Bethel School District Eugene OR

Bethel B-mail: March 2019


Snow Day Make-Up

School readerboard sign.

Prairie Mountain had a little fun in the middle of the snow days. We are anticipating another creative message from The Mountain in mid-June.

We’re pretty sure there won’t be another snowmageddon, so here’s the draft plan for making up lost school days (the School Board makes the change official on April 8.)

The last day for students was supposed to be Thursday, June 13, a half day.  Now students’ last day will be Tuesday, June 18th and it will also be a half day. Willamette’s graduation will remain June 7th.

Because Bethel doesn’t have many teacher inservice/No School days throughout the year, we are still above the state requirements for instructional hours, despite the snow. And, during many of our years where we have had to reduce school days because of budget cuts, our district was still above the state requirement for instructional hours.

We understand that the three additional days may conflict with some prearranged family plans. But, in the long run, providing learning time for students is a good thing. Please check in with your child’s school to determine any changes to end-of-the-year activities.

Chris Parra
Bethel Superintendent


Serving Up A Winner

Culinary students posing with their meal.

Teacher Martha Humphreys with her state championship team: Logan Weller, Samantha Thompson, Makayla Schweitzer, and Oregon Culinary Student of the Year Shane Wilder.

She is going out as a champion. Martha Humphreys, Willamette’s long-time Culinary teacher, is stepping down as coach after decades leading the competitive program.

She’s leaving with back to back state Culinary championships, and her fourth overall.

The team of Logan Weller, Samantha Thompson, Makayla Schweitzer and Shane Wilder won the state title by whipping up this meal in less than one hour. They could only use two butane burners and no electric kitchen utensils.

After months of practicing making the meal, the Willamette team nailed it when it counted the most.

Now they travel to Washington, D.C. in May for the national competition, where Willamette finished 6th last year. It’s the final go-round for Humphreys, and the taste of victory never gets old.


Uh Oh…Calls From The Office

Staff members making phone calls.

Meadow View’s Carmen Adler and Erika Case made 100 calls to surprised and delighted parents.

There were tears of joy, expressions of delight, and many, many thanks. Phone calls like this are powerful.

Meadow View School marked the first 100 days of school with 100 positive phone calls home. Principal Erika Case and Assistant Principal Carmen Adler asked Meadow View teachers to nominate students and share some thoughts on their kids.

It was all about acknowledging students showing growth, kindness, participation, diligence, creativity, innovation, perseverance, and stepping out of their comfort zone.

The administrators were often in tears sharing the comments with parents, who were also in tears hearing this unexpected good news. For some parents, their only previous calls from the school had been bad news.

Understandably, there are already ideas about expanding the phone call idea at Meadow View, and at other Bethel schools.


On Pitch

Student choir singing

In the spotlight, Shasta’s Session Choir hit all the right notes and won first place at the Clackamas Jazz Festival.

They are regular kids who love to sing. The Session Choir from Shasta Middle School sang better than all the rest in winning first place at the Clackamas Jazz Festival.

Shasta has competed at the Festival for a dozen years, always receiving high marks; but this was their first victory at Clackamas.

In addition, a pair of Shasta 8th graders received special recognition. Hannah Ford received the Top Soloist Award and Rylie Campbell received a Special Recognition Award for her solo.

The choir will return to the Portland area in May when they bring gifts, toys and music to pediatric cancer patients at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.


Bringing Home Hardware

Boys basketball team

Not happy to settle for 5th place, Willamette’s boys basketball team still advanced further than any WHS team in 33 years.

It had been 33 years since Willamette was one of the elite eight teams playing in the state boys basketball tournament.

This year was different. Led by coach Chad Carpenter, the Wolverines finished second in the very tough Midwestern League. Then they dominated in two playoff wins to reach the 5A tournament at Oregon State University’s Gill Coliseum.

Playing three games in three days, the Wolverines came away with a 5th place trophy.

It’s an accomplishment that has eluded Wolverine players for decades. Due to the groundwork laid this season, a return trip to the tournament should come sooner than another 33 years.


