School Family Handbook



The staff at Blaine Primary School is committed to uniting family, staff, community, and students in a partnership that provides opportunities to enable children to fully develop their individual potential.  Our vision is to maintain high standards and consistent expectations as we focus on developing a solid academic foundation as well as self-management and mutual respect.

Dear Blaine Primary School Families,

On behalf of Blaine Primary School, I am pleased to welcome you to the start of a new academic year. As we prepare for the exciting journey ahead, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our School Family Handbook, which is designed to provide you with important information about our school policies, procedures, and expectations.

The School Family Handbook is an essential tool that will help you understand our approach to teaching and learning, as well as our commitment to providing a safe, nurturing and inclusive learning environment for all students. In the handbook, you will find a wide range of topics including: our vision, mission, and values, behavior expectations and discipline procedures, student and family support services, parent involvement and communication, pick up and drop off procedures, attendance policies, and much more! You can quickly access a topic by clicking on it from the table of contents. 

We encourage you to review the handbook carefully and to use it as a reference throughout the year. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our school or office. We are here to support you and your child every step of the way. 

We are excited to have you and your child as part of our Blaine Primary School Family and look forward to a successful and rewarding academic year ahead.


Michelle McKeown



“School Family” - What does it mean? 

The school family philosophy comes from our work in the area of social emotional learning and our implementation of Conscious Discipline. It is our model for building a positive school culture that accepts differences, builds unity and brings all children into our school community as caring, contributing members of the school. It does not imply a replacement to the student’s family unit, but rather uses the metaphor of a healthy family to guide us in creating a positive school climate that promotes optimal development of all children, staff, and faculty. When your child enters our school they become a valued member of our School Family, as do you as parents and guardians. We value your partnership and look forward to building lifelong connections with you and your student(s)!  We strive to create a school environment where all students, families and staff experience a sense of safety, acceptance and belonging each day when they join our school community. We believe that a strong partnership with families is critical to our work! 


Family involvement is crucial in creating a supportive and nurturing learning environment in a primary school. When families are engaged in their child's education, it leads to improved academic performance, higher attendance rates, and a greater sense of community within the school. Maintaining active communication with the school is critical. Below you will find a variety of ways to stay connected and get involved!


Visit to find more information about events, calendars, etc.


The District and each of its schools distribute information and updates throughout the year using a mobile app. This is one of the main ways you will receive information from the school and district. We encourage all families to download the Blaine School District app and subscribe to Blaine Primary School. You will also need to enable all notifications from Blaine Primary School to get notified of updates. You can find directions and the link to download the app HERE.  


Family Access gives parents and students on-line access to student information including teacher assignment, attendance, schedules, immunization records, and school lunch payment options. This is also where you will share and update your contact information. You can find directions and the link to access family access HERE


  • Email: This is a critical means of communication from the school. Please ensure your email address is updated through Family Access so you receive important school and classroom communications.

  • Mail: Occasionally we mail important information home. Please keep your mailing address up to date. 

  • Newsletter: The first week of each month we email our monthly newsletter with important information. Be on the lookout to stay up to date on what is happening within our school. 



Here are some tips to ensure a smooth school arrival process:

  • Develop a morning routine: Establish a consistent morning routine that includes time for breakfast, getting dressed, and packing school bags.

  • Set an alarm: Help students establish a regular wake-up time that allows enough time to get ready and arrive at school on time.

  • Review the school's arrival procedures: Familiarize yourself and your child with the school's arrival procedures, such as drop-off locations, parking areas, and designated routes.

  • Follow traffic rules: Observe traffic laws and follow all traffic signs when dropping off your child at school.

  • Respect school staff: Follow the directions of school staff and safety patrols when dropping off and picking up your child.

  • Communicate with the school: If your child will be absent from school, notify the school as soon as possible by leaving a message on the BPS Attendance Line #360-332-1300 #1.

  • Practice safety: Remind students to always use crosswalks, avoid running, and to look both ways before crossing the street.


