Banta Unified School District

November Update

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Superintendents Corner

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 at how the wildlife around me was preparing for the impending rain and snow, just as we were chopping firewood, clearing pine needles, and wrapping 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.

Fall always reminds me of my dad and his 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 his turkey preparations. From the selection and chopping of the vegetables to the selection of specific spices, making a turkey for my father was 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 marathon of cooking. 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 from something that had been 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!

Mrs. Pearlman

Important Dates for November

November 1- No School- Teacher workday

November 5- End of Trimester

November 11/12- Veteran's Day Holiday- No School

November 15-19- Parent-Teacher Conferences

November 17, PFA/DLAC Meeting

November 22-26- No School- Fall Break

PFA/ DLAC Meeting

Next Meeting: November 17, 2021

6:00 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 757 5616 1567

Passcode: EVb4SJ

Please join us at our monthly parent and staff meeting!

Principal's Round up

The holiday season puts us into a mood of reflection, thanks, and giving. This Fall I am thankful for students and staff being back on campus. Every day I am thankful for teachers and staff who work so hard to make sure they are meeting the needs of each of their students.

Teachers who work hard to create creative, engaging lessons. Staff who bring a sense of dedication and humor to their work every day. Students who care about their own learning goals. These are all things that make me excited to show up to work daily.

Personally, I am so thankful for my friends and family. The experiences I have had and those I haven't had yet are wonderful things that keep me positive about my daily life.

As an educator, I want to see everyone enjoying the experiences they have at Banta School

Dr. Ann Jayne Principal

School Calendar for 2021-2022

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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.

Fairness is:

· 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?

Practice Turn-taking

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?"

Praise Fairness

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

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Nurses Corner

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!

Food Service

We are excited to add baked potatoes to the menu this month. We have enjoyed lots of new fruits and veggies this year in the salad bar. We have had plums, peaches, kiwis, squash, watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, and street corn. Kids also have the option to pick up a small low sodium packet of tajin. We will continue to introduce new items each month.

If there is a favorite item, you would like to see on the menu, please send me an email with your student’s favorite items to

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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.

The Librarian's Corner

It's been a busy time here at the library since we have added 200 new books to our current collection just this month. We also received a few books from a Donor's Choose project that was funded, so that is also exciting! Our Birthday book club is going strong with both giving students books as well as receiving funds from families to buy books for the library. Additionally, we will have our next Read-to-a-Dog on November 2nd at 10:30 and our third and third/four combo class will spend time reading with our four-footed friends and their handlers.

Additionally, we have received a donation of 100 pumpkins from Van Gronigen farms and the students have enjoyed creating storybook characters out of them. Coming up in November we have our International Games Day for Libraries which we will feature on November 8th-10th before school starts and at recess and lunch. Game Stations will be set up with a surprise one that is very special!

We just completed Stuffed Animal Sleepover with our younger students and had four classes bring their stuffed animals to the library where they spent the night and then went home the next day with photos of their adventures. Additionally, we read bedtime stories in class and in the library and students were able to wear their pajamas.

We are hoping to partner with our fourth and fifth-grade students and teachers to paint bookends that have arrived from Demco in November to dress up the library even more so that students can feel like their library really is their own! In terms of AR, we are charting our progress in the cafeteria and having an October contest for our lollipop ghosts. The class that has the most AR points will win the ghosts! It's getting spooky in the library so come and check it out and spend some time reading with us!


Dr. McDaniel

November Book Review

It's no secret that we are big fans of doggies here at the Banta library and with it being October it seems fitting to review a Halloween-type book. This series by Aaron Blabey will steal your heart, as we have Pig who is a terrible pug. Written to rhyme, I find this book series delights not only younger readers but older ones as well. In the Pig the Monster, he is selfish with his candy, his Halloween pranks, and how he treats people. He is horrible, he really is a monster! But thank goodness for his little dachshund friend Trevor who notices he is guzzling something he shouldn't be (don't want to spoil the story) and helps save Pig's life. After that, he is much nicer, shares his candy, and is a dog people can bear. I recommend these Pig the Pug books for readers of all ages as the illustrations delight and you can't help but fall in love with this terrible pug

Field Trips with Hank and Ozzy

Hank and Ozzy love to go places- but with COVID-19 still a concern, they have had to curtail their trips and outings So, each month, they thought it would be fun to bring you a place or two that might be fun for you to visit online, some place that Hank and Ozzy would love to play!. Hank and Ozzy will be happy when COVID is behind them, but until then- enjoy exploring!!

Attendance: Do the Math!

K-12th grade =13 years

Missing just 1.5 days a month of school

1.5 x 9 months of school=13.5 days/year

13.5 days x 13 years= 175.5 days

Almost a whole year of school!

Every Day Counts!

Parent, Faculty Association/ DLAC

Welcome Back! We are excited to start a school year where everyone can enjoy being on campus! In the new school year, we look forward to your continued support. With you, we can create family fun events to celebrate our community; and, we can raise necessary funds to support classroom activities.

In our monthly meetings, we actively share ongoing academic successes and needs for all students, especially those learning English as a second language.

Please join us, virtually, this year as we continue to honor Banta’s rich history and community involvement.

Meeting Days and Time Wednesdays from 6:00-7:00 p.m.

● November 17, 2021

● January 19, 2022

● February 16, 2022

● March 6, 2022

● April 20, 2022

Ann Jayne is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. nhDSTdlUT09 Meeting ID: 757 5616 1567 Passcode: EVb4SJ

Look Who's At Banta

This month's Look Who's At Banta profile features second grade Teacher Kathy Jackson, and fourth grade Teacher Teresa Lorentz. Each month "Banta Bios" will highlight a Banta Elementary School staff member's educational background, training and what they like to do outside the classroom.

