Kulshan Connect

February 4, 2022

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

Candygram Sales: $1.00

Kulshan ASB will be selling Candygrams next week, Feb 7-11. They will be $1 each, and will include candy and a card. Sales will be in the Commons before school, and Candygrams will be delivered to T-Bird classes (or directly to students if they don't have T-Bird) on Monday, February 14. Any proceeds will benefit Kulshan ASB and this year's charity partner, Northwest Youth Services.

Feb 14-18: Kulshan Spirit Week!

Kulshan ASB are planning another Spirit Week, February 14-18. The themes are:

  • Monday, Feb 14 - Pajama Day
  • Tuesday, Feb 15 - Disney Day
  • Wednesday, Feb 16 - Wacky Wednesday/Silly Sock Day
  • Thursday, Feb 17 - Blackout Day
  • Friday, Feb 18 - Decade Day: 6th grade '70s, 7th grade '80s, 8th grade '90s

Remember to Vote by Feb 8

Bonds are used by districts across our state to close significant gaps in state funding for capital projects. This video offers an overview on the bond’s areas of investments, as well as the financial impact. For over 10 years, we have made great strides in reducing school-related expenses for families, including eliminating the need for families to pay for things such as school supplies, course fees, activities and athletic participation fees, graduation caps and gowns, driver’s education, fifth grade strings and just last year, we added ASB cards and yearbooks to this list. You can see Project Free Education for a comprehensive list and our Promise story that marked this important initiative’s 10-year anniversary. Thank you!

Homework Club Snacks Needed

Our Kulshan Homework Club is growing and we are in need of snacks! We would love to have some (non-perishable) snacks and drinks donated so that students can get a snack while having a supportive place to work on homework. Please use this Sign Up Genius link. When dropping off your snack donations to our Main Office, please let our front office staff know that this is for Homework Club. (i.e. not our Food Pantry). Thank you!

Feb 18: Report Cards

Looking for your students' Semester 1 Report Card? You can view their progress in Skyward and we will be mailing home Report Cards on February 18. If you have questions about their progress, please reach out to your student's teachers or our registrar, Tatiana Samora. Thank you!

New District Calendar

We have updated our district calendar here to make up for our winter weather and flooding. Please note that March 11 and May 20 are now normal, full school days. We have also updated our A/B Calendar. If you have any questions about our calendars, please reach out to our main office at Kulshan. Thank you.

Winter Sports at KMS

We have had a great start to our Winter Sports Season!! Students can still sign up for these sports on Final Forms. Our sports are 7th and 8th Grade Girls Volleyball (after school daily in the Gym from 3:45 - 5:30 PM) and All Grades and All Gender Wrestling (after school in our Commons from 3:45 - 5:30 PM) If you have any questions about Final Forms or your student's registration, please call our main office at KMS 360-676-4886 or email Lisa Scott / 360-676-4886 x4708. Go Thunderbirds!

Human Growth and HIV Lessons

Our Kulshan PE teachers will be sharing out the Human Growth and Development and HIV lessons that we will be teaching this Spring. Washington State requires HIV/AIDS prevention education for all students, and families are often curious about the materials and information that will be shared with students. Our PE teachers teach specific lessons which can be previewed here. As always, families may opt their child out of these Human Growth and Development & HIV/AIDS lessons. Please let your child's PE teacher know in writing if that is your choice. Thank you!

Attendance Office Reminders

Just a reminder to parents: if you need to pick your student up early, please send them with a note to the front office when they arrive to school. You can also email Cindy Schuitema or Jeneen Durand or call 360-676-4886 before 9:00 AM. By taking this step, your child will be ready in the office when you arrive. Also, our automatic attendance messages to parents go out one time per day, at 3:45 PM. Thank you!

6th grade Choir Concert

Thank you to Ms. Petaia and our 6th grade Choir for organizing and showcasing their incredible talent. It was a joy to celebrate music and singing this season. Here is the video in case you were unable to attend in person.
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Instructional Spotlight

Ashlea Shepherd is a 7th grade Social Studies teacher who has been at Kulshan for 6 years. When walking into Ms. Shepherd’s classroom this past week, you could see students working together in groups reading and discussing historical fiction books about Washington State history. Each group selected their book from the list below, and while reading and discussing the characters, context, and author’s craft in the books, students journal about the importance of place and time within these stories. These “lit circles” are an instrumental part in ELA classrooms, and as a Social Studies teacher Ms. Shepherd is highly effective through creating opportunities for students to develop their literacy skills while also developing their understanding of key skills in social studies, such as recognizing perspective, considering geography, and examining assumptions.

