Benicia High School Panther Post
Principal's Letter - Plans for Reopening School
Just before the Thanksgiving break, an important communication regarding our plans for reopening schools was sent from Superintendent Dr. Young's office. Each family has an important decision to make regarding a commitment to continue with virtual learning or move to hybrid learning. With this in mind, I want to make myself available for any questions you might have. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time and I will respond to you within 1-2 school days. Please be sure to read through Dr. Youngs letter, linked here and above, and the various documents provided as that will provide a lot of information for you, as well as the link to the form to submit your choice of virtual or hybrid learning.
The deadline to submit your commitment for your student(s) is Monday, December 7th. We do not yet have a date for the possible reopening of school. This will be dependent on Solano County moving to the red tier and other factors. That information would be communicated to all staff, students, and families at least two weeks ahead of the first day of hybrid learning.
Below are a few notes that may help with possible questions specific to Benicia High School's hybrid learning plan.
- Students who commit to the hybrid learning model will be assigned to either the Blue group or the Gold group. Blue group students will attend classes on campus on Monday and Wednesday. Gold group students will attend classes on campus on Tuesday and Thursday. Otherwise, students will attend classes virtually.
- If we are able to resume athletics, band, and/or performing arts, virtual and hybrid students would be able to participate.
- If we are able to hold after school extracurricular activities or events in person (clubs meetings, Prom, other events), virtual and hybrid students would be able to participate.
- We anticipate that most classes will have a mix of virtual students and hybrid students. Where it is possible, we may create classes with all virtual students or with all hybrid learning students.
- Safety protocols will be put into place prior to students and staff returning to campus. Students will be required to follow all safety protocols and behavior expectations. For example, wearing a face mask, keeping 6 foot minimum distance, washing hands, not sharing books/equipment, and more.
We are continuing to work on the planning process to prepare all safety measures, classrooms, technology and other aspects of the future reopening of Benicia High School. As these plans continue to develop, and as changes come from state and local health officials, we will be sure to provide additional information.
I want to acknowledge the excellent work of our students, parents, and staff during this first half of the school year. We continue to be impressed by the great work of our students during virtual learning and the creativity they have demonstrated. We appreciate the support from parents, family, and friends to help our students do their best during virtual learning. And we thank our staff for their efforts to provide the best virtual learning experience possible. We recognize this is a difficult time, even more so during the holiday season, and want to stress that we have many resources available for students, families, and staff in need. Please reach out to me or to any of our Assistant Principals, Counselors, or School Psychologists if you are in need. We can provide counseling support, connection to resources, or problem-solve together with you.
Principal, Benicia High School
Upcoming Events at Benicia High School
- Wednesday, December 2nd: PTSA Board Meeting at 6pm via Zoom
- Friday, December 5th: Progress Report for Grading Term (via PowerSchool)
- Friday, December 5th: Deadline for Senior Dedication Orders for Yearbook
- Tuesday, December 8th: Site Council Meeting at 3:30pm via Zoom
- December 14-18th: Virtual Holiday Spirit Week
- Wednesday, December 16th: Parent Info Night on new Health/Sex Ed Curriculum, 6pm (info/registration in email to NGSS Biology parents on December 7th)
- Friday, December 18th: Virtual Holiday Rally
- Friday, December 18th: No School
- Friday, December 18th: Deadline to Order Senior Sweatshirt (see info below)
- Saturday, December 19th: Deadline for Senior Portraits (see info below)
- December 18-January 3: Winter Break - No School
- Monday, January 4th: School Resumes
- Thursday, January 14th: End of First Semester Courses
- Friday, January 15th: No School
- Monday, January 18th: Holiday - No School
- Tuesday, January 19th: School Resumes - Second Semester Courses Begin
- Friday, January 22nd: Report Cards available via PowerSchool
- Tuesday, January 26th: PSAT/NMSQT exam - students must be preregistered (see info below)
- Saturday, February 6th: Practice ACT exam (online - see info below)
- Friday, February 12th: Holiday - No School
- Monday, February 15th: Holiday - No School
- Saturday, February 20th: Practice SAT exam (online - see info below)
- Friday, March 19th: End of Grading Term
- Friday, March 26th: Report Cards available via PowerSchool
- April 2-11: Spring Break
- May 3-14: AP Exams (date determined by subject)
- Friday, May 31st: Holiday - No School
- Friday, June 4th: Last Day of School & End of Second Semester Courses
- Saturday, June 5th: Class of 2021 Graduation
NEW: CTE Marketing Class at BHS Begins Next Semester
Beginning next semester, BHS will offer a new Career Technical Education (CTE) course titled CTE Marketing. This course was recently approved by the BUSD Governing Board and will be taught by Mr. Zitrin. Please watch the video below to learn more!
