Battle Creek Bear Tracker

January 2021

Message from Principal Freeborn

Dear Battle Creek Families,

Happy New Year and welcome back to Comprehensive Distance Learning! I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable winter break. We are happy to be back and excited about the potential for students to return to school next month, which I’ll discuss in more detail in a moment.

Winter has arrived and with that comes cooler temperatures and the possibility of inclement weather. Snow days (closures) are likely a thing of the past since we now have the ability to hold school virtually. However, if school is delayed or closed for any reason, a phone call will be made to your students’ primary phone number. Please check ParentVue to ensure we have the most current phone and address on file so that you will be notified about any changes to school hours, as well as other school events, activities, and updates regarding the return to in-person instruction.

We also want to make sure that all of our students have warm coats and warm clothes for the winter months. If you need assistance with getting a coat or clothes for your child, please do not hesitate to call us at 503-399-2062. Ms. Benson, our School Counselor, would be happy to assist you.

Now, for the highly anticipated information regarding: “When Can My Kids Go Back to School?” You may have heard that, while we were on Winter Break, Governor Brown made an announcement that her requirements would become “advisory” in January. This month, our district will be working with the local health authority and the Oregon Department of Education to determine when and how to safely bring students back to school. As in August and September, I will continue to update you with any new information as it becomes available and how it applies to Battle Creek. The fastest way to get updates is to follow us on social media, but I will also be sending out Remind messages and auto-dialers (recorded phone calls).

If at any time you find yourself with unanswered questions or the information doesn’t seem clear, please do not hesitate to reach out and I will do my best to share the information I have. We are just as excited as you are to get our kids back in school where they belong and where we know learning happens best. However, it’s going to take time, patience, careful planning, and a wide array of health and safety precautions as we enter yet more uncharted territory. We as a staff are anxious to begin taking these steps toward getting kids back to Battle Creek in a way that is safe for everyone. Your patience, grace, and feedback are greatly appreciated as we figure out how best to go about this.


Beth Freeborn, Principal

P.S. If you aren’t already, please follow us on our Facebook page @BattleCreekElementarySchool and/or our Instagram page: BattleCreekElementary for important reminders and information.

Important Dates

January 4th: 1st & 2nd Grade distribution - 11am 'til 1pm & 3pm 'til 4pm

January 5th: CDL live classes resume

January 11th: 5th Grade distribution - 11am 'til 1pm & 3pm 'til 4pm

January 18th: No School/Office Closed - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 20th: PTC Mtg. at 6:30pm on Zoom (Follow the PTC Battle Creek Facebook page for link to meeting)

January 25: 3rd Grade distribution - 11am 'til 1pm & 3pm 'til 4pm

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Nightly Read Alouds with Mrs. Freeborn

Please join Mrs. Freeborn every night at 8:00 for LIVE read alouds (or watch the recording later). Previously this was on Facebook, but now we're testing out YouTube's LIVE video feature on our Battle Creek Bears YouTube channel. Hope to "see" you there.

4th & 5th Grade Choir

Ms. Wasdo is excited to announce the official start of choir coming on Thursday, January 21st. Students will be receiving a canvas notification with the official sign up form and important information regarding participation in our virtual choir. Choir will be on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 2:45-3:15. All students who sign up will be added to a special choir canvas page with links to meetings. Please do not hesitate to email Ms. Wasdo with any questions regarding this new opportunity for our 4th and 5th grade students.

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Practicing Lockdown Procedures

State law requires schools to conduct two lockdown drills per year. Schools will be conducting a lockdown drill within the first two weeks of the school year, and again within the first two weeks after winter break. These drills will not be a simulation of a threat and are not intended to scare students. We do want students to take the drills seriously so they are familiar with lockdown routines and procedures.

If you have safety concerns, or notice any gaps in our security, then please tell the school principal. As parents, you have a valuable perspective that can help improve safety procedures. As gaps are identified, we will continuously refine and improve our lockdown procedures.


Salem-Keizer Public Schools is distributing free grab-n-go meals for any child or teen ages 1-18 years old, and anyone with special needs 21 years old or younger. See the locations list below.

Meals include a variety of items like cereal, milk, fruit, vegetables, sandwiches, chicken nuggets, hamburgers or chicken patties. All foods are fully cooked and safe to eat immediately or reheat.

Grab-N-Go Meals are now available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on school days at nearly all Salem-Keizer schools and now at almost 60 bus stops. We are proud to offer this essential service to youth, and to young adults with special needs, in the entire Salem and Keizer community.

Go to this link for list of sites:


At the start of each school year, information from student registration forms and ParentVue is entered or uploaded into the student information database.

SchoolMessenger, the system the district uses to send out phone notification to parents, receives updated information from this database once each day.

It is very important that parents keep their contact information current.

Be sure to let your school office know if you have a new address, email or phone number.

The parent or guardian marked as the primary contact in the student information system will receive automated communication.

Messages will also be sent to the student’s home phone number contained in the database, if different from the primary contact phone number.

Oregon Health Plan Free For Youth

Through the Oregon Health Plan, youth 19 years of age and younger have access to free health coverage, regardless of immigration status if they meet the income requirements.

More information, including income requirements and how to apply for coverage, is available online.


Read our school Newsletter, now in a new format, via email, Remind or on the school website!

Follow us on Facebook: @BattleCreekElementarySchool

Follow us on Instagram: BattleCreekElementary

Follow us on YouTube: Battle Creek Bears

Follow us on our school website:

Download the free Remind App on your phone.

Check your email inbox regularly. Update your email in Parent Vue if it's not accurate.