Below are frequently asked questions regarding our transfer process. Bellingham Public Schools has 22 outstanding schools and a variety of special programs to meet the needs of our families and students. We are confident that our families, students and staff make strong connections and build meaningful community, regardless of which school they attend.
Whether you are transitioning into elementary, middle or high school or changing schools due to new attendance areas, we believe each transition can be a positive experience. Our district staff, principals and school staff are here to assist you to help meet your child’s needs.
Can you explain the transfer request process? What are the considerations?
Priority is given to those received between Feb. 15 and March 1 for the following school year, but requests for in-district transfers can be submitted anytime.
Fill out and submit this form electronically or print and submit to the main office of the school you are requesting to attend.
Factors we consider when making a decision about a transfer request include a financial, educational, safety or health condition affecting the student; proximity to a parent’s place of work or childcare; parent/guardian is a district employee and other special circumstances.
That said, our expectation is that families and students follow the plans as they are laid out for fall 2022 (some elementary changes).
Are there any factors families should be aware of before requesting a transfer?
- Requests are approved based on space and capacity.
- Families are responsible for their own transportation for transferred students.
- Transfer requests are reevaluated every year and placement is not guaranteed.
Because we need to evaluate enrollment numbers prior to accepting new transfers, transfer requests may be held for review in the fall (policy 3131). We may not be able to provide a response to a request until right before the start of the school year or up to the fifth day of school. Principals will determine the number of places available no later than the fifth day of school (procedure 3131).
My child has a sibling who attended the school in our old attendance area. Does that help my chances of getting my transfer request approved?
We consider siblings currently enrolled at a school and want to keep siblings together. However, if older siblings no longer attend that school, it would not be a contributing factor for approval.
For fall 2022: elementary school attendance area adjustments impacting Northern Heights, Silver Beach and Sunnyland elementary schools
My child will be affected by the elementary attendance area changes and I want them to stay at their current school. How do I request a transfer?
If you want them to attend their current school, it would be considered a transfer and you will need to submit this form between Feb. 15 and March 1, 2021, then again in 2023.
We will do our best to accommodate requests to keep students who are incoming fourth and fifth graders at their same school, but transfers are dependent on the school’s space and capacity, so we can’t make any guarantees. Our team of principals, registrars and members of our executive team process and review transfers in the spring in an effort to give families time to adjust and prepare ahead of the next school year.
Our expectation is that students in kindergarten through third grade will follow the attendance areas as they are laid out. Our elementary school leadership team is already making plans for how to support these transitions, welcome new families, and support students in new schools.