Bethel School District Eugene OR

Bethel B-mail: January 2018


A Little Help From Our Friends

Thanks to local partners, Irving students learn how to program the responses of mini-robots.

You have to hear about this. It’s a perfect example of how strong partnerships are making a difference for Bethel students.

Through a grant from Lane STEM, Irving and Malabon 4th and 5th graders are learning computer coding. A Coder-in-Residence from the local tech industry is teaching students about robots, software, and how to become more digitally literate.

As you can imagine, the kids are incredibly engaged.

We have other partnerships with a wide variety of groups like St. Vincent de Paul, NAACP, Ophelia’s Place, the University of Oregon, Oregon Social Learning Center, Stand For Children, Kidsports, Downtown Languages, Bridgeway House, Airport Rotary Club, and so many more.

We are grateful to be working with our many partners who are friends of Bethel School District, students and families.
Chris Parra
Bethel Superintendent


Flurries Of Kindness

Malabon students get an assist from principal Maureen Spence as they cover the cafeteria windows with kindness snowflakes. The weeks-long effort raised awareness of the value of kindness throughout the school.

The forecast called for flurries, but Malabon saw a downpour.

In the school’s Flurries of Kindness campaign, paper snowflakes were handed out for a variety of kind and respectful actions by students.

For two weeks each day had its own focus, such as helping, listening, complimenting and politeness.

Students were caught in the act displaying these virtues. Eventually, all the awarded snowflakes were taped to the wall of windows in the school cafeteria, showing kids how many times they were caught in the act of random kindness.

The long range forecast calls for continued flurries at Malabon.


Safety First

During a recent live safety drill, new Bethel staff practice barricading a classroom door in the event of an armed intruder.

It is our desire to keep students and staff as safe as possible. That’s why practically all Bethel staff have been trained in the principles of ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.)

The District has worked with the Eugene Police Department’s certified ALICE trainers to provide eight staff training opportunities over the last four years in a desire to keep everyone – including new district employees – trained in the latest school safety protocols.

Students are also being introduced to ALICE protocols through classroom trainings that include age-appropriate videos for our elementary school students and the middle and high school grades.

The ALICE strategy empowers individuals with more options during a life-threatening emergency, the kind we all hope never happens.


The Seeds Of Success

Another large grant will help the Bethel Farm provide educational opportunities for children, career-prep internships for high schoolers, and family programming for the community.

Bethel’s already strong Farm to School program just got a $66,000 boost.

We’re the only district in the entire county to be awarded one of the competitive grants from the Oregon Department of Education. The new state funds will strengthen and expand Bethel’s existing Farm to School program and provide year-round learning opportunities at the district-owned Bethel Farm.  

Learn more about the Bethel Farm here.

Students will be able to experience farm-based sustainable agriculture classes during the school year, and some will be selected for a summer internship program that offers career preparation in agriculture and culinary arts.  

Bethel will also collaborate with several community partners to offer family programming and a farm-based Summer Youth Camp for elementary students.


Handling History

Mia Jackson from the Museum of Natural and Cultural History explains how Native peoples used creative implements for hunting and gathering.

Hundreds of students saved a trip across town when the museum came to them.

Danebo welcomed the UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History to their classrooms.

4th and 5th graders examined artifacts, held ancient tools and learned about how Native peoples hunted and harvested.

3rd graders handled fossils and learned how they were formed and the clues they provide about life in Oregon.

And the youngest Danebo students are being introduced to how Native peoples used engineering and science for generations.

Thanks go out to the Danebo PTO for helping to make the museum’s Classroom Outreach Program possible.


Digital Decisions

Meadow View 7th graders talk about their online presence with Ophelia’s Place presenter Yvonne Campos.

Those private images sent to that special someone? Chances are greater than 50-50 that the special someone will share the images with others.

Your statements posted on social media and then deleted? They are not completely deleted and could come back to haunt you.

Information like that gets the attention of 7th graders, as it did at Meadow View School.

A presenter from Ophelia’s Place offered good advice about wading into social media, mistakes to avoid, and situations to consider.

Nearly all the students had some kind of presence on social media and awareness of the potential problems is a good first step toward protecting our kids from a social media mess.


OBOB’s Back

Students huddle to discuss a question during an OBOB battle at Danebo, moderated by principal Mari Ford.

You may have seen this: an inordinate number of kids with their noses in novels.

OBOB – the Oregon Battle of the Books – is approaching, and students are reading and re-reading the 12 selected novels used in the competition.

Kids from throughout the state form 4-person teams and prepare to answer quiz-show style questions about the OBOB books. In a few weeks, each school will send its best team to regionals, and the winners advance to the state tourney.

The bottom line is students are reading – and lot – and are being introduced to a variety of books and authors. Teamwork, comprehension, and fun competition is the bonus of OBOB.


Digging It

James Manning (second from right) and members of the Oregon Black Education Foundation Board present a $500 check to superintendent Chris Parra during a Horticulture class at Kalapuya High School.

The food does not grow itself at the Bethel Farm. Seeders and spreaders, tomato twine, hoes, and shovels (some sized for first graders) and a new tiller were needed to keep thousands of pounds of produce coming out of the fields every year.

Thanks to the ongoing support of the Oregon Black Education Foundation and a generous $500 contribution of Don and Anne DeZarn, the Bethel Farm is now better prepared for the spring season that’s about to get underway.

Senator James Manning, representing the Oregon Black Education Board, presented the check to the Horticulture class at Kalapuya.

By the way, Manning was a Bethel believer before he became a state senator, and he’s developed a strong connection to Kalapuya.

Special thanks to Senator Manning, the Oregon Black Education Foundation, and the DeZarns for their generous support.


Students As Teachers

Students in Willamette’s Intro to Sports Medicine class change roles and become teachers, introducing classmates to the benefits of yoga.

Learning by doing applies to personal health, too.

Students became teachers in Introduction to Sports Medicine, a new Health class at Willamette. The content includes the life-long benefits of fitness and nutrition.

Along with being introduced to healthy foods, students are learning practical ways to stay active.

That’s where the yoga idea was born.  When teacher Devon Vendetti admitted he’s never taken a yoga class, some students volunteered to introduce their classmates to a few yoga moves.

It was a big hit: fun, instructive, and invigorating.

Now Vendetti is considering ways to include more student-led instruction as an engaging approach to teaching and learning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *