A Message from the Department of Communications and Community Relations
We hope your family is having a wonderful summer. We look forward to welcoming you back to Bellingham Public Schools at the end of the month. Here is some important information to help prepare you for the coming school year.
Summer Hours and Registration
The District Office is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday through Aug. 12. Regular hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) resume Monday, Aug. 15.
Starting the week of Aug. 8, high school offices will be open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Elementary and middle schools reopen to the public from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 16. New families can register their children online and assistance is available at buildings that are open over the summer, including the District Office at 1306 Dupont St.
Back-to-School Family Block Party, Aug. 20
Bellingham Public Schools will host a Back-to-School Block Party, a resource fair for all district families, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20. The event will be onsite at Bellingham High School, located at 2020 Cornwall Avenue.
School and community partner tables will provide important resources for starting the school year. The event will include signups for Operation School Bell, a program of the Assistance League of Bellingham that supplies new school clothes for families, and child immunizations and COVID vaccines, sports physicals and haircuts. Additional information about the Block Party will be sent next week but if families would like to schedule vaccinations at the event, sign up here by Tuesday, Aug. 16.
Thank you to the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation, the Project Neighborly Fund of the Whatcom Community Foundation, WECU and the Mount Baker Foundation for supporting this community event. We look forward to seeing you and your children there.
Starting the School Year
The first day of class for students in grades 1-12 is Tuesday, Aug. 30. For school start and end times, please visit our calendars webpage.
The first days for kindergarten students are Wednesday, Aug. 31 and Thursday, Sept. 1. Kindergartners will attend on a half–day schedule from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., including time for lunch. We encourage all eligible kindergarten bus riders to take the school bus home on these first days to learn how. Kindergarten entry conferences will take place those afternoons. The first full day for kindergarten students will be Friday, Sept. 2. The first day for preschool and Promise Kindergarten is Tuesday, Sept. 6
For information about Bellingham Virtual Learning, online options for students, visit the BVL webpage.
All registered district families will receive a summer mailing in early August that includes the Family Handbook and Calendar (Spanish). Additional copies will be available at each school. The handbook/calendar contains important information about district and school programs, annual legal notifications required by federal and state law, and the following information:
- The school year calendar; English Spanish
- School schedules, scroll to School Start and End Times
- Application for free/reduced school meals — online version (preferred)
- Skyward Family Access and the annual update forms for attendance, privacy opt-outs, military families, the student housing questionnaire and the elementary return home plan.
Please visit Families on the district’s website for the following information or click on the links below:
- Which school a child should attend based upon school attendance areas,
- School supplies
- Online calendars for the district and schools, including middle and high school A/B calendar.
For other school-specific information, contact your school or visit the school website. For general district information, call 360-676-6400.
This school year, Bellingham Public Schools is launching a new communication platform called ParentSquare, an app-based, web-based system that enhances two-way communication. Find out more online at bellinghamschools.org/parentsquare or look for the back-to-school checklist insert in the summer mailing.
We will be sending out an activation email and text soon to all families. Download the ParentSquare app now!
Routes will be posted at bellinghamschools.org/transportation by Monday, Aug. 22.
Transportation is currently updating bus routes to safely serve student transportation needs and to operate as efficiently as possible. Eligible riders will receive an email notification when bus routes and times have been set for 2022-23. Preschool and special education transportation information will be mailed home mid-August.
Please check this information carefully because your child’s bus stop and pick-up and drop-off times may have changed from last year.
We kindly ask that you do not call Transportation prior to Aug. 22. This will allow staff to stay focused on completing this work for all district families.
Elementary School Registration
Elementary school offices reopen Tuesday, Aug. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. until school starts.
Children eligible to attend kindergarten must be 5 years old on or before midnight Aug. 31. Kindergarten-age students must show proof of birth date. In addition, the immunization law requires that on or before the first day of attendance, the school must be provided with proof of full immunizations, initiation of a schedule of immunization, or a certificate of exemption for each child.
For kindergarten information, visit the Early Childhood Education webpage, contact your neighborhood school or call 360-676-6488.
Elementary schools will share their “meet and greet” information, as well as fall open house information.
Middle School Orientations
Middle school offices reopen to the public Tuesday, Aug. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. until school starts.
Grade 6 student orientation – 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 25
New grade 7 and 8 orientation – 12 to 1 p.m. Aug. 24
|Curriculum Night for all grades – 6 p.m. Sept. 15
Grade 6 student orientation Aug. 25 (students only) 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
New to KMS grade 7 and 8 student and family drop in – 1 to 2 p.m. Aug. 24
Fall Open House – 6:30 p.m. Sept. 28
Grade 6 student orientation – 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Aug. 25
New grade 7/8 student orientation, Aug. 24 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Back-to-School Night – 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22
Grade 6 student orientation – 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 25
New grade 7 and 8 orientation – 10 to 11 a.m. Aug. 24
Back-to-School Parent Night – 6:30 p.m. Sept. 15
High School Registration, Orientations and Sports Clearances
Starting the week of Aug. 8, high school offices will be open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Families can register new students online.
Orientation schedules are listed below for high schools. Sports clearance information can be found on school websites. Links below by school.
Registration appointments for new Bellingham High students can be made by calling 360-676-6470 ext. 7110.
Freshman and new student orientation – 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 25
Fall Open House – 6 p.m. Sept. 14
Bellingham High Athletics: BHS fall sports clearance information can be found online.
Appointments for new SHS students can be made by calling 360-676-6470, ext. 5205.
Freshman orientation – 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Aug. 25
New student orientation tour – 1 to 2 p.m. Aug. 25
Fall Back-to-School Night — 6 p.m. Sept. 14
Sehome High Athletics: SHS fall sports clearance information can be found online.
Online registration is encouraged, but registration packets for new SQHS students may be picked up at the main office any day during office hours. A registration appointment will be scheduled prior to the start of the school year.
Freshman orientation – 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 25
New student orientation – 8 – 10 a.m. Aug. 25
Fall Back-to-School Night – 6 p.m. Sept. 21
Squalicum High Athletics: SQHS fall sports clearance information can be found online.
Options High School
Returning students will receive information by mail in mid-August. New students interested in attending Options may pick up application and enrollment materials at Options High School during the summer. Applications are also available online. Once the application packet is returned completed, prospective students will be scheduled to meet with the principal to determine their acceptance.
Freshman and new student orientation - 10 to 11 a.m. Aug. 25
New and returning student and family open house – 6 p.m. Sept. 13