Correct Meeting Dates!

Oh, yes, it’s the end of the school year and all the wrap-ups are blending together! Here are the correct days and times:

HCL Parent Meeting, Wednesday, June 11, 7 PM – 8 PM at Whatcom Middle School in the Commons (door to your right when facing the front door at WMS.)

HCL Parent Association Board Meeting, Monday, June 9, 6 PM – 7 PM at Bellingham High School in the Career Center.

HCL Parent Info Night – Tonight

Come to the meeting at Whatcom Middle School, Commons, 7 PM – 8 PM tonight, April 9. We will have firsthand information about local projects, activities and enhancements, as well as regional conferences (some for parents AND students), online programs and info about preparing for summer specialty camps – all HCL related.

See you tonight!

Parent Meeting: Beyond School, Enhancing HCL Students

Parents, Ever wonder about interesting, fun or challenging activities for your HCL students beyond the school day? How do you decide which are a good use of time or time-sucks? Ever wonder how to best guide your HCL student – emotionally and/or academically? And where do you even hear about these opportunities? At the April 9 HCL Parent Group Meeting of course!

Come to the meeting at Whatcom Middle School, Commons, at 7 PM – 8 PM. We will have firsthand information about local projects, activities and enhancements, as well as regional conferences (some for parents AND students), online programs and info about preparing for summer specialty camps.

In addition to what we have to offer you, we are actively taking submissions to add to the list for classes, testing, and other helpful resources or tips that you’ve tried with your students.

If you have an item you or your student has tried and you think others would benefit from knowing about it, please share it with us ahead of time so we can put it on the handout for the meeting. Email Veronica at with the details.

High School planning advice is welcome and will be shared as well.

See you there!

Will You Have a High School Student Next Year?

Families of upcoming high school students, We know many of your students anticipate taking AP classes in high school. We want to encourage you to take advantage of the information nights at the high schools to get advice and direction for taking AP classes offered. Some AP classes have prerequisites and require planning – even for freshman year.

Squalicum HS has already hosted an AP Information Forum on February 25. Over 400 people attended, including people from the feeder middle schools. What a great showing of interest and support! If you still have questions specific to Squalicum, please contact the counseling office there.

Squalicum HS also provides a flow chart of classes within subject areas on pages 26-32 of their course catalog. This could be a helpful visual when planning, but keep in mind the high school AP programs are not exactly the same. Be sure to check your student’s high school specific catalog.

Bellingham HS will have their Informational Night Monday, March 3, 6:30pm. They will have a “breakout session” focusing on AP classes and college readiness. Come prepared to learn about these options for your children and with any questions you may have.

Sehome HS will be hosting the 8th Grade Parent Night on Tuesday, March 11, 6:00pm. They are currently planning on having a table with information regarding their AP offerings and college readiness. Use this resource to start the conversation about what prerequisites are needed for what classes. Leave any questions you might have at the table for Jeff Smith, Sehome HS Counselor, to address.

We are also working on hosting a Parent Meeting regarding high school classes, testing, outside resources and other useful tips that parents of older students have learned along the way. Be on the lookout for more information regarding that meeting.

Input Request

Thank you for attending the HCL parent meeting last Wednesday. The HCP Committee presented a summary of their process and potential program options. Michelle Kuss-Cybula discussed the new state requirement and gave a summary of the HCP review conducted last fall.

The district is working to update the HCP in accordance with the new state law. During the meeting parents broke out into two groups to discuss some possible programming services and options for next year, as well as long term plans for the program.

Please go to this link to read the potential HCP options the district is considering.

The district is seeking comments on those options at this time. The HCP committee will be voting on the options at their meeting on Tuesday, February 10, 2014, and if you would like to comment on the options or program in general to send an email to and Veronica Douglas at

February Symposium: Gifted Well-Being at UW

The FREE symposium, Saturday, February 8, at the University of Washington is an exceptional opportunity for those interested in well-being issues for gifted children. Parents and students if you are interested go to this link: Supporting Healthy Scholars February Symposium to find out how to register and attend.

This is also great for teachers, school counselors, social workers, administrators etc. to learn more about gifted student needs.

HCL Showcase Evenings

Hello HCL families! We are excited to announce the dates of our two showcase evenings where our children will share their research projects. Both events will be held at Whatcom Middle School and will run approximately from 6:30-7:30 pm. SET-UP HELP IS NEEDED! From 3-5 pm on both dates, tables and the displays will need to be set-up. Are you available? If so, please go to this Sign-Up Genius link.

Showcase Dates:

February 6 — Happy Valley site

March 13 — Alderwood site

Wednesday Meeting – Middle School & Math Curriculum

Bellingham Public School’s Department of Learning and Teaching, in conjunction with the Bellingham HCL Parent Association, are hosting an HCL Parent Meeting on Wednesday, December 4, 2013, from 7:00-8:00 pm at Whatcom Middle School Commons.

Topics include the Future Problem Solvers program for middle school and math curriculum review process and changes.

Guest speakers will include:  Adrienne Somera, Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for the HCL program and Charisse Berner, Director of Teaching and Learning, chair of PreK-12 Math Committee.

All parents welcome!

Make Your Voice Heard, Really.

As parents/guardians of a Highly Capable Learner (HCL) you should have received an email from Bellingham School District asking you and your HCL student to complete a survey about the Highly Capable Program (HCP). The survey is an important part of the independent HCP review being conducted this fall by an outside consultant.

This IS the time, place and format to express you opinions, reflect, request and comment. The independent review, which is encouraged and requested by the HCL Parent Group, will help guide the district in bringing the HCP up to meet state law requirements.

This is a link to the parent/guardian survey.

This is a link to the student survey.

The deadline is Monday, October 28.

Thank you!