Kulshan Connect

November 5, 2021

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

COVID vaccines for students ages 5-11

The Pfizer vaccine against COVID was authorized for children ages 5-11 this week, with a very limited number of providers being able to give shots beginning Nov. 8. We are working on a BPS vaccine clinic, but because of staffing shortages in the health care sector and limited vaccine availability, this is not yet scheduled. We will update you as we learn more. 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”.

By Nov 5: Photos of Veterans

Veterans’ Day is coming up and our KMS ASB wants to honor our veterans by organizing a Veteran's Day assembly. Please send in pictures of family or friends that served in any branch of the military. If you can, include a short caption with their name, branch, years of service, role, and how they are connected to KMS. (i.e. Kira's grandpa) These pictures will be displayed during our Veteran’s Day assembly on November 10. Please email photos to Adam Shaffer, KMS Librarian, by Friday, November 5. Please let your family and friends know that we thank them for their service.

Tues, Nov 9: KMS PTSA Meeting

Our next PTSA meeting is Nov 9 @ 6:30 via Zoom. We will share the Zoom link with you via email on Tues, Nov 9. Also - 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. 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!

By Nov 12: Register for Pre-Winter Sports - Boys BB and Dance/Tumbling

We have two sports coming up! Boys 7th and 8th grade Basketball and All Gender 6th - 8th grade Dance/ Tumbling. Practices start Monday, November 15 and run through Friday, January 21. Basketball practice is after school in our gym from 4:00 - 5:30 PM. Dance & Tumbling takes place before school at 8:00 AM. Registration is due Friday, November 12 in Final Forms. More information can be found on our KMS Athletics page. If you have any questions about sports registration or Final Forms, please email Lisa Scott, our Athletics Registrar or call 360-676-4886 x4708.

Boys Basketball: Rapid Testing

Because basketball is considered an indoor high-contact sport, unvaccinated students will be rapid tested for COVID two times per week. If you have registered your student via Final Forms, look for an email early next week explaining our Rapid Testing program and a Parent Consent to Test form. Consent forms are also available in our main office. If you are interested in getting your child the COVID vaccine, the Whatcom County Health Department has good information here about available locations for walk-up and appointments.

COVID Vaccine Card to KMS

It is important for us to know your student's vaccination 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 at Tatiana.Samora@bellinghamschools.org. Thank you!

Attendance Office Reminders

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 Jeneen Durand or call 360-676-4886 before 9:00 AM. Then your child will 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.

Learning Together

To recognize and celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November, Bellingham Public Library is honored to feature a screening of the film “Revitalizing Cultural Knowledge and Honoring Sacred Waters: The Documented Oral History of Life on the Nooksack River,” with Tli’nuk’dzwidzi, Althea Wilson, Lummi tribal member, documentary film maker and Northwest Indian College educator. DVD copies of the film are now catalogued and included in the Bellingham Public Library collection.

Need Holiday Support?

When you think about the holidays, are you feeling anxious about trying to buy presents and put food on the table? We have many communiy groups who provide various items and services to families in Whatcom County during this time of the year. Please check out this list of resources on our district website. You can also reach out to one of our KMS counselors for advice and support.

Kulshan Food Pantry

Our Kulshan Food Pantry is back! Please use our Sign Up Genius if you can. If you are dropping off non-perishable food or healthcare items for the pantry, please deliver to our KMS 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.

Do you love Math?

Open to all KMS students! We are offering a new program called Math Connections! Students can join our monthly math connections sessions facilitated by district staff. During each session, students will work through math tasks where solutions aren’t obvious, giving students a chance to recognize and appreciate the feeling of facing the unknown and exploring mathematics. Participants can attend all or some sessions. Prior to the first session, registered participants will receive a Zoom link.

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

Strengthening Families

Who: Families and youth 10-14 in Whatcom County

When: Tuesdays 6:15- 8:30pm November 2- December 14

Cost: No cost to you (sponsored by Whatcom County Health Department)

Where: In your own home (virtual offering~ for now!)

What: Over 7 weeks, families share communication skills, stress management tools, and ways to connect. Families meet once a week for 2 hours to connect and learn together. Meetings will be conducted over Zoom with trained facilitators. A phone or computer with a camera is required, however prior experience with Zoom is not. You will receive an email with further information after you complete registration.

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>

Progress Reports Coming Nov 17

We will be printing Progress Reports on Nov 15 and sending them home with students in backpacks. To access electronic copies of progress reports, login to Skyward Family Acces. Then click on Gradebook to see weekly updates. (OR) Click on Portfolio along the left margin, then click on the report that you would like to view, which will open as a PDF document.

If you need to reset your password, go to the Skyward login webpage and click “Forgot My Password.” If you are not sure what your account login is, contact our registrar, Tatiana Samora at tatiana.samora@bellinghamschools.org

COVID Vaccines Available

If you are interested in getting your child the COVID vaccine, the Whatcom County Health Department has good information about available locations for walk-up and appointments.

Safe Schools Zone

This fall, contractors installed security cameras inside and outside of several of our schools, including here at at Kulshan Middle School. 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, and protect our school’s equipment and beautiful campus. For more information, see policy 6610.

Kulshan Instructional Spotlight

Kel Henry, 7th Grade Mathematics teacher, has been at Kulshan since his time with us as a student teacher five years ago. In observing his instruction and looking at student work, one can tell that Mr. Henry is a strong motivator for his students. One of the teacher techniques he uses is narrating the positive, where he consistently voices to students all the great work they are doing in almost every comment that leaves his mouth. By doing this, even when answers are wrong, Henry builds a strong culture of error where mistakes are celebrated as learning opportunities. This classroom culture is pivotal for grappling with tough math concepts. Students have been exploring the different ways they see proportional relationships, and have just entered their unit working with circles. From their understanding of proportional relationships, they explored a very special type of proportional relationships that is present in all circles – the relationship between circumference and diameter.

Students gathered data measuring the distance around a circular object (circumference) and measured the diameter of that object, then made observations about what the relationship between those two numbers. After some calculation, students noticed that there was a number that kept showing up in their calculations that was approximately 3.14. They continued by plotting this information on a graph to see if that relationship was consistent with many other objects – turns out it was.

Because of this strong culture of error and celebration of mistakes, students feel confident in attempting to make sense of the mathematics around them and engaging in deeper problem solving. Some great mathematical learning happening in Mr. Henry’s 7th grade math class.


Written by Tyler Dockins, Instructional Coach

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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 Spirit Gear

Our KMS Spirit Gear is on sale now in our Main Office! We have KMS T-shirts ($5.00), KMS hoodies ($8.00), Cinch Sacks ($3.00), Beanies ($10.00), Blankets ($10.00), and Trucker Hats ($15.00). Buy all your bling and represent our Kulshan Thunderbirds in the community and at our sporting events! This is a limited sale while quantities last. We take cash or check.

Raincoat Donations?

Do you have a raincoat to donate to Kulshan? Our students use these raincoats for Plant Science, Garden Classes, and other outdoor activities. Use this SignUp Genius link or just drop off raincoats at our Main Office. Thank you for your donations!

Photographers Needed!

Do you enjoy taking photos? Are you often at KMS events with your camera or iphone camera? Our Yearbook Advisory Club is asking KMS parents to email photos from school sporting events and clubs. They can send them via email to Katherine Hendricks. Thank you!

Water Bottles

We encourage students to bring a water bottle from home. We have a water bottle filling station in our Commons. This helps students stay hydrated all day long and it saves them multiple trips to the drinking fountain.

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.

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.

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.

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

Kulshan Contacts