Kulshan Connect

February 18, 2022

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

Think Big Student Club Challenge is Back!

The Bellingham Public School's Foundation wants to hear from student clubs that have an inspiring BIG idea that they would put into action if they had additional resources OR what your club could be doing better if you just had more funds. Finalists will be invited to appear live on stage on March 29th to pitch your BIG idea before a live audience and panel of distinguished community judges. Imagine the ingenuity of “Shark Tank” coupled with the excitement of “America’s Got Talent!”. Top prize: $2,500 Runners up: $2,000-$1,000

Apply by Friday Feb 25th, on-line at: www.bellinghamschoolsfoundation.org

Former KMS Students Now Coaching!

We are so excited to have not one, but TWO wrestling coaches this season who are former Kulshan students. Our Assistant Wrestling coach this season is Morgan Cavalier, who wrestled for Kulshan MS and Bellingham HS. We also have Rorey Stevenson as a volunteer wrestling coach, who also wrestled for Kulshan and Bellingham. We love having our KMS students return to coach in our Kulshan community.

BPS Budget Planning

As we build our budget for 2022-23, an important part of our process is input from our community. As you think about your school, department, or child’s school, where would you invest more resources if you could? Said another way, if we receive additional funding from the state, where would you like to see that money go? Please fill out this form to share your input by 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25. We will share draft budget highlights later this spring as we prepare our final budget for the 2022-23 school year.

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!

Attention Kulshan Parents!

Join us via Zoom on February 23rd from 5:30-7pm for a DVSAS workshop to better equip adults with skills and tools to discuss relationships and sexuality with young people. This presentation will cover:

  • How to Navigate Challenging Conversations
  • How to Identify Victim-Blaming Behavior
  • The Role of Youth Autonomy in Preventing Teen Dating Violence

Attendees will receive a $15 Gift Card for participation. Adults can register here.

We appreciate any help in spreading the word about this incredible community opportunity.

You can contact the Kulshan counselors with any questions!

Feb 24 Vaccine Clinic

We have a local vaccine clinic coming up, open to everyone and all ages including for children 5-11 years old and 12+ (including boosters). The clinic will be held on Thursday, Feb. 24 at Birchwood Elementary School, 2:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.. Sign up here.

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!

High School Course Catalog

Are you an 8th grader? Are you interested in looking at all of the courses offered in our local high schools? Then check out our new Course Catalog! Your teachers and counselors will be helping you register for high school this spring. This is an exciting time as you think about finishing up your 8th grade year and starting high school.

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!

Big picture

Instructional Spotlight

Adam Shaffer is in his 4th year at Kulshan Middle School, and is our amazing librarian. Instructionally, Mr. Shaffer is an expert at student investment. Alongside other reading teachers and Ms. Stephanie (Assistant Librarian) at Kulshan, he intentionally builds a strong reading culture in the school through many above and beyond efforts. Primarily, Mr. Shaffer ensures that students have access to high quality books. For example, he wrote a grant to increase the access to manga books, and the Bellingham Schools Foundation was impressed by the request, they extended the offer to all four middle schools in Bellingham. He also ensures that that students have access to books by authors of color, female authors, and authors from many different backgrounds who tell stories about characters with varied experiences. When students see themselves in a story, a book, or in an author, they are more likely to read. Every single kid in Kulshan Middle School can see themselves in our library. This is also due to his belief that the library should be a fun space, one can walk into the library during our lunches and see nearly 40-50 students reading, playing games/puzzles, and hanging out with friends. You won’t find a perfectly silent library at Kulshan with a librarian shushing students. The library is a space of joy. Because of this, if a student is reluctant reader at first, eventually they tend to pick up a book because they love the library so much. Whether it is classroom visits doing a read-aloud to kids, hosting read-alouds in the library, or ensuring kids have fun in our reading space, Mr. Shaffer matches kids with their perfect books and sparks a joy for reading that hopefully lasts a lifetime.

Feb 18: Report Cards

Looking for your students' Semester 1 Report Card? You can view their progress in Skyward and we will be mailing home Report Cards on February 18. If you have questions about their progress, please reach out to your student's teachers or our registrar, Tatiana Samora. Thank you!

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.

6th grade Choir Concert

Thank you to Ms. Petaia and our 6th grade Choir for organizing and showcasing their incredible talent. It was a joy to celebrate music and singing this season. Here is the video in case you were unable to attend in person.

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!

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. Thanks for partnering with us to help your students learn healthy phone boundaries.

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!

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