The school day begins at 8:20 a.m. every day besides Wednesday with the first bell sounding at 8:15 and the second bell at 8:20. Students are considered tardy once the second bell has rung. Doors open for students beginning at 8:00 a.m. Students may get breakfast from 8:00 - 8:20 each morning. If you arrive past the 8:20 bell, please sign your student in at the office where they will receive a pass to class. We ask that students walk to class on their own to gain independence and minimize disruptions in the hallways. Prior to 8:20 you are welcome to walk your student to class without signing in.

On Wednesdays school begins at 9:20 a.m. with the first bell sounding at 9:15 and the second bell at 9:20. Doors open for students beginning at 9:00 a.m. Students may get breakfast from 9:00-9:20. If you arrive past the 9:20 bell, please sign your student in at the office where they will receive a pass to class.

School arrival is an important time of day as it sets the tone for the rest of the school day. By arriving on time and prepared, students can set themselves up for a successful day of learning. It is recommended that students arrive at school as close to 8:00 as possible to decrease the amount of unsupervised time outside the school door, but also allows enough time to get breakfast and get organized. Students who arrive late may miss important information and may disrupt the class.


Doors open at 8:00 so we ask that students be dropped off as close to 8:00 as possible. There is no morning supervision outside so it is important students are not left unattended for extended periods of time. Students may be dropped off at either office door but should be accompanied by an adult if before 7:50. There is no longer a drop off lane in the front of the school.   Families should park in the two south lots off of Boblett St. The front parking lot will no longer be used for pick up or drop off. 

Morning Drop Off


Students are considered tardy and need to be signed into the office by their parents and/or guardians when they arrive after the 8:20 am bell.  Each student will collect a late pass and head to class.  In order to minimize classroom distractions and encourage independence, we ask that students walk to class on their own.

Afternoon Pick up


The school day ends at 2:50 p.m. daily (except early release days which is 12:50). Students will be released from the Covered Area on the North side of the school. Students will come out with their teachers and once the bell rings, the garage doors will open and students will be released to families. Families should park in the two south lots off of Boblett St. The front parking lot will no longer be used for pick up or drop off. 


If you need to pick up your child early please notify the teacher as early as possible and come to the office with your photo ID to sign them out. To ensure the safety of our children, no child shall be removed from any classroom, school grounds or building function except by a parent having legal custody, a legal guardian, or a person designated by the parent/legal guardian and listed on school records. This person must present photo identification in the office. Your student will be called to the office when you arrive. Due to the end of day congestion, we are not able to release students early after 2:20.


If your student has a change in after school plans, such as pick up instead of bus or pick up by a different adult, please send a note to school or call the office #360-332-1300 prior to 2:00. If we do not have communication from adults by 2:00, we will follow the student’s original plan. 



There is noticeable concern of traffic congestion around the Blaine School District. At Blaine Primary School this is especially true during early mornings and afternoons as families drop off and pick up their children. It is critical to follow all guidelines to ensure children are kept safe. 

To ensure student safety:

  • Follow student drop off and pick up maps and procedures. 

  • We have handicap parking in the front and south parking lots for those with a parking pass; please make sure that your handicap parking plaque is visible.

  • There must be an adult present to receive all Blaine Primary School students at their bus stop.  If there is not an adult at the bus stop, unless being dropped off with older siblings, the student will be returned to the school.  At this point it becomes the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to transport the child. 

  • Please be reminded that our little ones are sometimes difficult to see, please use caution while driving in any parking lot.

  • Please escort your students across all streets that do not have a crossing guard present.

  • There are no dogs on campus, please leave all pets at home. 

  • Do not drive down the bus lane while school is in session. 

  • Please note: Skateboards, Scooters, Roller Blades are OK to ride to school; however, students must walk or carry them once on school grounds.  Due to safety hazards, skateboards are not allowed on the bus.


Children from the primary school who attend the Boys and Girls Club and other after school activities are required to wait in the designated area when school is dismissed at 2:50. They are then walked to the club by members of their staff. For further information, you may contact the Boys and Girls Club at 360-332-3008 or visit their web site at



This is a great opportunity to discuss your child's progress and work with teachers to set academic goals for your child. Conference sign ups occur via skyward. Watch for instructions a couple weeks before conferences begin!


