Battle Creek Elementary Newsletter

November 2021

Message from principal Mr. DeMeurers

Dear Battle Creek Families,


Now that you have heard the news that I have been invited to be the interim principal at Battle Creek for the remainder of the school year, I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself.


My name is Alan deMeurers. Most often students like to call me Mr. D. When talking with parents, I prefer to be called Alan.


I taught in grades kindergarten through 6th grade for 18 years, mostly in Salem-Keizer, before becoming a principal. I served as a principal in the district for 11 years, most recently at Myers Elementary School. In the four years since I retired, I have been hired back multiple times by the district to support elementary principals and fill in for some long-term principal assignments.


Last month I jumped at a chance to fill-in as the substitute principal at Battle Creek when the Elementary Directors called and asked if I was available. Battle Creek has an outstanding reputation in our district, and I was excited to work alongside such talented staff.


My intention was to work for a week or two and then return to retirement. When the opportunity was offered for me to stay for the remainder of the year, I had to think long and hard. Such a commitment was much more than what I was planning to take on for this year, but after spending quality time with your children and the staff at BC, in the end, I just could not walk away.


On a personal note, I am married to a kindergarten teacher who works at Lamb Elementary. My wife’s parents (natives of Brazil) have come to live with us for the past many years. We also have an adult child living at home. His project over the past year has been to open a store called Brick in the Wall, which specializes in LEGO products.


I also have two adult children who have left the nest and have children of their own. My daughter is a licensed counselor and has three girls. My son works for FedEx and is working on getting his commercial pilot’s license. He has a boy of his own. Being a grandparent is the best job in the world! We also have a very old and very grumpy chihuahua.


As you work with me this year, you will find that I am child-centered and will always do everything in my power to do what is best for our students. I also hold a firm belief that students do best when parents and schools partner together.

As a father and a grandfather, I understand what it means to send your children to school each day and trust they will be well cared for. I pledge to work very hard and will give my best. Battle Creek is a great place to be, and I am humbled and grateful to be here.


Alan deMeurers

Interim Principal

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Ms. Benson's Counselor Corner

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Thanksgiving Food Drive and Boxes

When we think of November, we often think of kindness, being thankful, and generosity. Battle Creek Elementary is collecting items for our Thanksgiving Food Boxes between the dates of Monday, November 1st and Wednesday, November 17th. These Thanksgiving Food Boxes will be donated to Battle Creek Elementary School families who might not otherwise enjoy a Thanksgiving meal as a family. A golden-rod information and application sheet regarding the Thanksgiving Food Boxes and Drive was sent home in your child’s Monday folder on October 25th.

To receive a Food box

If you are in need and would like to receive a Thanksgiving Food Box, please complete the application and return it to Battle Creek school counselor, Ms. Benson, on or before Friday, November 5th. If you prefer a digital option, please click the following link or scan the QR code. Please note, you must have a student currently enrolled at Battle Creek Elementary School to apply for a food box.


Click Thanksgiving Box LINK or Scan QRcode

Want to help donate

If you’d like to participate in the drive, we will have a cart outside the school Monday through Friday from 7:20 a.m.-3:20 p.m., starting Monday, November 1st and ending on Wednesday, November 17th. Each classroom will also have a box for donations. If you bring in a gift card, cash, or a check, we ask that you drop it off at the office.

Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity during this difficult time! Your kindness makes a huge impact! For more ideas on gratefulness and generosity, check out these attachments from Big Life Journal!


  • 20 Fun Ways to Teach Children About Gratitude
  • 21-Day Family Gratitude
  • Family Gratitude Challenge


Click the images below to see the big life Journals

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COMMITMENT TO EQUITY AND ANTI-RACISM

The first resolution of its kind was developed through collaboration with district staff, leadership, community feedback and engagement.

At its meeting Tuesday night, the Salem-Keizer Public Schools Board of Directors voted 4-2 to approve a resolution recognizing the board and district’s commitment to equity and anti-racism. One board director was absent. It is the first time a resolution of its kind was introduced in SKPS.

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SALEM-KEIZER PUBLIC SCHOOLS LAUNCHES NEW COVID-19 DASHBOARD

With nearly 41,000 students in our schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, safety and well-being of our students, families and staff is, without question, our highest priority. Open communication and transparency play critical roles in safety and we want to ensure you have accurate and timely information on how COVID-19 is impacting our schools.


Covid-19 Data Dashboard

We have officially launched our COVID-19 data dashboard for the 2021-22 school year. Please know that this dashboard is still ongoing further development and may continue to have minor tweaks and improvements over the coming weeks.

