Bethel School District Eugene OR

Bethel B-mail: October 2017


A Reason To Smile

Governor Kate Brown took extra time to pose for dozens of photos with students at Willamette. She chose WHS to sign the Measure 98 funding bill because of its robust CTE program.

This was a pretty special. The Governor chose Willamette High School to sign the Measure 98 bill, which provides funding for Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, dropout prevention programs, and college credit opportunities.

Governor Brown toured WHS, impressed by stops in the Industrial Arts, Robotics, Motion Graphics, and Graphic Arts classes.

She reminded students packed into the lecture hall for the signing ceremony that they were very fortunate to be attending Willamette with all it has to offer. Check out Wil-Hi’s extensive CTE program.

We are proud of the CTE classes at WHS, but we’re more proud of the students and teachers in those programs. And now Measure 98 funds will help Bethel expand its CTE offerings, even to the middle school level.

Chris Parra
Bethel Superintendent


The Class Of 2030

Bethel students prepare for their KITS graduation ceremony. Bethel has been a leader in the KITS program which is now spreading across the county.

It is the cutest graduation ceremony the world has ever seen. Period!

That might be a little embellished, but the cuteness factor was off the charts at the annual KITS graduation.

76 Bethel kindergartners in KITS (Kids in Transition to School) completed their summer and fall program and celebrated with mortarboards and diplomas.

KITS is a free school-readiness program designed to boost children’s literacy, self-regulation, and social skills. Their parents have also been attending KITS workshops since July.

Bethel was a pioneer with KITS, and it’s now expanding across Lane county because good ideas are worth sharing. Meanwhile, these KITS grads will wear mortarboards again as the high school class of 2030.


Lighting The Fire of Learning

Kalapuya students work to get their stoves fired up. They also learned about the environmental and cultural context of the stoves, which are used by some of the poorest people around the world.

Here’s a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) assignment that’s currently relevant and locally significant.

By building small wood-burning stoves to boil water, Kalapuya students are studying the laws of conservation of matter and conservation of energy, the efficiency of systems, and combustion chemistry.

But there’s a lot more. Millions of the poorest people around the world use these types of stoves every day. Students are beginning to understand the environmental and cultural context of the stoves, which can lead to accidental fires, indoor air pollution, and deforestation in the search for more wood.

Along with all the academic aspects of the stove project, students are also learning about the efforts at the Aprovecho Research Center in Cottage Grove, which has worked for decades to improve the efficiency and safety of cookstoves available to people worldwide.


Recognition For Rose And Dodd

Meadow View teacher Rose Peck has been selected as an Oregon 2017-18 Civic Scholar.

This was a surprise for Rose Peck and Allison Dodd.

The Meadow View and Prairie Mountain teachers have been named a 2017-18 Civic Scholars by Senator James Manning. 

Every state legislator is naming two teachers to be Civic Scholars, a program to enhance high quality professional development for teachers in Civics education.

Rose was nominated and selected in part because she does not shy away from teaching about current events, social justice, and controversial issues. But she does so from multiple perspectives.

Both Dodd and Rose will attend a special teachers’ Civics conference at the state capitol, learning strategies from master teachers and hearing presenters from each branch of state government.

Accepting an opportunity to become an even better teacher sounds just like something they would do.


A Pretty Big Deal

Noted American composer Augusta Read Thomas directs Willamette’s Wind Ensemble as part of the Eugene Symphony Orchestra’s artist-in-residence program.

One music critic says, “She is without question one of the best and most important composers that this country has today.”

You can read about her here.

So, what was Augusta Read Thomas doing with Willamette High School Wind Ensemble students?

She is the Eugene Symphony Orchestra’s (ESO’s) artist-in-residence this season, and WHS was the fortunate recipient of the ESO’s educational outreach program.

Thomas talked to students about how she composes music, and answered a lot of questions. She will visit Willamette again in April when the Wind Ensemble will perform Thomas’ Magneticfireflies.

And even through she’s a pretty big deal, Thomas is very down to earth and was happy to pose for photos with the students.


