Banta Unified School District
November 2023 Update
This past weekend, as I was sitting on the deck, looking out at the changing colors of the trees. I found myself watching a red-headed woodpecker flit about– diligently drilling holes and storing away acorns for the winter months. I was struck by how the wildlife around me prepared for the impending rain and snow, just as we chopped firewood, cleared pine needles, and wrapped pipes.
Fall has always been a time of preparation and reflection- a time to take stock of what we have, where we have come from, and where we want to go. It is a time to be thankful for the phenomenal people that we work with. A time to be thankful for the people who love and support us, as well as a time to be thankful for all those who had a hand in making us who we are today!
Fall reminds me of my dad's quest to cook the perfect turkey. Much like the mother in A Christmas Story, my father would wake up well before 4 AM and start turkey preparations. From selecting and chopping the vegetables to selecting specific spices, making a turkey for my father was a serious business.
I remember waking up on Turkey Day to the smell of butter and onions and the sweet smell of spices and turkey. Each year, my father would sport a new apron for his cooking marathon. All day long, mouths would water while my father babied and basted his turkey.
My father was a quiet man who had a wicked sense of humor. So, each year, he would name our Turkey. Usually, the name came from a political character or something newsworthy throughout the year. Sometimes, the turkey would have small props attached to it to add to its naming status! The carving became quite ceremonial, almost a eulogy to the bird!
My dad has been gone for a few years now, but each year, we still hold the naming ceremony for the Turkey– and try to remember that each of us is a part of our past, and it is our job to pass our traditions– no matter how silly or crazy, onto our children. May your holiday be wonderful, spent with family and friends– and who knows, maybe you’ll even name your turkey this year!
Important Dates for November 2023
November 2-Dia de Muertos
November 3 - End of 1st Trimester
November 8 - PFA Meeting/DLAC Meeting/LCAP discussion
November 13-15 - Parent-Teacher Conferences
November 16- Mustang Assemblies- Tk-3- 8:45 am; 4th-8th- 10:15 am
November 17- Turkey Trot Grades 4-8
November 20-24 - No School- Fall Break
November 27- School Resumes
December 2 - Breakfast with Santa
This month has just absolutely flown by! With the bustle of Banta's Hay Day and our Halloween parade behind us, we can now look forward to the holiday season where we can continue to make precious memories with our loved ones. The holidays are a wonderful time to focus on love, life, laughter and carrying on our family traditions.
My family holiday traditions have evolved over time. As a military family, we were often stationed far from our parents homes. We spent numerous holidays traveling to the homes of relatives and celebrating Thanksgiving surrounded by family. As my children grew older, it was important for us to celebrate at home and start our own "traditions". We'd cook and bake for hours - everyone participated. I'd pop the turkey in the oven at 5:00 am. By 9:00 am the delicious smells of turkey and baked goods would begin wafting through the air waking everyone. We'd often cook more than we needed and would have too much left over.
These past few Thanksgivings we moved away from the traditional turkey meal and created one of the best traditions ever. Everyone got to choose their favorite meal to have at Thanksgiving. I know it sounds excessive - but that's what family is all about. Catering to each other and showing our love and support in unique ways.
My children are adults now and starting families of their own. Our family is growing and so are our hearts. Soon, they'll begin their own family traditions. I just hope they continue celebrating the traditions that brought us so much joy over the years.
As I reflect on the many things for which I am thankful, I want to take this opportunity to share just a few of them with you. I am thankful for our students who come to school every day ready to learn - they give us all a daily reminder of what is important and why we are here.
I am thankful for the support of our PFA in creating an outstanding partnership with our school and teachers for our students.
I am thankful for the teachers, instructional aides, bus drivers, administrative support staff, our school nurse, lunchroom staff, custodians, therapists, and administrators who really care about student achievement and have the best interests of our students at heart.
Every day, I get to work alongside dedicated and tireless individuals going above and beyond to make sure great things happen for our students. You all do make a difference, and the children, in their own individual ways, benefit from those efforts.
