Kulshan Connect

October 1, 2021

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

Sept 30: Power Outage/ Open House

Thank you to all of our students and staff who handled our power outage with grace and patience. We were able to continue all of our classes, along with our after school sports and clubs. Yay! However, we did cancel our Open House because so many of our families didn't have power in their neighborhood. When we find a new date and time, we will email you. In the meantime, feel free to watch our amazing Kulshan teacher videos. Thank you!

Kulshan Food Pantry

Our Kulshan Food Pantry is back! 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.

State Testing Schedule

  • RESCHEDULED: 6th grade Science SBA (from 5th grade)
  • New date: Tuesday, October 19th (not Oct 21)
    • Only 6th grade will be on a Testing Schedule
    • 7th and 8th graders will be on a normal schedule
  • Wed, October 27 - 6th, 7th, 8th Reading SBA (from 5th, 6th, 7th)
    • Testing schedule for all grades
  • Thurs, October 28 - 6th, 7th, 8th Math SBA (from 5th, 6th, 7th)
    • Testing schedule for all grades

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. Yesterday we honored Truth and Reconciliation Day. This day is a federal holiday in Canada and connects directly with our Washington state, “Since Time Immemorial Curriculum” and our state’s own legacy of Indian boarding schools. Here is short video that explains Truth and Reconciliation Day. This website explains the Orange Shirt Day tradition.

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.

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

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.

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.

Kulshan Instructional Spotlight

Katie Elliott is a Physical Education teacher in her second year at Kulshan Middle School. Her classroom is finishing a Lacrosse unit, where students are getting non-stop time in PE to play Lacrosse. One of the impressive aspects of Ms. Elliott’s instruction is that she maximizes the amount of time that kids get to play and learn with each other. As you walk into the gym, you see four equally distributed teams in different color jerseys playing an active and enthusiastic game of lacrosse. At the whistle, the teams rotate in a clockwise fashion from the court to the sideline and from the sideline to the court. This routine ensures that every teams gets to rotate through playing each other. She squeezes every second out of her class through economy of language. She says the most with the fewest amount of words. For example, at one of the transitions of the game, she freezes the class and quickly says “Some quick feedback for the sidelines: first, pay attention to your teammates and cheer them on. Second, pay attention in case the ball is coming toward you. Alright, let’s go!” In that quick phrase, she said a lot about how to be a good teammate, how to stay safe on the sideline from a lacrosse ball that may whiz by, and that she cared about kids not getting hit by the lacrosse ball. This is a tough skill to learn as a teacher, and Elliott has it down. It is one of the many things she does to create joy and learning in the classroom. There is some tremendous teaching happening in PE – be sure to ask your kids about it.

Written by Tyler Dockins, Instructional Coach

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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.

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.

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.
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Kulshan Contacts