• Develop a vision and plan for implementing a family partnership program.
  • Identify the needs and interests of the Bellingham community in establishing a family partnership program.
  • Recommend starter program model and long-range plan.
  • Be inclusive of stakeholders that includes families, community members and district staff.

Basis for Establishment:

  • New family partnership program for Bellingham Public Schools initiated in support of The Bellingham Promise
  • Approximately 400 families currently within the Bellingham Public Schools boundaries are identified as homeschooling, many of which are working with other districts with similar family partnership programs
  • The Promise has some central tenets regarding serving all families in our community and espousing innovation and flexibility; a family partnership program will support these goals

Decision-Making Process:

  • Advisory Group
  • Principal makes recommendations to the superintendent

Plan of Work

  • Meet six times, Tuesdays from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Visit 5 to 6 existing exemplar programs
  • Adjust meeting dates and times as needed

Meeting Dates: Members will need to be available for approximately 5 to 6 meetings from 4 to 6 p.m.

October 7 – Minutes [1] FPP Site Visit Questions [2]

October 21 – Minutes [3]

November 4 – Minutes [4]
November 18 – Minutes [6]
December 2 – Minutes [8]
December 16 – Minutes [10] FPP Survey Feedback Summary [11]

Regular Members:

  • Bellingham parent/guardian representatives: Sean Hopps, Kierin Lund, Glenn Thomas, Alina Zollfrank
  • Community representatives/agencies: Janet Mock-WWU, Laura Plaut-Common Threads, Heather Powell-Boys and Girls Club, Sam Lockwood-Pre-K-22 Practitioner
  • Current district staff – classified and certificated: Courtney Sawyer-Para Educator, Larisa Shuvalova- ELL Specialist, Patty Keene-Classroom Teacher
  • Michelle Kuss-Cybula, Staff member of Department of Teaching and Learning
  • Byron Gerard, Principal, Options High School/Innovative Secondary Program
  • Rob McElroy, Co-Chair, Executive Administrator
  • Kate Baehr, Co-Chair, Principal, Family Partnership Program


  • Attend established meetings
  • Visit and report to committee members following a visit to exemplar programs
  • Assist in identifying the needs and interests of the Bellingham families currently in homeschooling
  • Build an understanding of the rules, regulations and responsibilities of a family partnership program in the state of Washington


  • Publicize a call for committee members in September
  • Committee members identified in September
  • Meetings and field trips to occur October through December

Budget Implications:

  • Release time for Bellingham Public Schools staff for meetings and field trips
  • Travel and accommodations to field trips

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