We hope your family is having a wonderful summer. We look forward to welcoming you back to Bellingham Public Schools this August. 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. 9. Regular hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) resume Monday, Aug. 12. For school and attendance area information, visit bellinghamschools.org/attendance-areas or call 360-676-6400.
Elementary schools and middle schools reopen to the public from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 14. Families may pick up registration materials for new elementary and middle school students through Aug. 9 at the District Office, 1306 Dupont Street.
During the summer, families of new high school students may retrieve registration information and make course registration appointments at Bellingham, Options, Sehome and Squalicum high schools. Starting the week of Aug. 5, high school offices will be open every weekday, but still on summer hours (8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.) until all secretaries return. Starting Aug. 12, high school offices are open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Starting the School Year
The first day of class for students in grades 1-12 is Wednesday, Aug. 28. For school start and end times, please visit our bell schedule webpage. The first days for kindergarten students are Thursday, Aug. 29 and Friday, Aug. 30. They 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 Aug. 29 and 30 to learn how. Kindergarten entry conferences will take place those afternoons. If you have not received notification about your kindergarten appointment, please check in with your elementary school. The first full day for kindergarten students will be Tuesday, Sept. 3.
All registered district families will receive a Family Handbook and Calendar (Spanish) in early August. 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:
- Application for free/reduced school meals; English Spanish
- Annual Attendance Information; English Spanish
- Student Housing Questionnaire; English Spanish
- Privacy form for opting out of release of student directory information for publicity purposes, student/parent directories and military recruitment (high school only) English Spanish; and
- Skyward Family Access.
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,
For other school-specific information, contact your school or visit the school website. For general district information, call 360-676-6400.
Routes will be posted at bellinghamschools.org/transportation by Aug. 21. Transportation is currently updating bus routes to safely serve students’ transportation needs and operate as efficiently as possible. Transportation uses a computerized system to update pick-up and drop-off times as well as bus stops. This work has been occurring all summer. Eligible riders will receive a letter home when bus routes and times have been set for 2019-20.
Preschool and special education transportation information will be mailed the week before school starts. Please check this information carefully because your child’s bus pick-up and drop-off time, as well as your bus stop, may have changed from last year.
We kindly ask that you do not call Transportation prior to receiving the bus information in the mail. This will allow staff to stay focused on completing this work for all district families.
Elementary School Registration
Elementary school offices reopen Wednesday, Aug. 14 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 our Early Childhood Education webpage, contact your neighborhood school or call 360-676-6488.
Middle School Orientations
Middle school offices reopen to the public Wednesday, Aug. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. until school starts.
Grade 6 orientation CUBS Day – noon to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 22
New grade 7 and 8 orientation – 11 a.m. to noon Aug. 23
Grade 6-7-8 Grizzly Grab schedule pick-up, Aug. 23
- Last names A-L – 1 to 2 p.m.
- Last names M-Z – 2 to 3 p.m.
Curriculum Night for all grades – 6 p.m. Sept. 19
Grade 6 WEB student orientation – 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 22 (students only)
New to KMS grade 7 and 8 student orientation – 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 22
All grades receive schedules the first day of school
Fall Open House – 6:30 p.m. Sept. 19
Grade 6 WEB student orientation – 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 22
All grades receive schedules the first day of school
Back-to-School Night – 6 p.m. Sept. 26
Grade 6 orientation CAT – 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 22
New grade 7 and 8 orientation – 10 to 11 a.m. Aug. 23
Continuing grade 7 and 8 schedules will be mailed and available on Skyward Family Access.
Back-to-School Parent Night – 6:30 p.m. Sept. 26
High School Registration, Orientations and Sports Clearances
Starting the week of Aug. 5, high school offices will be open every weekday, but still on summer hours (8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.) until all secretaries return. Starting Aug. 12, high school offices are open 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Registration packets are available at the main office of each high school.
