Pirates' Scroll

BHS Parent Bulletin, January 2022

Volume 5, Issue 3

Big picture

We ARE... Navigating Hope!

Welcome to the Class of 2026 and their parents/guardians!

In a blink, our current 8th graders will be joining us this fall. Preparations are in progress for the 2022-23 school year, we use this edition of our Pirates' Scroll to onboard the Class of 2026 along with their families. So yes, we welcome you aboard!

Two key dates to mark on your calendar...

January 27th... Curriculum Fair / Guided Enrollment Night (see below)

March 16th... 8th Grade Transition Night... (look for more information soon)

BHS Staff Professional Development... learning from each other

Semester Two... Already?

It is true! Difficult to believe, but mid-January has arrived and our first round of Semester Finals is behind us.

First, we take a moment to once again, acknowledge the challenges many across the country continue to face with finding some answers to genuinely onboard a segment of the student population who have struggled. There remains a good number who continue to struggle to engage in ways they had prior to March of 2020. This declaration is certainly repeated news, but the disruption has been and continues to be real. The efforts amongst BHS staff and many of the families of those referenced continues to be admirable. Hope is a powerful motivator... we remain hopeful for those in this community and vow to continue to do everything we can to address this challenge.

As was mentioned, our Semester One finals were conducted during week two of January. We know a number of students who were unable to participate as a result of extended absences. This will be reflected in grades which are scheduled for release on Thursday, January 20. As is always the case, those students who have missed their opportunity to take a final are encouraged to address this as soon as possible. Staff are prepared to work with individual students to provide opportunities for an alternative assessment or a make up. This is something which should not be delayed.

Typically, one should plan to have this addressed within the first couple of weeks. Reason is simple... Semester two waits for no one and we want everyone to experience a good start to the new semester.

Finally, we remind everyone of the significance of a strong start. We look forward to a great second semester and recognize it won't be long before we're preparing to celebrate the end of another good year at BHS.

Curriculum Fair / Guided Enrollment Night - (Grades 8 - 11)

January 27th... 4 - 7:30 pm

You won't want to miss this! ... The evening promises to be both enlightening and productive!

We intend to use this evening to provide our school community with some insight as to what one can expect from the various curriculum. The evening is designed to generate awareness, inspire curiosity and offer assistance to families with course selection and the process. Staff will be strategically stationed by their respective Academies and/or departments throughout several areas in the school.

Our staff, along with select students, will share examples of activity, projects, and samples of student work. Additionally, staff will be available to give an overview of the courses offered at BHS as well as to address questions and assist with the guided enrollment process. Videos of student performances from the performing arts department will be played throughout the evening as well.

The Guided Enrollment exercises begin in mid-January and continues throughout the month of February. Key dates for students are provided below...

Big picture

BHS Career and Educational Planning Guide (CEPG) for 2022 - 23

The link... CEPG 2022-23 will provide access to "all things" tied to graduation requirements, Academy pathways and course offerings at BHS. This handbook is a vital tool as students, parents and staff discuss course selections during the Guided Enrollment journey.

Also available on the BHS Website.

Big picture

Academies of Belton Update

Last week, the members of the Class of 2025 declared their Academy preferences. Their efforts during the first semester to explore the opportunities which await coupled with some personal reflection provided the basis for making a solid decision. This decision aligns with an identified career interest and will allow for further exploration and study during their high school career. In addition to stating an academy preference, a career pathway was identified which will provide enrollment guidance for their next three years at BHS. January 25 & 26 special "Reveal Ceremonies" will be held to announce the placement of students in their academy. Later this semester students in the Class of 2025 will have opportunity to participate in Business Roundtables with individuals working in their career field of interest.

Students in the Class of 2024 have finished the first semester of their Level 1 Required Pathway Electives (RPE). Later this semester, they will be engaged in job shadows aligned with their specified career interest. Core content teachers have designed lessons taught “through the lens” of the respective college and career academy so that students may apply their content knowledge to their field of interest.

The Class of 2023 entered BHS in August of 2019 and became the first to experience the transformation to our Academy model. Despite some detours which began to surface in March of 2020, the journey has continued. Furthermore, students are now in level two career pathway electives. Select students were invited to interview for available internships on January 19th. This is our first round of internships for academy students. We anticipate additional opportunities later this school year. These juniors are well on their way to a “capstone” opportunity during their senior year. Experiences as members of the Academies of Belton will prepare them for unique opportunities following graduation in May of 2023.

