Banta Unified School District
September Update 2022
Banta is BACK TO SCHOOL!
Our community builds relationships, develops closeness and provides a place to celebrate and support one another.
Registration is OPEN!
Just contact the school office at 209-229-4650
What a way to start off the school year with 100-degree days and the AC set on high! I am so proud of our teachers and staff for their perseverance and dedication and the fact that they have not wilted in this late summer heat wave!
I have always loved this time of year, a time when we are getting ready for fall but are still keeping one foot securely planted in summer. That little kid in all of us trying to hold on to the last fading moments of summer with all of our might, almost as if we sense the loss of freedom, and unstructured time that summer affords us. A sense that things are more formal in the Fall, that we seem to have more responsibilities, and that it is a time to get down to business. Some might even say that Fall is a time full of potential and possibilities, a time of new beginnings.
When I was much younger, my husband and I would always take one last hiking trip before school started. One last hurrah! We would pack our backpacks, check our supplies, and with the dog in tow, we would hit the trail for a week at a time. Hiking in the backcountry pushed us to our limits as hikers. I was always the one who took up the rear, plugging along at my own pace. Finding a rhythm that always got me to my destination!
I will never forget the trail that forced us to use narrow switchbacks as we climbed up the face of a mountain. For this girl, who is severely afraid of heights- the five-foot wide trails felt like mere inches. Or the time in July that it started snowing while putting up our tent! We spent the fourth of July under a meteor shower while camping near Blue Lake walked through meadows of wildflowers on the John Muir Trail, and found hidden waterfalls in the middle of the wilderness.
When I was a young girl I was fascinated by John Muir, the founder of many of our National Parks, most notably Yosemite. Muir used to keep journals of the wildflowers, trees, and animals that he saw while living in Yosemite. When I hiked I had a flower guide that was based on Muir’s flower sketches. It gave me great joy to come across a new flower while hiking, and to check it off of the list!
These trips taught me the power of pushing myself out of my comfort zone. They taught me that large daunting tasks can be accomplished one step at a time, and they taught me that no matter how well we pack and plan, things happen and we need to be adaptive. These days the thought of sleeping on a bed of granite is much less appealing, but the allure of the backcountry wilderness and its beauty still tugs at me.
I hope you have all had a wonderful August, and have been able to keep one foot in summer! I hope you enjoy your journey, and I hope you can check off all those things you want to see and do- one step and one summer at a time! Here’s to a beautiful Fall and a fantastic September!
And just like that August is a wrap!
Picture Day is Thursday, Sept. 8th! Mark your calendar parents!
School Calendar for 2022-2023
It’s a fact that students who attend school regularly learn more and are more successful in school than students who do not. Attendance patterns are formed early in life. Children who develop good attendance habits in the early grades will be more likely to continue them throughout high school.
Regular attendance is critically important because students who miss school miss out on carefully planned sequences of instruction. They miss out on active learning experiences and class participation. They miss out on the opportunity to ask questions. As a result, they are more likely to fall behind, and they are more likely to drop out.
Things you can do to help…
· Schedule doctor and dental appointments so that your child can attend at least part of each school day.
· Communicate the importance of regular school attendance to your child so they are hearing the same thing that their teacher is saying
· If your student does miss school, please contact the school office.
When we all work together, as a team, we can make regular attendance at school a priority!
Character Counts -Pillar of the Month- Respect
Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant and accepting of differences • Use good manners, not bad language • Be considerate of the feelings of others • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone • Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreements.
Each month a different Pillar of Character will be emphasized in the classrooms through Character education.
PRINCIPAL'S ROUND UP
Two years ago, my husband and I purchased our first motorhome. As RV newbies, we shared dreams of embarking on road trips to see the beaches along the coasts of California and the Pacific Northwest, but then the pandemic hit. Camp sites all across the country began shutting down - our road trip dreams would have to wait.
We began "overnight camping" in our driveway. Not as ideal as a campground, but it allowed us to spend time in our new "home away from home" and learn how to disconnect and relax.
As campgrounds began opening, we packed our camper and hit the road. Our first official camping trip was at Woodward Reservoir. Turns out we did not have to travel far to enjoy a few nights of camping. We spent the weekend exploring the reservoir and barbecuing and roasting marshmallows over a campfire. Well… my husband did most of the cooking as I sat nearby and read a book.
Eventually, our children and granddaughter joined us on a few local trips. We would often spend the time taking bicycle rides, exploring our surroundings through nature walks, and sitting by the campfire, while challenging each other to very competitive games of UNO. Now, as the weather gets cooler, we look forward to taking our family on more camping trips to spend quality time together. It is my hope that my children will pass on the appreciation for the outdoors to our grandchildren.
My goal for you this school year is to get outside and enjoy the outdoors! Camp in your backyard, ride your bicycles through your neighborhood or take a nature walk. Explore the beauty all around you. You'll be amazed at what you discover in your own backyard.
Orientation time for TK-K
Banta Elementary School parents of students who will be entering a class this year in either transitional kindergarten, kindergarten or first grade attended a special orientation in the school multipurpose room.
Teachers Brookelyn Murphy, Carrie Burrows and Linda Duchnick addressed the parents about various school procedures that included schedules and pickups after school.
Does your child have Covid -19 Symptoms?
