Benicia High School Panther Post

April 2020 - Monthly Newsletter

BHS Vision Statement

Benicia High School will inspire learning with integrity in order to find personal success in an ever-changing world.

Expected Student Learning Results:

  • Communicator and Collaborator
  • Critical Thinker and Problem Solver
  • Creator and Innovator

Distance Learning During School Closure

Hello Panthers,

I hope this month's newsletter finds you in good health and good spirits. This is a difficult time for everyone with schools closed, shelter-at-home, social distancing, and many other new terms that are now in our daily vocabulary. Many of us are feeling disconnected; my hope is that this month's newsletter will be a source of information and resources that can help us to stay connected until we are able to return to school.

Please know that all of the teachers and staff at Benicia High School are missing our students tremendously. We are working hard to continue the school year online so that students receive the education they deserve and the essential skills/concepts they need to progress. School activities, athletics, and events are all on hold, as we are not able to gather in large groups together.

PowerSchool continues to be the best resource for information about grades for assignments and classes. All teachers are using Google Classrooms to provide assignments, resources, and instruction. You can reach out to teachers with questions or to request assistance. Teachers are providing virtual "Office Hours" throughout the week and many are offering Zoom meetings to connect with students or provide instruction.

We will not be having Final exams at the end of the semester as we normally would, June 3rd-5th. Due to the disruption to instruction, we will instead use those last days of the school year to complete instruction and each teacher will provide information specific to their class. In addition, 11th grade students will not take standardized tests this year (state exams such as SBAC). SAT and ACT exams have been cancelled at this time and plan to return in the Fall.

For our Seniors - We are thinking of you! We are actively looking into several options for providing a Senior Prom or similar special event at a later date, after graduation. We are also proceeding with plans for an alternative format for graduation for the Class of 2020 Commencement. We will communicate this out as plans are made. At this time, things continue to change weekly or daily at the state and local level, so we want to be sure to plan accordingly. We ask for your patience while this happens. We know this has not been the end of your Senior year that you planned or hoped for, and we are so sorry. We hope to provide an opportunity to come together as a class and have a celebration when we are allowed to hold gatherings again.

For all students and families, please reach out via email to your Counselors, Administrators, Teachers and other staff if you need any help or have any questions. We are here for you. If you are not sure who to contact, you can email and we will have the proper person contact you within one school day. We will continue to provide updates on our BHS Twitter and Facebook accounts, email communications to students and parents to provide new information, and will update this newsletter as needed. Please also use the BUSD and BHS websites for information.

As we continue with distance learning for the remainder of the school year and shelter-at-home for this extended period of time, please be sure to include positivity, creativity, and mindfulness in your day. Bring art into your life with music, painting, film, comedy, or other form that best speaks to you. Find reasons to laugh and be sure to get exercise. Take breaks during school work to take care of yourself. Reach out to friends and have virtual gatherings to watch a movie, play a game, or share celebrations.

We miss you and look forward to when we can all return to BHS together.

Go Panthers!

Brianna Kleinschmidt, Principal

Panther TV continues to run with a weekly episode out each Thursday. A HUGE THANK YOU to the amazing Panther TV crew for their work during school closure to keep us informed and connected. You can subscribe to their YouTube to get all new episodes and to find old episodes.

Meals for Students During School Closure

During the school closure, BUSD Food Services is providing meals for all of our students, at no cost. Meal distribution is available Monday through Friday, from 11:00am to 1:00pm and includes a warm lunch for that day as well as breakfast for the next day. Please remain in your car and pick up meals in a drive-thru process to keep all families and employees safe.

There are three locations available for meal pick up:

  • Benicia High School - enter from Plaza de Oro, enter through gate to upper parking lot, and follow signs.
  • Robert Semple Elementary School - Entrance of staff parking lot.
  • Burgess Point Complex, 91 Riverview Terrace in Benicia

If you have any questions, please contact Director of Food Services, Tania Courtney at

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AP Exam Information

For students registered to take one or more AP exams in May, there have been many changes and information continues to be updated by College Board. To review the latest information, please go to:

At-a-Glance Changes:

  • AP is now providing free online learning resources. This includes AP review lessons provided by AP teachers from around the country. These are available live at scheduled times and available by video to access after the live session.
  • AP exams will now be taken on your own device - a computer, tablet, or smartphone. You also have the option to write your exam response by hand and submit a photo. We recommend that you use a personal computer or BUSD Chromebook that has been assigned to you this year.
  • AP exams have changed and will be 45-minute online free-response exams, with one or two free response questions. No multiple-choice.
  • Students taking Spanish or French world language and culture exams will complete two spoken tasks.
  • AP exam content will focus on what most schools were able to complete by early March.
  • AP exams will be secure, with College Board using a variety of digital security tools and plagiarism detection software.
  • AP Art Classes that require portfolio submission (Art and Design: 2D, Art and Design: 3D, and Art and Design: Drawing) - the submission deadlines have been extended to May 26.
  • AP Capstone Classes (Research and Seminar) - Digital Portfolio deadlines have been extended to May 26.
  • AP Computer Science Principles - Digital Portfolio deadline extended to May 26.

