BHS Parent Bulletin, August 2021
Volume 5, Issue 1
We ARE Belton!
We ARE... Navigating Hope!
A message from Mr. Clark...
It is here! It is finally here! Our 2021-22 school year has arrived and we anxiously await the moment we are able to connect with the members of the Classes of 2022, 23, 24 and 25. This officially begins on Monday, August 23rd and we are thrilled. We acknowledge many challenges remain and the probability of some difficult days is great. However, we fully understand the importance of having our students return to and remain in school.
Our goals include providing a safe place for all of us to be and a commitment to focus on fostering relationships. We seek to connect our students (all of them) to one another, to other adults in the building, to their curriculum and the varied activities… all of which contribute the type of experience one wants for the BHS community.
Yes, we are excited and fully expect another great year at Belton High School.
We’ll take a moment and share excerpts from our message to our BHS families from a year ago…
“The Spring of 2020 was like none other during our lifetime. The abrupt “turn of events” which began on March 13, 2020 was unanticipated and the collective effort to provide for meaningful and engaging school-related experiences despite the circumstances became the goal. There were significant challenges along with a great number of successes. Our experience was not perfect, but did serve our immediate purpose as well as provide an opportunity to learn.
Although, we’ve some insight and have had some additional time to prepare for the Fall of 2020… questions do remain, the information is ever-evolving and there is truly no clear and “proven” blueprint. We believe it prudent to expect the unexpected and therefore, prepare ourselves for the certainty of future adjustments/adaptations.
As always, our priority includes doing everything in our power to ensure the safety of those in our school community. This “community” naturally includes our students and staff and extends to the family members with whom each has connection. We maintain an apolitical stance for we lack both the time and interest to operate otherwise. Instead, we focus our energy on the establishment and implementation of guidelines and protocols which provide for social distancing, *protective covering (masks/shields) and promote an emphasis on hygiene maintenance - both personal and property.
In advance, we’ll acknowledge there exists both known and unforeseen challenges ahead and we’ll likely not know the overall effectiveness of our efforts until months/years later. Obviously, it is our sincere desire to get it right and in time we’ll realize that our collective efforts will have provided a safe place for all and an educational experience which helps our students thrive. Furthermore, we’ll acknowledge there may very well be some decisions/policies for which there is question or even disagreement. We will certainly listen to one’s concerns. However, ultimately, the responsibility to manage this effort within the school house rests with school officials and we do not, nor will we ever, take this lightly.
One of our primary themes for the year is “Navigating Hope.” Together, let us make this journey and do everything possible, both as individuals and as a community, to make the 2020-21 school year one which we will be able to celebrate!”
As for the 2021-22 school year, we say… “Ditto!”
*We acknowledge for the 2021-22 school year… the “protective covering” is optional.
Welcome Class of 2025 from the Freshman Staff
We simply want you to know we see you and we are thinking about you. It is your freshman year and as you prepare to embark on your experience at Belton High School, we want to encourage each of you to give some thought about how you will approach school this year. Certainly every year is important, but this year does assume some additional significance. As you already know, you begin your journey to accumulate credits toward your high school graduation. Equally significant is, regardless of how you’ve performed in school thus far, you’ve an opportunity to start fresh this year.
On day one of your freshman career, you begin to create your own “footprint” as a high school student. At your fingertips are a collection of experiences and special people which all have the potential to contribute to how you define your future opportunities. Your parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, coaches, activity sponsors, youth pastors, scout masters, and yes… your peer group, and how it is you choose to interact with them moving forward will establish your initial trajectory through high school.
If you’ve chosen well thus far, keep up the great work and continue to challenge yourself to grow even stronger. If you’ve been a bit sloppy about your school experience thus far, do something for yourself. Be intentional and make the choice this year to partner with your teachers, counselors, administrators and so on, so as to give yourself the best experience during the 2021-22 school year. These good people have been placed into your life with the privilege and the purpose of supporting you as you “become” who it is you are to be. Connect with them, learn from them, and make yourself stronger… do this for you!
As a community, we are serious about “Our mission to graduate college, career and life ready students through engagement in personalized, relevant learning experiences.” We also understand that if we are to truly achieve the mission of “college, career and life ready,” it means we need each of you to “grow” into the young men and women for which you are capable. In simple math terms, this means we strive for that which is “greater than” simple graduation. We need each of you to be intentional and to pursue an experience which challenges you every day. The focus must be “greater than” simply “going through the motions” of school. We challenge each of you to work on being a student who invests his/her time and energy to genuinely learn and to make oneself stronger. So, for the sake of your own future, engage in the activities, clubs, athletic programs which afford you “connections,” and search for the meaning in all of your studies and in the experiences you share.
