The Bethlehem Star
We are off to a fantastic start to the school year! I may be biased, but I do believe we have the very BESt teachers, students, staff, and families in the state of Georgia! We have been working hard on learning routines and procedures that help our school days run smoothly. We have also had our first round of MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) assessments in grades K-5 as well as the first DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Early Literacy Skills) assessments in grades K-3. Teachers in grades 1-5 are currently assessing reading with the Text Reading Comprehension (TRC) assessment, and parents will be receiving score reports for each of these assessments later this month.
During the month of August, I have been visiting classrooms to read to students. This is one of my favorite things to do with classes, as it helps me build a strong and positive relationship with our kids. I'm also working hard to either refresh my memory with students' names or learn the names of those who are new to our school. With over 650 students, I have my work cut out for me. However, it is important to me to be able to call your child by his or her name as we interact throughout the school year. I absolutely adore our students, and I can't say enough about how proud I am of them. Thank you for sending us your BESt! It is a blessing to serve your family.
Have a great Labor Day weekend!
September Dates to Remember
1-4: No School (Labor Day Holiday)
7: Cub Scouts Call-out Meeting 6:30 PM in Cafeteria
8: Student of the Month Celebration 8:30 AM in Cafeteria (By invitation)
11: Patriot Day: Wear red, white, and blue
15: Dot Day: Wear polka dots
19: Pirate Day: Dress like a pirate
22-28: Scholastic Book Fair
29: Rock Your School Day
We have been focusing on learning our school expectations during the first month of school.
- Be Respectful
- Be Responsible
- Be Safe
Students earn Star Points throughout each day as they model appropriate and expected behavior. They will be able to cash those points in when they visit our school store which opens on September 11. These incentives are one way we reward our students for making good choices.
September's Word of the Month: Responsibility
Each day, all of our homerooms implement lessons from our Character Strong curriculum. In September, we will be focusing on RESPONSIBILITY. We will also work on the skills Following Instructions, Asking for Help, Staying on Task, and Making an Apology.
Family Activity: We hope you will review Responsibility as a family! Responsibility is taking action and understanding how our choices affect others. Choose 1 household chore (or more!) that requires multiple steps. Then have each member of the family select 1 step to complete to help get the job done! Maybe it is washing the dishes, doing laundry, cleaning the living room, or unloading the groceries - whatever it is, see who can be the quickest or most effective at their task!
Responsibility helps students have success in the classroom
Children who learn to be responsible do better in school. They get along better with teachers and peers. They make better decisions. They're more apt to try, follow through, and succeed.
To strengthen your child's sense of responsibility:
- Match chores to abilities. Are you still packing your child's lunch? How about making the bed? If so, pass the torch. Most elementary schoolers are capable of handling such tasks. Don't overload your child with too many chores, but work toward giving meaningful responsibilities.
- Teach lessons about money. Consider giving your child a small allowance. When children manage their own money, they tend to develop more respect for it. Include your child when you are working on your budget. You don't have to share specific financial details, but demonstrate what budgeting looks like. Say things like, "I'd love to order pizza tonight, too, but it'll have to wait. Payday isn't until Friday."
- Use consequences to teach. When children experience the consequences of their actions, they are more likely to learn not to make the same mistake again. If you're always running to the rescue, your child won't learn how to take responsibility for anything.
You can find more tips at Parent-Institute.com.
Boost Your Child's Desire to Read
Here are 5 strategies from the Parent Institute that you can use to help boost your child's desire to read.
- Celebrate: Instead of simply checking out books at the library, make an event of it. Select interesting books, then choose a special place to enjoy reading together.
- Explore: Help your child discover an appealing book series. Kids often can't resist picking up the next book in a series.
- Investigate: Ask a question and encourage your child to find the answer by doing some research either online or in a book.
- Play: Turn something you just read together into a fun challenge. Ask your child to summarize the story using only three sentences. Can your child use the characters from the story in a new story?
- Experiment: Read a variety of books together. If your child is used to reading fiction, try reading a biography or how-to book, for example.
