Bennett Bear Business Newsletter

Week of March 23, 2020

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Dear Amazing Bennett Families,

Please give our BEARS a big hug from our Bennett staff. Tell them we absolutely love them and miss them so much! We are hosting a virtual "Bennett Spirit Week" this week, as well as, a Facebook Live drawing on Friday, for our March Stuffed Animal...the BIG, GREEN ALIEN. Check out the details below!

Our staff will be working together virtually this week to prepare for our teacher directed online learning that begins for our BEARS on Monday, March 30, 2020. More details will be sent out this week on how students and parents will access these lessons.

Our amazing Bennett staff will continue to work to promote a positive school culture for our BEARS to show them how much we love and miss them. We have many more fun and exciting activities coming your way. Stay tuned!

If there is anything you need, please reach out to us. We are ready, willing, and able to assist you remotely. Virtual hugs!

Proud to be a BEAR,


Bennett Spirit Week - Show Us What You've Got, BEARS

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March Friday Live Stuffed Animal Drawing - Facebook Live on March 27th, at 2:30PM

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Our March Friday Live may be cancelled because there is no school, but Ms. Halpin and I have some important business to take care of on Friday, March 27th, at 2:30PM.

We know our BEARS are eager to know whose lucky ticket will be drawn for the March Stuffed Animal Drawing...the BIG, GREEN ALIEN!!!

So, Ms. Halpin and I are going to Facebook Live on our Bennett Elementary Facebook page on Friday, March 27th, at 2:30PM, to draw the lucky ticket. Be watching, because we could draw YOUR ticket!!!

Texas Education Agency - Waives STAAR Testing Requirements for 2019-2020

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Special Olympics Date Change - Now Thursday, May 14th

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Update from McKinney ISD Regarding School Closures

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As you have heard, McKinney ISD schools will remain closed through Friday, April 3, 2020, in an effort to support the community, region and nation’s need to slow the spread of COVID-19. This action follows advice from local, state and national health authorities.

McKinney ISD will use the week of March 30–April 3, to reassess whether there is a need to extend the suspension of normal district operations beyond April 3, and will communicate a decision to the public at that time.

McKinney ISD will remain flexible, as we roll out our long-term plan for instructional continuity, and as we continue to navigate the many details of this unprecedented situation. Although our buildings remain closed to the public, we will continue to provide academic and social-emotional enrichment resources for our students and families. (See Below) McKinney ISD will communicate how students and families will be able to access those resources online beginning tomorrow, on Monday, March 23.

Teacher directed online learning for McKinney ISD students is scheduled to start on Monday, March 30, and the district will provide more information to parents and students about that process during the week of March 23–27.

We will stay connected with you through our normal communication channels, and we ask that you please visit the McKinney ISD homepage and the McKinney ISD Facebook page to receive the most current and accurate information about this extended closure and McKinney ISD’s response to the COVID-19 health concern.

We wish to express gratitude to our entire community of families, staff, volunteers and community partners for your patience and support during these uncertain times.


McKinney ISD Communications Department

McKinney ISD Grab & Go Meals - FREE to ALL McKinney ISD Students

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McKinney ISD Digital Resources for Learning at Home

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Cellular & Internet Services Available for Students

The following cellular and internet companies have made efforts to facilitate families with access to the internet in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Please see below for the following information that has been collected. Contact the companies directly to confirm the services they can provide your family during this time.

Free internet for students:

Altice internet providers Suddenlink and Optimum are offering 60 days of free internet service for households with K-12 or college students. Internet speeds are up to 30 Mbps if you do not already have access to a home internet plan. To sign up, call 1-866-200-9522 if you live in an area with Optimum internet service, or call 1-888-633-0030 if you live in an area with a Suddenlink internet service.

Spectrum/Charter offers 60 days of free internet service to new customers. Families can call Spectrum at 1-844-488-8395 and give their home address to confirm that service is available to them. If this is an area that Spectrum services, they will do the installation, provide the modem and 60 days of internet service, all for free. After the 60 days, the family can cancel (they can also cancel at any time) or they will be charged the introductory rate fee.