AP exams will be given May 11 - May 22nd (view full testing schedule here).

Please continue to communicate with your teachers and work through Google Classroom or other platforms provided to complete your course and prepare for the AP exam.

University of California Suspends SAT/ACT Requirement for Class of 2021

For our Junior Class:

The University of California announced that they are making drastic changes to their admissions standards for applicants who are current high school juniors in consideration of the effects of COVID-19. These changes are temporary, for one year, and remove the requirement that applicants take standardized tests, such as the SAT or ACT exams. The statement from UC assured that, "no student is harmed in admissions selection should they not submit a test score."

Students applying for Fall 2021 admissions can still take tests and send scores to UC if they are able to do so in the future, as this would support their statewide UC eligibility.

For more information:

California State University Provides Updated Information for Admissions

The California State University (CSU) system also provided updated information for 11th grade students planning to apply for admission in the future.

For incoming college freshmen:

  • CSU will assess and initially place students in first-year English/Math based on multiple measures: high school and college courses completed, GPA's, and test scores (SBAC, ACT, SAT) that students have completed so far.
  • CSU will NOT facilitate a systemwide Early Start Program in summer 2020; individual campuses may offer virtual summer transitional programs.
  • CSU requests that high schools provide transcripts by July 15, 2020, but has additional plans in place should that not be possible.

For high school juniors:
  • CSU “recommends” all students enroll in a yearlong, senior-year English course and a mathematics/quantitative reasoning course.
  • CSU is still determining the appropriate path forward for eligibility criteria for Fall 2021 applicants regarding the indefinite suspension of the ACT/SAT examinations.

Class of 2020 - Apply NOW for Local Scholarships

In lieu of being able to do physical scholarship forms for local scholarships, our Counseling Office has provided an alternative format so that Seniors can apply for local scholarships and we have extended the deadline. All local scholarship forms have been transferred from paper applications over to Google Forms. Links to these forms will be posted in the Class of 2020 Google Classroom. For students who are not already in the classroom, the code to join is 2eb6m5i.

All scholarships will posted by Friday, April 3rd and will all applications are due on April 17th. No late applications will be accepted. If you turned in a paper application to counseling before school transitioned to distance learning, those applications will be included and do not need to be resubmitted with the Google Form. All applications from this point forward must be submitted using the Google Form.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Ms. Marwick or Ms. Gladi.


Despite school closure, our amazing Pride Yearbook Staff continues to work hard to complete the yearbook and have it delivered to students by the end of the school year.

If you have already purchased your yearbook, you are all set and will receive your book late May or early June. If you have not yet purchased a yearbook, it's not too late - you can still purchase a book until they sell out. Please purchase your yearbook through the BHS Webstore. More information about how yearbooks will be distributed will be sent in May.

NEW DATE for 13th Annual Benicia Education Foundation Run for Education!

BEF announced that they have rescheduled their annual Run for Education for August 30, 2020. All registrations for the March 29th date will be honored for the new race date and the registration period remains open.

Visit for information on the race and to register for the 5K run/walk, children’s fun run, Shop & Stroll, or “Hit the Snooze” 5K. Proceeds from the race help support programs and events at all seven BUSD schools.


Please contact your school principal if you may be in need of financial assistance to participate.

Amazon Smile - An Easy Way to Donate to Your PTSA!

Shopping on Amazon? Be sure to use Amazon Smile and select "Benicia High PTSA" as the charitable organization of your choice. A small percentage of your purchase will benefit Benicia High School thanks to the PTSA's projects, scholarships, and grants.

Amazon Smile is now available on the Amazon app also!

Congratulations to our Sources of Strength Students!

We are excited to share the great news that our Sources of Strength students' video submission was 1 of just 15 chosen out of more than 1,000 videos to move on to regional judging in a contest with In addition, the video will now be included in the organization's film library and available across the state.

Directing Change is part of statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students. Please check out the BHS video submission below. Great job to the students involved in making the video: Sophie, Mattie, Isis, Felicia & Milo!

Becoming Me Directing Change

Upcoming Events at Benicia High School

  • CAMPUS CLOSED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE 2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR - All school activities cancelled during this time. All classes continue online, through Google Classroom.
  • Wednesday, April 1: Teacher Planning Day
  • Monday April 6 - Friday April 10: Spring Break, No School
  • Monday, April 13: Teacher Planning Day
The Paw - Benicia High School's Student Newspaper

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!

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.

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