You can learn more about our COVID-19 investigation and communication process, on our new online dashboard webpage.


Remember, COVID-19 impacts us all daily. It is critical that we follow all recommended health and safety protocols such as vaccination, wearing a face covering, hand-washing and maintaining physical distance both while in school, and out in the community.

Thank you for all of your ongoing support as we continue to improve our processes and work together to keep our students, staff, families and community safe.

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Reminders About Traffic Around Our School

It’s a new school year and a good time to share a few reminders about traffic around the school.

Students, parents, buses, staff and school neighbors all share the same travel routes through the neighborhood to and from the school. Peak travel times can create congestion and increase the need for safe and courteous travel practices.

Here are a few ways parents can help us create a safe, respectful and positive environment when driving near the school:



  • Please drive slowly. Remember, the speed limit in a school zone when lights are flashing is 20 miles per hour.
  • Please don’t park in neighbors’ driveways at any time, even if the driveway is open.
  • Don’t block streets, stop in intersections or crosswalks, and please obey crossing guards’ instructions.
  • Remind children to stop and look both ways before crossing streets, and to respect neighbors’ property – for example, don’t make shortcuts through neighbors’ yards.
  • When lining up to pick-up or drop-off students, leave at least three feet of space between your car and the nearest driveway opening.
  • Avoid lining up early for pick-up or drop-off to help minimize congestion.
  • Don’t drive in bus lanes, even if no buses are present.

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AMERICAN/ALASKAN NATIVE CELEBRATION 2021

Join us in celebrating American Indian Alaskan Native Month in November at the American Indian Alaskan Native Celebration 2021.

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ALL STUDENTS GRADUATE PREPARED

In 2010, Oregon adopted higher K-12 standards in English Language Arts and Math to ensure all students move from grade to grade with the academic knowledge and skills necessary for success beyond high school. Because we raised the bar for what we expect students to know and be able to do, we have also changed the way we measure student progress through our state tests.

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SCHOOL CALENDAR

KEY DATES:


  • November 1-30: In-District Student Transfer Application window
  • November 8-12: Book Fair
  • November 11: No school - Veteran's Day
  • November 12: No School - Non-student contact day
  • November 24-26: No School - Thanksgiving Break
  • December 3: No School - Grading Day

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IN-DISTRICT STUDENT TRANSFER APPLICATIONS OPEN NOVEMBER 1-30

Students who want to attend a school other than their assigned school may apply for an in-district transfer (IDT) between November 1–30, 2021. This includes elementary, middle, high school and students who would like to transfer to the EDGE online program.

If your student already has an approved IDT, you do not need to fill out the application.

There is no guarantee a transfer request will be approved. Students attending school on an IDT are not eligible for bus transportation. IDT applications received after November 30, 2021, will not be considered.

In-district transfer request forms can be picked up at your student’s assigned school. They will also be posted on the Student Transfers page on November 1. The webpage will also include instructions on how to turn in the forms via email, snail mail.

It is preferred that families fill out the forms and drop them off at their assigned schools.

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2021-22 MEAL PRICES: FREE!

Thanks to the USDA’s Seamless Summer Option, we will be able to feed all students breakfast and lunch at school for free this year.
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PANDEMIC FOOD BENEFITS INFORMATION FOR FAMILIES

Oregon families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals will get pandemic food benefits. This includes students that attend a school where all students eat meals at school for free, children in foster care, children of migrant workers and youth experiencing homelessness.

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PARENTSQUARE

We are excited to introduce ParentSquare, a new two-way communication platform that will streamline and improve communication with families and staff. It has the functions of both Remind and SchoolMessenger and will eventually replace both platforms. It also includes appointment scheduling options, which may be very helpful for conference sign ups.

It is very important that parents keep their contact information current.

Be sure to let your school office know if you have a new address, email or phone number.


The parent or guardian marked as the primary contact in the student information system will receive automated communication.


Messages will also be sent to the student’s home phone number contained in the database, if different from the primary contact phone number.

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OREGON HEALTH PLAN FREE FOR YOUTH

Through the Oregon Health Plan, youth 19 years of age and younger have access to free health coverage, regardless of immigration status if they meet the income requirements.

More information, including income requirements and how to apply for coverage, is available online.

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HOW DO I STAY CONNECTED?

Read our newest format of the school Newsletter via ParentSquare or on the school website!


Download the free ParentSquare App on your phone. ParentSquare - Apps on Google Play

Check your email inbox. Update your email in ParentVUE if it's not accurate.