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Bethel B-Mail: January 2012
The most enjoyable part of my job as superintendent is the opportunity to visit classrooms and seeing our teachers and students in action. We have great teachers, and you have amazing kids.
I also enjoy meeting with our staff members to share information and try to answer whatever questions they might have. I know there are lots of questions about recent law changes, needs in our district, and the budget.
That’s why I’ve begun another round of informational meetings with every school and every department in Bethel School District. These days the questions are often about budget issues, and that’s understandable.
So, check out this page from my blog. It has answers to Frequently Asked Questions about school finances that may answer your questions about school funding. I’m happy to try to answer questions from staff, families, and community members.
In the meantime, congratulations…your kids are amazing in school. And our teachers are downright incredible.
314 And Counting
Have you heard about this? High quality, personalized heath care for all Bethel kids is being offered at the Bethel Student Health Center.
Since its grand opening in September, the Student Health Center has already had 314 appointments for Bethel kids.
Located in a renovated room inside Cascade Middle School, the Health Center has diagnosed and treated asthma, disbetes, and other chronic illnesses.
The Nurse Practitioner on staff has helped older students with depression, anxiety, obesity, concussions, alcohol and tobacco problems. She has dealt with everything from a brain tumor to ingrown toenails and vaccinations.
No students are turned away for inability to pay. The Health Center accepts private insurance, Oregon Health Plan, and patients who are uninsured.
Check out Bethel Student Health Center online, and remember it’s there when your child needs medical care.
A big improvement is taking place at Willamette High School, and much of it is hidden from view.
During winter break, Bethel’s maintenance crew installed 26 new wireless routers throughout the school. Now the internet can be accessed wirelessly from most areas of the campus.
It’s part of a continuing plan to upgrade the technology at WHS. The number of computers in the library and computer lab has been nearly doubled with newer computers in the last year.
Numerous teachers have received Bethel Education Fund and Bethel Booster grants for document cameras, projectors and laptops. And plans are also in the works to bring even more new systems into Willamette classrooms.
There was one ironic twist to the wireless project. Providing wireless internet required the stringing of 18,000 feet of wire through the school’s ceiling to connect each of the routers.
All The Write Reasons
Hundreds of Bethel kids are getting a boost in creative writing for the next three months.
The district’s annual Talented and Gifted Writing Workshops are beginning, with Louisa Lindsay Sprouse using Greek mythology to spark the imagination of some select Bethel students.
The kids, from third grade through eighth, have been identified as gifted or highly motivated writers. They will attend workshops where Sprouse will use tales from the Iliad and Odyssey to bring out their imaginative thinking and writing.
Sprouse teaches in the UO’s Youth Enrichment/TAG Programs and is founding director of the Young Writers Association. She has guided the Writing Workshops in Bethel for four years, thanks to a grant from the Chintimini Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation.
The finish line is months away but the race has already begun to build the renowned Electrathon cars at Willamette.
Students are working in groups to build 13 battery powered cars that they’ll race in Oregon and Washington during the spring and summer.
They are designing, bending, grinding and welding the cars from scratch, creating racers to fit the size of the team’s chosen driver.
EWEB is the real difference-maker for the popular program, providing $12,000 for parts and supplies and a few thousand more for the competitions.
Willamette is a traditional powerhouse on the Electrathon racing circuit, and it all begins with the type of work students are doing right now.
Help For The Holidays
Bethel students and staff have a long history of supporting the community, especially during the holiday season. Below are just a few of the many community service endeavors undertaken in Bethel School District leading up to the holidays.
A Signal Of Change
There is a lot of change taking place at Willamette, Bethel’s flagship school.
There’s the distinct emphasis on college and career readiness, the physical improvements and beautification efforts in and outside of the building, the technology upgrades, and the significantly improving state test scores.
One more sign of change is the new school logo, which now features a wolverine claw slash across the Willamette W.
The design is the work of Willamette Improvement Team students and the WHS staff in an effort to create one unified logo for Willamette’s academic and athletic materials.
Look for the new W on sports uniforms, school letterhead, and everywhere the W is proudly shown.
The $25,000 Giveaway
After months of fundraising, the Bethel Education Foundation experienced the real fun…surprising 41 Bethel educators with a total of $25,000 in grants. The money will fund everything from new laptops, document cameras and projectors, to books, science supplies and equipment, kitchen tools and field trips.
Here’s what it was like for the BEF during their surprise grant presentations.