Benicia High School Panther Post

January 2021

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

Principal's Letter - Partnering with Our Community to Support Our Students

Hello Panthers & Families,

With the new year we are renewing our commitment to help our community thrive and to value every student's place in our community. A few years ago we initiated this work through our Comm[YOU]nity theme - focusing on the you in community, each individual student and their unique talents, background, and future path. We added several new programs to campus and a colorful mural on to our quad that was designed and painted by our students. Now, at the start of 2021, we recognize the importance of continuing our work and our partnerships with our community despite the fact that we are sheltering-at-home and often feeling isolated during virtual learning. I want to highlight two important community partnerships designed to support our students and encourage participation:

Partnering with the Kyle Hyland Foundation & Benicia Teen Center

The mission of the Kyle Hyland Foundation is to provide a Teen Center in Benicia where teens can be supported through social interaction, music, art, counseling, and mentoring. We are excited to share that they are launching a program to raise awareness in teens and the community on topics/issues such as Cultural Diversity, Teen Dating Violence, Gender Equality, Mental Wellness, Suicide Prevention, Bullying, and Drugs/Alcohol abuse. For each week-long campaign, the Kyle Hyland Foundation (KHF) will partner with BHS clubs for planning and promotion.

This month KHF is partnering with BHS Student Leadership, Black Student Union, Asian Culture Club, and Key Club to host Cultural Diversity Awareness Week January 25-31. This week-long campaign will be promoted through social media including Instagram and YouTube and include various social media challenges and prizes. The campaign will be kicked off with activities to promote teen and community awareness with respect to Cultural Diversity and will continue with highlighting a different culture every day.

Students Can Participate For Prizes in the Following Ways:

1. Follow on Instagram @kylehylandfoundation - post using the daily hashtags and tag to be entered. For every follow and post, the student will be entered into the drawing for prizes.

2. Subscribe to their YouTube channel @ Kyle Hyland Foundation for Teen Support -

Every new subscriber will be entered into our drawing for prizes.

Partnering with the Mentorship Program & Community Mentors

The Benicia Unified School District Mentorship Program began in 2002 at Liberty High School and in 2015 grew to partner with Benicia High School and Benicia Middle School as well. The Mentorship Program is intended to partner students with community Mentors who are trained to listen and support students who may be in need of another caring adult in their lives. The mentors are by no means there to take the place of a parent, but they offer an opportunity for students to be heard. If you would like additional information about the Mentorship Program or to possibly be referred to a Mentor (parent approval required), please contact your student's counselor or BUSD Mental Health Coordinator Jessica Garcia ( We hope to spread the word so that all of our families know about this great resource.

From all of the staff at BHS, thank you for your support of our school community - through the fun and exciting times as well as the tough times. We look forward to what this new year will bring and hope to connect with each of you soon.

Take Care,

Brianna Kleinschmidt

Principal, Benicia High School

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Seniors who are graduating early, and any other students who are not returning for Semester 2, should also plan to return their BUSD Chromebooks at the Textbook Return on either January 14th or January 15th.

Mr. Bradley's Biology students and Mr. Kaiser's Engineering students should plan to return items as directed by their teachers.

If you have any questions, please email or your Counselor.

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Upcoming Events at Benicia High School

