Banta Unified School District
December 2023 Update
December is my favorite time of year. I love the lights, the sparkle, the cookies, and the season's magic. I love the smell of pine trees and how the whole house seems to shimmer in the evening light. I love the constant holiday music, mall Santa's, and the Hallmark Channel.
More importantly, I love how people take time out of their busy schedules to be thoughtful and think about others. I appreciate the sense of community, a sense of caring about others, and a sense of giving back that people have during this season.
When I was a very young teacher, I met Donna Boyd. Donna was an outstanding kindergarten teacher, she taught down the hall from me, and over time, she taught all of my children. Donna had a big personality, would light up a room with her laughter, and could get strangers on the street to donate to her worthy causes.
When I was young, I did not fully understand Donna. Although we were fierce friends, I did not understand why she rang bells for over 100 hours each year for the salvation Army. I always took a shift or two, but 100 hours! I did not understand why she drove around town with care packages in her car and would frequently pull her car over and spend half an hour talking to a homeless person while delivering her care package. Donna also collected and washed hundreds of coats and blankets yearly for Tracy Interfaith ministries.
Donna helped spearhead our food collection each year, and with her help and encouragement, our school always filled the food bank's shelves. Donna adopted families at Christmas, bought school supplies for children she didn't know, sent shoes to hurricane victims, walked for the Cure, and went without such others had what they needed.
Many years back, Donna created an organization called Santa's Helpers. The premise of the organization was to recognize middle school students in need who showed great character at school. Over the years, hundreds of local students have been awarded the Santa's Helpers recognition and were able to purchase Christmas gifts for their families, all from Donna's fundraising efforts.
When I was having a hard day, Donna's classroom, with its colored macaroni, direct a draws on its walls, and bean plants in the windows, was my refuge. I loved listening to her stories about kindergarteners, the things they would say, the stories they would tell, and of course, there was always a poop story. I always left kindergarten laughing!
Donna's been gone for ten years, and I can not help but think of her around the holiday season. She taught me how to be a better teacher and a better mom, and she reminded me that one day I would miss all the hustle and bustle of driving three kids across town to sports practices. She taught me that a lab puppy could eat anything, including a couch and a Santa costume, and that giving back to your community is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.
I wish you the very best this Holiday Season. I hope you can take some time for your family, and perhaps you can follow my friend Donna's example and help out someone less fortunate than yourself.
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Banta District office to you and your family!
Breakfast with Santa!
This Saturday, December 2nd, we held our Annual Breakfast with Santa event. We sold 250 tickets and served 205. Banta School would like to express our sincerest gratitude to the Tracy Breakfast Lions Club for preparing and cooking for our families. The pancakes and sausages were absolutely delicious!
We also wanted to take a moment to express our sincerest gratitude to the staff that attended the event with their families and those who volunteered their time (along with their families) to make the breakfast a warm holiday success! 🎄
A huge THANK YOU goes out to Teresa Lorentz, Molly Delgado, Juan Ramirez, Jamie Eichele and Sandra Gonzalez for all of your hard work preparing for Breakfast with Santa and volunteering your time on Saturday.
Thank you to Mrs. Isabel Diaz, Mrs. Julie Lopez, Mrs. Lety Moreno, Mr. Bill Lorentz and Mrs. Cassie Beam for also volunteering your time and skills. ❤
To Mrs. Lorentz brother, Mike, who was our Santa - The joy and excitement you brought to the children's faces was priceless! THANK YOU! 🎅
Finally, teachers - thank you for decorating the gym and working with our students to create their trees and snowflakes. The gym looks beautiful.
Principal's Round up
The holiday season is finally here! I look forward to this time, because Christmas is more than just a holiday. It is a magical time where we all gather together to celebrate all that connects us. We look forward to the little moments when we are together sharing stories and creating new lasting memories.
Our home has always been a place of filled with laughter and love. This holiday, we again look forward to spending time with our family and friends. Now that my mother lives closer, her presence in our home adds an extra layer of warmth to our holiday.
As we bid farewell to this year, I am filled with anticipation for the new opportunities and growth that the new year will bring. May it be a year of continued growth, success, and unity for our school and the entire Banta Community as well.
I wish each and every one of you a blessed holiday filled with love, joy, and the warmth of cherished connections. May the spirit of the season bring peace to your hearts and homes.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Character Counts -Pillar of the Month- Caring
Be kind • Be compassionate and show you care • Express gratitude • Forgive others • Help people in need
Cold and Flu Season is Here!
Myths about colds and the flu:
Colds and the flu are caused by going outside in cold weather
Colds and the flu can be caught by going outside with wet hair
Antibiotics are needed to treat a cold or the flu
The flu shot will give me the flu
The flu is just a bad cold
Facts about colds and the flu:
Viruses in the flu shot are not active or alive and cannot cause you to get the flu
Antibiotics do not treat or cure colds or the flu
Colds and the flu are caused by viruses.
The best way to prevent catching a cold or the flu is to get the flu vaccine, practice good hand hygiene, and get plenty of sleep.
Does Your Student Have Health Concerns?
Our priority here at Banta Elementary 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. Please contact the school office if you would like a copy of the medication form!
This is our shortest month, but most exciting month for students. This year we have partnered with more local farmers. This month we are featuring a new fruit for the kids to try, Persimmons. All fruits from this vendor are picked and delivered within 48 hours! We are excited to hear what they think! We hope you all enjoy your break.
Turkey Trot Fun!
Banta students chased a turkey around the school playground on Nov. 17 for this year's Turkey Trot just before their November break. The students had a blast chasing our turkey volunteer 5th Grader, Julian Trigo.
Banta Students Honored
A group of Banta Elementary School students were chosen to receive the Donna Boyd Santa’s Helpers Character Award this year. The students were presented with certificates for their outstanding character and giving spirit on Tuesday, Nov. 28 by Principal Tabatha Maxie.
This years recipients were: Brisa Perez – 8th Grade; Briana Montalvo – 7th Grade; Jocelynn Medina – 7th Grade; Guadalupe Herrera Carrion – 6th Grade and Joshua Gonzalez – 6th Grade.
As part of their award, the students will go on a Christmas shopping spree at Target in Tracy on Dec. 13th. Each student will be given a specific amount of money to buy presents for their family members and themselves.
Santa’s Helpers is a program created in 2004 by Donna Boyd, a Tracy kindergarten teacher and community volunteer. She started with a couple of students from the school where she was working and the program has since blossomed over the years. After her passing, her children have been carrying on her legacy with the assistance of the Tracy community and a team of volunteers.
December Tech Time
Limit Social Media Profiles
Check all your child’s social media profiles and double-check the security setting on their accounts. Teach your kids the importance of security settings and how to be safe online. Show your kids how to use social media appropriately. How conversations in real life differ from conversations online. How to prevent cyberbullying and avoid problems coming from strangers.