Battle Creek Elementary Newsletter

December 2021



Dear Battle Creek Families and Community,

I want to take this opportunity to reintroduce myself to you as Battle Creek’s new Principal, starting December 13th. Some of you may recall that I was the Assistant Principal at Battle Creek for the 2019-2020 school year. In that year, I came to love and appreciate the students, staff, and the families that make up this incredible community. I am grateful and honored to be selected to lead Battle Creek again.

I also want to let you know a little more about me so you know what I value and what shapes my view as an educator. I am married to Dylan and we have two children, Vivian (12) and Audrey (9). I have an incredible support system with extended family and life-long friends that help our family and provide support to each other. I see our school like this, as an extended community that will help the children at Battle Creek be their absolute best. I want to ensure all of the children at Battle Creek are provided an environment to build social and academic communities where they grow and learn.

I have more than 20 years in public education, serving in roles such as special education and Title 1 intervention teacher/coordinator, district and regional PBIS coach/trainer, special programs TOSA, and adjunct faculty. Since leaving Battle Creek, I was an assistant principal at Eyre and Swegle Elementary and an administrator in the Curriculum & Instruction department in Salem-Keizer.

I cannot wait to be with your children and our incredible staff at Battle Creek again! I look forward to working with you to support your child's education and serve the entire Battle Creek community.

Go Bears!

Ms. Benson's counselor corner

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Battle Creek Conflict Resolution

Knowing how to resolve conflicts in a respectful way is an important skill. At Battle Creek, we begin teaching conflict resolution to our students in kindergarten, and building on the lessons each year. Here's the scoop on what we teach our students!

  • Size of the Problem
  • Types of Conflict
  • Tattling Versus Reporting
  • Trusted Adults
  • Kelso's Choices

What is the Size of the Problem?

Kindergarteners learn about the difference between small and big problems. Small problems are things that are kind of frustrating or annoying, but no one is in danger, and it's a problem a kid can solve. Big problems are when something is dangerous, and kids should tell a trusted grownup right away. Older kids learn about windy, rainy, stormy, and tornado problems.

Windy Problem

  • These problems are very small. They are "no biggie!" You can let them float away like the wind, or solve them very easily.
  1. Example: The cafeteria is out of chocolate milk.
  2. Example: Your teacher asked you to please stop talking to your friend at carpet time.

Rainy Problem

  • Rainy problems are small. Kids can be problem solvers! They can take a deep breath and use Kelso's Choices!
  1. Example: You and your friend had a disagreement at recess.
  2. Example: Your brother is hogging the iPad.

Stormy Problem

  • Stormy problems are medium sized. They may have started out as small but keep happening, even after trying Kelso's Choices. Other medium problems include having really big feelings.
  • Medium problems need to be reported to a trusted adult so they can help you problem solve.

Tornado Problem

  • Tornado problems are BIG problems! This means that a you or someone you know is, has been, or could be hurt or in some kind of danger.
  • Big problems need to be reported to a trusted adult right away!

Types of Conflict

Second through fifth graders learn about the four types of conflict: disagreement, rude moment, mean moment, and bullying.


  • A disagreement is when people have different ideas about something, but usually no one’s feelings are hurt.

Rude Moment

  • A rude moment is when someone hurts someone’s body or feelings by accident. They were not careful with their body or thinking about the other person.

Mean Moment

  • A mean moment is hurting someone’s body or feelings on purpose, but it happens just one or two times, usually because someone is mad. This does not excuse the behavior!


  • Bullying is hurting someone’s body or feelings on purpose, more than once, and the person doing the hurting has more power, and the person being hurt is afraid of them.

Tattling Versus Reporting

Kindergartners and first graders learn about the difference between tattling and reporting. Second through fifth graders review what it means. Tattling is when there is a small problem (windy or rainy problem) that you have not tried to resolve on your own and you tell a grownup about it to get the other person in trouble. Reporting is when there is a big problem (someone is, was, or could be in danger, is hurt, or is very upset) and you tell a trusted grownup to get the person help. If there is a smaller problem that you've tried solving and it isn't getting better, it's not tattling, it's just asking for help with the problem.

Big Problems Need Big Help

We teach our children that "big problems need big help" and that means help from a grownup that they trust. It's important for our students to know multiple trusted adults at home and at school. Help your child identify trusted grownups they can go to for help at home, school, and in the community.

Staffing update

Kelso’s Choices

Battle Creek Elementary uses the Kelso’s Choices Conflict Management program. The program features Kelso the Frog, who helps us teach 9 choices that kids can use if they have a small problem with a peer (kid their age). Kids are to think about what might help with the problem and try 2 Kelso's Choices. If they tried their best to solve the problem, and it did not help, they can ask a grownup for help. If it's a BIG problem, they need to talk with a trusted grownup. Kelso's Choices include:

  1. Wait and Cool Off
  2. Go to Another Game
  3. Talk it Out
  4. Share and Take Turns
  5. Ignore It
  6. Walk Away
  7. Tell Them To Stop
  8. Apologize
  9. Make a Deal (Compromise)

You can support your child at home in using Kelso’s Choices! CLICK HERE for your own Kelso’s Choice wheel!

We want to welcome our new SOS (school office specialist) Ranae Isaac. She comes to us from Harritt Elementary and was a Kinder IA over there.

