Kulshan Connect

January 21, 2022

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

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!

Feb 8: Voters Decide Bond

Voters will decide on a bond on Feb. 8 regarding facilities for Bellingham Public Schools. This bond includes the highest priority needs that were identified by a districtwide task force this fall. Visit this webpage for more information. This 2022 Bond includes expanding Kulshan Middle School by four additional classrooms and replacing existing grass field with turf. This is just one of the projects funded by the proposed bond. More details are on our website or check out our progress on facilities projects built from past bonds. If you have questions about the bond, feel free to contact the Department of Communications and Community Relations, 360-676-6520. Thank you and remember to vote in February! Look for your ballots in the mail later this month.

Jan 25: Strengthening Families

We are pleased to announce there will be another Virtual Strengthening Families Program beginning January 25th. We will meet for 7 weeks (on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 - 8:00 PM) Please share this opportunity with families who have youth ages 10-14. Here is the link for more information and to register. There is no cost to families, this program is brought to you by Whatcom County Health Department.

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Instructional Spotlight

Laura Donner is a 6th grade English Language Arts teacher, and has been teaching at Kulshan Middle School for almost 7 years. A hallmark of Ms. Donner’s class is how she makes the most of every second of instruction. In the context of the pandemic and unfinished learning, one can see kids making up the time in her class with her classroom’s attention to detail around tight transitions from one learning activity to next. What is also impressive about her transitions and routines is that they are student-centered, and she thoughtfully includes questions or reflection to build independence. This looks like effective use of timers, clearly posted outlines of what to expect for the day, and Ms. Donner asking questions like “what will we accomplish today?” and “how do we know we’ve met our goal?”. Her classroom routines run like a well-oiled machine with the ultimate goal of maximizing opportunities for learning and reading.

Further, Ms. Donner creates a strong reading culture in her classroom. It all starts with her sharing how much she loves reading by doing book talks with students, and at this point in the year, she engages students in doing their own book-talks where they discuss what they are reading, they share what the characters are going through, and make a recommendation of why they should check out the book. When observing kids in action, you could see kids glued to their book, voraciously reading, and talking about the next book they are going to read.

As you can see, there is a lot of high level instruction happening in her room.

Questions to ask your kids at home:

  • What are the positive aspects of having a consistent routine?
  • When does it make sense to break from routines?
  • What is book have you really enjoyed lately? What made it engaging for you?

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 House Rules. Also available in Spanish here : Reglas de la Casa.

"How to Raise an Intuitive Eater" Event

Village Books is hosting an in-person event and virtual series around the book How to Raise an Intuitive Eater: Raising the Next Generation with Food and Body Confidence, by Sumner Brooks and Amee Severson (Amee is a local author). VB will hold four virtual events in January, culminating with an in-person event on Feb 5. All virtual events are free, but require registration.

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 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>

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