For participation in athletics, student athletes need to complete an athletic registration form each year. This may be done through online registration. A benefit of the online registration is that your information is saved, making the process easier when registering for athletics next school year. This also allows the athletics and activities office to verify that all forms are turned in prior to the first practice ensuring your student will be able to participate. Computers are available for families with limited internet access and you may call your school’s athletics and activities office for support while filling out the online registration. In addition to the forms, your student will need a current sports physical on file.
After completing the online registration forms, your student will need to be cleared for each sports season at their school’s activities office before they can participate in any sport. See your school’s clearance schedule below. A current sports physical exam (form), which cannot expire during the sport season, is required for the student to participate in athletics.
Registration appointments for new Bellingham High students can be made by calling 360-676-6470 ext. 7110 beginning Aug. 7. Appointments for new students start on Aug. 20 when the counselors return.
Students in grades 9-12 may access their schedules online beginning Friday, August 23 at 3 p.m. The BHS master schedule will be open to view online as well at that time.
Freshman and any new student to Bellingham High are invited to an orientation 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. (parent meeting 8 to 9 a.m.) Friday, Aug. 23. Students will be given a tour of the school after meeting in the performing arts center. Parents of new students are invited to take part in a question and answer session in the performing arts center as students head out on tours with their schedules. Parents are also welcome to get a tour of the school following the Q & A session. The fall Open House is 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12.
Bellingham High Athletics
The BHS athletics and activities office reopens Tuesday, Aug. 20. Fall sports clearance times:
Tuesday, August 20
Football, 10 a.m. – noon
Wednesday, August 21
All sports, 9 a.m. – noon
Thursday, August 22
All sports, 1 – 3 p.m.
Friday, August 23
All sports, 9 a.m. – noon and 1 – 3 p.m.
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, Monday-Thursday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. 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.
All families and students are encouraged to attend the open house/back-to-school night at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17. This is an opportunity to meet the Options High staff and learn about the school.
Registration packets are available in the main office. Beginning Aug. 6, appointments for new SHS students can be made by calling 360-676-6470, ext. 5205. Appointments for new students start on Aug. 21 when the counselors return. School photos for grades 10-12 is Wednesday, Aug. 30.
Schedules released online in Skyward on Friday, Aug. 23.
Freshman orientation is 12:30 to 4 p.m. Aug. 21 in the gym. New student orientation is 2 p.m. on Aug. 21 in the main office. All incoming freshmen should plan to attend. The fall Back-to-School Night is 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 2.
Sehome High Athletics
The Sehome athletics and activities office reopens Monday, Aug. 19. To be eligible to participate in a fall sport, athletes must complete the online registration form, bring the signed signature sheet to fall sports clearance day, have a current sports physical either on file or brought with them to clearance day, and clear with the ASB office, paying all fees and fines at that time. Fall sports clearance times:
Wednesday, August 21
Football (9-12), 9 a.m. Meeting in locker room at 10 a.m. for gear.
Dance, 10 a.m.
Cheer, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Monday, August 26
Girls Swim, 8 a.m.
Volleyball, 8:30 a.m.
Cross Country, 8:30 a.m.
Boys Tennis, 9:30 a.m.
Girls Soccer, 10:30 a.m.
Starting Wednesday, August 28
Girls’ Slow Pitch Softball
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.
All Squalicum students report to school on Thursday, Aug. 22 by grades according to the following schedule:
Freshmen, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sophomores, 12:30 p.m. Sophomore student pictures will be taken during this time.
Juniors, 1:30 p.m. Junior student pictures will be taken during this time.
Seniors, 2:30 p.m. Senior student pictures will be taken during this time.
The fall Back-to-School Night is 6 p.m., Monday, Sept. 16.
Squalicum High Athletics
To be eligible to participate in a fall sport, athletes must complete the online registration form, bring the signed signature sheet to fall sports clearance day, have a current sports physical either on file or brought with them to clearance day, and clear with the ASB office, paying all fees and fines at that time.
The Squalicum activities/athletics office reopens on Monday, Aug. 19. Forms will not be accepted until that time. Fall sports clearance times will be daily from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 19 through Aug. 26 and Tuesday, Aug. 27 from noon to 3 p.m.