Kulshan Connect

April 24: Weekly Newsletter during School Closures

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

Peace Poetry Contest

We at the Whatcom Dispute and Resolution Center (WDRC) Youth Program hope you have been staying safe and healthy during this difficult time. In honor of National Poetry Month, we have opened up our annual Youth Peaceful Poetry Contest. The contest encourages youth to think about what peace looks like in their community, and use written word to creatively express those thoughts. When you have a poem ready for submission, here is the link to submit.

KMS Virtual Hang Outs

Our Kulshan counselors have started a new series of Zoom conferences called "Virtual Hang Outs." This is a time for our counselors to meet with a group of 10-15 students and talk about whatever is going on in their lives. Our counselors will be setting up these sessions by grade level, so watch for an email or invite coming out soon. We want students to know that we miss hanging out with you and just talking about the ups and downs of life. We will see you soon in a Virtual Hang Out!

Using Microsoft Teams

Experiencing sticky issues in MS Teams? We have put this Resources page together on our Kulshan website to help navigate the ins and outs MS Teams. Students in grades 6-8 will continue receiving assignments week. If you are not sure what your student should be working on, please ask them to check MS Teams and OneNote. Here is a district link that provides guidance for families using Teams for the first time.

Kulshan 2019-2020 Yearbooks

Yearbooks are still available online through May 16th! You can purchase your $10 copy of the Kulshan Yearbook by clicking this link. The district has waived the credit card fee. Families will be able to pick up their yearbook when they return their district laptop for updates. If families do not pick up their yearbook, they will be mailed home, so please check that your address in Skyward is current. If you are not sure if you have already purchased a yearbook, please email Cindy Schuitema and she will confirm the status of your order.

Kulshan Library is Online!

Use this link to access our Library OneNote, where you will find how-to videos, links to activities, podcasts, virtual field trips, and more. I am also reading a poem every day on FlipGrid: click here. Comment on the poem, share one of your own, or just check in! I would love to hear from you, either on FlipGrid, email, or Instagram (@kulshanlibrary)!

Lunchtime Book Talks

Jennifer Lovchik, Teen Services Librarian at the Bellingham Public Library, invites all Shuksan and Kulshan MS students to join her for a virtual “Lunchtime” book club! During these sessions, we’ll share what we’ve been reading/watching/doing during our “stay at home” time. Join us on Wednesdays at 1:30 PM. Join the Zoom Meeting here. Meeting ID: 954 1152 4805 Password: 699134

Kulshan Daily Announcements!

Thanks to the beautiful and talented Ms. Bachman, our Morning (Daily) Announcements have gone online! YAY! Check them out here and watch for a new Morning (Daily) Announcement every day! This is a great way to get news during our extended break and it gives you a chance to stretch your legs and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

Kulshan Counseling

Our counselors now have the ability to conduct virtual counseling sessions with students either by phone or by using video conferencing via Zoom. If your student would like to arrange a counseling session with Mr. Tiger or Ms. Newbauer, they can fill out a self-referral form by using this Link. If you are a parent or guardian and you would like to request counseling for your student(s), you can email Mr. Tiger or email Ms. Newbauer . Counselors will arrange counseling sessions by either emailing or calling students and/or families. Starting next weeks, counselors will have office hours (to be announced) and will be available by phone (phone numbers will also be announced). Online resources are also available here.

National Poetry Month!

It's National Poetry Month! You can visit Mr. Shaffer's Poem-a-Day on FlipGrid . He posts a new video every weekday. The Library OneNote also has links to podcasts, virtual field trips, directions for accessing digital books, and more! Take a look!

Counseling Connections

Our counselors really miss meeting and checking with our students so they have started a Flip Grid page to try to connect with kids. Each week they will be releasing 2-3 videos ranging in topics from self-care, establishing good routines, to Mood Meter Check-ins. Here is a link to their Flip Grid Page; to see more of their videos click on "Topics.” They have also started an Instagram Page and you can follow them here.

Students: Big 4 for Wellness at Kulshan

What are you doing to stay active and well? Your PE/Health teachers want to know! Each week we are asking to students to submit a record of what they are doing to stay healthy. There are two formats they can use, which are found in Microsoft Teams under the assignments tab. The Big 4 recommendations (below) can help you as you move through the week. We hope you will join us in striving for wellness! If your student is having trouble finding any of these PE/ Health resources, please email Carrie Pasquale or Jason Sytsma. We hope you will join us in striving for wellness!

Families: Big 4 for Wellness Districtwide

Wellness in on our mind! The district wants to support our families as they seek wellness. Each week on the district web-page there are Big 4 tips listed. These include mental/emotional wellness, physical activity, social connection and reflection. Try one or all of the activities. Students can use the guidelines for the Health/PE log (above). Parents are also welcome to join in! Go to our District Mental Health page and then click on the "Self Care Big 4" tips (at the bottom). New ideas and activities will be posted each week. Follow Bellingham Public Schools on Facebook to view new ones every Wellness Wednesday through June 17. If you need help finding any of these Wellness resources, please email Carrie Pasquale.