- Keep the sick student and siblings' home from school
- Notify the school office of the illness
- If you would like, test the student for COVID-19 (Link to places to receive COVID -19 test:
- If you decide to test for COVID-19, notify the school of the results
- Follow distance learning schedule
- Return to school on the return to school date given to you by the school nurse or office
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore THroat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Return to Campus After Illness
Due to COVID-19 and the similarities between routine colds and allergies, any student that goes home sick or stays home sick with any cold, allergy, fever, or stomach/GI issues, will be required to meet the following criteria to return to campus.
Must be fever free for 24 hours with no fever reducing medications
Have a Negative COVID-19 test result (at home tests are not accepted)
Be out for 10 days from the start of symptoms
Medications at School
Immunizations for incoming 7th Grade students
(current 6th graders)
As your student prepares to enter 7th grade in the upcoming school year, it is important that they are up to date on all of their immunizations. As required by the state of California, your child will need to provide proof to the school that they have received their Tdap Booster immunization prior to entry into 7th grade.
If we do not have documentation of this immunization, unfortunately, we will not be able to place your child on a class list come the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Please note, there have been no extensions granted by the state due to COVID-19 and the TDAP requirement remains in place.
Please provide proof of your child’s Tdap immunization to the school before the first day of classes.
Always follow up with your health care providers with concerns
We are very excited to kick off our new school year. This year we partnered with a local produce company Ceja produce out of Tracy. We are excited for our new partnership.
We are back into the swing of these and we are looking for volunteers for our Banta Hay day coming in October. Food Service and our Ag center is happy to be a part of Hay Day!
We have lots of new faces in our food service kitchen. We happily opened up a high school this year in River Islands. High school students have the option to select Subway on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Check back next month to see what exciting things food service is up to.
Mexican Independence Day
The Banta school community will be celebrating Mexican Independence Day on Thursday,
September 16th. Food Service will be offering a special celebration meal for lunch; classrooms
will be sharing the importance of Mexican Independence Day; and we encourage everyone to
wear their celebration clothes or the colors of the Mexican flag.
Banta gets a fresh new look!
Delays in Development
Concerned parents can contact the school office at 229-4650 to request evaluations.
Community Advisory Committee
Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is a group of professionals and parents of special education students throughout San Joaquin County who collaborate and share resources. This is a good way to connect with other parents who have children with special needs and know that you are not alone. If you are interested in meetings, please contact NelLaine Kilgore (209) 541-9992. Fliers are given at every IEP meeting.
The Librarian's Corner
This fall in the library we are busy, cataloguing, processing and introducing students to our new library space. We have a remodeled library and many new books for students to check out. So far this year as we are in the second week of school, we have welcomed back our dog friends and will be doing so once a month so that each grade level can meet and read with them.
We also will be having a Teddy Bear Sleepover for our smaller mustangs and are inviting Tk-2nd grade to bring their stuffed animals to the library during the 19th-23rd of September and will be reading some bed-time stories and then capturing the stuffies adventures throughout the school. Then a small brochure will be made and sent home with students for parents to see. We also will plan some fun activities for “Talk Like A Pirate Day” which is traditionally celebrated on the 19th of September but we will be celebrating on the 16th with Pirate Stories and activities.
There is also a “makerspace” cart in the library that students are welcome to come and use the materials during their lunch recess and be creative and make craft projects. As long as students continue to have good behavior and clean up their mess this cart is available to them before school and during recess times.
It is our hope that we will get a donation from Van Groningen Farms and have some pumpkins donated for our Storybook Character Contest. This contest will run through the month of October and we are looking forward to seeing what book characters you come up with. Remember they can be from a book or movie, your choice! We will then vote on four or five categories and have prizes for students.
Students are also enjoying our book vending machine and we are in the process of ordering new selections for students to choose from. Listen to the morning announcements each Friday to see if your blue ticket has been pulled for “trustworthiness.”
As always, I welcome volunteers in the library to help with weeding, processing of books and general maintenance. If you are interested please don’t hesitate to contact me at (209) 647-0774 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Look Who's At Banta
This month's Look Who's At Banta profile features Teacher Leticia Espinoza-Diaz. Each month "Banta Bios" will highlight a Banta Elementary School staff member's educational background, training and what they like to do outside the school
Teacher Leticia Espinoza-Diaz, of Patterson, CA.
Husband, two sons and family dog Jasper
Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Chapman College in Orange, CA. This is her first year teaching at Banta Elementary School.
Traveling, crafts and gardening are among her favorite activities outside of the classroom, as well as binge watching television shows such as “Heartland” and “Stranger Things.” When traveling, she enjoys going on day-trips, especially to Monterey and other California coastal towns. She also likes the occasional family trip to Disneyland during the Halloween and Christmas festivities. During her travels she likes to take pictures of the animals that she sees, as well as landscapes and sunsets. Many of her photos become her family Christmas card cover. To prepare her younger son for college, she likes to take trips to college and university campuses around the country. While in these college towns, her family checks out the local historical spots. When at home, she likes to spend time with family and friends for an enjoyable dinner party.
STUDENT BOOK REVIEWS
This month we continue our ongoing feature of student book reviews where students talk about books they have read from our school library. This gives us an insight on what our students enjoy reading.
Riding the School Bus?
Parent, Faculty Association
In our monthly meetings, we actively share the ongoing academic successes and needs for all students, especially those learning English as a second language.
Please join us, this year as we continue to honor Banta’s rich history and community involvement.
Meeting Days and Time Wednesdays from 6:00-7:00 p.m.
● September 14, 2022
● October 19, 2022
● November 12, 2022
● January 18, 2023
● February 15, 2022
● April 19, 2022