Kulshan Connect

March 4, 2022

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

Volunteers Needed: Spring Dance

Great news! Our Kulshan ASB will host their first dance/social in over two years on Wednesday, March 30, from 3:45-5:30 pm. Admission is free. All food and drink items (pizza, candy, chips, drinks) are $1:00-2.00 Food tickets will be available for $1 each and will be sold at the dance and during lunches for a few days before. The Commons, courtyard, and gym will all be available for students. We would love to have adult volunteers help us out! Click this Sign Up Genius to volunteer. Thank you for helping out!

March 8 PTSA Meeting

Join us on Tuesday, March 8 at 6:30 PM to connect with our Kulshan Counselors. Our counselors will be talking about how to support students with mental health. We will be emailing out the Zoom link to all KMS families on the morning of March 8. We would love to see you there!

High School Course Requests

Our T-Bird Time teachers have been helping 8th graders enter their course requests. Curious about which courses are available? Then check out our new Course Catalog! Your choice requests are due by March 21 in your Skyward page under "Schedule." Email Michelle Strobel or your T-Bird Time teacher if you have questions. Also, mark your calendar for Incoming 9th grader Family Nights:

  • Monday, March 14th for Bellingham High School
  • Tuesday, March 15th for Sehome and Squalicum HS
  • Monday, March 21st for Options HS

Mask Mandate Lifted March 12

When the mask mandate is lifted, you may noticed that your student may be feeling excited or anxious and some may have questions. All responses are valid. Please know that all of our teachers will be ready to support your student during this transition. Teachers will be using these power points: elementary and secondary. You can also email our BPS health team or our KMS counselors with feedback, questions or comments. Thank you!

March 5 and March 26: Saturday Vaccine Clinics

Saturday, March 5 at Shuksan Middle School, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Appointments & walk ups available. Sign up online.

A $25 gift card will be provided to all individuals who get vaccinated at this event, courtesy of the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation.

Saturday, March 26 at Shuksan Middle School, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Appointments & walk ups available. Sign up online.

A $25 gift card will be provided to all individuals who get vaccinated at this event, courtesy of the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation.

Strengthening Families

Kulshan Middle School is partnering with WSU extension and Whatcom County Health Department to host a Strengthening Families Program Wednesday evenings 5:30- 8 pm April 13- May 25 for youth ages 10-14 And their Caregivers. Over seven weeks, families learn communication skills, stress management tools, and ways to connect. Families will meet once a week for 2 hours to connect and learn together. Meetings will be once a week, and a light dinner and childcare will be provided. Click here for more information and to register.

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Instructional Spotlight

Julie Bennett has been teaching at Kulshan Middle School since the very beginning, when the doors opened here in 1996. She teaches 8th grade science, and her students are investigating the similarities and differences between modern and fossil cephalopods (squid). In order to make these comparisons, students look at diagrams of cephalopod fossils and compare them to the market squid (the kind of squid that make up calamari) and they dissect them class. Student use scissors, forceps, and plastic trays to analyze the different anatomical structures, locating the mouth, ink sac, gills, beak, and other organs. The reason for doing this is that students consider why some species evolve very little over time while others change dramatically.

One of the impressive aspects of Ms. Bennett's planning (alongside Ms. Malkovich's work, who is the other 8th grade science teacher) is that take this real-life analysis and apply their learning with a computer modeling tool to see the impact of the environment and mutations over time for a given species. Over many generations, students see the adaptive traits that are helpful to a species' survival, and begin to answer many questions about speciation (the formation of a new distinct species). This is some college-level learning.

What is most impressive in this work is that Ms. Bennett provides a thoughtful balance of hands on work, and uses technology to simulate a model that is hard to replicate in a classroom within a single period. By doing this, students can zoom in and out on evolutionary biology concepts to gain a deeper understanding of this scientific phenomena. Ms. Bennett and our 8th graders are doing impressive work.

Questions to ask our kids at home:

  • What is the importance of what you learned in class today?
  • How does this lesson connect to the big picture of the unit?
  • Why is this important in the future?

