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Skyward Preferred Name

  1. What are the differences between my preferred name and legal name?


Your legal name is what is present on your birth certificate or Washington state issued ID card.  Your preferred name is how you would prefer to go by during a typical school day.


  1. Can I set my preferred name to whatever I want?


Yes, though Bellingham Public Schools reserves the right to deny or remove any preferred name for misuse, including but not limited to misrepresentation, highly offensive or derogatory names.


  1. Where and how will my preferred name be visible?


When you select a preferred name, it will be used for all local records in Skyward (grading sheets, attendance rosters, etc.) as well as in all systems linked to Skyward (email account, Follett, linked application IDs, etc.).  Your preferred name will also be visible to parents/guardians through Family Access.


  1. How do I change my email address to reflect my preferred name?


Once you request a change to your preferred name, your email account will be updated automatically, though this may take 24 to 48 hours to occur.


  1. Where may I still encounter my legal name?


You will still encounter your legal name in some official school records, such as your transcript, as well as other tools where a legal name is required, such as state testing rosters.


  1. Who do I talk to if I encounter my legal name and want it updated?


The best place to start is with your school secretary, registrar or principal.  They can work with our Central Office to determine if we can change your name in the system you ask about, and if so, how.


  1. How do I officially change my legal name?


To change your legal name in Washington State, you must file a petition in the district court of the judicial district in which you reside, along with submitting a filing fee, which can range from $150 to $200.  For more information about legal name changes in Whatcom County, please visit the Whatcom County District Court website.  For general Washington state information visit Washington Law Help.


Skyward Preferred Gender

  1. Can I/my student ask to change my gender in the student system?


Yes; all you have to do is fill out the first page of our registration packet with your updated gender marker and give it to your school secretary or registrar.


  1. Can I/my student select a non-binary gender identity?


Our Student Information System does not fully support non-binary gender identities. We’re working with our software provider and other stakeholders to identify additional options in a future software release.


  1. Can you include my/my student’s preferred gender pronouns in Skyward?


Not yet. Your school office can work with you to make sure your teachers are aware of your preference.


  1. If I/my student changes their gender in Skyward, where will it be visible?


A change to a gender indicator in Skyward will be visible in all standard Skyward reports, as well as through Family Access.  Any parent, or guardian linked to the student in Skyward who uses Family Access can see the updated gender selection.