Kulshan Connect

December 17, 2021

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

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Lost and Found Lollapalooza!

Today is our last day of Lost and Found Lollapalooza! Did you know we have hundreds of items in our Lost and Found? Is your child missing their jacket, waterbottle, or sweatshirt? All Lost and Found items on our KMS stage. Parents are also welcome to stop by and look! We will be donating all of our Lost and Found items to local charities TODAY at 4:00 PM.

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.

Jan 11: Kulshan PTSA Meeting

Save the date! Our next Kulshan PTSA meeting is Tuesday, January 11 at 6:30 PM. All parents are invited to join us for PTSA meetings. The Zoom link will be sent to you on the day of the meeting. Hope to see you there!

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.

7th Grade Independent Math Class

Seventh grade families: Did you know we offer an optional, additional, and independent math class for second semester? Most eighth graders will take Math 8, and we believe that most students are best served by our grade level middle school math curriculum and classes. If you have any questions about whether the optional, additional online, and independent class would be a good fit for your 7th grader, please reach out to Tyler Dockins. If you wish to pursue this additional class, please fill out this form no later than January 10.

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.

Free Physics and Biology Classes

Is your child interested in Physics or Biology? Would they be interested in a free online course during Winter Break? Robotics for All is co-directed by Mihir Jain, a junior at Interlake High School and the co-founder of Robotics for All. Robotics for All is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working on bringing STEAM education to all students across the globe. There are two free classes being held via Zoom during Winter Break – Physics 101 and Biology 101, open to 5th – 11th graders. Click on their website for more information! Robotics for All

Learning Together

These next few months are full of amazing and inspirational holidays around the world. Learning for Justice offers several resources to help students gain a deeper understanding of religious and secular holidays. Our students enjoy learning more about family activities and celebrations both in the U.S. and around the world. Another resource from Scholastic called "How do you celebrate?" helps students and families learn about how people gather and celebrate this time of year. It's such a magical time of year! Enjoy!

Jan 20: Village Books + Public Library Collab

Mark your calendar for Thursday, Jan 20 from 6:30 - 7:30 PM. Author event opportunity! Village Books and the Bellingham Public Library are hosting a virtual author event with Paula Yoo and Brendan Kiely. Yoo is the author of From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement. Brendan Kiely is the author of The Other Talk: Reckoning with Our White Privilege. Click the link for more information from Village Books and to register for this Zoom event. Multiple cost options, including free.

Winter Weather and Bus Routes

We are expecting colder temperatures and a possiblity of snow this month. 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!
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Kulshan Instructional Spotlight

Great teaching is about attending to the little details in order to get great results. One phrase that I’ve heard before is having a 1/16th mindset when it comes to instruction. This is best illustrated in sports, with baseball in particular. Willie Bloomquist, a former Seattle Mariner has a lifetime batting average of .269, whereas Derek Jeter’s lifetime batting average is .310. Essentially, the only difference between the two players in hitting is that Derek Jeter gets only one more hit for every 16 appearances at the plate. That one little detail is the difference between an average Major League Baseball player and a Hall of Famer. This is a mindset that is clear in Rob Hendricks STEM class and that he instills within students as they work on different projects within the STEM Shop. Whether it is work on the 3D printer software or physically working with the shop tools, Mr. Hendricks emphasizes the importance of going slow, attending to precision, because accuracy yields better results.

Currently, students are working on building shelves using a variety of tools (e.g. drill press, cordless drill, router, etc.) and then personalizing them with a 3D printer designed using the RHINO software. After getting a required safety training, students get the opportunity to work on their projects with the shop tools to learn about the importance of going slow and attending to precision, learning the importance of that 1/16th mindset. While the primary purpose of the project may appear to be building a shelf, it is the mindset and skillset development in that class that is transferrable to any other fields, and that is what Mr. Hendricks emphasizes in his classes that will lead to success.

Written by Tyler Dockins, Instructional Coach

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. We love having KMS parents as KMS employees and subs!

COVID Vaccine Card to KMS

It is important for us to know your student's vaccination 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 at Tatiana.Samora@bellinghamschools.org. Thank you!

YMCA Youth Program

The YMCA is accepting 8th grade students into our After School Youth Institute Program! There is no registration necessary- youth are welcome to the FAC at the downtown YMCA on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 3:00 - 6:00 PM. Learn the skills needed to become proficient with technology, ace your next exam, and become a leader in your community. If you are interested in learning more or have questions you can contact your school counselors: Aaron Tiger, Michelle Strobel, or Lacey Bachman. Or you can contact the YMCA directly at: Libby Teerink, Teen Coordinator.

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. In the cases where students are on phones during class repeatedly, we may need to direct students to check phones into the office during the day, potentially leading to having parents or guardians picking up the phone at school. 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”.

Attendance Office Reminders

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 Jeneen Durand or call 360-676-4886 before 9:00 AM. Then your child will 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.

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>

COVID Vaccines Available

If you are interested in getting your child the COVID vaccine, the Whatcom County Health Department has good information about available locations for walk-up and appointments.

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