KMS Band and Orchestra Concerts

Thank you to Ms. Petaia and our amazing Kulshan musicians! Our Band and Orchestra students did an amazing job playing in person in our Commons on February 15 and 16. Here is the Band Concert and the Orchestra Concert in case you were unable to attend in person and you want to watch.

Kulshan Garden Update

We are so excited to announce that we are starting to prepare the garden for spring planting and spring garden lessons. We are starting to see some signs of spring in the garden with trees budding in the food forest and weeds starting to go to flower. Spring garden lessons start on March 28th. Please reach out this year’s Common Threads Food Educator, Karey Sharp, if you have any questions about garden activities or volunteer opportunities.

Idle Free Pick Up

Idle Free Pick-up at Kulshan: Did you know that idling your car for 10 minutes can put a pound of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? As you pick up your students from school or practice and are waiting in your car, we ask that you refrain from idling cars. Thanks for helping us preserve healthy air for our kids while putting less carbon in the air!

WCHD Vaccine Clinics

Our Whatcom County Health Department continues to offer clinics and pop up clinics throughout Whatcom County. Check out all of the dates and locations. For some of the clinics, they are offering $50 gift cards for people getting a first or second dose. Yay!

Homework Club Snacks Needed

Our Kulshan Homework Club is growing and we are in need of snacks! We would love to have some (non-perishable) snacks and drinks donated so that students can get a snack while having a supportive place to work on homework. Please use this Sign Up Genius link. When dropping off your snack donations to our Main Office, please let our front office staff know that this is for Homework Club. (i.e. not our Food Pantry). Thank you!

New District Calendar

We have updated our district calendar here to make up for our winter weather and flooding. Please note that March 11 and May 20 are now normal, full school days. We have also updated our A/B Calendar. If you have any questions about our calendars, please reach out to our main office at Kulshan. Thank you.

Winter Sports at KMS

We have had a great start to our Winter Sports Season!! Students can still sign up for these sports on Final Forms. Our sports are 7th and 8th Grade Girls Volleyball (after school daily in the Gym from 3:45 - 5:30 PM) and All Grades and All Gender Wrestling (after school in our Commons from 3:45 - 5:30 PM) If you have any questions about Final Forms or your student's registration, please call our main office at KMS 360-676-4886 or email Lisa Scott / 360-676-4886 x4708. Go Thunderbirds!

Attendance Office Reminders

Just a reminder to 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 Cindy Schuitema or Jeneen Durand or call 360-676-4886 before 9:00 AM. By taking this step, your child will be ready in the office when you arrive. Also, our automatic attendance messages to parents go out one time per day, at 3:45 PM. Thank you!

Human Growth and HIV Lessons

Our Kulshan PE teachers will be sharing out the Human Growth and Development and HIV lessons that we will be teaching this Spring. Washington State requires HIV/AIDS prevention education for all students, and families are often curious about the materials and information that will be shared with students. Our PE teachers teach specific lessons which can be previewed here. As always, families may opt their child out of these Human Growth and Development & HIV/AIDS lessons. Please let your child's PE teacher know in writing if that is your choice. Thank you!

Summer Scholarships

The Assistance League of Bellingham will once again be offering summer enrichment scholarships to middle school students in Whatcom County. I am happy to report that we are able to provide up to $400 for each student this summer. I hope you will encourage your students to apply. Last year, middle school students used their scholarships to attend a variety of local summer programs including Wild Whatcom, BellinghamART, Dancing for Joy, Camp Kirby, Volunteens, Chamber Days and Mountain Biking Youth Trail Corps. Applications are due by March 17th and scholarship winners will be notified by April 12th. The applicants must complete an application form, respond to an essay question, have their parent or guardian sign a publicity consent form and ask a non-relative to complete a recommendation form. Contact your school counselors with questions or to get an application: Michelle Strobel, Lacey Bachman, Aaron Tiger.

Free Family Podcasts

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 and you can check their online option, which can be done from the comfort of your home. There is no cost involved 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 Encouraging Good Behavior. Also disponible: Alentando el Buen Comportamiento

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!

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.

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. Thank you!

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

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.

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