Banta Unified School District

October Update

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Superintendents Corner

It’s my favorite time of year! It’s FALL! I am not sure if it is the turning of the leaves, or the fact that the days begin to get cooler, or maybe it’s the pumpkins and the smell of spice in the grocery store aisles– but I just love everything about Fall.

I get excited thinking about my annual trip to Apple Hill, where I pick enough apples to make my spiced apples for a years worth of apple pies. I love watching the pomegranates on my tree turn a ruby red, in anticipation of jam making! Most of all, I love the sound of my wind chimes, as the fall breezes start making their appearances each evening.

Fall seems to trigger in me the need to clean things out, to organize and put things in order. My husband says that I have a Fall nesting instinct that lays dormant 10 months of the year, and then wakes up the first day of October! This year my nesting has spilled over to school, as I have moved into a new office. New pictures needed to be hung, years of files organized, and my favorite bear put on a shelf!

Fall is also a time filled with wonderful memories. October at my dad’s nursey always meant a time to reorganize and clean in preparation for Christmas trees being delivered in November. October also meant trips to the pumpkin farm, huge piles of leaves, and my mother canning homemade tomato sauce, pickles and pumpkin.

When I was a kid , Fall also meant Halloween. My most favorite holiday as a kid! These were the days when we took a pillow case and ran for miles, collecting pounds of candy with the kids from the neighborhood.

I have terrific memories of dressing up in elaborate costumes that my mother spent weeks making on her sewing machine at the dining room table. She was extremely talented with glitter, taffeta and a glue gun, and could make my sister and I into anything! My favorite costume though, was actually one that my mother did not make– it was a rabbit that was made out of a paper bag- I loved that costume!

As I had a family of my own, Fall continued to represent a breath of fresh air, a time of organizing and of course a time of elaborate Halloween costumes! A few years back, I was cleaning out the attic, and realized that I had almost 50 costumes stored away in bins. From the wicked witch, and the Pea pod, to the cheerleader, and scientist, to a tele tubby– I had over a decade of costumes for three children. As I donated these costumes to the high school drama department, I was struck by how many memories were tied to these bins of wigs, props and costumes.

As we head into Fall, my wish for you is a month full of pumpkin spice, organizing, crafty costumes, wonderful memories and maybe even a paper bag rabbit! Happy Fall!

Mrs. Pearlman

Important Dates for October

October 15- No School

October 21- Picture Retakes

October 20- PFA /DLAC Meeting 6:00 PM

October 25-29 Red Ribbon Week- See scheduled days!

October 29- Halloween Parade

PFA/ DLAC Meeting

Next Meeting: October 20, 2021

6:00 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 757 5616 1567

Passcode: EVb4SJ

Please join us at our monthly parent and staff meeting!

School Calendar for 2021-2022

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Character Counts -Pillar of the Month- Responsibility

Do what you are supposed to do • Plan ahead • Persevere: keep on trying! • Always do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act — consider the consequences • Be accountable for your words, actions, and attitudes • Set a good example for others

Each month a different Pillar of Character will be emphasized in the classrooms through Character education.

Principal's Round up

The changing of the leaves through the year are my favored times of the year, whether it be Fall or Spring. Spring brings those delightful green leaves and beautiful flowers; Fall brings a change of colors and crispy leaves to step on and crunch.

I have fond memories of taking walks with my mother and finding every crisp leaf to step on and hear crunch under my feet. She taught me to enjoy raking a pile of leaves so I could then jump into the pile and hear all the dried leaves crunch under my body. It’s something I did with my boys, too. I’m sure our neighbors, seeing my little sons and I jump in the leaf pile, were very amused by the site!

I hope you find joy in the changing seasons and the crunching of leaves.

Dr. Ann Jayne Principal

Red Ribbon Week

October 25-29th

Red Ribbon Week is a time for us to reinforce good choices and healthy living. We have planned theme days to help our students think about the good choices that they make on a daily basis! Please keep this for your reference during the next few weeks. Thank you!

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Employment Opportunities with Banta Unified

We currently have a need for substitute teachers, classroom aides and a front office position. If interested, please go to Edjoin and fill out an application. Any questions- please call Christina Ruiz at the district office! 209-229-4651
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Nurses Corner

Importance of Dental Care for Children

· One out of 10 two-year olds already have one or more cavities

· By age three, 28% of children have one or more cavities.

· By age five, nearly 50% of children have one or more cavities.

