Bethel School District Eugene OR

Bethel B-mail: December 2018


Weather Warning

Snowy roads

Before the weather turns nasty, sign up to receive alerts about school delays and closures.

I’m ready for my 3:30 a.m. drive through the District. When there’s ice or snow I’m on our roads checking the conditions before we make the call about school closures or delays.

You can get news on weather-related school closures first by following me on Twitter at @Bethel_Supt and the District’s Twitter account at @Bethel_Schools.

You can also use the free FlashAlert system and get notified via email or a push notification. FlashAlert is the same system the school district uses to notify local media when there is a weather or emergency-related closure of a school.

Download the free FlashAlert app for push notifications, or click here to subscribe for FlashAlert emails.

And, you can always check our district and individual school websites and tune in to local TV and radio stations for updated information.

We have you covered!
Chris Parra
Bethel Superintendent


For Mind And Body


CAHOOTS is one of the many partners providing important mental health services to Bethel students.

They spend just two hours a week at Willamette and two more at Kalapuya. Still, mental health counselors from the CAHOOTS crisis intervention team are meeting high school students in familiar surroundings, making connections, and helping them deal with problems before issues reach the crisis level.

It’s part of expanded mental health services provided throughout Bethel School District:

  • Counselors from the Child Center are in nearly all of our elementary and middle schools, and Willamette High School
  • School-based Mental Health Specialists from the Bethel Health Center are in our elementary schools
  • We have partnered with the UO Counseling program to include interns to work with elementary-aged children and their families
  • Looking Glass provides a therapist at Shasta Middle School and Kalapuya weekly, and a Drug and Alcohol Mental Health Therapist from Looking Glass meets with students at WHS
  • Doctoral students in the UO’s Counseling and School Psychology program see students at Prairie Mountain and Shasta, and at the Bethel Health Center
  • Support groups are created and social skills programs are being taught by Ophelia’s Place
  • Student and family wraparound services are provided by Direction Service.

As you see, the District is trying to assist students regardless of the level of assistance they need.


Dreaming Big

Student receiving an award

Wearing his Shasta gear, 7th grader Braydon Long is honored by the Dream BIG Foundation at a recent event.

Quietly strong in the classroom and skilled on the basketball court, Shasta 7th grader Braydon Long is motivated to succeed. The award he received was an unexpected byproduct of his everyday effort.

Braydon was honored with the Northwest Scholar Athlete of the Year award by the Dream BIG Foundation, a local non-profit. They say they have two main goals: give back to our community and inspire others to do the same.

You won’t hear Braydon talk much about the honor. He’s the type to let his actions speak for him.

But his family and Shasta are proud of the recognition that he humbly accepted.


The Class Of 2031

Student with mortarboard

KITS started in Bethel School District. The class of 2031 is KITS’ 9th graduating class.

When our youngest students put on their home made mortar boards, it was a moment of pride for the kids and parents in the KITS (Kids in Transition to School) program.

Their graduation marked the completion of the 9th year for KITS in Bethel. It was created and piloted here back in 2010 through a partnership with the Oregon Social Learning Center and United Way of Lane County’s Success By 6 Initiative.

Over 16 weeks during the summer and fall, students in KITS have been shown to make significant improvements in the key areas of letter naming abilities, letter-sound knowledge, paying attention and following directions, and solving problems with peers in non-aggressive ways.

Those school readiness skills set our 5 year olds on a path to academic success over the next 12 years.


Cycle Analysis

Students in bike repair shop

Students in the Willamette Bike Repair Shop get a lesson from Isaac Johnson of Ding Ding Cycles.

Eugene is ranked 7th on the list of the top 50 bike cities in America, according to the magazine Bicycling.

Keeping with the energy and tradition around bike riding in our community, Willamette High School has started an after school Bike Repair Class.

They’ve carved out a space in the Willamette Metals building and are learning all about repairing bicycles.

Isaac Johnson from Ding Ding Cycles teaches the class to WHS students, and eventually they will use their newfound knowledge to work on other students’ bikes for free.


The Award Parade

Studemts pose with their teacher

Clear Lake’s Meegan Cotter celebrates with her students after receiving a $1,079 BEF grant for an online math program.

More than $26,000 was handed out in classroom grants to Bethel teachers, courtesy of the Bethel Education Foundation.

The awards came as a surprise, with BEF Board members joined by a small band that marched down school hallways on the way to winners’ classrooms.

See the photos from the BEF grant parade.

The funded grant proposals included Chromebooks, field trips, artists-in-residence, library books, iPads, special classroom materials and much more.

The Bethel Education Foundation was started by a group of active parents in 2009, dedicated to enhancing the education of Bethel children by supporting innovative and engaging experiences.

Still, the BEF could not fund even half of the 93 grant requests. You can help the BEF support Bethel students by donating here.


Graphics, Cooks, And Bots

Studemts operating robots

8th graders at Prairie Mountain ended their 8-week Robotics class with a robot showdown. The CTE rotation has now brought the Computer Graphics course to the school.

Robotics, Culinary, and Computer Graphics are all being offered to Bethel 8th graders as after-school Career Technical Education courses.

Now after the first trimester the three CTE classes are rotating among Bethel schools.

Robotics lets students build their own bots and teaches some computer coding.