  • Tuesday, January 5th: BUSD African American Parent Group Meeting Meeting at 6pm via Zoom
  • January 11th-15th: BHS Wellness Week (see info below)
  • Thursday, January 14th: End of First Semester Courses
  • Thursday, January 14th: Drive-thru drop off of Semester 1 textbooks (11:30am-5:00pm)
  • Friday, January 15th: No School
  • Friday, January 15th: Drive-thru drop off of Semester 1 textbooks (11:00am-2:00pm)
  • Monday, January 18th: Holiday - No School
  • Tuesday, January 19th: School Resumes - Second Semester Courses Begin
  • Tuesday, January 19th: Semester 2 Textbook Distribution Last Names A-F (3:30-5:30pm)
  • Wednesday, January 20th: Semester 2 Textbook Distribution Last Names G-K (3:30-5:30pm)
  • Thursday, January 21st: Semester 2 Textbook Distribution Last Names L-P (3:30-5:30pm)
  • Friday, January 22nd: Semester 2 Textbook Distribution Last Names Q-Z and any students unable to come on their scheduled day/time (11:30am-3:30pm)
  • Friday, January 22nd: Report Cards available via PowerSchool
  • Tuesday, January 26th: PSAT/NMSQT exam - Preregistration is now closed
  • Saturday, February 6th: Practice ACT exam (online - see info below)
  • Friday, February 12th: Holiday - No School
  • Monday, February 15th: Holiday - No School
  • Saturday, February 20th: Practice SAT exam (online - see info below)
  • Friday, March 19th: End of Grading Term
  • Friday, March 26th: Report Cards available via PowerSchool
  • April 2-11: Spring Break
  • May 3-14: AP Exams (date determined by subject)
  • Friday, May 31st: Holiday - No School
  • Friday, June 4th: Last Day of School & End of Second Semester Courses
  • Saturday, June 5th: Class of 2021 Graduation

BUSD African American Parent Group Meeting

Tuesday January 5, 2021


Link to Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 733 4135 3222

Passcode: z7WZ8F


  • Purpose of Meeting - Supporting Success of our African American Students in BUSD
  • Welcome - Introductions and review of purpose & agenda
  • Small Group - Review of the proposed District goals and actions
  • Whole Group - Debrief
  • Next steps

BHS Wellness Week: January 11th - 15th

BHS Student Leadership is bringing Wellness Week to BHS starting on Monday, January 11th. This week will give students a chance to relax and connect with friends before the end of the first semester and any potential finals.

Wellness Week Info:

1/11 Mindful Monday: Wear your favorite PJs and watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

1/12 Tranquil Tuesday: Talk with Sources of Strength and other peers in a safe space

1/13 Unwind Wednesday: Enjoy a short yoga class with Ms. Sanchez

1/14 Thoughtful Thursday: Share your favorite study habit on Instagram using the template

1/15 Fit Friday: Follow a prerecorded workout created by our BHS Health and Fitness Club

The activities will happen during lunch each day, starting at 11:25am.

Use the Zoom link below to join the activities on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

We hope to see you there!

Zoom link for Monday 1/11 through Wednesday 1/13 activities

Meeting ID: 868 3490 5928

Passcode: 523s57

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ART IS POWER - A Speaker Series for Youth

The Solano County Office of Education’s Youth Development Department is excited to announce a new learning opportunity Solano County for youth!

Over the next 4 months the Solano County Office of Education will host live evening workshops with local and nationally known artists who will share their wisdom and experiences of using art to build their own resilience and create community change that inspires others to live healthier and happier lives. Participants will learn new artistic skills, gain a better understanding of advocacy through the arts, and connect with other young artists and activists in their community. Workshops are open to all youth in grades 7 – 12, residing in or attending school in Solano County.

Additionally, the first 20 students who register, will be mailed a free gift to support their artistic development. The registration is open for the following workshops.

Art is Power! Session 1: Art W.O.R.K.S. with Javier Sanchez

Thursday, January 21, 2021 from 5:00 – 6:00pm

Registration Link:

Art is Power! Session 2: Multimedia Art with Lynn Larsen

Thursday, January 28, 2021 from 5:00 – 6:00pm

Registration Link:

Art is Power! Session 3 & 4: Songwriting Residency with the Alphabet Rockers

Thursday, February 11 and Thursday, February 18, 2021 from 5:00 – 6:00pm

Registration Link:

Art is Power! Session 5: Photography with Nadja Fitchhorn

Thursday, March 11, 2021 from 5:00 – 6:00pm

Registration Link:

This series is supported through the Tobacco Use Prevention Education and Solano Friday Night Live programs. For more information please contact Johanna Nowak at

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Online Practice SAT & ACT Exams for BHS Students

The BHS Parent-Student-Teacher Association (PTSA) has partnered with Revolution Prep to offer BHS students an online practice ACT exam on February 6th and a practice SAT exam on February 20th, for just $20 per test. In addition, Revolution Prep is offering a $200 gift card to BHS students to use toward SAT & ACT exam prep. For more information, see the information below or visit their website at:

Registration for the practice exams benefits the BHS PTSA and the programs that the organization sponsors for our students and staff. We thank you for your support!