Battle Of The Books

Girls posing for a photo.

Cascade’s OBOB team advanced to the final 8 against schools from throughout Lane County. They loved their OBOB experience.

A love of reading brings them all together. The challenge of competition makes it even more fun.

The annual Oregon Battle of the Books – OBOB – culminates months of reading for Bethel students.

Teams of four (and sometimes an alternate) read 16 designated books and try to recall the most minute details in the stories.

In OBOB, they are questioned about those details in a quiz show format and it is always impressive how much the kids remember.

Hundreds of students throughout the district battled for the right to represent their schools at the regional competition.

Even those teams which saw their OBOB season end in the county-wide competition were happy to be around fellow book lovers. And most are already reading the 16 designated books for next year’s OBOB.


Brush For School Success

Kindergartners at Meadow View were thrilled to receive their free dental kits.

Can this be true? Kids excited to brush their teeth?

It looked that way at Meadow View School when kindergartners received dental kits in a special presentation from United Way, Burley, and Oregon Medical Group.

In all, 20,000 kindergarten through third grade students throughout Bethel and Lane County received the kits that include a bag, floss, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a timer so kids know how long to brush.

The effort is all about keeping kids healthy and in school.

Children with oral health problems are more likely to be absent from school and to struggle with academic performance.

Supporting good oral habits is also helping children with success in school.


The Pageant With A Purpose

Crown being placed on a student's head.

Willamette senior Elise Freese reacts to being crowned winner of the annual Wolverine Pageant.

She’s headed to the Air Force Academy but Elise Freese might have been floating on air after winning Willamette’s Wolverine Pageant.

With a message of Not All Heroes Wear Capes, the 26th annual pageant included skits, costumes, testimonials and interviews.

The crowning of Freese culminated months of fund raising and rehearsing, and then more fundraising. The contestants – three boys and six girls – brought in more than $20,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network.

The money is intended for the neonatal intensive care unit and pediatric ward at PeaceHealth’s Riverbend hospital. The cause is why the Wolverine Pageant has lasted this long.


Completing The Connection

Students talking in front of a computer.

Students in Willamette’s Advanced Digital Design class were able to show their work and answer questions from interested 8th graders taking an introductory after school Design class.

CTE – Career Technical Education – is alive and well with Bethel’s 8th graders. They are now starting the third trimester of after-school offerings of Robotics, Culinary, and Digital Design courses.

Their classes are directly linked to similar but more advanced courses at Willamette High School.

To confirm that connection, 8th graders finishing their Digital Design course at Prairie Mountain visited the Advanced Digital Design class at Willamette.

8th graders got to see the state of the art computers, learn about the advanced students’ work, and ask questions of their older peers.

The enthusiasm and excitement is likely to carry over to when the middle schoolers walk through the doors as Willamette students in a few more months.


A Lift Up From Down Under

Family posing for a photo.

The Australian visitors were matched up with Bethel families who served as hosts and tour guides during the three day visit.

They come back every three years. High school students from the Ringwood Secondary College in Melbourne, Australia, spent three days in Bethel, staying with Bethel families and performing on stage for Willamette students.

It’s the start of their performing arts world tour. In six weeks, the 30 students travel from Willamette to Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, the Czech Republic, Singapore, and Indonesia.

The visitors shadowed students at Willamette for two days before hopping a flight to Toronto.

The Willamette connection came through a common connection at the University of Oregon, then one thing led to another. Look for another visit from our friends in three years.


Join The Party

Students loved reading in tents during Family Reading events at Danebo and Irving.

Free books and free pizza add up to free fun. That was the idea behind Danebo’s Family Fun Reading Night.

After the feast (thanks to Papa’s Pizza,) kids and parents moved throughout the school, experiencing the different reading activities in each classroom such as having their pictures taken with fun reading-related props and story-time inside a makeshift tent,

A similar event was taking place at Irving’s Family Literacy Night Camp-In.

It included campfire songs, a tented reading area, bookmark making, literacy games, and a free camp-style dinner.

Children, parents, and reading. It’s a combination worth promoting.

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