Bethel B-mail: December 2017
Weather Or Not
Now’s the time to follow me on Twitter at @Bethel_Supt . With the weather turning cold I’ll provide all the updated school closures and delays.
You are also encouraged to download the FlashAlert app. This is the same system we use to notify local media of closures and delays.
And finally, you can always check the district web page or your school’s web page for the very latest information.
If you hear nothing about weather-related closures from any of these sources, even local media, it means school is operating on its regular schedule. No news is good news.
After last year’s rash of icy weather, we want you to be prepared. Now, if Mother Nature will just cooperate….
Friends Bearing Gifts
It’s getting to be a habit for Fairfield music teacher Stacie Wicks. For the second time in a matter of weeks, Wicks’ class was interrupted by people bringing gifts.
Northwest Community Credit Union’s CEO John Iglesias and friends presented Wicks with nearly $1,000 worth of the musical instruments she’d requested in a grant application. Then they splurged, handing over an extra $1,000 in cash so she could do even more for her students.
Just a few weeks before, Wicks had accepted nearly $1,300 from the Bethel Education Foundation for iPads to create a music composition center in her classroom.
NWCU’s Project Community mini-grant program is delivering $58,000 to schools throughout the region. Kate Aly-Brady at Danebo, Jacquie Bratland at Irving and Dain Nelson at Willamette also received NWCU grants.
We are deeply grateful to NWCU (and the BEF) for the genuine caring and support for Bethel students.
Middle School Opportunities
Bethel 8th graders will soon be able to take CTE (Career Technical Education) courses in Culinary Arts, Robotics and Digital Design.
A $332,000 grant from the state is making it possible.
The “CTE Cruise” program starts next fall, opening up after-school classes for 8th graders at Cascade and Shasta Middle Schools, and Meadow View and Prairie Mountain K-8 Schools.
The 12 week rotations will feed directly into the established and popular Culinary, Robotics and Digital Design classes now being offered at Willamette High School.
So, 8th graders will have a chance to try them out before reaching WHS.
In addition, the CTE Cruise courses will serve to attract more girls to the CTE programs in which they have traditionally been underrepresented, such as robotics.
Sprinkles From The Bike Fairy
While students were in school, the Bike Fairy from Safe Routes to School was leaving special gifts on bikes parked outside.
Bags that included a bike headlight, granola bar, sticker, and a thank you note were left on bikes and scooters at Cascade Middle School and Prairie Mountain School.
The random act is intended to encourage continued riding among students, even during the winter months.
The Bike Fairy (SRTS’s Carolyn Chase) promises to be back, leaving surprises among the bike racks as incentives for students to choose their feet or wheels to get to school.
The All-Star Band
This is a special year for the Willamette Jazz Band. Their music is terrific. And now, this.
The Wil-Hi performers will take part in workshops with world-class educators before performing with Stafford.
WHS was awarded eight of the 18 available spots in the All-Star Big Band, despit hundreds of students from throughout the Northwest auditioning.
Honors go to Wes Georgiev, Isael Alvarez, Eric Deaton, Micah Fuller, Jeff Mugleston, Sam Prentice, Cedaira Thomson, and Bailey Williams.
Doing The Double-Check
This is a team effort. It has to be in order to check out more than 400 students.
Bethel’s annual Health Screenings includes all Kindergarten – 5th grade students.
Bethel’s nurses are joined by Lions Club volunteers, dental hygienists and assistants from the Community Health Centers of Lane County, students from Willamette High School, and parent helpers.
The state requires dental screening for our very youngest students, but all of Bethel’s K-5 kids were checked. If hygienists see a potential problem, White Bird Dental Clinic contacts parents about their free dental services scheduled at the Bethel Health Center twice a month. Vision screening by the Lions can also lead to a referral.
Keeping children healthy and ready to learn. It’s a win-win effort.
Singing Their Praise
Eight Willamette singers have been selected to the All-State Choir, the most that anyone can remember coming from WHS in a single year.
It’s a strong senior class: Daniel Gerlach, Megan Sherman, Camille Nash, Moura Stewart, Colin TaylorMays and Elena Zilar were chosen, along with junior Clara Lloyd and sophomore Cormac Gill.
The Willamette singers will attend the All-State Festival during MLK weekend in January, culminating with a concert at the Hult Center on Sunday January 14th.
The Bethel tradition of strong music programs continues.
Face To Face
It’s one of the most important times of the school year. Parent-teacher conferences provide the opportunity to talk one-on-one, uninterrupted, with the focus solely on the child.
The just-completed conferences in grades K-8 followed the November conferences at the high school level.
At conferences, Bethel’s On-Track For Success Report is shared with parents. It’s a long-term look at student achievement, and how today’s progress is leading to graduation.
Ideally, the communication between teachers and parents is ongoing and a partnership is strengthened, with everyone working for the child’s successful school experience.
Listening To The Community Voice
Measure 101, supports for children, voter participation, homelessness, and Career Technical Education. Those were some of the topics discussed at a Bethel Town Hall meeting hosted at Willamette High School.
State Representative Julie Fahey invited Senator James Manning, City Councilor Greg Evans, Mayor Lucy Vinis, County Commissioner Pat Farr, and Bethel School Board Chair Dawnja Johnson.
Wil-Hi’s horseshoe-shaped tiered lecture hall was the perfect venue and it was nearly filled with community members looking for answers.
Even after 90 minutes of questions and answers, the elected officials stayed around another half-hour talking with folks one-on-one.
Bethel School District was happy to host the Town Hall and welcomes more opportunities for our community to be heard.
Drop By Drop
This all began with kids studying a biography about baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente and learning what character traits make a hero. Clemente died while helping earthquake relief efforts in Nicaragua in 1972.
A 3rd grader at Danebo casually suggested they should be like Roberto Clemente and help Puerto Rico’s hurricane relief efforts.
And just like that, kids in Crystal Strege’s class began a coin drive. It was truly student-driven, showing their compassion, empathy, and willingness to give to others.
What started with a few pennies ended with $471.
Now their collection is headed to United for Puerto Rico.
It may be a drop in the bucket of what’s needed, but as Danebo kids can tell you each drop helps fill a bucket.
Playing The Big House
Backstage at the Hult Center is a wall of signatures, featuring hundreds of the entertainers who’ve performed there.
One of them reads: Shasta Middle School Winter Concert, 1989.
The tradition continues. Eight Shasta bands and choirs took turns on the Hult Center stage, performing before an appreciative crowd at the annual Shasta Winter Concert.
It is a rare opportunity when students can take the same stage where world-class entertainers have performed. Shasta’s kids rose to the occasion…for the 29th year in a row.
A Family (Science) Festival
In a perfect complement to Parent-Teacher conferences, the Irving Elementary PTO brought in an OMSI presentation for kids and parents to visit before or after meeting with their teachers.
OMSI set up numerous tables with scientific puzzles and challenges guaranteed to have parents and children working side by side to solve.
There were also tables of animal pelts and bones for kids to feel and move.
It was a unique opportunity in the afternoon and evening for families to drop-in and experience together.