Banta Unified School District

November 2022 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 4 - End of 1st Trimester

November 11- Veteran's Day Holiday- No School

November 15-18 - Parent-Teacher Conferences

November 16 - PFA Meeting/DLAC Meeting/LCAP discussion

November 21-25 - No School- Fall Break

December 3 - Breakfast with Santa

Pumpkin fun for everyone!

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PFA/ DLAC Meeting

Next Meeting: November 16, 2022

6:00 p.m.

Please join us at our monthly parent and staff meeting!

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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.

Here's to wishing you a wonderful holiday season!


Mrs. Maxie

School Calendar 2022-2023

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Parking lot gets a facelift

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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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Rollercoaster designs

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The Banta Elementary School eighth graders were given the opportunity to utilize their engineering and science skills through a hands-on experiment to design their own rollercoaster.

Under the direction of Teacher Teresa Lorentz, the students were to develop a rollercoaster using paper, tape and cardboard. The initial goal of the project was to design a coaster that would have enough momentum to send a marble down a drop and through a loop-the-loop.

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.

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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 have had a great start to the school year. We are gearing up to pull some pumpkins, squash and tomatoes from our garden and prepare for our winter crops. We are excited to grow healthy food our students are able to enjoy. The students have also enjoyed hard-boiled eggs from our Banta chickens this year! Exciting things are happening with the Banta Food Service department as we continue to grow.

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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

Well it’s been a boo-tastic good time in the library as we get ready for the fall season. We have had our pumpkin decorating contest taking place this last week and school-wide voting is this week from the 24th to the 28th. Students were given a pumpkin donated by Brizzi farms and Van Groningen farms and were asked to decorate it like a storybook or movie character of their choice. Their creativity has been outstanding with characters such as Winifred of the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus, Minions, Winnie the Poo, and many other favorites.

There will be four pumpkins chosen for the top prizes which consist of baskets of books, toys, and Banta t-shirts. The winners will be announced this Friday in the afternoon around 1 p.m.

We have been busy continuing our Alliance of Therapy dog visits, with Miss Murphy’s TK class visiting with the dogs, who were dressed up in their pajamas. On October 18th, the kids read bedtime stories to the dogs and they had the option to dress in their pj’s and bring their stuffed animal to school. We will have another visit on November 8th with the dogs with Mrs. Burrow’s kindergarten class. We are very grateful that our handlers make time to come to Banta with all the other facilities that have opened up post-COVID.

Additionally, we will be celebrating International Games Week on November 4th to the 10th. At that time, students can come in and play games and puzzles that will be laid out on the tables for them. The library culture is celebrating International Game Month, in order to provide more flexibility, but here at Banta we celebrate for a week.

In terms of books, we are still waiting for library shelves, but have so many new books for our students to check out and read. We have also been diligently trying to make every book that has an Accelerated Reader (AR) level be labeled with a dot on the spine so students can more easily find them during their library time.

Students have still been coming in on Wednesdays to shelve books so that they can be a part of their library and know more about it. The kids seem to really thrive in the space and enjoy their time in here. They help process new books, add the barcodes, and reading levels. Spending time in here really helps them make the new space their own.

If you have ideas for the library that you would like to see, be sure to let me know, as I am always open to ideas! Contact me at


Dr. McDaniel

Pumpkin Decorating Contest!

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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!

Banta Sports!!!

Look Who's At Banta

This month's Look Who's At Banta profile features Day School Teacher Kailey Moore. 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 Kailey Moore, 26, of Mountain View


Fiancé Sean, 6-year-old son Liam, and a husky named Bentley and a guinea pig named Elsie.

Educational Background:

Associates Degree and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Sacramento State College in Sacramento. She is currently attending Teachers College in San Joaquin. This is her second year at Banta Elementary after working as an aid and long-term substitute last year. She currently teaches transitional kindergarten through first grade special needs children.


An avid traveler, she has been to 16 different countries including Ireland, Italy, Spain, Iceland and Germany. She enjoys learning about different cultures and going in without knowing what to expect and immersing herself into that particular place during her visit. She loves the spontaneity of visiting a new place and letting things happen. She said she likes to experience the culture and keeping an open mind. When she is not traveling internationally, she enjoys going on day-trips to places like Half Moon Bay and Napa. She also enjoys doing do-it-yourself projects, particularly making candles and custom makeup bags. Her DIY projects are usually items that she makes as gifts. One of her favorite activities at home is having Disney movie night with her son where they make a blanket fort and watch a fun movie with snacks. Since she is a big San Francisco Giants fan, she loves going to the city to see a baseball game. Recently she got engaged to her boyfriend Sean and they are planning a wedding in Belfast Ireland next year.

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!