Kulshan Connect

September 10, 2021

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

Need Translation? ¿Necesita traducción? Нужен перевод?

Big picture

Due Today by 4:00 PM: KMS Fall Sports

Registration is due today! 1) complete registration in Final Forms 2) Sports Physical. All sports are FREE thanks to Project Free Education. We offer the following sports for all grade levels: Track & Field, Boys Soccer, and Girls Soccer. Everyone makes the team - there are no cuts. The goal of middle school sports is to be outside and have fun. Wear comfortable clothes. If you have any questions, please email Lisa Scott, our Athletics Registrar or call 360-676-4886 x4708. The first day of practices is Monday, September 13 from 3:45 PM - 5:30 PM at Kulshan.

Register for Unified Fall Activities

DId you know that any middle or high school student in BPS can participate in Unified Bowling, Volleyball, or Robotics? Unified Bowling takes place on Wednesdays from September 15 through November 10 from 4:00-5:30 PM at Park Bowl (on the Guide Meridian). If your middle schooler is interested, please reach out to Sidney Balfour for registration forms. More information will be coming soon about Unified Volleyball and Unified Robotics. Click here if you would like to learn more about our Unified Activities.

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.

Important Dates in September:

  • Thursday, Sept 16: KMS School Picture Day
  • Thursday, Sept 23: Early Release @ 12:00 PM
  • Friday, Sept 24: No School/ Purple Friday
  • Thursday, Sept 30: Kulshan Open House @ 6:30 PM

Thurs, Sept 16: Kulshan Photo Day!

KMS School Picture Day is Thursday, September 16th! Your student will have their photo taken during their T-Bird Time. If your student doesn't have a T-Bird time, they should get their photo taken as soon as they arrive at school in our South Gym. Order forms will be passed out to students or you can order online here. The special KMS code is EVT2SQJS7.

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.

Whatcom Water Week, Sept. 11-19

Starting this weekend is Whatcom Water Week, a week of events hosted by community groups to celebrate our local water resources. The City is offering a self-guided Lake Whatcom Tour and Stormwater Discovery Tours all week. Find a full list of events at whatcomwaterweeks.org/events.

YES! Apply by September 13

Are you interested in climate change solutions and local projects? Youth for the Environment and People (YEP!) provides an opportunity for students to share ideas and passions, learn about climate change solutions, engage in local stewardship projects, and work together with other youth in choosing, planning, and implementing a group action project. And, of course, have fun! Students will use the climate solutions-based framework provided by Project Drawdown to sink carbon or reduce sources of carbon emissions. The Whatcom cohort will meet Tuesdays from 4:00-5:30 PM. YES! provides a $150 stipend upon completion of the group project to compensate students for their time and efforts. For more information and to learn about previous cohort projects, click here. Questions? Please contact sashas@re-sources.org To Apply: Click here to apply! (In English) or En Espanol

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. Many organizations, businesses, and local governments in the community have partnered to create a list of virtual and safe in-person events for all ages and diverse interest groups. 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, read a climate-themed book, and more! Find event details at cob.org/climate-action-week.

Tues, Sept 14 @ 6:30 PM: PTSA Meeting

You are invited! Our next PTSA meeting is Tues, September 14 at 6:30 PM via Zoom. The link will be emailed to you. And of course, 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!

Online Aviation Club

Aviation Ground School class will be offered the first and third Monday of each month from 4:45-5:15 PM via a Zoom link. The first meeting is Monday, October 4. Students will learn basic ground school aviation skills, such as navigation, pilot communication, reading weather charts/graphs, and takeoff and landing procedures. If you are interested, please email James Walsh (WMS teacher). 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.

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. Did you know that our administrators, coaches and parents use inclusive sport practices to promote a positive dialogue around transgender youth and athletics? We reply on the WIAA Toolkit to help us support students and families.

Kulshan Instructional Spotlight

In our T-Bird Instructional spotlight, we will take time to celebrate some of our teachers at our school, so that our families get to know our teachers at a deeper level and to share some of the practices in instruction that we have been working on. We know that teachers matter more when it comes to student achievement than any other aspect of schooling – we are proud of the quality work of our teachers, the effort they put in to hone their craft, and the relationships they build with all kids in our community. To this end, let’s spotlight Beth Ingersoll.

Beth Ingersoll is a 6th grade math teacher at Kulshan. I had the pleasure to observe her in class within the first week of school using a new math program we are using called Desmos. With this math program student work and play with mathematical concepts to create their own meaning, and it is easily visible to teachers to support students in their learning journey. One of the most effective practices Beth uses is positive narration and show call where she highlights an example of effective student work and it motivates other students in classroom to raise their bar for the quality of their work.

For example, in 6th grade, students start the year exploring the concept of area and in this problem below they have to describe their strategy in how they calculated the area of this irregular figure. Initial students responses included: “we moved halves together”, “just counted them”, “counted the square units”, and “I added the square units”.

Mrs. Ingersoll then showed a student’s work up on the board with a show call and positively narrated the high level aspects of a student’s work (e.g. vocabulary, precise description, etc.) and then gave the opportunity for students to revise their work. The responses then adjusted to: “I moved one of the small triangles to the other one to make 1 unit”, “my strategy is to count all of the whole units then I add the two half units together”, and “I counted all of the normal ones and then add the two ones cut in half then I added those”. You can see from student work, that this intentional move increased the level of sophistication in students responses with 6th grade students.

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: https://www.whatcomdrc.org/youth

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 at: https://www.whatcomdrc.org/upcoming-trainings-and-workshops

Please reach out to the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center with any questions, (360) 676-0122

Youth Peace Poetry Contest open for submissions

April is National Poetry Month, and the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center (WDRC) Youth Peace Poetry Contest is open now for submissions! The contest is open to all youth ages 4 to 18 who live in Whatcom County. For more more information or to submit a poem, please visit the WDRC website. In related Poetry News, Bellingham Public Schools is sharing poems using the hashtag: #BPSPoetry. This is a great chance to share student poems in more public way.

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

Meagan Dawson, Principal

Kevin Terpstra, Assistant Principal

Aaron Tiger, Counselor

Michelle Strobel, Counselor

Viry Ferreira, Registrar (through Sept 10)

Tatian Samora (starts Sept 13) Я говорю на русском языке.

Jeneen Durand, Attendance Secretary

Elsa Powell, Family Liaison Hablo español.


Family Handbook in English

Family Handbook in Spanish


We love you and we miss you and we hope you are staying safe and healthy!


Kulshan Middle School 1250 Kenoyer Drive Bellingham, WA 98229 360-676-4886