Three staff of the mental health team

BPS increases mental health support as part of whole child approach

Substantial changes have taken place over the last 10 years related to how Bellingham Public Schools (BPS) supports the whole child. This includes restorative justice practices to minimize out-of-school suspensions and expulsions, and adopting and teaching social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum focused on teaching students social skills while building community. BPS also provides annual trainings…

Two preschool students work on art. One girl has pink stickers.

Inclusive preschool builds friendship in Bellingham schools

For the past five years, Bellingham Public Schools has offered an inclusive preschool program at Alderwood and Cordata elementary schools. The program includes opportunities for typically developing children and children with developmental delays or disabilities. “We want to invest in early learning at the preschool level and really provide more inclusive opportunities for children with…

Heidi Carpenter teaches science at Squalicum High School

Eight teachers attain national board certification in 2020, despite pandemic, despite lockdown

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is an independent and nonprofit organization devoted to advancing the quality of teaching and learning. Eight staff members in Bellingham Public Schools earned national board certification in 2020 following an intensive process of teaching and learning professional development. These teachers bring the total number of NBCT staff in the district…

Nurse matt administers a vaccine to Heidi who is in her car.

Staff access COVID vaccines thanks to partnerships and preparation

Thanks to the dedication of staff and community partners, Bellingham Public Schools has offered COVID immunization opportunities to all BPS staff and community education partners. On March 2, Governor Inslee added educators and licensed childcare workers to the vaccine prioritization, which meant that all Bellingham Public Schools staff became eligible to receive the vaccine if…

Allied Arts Education Project brings art to elementary schools

Written in collaboration with Leora Watson, Western Washington University Allied Arts of Whatcom County partners with Bellingham Public Schools to bring the experience of art to children in elementary schools throughout Bellingham. The Allied Arts Education Project (AAEP) was started in 2002 with a mission to expand quality arts learning opportunities for students in Whatcom…