Kulshan Connect

September 24, 2021

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

Sept 27-28: Testing Schedule

Our KMS students will be taking the MAP Reading test on Monday, September 27 and the MAP Math test on Tuesday, September 28. Testing will take place from 9:15 - 11:10 AM with their T-Bird Time teacher and then students will follow their normal six period schedule. If you have questions about the MAP test, please reach out to your students' T-Bird Time teacher. Here is our MAP Testing schedule. Thank you!

Sept. 30: KMS Open House

We invite you to join us for this event at 6:30 PM on Thursday, September 30. Our Open House will be online this year, becuase we want to avoid large crowds and close contacts. In our webinar, you will hear from our administrators, counselors, librarian, Ed Tech coach, and our PTSA. Following the event, we will show you how to go to our KMS website to view informational videos created by your student's teachers. We will send you the Zoom link of our webinar on the morning of September 30. We look forward to this event!

Kulshan Clubs

We are excited to start our clubs next week! Students received an email to sign up for clubs. If your students have not yet signed up for a club and they do want to participate in one or more clubs, they can still participate. For most clubs they really just need to plan to be at school for the duration of the club and arrange for transportation either to school (morning club) or home after school. If students with 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.

Future Problem Solvers Club

We are looking for more students who are interested in participating in Future Problem Solvers. Our FPS Club will meet Wednesday mornings at 8:15 with Mr. Dockins. It’s an exciting and challenging team atmosphere where you will be a member of a 4-student team figuring our real-life issues that impact our society. Kulshan has had teams who have done well in FPS competitions and it’s a great opportunity for any student who wants to push themselves in a team environment. If you are interested, please stop by the main office or contact Mr. Dockins either in person or over email.

Mask Reminder

Masks at School: Our students are doing a great job following mask guidelines at school. Middle school is a time when students can grow rapidly, and it can be a challenge to keep up all that. One thing that would be worth checking is how your students’ masks fit when they leave for school. Masks should fit snugly over the top of the nose down to underneath the chin. We have extra masks we can and do provide students when they need them as well. Thanks for supporting the safety of all kids, and we are proud of how our kids have responded to our safety protocols.

Aviation Club

We forgot to include Aviation Club in our email sign up link! If you are interested in learning about aviation from pilot and Whatcom Middle School teacher James Walsh, we have a district-wide aviation club. The club will meet over Zoom on the first and third Mondays of every month from 4:45 to 5:15. Please email Mr. Terpstra or stop by the office if you are interested and we will get you the Zoom link.

Kulshan Food Pantry

Our Kulshan Food Pantry is back and seeking donations of nonperishable food that we distribute to students and families who are in need of food support over weekends and breaks. If dropping of or donating food for the pantry to Kulshan, please deliver to our front office and let them know it's for the food pantry. We greatly appreciate the ways our families come together to support our Kulshan community. If you and your family are in need of food support, please reach out to any of our Kulshan counselors: Aaron Tiger, Michelle Strobel, or Lacey Bachman.

KMS Fall Sports

We have had a remarkable and extraordinary start to our Fall Sports Season! Over 250 KMS students are registred and are participating in our after school sports. Throughout the season, coaches will add information on our KMS Athletics page. Feel free to check this page or contact the coach directly. If you have any questions about sports registration or Final Forms, please email Lisa Scott, our Athletics Registrar or call 360-676-4886 x4708.

Learning Together

Part of our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion work in Bellingham is examining our curriculum to see if the voices and images of all students and families are represented. Thank you to KMS families and students who have sent me resources to integrate into our library or curriculum. One of our schoolwide goals this year is inclusion. What do we mean when we talk about inclusion? Shelley Moore is great teacher and advocate for inclusion. Here is a 5 minute video giving an overview of inclusion.

Gardening with Common Threads

Hello! My name is Karey Sharp (she/her or they/them)! I’m delighted to join the Kulshan Middle School community as the new Common Threads AmeriCorps Food Educator. This fall, students in 6th through 8th grade will explore and learn in the garden classroom as they help build healthy soil, save seeds, plant cover crop, and enjoy the harvest! A huge THANKS to all who helped care for the garden during the summer! If you’d like to volunteer in the garden (for lessons or garden maintenance) please let me know: kulshan@commonthreadsfarm.org

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 michelle.strobel@bellinghamschools.org

Lacey Bachman lacey.bachman@bellinghamschools.org

Aaron Tiger aaron.tiger@bellinghamschools.org

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.

Attendance Office Reminders

Parents: If you need to pick your student up early, please send them with a note to the front office in the morning , then they can be ready in the office when you arrive. Also, our automatic attendance messages to parents will now only go out one time per day, at 3:45 PM. (not twice per day). Let us know if you have a question about this change.

