Kulshan Connect

January 28, 2022

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

Winter Sports at KMS

New Sports Quarter starting Tuesday, February 1: We are excited to start two new sports on Tuesday, February 1. Students can still sign up for these sports on Final Forms. Our sports are:


  • 7th and 8th Grade Girls Volleyball: Volleyball practice will happen after school daily in the Gym from 3:45 - 5:30 PM.
  • All Grades and All Gender Wrestling: Wrestling practice will happen after school in our Commons from 3:45 - 5:30 PM.
If you have any questions about Final Forms or your student's registration, please call our main office at KMS 360-676-4886 or email Lisa Scott / 360-676-4886 x4708.

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!

KMS ASB MOD Pizza fundraiser

Support Kulshan ASB by eating pizza! Get dinner (or lunch! Or Both!) at MOD pizza on Wednesday, February 2, and support Kulshan ASB! Mention "Kulshan ASB" when you order in person or by phone, or use the code GR204673K for online or app orders. 20% of all Kulshan ASB fundraising will go to this year's charity partner, Northwest Youth Services.

6th grade Choir Concert

Thank you to Ms. Petaia and our 6th grade Choir for organizing and showcasing their incredible talent. It was a joy to celebrate music and singing this season. Here is the video in case you were unable to attend in person.

Watch video highlighting safety, sustainability and accessibility.

Video highlights two areas of the bond

Safety, sustainability and accessibility - This bond would allow us to invest in improvements at numerous schools that include: adding inclusive playgrounds, expanding Kulshan Middle School by four additional classrooms and replacing existing grass field with turf, improving Cordata Elementary School traffic and parking, increasing resource efficiency and minimize the effects of energy and water consumption and dependence on fossil fuels, implementing more visible and meaningful sustainability practices in schools to increase education and stewardship.

Current Projects — This bond would help us complete previously approved bond projects from 2013 and 2018. We need funds to help complete these projects due to increased construction costs and/or refinement in scope (e.g. adding bathrooms adjacent to our new high school fields). Visit bellinghamschools.org/bond2022 for more on all the investment areas and a new FAQ which includes questions we are receiving from our community.

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Instructional Spotlight

Pippin Christiansen teaches Art at Kulshan Middle School and has been with us for 6 years. An effective part of her instruction is her deliberate inclusion of student reflection with their work. Dedicating time for students to reflect on their work helps to develop their skills and review their effectiveness. This is even more important as we close out our current semester and get ready to start a new one next week. Students in our Art class have been taking time to reflect on their projects, such as their work with portraits or work with ceramics, and evaluate how their projects demonstrates what they've learned with the art techniques they've practiced in class. Ms. Christiansen provides ample space for that reflection and it takes shape in many different ways.

Following their self-reflection on paper, Ms. Christiansen provides opportunities for students to share their reflections about their work and receive affirmations about their techniques and choices from other students in class. By doing this, Ms. Christiansen effectively balances different types of feedback. Students have time for a complement of self-evaluation, peer-to-peer feedback, and teacher-to-student feedback. By having multiple opportunities of feedback, students can improve their work more effectively rather than just relying on feedback from a teacher only. This is similar to getting multiple drafts and revisions of an essay in. As you can see in the photos below, the end product is pretty amazing.

Questions to Ask Your Students?

  • What reflection routines do you have that help you establish or renew goals?
  • What is one thing you want to keep doing going as you start the next semester?
  • What is one thing that you want to start doing this next semester?
  • What is one thing you want to stop doing this next semester?
  • Who are the different people you gather feedback from to support you with your goals? What voices are missing?

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!

We care about your family and want to help you stay strong together

For those who find parenting, mentoring, and teaching middle schoolers a challenge, the Strengthening Families Training have timely pointers. We encourage you to become familiar with their local program, it is our hope to bring it to you at some point; however, check their online option, that can be done from the comfort of your home. There is no cost involved, just let us know you want to participate, and Elsa Powell will be able to enroll you at no cost. Leave a message or text at 360 676 4165. All podcasts are available free online, like this one on Love and Limits. Also available en español .

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? We encourage all members of the Kulshan community to take action:

  • 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.
  • Talk with your family and friends about digital citizenship and appropriate social media behavior. If necessary, families and students can 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.

  • Continue to stand up for our Kulshan values both in person and online, to protect our students’ mental health and well-being.

Kulshan Grant Winners!

Congratulations to our Kulshan teachers who wrote Bellingham Foundation Grants and WON! Adam Shaffer wrote a grant to increase our Manga selection, Michelle Strobel wrote a grant to create a sensory library, and Julie Capper + Ashlea Shepherd wrote a grant to fund a field trip to the Tulalip Tribe Hibulb Cultural Center. We are so excited to see these foundations come to life at Kulshan! And also a HUGE thank to our community for funding the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation.

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!

COVID Vaccine Card to KMS

It is important for us to know your student's vaccination and booster 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. Thank you!

Cell Phones Off Please

If your student carries a phone to school, please remind them to keep it turned off and put away between 9:15 AM - 3:45 PM. We ask families not to contact their middle schoolers on their cell phones during the school day. If you need to contact your student, you can always call our school’s main line. Thanks for partnering with us to help your students learn healthy phone boundaries.

COVID vaccines for students ages 5-11

The Pfizer vaccine against COVID was authorized for children ages 5-11 earlier this month. 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”.

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

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>

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.

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!

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.

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.

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 review your contact information, mailing address, emergency contacts and complete the Annual Health Concerns form for your student. If you need your login and password information for Skyward Family Access, please contact us. Also, 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? 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

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. Questions? buspasses@ridewta.com .
School Tip Line text or call 844-310-9560 or report online at bellinghamschools.org/safe

Kulshan Contacts