Very pleased with BHS. By the time kids get to high school, they should know what they need to do to succeed, and be accountable for their actions. I feel that kids (young adults) should be encouraged to think independently, but have enough guidance so they don't fall through the cracks. I also think the leadership and teachers do a very good job with letting kids walk their own line while still staying on the right path.
An admin that encourages student leadership, an efficient & friendly front office staff (which cannot be underestimated), and a solid community of coaches, teachers, parents, and students work together at BHS to build what I have observed to be an extraordinary experience for students. BHS has competent & approachable teachers. Some are even the best of the best (motivating, scholarly, hard-working, dedicated, respected, etc.). Students seem to really love this school & being on its campus. After school, the campus is still a buzz with students involved in sports, music, theatre, performance groups, clubs, decorating the school, etc. The sense of school pride & spirit is rich and the students should be proud of themselves for inspiring this attitude & atmosphere. Parents are also a joint part of the landscape. They regularly volunteer & support various fundraisers, activities, and events. BHS parents are especially supportive of the arts. The admin does not patronize or minimize the concerns of its students (or parents). Instead admin encourages student leadership and for students to take ownership of their education & campus. No school is perfect, but BHS easily gets 5 stars.
I don't recommend this high school unless you are prepared to completely conform to their ideologies and cheer along. The administration doesn't know how to deal with real problems and real people. They have some very nice teachers, but also some awful ones. The current principal has a number of backward and intolerant attitudes, even flaunting rejection of best education practices in some subjects by virtue of support from a kind of "hoi polloi" element. Key individuals in guidance and placement are highly immature,with poor grasp of important developmental issues, and play a lot of destructive and dishonest games with serious matters affecting families and students' futures, making life very unpleasant at times for students and quite worrisome for parents. If you are looking for an overall reflective & democratic environment with fair minded, egalitarian thinkers who truly put students before their petty politics and overgrown egos, look elsewhere. Attention to college application issues is poor.
We love BHS! This school has TONS of school spirit. The teachers and staff are simply fantastic. The use of technology is terrific. Our teachers care so much and do all they can for the students. I can't think of a better high school than this!
I could not ask to attend a better high school. The building is clean, the teachers do their very best to create a good learning environment, our priciple is AMAZING, the athletics may not have the best coaches but the school spirit is incredible, even the lunch food is good. With academics: you get what you put in. The techers and counselors will definitely support you. I love this school and will be sad to leave it.
The principal, Steve Clarke, of Bellingham is friends with everyone. He is the most inspiring man, and all of the students look up to him. Freedom is a major concept - kids don't abuse their rights of off campus lunches and breaks. As a freshman, it helps me become more independent and I cherish my walks through the colorful strips of resturaunts downtown. Respect for other schools remains strong, and games against other schools are clean without any verbal or cruel comments. All you can see is red at stadiums. There is a range of different types of people who go there, so it's so effective to how I think about people in general. There isn't any cliques. It's like a big family there. Even though the school is huge, there is so many oppurtunites there and an endless list of choices for electives and classes. Go there.
As a parent of a freshman at BHS I just wanted to say that I couldn't have asked for a better high school! Steve Clarke was awarded the title as the 'Best Principal in Washington State' and either the second or third best in the nation for public schools. The facility is outstanding. It was newly renovated just a couple years back which definitely sets itself apart from the other two schools in the district. I know that one of the things that my daughter enjoys about Bellingham High School is the privilege to leave the building at lunch as a freshman. Other schools allow sophomores, juniors, and seniors leave for lunch, but BHS is the only one that allows freshman too as well. The school is conveniently located a couple blocks away from many restaurants. There are many other aspects of Bellingham that are fantastic, too many to type!