The information on this webpage was relevant for the 2020-21 school year.

Reconnect Plan with stages 3 and 4

Taking care of yourself and your family is taking care of your community.

Bellingham Public Schools will submit its Academic and Student Well-Being Recovery Plan including our draft equity framework, due to OSPI on June 1. Academic and Well Being Recovery Plan webpage.

For students and families returning to school please keep in mind:

Stay home if you have any symptoms listed on our COVID safety agreement for families webpage. If your child begins to feel unwell during the school day they will be directed to a screening room and families will be notified if their child needs to be picked up from school.

If you are well enough to come to school:

  1. Wear your mask. We will provide masks for those who need them.
  2. Maintain your physical distance (six feet or more).
  3. Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water.

Our teachers and staff will be reinforcing these routines and practices.

Comparison of Learning Models (2020-21)

Comparison Chart (PDF)

Comparison of Bellingham’s learning models available for families during the 2020-21 school year. 

All 22 of our neighborhood schools will follow the Reconnect Plan to serve students PreK through grade 12. We will begin the school year in Stage 1. The Bellingham Family Partnership Program (BFPP) serves students from kindergarten through grade 8. Our online-only option, Bellingham Virtual Learning (BVL) serves students PreK through grade 12. Both the BFPP and BVL options are available to families during the 2020-21 school year and require registration.


  • Neighborhood Schools (PreK-12): All 22 of our schools will follow the Reconnect Plan. This is a continuum of stages that are responsive to the health and safety conditions ranging from fully remote to part remote/part in-person with the ultimate goal of serving students in schools. This is also referred to as the hybrid model. 
  • Bellingham Family Partnership Program (K-8): An Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) that supports families as the primary instructors of their students. Supports include partnering with a certificated teacher, curriculum materials and on-site enrichment courses (as conditions allow). This is also referred to as our home school family partnership model.
  • Bellingham Virtual Learning (PreK-12): Fully online learning by design, intended to stay online even when the hybrid model is functioning with in-person phases. 


  • Neighborhood Schools (PreK-12): Participate in daily class instruction online or in-person (as conditions allow), with live lessons/meetings, recorded meetings/lessons, and additional offline activities.  
  • BFPP (K-8): Work on home learning that is identified in their learning plan. Every learning plan is individualized to the learner. May choose to attend some on-site enrichment courses (as conditions allow) 
  • BVL (PreK-12): Grades K-5 need a learning coach at home to support them, on that coach’s schedule. Grades 6-12: Work more independently, expected to keep pace, able to reach out for support. 


  • Neighborhood Schools (PreK-12): Regularly scheduled daily instruction with structured live and recorded/taped (independent) learning times that mirror the regular school day. 
  • BFPP (K-8): Schedule is determined by the family. There is a weekly contact requirement in ALE which can be done in person with on-site classes (as conditions allow) or via Zoom, phone or email. It is recommended that students do not attend more than two days on-site (as conditions allow) to ensure time for home learning. 
  • BVL (PreK-12): Mostly online videos and interactions for grades 6-12, some offline activities for K-5 with optional live support meetings.


  • Neighborhood Schools (PreK-12): Teach the essential standards and curriculum developed by and identified for school using in-person (as conditions allow), Microsoft Teams, video conferencing and collaboration tools.  
  • BFPP (K-8): Teachers have dual roles; they are Learning Plan Partners with families as well as instructors for the on-site courses (as conditions allow). They provide support and connection that is differentiated for each family. 
  • BVL (PreK-12): Support students and families using the online curriculum and offer office hours as well as support when needed. 

All three models use Bellingham Public Schools certificated teachers.