Culinary gives 8th graders important introductory information on food safety while encouraging them to cook delicious dishes at school.

And students in Computer Graphics are learning design techniques while using professional quality computer programs.

The classes lead directly into similar popular courses at Willamette High School.


The Tooth And Nothing But The Tooth

Student receiving dental care

Dental Hygienist Leah Casper and Dental Assistant Lynda Sloan apply fluoride varnish to a Meadow View student. It is a quick, painless procedure proven to help prevent tooth decay.

All Bethel students from Kindergarten through 8th grade have a reason to smile.

Whitebird Dental and the Community Health Centers of Lane County are providing free dental services to keep children’s teeth free of cavities. Students can’t learn to their fullest potential if they’re dealing with serious dental problems.

So dental hygienists are offering fluoride varnish and sealants – at no cost – for students at every elementary and middle school.

Fluoride is painted on the teeth to help strengthen tooth enamel. Sealants are a thin plastic coating that protect the molars from decay.

Working together, Community Health Centers and WhiteBird are effectively reducing the incidents of tooth decay and helping to keep kids in the classroom.


On The Big Stage

Students on stage

Some Shasta band students let out a little nervous energy backstage before their annual winter concert at the Hult Center.

Their reputation as a Music school is well earned. Nearly 75% of the students at Shasta Middle School are in Band or Choir.

That’s why they reserve the Hult Center every December for the school’s annual Winter Concert.

Eight different Shasta bands and choirs took the stage, the same stage where some of the biggest names and talents in the world have performed.

The students’ singing and playing will improve as the school year progresses, but the Winter Concert is unequaled. It is the one time when all the Shasta groups perform at the same place for the same memorable event and in such an outstanding venue.

It’s how memories are made.


Rake And Run

Students raking leaves

Willamette Leadership students haul away leaves during their annual Rake n’ Run community service event.

They go looking for targets. Properties they could quietly approach without drawing any attention.

Willamette’s Leadership Students then swarm the place, rake all the leaves, and haul them away.

The annual Rake n’ Run had more than 20 students awake and out the door early on a Saturday. They raked up the leaves from 10 properties, mostly at homes belonging to folks who have difficulty managing the leaves on their own.

It’s an annual event that brings community service down to a basic level: volunteers performing a task for free for the benefit of the community.


A Fish Story

Students on a riverbank

On the banks of Whittaker Creek, 6th graders from Prairie Mountain School study water quality as part of the Salmon Watch field trip.

When the leaves fall, Salmon Watch calls Bethel 6th graders out of the classroom and to the water.

Salmon Watch is a hands-on education program that helps students understand the importance of salmon conservation and watershed management.

Lessons in the classroom are tied to activities on the riverbank at Whittaker Creek in the Coast Range.

6th graders study the life cycle of a salmon, the parts of a salmon, and the conditions they need to thrive.

Sampling water from Whittaker Creek, students identify bugs, determine the water’s temperature, and test its clarity, oxygen, and PH levels.

Salmon Watch has been going on for 25 years, creating a whole generation of Bethel students who are better informed about a species that is so important to Oregon’s ecology.


A Nightmare In My Closet

Students watch a puppet show

Danebo students are captivated by the show put on by the Tears of Joy Theatre.

A child confronts the nightmare lurking in his closet and discovers that it’s not so terrifying after all. 

The Tears of Joy Theatre used a puppet production to address the issue of overcoming childhood fears. Students at Danebo Elementary were incredibly engaged in the puppet show as they heard a lesson about looking beyond the surface.

Based in Portland, the Tears of Joy Theatre says for 45 years its mission has been to produce, develop and present puppet theater that celebrates the diversity of world cultures, and to teach children and enrich their lives by helping them experience, create and perform art with professional artists.

The students at Danebo were clearly enriched by the performance, and maybe now can better deal with their own monsters in the dark.


Service Above Self

Fairfield’s Jamie Bamford was presented with the Paul Harris Award by representatives of the Southtowne Rotary.

This is in recognition of the many hours she has spent organizing and shepherding the Oregon Battle of the Books program at Fairfield Elementary.

Jamie Bamford, Fairfield’s Media Coordinator, has been honored with the Paul Harris Award by the Southtowne Rotary.

They know about Jamie’s efforts because Rotary club members volunteer at Fairfield.

The Paul Harris award was named after the founder of the Rotary Club. It’s presented to individuals in recognition of long and meritorious service to the community.

Jamie Bamford’s service has been supporting Fairfield students, and the award is well-deserved.


From School To Home

Donors chipped in to help provide the ubiquitous Danebo blue bags. They are intended to help students continue their learning at home.

Something as simple as a blue book bag is connecting school work with study at home.

Danebo Elementary wanted to encourage students to do school-related projects at home. They had to start with making sure everyone had access to supplies, including markers, pencils, glue sticks, rulers and erasers.

Last year Lithia Toyota in Springfield donated the funding for the bags and supplies, then the bags were presented to happily surprised students.

This year Phil Cavanagh from Farmer’s Insurance, Dorinda Daws of Northwest Community Credit Union, and an anonymous donor provided the funds to buy the bags and supplies.

Danebo made sure each student has a bag and that creates a real sense of school pride. The blue bags are also a sign that learning at school continues at home.

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