Other options for internet service:

Sprint COVID-19 response offers unlimited data to existing customers and starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Sprint will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge. By March 18: Customers with metered data plans will receive unlimited data per month for 60 days (a minimum of two bill cycles) at no extra cost. Sprint will provide customers with an additional 20GB off mobile hotspot data per month for 60 days (a minimum of two bill cycles) at no extra cost. Beginning March 18, through April 1: Customers with mobile hotspot-capable handsets, who don’t have mobile hotspot today, will now get 20GB as well per month for 60 days (a minimum of two bill cycles) at no extra cost. Contact Sprint customer service at 1-844-764-8359.

T-Mobile COVID-19 response offers ALL current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers who have plans with data, with unlimited smartphone data for the next 60 days (excluding roaming) and coming soon (date not announced), T-Mobile will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge. For more information, contact customer service by dialing 611 from your T-Mobile or Metro phone.

Comcast COVID-19 response offers free WiFi for 2 months to low-income families plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time.

For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser. Contact customer service at

Comcast response Comcast Xfinity currently offers its Internet Essentials program free for two months to new customers. The internet provider is also automatically increasing speeds for all Internet Essentials customers. Comcast Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots are also open and free to use by anyone.

AT&T COVID-19 response All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data. Additionally, we’ll continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through our Access from AT&T program. We’ve expanded eligibility to Access from AT&T to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start.

Verizon COVID-19 response: no special offers at this time.


McKinney ISD Communications Department

Encourage Students to Read 20 Minutes A Day

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FREE Sora eBooks Access for Bennett Students

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Did you know McKinney ISD students have access to Sora eBooks? Sora has a diverse collection of books from classic and award-winning literature, to the most current and popular titles.

Bennett Elementary just signed up to gain simultaneous access to 244 premium titles. This is in addition to the collection of books already available to students.

Scholastic Magazines - FREE Learn At Home Resources

FREE Access for our BEARS

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30 FREE Virtual Resources

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FREE Daily Learning Resources for Parents

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MusicPlay - FREE Online Resources

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FREE Reading & Writing Resources - 1st Grade - 4th Grade

FREE Fluency & Fitness Activities - Kinder - 2nd Grade

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30 Day Lego Challenge

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40+ Virtual Field Trips Your Kids Can Take From The Couch

Bennett Learning Commons Online Resources for Students

The Bennett Learning Commons has many online resources available to students 24/7.

By logging in to the Bennett Library Home Page, students have access to online subscriptions. Username and password information is revealed when students log in. Please use the Accessing MISD & Bennett Online Resources Handout (see below) to learn how to gain access to these resources.

Encourage your student to read 20 minutes a day. If access to physical books is limited, students have access to thousands of ebooks through the SORA app (fiction), Overdrive (fiction), Tumblebooks (fiction) Follett (nonfiction and fiction), GVRL (nonfiction) and Pebble Go (nonfiction). Information about these resources may be found on the Bennett Learning Commons Google Site.

Don't forget, students may also access the Bennett Makerspace and Learning Commons Google Site from home. There are many activities that students may engage in without access to Makerspace tools, such as Scratch and Hour of Code.

Accessing MISD & Bennett Online Resources Handouts

Kids Always Have Questions - Extend Their Learning Here

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How many questions have YOU asked? Be sure to check out the daily "Wonder of the Day."

Wonderopolis is FREE and easy to use with 2,500+ articles on all kinds of curious questions. Wonder sparks curiosity that leads to deeper learning. Let the questions begin!

Go Noodle - FREE Site & App for Kids

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Go Noodle is used widely in our school and district for brain breaks. Go Noodle has made their site and app free. Parents are able to use without creating an account on the website by clicking “Get Started” but you may want to create an account if you would like. Our students are very familiar with Go Noodle and LOVE to dance!

Additional Enrichment Activities

Parent Feedback Form

PTO Needs Your Photos for the Yearbook

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