Benninghoven Family Newsletter

December 2019

Vision: A place where everyone pursues their greatness.

Mission: A community coming together for our kids.

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Dec. 2 2nd Gr. Tutoring 3:15-4:15

Dec. 4 Mathletics @ Broken Arrow

Dec. 5 2nd Gr. Tutoring 3:15-4:15, Art Club 3:10-4:00

Dec. 6 Spelling Bee Gr. 4-6, Trail Ridge Choir Tour 1:00 grades 3-6, Lettering Club 3:10-4:00, Parents Night Out at Emerald City

Dec. 9 2nd Gr. Tutoring 3:15-4:15

Dec.10 Choir Caroling 6-7 pm

Dec.12 2nd Gr. Tutoring 3:15-4:15 , Student Council 3:15 - 4:15

Dec. 13 4th Gr. Market Day 2:00

Dec.16 2nd. Gr. Tutoring 3:15-4:15

Dec. 19 2nd Gr. