Bethel B-mail: February 2019
Where ESSA Meets The Road
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden has been in the middle of the Washington, D.C. discussions about a Green New Deal, the government shutdown, the Russia investigation, the farming of hemp, and actions by the Saudi Arabian government.
Education funding and graduation rates are what brought him to Kalapuya High School.
Wyden is on the Senate committee that rewrote ESSA – the Every Student Succeeds Act, formerly No Child Left Behind. ESSA includes funds for schools like Kalapuya which are trying to improve graduation rates.
The Senator heard that students come to KHS lacking the credits needed to graduate. Kalapuya offers numerous creative, meaningful and rewarding opportunities to regain high school credit so dedicated students can earn a diploma.
Wyden talked with a small group of students before taking questions from the entire student body. KHS was grateful for his visit, but more appreciative that he listened.
More Promises Made…And Kept
The funds from Bethel’s 2012 Bond measure are nearly gone. Careful spending has made it last this long.
Among the most visible final bond projects is the new seating in Willamette’s Powers Auditorium. Some of the seats are uniquely-sized and need special orders, but most of the seats have been replaced.
Bethel’s no-frills approach has given the district a lot of bang for the buck. It’s allowed some wish-list projects to be realized, including replacement lockers in the WHS girls locker room, restroom improvements, playground repairs, updated window shades, and HVAC controls.
Being frugal with taxpayer dollars, investing in facilities and security, and providing tools for student success; Bethel made promises to voters and those promises are still being kept.
Why did the students cross the road? No joke. They did it to practice the pedestrian safety lessons they’ve been learning in class.
Prairie Mountain second graders held hands as they crossed Terry Street in pairs, under the watchful eyes of their classroom teachers and instructors from the Eugene River House Outdoor Center.
Pedestrian safety includes safe walking, crossing streets and intersections, and the importance of road awareness.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among young children, and 20% of these fatalities are child pedestrians.
The pedestrian safety course is taking place in second grade at all Bethel elementary schools.
The Path To Graduation
Success in high school starts in kindergarten, but it gets very real in 8th grade.
That’s why Willamette High School staff visited Bethel 8th graders and their parents during On The Path to Graduation nights.
The hour-long presentations spelled out what is waiting for future Wolverines at WHS, and how to find academic success.
Willamette is already increasing access to its popular CTE (Career Technical Education) courses, providing more counseling and mental health supports, and is implementing AVID, Wolverine 101 and Sources of Strength to prepare students for success.
By connecting with 8th grade students and parents, Willamette is laying the groundwork so that high school will be meaningful, engaging, exciting, relevant, and a little less scary for all students.
A Worthy Cause
Out of the goodness of their hearts, members of the Eugene Airport Rotary Club raise funds all year to help worthy causes, especially projects that benefit children.
That brought them to Cascade Middle School, where music teacher Christina Boorman accepted a $1,000 check from the Airport Rotary.
It will be used to provide sheet music for students and repair instruments.
Not that Cascade expects this gift, but the Rotary Club has made similar donations to the music program every year for more than a decade. Just out of the goodness of their hearts.
Re-purposing Old Junk
They arrived with cars and trucks loaded with unused, unneeded and unwanted items.
The community’s recyclables were then given new life through Willamette’s 10th annual Recycling Round-up.
National Honor Society students – under the direction of teacher David Novak – collected huge boxes full of computers, monitors, printers, phones, cardboard, appliances, toys, clothing, and miscellaneous items that had been collecting dust.
St. Vincent de Paul and NextStep Recycling hauled away the recyclable items and will find new use for them or recycle them properly and avoid the landfill.
All Together Now
Hundreds of Bethel band students had the chance to size each other up and show how well they can play, before joining forces as one giant band.
The annual Bethel Band Festival brought together the district’s middle school musicians with the Willamette High School band.
Each school received individual feedback from Joe Ingram, the guest conductor and a legend of sorts in Bethel. For years, Joe lifted the Shasta band program to new heights, where it still stands today.
Then the schools combined forces on a series of songs.
It’s a special annual opportunity, and it’s the music that brings them together.
Feeding The Farm
The Bethel Farm keeps growing. More than 160 trees and shrubs – valued at more than $1600 – have been donated to The Farm.
The native trees and shrubs will form a hedgerow on The Farm to create habitat for pollinators, an opportunity for education with Bethel students who visit The Farm, and assistance to the fruiting plants on The Farm.
Cynthia Lafferty from Doak Creek Nursery in Lorane has gifted The Farm with plants in the past.
This latest donation includes Blue Elderberry, Rose, Red Twig Dogwood, Douglas Spirea, Pacific Ninebark, Serviceberry, Twinberry, Oceanspray, Ponderosa Pine, Oregon Grape, Cascara and Alder.
Thanks to Doak Creek the Bethel Farm will become even more welcoming to critters and kids.
Celebrating Their Community
It’s one of their favorite events of the school year. Buddy Day at Meadow View is a great way to bring the school’s K-8 community together with students in the upper grades partnering with the elementary classes.
The latest opportunity to match older students with younger children focused on the values of kindness and friendship through the theme of school unity. Students worked together to create messages of kindness that were turned into tree leaves for their large paws-i-tiv-i-tree.
The collective art project was a fun and meaningful sign of the unity at Meadow View, from K through 8.
We know our systems work. It’s been proven that students who are trained will follow teachers’ directions in the event of an emergency.
That’s why another round of ALICE safety training has recently been provided to more Bethel staff.
Nearly every Bethel employee has taken the ALICE training.
The district is committed to safety; schools are continuing to practice lockdowns so everyone is familiar with the procedures. Our age-appropriate safety training videos have helped.
But it would be fine if we never again have to put all this training to use.