· American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that all children see a pediatric dentist and establish a “dental home” by age one.

· Early checkups prevent cavities and tooth decay, which can lead to pain, trouble concentrating, and other medical issues.

· If you are in need of dental resources, please reach email for additional resources and referrals.

Does your child have Covid -19 Symptoms?

If Yes:

  • 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

Covid-19 Symptoms

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore THroat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

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

T-dap Booster

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

Does Your Student Have Health Concerns?

Our priority here at Banta is to keep your kids safe at school. The best way for us to be able to do that is to be aware of any medical or health needs that your child may have. This could include medications that need to be brought to school or health conditions that we would need to know about in an emergency.

Did you know: California state law allows for students to keep medications at school? The law requires that the physician of the child complete a form that gives us all of the information that we would need to know to safely give that medication to your child. The form is attached to this newsletter for your convenience. If you have any questions, please email .

Help us keep your kids safe at school!

Food Service

I cannot say enough how excited my staff and I have been to have your children back in the cafeteria! With meals FREE for all, we have been averaging 1,100 meals a day between our 3 site kitchens.

Please encourage your student to take a FREE meal from school. Talk to your kids about what is on the menu daily so they know what to expect. They are welcome to bring their own lunch as well, but we encourage and look forward to serving your child in the cafeteria each day.

We are serving FREE breakfast at Banta from 7:45am-8:15am. Please enter through the back door (Please avoid using the hallway). Reminder, there is also no second chance breakfast.

If there is a favorite item, you would like to see on the menu, please send me an email with your student’s favorite items to In September we are also introducing our Classroom Birthday Parties, look out for more information coming soon!

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Special Education

The Librarian's Corner

The book of the month!

Best Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

Often times graphic novels can get our more reluctant readers to get their nose in a book, so that's why this month I am highlighting Best Friends. This is a sequel to Real Friends and follows Shannon as she navigates 6th grade and all the confusing times that come with it. Are my friends really my friends? Why do I have all these worries in my head, am I supposed to like boys? All these questions and more are answered in this book. This volume also displays Shannon's growing ability as a writer as the story is broken up by excerpts of her story regarding Alexandria and her adventures. In the end, Shannon chooses herself, rather than peer pressure and we the reader hope she is happy with her decision. Perhaps there will be more volumes from this author to answer these questions. We will just have to wait and see!

Librarian’s Corner by Mrs. McDaniel

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Field Trips with Hank and Ozzy

Hank and Ozzy love to go places- but with COVID-19 still a concern, they have had to curtail their trips and outings So, each month, they thought it would be fun to bring you a place or two that might be fun for you to visit online, some place that Hank and Ozzy would love to play!. Hank and Ozzy will be happy when COVID is behind them, but until then- enjoy exploring!!
View from A Canoe: Exploring the World's Largest Coastal Temperate Rainforest

Riding the School Bus?

If your child is going to be absent, be sure you notify the bus company at (209) 862-2921. This will help the drivers reroute and not go to your house for that day!

Independent Study

While we are excited to welcome our students back for full-time in-person learning for 2021-2022 School Year, Banta Unified School District will also offer an alternate option for students who have an identified medical need to continue with remote learning.

The Independent Study Program is NOT the same as the District’s distance learning program as we’ve known during the pandemic. In the Independent Study Program, students will complete the work on their own, at home, based on a standards-aligned online curriculum, provided by Acellus. Student attendance will be monitored through log-ins, virtual check-ins, and completion of independent work. The Independent Study teacher will be available for individual support, daily as needed.

The Independent Study Program is a voluntary option and is offered to students upon request of a parent or guardian based on eligibility criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions

· How is the BUSD Independent Study Program different from Distance Learning?

o Due to changes in legislation, BUSD will not be offering distance learning for the 2021-2022 school year. BUSD plans to resume full-time in-person learning when school starts in August. This means that students will be back in the classroom, five days a week, for the duration of the school day, just as we were prior to the pandemic.

o In the Independent Study Program, students will receive standards-aligned assignments to complete independently at home. A teacher will monitor student progress, grade assignments, hold virtual office hours, and schedule individual virtual meetings with students as needed. Students will not participate in a virtual classroom. Students will have access to District resources such as counseling and meals.