Literature circles are key in middle school because they create opportunity for cooperative learning, provide student choice, and are fun because of the social experience (An important aspect of middle school!). What makes Ms. Shepherd’s literature circles so effective is the expectation to demonstrate thinking through their journals. Kids have to make their thinking visible about their learning, and through this Ms. Shepherd can assess their progress, provide feedback, and nudge kids along in their learning journey.

Also, a very important note, providing all of the books for the kids in Ms. Shepherd’s class was made possible by the support of Kulshan PTSA. Thank you deeply for all of your support, your contributions and work with the PTSA has improved students experience in many ways.

Some questions to consider:

  • Have you read a book together as a family? What books or short readings would be of interest to everyone?
  • How does historical fiction build our understanding of a place during a given time?
  • What genres do your kids typically stick to? What genres do they avoid? How can they check in with the librarian to broaden their exposure to different genres that align with their interests?

The Literature Circle Books:

The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming

Some Kind of Courage

Our Only May Amelia


A Whale of the Wild

I Can Make This Promise

The Sea in Winter

Summer Scholarships

The Assistance League of Bellingham will once again be offering summer enrichment scholarships to middle school students in Whatcom County. I am happy to report that we are able to provide up to $400 for each student this summer. I hope you will encourage your students to apply. Last year, middle school students used their scholarships to attend a variety of local summer programs including Wild Whatcom, BellinghamART, Dancing for Joy, Camp Kirby, Volunteens, Chamber Days and Mountain Biking Youth Trail Corps. Applications are due by March 17th and scholarship winners will be notified by April 12th. The applicants must complete an application form, respond to an essay question, have their parent or guardian sign a publicity consent form and ask a non-relative to complete a recommendation form. Contact your school counselors with questions or to get an application: Michelle Strobel, Lacey Bachman, Aaron Tiger.

Now Hiring!

Have you considered becoming a substitute or school volunteer? Our district is dedicated to keeping schools open and operational, but we need YOU! Being a substitute offers flexibility and helps support our schools, staff and Bellingham’s children in fulfilling The Bellingham Promise. We are currently accepting applications for substitute teachers, emergency certified substitute teachers, paraeducators, bus drivers, warehouse/delivery drivers, custodians, nurses, food service staff and office personnel. Join us!

Free Family Podcasts

For those who find parenting, mentoring, and teaching middle schoolers a challenge, the Strengthening Families Training have timely pointers. We encourage you to become familiar with their local program and you can check their online option, which can be done from the comfort of your home. There is no cost involved and Elsa Powell will be able to enroll you at no cost. Leave a message or text at 360 676 4165. All podcasts are available free online, like this one on Making "I" Statements. Also available in Spanish.

Kulshan Food Pantry

Our Kulshan Food Pantry is experiencing low inventory! If you would like to donate, please bring shelf-stable food or health care items to our KMS front office. Wondering what to bring? Please use our Sign Up Genius if you can. We GREATLY appreciate your support. Questions? Please reach out to our Kulshan counselors: Aaron Tiger, Michelle Strobel, or Lacey Bachman.

Social Media Accounts

Have you seen concerning social media pages related to Kulshan students? We encourage all members of the Kulshan community to take action:

  • Please report accounts to Instagram if the accounts are bullying or harassing or otherwise violating Instagram terms of service. This step is easy and anonymous.
  • Talk with your family and friends about digital citizenship and appropriate social media behavior. If necessary, families and students can send information, tips, or concerns regarding a safety issue in our schools by texting or calling 844-310-9560 or by visiting bellinghamschools.org/safe for confidential, anonymous, two-way communication with our safety staff.

  • Continue to stand up for our Kulshan values both in person and online, to protect our students’ mental health and well-being.

Winter Weather and Bus Routes

When we experience colder temperatures, snow, and/or ice, we may be using a snow route in the AM or PM. Here are our district procedures around Winter Weather. Additionally, you may need to look up your child's Snow Bus Route - you can find that information here. Wishing you a safe winter season!

COVID Vaccine Card to KMS

It is important for us to know your student's vaccination and booster status for contact tracing, as well as indoor events such as high impact sports. If you haven’t already, please email a photo of your student’s vaccination card to our registrar, Tatiana Samora. Thank you!

Cell Phones Off Please

If your student carries a phone to school, please remind them to keep it turned off and put away between 9:15 AM - 3:45 PM. We ask families not to contact their middle schoolers on their cell phones during the school day. If you need to contact your student, you can always call our school’s main line. Thanks for partnering with us to help your students learn healthy phone boundaries.

