Middle School Matters

Whatcom Middle School Newsletter, September 2020

From the Wildcat's Den...

Well… We’re off and running. We had an amazing start to the school year and daily attendance is actually better than when we were F2F (face to face). Zoom meetings are so prevalent. Even mid last school year not many staff in our building had even heard of a Zoom meeting. Now we’re in Zoom meetings in daily classes, homeroom, parent meetings, even parent meetings for Back to School Nights. That’s how quickly things have changed!

I was in a Zoom meeting this morning and got put into a breakout session with a group of 6th graders in a Homeroom class. They were charged with talking about the things they needed to be happy in the classroom environment and were asked to identify what they needed from their peers in order to be happy. The answers were insightful and poignant. Students shared that they needed to be respected, listened to, and extended grace and understanding. It was amazing to see and be a part of.

I was in a Zoom meeting one evening this week with a group of parents and a teaching team. One parent commented in the chat, “This is the best Back to School Night I’ve ever attended.” Afterwards one of the teachers stated, “We may use this format forever! We had much greater family attendance, participation, and thoughtful questions. We could take our time in answering all the parent questions.”

Many educational leaders have stated that school as we once knew it will be forever changed by COVID-19 and the need to move to remote learning. In some respects, education will be much better for it.

Happy Zooming,


Get ready for Rotation 2 starting October 12

On Monday, October 12, we will start the second rotation and students will begin new classes. They will need to refer to the original paper schedule they received at the supply pick up or check Skyward to see what their next classes are and what period they are scheduled for. Use the updated remote learning schedule template (see below) to transfer the Skyward schedule to the remote learning schedule. Teachers will email students with calendar invitations and Zoom links to their new classes prior to the start of classes on Monday, October 12.

Rotation 2 Schedules:

6th grade

7th grade

8th grade

Attendance Counts - even on Wednesday!

Attendance is being taken in every Zoom class, and for independent work on Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, after attending homeroom, students should be checking Teams for each class and connecting with all of their teachers. This is true even if they had a Team Meeting for homeroom!

If a student is unable to attend class for any reason, parents/guardians should contact Beth Pelto-Fishbeck by email, beth.pelto-fishbeck@bellinghamschools.org or by phone (360) 676-6460, option 1 to excuse the absence. Emails from students to teachers will not excuse an absence, however they should still reach out to teachers to find out what work they will miss and get assignments. If there are any questions on attendance, please contact Beth Pelto-Fishbeck.

Curbside library book pick-up on Wednesdays!

Students can now select books to read from our school library. Click on the image above or on this link to request a book by Tuesday evening. Pick-up and drop-off will happen every Wednesday, 4:00 - 5:30 pm.

Hello from the remote Counseling Office!

It’s hard to believe we’re already wrapping up our third week of remote learning. I know there have been some challenges along the way, but there have also been some successes. Most of our kids are connecting and interacting with teachers and peers on a daily basis. Molly and I have been popping into various Homeroom Zoom meetings and have really enjoyed seeing the kids and hearing how things are going. We witnessed a great show-and-tell with pets in the first week; it’s so fun to see the kids’ faces light up when they introduce their dog, cat, gecko…!

All this screen-time is challenging for me, and I hear I’m not alone in that, so I’m working on making sure I take brain breaks where I get away from the computer for a little bit, walk around the house, get a drink of water, or stretch. I hope you’re all remembering to do the things that help you feel your best, too! And, don’t forget, we’re here to help however we can. I can be reached at (360) 739-6186 and Molly can be reached at (360) 739-4555.


For more information about TSA, check out our website: http://whatcomtsa.weebly.com/

Advisor: Kristen Schlegel

Click here to sign up.

More clubs coming soon - stay tuned!

Athletics are on Hold...

The 1st and 2nd sports seasons (Track, Soccer, Floor Exercise & Dance, Boys' Basketball) are postponed until further notice. If and when sports resume, and your student would like to participate, you may proactively complete the registration process through Final Forms. Physicals may be mailed to Whatcom Middle School, 810 Halleck St., Bellingham, WA 98225. If you have questions, email Angela.markowski@bellinghamschools.org.

Whatcom Middle School PTSA

During this unprecedented time, PTSA is more important than ever. PTSA’s framework of unifying voices for impactful changes for children and youth provides the tools to empower parents and teachers to advocate and speak up for the health, safety, and education of every child.

Whatcom Middle School PTSA is committed to providing teachers and students with the same level of excellent service this year. We are asking you to join PTSA by following the link below. Thank you for your help and please support your PTSA.


PTSA meetings will be on Zoom, unless otherwise posted. A zoom link will be sent out prior to the meeting.

  • October 20
  • November 17
  • December 15
  • January 19
  • February 16
  • March 16
  • April 20
  • May 18
  • June 15

Good Food Project continues

We encourage all families to pick up a free box of 14 meals and support our food services program and the Good Food Project in Bellingham Public Schools, as well as our local community. In every week’s box, we will provide a scratch-made entrée out of our Central Kitchen with ingredients sources from local farms when available. Now is a great time to bring the school cafeteria into your home with these meals. By picking up a box, you will keep farmers in business, district staff employed and families fed.

Every Wednesday boxes will be distributed from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Whatcom Middle School.

Update your contact information on Skylert

Skylert enables you to receive notifications concerning your children, including messages from Bellingham Public Schools and your child’s school. You have control over which notifications to receive and how you would like to receive them. Skylert is accessed via Skyward Family Access, so it is no longer necessary to login to a separate portal for SchoolMessenger to manage contact preferences.

Click here for step by step instructions to update phone numbers, email addresses and set your preferences.

Whatcom Middle School

Principal: Jeff Coulter

Assistant Principal: Tina Allsop

Administrative Assistant: Aileen Walton

(360) 676-6460

  • Attendance, option 1
  • Athletics, option 2
  • Registrar/Counseling, option 3
  • Main office, option 4