Benicia High School Panther Post

January 2020 - Monthly Newsletter

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
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Students - Sign up for Access Events Online

College & Career Events, Resume Workshops, College Reps, Special Performances & More!

Happy New Year & Welcome to Second Semester!

Hello Panthers,

As we begin 2020, we pause to recognize the many things we have to celebrate from the first semester of this year and want to share these celebrations with you. Please read below for just a few of the highlights and celebrations at BHS:

  • Students from Mr. Kaiser's AP Computer Science Class win Congressional App Contest: US Congressman Mike Thompson tasked a local team of tech experts to select a winning entry. Congratulations to Benji Ryuijin & Kai Rush on their winning app: "Space Trace." Their innovative design will be on display throughout the upcoming year in the U.S. Capitol and will be featured on the House website, proudly representing our school to the nation.
  • Varsity Boys Cross Country Team on earning the North Coast Section Scholastic Championship Team Award for Fall 2019. This award is presented to the top 3 North Coast Section Varsity teams (out of 179 schools) with the highest composite GPA of 3.0+ (unweighted).
  • BHS Panthers competed well in Fall Sports with MANY students recognized for North Coast Section All-League Honors and several teams making it to post-season playoff competition. Check out BHS Twitter for all the information. Go Panthers!
  • Congratulations to all of the cast and crew, since all of our students worked as both cast and crew this year, for the Fall Play, "Almost, Maine." Mr. Day and his student-performers did an amazing job bringing the unorganized town of Almost to a very organized and beautiful performance on the BHS stage.
  • This year's Dance Show, Center Stage, was a big hit with beautiful dances choreographed and performed by our Advanced Dance students. Our dancers are now preparing for their next dance show in May, 2020.
  • The Panther Marching Band continues to represent Benicia to the fullest at competitions, bringing home sweepstakes, trophies, and fun memories. The band is preparing for their Spring Music Exchange, which happens every two years, traveling to New York in March to participate in the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
  • PantherTV brought us weekly episodes with the latest news at BHS, hilarious skits, and a fresh look at life as a Panther. The show will resume in January 2020... Stay tuned!
  • BHS continues to improve in our state test results and College & Career Preparation measures. We will be presenting the celebrations of our annual data, showing exciting progress, at the January 16th BUSD Governing Board Meeting. (This data is available to the public via the California Dashboard website, searching Benicia High School and the year 2019.)

We realize none of these achievements would be possible without the amazing students we have, as well as the talented staff and supportive families in our school community. Thank you all for your care and your contributions. We look forward to returning for the second semester, recharged and ready for more great memories and special accomplishments to come.

Go Panthers!

Brianna Kleinschmidt, Principal

BHS Favorite Books of 2019

Our Librarian, Ms. Segle, compiled a list of books recommended by students & staff as their favorite books of 2019. For those of you who are looking for something to read, here's the list!

VAPING: What Can Parents Do?

Wednesday, Jan. 29th, 6:30-7:30pm

1101 Military West

Benicia, CA

See flyer below for information.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

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ACT Practice Exam for Benicia High School Students

To prepare for success in the college admission process, students are invited to complete a practice SAT in the Fall and practice ACT in the Winter. Our school's PTSA (Parent-Teacher-Student Association) has partnered with Revolution Prep, a nationwide leader in academic and test preparation tutoring, to provide these opportunities. This is a great chance to get started on an individual testing plan, or get additional practice. Taking practice tests under timed conditions can help to improve scores. Plus, every exam comes with a free 30-minute score report review with Revolution Prep’s testing experts to assess specific strengths and areas of improvement, if desired.

Register today! Registration is required and seats are limited.

To enroll: Please register at

ACT Practice Exam: Saturday, January 25th 9:00AM-1:00PM

Deadline to enroll: Friday, January 19th

Donation: $20

Register for Spring Sports by February 10th

Spring Sports Registration is now open - All students planning to try out for and/or participate in Spring Sports must register prior to February 10th. Along with registration, a copy of the student's current physical must be uploaded. Registration information and link:
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BHS is starting an all female competitive cybersecurity team! First meeting is Monday Jan. 13th in room B-107. Questions? Talk with Mr. Kaiser or email him at

This is a growing field! Here are the facts:

  • There will be over 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs over the next 5 years.
  • Average salary is $100,000+
  • Current % of female cybersecurity professionals: 15-20%
  • The US needs more cybersecurity professionals (article linked here).
  • The cybersecurity profession needs more women (article linked here).

The CyberPanthers will be an all-female team competing online against over 1,000 schools.

No experience is necessary and no after school commitment!

Parent Invitation: Stakeholder Engagement in District's Strategic Plan

Dear BUSD Families,

Your thoughts and feedback on our District programs are valued and wanted. On January 28, 2020, Benicia Unified School District will host Stakeholder Engagement sessions for the development of our District's Strategic Plan--the LCAP. We hope you can join us on January 28th, either between 8:30-10:30am or 6:00-8:00pm at the District Office, 350 East K Street, in the Board Room.

Below are three short videos that explain this important work: LCAP and Budgeting, Requirements, and Current Programs. Please view these videos prior to attending the Stakeholder Engagement sessions.

Video 1 (LCAP & Budgeting)

Video 2 (LCAP & Requirements)

Video 3 (LCAP & Current Program)

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact the Benicia Unified District Office at (707) 747-8300.