These groups provide a platform for parents to collaborate with teachers and school administrators, fundraise for school programs and events, and plan family engagement activities. They can be contacted at  You can also follow them on FB @ Blaine Primary PTO.


Attend school events: From back-to-school nights to class plays and sports events, attending these events shows support for your child and the school community.


Teachers often welcome parent volunteers to help with activities such as reading with students, organizing materials, and chaperoning field trips. Click here for a link to apply. We encourage you to fill out the volunteer application as early in the year as possible to ensure it gets processed in a timely manner.



Showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic success starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school. Even as children grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day and understand why attendance is so important for success in school and in life.

We realize some absences are unavoidable due to health problems or other circumstances. We also know that when students miss too much school, regardless of the reason, it can cause them to fall behind academically. Washington State has recently adopted permanent absence rules (Chapter 392- 401 WAC) to provide greater consistency across the state and align with the federal education plan, ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act).

If your child will be absent, please call the BPS Office at 360-332-1300 # 1 for attendance to leave a message. This number is for K-2 students only.  If you have older students, you will need to call the school your student attends to excuse their absences.  If you leave a message on the attendance line or sign your student in late, your student’s attendance will be updated by the end of the day and there is no need to call the office again if you receive an automated call regarding an absence on the same day. 

Attendance Rules

Students are expected to attend all assigned classes each day. Blaine School District is required by regulation to monitor, record, and report student attendance. We are also required to take action when attendance issues arise. The following guidelines will help you avoid the pitfalls of chronic absenteeism. Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing just 18 days per school year (or 10%), whether excused or unexcused.

Excused Absences: Absences due to illness, health condition, health appointment (including dental, vision, medical, mental health), family emergency, religious or cultural purpose, court or judicial proceeding, post-secondary school or apprenticeship program visitation, scholarship interview, state-recognized search and rescue activities, homeless or foster care/dependency status, parent/guardian deployment activities for active duty military, migrant status, safety concern, *principal approved activity. Absences due to disciplinary action will only be excused when the student participates in the educational services provided by the school or is enrolled in a qualifying “course of study.”

All other absences shall be considered unexcused.

Students shall be permitted to make up all missed assignments under reasonable conditions and time limits if the absence is excused. However, participation or performance classes such as music or CTE may be impossible to make up. The school attendance office must receive notification from the student's parent/guardian of an excused absence from any class, otherwise the student’s absence will be considered unexcused. The notification must meet the criteria for excused absence.

Extended Absences: If the family wishes to plan for a prearranged absence consisting of 5 or more consecutive school days, the parent or guardian must submit an Extended Absence Request to the school at least 5 days in advance and must agree to an educational plan to prevent the child from falling behind academically. Approval is at the discretion of the school Principal or designee. If the student is struggling academically, this request may not be approved and the child will be considered unexcused.

Blaine School District is committed to combating chronic absenteeism. When students are absent for any reason (excused or unexcused) and near the threshold of chronic absenteeism, measures will be taken to identify the barriers to regular attendance. If a student has 5 or more excused absences in a single month or 10 or more excused absences in the current school year, the school will require a conference, a doctor’s note, or both.

Unexcused Absences: As required by RCW 28A.225.010, the parent/guardian will be notified whenever the student has failed to attend school after any unexcused absence. A conference must be held with the parent or guardian after 3 unexcused absences within any month. Not later than the student’s 5th unexcused absence in a month a petition will be filed with the Whatcom County Juvenile Court and student and parents/guardians will be referred to the state mandated truancy board and must enter into an attendance contract with the school. Attendance records are required to follow students who transfer districts. Absences from the prior district will be considered when taking any absenteeism actions.