Spirit Wear Orders
There will be a Cub Scout call out meeting on Thursday, September 7 at 6:30 PM in our school's cafeteria. Cub Scouts is an active program for children (both boys and girls) in kindergarten through fifth grade and their families that encourages learning, friendship—and most of all—getting out and having fun!
We encourage staff and students to wear red, white, and blue on Monday, September 11. Patriot Day is a day of remembrance in the United States. It happens on September 11 of each year. It remembers the 2,977 killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Most Americans call this day "Nine-Eleven (9/11)," "September Eleventh," or something similar.
The day was officially created on October 25, 2001. The U.S. House of Representatives Joint Resolution 71 was approved by a vote of 407–0. The Resolution asked that the President would designate September 11 of each year as "Patriot Day." President George W. Bush signed the resolution into law on December 18, 2001 (as Public Law 107-89). On September 4, 2002, President Bush proclaimed September 11, 2002 as Patriot Day.
On this day, the American flag is to be flown at half-staff at individual American homes, at the White House, and on all U.S. government buildings, home and abroad. The President also asks Americans to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 A.M. (Eastern Daylight Time). This is the time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
School Picture Day
We are excited to kick off our first fundraiser of the school year. Funds raised from this effort will go directly back into the classrooms for instructional resources that our students will benefit from. Please take a few moments to view this kick-off video. Thank you in advance for supporting our school!
International Dot Day
We are excited to celebrate creativity, courage, and collaboration on September 15. International Dot Day is a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration that began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009.
The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.
It will also serve as a spirit day for students and teachers to wear their dots and have many fun and creative activities going on at school. We look forward to sharing photos of our students' participation.
Talk/Dress Like a Pirate Day
We love to have fun with our learning, and Talk/Dress Like a Pirate Day on September 19 is one way we can get inject fun into student learning. Some of our classrooms get super creative with treasure hunts and lessons that have a pirate theme with academic goals embedded in them. We encourage staff and students to participate in this optional spirit day by dressing up as a pirate.
Miss Layton and Ms. Griner have completed lessons with each classroom during this first month of school. The August theme centered on what it means to be our best. The counselors utilized our school-wide expectations (Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Safe) along with the text, Be You, by Peter Reynolds to facilitate class conversations about what it means to be our “best me.” We discussed concepts such as perseverance, kindness, and asking for help to and asked students what things they would do to be their very best this year.
As caregivers, we all want to be our very best also and want to take steps that aid our children in being successful. The following suggestions can help your child have the best year:
- Be engaged: Ensure your child attends school regularly. Pay attention to communication from the school such as newsletters, phone calls, and Friday folders. Talk to your child about their day.
- Be consistent: Set boundaries in your home for bedtimes, nutrition, and use of technology. Establish routines for homework, daily reading, chores, and hygiene. These help a child understand good habits and promote healthy brain development.
- Be confident: Parenting is difficult work. You know your child better than anyone. Pay attention to differences in behavior or emotionality, attitudes toward school, and changes in academic performance. You are your child’s best advocate and we will always work with you to best support your student.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can help you or your student(s) in any way!
So long, summer. Hello, fall. Just a few tips from the Nurse’s Desk as we head into the Fall Season. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can call the school at 770-867-2238 and ask for Nurse Moira or email me at email@example.com As summer gives way to fall, it's time to get ready for shorter days, cooler temperatures and colorful leaves. Let’s think of the new season as a fresh start to healthy habits.
Get Vaccinated- Vaccination is the best way to prevent hospitalization. People who are vaccinated are also far less likely to contract COVID-19 and to die from it.
Steer clear of the common cold, too.
Hydrate with tons of water throughout the day, and your immune system will thank you. The foods you eat can also help prevent the cold. Yogurt, with all its probiotic glory, has been shown to boost the immune system.
Another immunity booster? My autumn favorite: Pumpkins. They're high in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. In turn, vitamin A helps strengthen your immune system.
