Kulshan Connect

January 22, 2021

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

Tuesday, Jan 26: Save the Date

We will be hosting an all-middle school Zoom webinar on Tuesday, January 26 from 7:00-7:30 PM to explain the new middle school schedule that starts on Thursday, February 4. So mark your calendar for Tuesday, January 26 at 7:00 PM and we will be sending you the Zoom link via email that day. If you would like to hear the presentation in Spanish, we will contact you with that date and time.

Weather emergencies/closures: where to find information and how to be notified

If we experience inclement weather in Bellingham, information will emailed to all families in Bellingham Public Schools and posted on the district website. With snow possible in the forecast early next week, please continue to monitor your email. For snow routes or information on how to update your notification preferences in Skylert, visit the Weather Procedures page of the district website.

Feb 4: New Middle School Schedule

Regardless of whether we are live in school or at home in remote learning, we will be adjusting students’ daily schedules starting Thursday, Feb 4. We have designed this new middle school schedule to work both for remote learning, as well as for in-person classes when we are able to reach that stage in the Reconnect Plan with our middle school students. Thursday, Feb. 4 is the first synchronous learning day of second semester. Our Wednesday schedule will remain the same throughout the school year.

KMS Back-to-School Planning

This pandemic has posed many challenging circumstances for schools and this week has been no exception – yet there are some bright spots. We continue to plan to bring additional students back into the building as soon as we get the green light. We have started setting up classrooms using Whatcom County and District safety protocols. Hand sanitizing stations are being installed in every classroom. The airflow in our building turns over at least 5 times per hour. We have several covered outdoor areas and outdoor break times to encourage student movement. We are working with our district safety team to get everything ready for staff and students' return. We are looking forward to bringing KMS back to our building and we will continue to keep you updated about a return-to-school date. This webpage is geared for families and students. We regularly update these pages as guidance and information changes.

Promise Tomorrow Learning Opportunity Grades 3-12

Here’s a great opportunity for students looking for academic enrichment in a group setting with peers ~ The Promise Tomorrow Initiative is a great opportunity for motivated students to engage in student-driven inquiry! This is project-based learning at its best. Students will work on quarterly projects that envision creative solutions to transition to a better world. Students will research complex topics, then innovate technologies, designs, or plans to mobilize behavior. Student teams will meet weekly via Zoom, be supported by a volunteer, and be supervised by a Promise Tomorrow Coordinator. Projects will be presented quarterly with a final symposium in June. Those interested, please see detailed information and sign up link on the district website. Questions about the project can be directed to the project administrative team, by level: Margi Smith (Elementary) margi.smith@bellinghamschools.org, Eva Chazo (Mid—level) eva.warnerchazo@bellinghamschools.org, or Erin Burke (High School) erin.burke@bellinghamschools.org.

Kulshan Pantry Re-Stock

We are stocking up our pantry for our Kulshan community! Please sign up here to help stock up our pantry for our KMS families in need. Items can be dropped off at Kulshan on Wednesdays during food pick up or on Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Please note that parents cannot enter our school, so you can call our main school line or knock at our window if you drop off at our main office. If you have any questions, please contact Jen Newbauer, school counselor. If you are a family in need, please don’t hesitate to reach out for support.

We Need Your Photos

We're hoping to get your help in making sure that our 2021 yearbook is the best one yet. We are asking for images of Kulshan students engaging in school activities (practicing instruments, drawing, writing, reading, PE, etc.), participating in hobbies, chores, interests, and visiting local parks, places, Mt. Baker, trails. Please email copies of your images to Rob Hendricks or Kat Hendricks. Please include your student's name and grade in the subject line. Thank you!

Additional/ Optional 7th grade Math Class

Seventh grade families: you recently received a communication on behalf of all middle schools regarding an optional, additional and independent math class for second semester. If you have any questions about whether this would be a good fit for your seventh grader, please reach out to your school principal. If your student would like to take on this challenging class, please register here by January 22.

Scholastic Book Orders

Did you know you can access Scholastic Book Orders through the Kulshan Library? Here is a link. Our class (library) code is GLB8R. You can browse some flyers here, or search for many, many other titles online. Books ordered can ship to homes or to Kulshan for pickup. Ship-to-home is free for orders over $25, and you can also get a free $5 Book Pick with the code READS. Scholastic is a great way to find books for a good price. Every purchase supports the library and classroom collections.

New Middle School Attendance Areas

Are you wondering about Kulshan’s new attendance area for the Fall of 2021? You can access maps of the future attendance areas on our website as well as detailed maps to help you and families better understand the boundary changes. If your student participates in a choice program, like Bellingham Virtual Learning or the Bellingham Family Partnership Program, or a specialized program such as Life Skills or BRIDGES, this may not affect your family. We recognize that some families may wish to look into the possibility of transfers from their new neighborhood schools. All families will receive more information about our transfer process in early February 2021.

Is Your Information Correct?

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 me and I can provide that information. Please note that if you need to correct or update your address and/or mailing address, you will have to contact me with the new information (families do not have permission to update addresses online). If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our registrar Viry Ferreira.

District Meal Distribution

Our district meal box distribution continues every Wednesday at all of our regular 21 locations from 4:00-5:30 PM. Additionally the Bellingham Food Bank offers weekly pick up locations and times. Visit their website for more information on times and locations. If you need additional support, please contact the Family Resource Center (FRC) now by filling out the help form or calling 360-676-6456.

Food Recovery Program

Starting in January, and continuing every week, unused, non-perishable food items from the district meal boxes can be returned to the 15 school distribution sites. Sustainable Connections will be working with Food Services to find a new use for the recovered food. Clean out your pantries from any shelf stable items you may not use. When you arrive in the meal box line, let the staff on hand know you have food for the Food Recovery Program. They will direct you to the drop-off box. School sites only.