BHS Student Art Shows Coming Soon

The Benicia Public Library will be hosting our Student Art Show from February 20th through March 12th, with a special Student Reception on Thursday, March 12th, from 6:00 - 7:30 pm.

The Arata Gallery will also be hosting a Student Art Show February 1st through March 30th, with student artwork available for purchase. For each sale, the Arata Gallery will donate a portion of the commission back to the Benicia High School Visual and Performing Arts Department. A Special Student Reception Event will be held on February 8th, from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. Any student interested in submitting a cohesive portfolio for this show should contact Ms. Seilonen in room B-206 by January 10, 2020 (

Amazon Smile - An Easy Way to Donate to Your PTSA!

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!


Hey Panthers, don't wait to purchase your yearbook - last year the books sold out! You can purchase your yearbook in the Finance Office or through the BHS Webstore.

13th Annual Benicia Education Foundation Run for Education!

Registration is now open for the 13th Annual Benicia Education Foundation Run for Education! Visit for information on the Sunday, March 29, 2020 race and to register for the 5K run/walk, children’s fun run, Shop & Stroll, or “Hit the Snooze” 5K. Rates increase after January 31, 2020. Proceeds from the race help support programs and events at all seven BUSD schools.

Please contact your school principal if you may be in need of financial assistance to participate.

Grad Night 2020 - Get Your Senior a Ticket Now!

Grad Night 2020

Attention Class of 2020,

Grad Night is an event created and run by our community of volunteers, offered to our Benicia Graduates every year on the night of gradudation to provide a safe and sober celebration. This is an optional event, but highly encouraged and a favorite memory of all who attend. We encourage families to get a ticket for their Senior as early as possible in order to get the best price. Ticket prices will be increasing from $100 to $125 on January 11th.

Register your Class of 2020 Senior and pay online at A Grad Night ticket would make an excellent gift!

Benicia Grad Night is also in need of volunteers to help plan for and prepare the event - in the months before graduation and for the night of the big event! Volunteers can sign up online as well.

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Community Resource: Parent Project Classes Coming in January

The highly acclaimed Parent Project Senior (parents of youth ages 10+) & Parent Project Junior (parents of youth ages 5-10) classes are being offered again in January 2020. These 10-week parenting classes are designed by parents, for parents.

Registration is available online at Save your space today!

Classes are free and take place one evening per week.

Sponsored by the Solano College Foster Kinship Care Education Program

Benicia High's Debate Team Off to a Strong Start

The Benicia High Debate Team, led by Coach John Gaines and student captains Tristan Keane, Emily Boe, Charlotte Austria and Juhi Yadav, started the year strong with a great showing in their first Golden Gate Speech Association tournament, bringing home trophies for sweeps and near sweeps in their categories. Shortly following the tournament, several new and veteran team members participated in daily lunchtime debates at the high school. Crowds grew each day, coming to hear debates on subjects ranging from legalizing the ivory trade and giving felons the right to vote to the nearly age-old question of who was a better love interest for Bella from the popular Twilight series: Jacob or Edward?

The team will be busy in the new year with three back-to-back tournaments leading to State Qualifiers. Largely student-led, the team now attracts more underclassmen and female students, making its future much more solid.

All students are welcome. Meetings are held in room G-4 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, after school.

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

  • Monday, January 6th: School Resumes - Start of Second Semester
  • Tuesday, January 7th - Wednesday, January 8th: Student & Staff Variety Show Auditions, in room N-2
  • Tuesday, January 7th - Friday, January 10th: Spring Musical Auditions, in the auditorium
  • Wednesday, January 8th: PTSA Board Meeting
  • Thursday, January 9th: Student Forum during Access, in the auditorium
  • Friday, January 10th: Semester 1 Grades Posted & Academic Eligibility Reviewed
  • Tuesday, January 14th: School Site Council Meeting, 3:30pm in room A-108
  • Friday, January 17th: CPT day, 2pm student dismissal
  • Friday, January 17th: Improv Show, 7pm in the auditorium
  • Monday, January 20th: Holiday - No School
  • Friday, January 24th: Student & Staff Variety Show, 7pm in the auditorium
  • Saturday, January 25th: Practice ACT exam (see information above)
  • Saturday, January 25th: Student & Staff Variety Show, 7pm in the auditorium
  • Monday, January 27th: Non-Student Day, Staff Only
  • Wednesday, January 29th: "Vaping: What Can Parents Do?" 6:30pm in room L-116 (see information above)
  • Thursday, January 30th: Career Speaker Event during Access, in room N-2
  • Saturday, February 1st: BHS & BMS Band "Jazz n' Crab Feed," 5pm at the Clocktower (see flyer for info)

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

Be sure to check out the Benicia Unified School District's Food Services web page for several important items including monthly menus, application for Freed or Reduced meals, and access to set up and maintain a student meal account. We encourage all families to online set up their "My School Bucks" account for convenient access to meal balances, purchases, and to make payments from your computer or phone.

Benicia High School does not allow food deliveries during school hours as we are a closed campus and work to minimize disruptions to class time as well as maximize school safety. Students can purchase breakfast, snack, and lunch at multiple locations on campus with cash or their 'My School Bucks" account.

New at BHS - We now offer a Pasta Bar in the Student Center during lunch, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students can choose from several options of protein and sauce, including a vegetarian option.

We also offer a range of Vegetarian, Vegan, and Plant-Based meal options every day in the Student Center!

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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.