Kulshan Connect

March 11, 2022

Spring Sports!

Spring sports start Monday, April 11, which is the day after we return from Spring Break. Registration is open on Final Forms. We hope everyone can find something to participate in. If you have questions about Final Forms or your sports physical, please reach out to Lisa Scott, our Athletics Registrar. This spring we are offering:

  • Unified Soccer - open to all grades
  • Cross Country (open to all grades)
  • Football (7th and 8th grade students)
  • Girls Basketball (open to all grades

Volunteers Needed: Spring Dance

Great news! Our Kulshan ASB will host their first dance/social in over two years on Wednesday, March 30, from 3:45-5:30 pm. Admission is free. All food and drink items (pizza, candy, chips, drinks) are $1:00-2.00 Food tickets will be available for $1 each and will be sold at the dance and during lunches for a few days before. The Commons, courtyard, and gym will all be available for students. We would love to have adult volunteers help us out! Click this Sign Up Genius to volunteer. Thank you for helping out!

(NEW) Spring Music Clubs

Drumline will be after school every Tuesday in the Band Room starting March 22nd. Ukulele Club will be after school on Thursdays in the Orchestra Room starting March 24th. You do not need to have any musical experience or be in any music class to join. Both clubs are open to ALL STUDENTS and all instruments will be provided (though you are welcome to bring your own ukulele if you would like). If you have any questions, email Ms. Petaia or come chat with her in the music rooms before or after school.

Mental Health for Teens

Thank you to our KMS counseling team for providing a wide range of services to our Kulshan students and families. Our team presented some really useful information at our last PTSA meeting. Feel free to take a look at this information here. And reach out to anyone in Student Services if you have questions or need support!
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High School Course Requests

Our T-Bird Time teachers have been helping 8th graders enter their course requests. Curious about which courses are available? Then check out our new Course Catalog! Your choice requests are due by March 21 in your Skyward page under "Schedule." Email Michelle Strobel or your T-Bird Time teacher if you have questions. Also, mark your calendar for Incoming 9th grader Family Nights:

  • Monday, March 14th at Bellingham HS @ 6:30 PM
  • Tuesday, March 15th at Sehome HS @ 6:30 PM
  • Tuesday, March 15th at Squalicum HS @ 6:30 PM
  • Monday, March 21st for Options HS @ 6:30 PM

Mask Mandate Lifted March 12

When the mask mandate is lifted, you may noticed that your student may be feeling excited or anxious and some may have questions. All responses are valid. Please know that all of our teachers will be ready to support your student during this transition. Teachers will be using these power points: elementary and secondary. You can also email our BPS health team or our KMS counselors with feedback, questions or comments. Thank you!

March 26: Saturday Vaccine Clinic

Saturday, March 26 at Shuksan Middle School, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Appointments & walk ups available. Sign up online.

A $25 gift card will be provided to all individuals who get vaccinated at this event, courtesy of the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation.

Strengthening Families

Kulshan Middle School is partnering with WSU extension and Whatcom County Health Department to host a Strengthening Families Program Wednesday evenings 5:30- 8 pm April 13- May 25 for youth ages 10-14 And their Caregivers. Over seven weeks, families learn communication skills, stress management tools, and ways to connect. Families will meet once a week for 2 hours to connect and learn together. Meetings will be once a week, and a light dinner and childcare will be provided. Click here for more information and to register.

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Instructional Spotlight

Greg Coulter is in his first year at Kulshan Middle School, teaching 7th grade mathematics. Kids in his class are learning about expressions and equations, this is the strong foundation that students will set as they get into high school algebra. Currently, students are solving one step equation and using a combination of tape diagrams and hangar diagrams to support their conceptual understanding of an expression and/or using them when solving equations. Understanding how to visualize an expression or equation through these diagrams helps students break down complicated text that we all remember in our own middle and high school experience. When students know how to talk about a mathematical idea (like variables) and connect them to real-life work, students start to make a lot of progress in becoming critical problem solvers and thinkers as outlined in the Bellingham Promise. With Mr. Coulter specifically, his emphasis on going conceptual and spending time working on problems in-depth, students pend their time in productive struggle where they encounter healthy challenge to push them along in their mathematical development.

Questions to ask your child:

  • What skills were hard for you at first but now do them with ease? (e.g. like riding a bike)
  • What are helpful strategies you can use to get through challenging tasks, problems, or experiences?
  • Why do you think it is more important to know more about how you got an answer rather than just getting an answer?

KMS Band and Orchestra Concerts

Thank you to Ms. Petaia and our amazing Kulshan musicians! Our Band and Orchestra students did an amazing job playing in person in our Commons on February 15 and 16. Here is the Band Concert and the Orchestra Concert in case you were unable to attend in person and you want to watch.

Kulshan Garden Update

We are so excited to announce that we are starting to prepare the garden for spring planting and spring garden lessons. We are starting to see some signs of spring in the garden with trees budding in the food forest and weeds starting to go to flower. Spring garden lessons start on March 28th. Please reach out this year’s Common Threads Food Educator, Karey Sharp, if you have any questions about garden activities or volunteer opportunities.

Idle Free Pick Up

Idle Free Pick-up at Kulshan: Did you know that idling your car for 10 minutes can put a pound of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? As you pick up your students from school or practice and are waiting in your car, we ask that you refrain from idling cars. Thanks for helping us preserve healthy air for our kids while putting less carbon in the air!

WCHD Vaccine Clinics

Our Whatcom County Health Department continues to offer clinics and pop up clinics throughout Whatcom County. Check out all of the dates and locations. For some of the clinics, they are offering $50 gift cards for people getting a first or second dose. Yay!

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!

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.

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!

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!

Due March 17: 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.

Free Family Podcasts

In this episode we hear about parents using consequences with our youth. When children are small, your smiles and encouragement helped them learn to talk. This type of feedback is called positive reinforcement. On the other hand, if your child tried to put a toy in the electrical socket, you said “no” firmly and moved them to safety. This is an example of negative reinforcement, which also helped your child learn limits. Sometimes, parents need to give negative reinforcement – penalties and consequences- when their youth don’t follow the rules.

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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!

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? 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. 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.

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!

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.

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.

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.
School Tip Line text or call 844-310-9560 or report online at bellinghamschools.org/safe

Kulshan Contacts