  • Neighborhood Schools (PreK-12): Grades K-1: Parents/guardians are partners with the classroom teacher(s) to set learning goals for their child. Grades 2-5: parents/guardians partner with classroom teachers and support the instruction and activities provided by the teacher. Grades 6-12: parents/guardians support their student’s attendance and participation in live and recorded instruction and offline activities. Teachers are the primary provider of instruction and connect with families to support students’ learning.
  • BFPP (K-8): Role of the parent/guardian is primary educator who collaborates with their Learning Plan Partner in co-authoring the learning plan and maintains connection with the school through weekly contact and monthly reviews. Families are part of the larger learning community of the program. 
  • BVL (PreK-12): For younger students, the role of the parents/guardians is as learning coach (or they need to designate a home learning coach) and assisting students with the curriculum and a schedule. For grades 6-12 the family’s role is to help keep students accountable for meeting class pacing expectations and assignments.

Why choose this model?

  • Neighborhood Schools (PreK-12): This is the core school model for our students and families. Instruction is provided by Bellingham teachers at a student’s home school and, when remote, through tools like Microsoft Teams. This model provides opportunities for students to develop as part of a community of learners with age level peers and a teacher. This model provides options for in-person instruction when medical conditions allow. Most closely resembles pre-COVID-19 classroom environment.  
  • BFPP (K-8): This model is designed for families who want home learning to be the main model for their child’s educational experience. They seek support from the school district and a program to have community with. Families in the BFPP choose alternative learning options and create learning plans. 
  • BVL (PreK-12): This model is designed for students who respond well to independent, self-paced learning. Could be helpful model for families that have older children who will be supporting younger children’s learning at home. May also be a good fit for families with child care needs and/or who aren’t able to support their students with teaching and learning over a six hour schedule established by the school. 
Five Stages of Reconnect Plan (2020-21)

Our Reconnect Plan for the 2020-21 school year outlines five stages for a return to in-person instruction at school based on safety and equity.

Five Stages

the five stages in a color graphic circles

Stage 1 – 100% Remote Learning

All students and staff participate in daily remote, at-home learning. Real-time, live lessons mixed with independent,
supported learning. Schools closed for access to all students and most staff.

Stage 2 – Nearly 100% Remote Learning

Most students participate in daily at-home learning as in previous stage. In-person learning provided for some identified students if the safety of the students and staff can be maintained. Some staff able to be on-site.

Stage 3 – Hybrid Learning with Early Childhood

All students from stage 2 and our youngest learners will be provided in-person instruction. All other students remain
in daily at-home learning as in previous stages. Some staff able to be on-site.

Stage 4 – Hybrid Learning

All students in stages 2 and 3 will continue in-person. All grades will participate in both in-person and remote learning in a hybrid, cohort model. (Approximately 25% to 50% of students on-site at a time). Families can still choose for students to be 100% at home. Staff able to be on-site for delivery of instruction.

Stage 5 – Fully In-Person

All students return to school for fully in-person instruction.

Other options for families:

Remote Reconnect Plan (2020-21)

The majority of our students will be attending in-person classes at their neighborhood schools. If you are not able or ready to return your child(ren) to in-person school at this time, we have created an option called Remote Reconnect, which has a more limited amount of live learning but allows students and families to maintain a connection with their neighborhood school, teacher and class.

  • Remote Reconnect requires families to play a bigger role in remote learning because students will be spending more time accessing asynchronous learning activities and working independently.
  • For grades K-3, families will support their children in accessing a district-created digital learning calendar with recorded videos, lessons and activities provided by the early learning team (not your current neighborhood school teacher).  These students will access asynchronous lessons and activities Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and participate in live learning with their original neighborhood teacher and class on Wednesday mornings only. Students who receive Special Education services will continue to work with their Special Education teacher.
  • For grades 4 and 5 students will access asynchronous activities, have independent work time on project and assignments, and also join in with their teacher and classmates periodically throughout the school days.  
  • Families can expect a conference with their neighborhood classroom teacher every four to six weeks.
  • Remote Reconnect is for families who are still considering in-person learning at some point this school year. If your family is not planning to return to in-person learning at any time during the school year, we encourage you to read more about Bellingham Virtual Learning (BVL) or the Bellingham Family Partnership Program (BFPP). If you are choosing  BVL or BFPP, please fill out our in-district transfer form 3131F and have a conversation with your school’s principal.
  • If you are opting for Remote Reconnect, please contact your child’s principal as soon as possible so we can plan to provide you with the remote reconnect resources.
Draft Schedules for 2020-21

For classes that return to remote learning, their teacher will share their remote schedule, which will follow the schedules that students had prior to returning to in-person learning.


