Kulshan Connect

November 19, 2021

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

PTSA Holiday Gift Drive

With the holidays coming soon, it’s time for our annual Giving Drive. This year, we’re asking for donations of gift cards and treats. Last year's gift cards and packaged treats made such a huge impact on our families, we decided to do the same thing again this year. All gift cards and treats can be dropped off during school hours: 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM in the KMS front office by Friday, December 10. If you are able to make a donation, please let us know by signing up!

Progress Reports Heading Your Way

We are sending progress reports home with students in their backpacks. To access electronic copies of progress reports, login to Skyward Family Acces. Then click on Gradebook to see weekly updates. (OR) Click on Portfolio along the left margin, then click on the report that you would like to view, which will open as a PDF document. If you need to reset your password, go to the Skyward login webpage and click “Forgot My Password.” If you are not sure what your account login is, contact our registrar, Tatiana Samora.

Wed, Nov 24 ASB Spirit Day

ASB is having a Spirit Day on Wednesday, November 24. The theme is "Dress Up as Someone You're Thankful For." (i.e. a parent, grandparent, friend, famous person) Reminder! Wednesday, November 24 is an Early Release Day and students are released at 12:00 PM. Thank you!

Dec 1: KMS ASB MOD Pizza Fundraiser

Thank you for the amazing support at our first MOD Pizza fundraiser. Our next MOD day is Wednesday, December 1. All ASB fundraisers this year support Kulshan ASB and this year's charity partner, Northwest Youth Services! Mention "Kulshan ASB" when you order in person or by phone, or use the code GR204670K for online or app orders. Tell your friends, relatives, and neighbors, too!

Learning Together

To recognize and celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November, we want to highlight Native Knowledge 360 - a resource we use to offer new perspectives on Native American history and cultures. Giving thanks is a longstanding and central tradition among most Native groups that is still practiced today. Learn about different thanksgiving traditions among Native people. If you talk about the “First Thanksgiving" with your family, use these resources and more to present the history more accurately and with Native perspectives.

Boys Basketball

Our Boys Basketball practices are after school in our gym from 4:00 - 5:30 PM. Our basketball coaches are Pete Lupo and Brittany Lewis. More information can be found on our KMS Athletics page. Because basketball is considered an indoor high-contact sport, unvaccinated students will be rapid tested for COVID two times per week. Go Thunderbirds!

Dance & Tumbling

Dance & Tumbling takes place before school at 8:00 AM. Our coaches are Melissa Mateus and Chloe Boland. More information can be found on our KMS Athletics page. If you have any questions about Dance and Tumbling, please email Lisa Scott, our Athletics Registrar or call 360-676-4886 x4708.

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!

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Kulshan Instructional Spotlight

Pearl Petaia is new to Kulshan Middle School this year, teaching all of our music enrichment courses (e.g. band, orchestra, guitar, etc.). A great strength of her instruction is improving student performance through real-time coaching and feedback that supports rapid development in their musical progression. The key move that she makes is interrupting at the point of error. Ms. Petaia creates a safe culture to make mistakes and uses these mistakes as learning opportunities. Mistakes are viewed as an important part of getting better as a musician. In her orchestra class, one can see this in practice as students are playing. The moment she hears something that doesn’t meet the “bar of excellence”, she takes a moment to pause and ask students to self-assess. It is most common to see her cold call students from around the class to ask them to evaluate their group and individual performance to diagnose the areas for improvement. Questions like “what did you think about that?”, “How did we sound?”, “Did we accomplisha our goal?” One of the most impressive aspects of her instruction is how she sets students up to give feedback to one another (as seen in the photo below), where students support one another through this cycle of feedback. Dang, kids are doing really cool stuff.

These specific actions lead to students becoming more reflective and instilling a habit of self-reflection that will lead to improvement not just with their instruments, this skill transfers to other areas of their future lives. Kids are making a lot of progress in music, and it has been a joy to watch. Consider asking the following questions to your own kids when talking about a skill they have been working on:

  • What is something you did exceptionally well today?
  • What is something you would adjust to get better?
  • How could you be more effective the next time you practice this skill?

Written by Tyler Dockins, Instructional Coach

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.

Child Tax Credit

Did you know?

  • All families should be receiving up to $300 a month for each child through the Child Tax Credit. This is your money to help with the cost of raising your children.
  • Even if your family doesn’t typically need to file taxes, filling out the Non-Filer Form this year could help you claim the Child Tax Credit, worth up to $3,600 per child.
  • Visit the Child Tax Credit Information page to learn more about eligibility and the program, or to sign up. #ChildTaxCredit
  • The deadline for non-filers to sign up for the tax credit payments is November 15.

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.

Need Holiday Support?

When you think about the holidays, are you feeling anxious about trying to buy presents and put food on the table? We have many communiy groups who provide various items and services to families in Whatcom County during this time of the year. Please check out this list of resources on our district website. You can also reach out to one of our KMS counselors for advice and support.

Kulshan Food Pantry

Our Kulshan Food Pantry is back! Please use our Sign Up Genius if you can. If you are dropping off non-perishable food or healthcare items for the pantry, please deliver to our KMS front office and let them know it's for the food pantry. We greatly appreciate the ways our families come together to support our Kulshan community. If you and your family are in need of food support, please reach out to any of our Kulshan counselors: Aaron Tiger, Michelle Strobel, or Lacey Bachman.

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