Fun facts about Ranae is that she enjoys camping, trying new restaurants, traveling and spending time with her family. Ranae also loves homemade cookies especially molasses.

Next time you swing by our front office or call in say hi to Ms. Ranae and give her a big welcome to the Battle Creek family.

Attendance note

We wanted to take a moment to let families know that our auto-dialer system has recently been adjusted to send out notification of unexcused absences to families 45 minutes after the tardy bell rings. Our Parentsquare pulls the report at 8:30am then sends the notification out at 8:35. Our office is trying our hardest to get all of the tardies put in before that happens.

We also wanted to make families aware that the district did change their policies when it comes to students/families going on vacation.

  • In the district Elementary Parent Handbook on page 6 under Absences; the district says that all vacations are considered unexcused absences.
  • This also means pre-planned vacations. We ask that you still contact your students teachers to let them know if you are going to be out so that way they can give you any assignments that they might miss while being out.

PTC mask/sticker fundraiser

Battle Creek parent club:

We are launching our Face Mask and Sticker/Decal Fundraiser just in time for the Holidays! #BCSwag makes the perfect stocking stuffer for your little battle Creek Bear!

We are selling the following:

  • Youth/Adult size face masks - $10 each
  • Children's size face masks - $6 each
  • Small #BCBearStrong Stickers/Decals in BC Green for $6 each
  • Large #BCBearStrong Stickers/Decals in white for $10 each

Fill out the Google Form Document to order today and submit payment via Venmo to @BattleCreek-ParentClub

Masks will be distributed to the teachers to hand out to students the week before the Holiday break!

Click image below to see Baseball camp flier details

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Effective Monday, Dec. 6 all students, staff, volunteers and visitors are no longer required to wear face coverings while outdoors. Includes but is not limited to: athletic events, outdoor PE, outdoor music, recess, and arrival and dismissal.

Until additional updates are provided, all physical distancing and other related safety protocols still apply. People who feel more comfortable wearing a face covering while outdoors may continue to do so.

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Make sure they have all their needed vaccines. With COVID-19, it’s now more important than ever. Students need to be current on their required vaccines before February 16, 2022.
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If your child is not up-to-date on required 2021-22 school immunizations for the State of Oregon or does not have a valid exemption on file, now is the time to schedule immunizations with your childcare provider.


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As we begin to see cooler temperatures throughout our community, it’s important to know how SKPS will communicate in the event of a school closure or delay. In the event of bad weather, district officials will make the decision by 5:15 a.m. that day to close schools or to delay the start of school.


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Nominate Your Teacher or Your Support Professional

The Oregon Department of Education, in partnership with the Oregon Lottery, has launched the 2023 Oregon Teacher of the Year program and 2022 Education Support Professional of the Year to honor exemplary educators in Oregon.


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With nearly 41,000 students in our schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, safety and well-being of our students, families and staff is, without question, our highest priority. Open communication and transparency play critical roles in safety and we want to ensure you have accurate and timely information on how COVID-19 is impacting our schools.

Covid-19 Data Dashboard

We have officially launched our COVID-19 data dashboard for the 2021-22 school year. Please know that this dashboard is still ongoing further development and may continue to have minor tweaks and improvements over the coming weeks.

You can learn more about our COVID-19 investigation and communication process, on our new online dashboard webpage.

Remember, COVID-19 impacts us all daily. It is critical that we follow all recommended health and safety protocols such as vaccination, wearing a face covering, hand-washing and maintaining physical distance both while in school, and out in the community.

Thank you for all of your ongoing support as we continue to improve our processes and work together to keep our students, staff, families and community safe.


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Reminders About Traffic Around Our School

It’s a new school year and a good time to share a few reminders about traffic around the school.

Students, parents, buses, staff and school neighbors all share the same travel routes through the neighborhood to and from the school. Peak travel times can create congestion and increase the need for safe and courteous travel practices.

Here are a few ways parents can help us create a safe, respectful and positive environment when driving near the school:

  • Please drive slowly. Remember, the speed limit in a school zone when lights are flashing is 20 miles per hour.
  • Please don’t park in neighbors’ driveways at any time, even if the driveway is open.
  • Don’t block streets, stop in intersections or crosswalks, and please obey crossing guards’ instructions.
  • Remind children to stop and look both ways before crossing streets, and to respect neighbors’ property – for example, don’t make shortcuts through neighbors’ yards.
  • When lining up to pick-up or drop-off students, leave at least three feet of space between your car and the nearest driveway opening.
  • Avoid lining up early for pick-up or drop-off to help minimize congestion.
  • Don’t drive in bus lanes, even if no buses are present.


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  • December 3: No School - Grading Day
  • December 7: Picture Retake and BC EDGE student picture day
  • December 15: Choir concert
  • December 20-31: No School - Winter Break
  • January 3: Back to School


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Thanks to the USDA’s Seamless Summer Option, we will be able to feed all students breakfast and lunch at school for free this year.
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Oregon families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals will get pandemic food benefits. This includes students that attend a school where all students eat meals at school for free, children in foster care, children of migrant workers and youth experiencing homelessness.


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We are excited to introduce ParentSquare, a new two-way communication platform that will streamline and improve communication with families and staff. It has the functions of both Remind and SchoolMessenger and will eventually replace both platforms. It also includes appointment scheduling options, which may be very helpful for conference sign ups.

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.


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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.



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