ALL IN for Climate Action Week, Sept. 20-26

During September 20-26, the City is organizing its third annual ALL IN for Climate Action Week to celebrate the knowledge and resources our community has to offer when looking for local solutions to climate change. We invite you to join us to watch inspirational films, hear from community speakers, join a bike ride, plant trees or clean up litter at a local park, participate in a composting workshop, check out an electric vehicle car show, eat a local vegan meal, and more! Find event details at cob.org/climate-action-week.

You are invited to join PTSA!

You are welcome to join our PTSA as a member. It's super easy to join. You can become PTSA 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. Do you have questions about our KMS PTSA? Email us here. Thank you!

Limited Pick Up Loop @ KMS

As many of you know, our pick up loop at KMS is quite limited. We encourage KMS students to walk, bicycle, skate, or skooter to school or use their assigned bus route. Students often enjoy walking in small groups together or parents can walk with them the first couple of times. In the past, our KMS parking lot has experienced significant blockage issues and delays. Check and plan your routes for walking and biking. The district partners with the City of Bellingham to support families with school walk routes. Review how to walk or bike safely, especially during high traffic times such as school drop off and pick up.

Universal “free” meals for 2021-22

Since the first menu of the school year was included in the back-to-school mailing, the Food Services program has been impacted severely by national supply chain issues in the food industry. To keep families updated on what will be served, a two-week menu will be maintained on the school menu webpage. Reminder! All breakfast and lunch meals are provided at no cost to families in the 2021-22 school year thanks to a USDA ruling earlier this summer.

Kulshan Instructional Spotlight

In 8th Grade Language Arts, we have Taylor Han, who has been at Kulshan for the past three years. In 8th grade, students are expected to “analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision” according to the 8th grade Common Core standards in English Language Arts (ELA). Han is using an acronym (S.T.E.A.L.) to support students in analyzing characters in the award-winning book Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. This support was developed by his teaching partner who is the other 8th Grade ELA teacher at Kulshan, Shanon Fischer. They work together on their units and daily lessons to ensure that students have a common experience at Kulshan Middle School. S.T.E.A.L. stands for Say, Think, Effect, Acts, Look. This aid supports student in thinking about all of the direct and indirect characterization that may happen in a book. Take a look below:

A sample of student work from an 8th grade ELA class when beginning to work on characterization. The names below are the characters in the book Long Way Down.

The other aspect that drives this student work is Mr. Han’s ability to elevate student thinking. He uses targeted questioning and rejects self report. Targeted questioning involves a series of carefully planned, open-ended questions directed at a strategic sample of students within the class over a short period of time. I observed Mr. Han ask a series of questions that solicited responses from seven to eight students over a period of a few minutes. By doing this, he collects the understanding of the whole group so that they can move forward together collectively. Additionally, he rejects self report, meaning instead of asking “Do you understand?” where students will just say “yes” or “no”, he asks those open-ended questions to gather evidence of their understanding. By replacing these rhetorical questions with more impromptu assessment, he ensures that all kids are together in their learning journey and ready to move on to the next level of work.

Written by Tyler Dockins, Instructional Coach

Big picture

Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center

We are offering our community workshop Understanding Conflict for Kids (7-12) on September 15, 22, & 29, and Understanding Conflict for Teens (13-18) on September 16, 23, & 30. Classes are FREE, held via Zoom, and run from 5:30-6:15pm. Please share with families! Students can sign up here. We are offering Managing Conflict as a Co-Parent FREE September 8th, Exploring Equity & Cultural Humility FREE September 23rd, and Understanding Conflict September 15th and 22nd, as well as our always available mediation & facilitation services. Registration for our trainings are available here. Please reach out to the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center with any questions, (360) 676-0122

Now Hiring in BPS

We are hiring in Bellingham! If you have questions about jobs available in our schools, please visit the district website at and click on “jobs”. For assistance with questions about temporary substitute assignments, you may contact Gabrielle Roberts, Substitute Coordinator by emailing or by calling the office at (360) 676-2784 or (360) 398-5572. Questions about other job opportunities in our schools may be addressed by contacting Kara Silsbee, Employment Specialist by emailing or by calling (360) 319-4999.

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 take a few minutes to log into Skyward Family Access to review your contact information, mailing address, emergency contacts and to complete the Annual Health Concerns form for your student. If you need your login and password information for Skyward Family Access, please contact us. Do you need help with Skyward/ Family Access? 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? Middle school is a time of growth and many students in middle school are figuring out who they are. 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

Our local food bank (1824 Ellis Street) is open Monday, Wednesday & Friday from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. 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. Please bring proof of your age, or your current school ID. Or, you can request a card by sending an email from your school email address to buspasses@ridewta.com . Provide your first name, last name, full birth date and current grade. Students at High Schools in Bellingham can pick up their Youth Cards at school.
Big picture

Kulshan Contacts