Remote Schedule

Hybrid Schedule

Updated April 15, 2021: In our elementary hybrid model, all students have the opportunity to attend in-person school four days per week. School will take place from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on in-person days. Wednesdays will continue to be used for remote learning, family engagement, staff collaboration and staff professional development.

  • Starting the week of April 26, elementary school students in grades 4-5 will move to a four-day in-person/week schedule similar to the current schedule for kindergarten to grade 3.
  • For grades 4-5, we will have a new asynchronous remote option for families who are interested. Please contact your child’s principal to discuss options for your child.
  • Kindergarten to grade 3 will maintain their current schedule 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Students served in preschool, BRIDGES and Life Skills will also follow their current schedule.
  • Wednesdays will continue to be used for morning meeting, remote learning, family engagement, collaboration and professional development for staff.

Middle School

Remote Schedule

Hybrid Schedule

Middle school starts at 9:15 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. Students may come inside the school building at 9 a.m. and will exit the building at 2:30 p.m. Breakfast and lunch will be provided each day they are in person, and transportation will be provided for eligible riders. On Wednesdays, students will remain home, following the Wednesday schedule we have been using since school started this year.

All students will receive training on our school safety protocols during homeroom before the first day of in-person learning.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Teachers will teach lessons in their classroom
  • Some students will be present in person; others will participate in the lesson via Zoom.
  • During practice time, teachers will check in with both in-person and remote students.

An example of how we will create two cohorts for our hybrid model: 

  • If your last name starts with letters A-K (A-L at Shuksan), your students are in the A Cohort which is on campus Mondays and Tuesdays. Our Wednesday schedule stays the same (Homeroom only, asynchronous learning). On Thursdays and Fridays, your students continue remote live learning from home.
  • If your last name starts with letters L-Z (M-Z at Shuksan), your students are in the B Cohort which is on campus Thursdays and Fridays. Our Wednesday schedule stays the same (Homeroom only, asynchronous learning). On Mondays and Tuesdays, your students continue remote learning from home.
  • Updated April 15, 2021: Starting the week of April 26, there will be opportunities for middle school students to sign up to attend all four days of in-person instruction as classroom capacity allows. Middle school families will receive more information from their school regarding the process and timelines for students to attend four days per week.

Where they can, schools will work with families to accommodate which days their child attends in person (Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday). Upon the return of our middle schools and high schools, we will make efforts to coordinate schedules of families who have children in different schools.

High School


English high school hybrid daily schedule effective April 15, 2021

Hybrid Schedule

Starting the week of April 19, 2021, our high school schedule will include classes on Wednesdays. Students will attend their live/hybrid classes from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will follow an alternating schedule for in-person Wednesdays. Each school will share details on the Wednesday groups attending.

In addition, there will be opportunities for students to attend five days of in-person instruction as classroom capacity allows, which aligns with the governor’s proclamation to reach a school’s maximum capacity and maximum frequency of on-campus, in-person instruction that the school can provide. High school families will receive more information from their school regarding the process and timelines for students to attend five days per week.

  • Bellingham and Sehome high school students with last names beginning with A-K will be in person on Mondays and Tuesdays; students with last names beginning with L-Z will be in person Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Squalicum High School students with last names beginning with A-L will be in person on Mondays and Tuesdays; students with last names beginning with M-Z will be in person on Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Options High School started its regular hybrid schedule March 5.

All high schools will start at 8:30 a.m. and dismiss at 12:30 p.m. with asynchronous learning in the afternoon. Transportation will be provided for eligible riders. As they leave for the day, students may take a free bag lunch.