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Bellingham schools are back in business; here’s when others begin fall 2017 classes

Students walk through the doors of Happy Valley Elementary on the first day of school in 2016. Bellingham students are the first in Whatcom County to go back to class, with schools back in session Aug. 23.
Students walk through the doors of Happy Valley Elementary on the first day of school in 2016. Bellingham students are the first in Whatcom County to go back to class, with schools back in session Aug. 23. eabell@bhamherald.com

Bellingham Public Schools students are back in classes and on new schedules Wednesday, with other Whatcom County students having a week or two more summer.

Bellingham changed start times for its schools this year, citing the need for adolescents to get more sleep so they will be better prepared for class.

The schedule change also allows flexibility for more electives and course offerings at the high school level, which is needed given increasing graduation requirements.

This year, elementary students are in school 30 minutes earlier than last year, from 8 a.m. until 2:30 except Thursdays, when they’re out at 12:45.

Middle schoolers still start their day at 9:15 a.m., finish at 3:45 p.m. and will have one Thursday early release a month.

High school students begin classes at 8:30 a.m. – 45 minutes than previous years – and are out at 3:15.

Most other schools districts in Whatcom County begin classes next week.

Blaine, Meridian and Nooksack Valley school district classes start Aug. 30. Lynden and Mount Baker school district classes start Aug. 31.

Lummi Nation School classes start Sept. 5. Ferndale School District classes start Sept. 6.

College students have a few more weeks until classes begin:

▪ Northwest Indian College, Sept. 18;

▪ Whatcom Community College, Sept. 19;

▪ Bellingham Technical College, Sept. 19;

▪ Western Washington University, Sept. 27.

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