No Cost School Meals:  

Blaine Primary School is eligible to participate in the Meals for Washington Students Fund (HB 1238) and is offering one breakfast and one lunch per day at no cost, regardless of family income, to all students attending our school. Students may bring lunch from home as well, but please refrain from sending energy drinks or soda pop. Breakfast and lunch menus can be found on the school district website or through this LINK

Free/Reduced Lunch Applications:  

Important: We encourage families to continue filling out free and reduced lunch applications, since this allows students access to a wide variety of supports beyond just meals, and it ensures that Blaine Primary and Elementary receive all of the funding they are entitled to for federal meal and state education programs. It also impacts our continued eligibility for free lunch programs in the district. Application information can be found HERE


Student Expectations:

  • Stay seated 

  • Listen to and follow bus driver directions at all times

  • Quiet voices

  • Be safe, helpful and kind

  • Toys or “show and tell” items can create problems on the bus.  Students should carry books and materials in a bag. 

  • Food should remain in backpacks until school or home.

    IMPORTANT:  If you are not home when your child arrives on the bus they will be brought back to the school and guardians will be called to pick them up. If your child is not picked up from school on time and/or we are unable to reach you or emergency contacts by phone, we will notify the Blaine Police Department for assistance. This will only occur if we are unable to contact someone to pick up your child from school.


The safety of our children is one of our greatest concerns.  The school holds the following drills * fire * earthquake *lockout *lockdown. Below is the language and procedures used in the event of an actual emergency.


The FSC follows the district school calendar and is closed when school is not in session. The FSC’s purpose is to assist with unhoused families (McKinney-Vento), foster care and families experiencing financial challenges, however, all families needing help are welcome, as we may be able to connect you with other resources. The program offers: school and household personal supplies, vouchers (as available) for vision screenings/glasses, gas and food as well as shoes.  Children’s gently used clothing is available including socks/underwear/coats. Assistance is provided in completing school forms, referrals to community resources including housing referrals, energy/utility assistance, holiday needs, Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), domestic violence and counseling services.  


Field trips, which require bus transportation will require a signed permission slip provided by the teacher before your child may participate. Sack lunches will also be required for all day trips and can be bought from school in advance if needed. Students must ride the bus to the trip destination and back to the school. Walking field trips may only require the signed permission slip. Parent volunteers are required to drive themselves to the field trip destination. It is preferred that no siblings attend.


If there are any schedule changes, our District will notify families via the School District App. You will also receive a robocall indicating the change.  Local radio stations are informed including; KGMI (AM 790), KPUG (AM 1170), KAFE (FM 104.1) KOMO 4, KING 5, KIRO 7, and KCPQ 13. In addition, our Snow Line Number is 360-332-0789 and our District Website is



If you get a call from us saying your child has head lice, don’t be horrified. It is not a sign of poor hygiene or poor environment. Younger children are in each other’s space a lot as you know, and lice move from person to person fairly easily. Lice will always be a part of any school atmosphere. For best practice, please check your child’s head for live lice or nits on a regular basis. If found early, it is much easier to combat head lice in your home. If live lice are found on your child at school, we will contact parents/guardians as a courtesy. Please contact your school nurse for recommendations on treatment and for prevention strategies. 


If your child needs to have medication, either prescription or over-the-counter during the day, state law requires that we have written orders from the doctor to administer the medication at school.  Forms for this purpose are available in the office.  Medication brought to school must be in the original container with complete information attached:  name of medication, patient name, dosage and complete instructions. Please note:  we do not give Tylenol or any other over the counter medication to students without a consent form from the doctor.  Medication should be brought to school by the parent, after your child’s physician has completed the form.  Your cooperation is appreciated.


If a student becomes too ill to remain in class, we will reach you by phone and recommend that you come to school to pick up your child.  Therefore, UPDATED, WORKING PHONE NUMBERS are imperative.  We have some temporary facilities to help comfort the sick child while he/she is waiting.  We do have a school nurse on campus at all times; however, the nurse cares for all Blaine School District students, K-12 and is often in another building on campus. Please make sure you notify the office of any changes in your home, work, or emergency telephone information.  


Your child must be free of any symptoms for 24 hours prior to returning to school.

Good, frequent hand washing can eliminate the spread of these symptoms. Please remember that a sick child is not only unhappy at school, but exposes other children and staff to infection as well. Help us all stay healthy!!


A no homework policy is a practice adopted by some schools that eliminates or significantly reduces the amount of homework assigned to students. Homework can be a source of stress and anxiety for students, and that it may not be an effective way to promote learning. By eliminating homework, students have more time to engage in extracurricular activities, spend time with family and friends, and pursue their own interests. Additionally, students may feel more motivated to learn if they are not burdened with excessive homework. 


