Kulshan Connect

February 25, 2022

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

Due Feb 25: "Think Big" Challenge

The Bellingham Public School's Foundation wants to hear from student clubs that have an inspiring BIG idea that they would put into action if they had additional resources OR what your club could be doing better if you just had more funds. Finalists will be invited to appear live on stage on March 29th to pitch your BIG idea. Top prize: $2,500 Runners up: $2,000-$1,000 Apply online by Friday Feb 25th.

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.

Due Feb 24: BPS Budget Planning

As we build our budget for 2022-23, an important part of our process is input from our community. As you think about your school, department, or child’s school, where would you invest more resources if you could? Said another way, if we receive additional funding from the state, where would you like to see that money go? Please fill out this form to share your input by 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25. We will share draft budget highlights later this spring as we prepare our final budget for the 2022-23 school year.

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.

Mon Feb 28: Student Survey

On Monday, Feb 28, we will be taking an online survey during T-Bird Time that asks students how COVID-19 has impacted their learning and well-bring. The survey is not a test and there are no right or wrong answers. Participation in this survey is anonymous. There are no codes or information that will identify the student or their survey. Participation in this survey is voluntary. If students or families prefer not to participate in the survey, we will arrange alternative activities for the student. Student answers will help our school and community understand what students really think. We are interested in what students have to say and we appreciate accurate and honest answers. The responses that students give are very important and will help provide better programs and services for students.

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!

High School Course Catalog

Are you an 8th grader? Are you interested in looking at all of the courses offered in our local high schools? Then check out our new Course Catalog! Your teachers and counselors will be helping you register for high school this spring. This is an exciting time as you think about finishing up your 8th grade year and starting high school.

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.

Winter Sports at KMS

We have had a great start to our Winter Sports Season!! Students can still sign up for these sports on Final Forms. Our sports are 7th and 8th Grade Girls Volleyball (after school daily in the Gym from 3:45 - 5:30 PM) and All Grades and All Gender Wrestling (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. Go Thunderbirds!

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Instructional Spotlight

Matt Macleod is an 8th grade social studies teacher, and has been teaching at Kulshan Middle School for 6 years. Mr. Macleod's attention to detail and thoughtfulness in planning is the type of work that sets kids up for success well beyond the walls of Kulshan Middle School. Similar to parenting, we think a lot about the success of our kids when they are no longer with us.

Within Macleod's classroom, the intentional design of how his classroom flows demonstrates how independence is valued. Students facilitate the flow of the room by taking attendance, distributing materials, and answering thoughtful questions that put the work back on students. Through Macleod's routines and systems in his class, he is implicitly communicating to student that they can do a lot of work and that he trusts them to handle their business.

Further, as our 8th graders are starting to think about their transition to high school and build on that independence, Mr. Macleod has been preparing and delivering lessons with the 8th grade team that support our kids' transition to our high schools. This includes going through the course catalog, looking at graduation/post-secondary requirements, and looking at quality of life outcomes from the different opportunities that students take. For example ,Macleod addresses the increase in the number of class that students will need to keep track of, and the higher sense of ownership that high school requires. Part of his messaging is that the preparation for those changes happens now. While he understands that students are not in high school yet, by having an eye toward the next level our students are getting prepared for that often difficult transition because of the intentional work of Macleod and the 8th grade team.

Questions to Ask Your Middle-Schooler at Home (students from all grades could start thinking about these questions):

  • What are the ways you want to begin next school year? How can you start to practice those habits now?
  • What goals do you have about your middle school experience? How do your daily habits help you or hinder you toward that goal?
  • What resources can you look at to help you start thinking about your high school experience? Who else could you speak with for support?

Semester 1 Report Cards

Looking for your students' Semester 1 Report Card? You can view their progress in Skyward and we will be mailing home Report Cards on February 18. If you have questions about their progress, please reach out to your student's teachers or our registrar, Tatiana Samora. 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!

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

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 and you can check their online option, which can be done from the comfort of your home. There is no cost involved 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 Encouraging Good Behavior. Also disponible: Alentando el Buen Comportamiento

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? 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.

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!

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

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.

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