Benicia High School Panther Post

August 2019 - Back to School Newsletter

Welcome Back - First Day of School is Tuesday, August 20th!

BHS Vision Statement

Benicia High School will inspire learning with integrity in order to find personal success in an ever-changing world.

Expected Student Learning Results:

  • Communicator and Collaborator
  • Critical Thinker and Problem Solver
  • Creator and Innovator

Welcome Letter from Principal

Hello Panther Families,

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! I look forward to welcoming you personally at one of our upcoming events. We have been busy preparing for a great school year and we continue our focus on the theme of COMM[YOU]NITY, the idea that every individual has their own valuable story, perspective, and talents that contribute to a caring, diverse, and incredible school community. We are also focusing on BHS school spirit and hope to see you at our school events!

Registration for all students should be completed prior to the start of school and can be done online. If you have not yet completed the online registration process, please be sure to do so immediately by logging onto your PowerSchool parent account.

We are very excited about becoming a 1:1 school this year. This means that all students will have a Chromebook as a learning tool during their time as students at Benicia High. Much like a textbook or other instructional materials, technology has become a powerful tool to research information, collaborate with other students, communicate, create, and prepare for future careers. Students and families can pick up their devices on Thursday August 8th, between noon and 6:00pm, and on Friday, August 9th, between 7:00am and 1:00pm, in room A-106. Students in grades 10-12 will also receive their 2019-2020 student ID cards at that time, while 9th grade students and any newly enrolled students will be able to take their student ID picture and receive their cards at that time as well. Parents and guardians - please be sure to print and complete the documents prior to arriving in order to save time.

We have two special events coming up before the first day of school: Freshmen Orientation for 9th grade students and a Back to School Bash for all students and families. Both events will be held on Tuesday, August 13th. Freshmen Orientation for the Class of 2023 will begin in the gym at 9:30am and end at 12:30pm.

A big THANK YOU to our amazing Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA) for organizing our Back 2 School Bash. This event is for all students and families to celebrate and prepare for the start of school. Join us in the main quad from 4:00 to 7:00pm to enjoy food trucks, a game area, music provided by DJ Mike, and a large area to connect with school and community resources. The Finance Office will be open during this event to pick up parking passes and purchase items such as yearbooks and ASB cards. This is also the perfect opportunity to become member of our PTSA and other school organizations that support our students.

We want to welcome all of our new students, families, and staff. Joining the Benicia High School staff are:

  • Vice Principal Dwight Rogers (working with students with last names P-Z)
  • School Psychologist Andrew Potter (working with students with last names P-Z)
  • Inclusion Specialist Joe Farrell
  • Special Education Teacher & Case Manager Megumi Sakamoto
  • English Language Arts Teacher Victoria Moran
  • Custodial Technician Rosa Martinez

Please take a few minutes to read on for important updates, a calendar of events, and to discover how you can partner with us to have the best year yet at Benicia High School.

Go Panthers!

Brianna Kleinschmidt, Principal

Parent-Student Agreement for 1 to 1 Devices 2019-20

Please print & complete this form and bring it with you to Device Distribution on August 8th or 9th

BUSD Device Coverage Form (Insurance)

Use this form to sign up online or print and complete the form for device insurance.

2019-2020 Class Schedules Available!

Class schedules are now available via PowerSchool. We encourage students to print their schedule, bring it with them to Freshmen Orientation and the Back 2 School Bash, and take a few minutes to locate their classes ahead of the first day of school. We have been hard at work to create schedules based on student requests, completion of past courses, and availability within the master schedule. While we hope that every student is satisfied with their schedule, we understand that sometimes schedule changes are desired or needed due to changes over the summer. Please note our policy regarding schedule changes:

Schedule changes are only available for the following reasons:

  1. Schedule errors, such as a missing period or 2 periods of the same course.
  2. Completion of a summer school class.
  3. Missing graduation or college entrance requirement.
  4. Being placed in the wrong level (i.e. Spanish 1 instead of Spanish 2).

Requests based on teacher preference, period preference, and elective changes will not be granted.

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Parent Volunteers & Representatives Needed!

PTSA: Parent-Teacher-Student Association

While many parents join the PTA & PTG when their students are in elementary school, high schools often do not see the same support. We ask that you and your student consider joining our PTSA and improving your student’s school experience by donating your time or resources to our programs. Learn more at the PTSA table at one of our back to school events or at a PTSA meeting (first Wednesday of each month at 6pm). Recent projects and programs sponsored by our PTSA include: library renovation, N-2 renovation, staff appreciation, Teacher Innovation Grants, Student Project Grant, and student scholarships. Seniors planning to apply for a PTSA scholarship must be a member to qualify. Join PTSA today!

