Superintendent's Newsletter

Bellingham Public Schools

Welcome Back!

Welcome Back, Parents/Guardians, and Students.


I hope you had a relaxing summer and were able to spend quality time with your family and

friends. A new academic year is upon us and it promises to be an excellent one. This year we

will continue to build upon the great successes we had from last year. We will continue to focus

on our vision: All students will achieve academic excellence and be self-directed learners

possessing the ability to think critically, problem-solve, communicate, collaborate and

research effectively to be socially responsible citizens.


We have many new teachers and support staff joining the Bellingham Public School community.

I believe that they will enhance our district and continue our progress. The clerical,

maintenance, technology, and administrative staff have worked extremely hard in preparing for

the opening of the 2019-2020 school year and they have done a superb job. I know that by

working together we will accomplish great things for the students and families in Bellingham.

I am honored to serve as the Superintendent of the Bellingham School District, and I am looking

forward to working with you all. On behalf of the administrative team, faculty and staff, we wish

all of our students and families a great start to a new school year that is filled with learning,

growth and joy.


Please stay tuned for more exciting news coming for this school year, we are committed to the Bellingham School District and supporting all of our students as they learn and grow.


I wish you all the very best school year!


Peter Marano

Superintendent of Schools

Family ID

  • We have updated our process for collecting the beginning of the year forms; it is now electronic utilizing Family ID. FamilyID is a secure registration platform that provides you with an easy, user-friendly way to sign school policies and forms, such as handbook agreements, media releases, and acceptable use policies. When you register through FamilyID, the system keeps track of your information in your FamilyID profile. You enter your information only once for each family member for multiple uses and programs. You will be receiving an email invitation for Family ID next week to complete the back to school forms.

Updated Policies

We have updated several of our policies for the next school year; two in particular that I would like to bring to your attention are the New Homework Policy and Acceptable Use Policy.


Here are some highlights and links to the policies:


Acceptable Use Policy:


  • Only approved electronic mail communication is allowed between students and the
    following groups: teachers, administrators, clerical staff and any other employee of the
    Bellingham Public School District
  • Inappropriate conduct on the Bellingham Public Schools Internet will be subject to disciplinary action, in conformity with the Bellingham Public School Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline (which is published in school handbooks) and the disciplinary policies of individual schools. School officials may cancel user access to the network
  • Network storage areas such as Google Drive and/or Internal School District file storage (including user files) will be treated like school lockers and may be subject to inspection
  • The use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature will not be tolerated and subject to discipline




Homework Policy:


  • Homework given in a particular content area or course will be included in the calculation of a student’s grade at a weight not to exceed 15% of the final grade

  • Upon return to school from an absence, students with the support of guidance, educators and parents, if needed, will develop a plan to complete make-up work within a reasonable amount of time. Homework given in a particular content area or course will be included in the calculation of a student’s grade at a weight not to exceed 15% of the final grade
  • Assignments will not be given during major vacations with the expectation that they need to be worked on or completed during those school vacations. In addition, assessments may not be due or given on the day after these school vacations
  • Kindergarten: Teacher discretion - not to exceed 15 min/day, up to three times per week

    Grade 1: 10-20 minutes of homework, up to three times per week

    Grade 2: 10-20 minutes of homework, up to four times per week

    Grades 3-4: 15 min/day to 45 min/day, up to four times per week

    Grades 5-6: 45 min/day to 75 min/day, up to four times per week

    Grades 7-8: 90 min/day to 120 min/day

    Grades 9-12: 90 min/day to 150 min/day


    Please review the policy: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-FF9ogg_Q38ZOsBzlL9cTxYSJwmTQr6b7g7xf2Id58U/edit?usp=sharing

Back to School Tips

With the start of school, kids may feel many different emotions; excitement, anxiety, worry, fear, depression. These are all real feelings that kids will have a difficult time expressing or talk about. But it is essential to have an excellent start to the year and here are a few tips that may help get through these feelings.


1. Make sure they are getting enough sleep - start working on making gradual changes to their summer schedules so that they work towards the ideal sleep time during the school year. Have them go to bed a little earlier each night. Kids need to get a solid 8 hours of sleep each night so that they are prepared to learn each day.


2. Talk to your kids about going back to school - allow your kids to share what makes them anxious about returning to school and work on ways to manage that anxiety. Think about ideas, collectively, that will help them achieve their stress. It could be using a stress ball to deep breathing exercises. It's essential for kids to share how they feel but also for parents to help kids come up with strategies that their kids can use to reduce stress and anxiety.


3. Stay Positive - Talk to your kids on how fun it will be to be back to school. They will be learning new things and seeing their friends each day. If you express fear, your kids will recognize it and will be more anxious.


4. Limit Video Games - Start setting limits on video games, kids will play them all day long when they are allowed to do it.


5. Meet with the School Faculty Early - If there are concerns that you have, set up a time to meet with your child's teachers and counselors. They can be a great resource and help with the transition back to school. We are all part of the same team and want your child to be successful.


Here are a couple of great articles that you may find useful:


https://www.edutopia.org/article/back-to-school-resources-parents


https://www.rootsofaction.com/55-best-back-to-school-articles-for-parents/

Upcoming Events

First day of school Grades 1-12 - Wednesday, August 28th

Kindergarten Orientation - Thursday, August 29th

Labor Day Weekend - No School All Schools Friday, August 30th-Monday, September 2nd

First Day Kindergarten - Tuesday, September 3rd

Meet the Teacher (Grades 4/5) - Wednesday, September 11th, 5-7 pm BMS

Meet the Teacher (Grades 6/7) - Thursday, September 12th, 5-7 pm BMS

Ice Cream Social - Friday, September 13th 6-8 pm BMS