Middle School Matters

Whatcom Middle School Newsletter, August 2021

First day of school is September 1st - Welcome back!

From the Wildcat's Den...

Dear Whatcom Families,


The beginning of the 21-22 school year is right around the bend. The COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting how we deliver on our Bellingham Promise, which communicates our commitments to educating the youth in our community. Health Department and our Governor’s guidelines continue to guide and determine our District’s safety protocols, impacting how we go about our daily routines and functions within our school. Please expect to see more information coming from our District’s COVID Safety Team in the coming days.


All those pandemic considerations and uncertainties still do not diminish our enthusiasm and excitement about the beginning of a new school year. Its just such a hopeful time of year.


We look forward to connecting with you and your children as we begin another school year in the shadow of COVID-19. Our new student orientations take place next week and we so look forward to meeting and welcoming our newest Wildcats.


Please take some time to read through the information contained in our Newsletter and reach out to us if you have any questions.

Wishing you all safety and good health,


Jeff

Mark your calendar!

Sept 1 First day of school

Sept. 6 No School - Labor Day

Sept 21 Picture Day

Sept 23 All Schools Early Dismissal

Sept 24 No School - Teacher Workday

Sept 30 Back to School Night

Summer Office Hours

The Main Office and the Counseling/Student Services office is now open to the public, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and 1:30 - 3:30 pm.


Be sure to check the WMS website frequently for up to date information about sports, clubs, schedules, contact information and more!

New Student Orientation

6th Grade C.A.T. Day (Connections, Acceptance, Trust), Aug 26, 1:00 - 3:00


6th grade students will gather in the Commons and have an opportunity to:


  • tour the school
  • participate in student led activities on Battersby Field
  • pick up their schedules
  • return immunization forms


6th grade students who cannot attend the orientation will have their schedule mailed home on August 27th.


Transportation from Cordata Elementary to Whatcom will be provided. Pick up at Cordata will be at 12:30 and drop off at Cordata will be at 3:15. No need to pre-register for the bus - just show up and climb aboard. Students need to wear masks on the bus and follow all normal bus guidelines (i.e., no food or drink on the bus).


Masks will be required for all activities in the building.


Principal Jeff Coulter and Assistant Principal Tina Allsop will be available to answer parent questions from 1:30 - 2:30 via Zoom. A link will be sent out next week via SchoolMessenger to 6th grade families.



7th & 8th Grade Students new to WMS, August 27, 1:00 - 2:00


Please meet in the Counseling Office. This orientation is only for students who are new to Whatcom. Please bring a mask as they will be required in the building.


Returning 7th & 8th grade students: Your schedule will be mailed to your home the week before school starts.

From the Counseling Office...

Welcome back; we are so excited to see everyone and meet our newest Wildcats! We’re looking forward to orientation for 6th graders on the 26th, 1:00-3:00, and for new-to-Whatcom 7th and 8th graders at 1:00-2:00 on the 27th. During orientation, students will receive their schedules, play a few games (socially distanced), meet other kids in their classes, and get a tour of the school so they’ll know where to go on the first day. Please make sure your child has their mask with them, as they will be required to wear them whenever they’re in the building.


Beth Schille-O’Connor: (360) 739-6186, elizabeth.schille-oconnor@bellinghamschools.org

Molly J. Foote: (360) 739-4555, mollyj.foote@bellinghamschools.org

Soccer and Track begin Monday, Sept. 13

Registration deadline for Boys and Girls Soccer and Coed Track is Sept. 10th. Click here for links to sign up and for more information. Students who have signed up in Finalforms will be contacted during the first week of school by their coaches.


We're still looking for coaches for both soccer teams and an assistant coach for track. If you are interested in coaching, please call Tina Allsop (360) 676-6460 for more information. Submit applications through the BSD website.

2021 - 22 Student school supplies

Student Planners, composition books, and other school supplies will be provided once again this year at no cost to the student. Families may wish to provide backpacks, pencil pouches and water bottles. Masks will be required at all times in the building with the only exception being during breakfast and lunch. We recommend that your student bring a backup mask if possible.

Calendars

Click here for the 2021-22 School Year, A/B Calendars and more!

Getting to School

Transportation routes will be published on the BSD website on Aug. 25. No bus variance requests will be accepted for the first month of school.


Halleck St. (in front of the school) is closed to all vehicles except school buses. Please do not attempt to drop off your student on Halleck St. Please use one of the side streets instead.