The eyes of the Ford Next Generation Learning network and the Kauffman Real World Learning Initiative remain on the Academies of Belton. Later in January, BHS will host a team of 30 staff from Troy Buchanan High School who will be visiting to learn more about the Academies of Belton and the great work of our staff.

We appreciate the continued partnership and support of the Belton Community. If you would like to share your career with BHS students, please reach out to either:

Chase Nugen, cnugen@bsd124.org Design Grant Project Coordinator, or

Stacey Yurkovich, syurkovich@bsd124.org Director of Academies

And, don’t forget to follow us on twitter @BeltonAcademies

Winter Activities...

Our winter activities are well underway. Across the various programs, we've experienced both the thrill of victory and the disappointment of defeat. Additionally and after considerable time performing in front of limited audiences, our performing arts programs have delighted their spectators with some wonderful performances as well.

In recent weeks, we've hosted a number of events. Several of these have involved a significant number of outside competitors, their families and their guests. Visiting coaches, officials and guests alike have noticed and repeatedly mention the efforts of our community to deliver a quality event. We continue to be proud of the efforts our students, their coaches/sponsors and how our programs along with the support of support staff represent our school and our community.

Thank you to the student-athlete, the student-performer and all of the adults who invest much of themselves in order to bring the best out of our BHS student programs and to represent Belton in such a positive fashion.

Class of 2022... May 13 is just around the corner. Senior Packet to be released soon.

A mere five months remain for our seniors and the phrase from August 2019, "May 2022... It will be here in a blink!" is beginning to make even greater sense to our soon-to-be graduates. At the time, we were encouraging every member of the Class of 2022 to make their experience over the next three years extraordinary. We challenged them to challenge themselves and to perform their very best in order to know they had done all they could and should to be prepared for what lie ahead. Some were introduced to, while others were reminded about, the A+ Program as well as the Belton School District's Cum Laude Program. The current data reveals a number have elected to meet the challenge. For this, for them, we are proud.

Each year, we provide families of graduating students our Senior Information Packet. We are a few details and some finishing touches away from publishing our 2022 Senior Information Packet. We anticipate posting the document to the BHS Website the week of January 17.

The packet will remain on our BHS Website through the remainder of the school year. It will contain information regarding expectations, timelines and the plans for A BHS Senior's final days at BHS. Further, this resource will include valuable information for families as they make preparations to celebrate our seniors during the Commencement Ceremony. Commencement 2022 is scheduled for Friday, May 13th at Cable Dahmer Arena.

From the desk of Helene Slinker... College Adviser - Missouri College Advising Corps

Class of 2022: File the FAFSA!

Seniors who are pursuing a postsecondary education should have the 2022-2023 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completed by February 1, 2022. Completing the FAFSA is necessary to receive financial aid such as the A+ scholarship, need-based grants, federal student loans, work-study opportunities, and some scholarships. Financial aid can be used for community college, universities, trade schools, cosmetology schools, and more! The FAFSA can be completed online at fafsa.gov. The 2022-2023 FAFSA will require 2020 income information (federal tax returns & W2s) from the student & parent.

The Access Missouri Grant is a $2850 need-based grant awarded to qualifying students who have their 2022-2023 FAFSA filed by February 1, 2022. Students who do not file by February 1, 2022 risk losing their shot at a $2850 grant that does not require repayment. The Access Missouri Grant does not require an additional application; it only requires filing the FAFSA by February 1, 2022 and meeting the need-based qualifications.

For assistance with filing the FAFSA or clarification on postsecondary financial aid options, please contact BHS College Adviser Helene Slinker at hslinker@bsd124.org.

Big picture

Class of 2023 & Class of 2025: Scholarship Opportunity

​​The BHS Class of 2023 and BHS Class of 2025 both have the unique opportunity to apply for the KC Scholars scholarship programs. KC Scholars is a local scholarship organization dedicated to empowering low & modest income students to go to college.

Freshmen who are awarded the scholarship will receive a 1:1 match on their college savings (up to $1000). Juniors who are awarded the scholarship will receive a $50,000 college scholarship ($10,000 per year for 5 years of postsecondary education). Students who are awarded the college savings accounts or traditional scholarships can use the funds at any school within the KC Scholars network of schools.

Applicants must have either a cumulative 2.5 GPA or a 16 on the ACT and meet income requirements that can be found here for juniors and here for freshmen. Last year, eight BHS Class of 2022 students were awarded $50,000 scholarships each and three BHS Class of 2024 students were awarded college savings accounts!

