Kulshan Connect

September 4, 2020

In our Kulshan Community, we are courageous, kind, and committed!

Tues, Sept 8: First Day of School

The first day of school is rapidly approaching. Our goals for the first week of school are:

  • Make connections with students and build community
  • Make sure students understand their schedules and have working technology
  • Start building routine for students

We are going to go slow at first to go fast. Here is a basic video that shows how students will log on, click into MS Teams (or Outlook), and then click into their Calendar. Once they are in their Calendar, they can view all of their classes and click on their "Class" to enter the "Zoom." Take a look at this 2 minute video to see how students will report to their first class on September 8. The video is also available here in Spanish.

Do you need Tech Support?

If students are unable to see the Zoom invites in their MS Teams or Outlook, we have several people at KMS and around our district who will be supporting families with Tech Support. Here are some ways you can get your questions answered:

Your student will need to use their first and last name to enter their Zoom class. The first week of school will be very busy, with multiple staff members reaching out to families and students all day, every day. We are sorry if it takes time for someone to get back to you. We will respond as quickly as possible and we appreciate your patience.

Sixth Grade News!

Hello 6th grade families! Welcome to Kulshan! We wish we could have hosted an in-person orientation for our incoming 6th grade students this year. Unfortunately, that can't happen right now, although we will do our best to host an in-person orientation when we are allowed to do so prior to any return to the building. We did want to resend out a link to some videos that we filmed in the Spring. These videos contain helpful information about life as a student at Kulshan Middle School, just keep in mind that when we filmed these videos we were hopeful that we would be meeting in person for school this fall. We also have a couple of videos from 6th grade teachers introducing themselves so you can match faces to the names you see on your schedule! If you have Band, Orchestra, Music, or Choir, here is a video of Ms. Barrett! We are so excited to have you with us for this exciting school year! We are excited for this school year and looking forward to seeing you Tuesday morning!

KMS Library Book Checkout

Hello Thunderreaders! Mr. Shaffer is excited to start the year, and is ready to share details for book checkout! Similar to the spring and summer checkouts, book selection will be online only, and books must be requested in advance. Students can use this link to look at the online catalog. If you see something you want that is unavailable, you can log into Destiny and place a hold (same login as for your laptop). To request books, use this form. Mr. Shaffer and Ms. Stephanie will get your books ready for pickup. Currently, the only pickup time is Wednesdays, 4:00-5:30 pm, at Kulshan (we'll add more days and times as soon as possible). The first pickup will be Wednesday, Sept 16. As always, email Mr. Shaffer for book recommendations, or any other questions!

Wed, Sept 9: Musical Instrument Pick Up Day

We will be distributing musical instruments on Wednesday, Sept 9 from 4:00-7:00 PM at Kulshan Middle School. Parents can drive their student to Kulshan or students can walk/ bike up if that method is feasible with the size of their instrument. If you have a district-issued Band or Orchestra instrument that you are not using in the coming year, please email Kat Barrett to arrange a drop off day/ time. Thank you!

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

A key strategy in our Bellingham Promise is focused on our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This book - How to be an Anti-Racist is available for free via Bellingham Public Library or Libby. We used this book for our KMS Staff Summer Book Study with this list of discussion questions. We encourage families and students to embark on their own learning journey using this title or other young adult books that offer anti-racist views and perspectives. We are so glad we are on this journey with you.

KMS Student Artwork

Time to celebrate! Our very own Kulshan alumni, Jordynn Campbell, designed the cover art for the 2020-2021 Bellingham Public Schools District Handbook. Check out this article here to read more about Jordynn's artwork and activism. And if you would like to view the District Handbook online, click here. The handbook is also available in Spanish. Go Thunderbirds!

2020-2021 Kulshan PTA

We would love to have 100% of our KMS families join our PTA! Our PTA group is a really fun community of people who are dedicated to supporting our students and supporting each other as middle school parents. Here is our PTA website. And you can become PTA member here! Membership rates are low and on a sliding scale. Meetings will be held once per month (normally about 1 hour) via Zoom. You can also follow Kulshan PTSA on Instagram by clicking this link. Thank you!