Students will learn fundamental concepts of marketing and business. Training includes testing knowledge through entrepreneurial experimentation; hands-on experiences conducting research; analyzing and building marketing strategies; and developing, promoting, advertising and selling viable products and services under the supervision of the instructor. Students will learn essential marketing topics such as customer value, market segmentation, pricing strategies, marketing information management, product life cycle, sales and customer service, marketing communications, content marketing, and digital media strategies including social media planning and execution. Students will apply theoretical concepts to their own lives and ideas wherever possible, from regularly analyzing articles in their own areas of business interest to contributing to the development of their and/or classmates’ business development plans. Course experience may include online or in person sales opportunities, and/or the design and operation of a student store. Store operations, while not totally inseparable from marketing class theory and practice, is ideally suited to broaden and activate authentic student perspectives on the concepts studied.
Students currently have the opportunity to request to take this course next semester. Space is limited and we cannot guarantee that all students who want to take the course will be able to do so based on their class schedules. Students who are admitted into the class will have their schedules changed based on availability but they will not be removed from required courses. This course is open to students in grades 10-12.
If you would like to sign up to take this course next semester, please submit your name here: Marketing Course Sign Up Form
Questions? Please contact your Counselor.
New Webstore for BUSD & BHS
We want to let you know of a change coming to the BHS website and webstore. We have moved to using one common webstore for online purchases for the school district. With this new webstore, you will need to set up a new account the first time you use the service. We apologize for this inconvenience, though it is a quick process and directions are available on the website. Our hope is that this will be more convenient for families with multiple students and as students move from one school site to the next.
The new webstore is:https://beniciausd.graystep.com
High School Sports Update
The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) released a statement on December 1st with an update to the plans announced in July for high school athletics. This statement provides the information noted below:
- Season 1 start date of December 7th put on hold until January (exact date not yet provided) as CIF waits for updated guidance from the California Department of Public Health on youth sports guidance
- Boys Volleyball moved from Season 1 to Season 2 to allow for a full season since this sport did not play last year due to COVID-19
- Season 1 Regional and State Championships removed to allow for a longer Season 1
As a result of this announcement and our continued work to follow local guidelines for Solano County, Benicia High School has decided to postpone the start of conditioning to January as well. As we continue to receive updates from state and local health departments, CIF, and the BUSD Governing Board, we will share those with you as well.
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An email went out to all students and families in November with information regarding the start of BHS Athletics, with approval from the BUSD Governing Board to begin conditioning with safety protocols in place. Please read the information (LINKED HERE) and complete the required registration for any students interested in participating.
Benicia High School will follow the guidelines of the The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), North Coast Section (NCS), and Diablo Athletic League (DAL), as our local competitive schedule is dictated by our group of schools.
We currently have a tentative schedule for our Fall and Spring sports. We will provide updates and information via email and our monthly newsletter to all of our students and families as soon as that becomes available.
January PSAT11 Exam Registration Open for 11th Grade Students
Benicia High School has scheduled a date to provide the PSAT/NMSQT exam on January 26th. This exam is the practice SAT and National Merit Scholar Qualifying Test for 11th grade students. Students who take the PSAT/NMSQT qualify for a chance to win scholarships and recognition from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and our other scholarship partners. The PSAT/NMSQT has three parts: the Reading Test, the Writing and Language Test, and the Math Test. The scores are not sent to colleges but are provided to the students and to BHS.
We have limited space available due to safety guidelines and distancing. Please note, this event may be postponed or cancelled if local guidelines do not permit us to hold this exam as planned.
$20 per student
Fee waiver available for students who qualify via free or reduced meal program.
For fee waiver, please email Ms. Wallace at: email@example.com
Online Practice SAT & ACT Exams for BHS Students
Registration for the practice exams benefits the BHS PTSA and the programs that the organization sponsors for our students and staff. We thank you for your support!