KMS Counselor Corner

We acknowledge that these are challenging times for our students. Our school counselors, Jen Newbauer and Aaron Tiger, want to provide you with some information and resources. Feel free to reach out to our counselors via email or phone as well so we can give you specific resources for your situation.

Aaron Tiger - Counselor (cell 360-739-3991)

Jen Newbauer - Counselor (cell 360-739-4138)

Viry Ferreira - KMS Registrar

Updated WA State COVID Recommendations

Check this WA State COVID website for updates regarding restrictions and social gatherings. Specific information about travel recommendations can be found here. Bellingham Public Schools have also added their own COVID 19 dashboard, available on the district website and at this link. Governor Inslee's news and media releases can be found here.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in BPS

We are happy to share this January 2021 newsletter listing heritage months, cultural celebrations, holidays and other information supporting the important work of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in Bellingham Public Schools. Please visit the EDI webpage for an ongoing dialogue and focus on this key strategy of The Bellingham Promise. You can also reach out directly to the director of equity, diversity and inclusion Janis Velasquez Farmer.

Free COVID Tests in Whatcom County

Did you know that our Whatcom County Health Department has free, drive-up COVID tests? To arrange a COVID test, visit testdirectly.com or call 360-778-6075. Also, our Kulshan school nurse is Amy Eisenhauer, BSN, RN and she can be reached at 360-303-4667.

Every Wednesday KMS Book Pick Up

Students can use this link to look at the online catalog. If you see something you want that is unavailable, you can log into Destiny and place a hold (same login as for your laptop). To request books, use this form. Mr. Shaffer and Ms. Stephanie will get your books ready for pickup. Books will be available on on Wednesdays during Food Pick Ups: 4:00 - 5:30 PM.

Please enter your requests the day before book distribution. Requests received after that may not be ready for next-day pickup (but we'll do our best). As always, email Mr. Shaffer for book recommendations, or any other questions! Books not picked up on Pickup Day will be in the office and can be picked up (as well as returned) from 8:30 AM -3:00 PM on Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri.

It's Easy to Join KMS PTSA

We currently have 74 members in our PTSA and we would love to reach 100 members by the end of this school year. Are you interested in joining? 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!

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 Jen Newbauer (cell 360-739-4138). Here is a list of local and online supports.

How to Join a Club

We all know that Kulshan Clubs are one of the best things about middle school! Our clubs will be starting up the week of October 19 but you can join anytime. Here is a list of all of our clubs. Click on this Club Form to view the club options and sign up. And YES - you can sign up for more than one. If you check that you are interested in any clubs, our facilitators will reach out to you with more information. Clubs are free and they are all optional.

Free Cooking Classes

New cooking classes every week on Zoom! Classes will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:00-5:00 PM - just in time for you to enjoy what your kids made at dinner! Sign up to secure your spot in one or more of the classes. You will see additional classes are added to the website each week.

Weekly Announcement Videos

Did you know that we show a weekly announcement video in Homeroom? Well, we do! If you would like to watch these videos, click here. This is just one more way that we are trying to stay connected to you and your student. We miss you!

Power Outage?

If there is a power outage, our staff will help your student catch up. Please notify Jeneen Durand, our Attendance Secretary by calling 360-647-6877 or emailing kms.attendance@bellinghamschools.org . If a teacher loses connection during a class, students should stay on the class for a few minutes while the teacher logs back in. Then check students’ email and MS Teams for instructions from the teacher. More information can be found here on our KMS website.

Skyward/ Family Access

Do you need help with Skyward/ Family Access? Our friends at Shuksan Middle School made these great online resources and videos. Check them out! Or reach out to our Kulshan registrar - Viry Ferreira. viry.ferreira@bellinghamschools.org

Are you in need of family support?

If you are in need of services or help with domestic abuse or sexual assault the local agency DVSAS (Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services) is able to help. Here is a link that helps to explain their role and provides contact information. You can also call our KMS Counselors Aaron Tiger 360-739-3991 or Jen Newbauer cell 360-739-4138.

Wednesday Attendance

Did you know that we take attendance for all classes every Wednesday? Students will be marked present if they at least log in and check their MS Teams page. Please remind your students to do this every Wednesday for periods 5-8. Thank you!

KMS Attendance

Is your child going to miss a class or a full day? Please email our Kulshan Attendance Secretary, Jeneen Durand, at: kmsattendance@bellinghamschools.org or call us at (360) 647-6877.

(NEW!) Bellingham Food Bank Schedule

Tuesdays: 1175 Jersey Street from 1:00-4:00 PM
Wednesdays: CTK, 4173 Meridian St. from 3:00-6:00 PM
Thursdays: 1175 Jersey Street from 1:00-4:00 PM

Check out the Bellingham Food Bank to learn more or to make a donation.

District Resources Website

Do you still have a question that has not been answered via this newsletter or email? The Bellingham Public School website now has a (click here) one-stop resources page. On this website, you can submit a question about childcare, meals, learning resources, technology resources, mental health, and more. We are here for you.

We Miss You and We Love You!

One more time - we just want you to know we miss you and we would love to hear from you. Though schools are closed, please know that you can email any of your teachers, our administration, or our counselors. We especially would love to see photos of you, your family, your pets, your hobbies, and your outdoor activities. Stay safe and stay healthy!

Kulshan Contacts

Our school building may be closed, but we are open! Please email us if you have questions:

Meagan Dawson, Principal

Kevin Terpstra, Assistant Principal

Aaron Tiger, Counselor

Jen Newbauer, Counselor

Viry Ferriera, Registrar

Jeneen Durand, Attendance Secretary

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