Bethel School District

Eugene, Oregon USA

Fighting The Virus One Mask At A Time

Prairie Mountain Health Assistant Val Gilkison has made – and given away – nearly 2,000 face masks, many of them with fun and colorful images.

Masks to fight the spread of COVID-19 are recommended but not yet required in Lane County public spaces. But, Bethel’s Val Gilkison is ready to help should conditions here worsen.

The Prairie Mountain Health Assistant has made nearly 2,000 masks since schools were closed in March.

Instead of cashing in, Val has given all of them away to hospitals, first responders, her family, friends, members of her church, and Bethel staff.

She knows her way around a sewing machine, and it didn’t take long for Val to find a pattern that was universal.

Knowing that the masks help asymptomatically infected folks from unknowingly spreading the disease, Val has no intention of slowing down.

Deadline For Chromebook Return

Chromebooks have been dropped off at Willamette High School this week. There is one day left to return the District-provided computers.

More than 2,000 school district Chromebooks were loaned to students this spring for Distance Learning.

Now, they need to be returned to prepare for the coming school year.

Chromebooks can be dropped off at Willamette High School Thursday, June 18th, between noon and 7:00 p.m.

The computers will be cleaned, checked, and returned to their originating Bethel schools.

Call your school office if you have any questions.

Seniors Celebrate High School Graduation – Virtually

Seniors’ celebrations were captured individually and shared in the school wide grad videos.

With pomp and circumstance, speeches and student talent, seniors at Willamette and Kalapuya High Schools celebrated their graduation with virtual ceremonies.

Willamette’s online graduation invited viewers to see seniors showing off their diplomas while wearing their graduation caps and gowns. The names of each of the more than 300 graduates were read.

Kalapuya’s senior class was already on track to graduate a large number of students even before the COVID-19 school closure. The KHS virtual graduation mirrored its actual ceremony, during which students received their diplomas individually and a staff member offered comments about each student.

Congratulations to all Bethel seniors for graduating during a truly historic year.

School Year Ends; What About September?

Message from Superintendent Chris Parra

As we close out this unusual and historic school year, all thoughts turn to what school next fall might look like. I want you to know that Bethel School District has been working on developing plans for the reopening of our schools, and this will take time. Make no mistake, it is very, very complicated. Done right, a reopening plan is not something that could or should be accomplished quickly.

State Guidance: Just today, June 10th, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released its formal guidance for the reopening of schools this fall. ODE’s new directions to schools makes it clear that we will not be able to have a typical reopening in the fall. Instead, there will be strict guidelines on how many students can be in the same space together (social distancing), the sanitizing of areas within the school, health check protocols, face coverings, and guidance regarding transportation, meals, and school visitors.

Developing Bethel’s Plan: A number of September scenarios are being considered by school districts around the state, including a blend of in-school classes and online learning, or students attending only partial days, or even attending every other week, or not having in-person instruction at all. Having just today received the ODE’s guidance, it’s too early to speculate what our final plan will be, and that can be frustrating for you and your children. Our approach is intentionally deliberate and thoughtful as we consider the strict health and safety guidelines that must be met in addition to, equity, instruction, engagement, physical/mental/social-emotional health, and staffing and personnel.

Your Feedback: It is also important to solicit your thoughts about what worked over the last three months and what needs addressing. Try as we might to provide normalcy during a world-wide pandemic, we know that our efforts haven’t hit the mark on everything. Please take this short, anonymous survey. Your clear feedback will also help inform our planning.

Thanks: My thanks go out to you, Bethel families. You have been flexible and patient with challenging home schedules, made time to talk with staff, and set up and attended Zoom meetings. You have shown your dedication and commitment to your children’s education through extraordinary circumstances.

Promises: Finally, I can make two promises: we will do our best to inform families about our reopening plan as soon as there is solid information to share, and we will keep health and safety as our top priority. We must be able to maintain the well-being of our students, staff, and the community.

Stay healthy, care for one another, and thank you for participating in the survey.
Chris Parra
Bethel Superintendent

A medida que cerramos este año escolar inusual e histórico, todos los pensamientos se vuelven a cómo sería la escuela el próximo otoño. Quiero que sepan que el Distrito Escolar de Bethel ha Continue reading