NEW: CTE Marketing Class at BHS Begins Next Semester

Beginning next semester, BHS will offer a new Career Technical Education (CTE) course titled CTE Marketing. This course was recently approved by the BUSD Governing Board and will be taught by Mr. Zitrin. Please watch the video below to learn more!

Course Description:
Students will learn fundamental concepts of marketing and business. Training includes testing knowledge through entrepreneurial experimentation; hands-on experiences conducting research; analyzing and building marketing strategies; and developing, promoting, advertising and selling viable products and services under the supervision of the instructor. Students will learn essential marketing topics such as customer value, market segmentation, pricing strategies, marketing information management, product life cycle, sales and customer service, marketing communications, content marketing, and digital media strategies including social media planning and execution. Students will apply theoretical concepts to their own lives and ideas wherever possible, from regularly analyzing articles in their own areas of business interest to contributing to the development of their and/or classmates’ business development plans. Course experience may include online or in person sales opportunities, and/or the design and operation of a student store. Store operations, while not totally inseparable from marketing class theory and practice, is ideally suited to broaden and activate authentic student perspectives on the concepts studied.

Students currently have the opportunity to request to take this course next semester. Space is limited and we cannot guarantee that all students who want to take the course will be able to do so based on their class schedules. Students who are admitted into the class will have their schedules changed based on availability but they will not be removed from required courses. This course is open to students in grades 10-12.

If you would like to sign up to take this course next semester, please contact your Counselor.

Benicia High School Marketing Class 2021

BHS Student Wins District 5 Congressional App Challenge!

BHS is very proud to announce that one of our students has once again won the Congressional App Challenge for District 5. This year, sophomore Evan Torres created an app called Charity Checker that determines the reputability of a specified nonprofit by searching several websites and creating a summary report for the user.

Congratulations to Evan Torres!!!

Evan Torres learned about creating an app and entered this competition thanks to his work in Mr. Kaiser's Programming & Robotics class last year and AP Computer Science class this semester.

You can watch the short video about his app that he entered below.

You can also read the official press release from Rep. Mike Thompson's website:

Charity Checker - Congressional App Challenge

High School Sports Update

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) released an update on December 29th regarding high school athletics. This update states that the earliest possible start date is January 25th, pending state and county health guidance. Solano County is currently in the purple tier and under a regional shelter-at-home order. CIF plans to adjust their guidelines weekly. They provided specific information as to what sports may take place under each tier, pending local health department and school board approval.

BHS will continue to monitor updates from state and county health departments, CIF, and will follow the guidance of our BUSD Governing Board. We will provide updates via email to students and parents as those become available. We understand everyone is anxious to begin athletics and hope to be able to do so soon.

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Yearbooks are currently $75. The price will go up in the second semester (after January 14th). We ordered a limited amount of yearbooks, so please don't wait to make your order. We will sell out.

Support PTSA all Year with Amazon Smile

Shopping on Amazon? Be sure to use Amazon Smile and select "Benicia High PTSA" as the charitable organization of your choice. A small percentage of your purchase will benefit Benicia High School thanks to the PTSA's projects, scholarships, and grants.

Amazon Smile is now available on the Amazon app also!

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Social-Emotional Learning: Parent Workshops

Parents are invited to join us for monthly virtual workshops focused on supporting your child/children at home and yourself. All sessions will be hosted by the Benicia Unified School District Student Services Office and will be held via Zoom, no RSVP required.


Questions? Contact Jessica Garcia, BUSD Mental Health Coordinator at or (707) 704-7900

Thank you to PTG and PTSA groups for collaboration!

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Counseling Department

Counselors are available to provide a full range of services to students virtually. This includes academic, college, career, personal, social, and emotional support through email, phone, and Zoom contact, and through small group meetings. If your child could benefit from additional support, please contact your counselor by email.