School Site Council

Parent participation on School Site Council is vital and is a legal requirement for every high school. This group meets one Tuesday per month at 3:30pm to discuss and set yearly goals, develop the Single Plan for Student Success (SPSA), monitor progress on our goals, and participate in the decision-making process. We will be soliciting volunteers and nominations for parent representatives at our back to school events. If you are interested or want to learn more, email Principal Kleinschmidt or submit your interest using the online BHS Site Council Application.

ELAC: English Language Advisory Committee

BHS invites you to join our English Language Advisory Committee for parents/guardians, staff, and community members working together to support our students who are English Learners. This group will meet five times this year to discuss our current programs and supports, ideas for growth to strengthen our programs, explore ways to better connect with our families, and more. Meetings will be held on Tuesday evenings at 6:00pm at Benicia High School. If you are interested in joining ELAC or have questions, please email Vice Principal Dwight Rogers at

Class of 2020 Senior Photos

If you have not already had your Senior Photo taken for the yearbook, be sure to schedule your appointment soon before September 1st so that you are included in the special Senior Section of the yearbook!

Stay Connected with the Counseling Department

Students and parents/guardians can easily get text messages with reminders, announcements, and special events specific to your class from your Counselor and the College & Career Center by signing up via Remind. Simply text the code below, starting with the @ symbol, to the 81010 to be included in receiving messages. We recommend that both the student and one or more parents sign up for the appropriate Class messages and the College & Career Center messages. If you have any questions, please call the Counseling Office at (707) 747-8334.

Seniors – Class of 2020: text @1313135

Juniors – Class of 2021: text @kk9a4g

Sophomores – Class of 2022: text @464hgdc

Freshmen – Class of 2023: text @benicia23

College & Career Center: text @gmarw

Be sure to check out the Benicia Unified School District's Food Services web page for several important items before the first day of school. From their website, you can access the form to request Free or Reduced Meal service for your students and you can set up an online account through "My School Bucks" for convenient access to meal balances, purchases, and to make payments from your computer or phone. BHS now offers a range of meal choices, including vegan and vegetarian options!

Pardon Our Mess!

The Benicia Unified School District Maintenance & Operations Department and our BHS Custodial Staff have been hard at work this summer. You may notice a few ongoing projects as we return to school. There is a new lighting system and new stage curtains being installed in our Performing Arts Auditorium. Current work to resurface our tennis courts is expected to be completed in October.
Fall Athletics - Student Registration

Fall athletics begin on August 12th. Students are required to complete registration prior to try outs. Fall sports include: Cross Country, Cheerleading, Girl's Golf, Girl's Tennis, Football, Girl's Volleyball, and Girl's & Boy's Water Polo.

BHS All-Sports Pass

The Benicia High Athletic Department offers All-Sport Passes which provide admission to all regular season Benicia High School sporting events that charge an entry fee, hosted at BHS, throughout the school year. The passes will be on sale starting at the Back 2 School Bash and throughout the school year in the Finance Office, during regular office hours, Monday - Friday from 7:45am–3:30pm.

The All-Sport Passes are a great option or parents, family members, and siblings with students participating in sports and for community members wanting to support the Panthers. We recommend that BHS students instead purchase an ASB Card, which provides admission to all home sporting events for free and discounted admission to dances and other school activities.

Student Pass (ages 5-13, elementary & middle school): $45.00

Adult Pass: $75.00

Senior Citizen Pass (age 62 and up): $40.00

Family Pass (4+ individuals): $225.00

Thank you for supporting your Benicia High School Panthers!

All-Sport Passes are good for entry into home Benicia High School sporting events for the current school year only. They cannot be used for away games/competitions. Excluded events include: Jamborees, Scrimmages, Invitationals, Tournaments, and NCS Playoff games. In the event that a pass is lost, replacement passes are $5.00. Family members for the Family Pass include spouses, dependent children (including undergraduate college students) and grandparents who share the same dwelling. All passes are non-transferrable. Each pass is to be used by the person named on the pass and a valid photo ID must be presented with the card for verification upon entry. Penalties for misuse of passes may include ejection from the event, confiscation of pass, and/or revocation of pass without refund.

Link to School Safety Information

Information and dates for our School Safety Presentation to students and safety drills throughout the school year, closed campus policies, and guidelines regarding student drop off & parking areas. Thank you for your help in keeping our school safe.

