Kulshan Connect

September 11, 2020

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

Celebrating Back to School!

A huge thank you to our parents and extended family members who supported KMS students this week during their first few days of school. We appreciate your time, patience, energy, and curiosity. You are learning all the tech tricks right beside us! As you know, our goals for the first week of school were:

  • Make connections with students and build community
  • Make sure students understand their schedules and have working technology
  • Start building routine for students

We met all of these goals and more! It was great to see students engaged, learning, laughing, and connecting with friends. I'm so relieved that in this time of being apart, we can also be together.

KMS Attendance

If your child going to miss a class? Just email Jeneen Durand at:

kmsattendance@bellinghamschools.org or call (360)647-6877.

KMS Library Book Checkout

Do you want to check out some fun books this coming week? 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. The first pickup will be Wednesday, Sept 16 from 4:00 - 5:30 PM. Please enter your requests by Tuesday, Sept 15. Requests received after Tuesday 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!

Sept 15: You Are Invited!

Do you want to connect with an awesome group of parents dedicated to creating a magnificent experience for their middle schoolers? Come to our September PTSA meeting! And remember, you don't have to be a member to come to our meetings! See you there! Si necesita un intérprete para esta reunión, llame al 360-676-6456 para programarla.

When: Tuesday, September 15

Time: 6:30 PM

Click this Zoom Link to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 929 772 2053
Passcode: 1EqJ61

Do you need Tech Support?

If students are unable to see the Zoom invites in their MS Teams or Outlook, here are some ways you can get your questions answered:

Mood Meter

As you might know, we use a social emotional curriculum called RULER, from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. The Mood Meter is an important part of the RULER curriculum. Our students know the Mood Meter well and they can explain how to use it. Families can use the Mood Meter at home. You could even try modeling this with your kids this weekend: Tell your child how you are feeling and then you and your student can identify the "mood" on the Mood Meter. If you have time, you can explain why you are in that "mood" and where you want to go next. There is also a really helpful Mood Meter app if you want to learn more. Attached is a photo of a Mood Meter from a 6th grade class this Friday.

Wednesdays 4:00-5:30 PM: Meal Boxes

Our food boxes were so popular, we ran out at many of our sites. But don't despair! We are making even MORE boxes for this next Wednesday. Visit any of our 21 sites on Wednesday anytime from 4:00-5:30 PM for your 10-meal/5-day box. Si desea esta información en español llame al 360-676-6456 o via email.

Reminder: meal boxes are free for all children 0-18. Any family can go to any location and pick up a meal box. We are shifting to incorporating more Central Kitchen made-from-scratch items in meal boxes in the weeks to come, and really want to encourage families to pick up and try out meal boxes. School sites: Alderwood, Birchwood, Carl Cozier, Cordata, Geneva, Happy Valley, Northern Heights, Roosevelt, Wade King, Fairhaven, Kulshan, Shuksan, Whatcom, Bellingham, Sehome. Community sites: Sterling Meadows, Eliza Court, Villa Santa Fe, Evergreen Ridge Apartments, Regency Park, Sudden Valley Community Center.

Sixth Grade News!

Hello 6th grade families! Welcome to Kulshan! We wish we could have hosted an in-person orientation for our incoming 6th grade students this year. Unfortunately, that can't happen right now, although we will do our best to host an in-person orientation when we are allowed to do so prior to any return to the building. We did want to resend out a link to some videos that we filmed in the Spring. These videos contain helpful information about life as a student at Kulshan Middle School, just keep in mind that when we filmed these videos we were hopeful that we would be meeting in person for school this fall. We also have a couple of videos from 6th grade teachers introducing themselves so you can match faces to the names you see on your schedule! If you have Band, Orchestra, Music, or Choir, here is a video of Ms. Barrett! We are so excited to have you with us for this exciting school year! We are excited for this school year and looking forward to seeing you Tuesday morning!

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

A key strategy in our Bellingham Promise is focused on our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This book - How to be an Anti-Racist is available for free via Bellingham Public Library or Libby. We used this book for our KMS Staff Summer Book Study with this list of discussion questions. We encourage families and students to embark on their own learning journey using this title or other young adult books that offer anti-racist views and perspectives. We are so glad we are on this journey with you.

KMS Student Artwork

Time to celebrate! Our very own Kulshan alumni, Jordynn Campbell, designed the cover art for the 2020-2021 Bellingham Public Schools District Handbook. Check out this article here to read more about Jordynn's artwork and activism. And if you would like to view the District Handbook online, click here. The handbook is also available in Spanish. Go Thunderbirds!

2020-2021 Kulshan PTSA

We would love to have 100% of our KMS families join our PTSA! Our PTSA group is a really fun community of people who are dedicated to supporting our students and supporting each other as middle school parents. Here is our PTSA website. And 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!

KMS Counselor Corner

We are super excited to welcome all of you back to school and can’t wait to meet all of our new families. Please feel free to reach out with any student or family specific needs and we will see how we can help. As always, our goal is to support the social and emotional needs of all our students. Take care and see you soon!

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

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

Viry Ferreira - KMS Registrar

How to Support Teens' Emotional Well-Being

While some people think of "Back to School" as a time to buy items from a long list of supplies, we want to kick off this school year with a 2020 Back-to-School List for Teens’ Emotional Well-Being. If you are unable to access the link/ article, here are the key things that teens need for September 2020:

  1. Safe ways to see their friends: Teenagers need the emotional support and they need time to strengthen ties with peers. They can connect online or in person, but they will need some COVID reminders if they are wanting to meet up at a park or go on a bike ride with a friend.
  2. Time with other adults: Teens benefit from spending time with adults who are not their parents, like teachers, mentors, bosses, coaches, and advisors.
  3. Reliable routines: A reliable daily schedule with designated time for learning, leisure, physical activity and sleep promotes overall well being and reduces stress.
  4. Warmth and support at home: This whole online, pandemic version of school will be a bumpy ride for everyone. As parents, we are also feeling fatigued and stressed. But creating strong, steady, calm relationships will help our teens feel our love.

Kulshan Garden

Are you and/or your student interested in volunteering in our Kulshan Garden? Our Kulshan Garden could use your love! If you'd like to spend some time in our garden, please sign up here. If you have questions, please email J.P. Belanger, our Common Threads Farm and Kitchen Manager, at JP@commonthreadsfarm.org. Thank you!

Fall 2020 Food Bank Locations

The Bellingham Food Bank schedule:

Tuesdays: Shuksan Middle School from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Wednesdays: Christ the King on Meridian from 3:00-6:00 p.m.

Thursdays: Civic Field from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

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