRADS advisory funds in support of the program.

Meeting Dates: Meetings are generally the fourth Tuesday of the month from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at rotating locations.

2018-19 School Year (3:30 – 4:30 p.m.)

  • October 30 at Squalicum High School
  • March 5 at Options High School
  • May 14 at Sehome High School

2017-18 School Year

2016-17 School Year

2015-16 School Year



  • Kristi Dominguez, Department of Teaching and Learning, Co-Chair
  • Jeff McKenna, BPS Intervention/Prevention Specialist, Co-Chair
  • Michelle Wilhelm, CTE GRADS Teacher
  • Meghan Dunham, CTE GRADS Teacher
  • Stephanie Schroeder, Child Care Supervisor
  • Debbie Haney, Birth to 5 Specialist
  • Geraldine Coleman, Community Partner
  • Barb Cummins, BPS Nurse
  • Nicole Talley, BPS Principal
  • Vicki Lee, Community Member
  • Darci Peterson, Parent
  • Michael Sidwell, Community Partner
  • Marcie Thran, BPS Staff
  • Janel Erchinger-Davis, Parent
  • Peggy Stephens, BPS Staff
  • Tiffany Knudsen, BPS Staff
  • Jolyn Hunt, Parent
  • Michelle Anderson, Community Partner
  • Gretchen Pflueger, BPS Grant Writer
  • Jennifer Lindbeck, Community Member
  • Meghan Lever, BPS Staff
  • Sonia Bell, BPS Administrator
  • Erika Moore, Community Partner
  • Wendy Courtemanche, Community Partner
  • Kristin Cleary, BPS Staff
  • Crystal Garci, Parent
  • Kari Miller, BPS Staff
  • Steve Wiley, BPS Counselor
  • Erin Burke, BPS Staff
  • Sophia Morales, Parent
  • Erin Shaffer, BPS Staff
  • Meagan Dawson, BPS Adminstrator
  • Maureen Hodge, Community Partner


  • Attend meetings and participate fully
  • Develop and adhere to group norms for collaborative process
  • Contribute to and support the creation of  recommendations for improvement

Budget Implications:

  • Shared funds: Career and Technical Education ( CTE), managed by BPS; United Way funds, managed by United Way; GRADS Advisory Committee funds, managed by the Advisory Committee