As a member of the Class of 2025… We see you and we’re thinking about you.
Life is Good! We ARE Belton! We will have a great year!
BHS Staff 2021 - 2022
The schedules are now available on the student and/or parent portal.
*Note: Among the challenges... Despite a considerable effort of BHS staff this past spring to connect with a good number of students who struggled through the real difficulties of doing school remotely, course requests were either incomplete or entirely void. In these cases, BHS counseling did their best to select coursework which would align with both the needs of the individual as well as a natural progression based upon the student's past experience. One can rest assured, the courses chosen will support one's moving toward successful completion of earning one's HS diploma.
Second semester… We acknowledge there are some schedules which may continue to have some “holes” in them with regard to second semester courses listed. This is something which will be addressed after school is underway and the more pressing concerns are behind us. The counseling staff will inform the student body when this process will begin. Thank you for your understanding.
The first two weeks...
As was stated in an earlier communication...
Much of our attention during the first couple of weeks will be directed toward: building relationships with students; addressing the various steps to keep safe and the expectations for all relative to good hygiene (personal and property), social distancing, and, a detailed review of Canvas as our tool to facilitate instruction and communication. These are our "Big three" for there are no guarantees there will not be a need to make some adjustments as we fully transition back into the building.
Eligible students: Those with a valid drivers license.
Weeks 1 & 2 students may park without a pass and assigned parking spot.
Pass distribution dates: Seniors - Aug 26 & 27; Juniors - Aug 30 & 31; Sophomores - Sept 1
Please review the linked form for details regarding payment.
A note from our school nurse...
Please be sure your student's immunizations are up to date. If immunizations are still needed please make plans to get them as soon as possible. If you are unsure if immunizations are needed, please reach out to the nurse. Have a great school year!
Other helpful details to begin the year...
Drop off / Pick up…
Please review the map to discuss a plan for your own student drop off / pick up.
Note: As the busses approach the school, both before and after, the restrictions to parent traffic flow are enacted.
Before school… Those who arrive prior to 7:20 “ish” will be able to access the front of the building in the bus lane. Otherwise, you’ll be re-directed to the outer lane and will need to exit toward the west.
After school... (until 2:55) Parents will want to adhere to the patterns provided on the map. Otherwise, you’ll find departure time delayed until after the busses have left the lot.
Breakfast / Lunch…
Once again, breakfast and lunch are free to ALL students.
Breakfast will not be served prior to school. Instead, and until further notice, the process used last year will provide students a chance to eat breakfast toward the end of the first block (Block 1 - A day / Block 5 - B day). Breakfast will be served at BHS and those students who report to the Yeokum Innovation Center or the Curriculum Center for their first block class (Block 1 - A day / Block 5 - B day) will be released a few minutes early to return to BHS and receive their breakfast.
As we start the year, lunch will be addressed in a similar fashion as last year as well. With nearly all students returning "in person" we continue to employ a process which is an effort to minimize the amount of time a student remains in line. One adjustment... those classes which have > 25 students in them will report to an assigned area of the Auxiliary gym where they'll consume their lunch. Those classes which are < 25 students will return to the classroom where their lunch will be consumed at their respective desks. Occasionally, a staff member will arrange to take their class outdoors after students return with their meal.
Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottle. Drinking fountains will not be operational. There are several “bottle filling” stations across the school building.
Maps upon arrival… On the first day, students will be provided with a map of the school upon arrival. There will be some useful information included on the back of the map to assist with attending classes during the first couple of days.
Student schedules… Courses held at Yeokum (YEO) or the Curriculum Center (WR) or (CC).
Courses which are conducted at the Yeokum Innovation Center are identified as YEO. This includes courses in: Agriculture, Architecture and Construction Trades, BioMedical and Engineering.
The only student entrance into Yeokum will be the southwest entry. This is located at the corner of the building which is nearest Mill Creek Elementary. For students who will be driving to Yeokum, limited parking is available west and north of the building. However, most parking is on the East side and one should be prepared to walk around the building should this be where you park.
Students assigned to any of the courses at Yeokum during the first block (Block 1 - A day / Block 5 - B day) are encouraged to report directly to Yeokum. (Note: bus riders will be dropped off at the high school and will need to walk to Yeokum. If there is inclement weather (rain or snow or temperatures which drop below 19 degrees) a shuttle is arranged.