COVID vaccines for students ages 5-11

The Pfizer vaccine against COVID was authorized for children ages 5-11 earlier this month. You can find out where pediatric doses are being offered on the Health Department’s Pediatric COVID vaccine page or on the Vaccine Locator by filtering for “Pfizer-BioNTech Pediatric, ages 5-11”.

Free Dinners Mon - Thurs @ 5:00 pm

Bellingham Public Schools Community Meals Program:

What: Dinner for children (up to age 18) and parents

How much: Free for kids up to age 18, parents pay $4.75

Where: Shuksan Middle School’s Cafeteria (2713 Alderwood Ave.), Meals must be eaten on site and can’t be taken home

When: 5:00-6:00 pm, Mondays-Thursdays

* No dinner on all-school early release Thursdays

Kulshan Garden Update

Hello this is an update from your Food Educator Karey! We had an amazing end to fall garden lessons last week. Students helped prepare the garden for winter, played garden games, and searched for plants in the same family. Unfortunately, this year we will not be able to teach winter cooking lessons due to the pandemic. However, I will be back in the spring to teach fun and interesting garden classes. If you are interested in volunteering over the winter to prepare the garden for the spring please contact: kulshan@commonthreadsfarm.org>

Safe Schools Zone

This fall, contractors installed security cameras inside and outside of several of our schools, including KMS. This project was approved by voters in our community as part of the 2018 school facilities bond. Security cameras will help us maintain the health, welfare and safety of students, staff and visitors. For more information, see policy 6610.

Open House and Teacher Videos

If you missed our Open House, no worries! Here's a video of the Oct 14 event. ALSO - each KMS teacher made a video showcasing a little bit of their personality, teaching style, and curriculum. Click this link to view a list of all of the KMS videos. Then take a minute to find your child's teachers' videos. Enjoy!

Kulshan Clubs

Our Kulshan Club are going strong! For most clubs, students can just show up if they have already arranged for transportation either to school (morning club) or home (afterschool club). If students wish to participate in Building Solutions, they should check in with the main office or Mr. Hendricks before coming to the club. You can see a complete list of club times on our website here.

Support for Tribal Affiliated Students

Did you know we have over 400 students in our district with tribal affiliation? Lummi Behavioral Health can serve students with ANY tribal affiliation/status. Here is the interest link for starting MH services with Lummi Behavioral Health. If you are interested or have questions please talk to your school counselors:Michelle Strobel, Lacey Bachman, or Aaron Tiger.

College Bound Application

Did you know college is free for qualifying families? Middle school is the only time that families can sign up for the College Bound Scholarship Program. The College Bound Program covers the average cost of tuition, some fees, and a small book allowance at over 65 Washington State colleges, universities and technical schools. Please fill out our district Free and Reduced Lunch Form to apply. Please let your KMS counseling team know if you have any questions.

Skyward Family Access

Is your contact information for your student up-to-date? You can do this online now through our Skyward Family Access program. Please review your contact information, mailing address, emergency contacts and complete the Annual Health Concerns form for your student. If you need your login and password information for Skyward Family Access, please contact us. Also, here are some great online resources and videos.

LGBTQ Support for Families and Youth

Dear Families - Did you know that we have many local and online supports to help you with your LGBTQ+ or questioning student? These resources are just a few to help along the journey. Please feel free to reach out to our KMS counselors if you have any questions or need more support Aaron Tiger (cell 360-739-3991) or Michelle Strobel. Here is a list of local and online supports.

Bellingham Food Bank Schedule

The team at Bellingham Food Bank works tirelessly to make sure they have great food to give families. Anyone can visit the food bank as often as needed, regardless of address. The food bank is proud to be of service to our families—always striving to serve them with dignity, respect, and a smile. Check out the Food Bank website to learn more about their satellite food banks, home delivery and Whatcom County Foodbanks. You can also make a donation here.

WTA Bus Fare: FREE for Youth

Did you know that youth can ride WTA busses for free? If you're not yet in high school, you can just step on and ride. You don't need a bus pass of any kind. If you're high school aged, you will need a FREE TouchPass/Umo Youth Pass. You can pick up your free TouchPass/Umo Youth Pass at WTA's Bellingham Station. Questions? buspasses@ridewta.com .
School Tip Line text or call 844-310-9560 or report online at bellinghamschools.org/safe

Kulshan Contacts