Youth, Social Media, And Parents, Oh My

Parents take in the information on keeping their kids safe online, including how to approach and have conversations with their children regarding the appropriate use of social media.

Safety. That was the key word for dozens of parents who attended the Tweens, Teens and Technology night.

Adults heard from teenagers about how parents can approach and have conversations with their children regarding appropriate use of social media.

There were also tips on trust-building with kids, and how parents can help guide children’s online behavior while still allowing a certain amount of the freedom teenagers desire.

Legal ramifications were clearly explained, how misbehavior online can have serious consequences at school and beyond, especially in the legal system.

In the end, parents teach their kids about safety all the time, from crossing the street to driving a car. Online is one more place where those safety tools apply.


Excellence Rewarded

The staff at the Bethel Health Center take a moment to celebrate receiving a School-Based Health Center Excellence award.

These people know excellence when they see it.

The Oregon School Based Health Center division presented the SBHC Excellence Award to the Bethel Health Center.

The Health Center implemented dozens of improvements over the last year, including:

  • Changing sports physicals to well-child exams
  • Increased mental health services
  • Prescribing birth control
  • Remodeling their space inside Cascade Middle School
  • Starting a Youth Advisory Committee
  • Implementing a new electronic health record system

The award recognizes all the improvements but the honor took the Health Center by surprise. They’re accustomed to working hard for improved student health, not pausing to collect attaboys.

However, they’ll take it as further evidence that Bethel has a great resource for students and staff.

Call the Bethel Health Center to learn more or make an appointment: 541-607-1430.


Walking And Rolling

Teacher Brittany Dorris leads one of the four large groups of Prairie Mountain students to school. They are planning to make walking and riding to school at least a weekly event.

The school buses were nearly empty, the school parking lots were open, but the sidewalks were filled with happy students.

Walk and Roll to School Day was a big hit throughout Bethel as all of the district’s elementary and middle schools took part.

The annual event is a chance for students – and parents – to understand that getting out of the car to walk or ride to school can be a safe and healthy choice.

Prairie Mountain School was particularly engaged, with more than 200 students joining the fun. Four large groups of students forming “walking school buses” approached the school from different directions.

Parents at Prairie Mountain are now planning on starting Walking Wednesday groups, with adults escorting groups of kids as they walk or ride to school.


Oregon Harvest Day

Lynn Thomas from Lochmead Dairy hands out cartons of milk at Clear Lake’s lunchtime. He was among the farmers, growers, and food suppliers serving their own food during Bethel’s annual Oregon Harvest Day.

These are not the school lunches adults experienced when they were kids. Bethel’s Oregon Harvest Day makes that clear.

All of our school lunches were made up exclusively of food grown and produced in Oregon. Most of the food is from the Eugene area, and some is straight from the Bethel Farm located between Kalapuya and Prairie Mountain schools.

The district-operated Bethel Farm provided fresh squash, tomatoes, peppers, kale, and garlic.

Folks from Franz Bakery, Camas Country Mill, Lochmead Dairy, Emerald Fruit and Produce, and Childers Meat showed up at Clear Lake School to serve their own food to students.

Bethel School District already has an outstanding reputation as a state leader in serving fresh, locally grown food in school meals every day. Oregon Harvest Day lets everyone else know it.


The Mouth Matters

Lew Yang and Stacey McElhaney examine a student during the Dental Clinic at the Bethel Health Center. White Bird Dental is providing the free service every other Friday.

For the third consecutive year a team effort is providing free dental service to Bethel students, because a healthy mouth leads to a more healthy body.

The Bethel (School District) Health Center, White Bird Dental, and the Oregon Community Foundation are coming together to again offer free dental clinics throughout the school year.

Every other Friday a dentist and hygienists from White Bird set up a dental chair in the Bethel Health Center, located inside Cascade Middle School. Kids are given appointments so they miss very little school time.

All Bethel students are eligible and it’s free because the clinic is funded by an OCF grant. It’s intended to provide emergency dental services to students who are in immediate need.  

Click here to learn more about the program and to arrange an appointment.

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