9th grade - Ms. Smith at

10th grade - Ms. Guenther at

11th grade - Mr. Keppel at

12th grade - Ms. Wallace at

Suicide Awareness & Prevention Resources

On Saturday, January 2nd, Superintendent Dr. Charles Young sent a communication out to families regarding the loss of a Benicia Middle School student due to suicide. We are grieving his death and working to support his family and all of our students and staff during this difficult time.

Below are links to several resources from our Mental Health Team that we want to share with students and families. We will continue to provide additional suicide awareness and prevention education to our students and staff in the coming weeks.


Book List: Readings to Support Your Journey to Healing

Children, Teens and Suicide Loss

Children's Reaction to Trauma: Suggestions for Parents

Hotlines and Text Lines:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Crisis Text Line

Teen Line

Trevor Project

Please reach out if you have any questions or are in need of any support as BUSD has Mental Health Staff and Counselors to support students. For help during non-school hours, please contact your health care provider or one of the hotlines/text lines noted above.

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Wellness Center & Drop In Hours every Friday from 11-Noon

Link to Drop In Hours Zoom Meeting for live services every Friday

Meeting ID: 778 0448 3501

Passcode: Ehd3WL

BUSD Virtual Wellness Center is now available online 24 hours a day to access tools to manage emotions, resources for seeking assistance, and ways to connect with staff at BHS and other Benicia schools. This support is for students, families, staff, and the community of Benicia. We invite you to check out the Wellness Center today using the button below.

VOENA 2021 Spring Open Enrollment Information

VOENA children's choir for ages 5-18 - Enrollment Now Open!

  • Spring Season
  • Hybrid Program
  • Virtual/In-person Music
Online Rehearsals for choir start with virtual rehearsals, moving to in-person (health mandated), ukulele orchestra, and rhythm & drumming!

Go to under “join” to register. Full refund available if not completely satisfied after first class as long as requested by Friday, Feb 5th, 2021. Scholarships are also available.

Choir Rehearsal Levels: ($475 Tuesdays, Feb 2-May 18)

  • Preparatory 3:30-4:15pm for Ages 5-12
  • Intermediate 4:15-5:00pm for Ages 5-12
  • Concert Choir I 5:00-5:45pm for Ages 13-18. Need to be interviewed by the director for readiness.

NEW Ukulele Masterclasses & Ukulele Orchestra: ($275 Thurs, Jan 14-March 18)

  • 5:oo-5:45pm for Ages 9-18 (youth)
  • 5:45-6:30pm for Ages 18+ (adult).
  • Do not need to be in choir rehearsals to join.

NEW Body Percussion & Drumming Masterclasses: ($250 Thurs, Jan 14-March 18)

  • Voices of Rhythm - Level I 3:3o-4:15pm for Ages 6-11
  • Level II 4:15-5:00pm for Ages 10-18.
  • Do not need to be in choir rehearsals to join.

ABOUT VOENA: This is a professional choir that has performed at The White House, Olympics, World Expo, and Carnegie Hall and most recently in Abu Dhabi, guests of the Crown Prince. Director, Annabelle Marie, received the Jefferson Award for her work with children. This is not a traditional choir as the director does not believe in auditions so that all children have an opportunity to learn how to sing and gain friendships and skills in teamwork, self motivation, self esteem, and a hard work ethic.

What A Wonderful World - VOENA - The Cutest Virtual Choir Ever!

Benicia's Family Resource Center & COVID-19 Citizen Assistance Program

The Benicia Police Department’s Family Resource Center has traditionally assisted families with children struggling to pay their rent, mortgage, utilities or otherwise assist in moments of need. We understand these are challenging times and the City of Benicia realizes the finan

cial impact the COVID-19 may have on our citizens, and we want to help those most vulnerable.

We have expanded the availability of our limited funding to assist those citizens that are temporarily laid off from their jobs; may have lost their jobs due to business closure; or had to take a leave of absence from their jobs to care for children home from school due to the COVID-19 issue (or an ill family member) and are not being paid or have sick leave.