Students will be released a bit early in order to return to BHS to participate in Breakfast if they so choose. Those who are assigned to a class which meets during the third block (Block 3 - A day / Block 7 - B day), will participate in “Transition” lunch. This simply means that prior to reporting to Yeokum students pick up a lunch in the Commons and take it with them.
Advanced Physical Fitness (Weights) is conducted in the weight room which is located in the Curriculum Center at Southwick Stadium. The room is identified as WR. All Health classes are conducted in the Curriculum Center as well. The room designation for health classes is listed as CC.
Students assigned to courses in either of these locations and scheduled during the first block (Block 1 - A day / Block 5 - B day) are encouraged to report directly to these locations. Students will be released a bit early in order to participate in Breakfast if they so choose.
Those who are assigned to a class which meets during the lunch block (Block 3 - A day / Block 7 - B day), will participate in lunch at the end of the block along with those taking classes in the high school building. Arrangements are made to release you to have adequate time to report to BHS and eat lunch.
Cass Career Center Students
Each of you should have already received an email from our counseling staff with some pertinent information related to your CASS experience. Important to know...
Consistent with all public transportation services... masks are to be worn while on the bus.
AM… Report directly to Southwick Stadium. The bus departs from the entrance of the stadium at... 7:00 am
PM… You’ll be released early (10:35 a.m. - this may be adjusted) from your second block (Block 2 - A day / Block 6 - B day) in order to eat lunch and then, be ready to load the bus in front of the school by 11:00 am.
Arrival at school - Students & Community
The following outlines guidelines/procedures with regards to one’s arrival to our school.
For all who wish to enter BHS...
All visitors should enter the building through the main entrance.
All are asked to practice social distancing upon arrival on campus.
Visitors attending meetings during the school day are asked to mask.
Hand sanitizer stations are placed at each entrance and are to be utilized upon entry.
For students of BHS…
“Beginning of the day” arrival...
Six (6) points of entry.
Entrances include… West (Aquatic Center entrance), North - 2 points of entry… (East of the Fieldhouse & Main entrance), East - 2 points of entry… (Northeast corner of the building & center of building - Alcove), and South (between FEMA and Performing Arts Center).
Students will self-manage and be responsible for social distancing across BHS “open spaces” until such time as staff determine it is necessary to release students to their respective classrooms. (bus arrivals)
Following an announcement, students will report directly to their first/fifth block classrooms.
“Stay right and keep moving” will be our phrase to remind everyone that hallway congestion is to be avoided.
Note: Lockers will not be assigned during the 2021-22 school year. It is our intent to
establish a culture whereby the middle of the hallway remains open and those in the building walk near the lockers while limiting personal contact with others as well as the lockers themselves. If an individual has a specific need, they are encouraged to reach out to an administrator.
“During the day” arrival…
Students arriving after the beginning of the school day should enter utilizing the main entrance and “sign-in” at the office. However, exceptions are made for those who are returning to BHS from Yeokum (use the East identified earlier) and those who return to BHS from Southwick Stadium (the South entrance).
The front entrance is to be utilized after the front office closes at 3:15 pm.
Daily Breakfast/Lunch Procedures...
Overall District Meal Guidelines
All BSD students will be provided breakfast and lunch free of charge.
All meals will be individually boxed.
All students will eat breakfast in the classroom.
The number of meal selections will be limited (Example: No Salad Bar will be offered)
Cafeteria staff and anyone handling food will be trained in COVID-19 safety protocols.
All cafeteria staff and anyone handling food will wear masks and gloves while preparing and serving meals.
In order to limit exposure, there will be no meal deliveries from restaurants.
Guests will not be permitted to join their children for meals.
Students are permitted to bring a lunch from home.
Super Snack (after school snack) will be provided as in the past.
Students will eat breakfast/lunch in the classroom.
According to a designated schedule students will report to the commons to pick up breakfast/lunch.
BHS Block 3 & Block 7 classes which have > 25 students. In these cases, classes will have a designated area in the Auxiliary gym.
BHS staff will supervise the process.
Students will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer or wash hands prior to eating and at the conclusion of meals.
Large trash cans will be strategically placed near classrooms and custodians will dispose of trash frequently during and after breakfast and lunch.
Classrooms will be supplied with spray bottles of cleaning solution and wipes.
Teachers/students will be responsible for cleaning the classroom after breakfast/lunch (wiping desks, disposing of trash).
Students attending Cass Career Center who desire lunch will be assigned to a specific location to eat lunch prior to leaving for Cass.
Students who have a third or seventh block class at Yeokum should pick up their lunch prior to leaving BHS and eat in the classroom at that location.