Meal Boxes are FREE for all children

Starting Wednesday, Sept. 9, the food services model will change to a 10-meal/5-day box. Si desea esta información en español llame al 360-676-6456 o via email.

Breaking GOOD news: meal boxes are free for all children 0-18 and students in Community Transitions. Any family can go to any location and pick up a meal box. We are shifting to incorporating more Central Kitchen made-from-scratch items in meal boxes in the weeks to come, and really want to encourage families to pick up and try out meal boxes. Wednesdays from 4:00-5:30 PM are the pick up times at 15 schools across the district. We are also going to continue with our community sites (Sterling Meadows, Eliza Court, Villa Santa Fe, Evergreen Ridge Apartments, Regency Park, Sudden Valley Community Center).

KMS Counselor Corner

We are super excited to welcome all of you back to school and can’t wait to meet all of our new families. Please feel free to reach out with any student or family specific needs and we will see how we can help. As always, our goal is to support the social and emotional needs of all our students. Take care and see you soon!

Aaron Tiger - Counselor (cell 360-739-3991)

Jen Newbauer - Counselor (cell 360-739-4138)

Viry Ferreira - KMS Registrar

How to Support Teens' Emotional Well-Being

While some people think of "Back to School" as a time to buy items from a long list of supplies, we want to kick off this school year with a 2020 Back-to-School List for Teens’ Emotional Well-Being. If you are unable to access the link/ article, here are the key things that teens need for September 2020:

  1. Safe ways to see their friends: Teenagers need the emotional support and they need time to strengthen ties with peers. They can connect online or in person, but they will need some COVID reminders if they are wanting to meet up at a park or go on a bike ride with a friend.
  2. Time with other adults: Teens benefit from spending time with adults who are not their parents, like teachers, mentors, bosses, coaches, and advisors.
  3. Reliable routines: A reliable daily schedule with designated time for learning, leisure, physical activity and sleep promotes overall well being and reduces stress.
  4. Warmth and support at home: This whole online, pandemic version of school will be a bumpy ride for everyone. As parents, we are also feeling fatigued and stressed. But creating strong, steady, calm relationships will help our teens feel our love.

Kulshan Garden

Are you and/or your student interested in volunteering in our Kulshan Garden? Our Kulshan Garden could use your love! If you'd like to spend some time in our garden, please sign up here. If you have questions, please email J.P. Belanger, our Common Threads Farm and Kitchen Manager, at JP@commonthreadsfarm.org. Thank you!

Fall 2020 Food Bank Locations

The Bellingham Food Bank schedule:

Tuesdays: Shuksan Middle School from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Wednesdays: Christ the King on Meridian from 3:00-6:00 p.m.

Thursdays: Civic Field from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Check out the Bellingham Food Bank to learn more or to make a donation.

District Resources Website

Do you still have a question that has not been answered via this newsletter or email? The Bellingham Public School website now has a (click here) one-stop resources page. On this website, you can submit a question about childcare, meals, learning resources, technology resources, mental health, and more. We are here for you.

We Miss You and We Love You!

One more time - we just want you to know we miss you and we would love to hear from you. Though schools are closed, please know that you can email any of your teachers, our administration, or our counselors. We especially would love to see photos of you, your family, your pets, your hobbies, and your outdoor activities. Stay safe and stay healthy!

Kulshan Contacts

Our school building may be closed, but we are open! Please email us if you have questions:

Meagan Dawson, Principal

Kevin Terpstra, Assistant Principal

Aaron Tiger, Counselor

Jen Newbauer, Counselor

Viry Ferriera, Registrar

Family Handbook in English

Family Handbook in Spanish

We love you and we miss you and we hope you are staying safe and healthy!

Kulshan Middle School 1250 Kenoyer Drive Bellingham, WA 98229 360-676-4886