Yearbooks are currently $75. The price will go up in the second semester (after January 14th). We ordered a limited amount of yearbooks, so please don't wait to make your order. We will sell out.
Last Call for Senior Dedications - Deadline is December 5th
Deadline for Senior Portraits: December 19th
We want every 12th grade student included in the yearbook so please make your appointment today! There is a free "yearbook only" option as well as several packages for your senior portraits.
Appointments can still be made by contacting the photography studio:
Deadline to select your Senior Portraits for the yearbook: January 6th.
Select your image with Creative Imaging by January 6th and they will send us all selected images for the yearbook after that date.
Senior Sweatshirts - Order By December 18th
The BHS Class of 2021 Senior Sweatshirt is now available to order!
You may now place your order for your Ssenior's sweatshirt on the new community webstore for Benicia Unified School District: WEBSTORE LINK HERE - please note, you will need to create a new account as this is a new/updated webstore.
The price of the sweatshirt is $38.00 with an additional $2.00 charge if ordering size XXL. An email went out to all Senior students on November 20th with a form asking that they check the spelling of their name before the sweatshirts are printed. The sweatshirt will be heather gray and the image that will go on the front of the sweatshirt was included in the email as well. The names of all Seniors in the Class of 2021 will appear on the back of the sweatshirt. The deadline to submit all orders is Friday, December 18th. If you have any questions, please email Activities Director, Mrs. Wheat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donating to BHS During the Holiday Season with Amazon Smile
Amazon Smile is now available on the Amazon app also!
Theater Arts Boosters for Benicia Schools
Dear Benicia Theatre Arts Supporters,
We have amazing Theatre Arts programs here in Benicia. There is theatre happening at every school site now and each program is growing! As educators, we see how theatre allows our students to communicate with and understand others in new ways. We know it is an important tool for preparing our students to live and work in a world that is increasingly team oriented. We know it helps our students develop tolerance and empathy. Students who participate in drama often experience improved reading comprehension, maintain better attendance records, and stay generally more engaged in school. The theatre is a safe place for students to develop friendships and explore creative ideas as they immerse themselves in an outlet like no other.
We have created a universal Benicia Drama Booster Club called TABBS (Theater Arts Boosters for Benicia Schools) which will focus and unite our fundraising and volunteer efforts to support all of the theatre students and programs in our schools. Booster Clubs are able to accomplish much more than we alone, as school groups, are allowed to do; however, such a group cannot be formed without the help of YOU, our theatre arts supporters!
The primary purpose of creating a universal Benicia Drama Booster Club is as follows:
• To raise awareness of the Theatre Arts programs taking place at all of the Benicia schools.
• To raise supplemental funds through fundraising activities to enrich student experiences.
• To provide volunteer opportunities which support the Theatre Arts programs at each site.
• To plan and provide events that recognize the efforts and achievements of the students, teachers, support personnel and volunteers.
If you are interested in volunteering or finding out more about the new Benicia Drama Booster Club, please sign up using the following link:
Nathan Day, Benicia High School Theatrical Director
Cathy Wright, Benicia Middle School Drama Teacher
Nikki Tillotson, Elementary and BMS Drama Teacher
Jen Sundberg, Elementary Drama Teacher
Social-Emotional Learning: Parent Workshops
Parents are invited to join us for monthly virtual workshops focused on supporting your child/children at home and yourself. All sessions will be hosted by the Benicia Unified School District Student Services Office and will be held via Zoom, no RSVP required.
LINK TO ZOOM WORKSHOPS
Questions? Contact Jessica Garcia, BUSD Mental Health Coordinator at email@example.com or (707) 704-7900
Thank you to PTG and PTSA groups for collaboration!
Counselors are available to provide a full range of services to students virtually. This includes academic, college, career, personal, social, and emotional support through email, phone, and Zoom contact, and through small group meetings. If your child could benefit from additional support, please contact your counselor by email.
9th grade - Ms. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
10th grade - Ms. Guenther at email@example.com
11th grade - Mr. Keppel at firstname.lastname@example.org
12th grade - Ms. Wallace at email@example.com
Wellness Center & Drop In Hours every Friday from 11-Noon
Link to Drop In Hours Zoom Meeting for live services every Friday
Meeting ID: 778 0448 3501
BUSD Virtual Wellness Center is now available online 24 hours a day to access tools to manage emotions, resources for seeking assistance, and ways to connect with staff at BHS and other Benicia schools. This support is for students, families, staff, and the community of Benicia. We invite you to check out the Wellness Center today using the button below.