Teacher Kathy Jackson, originally from Castro Valley, California


Husband Eugene and five adult children, Trisha, Genienne, Gabriel, Frankie and Mechelle. She also has 12 grandchildren.


Attended Grossmont College in El Cajon, obtained her Bachelor’s degree in education from Stanislaus State and she is currently working on her master’s degree. Teaching 20 years at Banta, she has also taught third, sixth and currently second grade, where she has been for the last 17 years.


Outdoor activities highlight her time beyond the classroom with walking, hiking, swimming and camping. Each July her family holds a family reunion camping trip that is usually at Mendocino County’s Paul Dimmick Campground. When indoors, she is an avid workout enthusiast and she can be found at a local gymnasium three times a week to pursue her weightlifting hobby that has ranged between 275 and 215 pounds. To relax she enjoys visits to the ocean, which she loves almost as much as the redwoods. Her love of Hawaii is evident throughout her classroom with decorations and the sounds of Hawaiian music that is played each morning to relax the students upon their arrival. Her love of the Hawaiian philosophy of family and treating everyone with kindness is spread to her students with the Lilo & Stitch motto of “No one left behind or forgotten.” Another passion she shares with her husband is the love of travel throughout the United States. She has managed to crisscross the country twice using both the northern and southern routes. All together she has visited 40 of the 50 states and plans to someday see the remaining 10 states on her list.

Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked at the outpatient clinic at Children’s Hospital in San Diego, and she was also a non-sworn fraud and forgery investigator for El Cajon Police Department in San Diego County. Her desire to teach children was a lifelong dream that she decided to pursue when her children became adults.

Teacher Teresa Lorentz, 56, originally from Monrovia, California


Husband Bill and son’s Daniel and Andrew, as well as two cats named Sasha and Farley.

Educational background:

Bachelor’s degree and teaching credentials from Humboldt State University. She has been a teacher at Banta for 32 years, where she has taught third through sixth grades. Currently she teaches fourth grade, where she has been for more than 26 years.


When not in the classroom working on school related projects, such as yearbook, student council, theater productions and coaching volleyball, she enjoys crafts, sewing and painting on canvas. She also loves to travel to historic places around the United States to expand her knowledge of history. Her passion for theater has taken her from directing performances to making costumes and stage sets. At Lathrop High School for many years, she made the costumes for their productions of Grease, West Side Story, Alice in Wonderland, Guys and Dolls, and many other shows. She has also taken her theater passion to organize stage productions with the students at Banta for nearly a decade, including their latest production, “The Enchanted Book Shop,” which she hopes to reinstate after it was closed when students had to go to an online educational program.

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!

Riding the School Bus?

If your child is going to be absent, be sure you notify the bus company at (209) 862-2921. This will help the drivers reroute and not go to your house for that day!

Independent Study

While we are excited to welcome our students back for full-time in-person learning for 2021-2022 School Year, Banta Unified School District will also offer an alternate option for students who have an identified medical need to continue with remote learning.

The Independent Study Program is NOT the same as the District’s distance learning program as we’ve known during the pandemic. In the Independent Study Program, students will complete the work on their own, at home, based on a standards-aligned online curriculum, provided by Acellus. Student attendance will be monitored through log-ins, virtual check-ins, and completion of independent work. The Independent Study teacher will be available for individual support, daily as needed.

The Independent Study Program is a voluntary option and is offered to students upon request of a parent or guardian based on eligibility criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions

· How is the BUSD Independent Study Program different from Distance Learning?

o Due to changes in legislation, BUSD will not be offering distance learning for the 2021-2022 school year. BUSD plans to resume full-time in-person learning when school starts in August. This means that students will be back in the classroom, five days a week, for the duration of the school day, just as we were prior to the pandemic.

o In the Independent Study Program, students will receive standards-aligned assignments to complete independently at home. A teacher will monitor student progress, grade assignments, hold virtual office hours, and schedule individual virtual meetings with students as needed. Students will not participate in a virtual classroom. Students will have access to District resources such as counseling and meals.

· Will my child be required to actively participate daily?

o Yes- The State of California is requiring school districts to monitor daily attendance through virtual check-ins and complete daily assignments. The State of California requires students in kindergarten through Grade 2 who participate in an Independent Study program to check in virtually every day and students in Grades 3-8 to check in virtually at least once a week. BUSD students who participate in the BUSD The Independent Study program will be required to attend all scheduled virtual check-in meetings with their cameras on.

· What program/company is providing the online curriculum?

o BUSD is partnering with Acellus to offer eligible students personalized virtual instruction designed to meet their needs.

· What kind of commitment do families need to make? How can I help my child succeed?

o The parent/guardian/ caregiver is responsible for the supervision and will ensure that their child actively participates daily by completing assignments and attending scheduled virtual meetings with their teacher. Providing a quiet workspace and a daily routine will help your child succeed in the Independent Study Program.

· What supplies/ resources do we need to participate in the program?

o The District will provide the technology and materials needed to participate in the program. A quiet workspace that supports your child’s learning will be an important resource that you will provide.

· Can my child return to school for in-person learning at any time?

o Your child may return to their home school for in-person learning if the Independent Study Program does not meet their needs. Please contact your child’s principal to request a return to in-person instruction. The principal will transition your child back to in-person instruction in no later than five instructional days.

If you have further questions about Independent Studies or the application process, please call 209-229-4650