As part of your student’s learning experience, Blaine Primary often presents audio and visual samples of their work for the community to enjoy.  This includes, but not limited to, individual classroom presentations, music and theater creations, Lip-Dubs, talent shows, field day celebrations, etc.  A BPS Audio Visual Permission Slip must be signed and returned to the office if you allow your student to be photographed.


Keeping our kids safe at all times is a whole building commitment.  Please support our kids and staff by adhering to the following guidelines:

Building Entrance:

ALL outside parties must buzz into the office by ringing the doorbell. Doors are kept locked between 8:20 and 2:50 to ensure we keep everyone safe. Secretaries will answer the doorbell, asking how they can help and unlock the door to enter the building. ALL visitors must check in at the office before entering the school. We also ask that you please do not hold the doors open for others, but allow each person to buzz in so it is clear why someone has entered our building. Each person must be buzzed in individually. 

Safe Hallways:

Sign in at the front office after 8:20am.  Only enter the hallways after 8:20am with a volunteer badge or BPS orange office sticker.  This allows all staff to know you have signed in and been cleared to be in the school building. Important: If we have an emergency, this identifies who should be in the hallways for identification purposes.


At Blaine Primary School, we prioritize the development of social-emotional skills alongside academic growth to foster a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment. Our approach revolves around three core expectations for students: Be Safe, Be Helpful, and Be Kind. These expectations are woven into our daily interactions and activities, guiding our students to become compassionate, responsible members of our school community.

Expectation #1: Be Safe: Being safe means prioritizing physical and emotional well-being in all aspects of school life. Here are some concrete examples of what being safe looks like in various settings within the school:

  • In the classroom: Sitting calmly during lessons, keeping hands and objects to oneself, and following safety procedures during experiments or activities.

  • On the playground: Playing cooperatively, using equipment appropriately, and resolving conflicts peacefully to ensure everyone feels safe and included.

  • In the hallways and common areas: Walking quietly and orderly, respecting personal space, and alerting adults to any potential hazards or concerns.

Expectation #2: Be Helpful: Being helpful involves showing empathy and actively contributing to the well-being of others. Here are examples of how students can demonstrate being helpful:

  • Assisting classmates who may be struggling with their work or feeling upset.

  • Participating in classroom cleanup routines and helping to maintain a tidy and organized learning environment.

  • Including peers in games and activities during recess and actively seeking opportunities to support one another.

Expectation #3: Be Kind

  • Being kind means treating others with compassion, respect, and acceptance. Here are ways students can practice kindness:

  • Using polite and inclusive language when communicating with peers and adults.

  • Offering words of encouragement and support to classmates facing challenges.

  • Including everyone in group activities and standing up against bullying or exclusionary behavior.

Discipline Policy: Our discipline policy aligns with our core expectations of Be Safe, Be Helpful, and Be Kind, guiding students toward responsible behavior and positive decision-making. Here's how our policy supports these expectations:

Clear Expectations Reinforced: We consistently communicate and reinforce the expectations of being safe, helpful, and kind across all school settings, ensuring students understand what is expected of them at all times.

Positive Reinforcement for Desired Behaviors: Students who demonstrate positive behavior in line with our expectations are acknowledged and celebrated through verbal praise, recognition awards, and other incentives.

Restorative Practices for Conflict Resolution: When conflicts arise, we prioritize restorative practices to address harm, repair relationships, and promote empathy and understanding among all parties involved.

Progressive Discipline Approach: Our approach to discipline focuses on teaching and guiding students toward making better choices, with consequences tailored to the severity and frequency of the behavior while emphasizing learning and growth.

Family Engagement and Support: We recognize the importance of partnership with families in reinforcing positive behavior and social-emotional skills at home. We encourage open communication and collaboration to support students in meeting our expectations both at school and in their daily lives.

