Benicia High School Panther Post

November 2019 - 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
Students - Sign up for Access Events Online

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

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A Month of Mindfulness

Hello Panthers,

This month we are focusing on mindfulness, defined as a mental state achieved by focusing on our own awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting our feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. Mindfulness can help with the rise and fall of emotions experienced throughout the day, through the transitions between classes or work activities, and is a technique used to deal with stress and anxiety. Mindfulness supports a sense of calm, focus, and the development of positive attitudes.

According to Stop, Breathe, & Think, people who use mindfulness strategies are better able to:

  • Calm themselves down (89%)
  • Manage their stress (88%)
  • Focus their concentration (80%)
  • Manage their anger (80%)

There are many ways to practice mindfulness, some that take just a minute or two and others that allow for a longer period of time. All focus on the present, with the acknowledgement that depression is about the past and anxiety is about the future, but focusing on the present can provide calm and clarity. There are several mindfulness apps that can be downloaded and used via smart phone or tablet to guide students and adults through a regular practice.

To encourage students, families, and staff to explore mindfulness with small acts, we have created a Month of Mindfulness calendar, with one activity each day. Our hope is that through exploration of different mindfulness strategies, we will all find a few that work for us and can be used when we find ourselves feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious.

BHS Staff has noticed an increase in anxiety and stress among our students and want to provide strategies to help. Test anxiety is one of the most notable areas, with much research available as to why this occurs and tips on how to address test anxiety. For more information on test anxiety, math anxiety, and how adults and students can best address this, the articles below from the Child Mind Institute provide research and resources to help:

Throughout the month, we will post reminders of our Mindfulness practice of the day on social media. Our November Staff Meeting will focus on Mindfulness so that we can share this with our teachers as well and discuss how to incorporate mindfulness into their classes or Access Period. Then, during Wellness Week before semester finals, we will offer a range of mindfulness events for students to help them address test anxiety and holiday stress.

Join us in our Month of Mindfulness and let us know how mindfulness is helping you with an email to

Go Panthers!

Brianna Kleinschmidt, Principal

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Parent Voice Needed - California Healthy Kids Survey

Hello Panther Parents & Guardians,

Every two years, Benicia High School surveys our students, parents, and staff to learn more about the quality and the safety of our school community. We need YOUR HELP, with a few minutes of your time to complete the survey linked below. This survey is an opportunity to communicate your perceptions about your child’s school. The survey is anonymous so that the state and the school district can collect information to understand more about what is facing our students, including drug use, vaping, alcohol abuse, physical safety, suicidal thoughts, mental health, bullying, and more.

This survey is currently available and will remain open for three weeks.

The purpose of this survey is to obtain parent perceptions about Benicia High School. Your participation is voluntary, but is very important as it will guide the district and school efforts to promote safety, enhance learning supports, and improve student achievement.

Link to Survey for Benicia High School - please note all questions pertain to BHS only. There are other surveys for other schools in the district. If you have more than one child at Benicia High, please fill out one survey, using your oldest child as your reference.

If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Laura Friend at the Benicia Unified District Office,

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College & Career Field Trip

Tuesday, November 19th

UC Berkeley, Diablo Valley College, and Cal Maritime

Approximate return time 3:45pm

Permission slips are available in the Counseling Department

All students & grades welcome to attend - Space is limited so sign up soon!

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College Application Labs

The College & Career Center is offering College Application Labs each Wednesday, during Access Period, through November 20th, in room H-109. Bring your application materials!

Questions? Please contact Gina Marwick in the BHS College & Career Center at

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SAT/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

SAT Practice Exam: Saturday, November 16th 9:00AM-1:00PM

Deadline to enroll: Friday, November 10th

Donation: $20

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

Deadline to enroll: Friday, January 19th

Donation: $20

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!


Hey Seniors, don't wait to purchase your yearbook - last year the books sold out so to give you an extra reason to order your book early, every Senior who purchases their yearbook during the first semester will receive a FREE copy of the Senior Panoramic Photo ($40 value).

You can purchase your yearbook in the Finance Office or through the BHS Webstore.

Math Lab Now Available - Free Math Tutoring

Math Lab is held in Mr. Guinon's classroom, B-204 on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school for one hour. All students are welcome to attend no matter their level of math class. Along with Mr. Guinon's help, volunteer tutors from Valero Refinery in Benicia are on hand to assist students.

AP Research - Book Review & Adoption

We are excited to be piloting Research Design (Creswell) in the Advanced Placement Research course, part of the AP Capstone Program. This text will be available for public view at the District Office, 350 East K Street, in the Educational Services Office, from November 4, 2019 through November 14, 2019.

Last Call - Reminder to Register for AP Exams

There have been major changes by the College Board to Advanced Placement exam registration for the 2019-2020 school year. Unlike in years past when registration took place a few months before testing, we are now required to order tests in the Fall.

Emails went out to students and parents over the last few weeks with information about how to sign up, with the two-step process. The deadline to register for an exam is November 8th at 11:59pm. Second semester AP Government students will have until the March deadline to register for the AP Government exam.

For more information, including instructions for exam registration, exam fees, and additional important dates, please refer to the email sent to students and parents. Questions can be sent to Vice Principal Sean Thompson at or your student's AP teacher.

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

  • Friday, November 1st: Deadline to submit Senior Quotes (email sent to 12th graders)
  • Friday, November 1st: Student of the Month Luncheon
  • Friday, November 1st: Advanced Dance Show "Center Stage," 7pm in the auditorium
  • Saturday, November 2nd: Advanced Dance Show "Center Stage," 7pm in the auditorium
  • Sunday, November 3rd: Advanced Dance Show "Center Stage," 5pm in the auditorium
  • Monday, November 4th: PTSA Meeting, 6pm in room A-108
  • Tuesday, November 5th: Fall Concert, 7pm in the auditorium
  • Thursday, November 7th: Student Forum Meeting during Access Period
  • Friday, November 8th: CPT day, 2pm student dismissal
  • Friday, November 8th: ASVAB Test after school in the Library (sign up in advance)
  • Monday, November 11th: No School in honor of Veteran's Day
  • Tuesday, November 12th: School Site Council Meeting, 3:30pm in room A-108
  • Wednesday, November 13th: World Kindness Day - Wear Orange!
  • Saturday, November 16th: Practice SAT - see information above to reserve seat
  • Monday, November 18th - Friday, November 22nd: Volleyball Tournament at Lunch
  • Tuesday, November 19th: College & Career Field Trip, students sign up in H-109
  • Tuesday, November 19th: Special Presentation on Anxiety, Depression & Suicidality, 7pm in the auditorium (see information above)
  • Thursday, November 21st: Career Speaker Event during Access
  • Friday, November 22nd: Improv Show, 7pm in the auditorium
  • Monday, November 25th - Friday, November 29th: Thanksgiving Break, School Closed

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 Ramen Bar in the Student Center during lunch. Students can choose from several options of protein, including a vegetarian option, and select their choice of ingredients as they create their own ramen bowl.

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

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.