Transitions between classes… 5 min passing period
The following outlines guidelines/procedures with regards to one’s Transitions between classes.
Let us start with our expectation regarding navigating the hallways at Belton High School.
With any model we employ, we’ll count on staff to provide a review of the model and the intent.
Regardless of time of day or situation, one should plan to use the right side of the hallway to travel across the building and move toward their destination. Similar to road travel in the US… we stay right and keep moving forward. Since we will not assign student lockers during the 2021-22 school year, there should be no cause for one to interfere with the natural flow of traffic in our hallways.
Model … “Alpha” staggered release… In essence, we have determined we’ll informally adjust passing periods. This occurs at the end of each block and creates a total transition period of 9 minutes. First block is provided below as a sample…
Example: Block 1… 7:39 - 9:25 Transition between classes… 9:23 - 9:32
Last names A - K wipe down their area, are released at 9:23 and have until 9:28 to report to their next class.
Last names L - Z wipe down their area, are released at 9:27 and have until 9:32 to report to their next class.
Staff members will take roll for “Group A” at 9:28 (“tardy” bell for Group A), and group B at 9:32 “tardy” bell for Group B).
End of Day Dismissal
The following outlines guidelines/procedures with regards to one’s End of day dismissal.
End of day - Staggered release... We will release a group of students a few minutes prior to the end of the day and follow up with a series early dismissals. The intent is simply… minimize heavy traffic in the hallways and limit the number of students who congregate in the common areas. As a part of their early release, we will encourage students to move in the direction of their vehicles, their bus and/or their after school activity.
We will plan to use the following dismissal schedule...
Checking your student out early
Students may only be checked out of school or picked up during the school day by a parent or guardian and/or an emergency contact listed in the student information system (SIS).
To avoid waiting for the student to be removed from class, the parent/emergency contact may call the main office, 816.489.7500, when they are near BHS, and the student will be summoned to the office.
Upon arrival on campus, the parent/emergency contact must contact the office using the intercom near the front door or by calling the main office phone.
The student will be escorted out of the building to the parent waiting on the sidewalk or in their car, by a BHS staff member.
The parent/emergency contact must present photo identification to the BHS staff member.
Prior to departure, the BHS staff member will verify that the individual is eligible to pick up the student by checking their name against SIS contact information either on paper or via walkie-talkie with the Front Office.
The contact will complete the process by signing the BHS student checkout form.
Involvement in Activities/Athletics
The following outlines guidelines/procedures with regards to one’s involvement in Activities/Athletics. MSHSAA and the Greater KC Suburban Conference guidelines will be followed for those activities which fall under their jurisdiction.
“Prior to and during practice”.....
The safety protocols for school and participation in school events are aligned.
Students must bring their own water bottles and hydrate from these personal bottles alone.
Students will maintain 6 feet of distance from each other whenever they are not involved in a specific drill or activity which by the nature of the sport/activity calls for them to engage with others.
Students will take their post-activity snack with them.
Students will depart the activity area without congregating.
Academies of Belton 2021 - 2022
The journey continues and we are excited at the progress being made. Seventy-five percent of the students at Belton High School are now members of an Academy. Students in the Class of 2023, our first academy class, are juniors entering the second level of coursework in their selected career pathway. Last year the Class of 2024 completed work in the Freshman Academy, selected a career path and are now fully participating in the College and Career Academy which aligns with their career interest.
Welcome to the Class of 2025! It will be an exciting year as these students transition into high school; explore themselves, their passions, interests and career options for their future; and then select a pathway and academy of interest which will guide their coursework and preparation for college, career and life.
We look forward to continuing the transformation at Belton High School. It is our hope that the 2021-2022 school year will provide more opportunities for students to be out in the community and for the community to be in the BHS building.
The BSD Mitigation Plan
Canvas information... how to...
Future Pirates' Scroll Publication Dates
The Pirates' Scroll represents our primary vehicle to share BHS information with our parent and partner community. We intend to publish quarterly and each issue is posted on the BHS webpage. As special circumstances surface, additional issues are produced. Parents will receive notification whenever a new issue is posted.
As a reminder, our "Why Papers" are also found on the BHS Website. BHS "Why Papers" are designed to address very specific topics and in such a fashion one can gain greater insight as to the reason(s) things are as they are. Topics include, but are not limited to: Assessments, A+ Program, Cum Laude and Safety. You'll find the BHS "Why" Paper link on the BHS website.
Additional "Why Papers" will be posted as they are deemed important/useful.