Get outside- The fall is a great time to spend more time outside. The leaves are bright on the trees and satisfyingly crunchy under your feet. The (usually) moderate temperatures are a reprieve from the sweltering summer and a gift before the cold winter. Spending time outside has tremendous health benefits, including boosting your immune system. And while you're outside, you can get in a workout. Consider this: For a 150-pound person, 30 minutes of raking leaves, 30 minutes of planting and weeding and 30 minutes of playing with the little ones each burn roughly 150 calories.
Eat like an athlete – not a couch potato – on game day- Millions of people spend fall days watching football – and munching on snacks like potato chips, fried wings and pizza. Instead of consuming high-calorie snacks- Try these healthy foods instead:
Raw veggies and dip.
Homemade trail mix.
Veggies and hummus
Also remember that HANDWASHING is the NUMBER ONE way to stop the spread of infection!! Please wash your hands! Teach your child(ren) to wash their hands. It's the first and most important step to staying healthy!
Hugs and Band Aids,
Become a Volunteer
Thank you for wanting to help our school! There are many ways to get involved. Please visit https://www.barrow.k12.ga.us/community/volunteers for all of the requirements.
- Chaperone Field trips (Level 2)
- Be a Student Mentor (Level 2)
- Be a Guest Speaker (Level 1 or 2)
- Participate in Career Day (Level 1 or 2)
Because it is our priority to keep students safe at all times, the Barrow County School System has implemented a three-tier system for screening volunteers within our school system, effective January 2, 2020. These enhanced security measures, while less convenient than previous practices, will better protect the safety and security of all who are in our buildings.
LEVEL 1 VOLUNTEER:
This is a volunteer for the Barrow County School System that does not interact with students (i.e. booster clubs, clubs etc.) or has very limited, supervised interaction (i.e. classroom reader, etc.). No background check is required. Level 1 volunteers will be required to check in at the school with their photo ID through the visitor management system that completes an instantaneous nationwide sex offender registry check.
LEVEL 2 VOLUNTEER:
This is a volunteer for the Barrow County School System that interacts with students, with or without other staff members and/or adults present at all times. Examples include volunteers that work one-on-one with student(s), volunteer on a regular or on-going basis, volunteer to provide instructional assistance, volunteer to serve as room mother/fathers, or volunteer as chaperone for same-day school activities, etc. Level 2 volunteers will be required to complete a Criminal History Record/Information check via the Background Investigation Bureau Secure Volunteer System partner with Barrow County School System.
PLEASE COMPLETE THESE STEPS AS A LEVEL 2 VOLUNTEER:
1. Download and watch a volunteer training video. (Video will download to your computer to watch.)
2. Complete an informational form and give it to the school or department where you'll be volunteering.
3. Complete a background check process. Please note: There is a fee of $16.95 for the background check because an outside company manages the process to ensure the highest level of security. We ask volunteers and chaperones to cover this cost. We appreciate your generosity and thoughtfulness as you support our schools and community!
LEVEL 3 VOLUNTEER:
This is a volunteer for Barrow County School System that interacts with students off campus at over-night events, with or without other staff members and/or adults present at all times. Level 3 volunteer will be required to have a “Fingerprint Background Check” completed through the Federal Bureau of Investigation central database of fingerprints and arrest data.
PLEASE COMPLETE THESE STEPS AS A LEVEL 3 VOLUNTEER:
1. Download and watch a volunteer training video. (Video will download to your computer to watch.)
2. Complete an informational form and give it to the Safety and Security Personnel at your fingerprint appointment.
3. Schedule a fingerprinting appointment. Please note: There is a fee of $44 for fingerprinting. We only accept cash and you must have exact change.
For questions about this new system, please contact our School Safety and Security Office at 678-425-2858.
Rock Your School Day
September 29 is Rock Your School Day. Traditionally held in September to kickoff the school year right, Rock Your School has symbolized the opportunity for teachers and the school community in thinking outside-the-box. This day was originally established by a group of educators who now provide meaningful professional learning for teachers through the "Get Your Teach On" movement.
