Bellingham Public Schools offer limited summer programming, as described below. Some programs are open to specific student populations based on eligibility, often linked to specific needs and or funding sources.

Bellingham Public Schools Summer Programming

High School students

Students in Bellingham Public Schools who will be in grades 9-12 in fall 2021 may take free online courses through Bellingham Virtual Learning (BVL) for credit retrieval or limited credit ahead. Please note: students entering ninth grade are limited to Tech Literacy and Health for credit ahead. Summer school courses are accelerated, completing an 18-week class in a compressed 6-week time frame. For this reason, although the coursework is completed online, students need to attend in person at Options High School Monday through Thursday from June 21 to July 29. This ensures they have quick access to academic and/or technical help.

Summer school at Options will continue to use the COVID-19 risk mitigation precautions advised by the Whatcom County Health Department and other health and education authorities. Students with documented medical exceptions to attending in person should contact summer school principal Nancy Barga for their options.

For more information about Bellingham Virtual Learning, please see the BVL handbook and summer registration form. If you have additional questions, please contact your high school counselor or secondary summer school principal Dr. Nancy Barga  via email or at 360-647-6871, ext. 5103.

Extended School Year (ESY) program

An Extended School Year (ESY) program for students receiving special education services will be offered in July 2021. Qualifying students/families have been contacted.  For more information, please contact Joy Rawls in Special Education at 360-676-6400 ext. 2042

Reading Support and Summer Book Program

A Summer Book Program provides mailed reading materials to eligible students in grades K-5 over the summer to help avoid summer reading loss. Qualifying students and their families have been contacted. For more information, please contact Stephanie Korn.

Community Partner Summer Programming

For high school: Summer session at the Northwest Career & Technical Academy (NCTA) offers free in-person exploration of career fields for students entering high school in fall through non-graduated seniors. Students can earn .5 high school credits while learning about careers such as aerospace manufacturing, construction, marine services, applied medical sciences, fire science, criminal justice, videogame development, investment and finance, and more. These in-person classes run from June 21 to July 9 at NCTA’s Mount Vernon, Anacortes or Sedro-Woolley campuses, and at Meridian High School. Transportation is not provided.  Visit the NCTA website or call 360-848-0706 for more information. Register through this form for summer session.

For elementary and middle school: Limited summer programming is available for qualifying students. However, some community partners have summer child care opportunities available:

  • The Whatcom Family YMCA offers summer camps for students in grades 1-8.
  • The Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County has limited summer camp opportunities for students entering grades 1-6. Please visit the Boys and Girls Club summer camp website for more information or to register.
  • Vamos Outdoors Project has partnered provide a migrant summer program for eligible students.  Qualifying families are being contacted directly.  For more information, please contact Amy Carder via email.