This year, all four of our Bellingham high schools earned Washington State Board of Education Accreditation.
Though a voluntary process, the application can be time consuming and extensive. Often districts will apply for accreditation one high school at a time, however, in Bellingham we chose to proceed with all of our schools. The timeline for this process was started in fall 2014. The district received guidance from a coach that helped them through the accreditation process and by April 2015 had a portfolio ready for the accreditation team. In June, district leaders, such as the assistant superintendent and principals of the high schools, attended the Association of Educational Service Districts panel in which schools are then granted accreditation.
All of their work during this process was guided by The Bellingham Promise and each high school used this strategic plan as a way to identify the work they have accomplished. The main priority was to display how Bellingham high schools have a “One Schoolhouse Approach,” generate great teaching with strong support, are innovative and flexible, and have strong family, student, community engagement throughout.
During the School Board meeting on Oct. 8, it was announced that all high schools had passed the accreditation process. Principals received plaques to commemorate this accomplishment.
The passing of accreditation demonstrates how Bellingham Public Schools works to ensure that every child in every classroom has an outstanding and equitable educational experience. It ensures that there is a high quality of teaching and learning for every student and continuously has strong support throughout the district. Lastly, it shows that the practices implemented into the schools allow the students to access tools that help them connect in innovative and efficient ways.