As of April 1, 2020, to qualify for temporary assistance with rent/mortgage, utilities, food, gas, you can fill the application online and email it to, or send it by mail to 200 East L Street, Benicia, CA 94510; or pick up an application and drop it off at the Benicia Police Department. Families and individuals may apply. This assistance will not cover bills that are already past due.


-Proof Benicia resident

-Proof of being laid off or reduced hours from your employer

-Complete the assistance application

-Copy of the bill you are seeking assistance for

Link to Website & Additional Information

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BHS Library Available During Virtual Learning

While we are in virtual learning, our BHS Librarian Ms. Segle and all librarians across the district are working together to provide library services to students. Starting on September 4th, students can put library books on hold and pick them up at our curb-side service on Fridays during the lunch hour. Students also have access to eBooks and the Benicia Public Library as their student ID card serves as their library card.

For information on how to reserve and pick up a library book, access to databases, and more, be sure to visit and bookmark the BHS Library Resource page, linked below. Students can also access several library resources through the Clever app, with a single sign in.

Link to Library Page

BHS Library Contact: Ms. Megan Segle

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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!

New Webstore for BUSD & BHS

We want to let you know of a change to the BHS website with a new district-wide community webstore. We have moved to using one common webstore for online purchases for the school district. With this new webstore, each family will need to set up a new account the first time you use the service and add each of your students. The step of adding students will allow the family to see what items are available to purchase for that students based on their school and grade level.

We apologize for this inconvenience. Directions are available on the website and account set up must be completed on a computer - it will not work from a phone. Our hope is that this will be more convenient for families with multiple students and as students move from one school site to the next.

The new webstore is:

Tech Support During Virtual Learning

Having trouble with your Chromebook or accessing class resources? Benicia Unified School District offers a Live Tech Support from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. You can access this live support from the Technology Department web page on the BUSD website: and find the chat icon on the bottom right of the screen.

Student Work Permit Information

For students seeking a work permit for after school or weekend employment, Ms. Gladi in the College & Career Center is available to assist you. To start the work permit process, the student must work with their potential employer to first fill out the “Intent to Employ a Minor and Request for Work Permit.” The student can then email the document to Ms. Gladi at for review and completion.

Link to Work Permit Document

CLICK HERE for Parent Resources

Helping Your Children Engage in Distance Learning in Healthy and Productive Ways - a gathering of resources geared towards supporting parents in their efforts to support their children.

Free Meals for Students - Sign Up Today

Congress has approved a waiver for free meals for all children under 18 for this school year, including breakfast and lunch. Families must sign up to take advantage of the free meals. CLICK HERE for more information.

Please begin by filling out the initial participation form LINKED HERE if you have not already done so. There are three ways to pick up meals for students:

  1. Daily Meal Pickup: You may pick-up meals every day Monday-Friday at any of the school sites. Your child will receive lunch for that day and breakfast for the next morning.
  2. Early Meal Pickup: You may pick up meals early in the morning at Benicia High School at 7:00AM-9:00AM. If you are interested in the early meal pick-up, please SIGN UP USING THIS FORM and pick a pick-up time that is convenient for you. Please note that these meals will have to be reheated/prepared at home. We will provide heating/preparation instructions with those meals.
  3. Multi-Day Meal Packages: Starting Monday September 14th, multi-day meal packages will be available for pick up at Benicia High School on Mondays and Wednesdays. For Mondays, we will provide a two day supply of meals (Meals for Monday & Tuesday). For Wednesdays, we will provide a three-day supply of meals (Meals for Thursday, Friday, & Monday). These meals will be available to pick-up early in the morning and in the afternoon. Early Service Window: 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30, & 9:00. Midday Service Window: 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, & 1:00. To pick-up these meal packages, you would need to sign up at the link below.

Have questions? Please contact Food & Nutrition Services Director Tania Courtney at (707) 748-2758 or email her at You can also visit the BUSD Food & Nutrition Services website.

We are now distributing meals for the weekends and Holidays. Please call us to sign up!

707- 748 2758

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.

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