With a grateful heart,
Out and About at Banta!
School Calendar 2023-2024
Character Counts -Pillar of the Month- Fairness
Play by the rules • Take turns and share • Be open-minded; listen to others • Don’t take advantage of others • Don’t blame others • Treat all people fairly
A Message on Fairness
November’s Character Counts Trait is Fairness. As a concept, fairness is especially challenging for young children to understand. With other traits, like kindness or responsibility, there are concrete actions to observe which may provide a basic understanding of the concept itself. However, fairness is found in the way we treat one another, the way in which we play a game, the way in which we live life, etc.
· Treating people the way you want to be treated.
· Taking turns.
· Telling the truth.
· Playing by the rules.
· Thinking about how your actions will affect others.
· Listening to people with an open mind.
· Not speaking when others are speaking.
· Not blaming others for your mistakes.
· Not taking advantage of other people.
· Not playing favorites.
So how do we teach fairness to young children?
This is a good starting point for the especially young. Through playing games like peek-a-boo and building with blocks (you lay one, I lay one), parents are able to provide a basic understanding of taking turns which is an element of fairness. For older children, use games as an opportunity to model and explain why we play by a given set of rules, how we take turns, and how we encourage one another even when we are unhappy with an outcome.
Notice Fair and Unfair
Draw attention to behaviors in books, movies, and in life when others are acting in a fair or unfair manner. Ask your child questions like “What is another way he could have acted to make things fair?” or “How did she show fairness to the other person?"
Take a moment to recognize and verbalize when your child is acting out of fairness. Helping him to notice fairness in his own behaviors will help him to grow in his understanding of the concept. Fairness may not be taught as easily as other character traits, but with consistency, children will recognize fairness and act fairly towards others.
Written by Tabatha Maxie
Lets Talk About Lice!
1. It is easy to get lice and cutting a person’s hair will prevent head lice
2. Lice are dirty and spread disease
3. Lice can survive many days off of people or lice can fall off a person’s head, hatch, and cause another person to get lice
4. Lice are commonly spread throughout schools and you can get it from sitting next to someone with lice
5. Schools and child-care facilities should screen all children for head lice
6. “no-nit” policies reduce the risk of head lice in schools and child-care facilities
1. Lice are much harder to get than a cold, the flu, ear infections, pink eye, and strep throat. The length of a person’s hair does not impact the risk of getting lice
2. Lice do not spread any known disease, nor are they impacted by dirty or clean hygiene
3. Head lice need a blood meal every few hours and the warmth of the human scalp to survive. Nits are glued to the hair shaft by a cement-like substance and are very hard to remove.
4. Head lice are spread through direct head-to-head contact. The lice do not jump, hop, or fly. Sitting next to someone will not increase the risk of getting the lice, therefore, making transmission through schools rare. It is more common to get lice from family and overnight guests.
5. Having regularly scheduled mass screenings does not reduce the incidence of head lice
6. Research shows that “no-nit” policies do not decrease the number of cases of head lice. They do increase the risk of incorrect diagnosis of head lice, the number of days children are out of school, and the negative social stigma associated with head lice.
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!
Students have had the opportunity to enjoy freshly picked foods from our garden squash, tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, cucumbers, plums, and fresh eggs. We held our first-ever CRUNCH DAY, students all received a crunchy fruit or vegetable and a sticker to bite down and make a crunch altogether. We are adding soups back to the menu, as well as, hot chocolate will be coming soon!
We're Here to Help
If you have a baby who was very small or sick at birth or a young child whose development worries you, a telephone call may put you in touch with someone who can answer your questions and help you get service for your child.
Call the Banta District Office at (209)229-4651 and ask for Nel’Laine Kilgore, or call the San Joaquin County Office of Education at 209-468-4925 for more information.
Fun Web Site for Kids
Have you seen National Geographic Kids? It is an amazing website with this great section called, " How Things Work". Check it out!