A Message from Nurse Barb

Do you have a general student health question during our school closure? Nurse Barb is available by phone (360) 201-6390 or you can email Barb by clicking this link. We have many COVID related health questions and answers on our district website here. COVID educational materials are available in 26 languages at the Washington State Department of Health website.

Free School Lunches - ages 0-18

Starting on Monday, April 6, our district meals will only be distributed on MONDAYS from 11:00-12:30 PM. Our district is serving free lunches at these school sites: Alderwood, Carl Cozier, Cordata, Geneva, Happy Valley, Parkview, Roosevelt, Wade King, Shuksan, and Options. We are also serving at these neighborhoods: Eliza Court, Evergreen, Regency Park, Sterling Meadows, Sudden Valley Community Center, and Villa Santa Fe. Any student can pick up food at any location. Several KMS staff members are helping at these sites and we hope to see you soon!

Bellingham Food Bank Locations

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.

Recipes, Nature Journaling, and Garden Resources

Edible Education for the Home Classroom: We love the work done by The Edible Schoolyard and are excited to share their resources for home learning around food. Follow the link to subscribe to their newsletters to receive new activities and inspiration each week. Earth Month Challenge. It’s April and one way we are celebrating our planet is by participating in a challenge dreamed up by our partner site, Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center. Engage your students by “challenging” them to find something outside to nature journal about or use Oxbow’s prompts. We recommend this resource, How to teach Nature Journaling. Kids Gardening has declared April “Garden together at home” month, and they’re hosting a contest. Feel free to encourage your students to participate.

Strengthening Families - WSU Extension Classes

Strengthening Families is a WSU Extension program that we have hosted at Kulshan for many years and they are working to produce material for families during this quarantine time. Class titles include: Supporting your child’s emotional and behavioral needs during COVID-19 and Family Management and Resiliency. Courses are available in English and Spanish: Whatcom Strengthening Families Facebook page.

Outdoor Facilities

While we want to encourage families to remain active during our current pandemic crisis and “stay at home” orders, we need to balance that with social distancing practices that keep everyone safe. Due to health concerns about coronavirus spreading in our community, we have temporarily closed all school playgrounds and outdoor tennis and basketball courts until further notice. We are following the lead of the City of Bellingham and guidance from the state. When using our outdoor fields, please be sure to use careful physical distancing at all times. We ask that you do not allow these places to be areas to congregate. Thank you for sharing this information with your children if they are regularly using these outdoor areas at our schools with friends and family members. If you have any questions or concerns about these closures, please email us. Be wise and be safe, but stay active!

Advanced Academic Work

If your family has capacity for more learning at this time, we encourage you to:

· Read! All Bellingham Public Schools students have access to the Bellingham Public Library collection, and can check out e-books and other resources.

· Take advantage of this set of curated resources, vetted by our teachers.

· Reach out to your child’s teacher(s), understanding they are also adjusting to a new routine and means of teaching that is very different from what we are all used to. They know your children well. They will have suggestions and ideas for extensions and quality resources.

· Consider learning in other areas during this time — perhaps areas your own family has expertise in. These could include lessons in cooking and baking, outdoor learning, or practicing a new skill.

Thunderbird Cross Country

Hey Cross Country Thunderbirds! We want you to know that you will be receiving updates from us, your coaches, with information about safe activities that you can do from home while practicing physical distancing! We will have Walk-Run challenges, workouts, and surprises for you! Stay tuned, stay connected, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for updates!

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.

Free Seminars for Parents

Brigid Collins House is a community resource here in Bellingham offering free virtual parenting classes for parents during this difficult time. Click on this link to see all of their online virtual parenting seminars. These classes are for all types of families, using positive, practical, research-based approaches. Upcoming seminars include: Coping with Stress, Parenting in the Digital Age, Positive Parenting During the Pandemic, and Start your Day in a Positive Way with Play.

It's Not Too Late!

In the midst of COVID, the U.S. Census is still happening. In fact, it is more important than ever to be counted. Census data guides how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities each year for schools, health care facilities, roads, transportation, recreation centers, social services and more. The U.S. Census Bureau will send you an invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census between March 12-20. Responding to the Census helps our community get its fair share of funding. Your responses are safe and secure. The law requires the U.S. Census Bureau to keep your information confidential, and your responses cannot be used against you in any way. Learn more about how you can shape your future at 2020census.gov.

Kulshan Office Hours

Our school building may be closed, but we are available everyday! Please email us if you have questions during this COVID school closure:

Meagan Dawson, Principal

Kevin Terpstra, Assistant Principal

Aaron Tiger, Counselor

Jen Newbauer, Counselor

Viry Ferriera, Registrar

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