· Will my child be required to actively participate daily?

o Yes- The State of California is requiring school districts to monitor daily attendance through virtual check-ins and complete daily assignments. The State of California requires students in kindergarten through Grade 2 who participate in an Independent Study program to check in virtually every day and students in Grades 3-8 to check in virtually at least once a week. BUSD students who participate in the BUSD The Independent Study program will be required to attend all scheduled virtual check-in meetings with their cameras on.

· What program/company is providing the online curriculum?

o BUSD is partnering with Acellus to offer eligible students personalized virtual instruction designed to meet their needs.

· What kind of commitment do families need to make? How can I help my child succeed?

o The parent/guardian/ caregiver is responsible for the supervision and will ensure that their child actively participates daily by completing assignments and attending scheduled virtual meetings with their teacher. Providing a quiet workspace and a daily routine will help your child succeed in the Independent Study Program.

· What supplies/ resources do we need to participate in the program?

o The District will provide the technology and materials needed to participate in the program. A quiet workspace that supports your child’s learning will be an important resource that you will provide.

· Can my child return to school for in-person learning at any time?

o Your child may return to their home school for in-person learning if the Independent Study Program does not meet their needs. Please contact your child’s principal to request a return to in-person instruction. The principal will transition your child back to in-person instruction in no later than five instructional days.

If you have further questions about Independent Studies or the application process, please call 209-229-4650

Parent, Faculty Association

Welcome Back! We are excited to start a school year where everyone can enjoy being on campus! In the new school year, we look forward to your continued support. With you, we can create family fun events to celebrate our community; and, we can raise necessary funds to support classroom activities.

In our monthly meetings, we actively share ongoing academic successes and needs for all students, especially those learning English as a second language.

Please join us, virtually, 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.

● October 20, 2021

● November 17, 2021

● January 19, 2022

● February 16, 2022

● March 6, 2022

● April 20, 2022

Ann Jayne is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. nhDSTdlUT09 Meeting ID: 757 5616 1567 Passcode: EVb4SJ

Look Who's At Banta

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This month's Look Who's At Banta profile features sixth grade Teacher Stewart Tjalsma, and seventh grade Teacher Katie Withers. Each month "Banta Bios" will highlight a Banta Elementary School staff member's educational background, training and what they like to do outside the classroom.

Stewart Tjalsma, 65, originally from Nijland Village, Netherlands


Wife Josette.

Educational background:

Bachelor’s degree from Stanislaus State and teaching credential from Chapman University. Teacher at Banta for 23 years with 21 of those years as a second/third grade teacher. He has also taught fourth, fifth, and currently sixth grade at Banta.


Three main things he enjoys in life outside the classroom are music, travel and nature. His collection of classical music CDs once spanned more than 1,200 and he still has a stack of them in the cabinet next to his desk at school. When he finds a composer he enjoys, he buys all of their recorded works. When asked to pick his favorite classical composer, he said it’s like asking him to pick his favorite kid at Banta. He said you can’t pick just one, because it’s a never ending love. Another musical love of his is listening to pipe organ music. He has attended numerous pipe organ performances in churches and cathedrals throughout Holland. When it comes to travel, he and his wife have been to numerous countries, including Italy, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Belgium and his wife’s homeland of Seychelles Islands. When not traveling overseas, he enjoys spending time in the wilderness of the national and state parks.
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Teacher Katie Withers, 27, originally from Linden, California


Boyfriend Kevin Plaster, dog Maggie and cat Casper.

Educational background:

Bachelors degree from Humphreys University in Stockton; Masters in STEM and a Math authorization from Teachers College of San Joaquin; working on Doctorate in Education from Grand Canyon University. Currently in her first year teaching at Banta Elementary, but she previously worked 5 years at the STEAM Academy in River Islands.


One of her passions is the great outdoors of California, and she often travels around the state for day trips to camp, hike, kayak and fish in gentle running rivers. These are also activities that she enjoys doing with her nieces and nephews to such places as Alpine and Pinecrest lakes. She also enjoys anything involving crafts, which is evident by the papier-mâché planets she made now hanging from the ceiling of her classroom. She said she enjoys learning new things that she can make with her hands through YouTube videos and she even has a mirror made of spoons hanging from a wall in her home.

Teaching has always been Withers desired profession and she even announced her intentions during her kindergarten graduation as a child. She often played school with her grandmother, who she describes as her best student. She hopes to someday expand her educational goals to include the position of school district superintendent.

Fun Web Site for Kids

Have you seen National Geographic Kids? It is an amazing website with cool videos, game and stories about animals. Check it out– it’s Awesome!

October Tech Tip for Kids

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