Students not riding buses should not arrive until 9:00 am. At 9:00 students will be allowed to enter the building and go directly to their first period classroom. The first bell rings at 9:10 am signaling the time to be in their seats and the late bell rings at 9:15 am.


Bike racks are available in front of the school. Bikes should always be locked to prevent theft. If a student happens to forget their lock, we can help with securing the bike in the building for the day. Scooters and skateboards can be stored in the main office.

Picking up students early from school...

The quickest way to check your student out early is to send them with a note to the attendance window in the morning before school starts or send an email to Beth.Pelto-Fishbeck@bellinghamschools.org. Your student will receive a pass allowing them to leave the building at the appointed time and meet you at your vehicle.


Do not make arrangements with your student's teachers!


If you have an unplanned check out, please call the attendance office, (360) 676-6460, opt. 1. Please allow us time to locate your student by calling in advance. You will then be required to come inside and sign your student out.


Students arriving to school late, or returning from an appointment, must come to the attendance window with a signed note from a parent or guardian. Your student will then receive a pass which they will take to their teacher.

Picture Day

Picture Day is set for Sept. 21st. Retakes will be on October 26th. All students will have their picture taken whether or not they are purchasing a packet.

Cell phone policy

Unless permitted by a staff member, students are not allowed to use cellphones during the school day (9:00 am - 3:45 pm). All cell phones are to be turned off and stored in backpacks. Failure to adhere to school policy may result in confiscation and parents picking up phones in the main office.


Parents needing to contact their students may do so by emailing your student's district email address or by calling the Main Office or Attendance Office. Your child can call you from our attendance office.

School Dress Code

Part of The Bellingham Promise, our strategic plan, strives to develop students and graduates who are respectful and compassionate humans. We want students to respect themselves and others. While we encourage individuality, the district’s dress code aims to foster a positive and healthy environment.


  • Students should dress casually and comfortably for school, while wearing clothing that is well-suited for a school environment.
  • Masks are required at all times in the building (except breakfast and lunch) and are optional outside.
  • Appropriate headgear may be worn for warmth and protection outdoors, and inside for religious reasons or special circumstances.
  • Clothing, drawings, tattoos and accessories that display or promote negative messages are not permitted. These could include drug, gang, weapon, alcohol or tobacco-related information, obscenities, put-downs, stereotypes, sexual innuendo, offensive words or graphics.
  • A violation of the dress code will require a change of clothing.
  • Special circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Skyward Emergency Contact Information

When students come unexpectedly to the office for illness or injury, we often need to call for someone to pick them up, and often times, it's an emergency contact we end up having to call.

Sometimes emergency contacts change phone numbers or the contact in Skyward is no longer available. We would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to log into Skyward Family Access and make sure your emergency contact information is up to date. If you need help or have questions, you can contact our registrar, Nancy Howell. Thank you!

Manage your notifications with Skylert

Skylert enables you to receive notifications concerning your children, including messages from Bellingham Public Schools and your child’s school. You have control over which notifications to receive and how you would like to receive them. Skylert is accessed via Skyward Family Access, so it is no longer necessary to login to a separate portal for SchoolMessenger to manage contact preferences.

Click here for step by step instructions to update phone numbers, email addresses and set your preferences.

Clubs

We are in the process of lining up clubs and advisors. Examples of clubs we have had in the past are Dungeons and Dragons, Photo-Journalism, Leadership, Bike Club, QSA, Drama, TSA (Technology Students Asssociation). Dates and times will be announced once we have it all in place and will be available on our website under Activities.

Whatcom Middle School PTSA

Whatcom Middle School PTSA is committed to providing teachers and students with an excellent level of service this year. We are asking you to join PTSA by following the link below. Thank you for your help and please support your PTSA.


www.memberplanet.com/s/whatcommiddleptsa/whatcommiddleschoolptsaforms


2021-22 PTSA Board:


  • President - Bri Smolen
  • Vice President - Lorrie Melton
  • Treasurer - Daniele O'Connell
  • Secretary - Amy Guerra



First meeting is set for Wed., Sept. 15th on Zoom

  • Zoom meeting ID: 825 0060 9950
  • Passcode: 123456

Whatcom Middle School

Principal: Jeff Coulter

Assistant Principal: Tina Allsop

Administrative Assistant: Aileen Walton


(360) 676-6460


  • Attendance, option 1
  • Athletics, option 2
  • Registrar/Counseling, option 3
  • Main office, option 4