Applications may be submitted completely online at kcscholars.org. Applications are due by February 25, 2022. For further information about KC Scholars or assistance with the application, please reach out to BHS College Adviser Helene Slinker at hslinker@bsd124.org."

Test Day/Exploration Day… April 5th

April 5th... Students released at approximately 12:30 pm

*Note: Bus transportation will not be available until the regular time which is 2:45 pm. Most will arrange an alternative way to go home.

In our October edition of the Pirates' Scroll, we shared the following...

In high schools across the country, time is set aside for students to participate in either a practice or an authentic “high stakes” test exercise. Typically, during their four years of high school, every Belton High School student has an opportunity to experience a Pre-ACT and a Practice ACT prior to taking the ACT or the ACT Workkeys on campus and during a school day. Furthermore, each student participates without having to cover the cost. The costs associated with the Pre-ACT, ACT and ACT Workkeys are covered by district funds.

As one might expect, our sequence was somewhat disrupted since we were unable to test in the Spring of 2020. However, you may recall we created “a makeup opportunity” for both “virtual” and “in person” students last year and we were pleased that a significant percentage of our student population took advantage of this.

For a quick reference, see the chart below which outlines our annual "BSD Test Day/Exploration Day Plan"…

Big picture

Greater detail regarding the activities of April 5...

Freshmen… Academy selection follow up... This half-day experience is designed to provide further exploration for the members of our Freshman class. The Career Academy choices have been made and thus, we continue to work to identify activity which best aligns with one's choice. We're working through the challenges of COVID-19 in an attempt to identify how/where we can best provide some special opportunities. Look for more communication as the date approaches.

Sophomores… *ASVAB... is a multiple-aptitude battery that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military. For the student, the instrument is also used as a tool to consider possible occupational opportunities which align with their abilities whether or not they have an interest in a career in the military.

Juniors.. “ACT or the ACT Workkeys”...

  • The ACT is the leading US college admissions test measuring what one learns in high school and is designed to determine college readiness.

  • The ACT WorkKeys provides a credential which verifies the skills found to be the most essential to industries and occupations. A growing number of organizations and businesses across the region are using these results to help identify the strongest candidates for their workforce needs.

Seniors… “Exploration Day”... is an opportunity to forego school attendance and use this day to “explore” future options. This includes activity such as: visits to college campuses, or potential worksites and time to complete application forms. There are those who opt to report to school for the purpose of completing school work.

Transportation… bus routes will continue to run at their normal times. Most will arrange an alternative way to get home due to the early dismissal.

Student-athletes… For the few who are still in season, practice times will continue to be at the regularly scheduled time. Again, most arrange to return for practice, but there are those who stay on campus and use the time in the afternoon to complete various tasks.

The ACT… Although there are a number of factors which influence a student’s likely success in college, the combination of one’s ACT score coupled with a GPA provides the best predictor of student success. Furthermore, the individual reports provide a breakdown of areas of strength as well as opportunities for improvement and are invaluable in determining course sequencing while one is in high school. Finally, the ACT score is also one factor which ultimately determines a student’s cum laude status. (Cum laude… “to graduate with honors”... At BHS, cum laude requires a 22, magna cum laude requires a 26 and summa cum laude requires a 31.)

*Note: Regardless of one’s interest in military service, BHS students take the ASVAB during the spring of their sophomore year. So, why would we have students take the ASVAB regardless of their level of interest in military service? Simply put, the battery of tests represent some unique measures which provide useful information about “select skill sets.” Students and those who help guide them can apply the data collected to the types of opportunities available in the military and/or to the parallel opportunities found in civilian life. Additionally, by having our students take the ASVAB, it affords them with one more opportunity to practice sitting for a roughly 3-hour testing experience. Given the structure of a “typical” school day, this is a rare exercise. This is unfortunate given the significance of these “high stakes” tests.

A reminder... For questions you may have regarding such activity, consider referring to the "Why Papers" which can be found on the BHS website. Click on the link to see the article on Assessments... "WHY Papers".

Parking Permits

Follow this link to submit registration information in order to purchase a parking permit.

Eligible students: Those with a valid drivers license.

Cost: $20/year

Students who drive to school and park on school property must have registered their vehicle and obtained a parking pass. 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.

BHS Staff 2021 - 2022

Big picture

The BSD Mitigation Plan

Big picture

Canvas information... how to...

Information for parents and students regarding the use of Canvas is linked here.

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.

Belton High School

Each issue of the Scroll and BHS "Why" Papers will be available on our BHS webpage.