Benicia's Family Resource Center & COVID-19 Citizen Assistance Program
The Benicia Police Department’s Family Resource Center has traditionally assisted families with children struggling to pay their rent, mortgage, utilities or otherwise assist in moments of need. We understand these are challenging times and the City of Benicia realizes the finan
cial impact the COVID-19 may have on our citizens, and we want to help those most vulnerable.
We have expanded the availability of our limited funding to assist those citizens that are temporarily laid off from their jobs; may have lost their jobs due to business closure; or had to take a leave of absence from their jobs to care for children home from school due to the COVID-19 issue (or an ill family member) and are not being paid or have sick leave.
As of April 1, 2020, to qualify for temporary assistance with rent/mortgage, utilities, food, gas, you can fill the application online and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or send it by mail to 200 East L Street, Benicia, CA 94510; or pick up an application and drop it off at the Benicia Police Department. Families and individuals may apply. This assistance will not cover bills that are already past due.
-Proof Benicia resident
-Proof of being laid off or reduced hours from your employer
-Complete the assistance application
-Copy of the bill you are seeking assistance for
BHS Library Available During Virtual Learning
For information on how to reserve and pick up a library book, access to databases, and more, be sure to visit and bookmark the BHS Library Resource page, linked below. Students can also access several library resources through the Clever app, with a single sign in.
BHS Library Contact: Ms. Megan Segle
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!
Tech Support During Virtual Learning
Having trouble with your Chromebook or accessing class resources? Benicia Unified School District offers a Live Tech Support from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. You can access this live support from the Technology Department web page on the BUSD website: https://beniciaunified.org/departments/technology/ and find the chat icon on the bottom right of the screen.
Student Work Permit Information
Helping Your Children Engage in Distance Learning in Healthy and Productive Ways - a gathering of resources geared towards supporting parents in their efforts to support their children.
BUSD Holiday Meals Package
Dear BUSD Families,
Great news! We have been approved to add free school meals for the Holiday Break for children 18 and younger. Families must sign up for this holiday meal package by Friday, December 11th.All families/students from all BUSD schools will pick up the Holiday school meal package ONLY at the Benicia High School location, on Thursday, December 17th from 11 am to 1 pm.
To avoid food waste, we will produce only the amount of meals requested.
Click the link to sign up for the Meals Pickup: https://forms.gle/MXi4vMx8y5PkdcTf9
Tania P. Courtney
Food & Nutrition Services Director
Benicia Unified School District
Free Meals for Students - Sign Up Today
Congress has approved a waiver for free meals for all children under 18 for this school year, including breakfast and lunch. Families must sign up to take advantage of the free meals. CLICK HERE for more information.
Please begin by filling out the initial participation form LINKED HERE if you have not already done so. There are three ways to pick up meals for students:
- Daily Meal Pickup: You may pick-up meals every day Monday-Friday at any of the school sites. Your child will receive lunch for that day and breakfast for the next morning.
- Early Meal Pickup: You may pick up meals early in the morning at Benicia High School at 7:00AM-9:00AM. If you are interested in the early meal pick-up, please SIGN UP USING THIS FORM and pick a pick-up time that is convenient for you. Please note that these meals will have to be reheated/prepared at home. We will provide heating/preparation instructions with those meals.
- Multi-Day Meal Packages: Starting Monday September 14th, multi-day meal packages will be available for pick up at Benicia High School on Mondays and Wednesdays. For Mondays, we will provide a two day supply of meals (Meals for Monday & Tuesday). For Wednesdays, we will provide a three-day supply of meals (Meals for Thursday, Friday, & Monday). These meals will be available to pick-up early in the morning and in the afternoon. Early Service Window: 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30, & 9:00. Midday Service Window: 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, & 1:00. To pick-up these meal packages, you would need to sign up at the link below.
Have questions? Please contact Food & Nutrition Services Director Tania Courtney at (707) 748-2758 or email her at email@example.com. You can also visit the BUSD Food & Nutrition Services website.
We are now distributing meals for the weekends and Holidays. Please call us to sign up!
707- 748 2758
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.