Cell Phone Policy for 2019-2020 School Year

With the implementation of 1:1 Chromebooks for all students, we are have updated our cell phone policy at BHS. Going forward, there will be no cell phone use during class time, in classrooms and outside of classrooms (bathroom breaks, hallways). Cell phones are only to be seen or used before or after school, during passing periods, snack, and lunch. If a student has an emergency, they should talk with their teacher who may send them to room A-103 with Mrs. Weiss so that they can contact a family member. If the family has an emergency and wants to contact their student during class time, the family is to call the Main Office at (707) 747-8325 and a staff member will make contact with the student to bring them to the office to talk with their family member or assist the student as needed.

Our goal with the change in cell phone policy is to minimize disruptions, cheating, and other negative aspects of cell phone use during class time. Students who violate this policy may have their cell phone held in the Main Office until the end of that school day. If there is a second or continued violations, the cell phone will be held in the Main Office until a parent or legal caretaker is able to meet with an administrator to pick up the phone.

BHS Communication Guide

Communication is a key component to a successful school community. Our team of administrators, counselors, teachers, case managers, and staff members work to provide the best communication possible throughout the year and ask that you partner with us in this effort.

An area of concern regarding communication is the online forums and apps such as the “Benicia Happenings” group on Facebook, Next Door app, and similar pages/social media sites. It has been brought to our attention that on several occasions incorrect information has been posted and negative or bullying remarks have been directed towards the school, staff, parents, and other individuals. Spreading false information is extremely disruptive and may compromise the work of the school and school safety. Posting negative and disparaging comments damages the positive school culture we work to create every day.

In grades 9-12, we encourage students to grow to be self-advocates and to communicate for themselves. Most concerns can be addressed and solved when the student proactively and positively communicates directly with their teacher or their counselor. For further assistance, we provide a communication guide on our website with information on who to contact and the timeline to expect a response.

In an effort to provide high quality communication, we ask that questions be directed to school staff via email or phone call so that correct information can be provided. When in doubt, contact the school. Our Main Office number is (707) 747-8325. We also recommend use of our website, school-operated social media accounts, and monthly newsletter to access accurate and timely information. We thank you in advance for your support in this effort.

Link to BHS Communication Guide

The Paw - Benicia High School's Student Newspaper

Stay in the know with our online newspaper; including student articles about school news, arts & entertainment, sports, opinion pieces, politics and more. You can also access Panther TV, with weekly episodes on all that's happening at Benicia High!

Upcoming Events at Benicia High School

  • Thursday, August 8th, 12:00-6:00pm: Device Distribution in room A-106
  • Friday, August 9th, 7:00am-1:00pm: Device Distribution in room A-106
  • Monday, August 12th: First Day of Fall Sports
  • Tuesday, August 13th, 9:30am-12:30pm: Freshmen Orientation in the BHS Gym
  • Tuesday, August 13th, 4:00-7:00pm: Back 2 School Bash in the Main Quad
  • Tuesday, August 20th: First Day of School - Traditional Schedule (8:00am-3:05pm)
  • Thursday, August 22nd: Fire Drill during Access Period
  • Monday, August 26th - Thursday, August 29th: Fall Play Auditions
  • Tuesday, August 27th: School Picture Day for grades 9-11
  • Wednesday, August 28th, during lunch: Club Charter Meeting in the Auditorium
  • Friday, August 30th: Common Planning Day (CPT) Schedule - 2pm Student Dismissal
  • Friday, August 30th: School Safety Drill
  • Monday, September 2nd: Holiday, School Closed
  • Thursday, September 5th, during lunch: Class Meetings with Class Advisers
  • Thursday, September 5th, during lunch: UC Santa Barbara presentation
  • Friday, September 6th: Improv Team Auditions
  • Thursday, September 12th, 6:00-8:30pm: BHS Back to School Night
  • Friday, September 13th: Senior Sunrise
  • Friday, September 13th: Minimum Day - 12:20pm Student Dismissal
Solano Family Justice Center Health Fair & Art Contest

Saturday, October 5th - Flyers linked below. Click here for information on the student art contest for grades Kindergarten - 12th.

District programs, activities, and practices shall be free from unlawful discrimination, including discrimination against an individual or group based on race, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, immigration status, ethnic group identification, ethnicity, age, religion, marital status, pregnancy, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or related recovery, parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information; a perception of one or more of such characteristics; or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.