Family engagement is a key strategy of The Bellingham Promise because the research is clear. Your involvement in your child’s education matters. The collective commitment to the whole child aims to address access, opportunities and success for every student by engaging families in early childhood education all the way through high school and beyond.

The department works to provide support to staff in the areas of communication, translation and cultural competency. The team supports efforts in every school to engage all families and students actively through phone calls, conferences, home visits and school events. They provide information and daily communication opportunities to non-English speaking families and district staff. Families are empowered to become active participants in their child’s education by understanding the system and connecting to resources in the broader Bellingham community.

The Department of Family Engagement also manages the Family Resource Center (FRC) at Shuksan Middle School. The FRC is a family support center that links school families with local resources and human services addressing the needs of the whole child in order to promote student success. All families are welcome.

Families seeking low-cost internet services may apply online or by phone for Internet Essentials from Comcast.  Visit the Internet Essentials for Comcast website for more information or call 1-(855)-847-3356.

The Department of Family Engagement provides computer classes for non-English speaking families. The class includes basic computer skills and language skills. The class is free and childcare is provided. Families can sign up by calling Becky Vela Haley at 360-676-6456. Classes are on Wednesdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the following dates: Oct. 18, Oct. 25, Nov. 1, Nov. 8, Nov. 15, Nov. 29, Dec. 6 and Dec. 13. View this Promise story about the program.

 

Interpretation and Translation

Bellingham Public Schools coordinates interpretation and translation services for families whose first language is not English.

Interpreters and translators are available for:

  • Communication between district staff and non-English speaking parents including: student enrollment, parent/teacher conferences, meetings and any other situation where translation is needed related to a student’s education, health or behavior
  • Translation of district communication such as forms and other district publications.
Interpretation and translation services are part of the Department of Family Engagement. Please contact Becky Vela, coordinator, for more information at 676-6470 ext. 6456.

Families can also leave a message on our multi-language message line at 647-6816. The message line is checked daily.