We are dedicated to creating a nurturing and inclusive school community where every student feels valued, respected, and empowered to succeed. By emphasizing the expectations of Be Safe, Be Helpful, and Be Kind and integrating them into our discipline policy, we strive to cultivate a culture of compassion, responsibility, and empathy among our students and families. Together, we can create a safe and supportive environment where all children can thrive socially, emotionally, and academically.


Reporting Student Progress: 

We will report student progress four times during the year. Report cards will be sent to parents in January and June and progress reports will be given to families during conference weeks in November and April.  Families may get progress reports at any other time by contacting the teacher.


Academic success is a priority to Blaine Primary School.

  • Scheduled Conferences are in November and again in April. Conferences provide an opportunity for exchanging information and concerns.

  • Families are encouraged to meet regularly with the classroom teacher.  All teachers are available to meet before and after school if more conferences are needed.  Please call your child’s teacher for an appointment.



Cell phones can not be out during school hours. Generally, students will not be asked to put away smartwatches if they are not a disruption. If students are texting or using it inappropriately, watches may be treated like a phone. 

  • 1st offense - teacher/staff warning and phone is put away

  • 2nd offense - phone is taken away and picked up in the office after school.

  • 3rd offense - phone is taken away and a parent has to pick it up at school.


Children must be dressed appropriately, especially for inclement weather. Coats will be required at our discretion as we will have recess rain or shine. We also encourage you to have an extra change of clothes in your child’s backpack at all times. In warmer weather please do not send your child wearing spaghetti strap t-shirts. (Under a sweater is fine.) Head coverings for non-religious purposes must be removed when they reach their classrooms. Children will need appropriate shoes for P.E. and the playground (Please wear well fitted shoes for safety issues). We do not allow the following on clothing worn to school: logos or symbols with gang affiliation, advertising for alcohol, tobacco or drugs. This includes accessories (hats, belts, bracelets etc.) We will contact parents if we run across a dress code issue. Heelies (shoes with wheels) are not allowed. Please label your students’ coats, water bottles, and personal items.


It is very important that we have updated information in case your child becomes ill or is injured at school. Please notify our office if you have any changes to the following: new telephone number, address, emergency numbers, or place of employment for either parent. 


Our system of placing students in classrooms is a thoughtful process that involves countless hours of gathering input and collaboration among our teachers. We consider various factors like how students learn, their social interactions, academic abilities, and any extra support they may need. The aim is to create balanced classrooms where all students can be successful and get the support they need.

Our teachers are dedicated to supporting every student in their care and value input and collaboration from families if something isn't working. However, sometimes parents may feel their child's placement isn't quite right. If you're considering requesting a change, here's what to do:

  • Share your concerns with your child's teacher.

  • If your concerns aren't resolved, you can meet with an administrator. A summary of your concerns will be shared with both you and your child's teacher.

  • A meeting involving teachers and other involved staff will take place to discuss concerns. 

  • Student observation will be completed by the counselor, psych/psych assistant, or an administrator - data collection will be taken on behavior, student/student interactions, student/teacher dynamics. 

  • We'll work together to find solutions and share them with you.

  • We'll give the solutions at least three weeks to see if they help.

  • After that, we'll revisit the decision with you.

We want every child to feel happy and supported in our school, and we'll do our best to resolve any concerns that arise to ensure your child's needs are met. 


Please do not bring personal toys (except on designated share days?), Pokemon cards, trading cards, electronic handheld devices such as Game systems, iPods, cell phones, watch phones etc. from home. No chewing gum, or hard candy. Do not send energy drinks or pop in your child’s lunch.  Weapons Free Zone: NO GUNS, KNIVES OR SWORDS (THIS INCLUDES TOYS)


Blaine School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employee(s) has been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination: Civil Rights Coordinator: Lindsay Nowakowski,, 360-332-5881; Title IX Officer: Christine Anderson,, 360-332-5881; Section 504 Coordinator: Lindsay Nowakowski,, 360-332-5881. You can report discrimination and discriminatory harassment to any school staff member or to the district's Civil Rights Coordinator, listed above. You also have the right to file a complaint. For a copy of your district’s nondiscrimination policy and procedure, contact your school or district office or view it online here: Policy 3210 and Procedure 3210P. 

updated 03.20.24