Students and staff may dress up as a rock star on this date, or by dressing in the theme the teacher has established. Stay tuned to classroom newsletters and Remind for more information. We can't wait to see what our teachers have in store for our students!
Scholastic Book Fair
We have several clubs that have either started or will be starting in September. Continue to watch for new and exciting clubs as they are announced. Flyers will be sent home with the information, so continue to check your student's folder/backpack each evening. Thank you!
Garden Club: Members were identified in 2nd and 3rd grade. They meet the first and third Tuesday of each month from 2:00-3:45.
Book Club: Members were identified in 4th and 5th grade. They will meet the first Tuesday of each month from 2:15-2:45.
Lego Club: Members were identified in grades K-5. They meet one Thursday a month from 2:10-2:55.
Archery Team: Interested 4th and 5th grade students are currently participating in try-outs for this competitive team. 4th grade meets on Tuesday/5th grade meets on Thursday from 2:15-3:15.
BES strives to achieve remarkable daily attendance. It is our belief that students who attend school regularly achieve more. It is our goal to help students develop consistent attendance habits as part of a strong work ethic. Our goal is for each student at BES to miss fewer than 10 days during the school year.
Our school-family compact sets the expectation that families encourage good attendance and punctuality. Also, the school district sets forth guidelines in our attendance protocols as listed below:
1) You will receive attendance notification letters when a student has 5 unexcused absences. When students miss a total of 10 excused and/or unexcused days a letter will be sent, and the school may request a conference.
BES and Barrow County Schools are required by law to inform parents about the laws for compulsory attendance and truancy in the state. It is a requirement that these letters are sent and that they inform you of the law and of the consequences if your child continues to miss days – particularly unexcused days. These letters inform you of the number of days missed. Letters are also sent for partial days of attendance which lists them as tardies, which includes early dismissals. The goal of these steps is to work together to minimize future absences and help the student return to a pattern of good attendance.
2) Excuses for absences should be furnished to the school by the student’s parent no later than 5 school days after the student returns to school and should state the reason for the absence. Five absences per semester may be excused with a parent note. After that, a doctor’s note can be required. Excuses for tardies and early dismissals should be furnished upon check-in or check- out. All excuses will be evaluated by the principal or designee to determine if the absence is excused or unexcused consistent with Barrow County Absences and Excuses Policy JBD. Absences may be excused for the following.
- Personal illness and when attendance in school would endanger their health or the health of others.
- A serious illness or death in the immediate family necessitates absences from school.
- Absences mandated by other governmental agencies, including pre-induction physical examinations for service in the armed forces, or court ordered.
- Observing a religious holiday that necessitates an absence from school.
- Conditions that render attendance impossible or hazardous to their health or safety.
- Registering to vote or voting, for a period not to exceed one day.
- A maximum of five (5) school days per school year may be excused for students whose parent or legal guardian is in military service in the armed forces of the United States or the National Guard in order for the student to visit with his or her parent or legal guardian prior to such parent’s or legal guardian’s deployment overseas to a combat zone or combat support posting or during the parent’s or guardian’s leave from such a deployment. (Note: Students serving as pages of the Georgia General Assembly and students participating in an activity or program sponsored by 4-H shall be counted present on the days missed for these purposes. A foster care student who attends court proceedings relating to the student's foster care shall be credited as present by the school and shall not be counted absent, either excused or unexcused, for any day, portion of a day, or days missed from school. In addition, students who are present for at least one-half of the instructional day or three full periods, whichever is greater, shall be counted present for perfect attendance purposes.)
If corrections are necessary or if you have any questions, you may contact a BES counselor for assistance. If there are any concerns, please share those respectfully.
We always understand that children will get sick and that emergencies will occur. We also appreciate when clinic policies are upheld so that diseases and infections are not spread. Thank you for understanding that we are responsible for following the guidelines set forth for us. It is our hope that your child(ren) wants to be here every day possible to receive all that their teachers are prepared and eager to share with them.