Squalicum High School

May 29, 2020

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On Site School Closed for the Remainder of the School Year

Newsletter Contents

Admin Team Update and Special Senior Information

Helpful Resources and Information

The 4 Primary Goals

HUB News

From the Counseling Team

Comcast Wi-Fi Hotspots

How to Pay for Yearbooks, AP Exams/Other Fees/Fines

College/Career Center Information/Updates

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Dear SQHS Seniors and families,

Thank you so much for your participation in the cap and gown delivery over the past few days. Our staff loved seeing you—we have missed you so much! We saw decorated vehicles, fun posters of appreciation for our seniors and our staff, and smiles of joy (plus a few tears). Thank you also for being so respectful of social distancing protocols.

Now that you have your caps and gowns, we want to share a new piece of the graduation puzzle that we have been working on, with input from students, families, district staff, and Whatcom Unified Command.

As you know, our county remains in Phase 1, and anything we plan for you needs to comply with the Phase 1 health and safety protocols. Even though it just plain stinks that we can’t give all of you big hugs or gather together on our campus like so many classes before, we know that the health of our community is more important.

Thursday, June 11, each school will host a Walk the Stage celebration. Similar to the cap and gown pickup, we invite households to drive through our parking lot where there will be stations to return any materials you may still have at home, pick up yearbooks and DIPLOMAS (yay!). We will have an outdoor stage for a photo op with your diploma if you want to snap a photo. Families will be able to watch and take photos from a safe distance. We encourage you to wear your cap and gown if you would like!

This will still be followed by our live stream virtual graduation ceremonies on Friday, June 12. (Quick reminder to make sure to send in your personalized PowerPoint slides to Pamela.Behee@bellinghamschools.org by MONDAY, June 1st.)

We will share more specific details and times for this celebration with you soon, but please mark your calendar for June 11 to take care of a few farewell items and Walk the Stage as a Bellingham Public Schools graduate.

Before June 11, please collect the following, and bring with you to Walk the Stage.

  • Device, charger, stylus and laptop bag
  • Textbooks and library books
  • Instruments
  • Athletic uniforms
  • Payment for any ASB fines and fees. (These payments can also be made online.)

You may also choose to drop off notes for staff and/or locks for the art projects at this time. If you have any personal items to collect from the building, please contact your teacher.

Please continue to check your email and social media for your school and the district. As we have learned many times over since our closure in March, guidance and circumstances can change quickly, so stay tuned for updates.

If you think you may have fines or fees, please contact shawn.flaherty@bellinghamschools.org.


The Admin Team

Governor Inslee and Alaska Airlines Share Graduation Video for High School Seniors

Note for seniors: lunch account balance

Graduating seniors with a remaining lunch account balance of $10 or greater will be receiving lunch account reimbursements, which will be mailed to the address we currently have on file. If you would like to transfer your remaining lunch account funds to a sibling or if you would like to donate all or a portion of your lunch account funds to the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation, please follow this link to our online request form. [try this link]

If you are unsure of your lunch account balance, please login to your MyPaymentsPlus account at or email jesse.cole@bellinghamschools.org.

Resources and Information

Bellingham School District

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Upcoming HUB Happenings

Sign up for these exciting opportunites through HUB. Contact Erin Neisinger at 360-746-9106 or erin.neisinger@bellinghamschools.org.
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Comcast Wi-Fi Hotspots Available for Students

Here is a link to a map of the Comcast wi-fi hotspots in our area https://hotspots.wifi.comcast.com/. Please use this link, type in your zip code and you’ll be able to find a hotspot near you if you are struggling with downloading assignments or communicating with your teacher.
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Many parents are wondering how to pay for yearbooks, AP exams ($47 each exam) and current fees/fines for their seniors so I have included the link and instructions below. The district has waived the fee for paying online for the remainder of the year.

Fees/fines letters have gone out to all the seniors so they can clear next month for graduation. Please email me if the information is not correct on the letter you receive. It is a computer generated letter that has limited information so I'm happy to help with any questions you might have (senior parents FYI - a fine is the same thing as a fee for SQHS, it's just a computer glitch in the wording).

You can also check your student's account with the link provided below to see if you purchased a yearbook at the beginning of the school year. They are $65 for the remainder of the school year.

To pay any fees/fines online, please click the link https://wa-bellingham.intouchreceipting.com/, follow the instructions and choose pay fees/fines. You can also mail checks made out to SQHS to 3773 E. McLeod Rd, Bellingham, WA 98226.

If you have any questions please contact Shawn.Flaherty@Bellinghamschools.org.

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College Plans for the Fall

The intention of most colleges and universities will be to open for the fall semester if state and local restrictions allow.

New Gap Year Policy for 2020-2021

During this time of uncertainty, they want to offer future students as many options as possible regarding when and how their college experience begin. Please check with the college to find out more about their new deferral policy’s.

Spring Grades: The Careful Approach Being Taken

Most colleges use a holistic admission process, which emphasizes understanding each student’s personal circumstances, and is well-suited to adapt to the variety of grading policies that have emerged in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In reviewing future applications, many college admission committees will:

  • Consider all information provided to fully understand each school's spring 2020 grading policies.
  • Pay special attention to spring 2020 grades to ensure no applicant is at a disadvantage in the admission process.
  • Place extra emphasis on prior grade trends for students with Pass/Fail grades in spring 2020.
  • Review merit scholarship decisions for any students whose spring 2020 grades are not consistent with previous terms.

Futures Northwest

Check out the Futures Northwest website. It is a Great Resource for students planning on attending college! Listen to the interview.

Record Your Volunteer Hours Now!

You may already be helping neighbors, elderly relatives, tutoring classmates or siblings, or providing tech help to others. These would be perfect examples of volunteer hours. The Volunteer Center of Whatcom County has a listing of volunteer opportunities to help with community needs. A few needs from the community are: Virtual help with the Red Cross; Tutors; Food Banks; Sewing Face Masks.

Of course during this crisis any potential volunteers will need to follow all COVID-19 precautions and consider their own health first.

If you are volunteering and would like to RECORD your VOLUNTEER HOURS using this form, (also found on the SQHS webpage) or by keeping track at home, you can then turn those hours into Mrs. O’Brien. Your hours will be accumulated and can become part of your High School and Beyond Plan, help you with scholarships, college applications and job applications.

SAT/ACT testing and college admissions

Many Juniors were registered to take the SAT or ACT this spring and are now wondering now what? Will I still be able to apply for college in the fall? From many colleges, the answer is a resounding YES! Several colleges will not penalize students for not having taken these tests, in fact they are advertising their applications will be test optional.

The SAT has said when it is safe from a Public health standpoint, they will provide make up tests beginning in August, they will reach out to those students who had registered, and offer make up dates. The ACT is also reaching out to reschedule tests and set new test dates.

Please check websites for information on both of these tests and use their test practice to brush up on your knowledge!

The SAT site https://www.collegeboard.org/ The ACT site https://www.act.org/

Have you taken a tour of your top college choices or one you've been curious about? Now You Can Tour them all in One Day - Virtually!!!