Differentiation: a big word for ‘good learning’

“Differentiation” or “differentiated instruction” — an approach to teaching that’s becoming the norm at Bellingham Public Schools — may at first seem abstract to those outside the education field. But it’s just a big word for a simple concept. Teachers apply it every day at their jobs as they strive to reach every student in their classrooms. Differentiation means…

Bellingham middle schools receive governor’s ‘Gold Star’ for scholarship signups

Bellingham middle schools received Gold Star awards from Gov. Jay Inslee in February for signing up 81.8 percent of last year’s eligible eighth graders for the College Bound Scholarship. More than 200 schools in 103 school districts received the award for exceeding the statewide signup rate of 71 percent. The College Bound Scholarship helps Washington’s low-income students…

Partnership Program a home away from home for homeschooling families

Since its inception almost two years ago, the Family Partnership Program has grown quickly while meeting the needs of the diverse homeschool community in Whatcom County. The program, which serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade, started in spring 2015 with 16 students and two classes taught by FPP principal Kate Baehr. These initial classes on Rube…

Grants put middle school students on bicycles

More students are enjoying the mental and physical benefits of bicycling, thanks to two separate grants awarded to our middle schools. Whatcom Middle School was one of eight schools across the country, out of more than 200 applicants, to receive bicycles, curriculum and training from The Specialized Foundation. The grant included 30 Specialized Hardrock mountain bikes, helmets and tools,…

Grads can tout language skills on transcript, diploma

Some students in Bellingham Public Schools strive to become fluent in a second language through high school coursework. Others are mastering English through their interactions at school and in the community while speaking a different language at home. A new state law enables schools to recognize high levels of language proficiency with a Seal of Biliteracy. Eighty-seven…

Bellingham schools DRO Chris Brown on 12/23/16

Officer Brown steps down from school job after 3 years

Bellingham police officer Chris Brown, whose beat covered the 23 buildings in Bellingham Public Schools, finished his three-and-a-half-year stint as district resource officer on Monday, Jan. 9. Bellingham officer Bo McGinty replaced him. “It’s a very demanding position” and one that Brown handled with grace, said Jonah Stinson, Bellingham Public Schools’ director of school safety and…

Cookie decorating at Cordata Community Celebration

Cordata Elementary throws party where students live

Cordata Elementary School’s new principal wants to get to know her students better. In the spirit of bringing school and home communities together, Principal Analisa Ficklin and Cordata staff held a “community celebration” on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at Cascade Meadows Clubhouse, 455 Westerly Road. The clubhouse serves four nearby apartment complexes, where about 30 percent of the school’s 400 students live.…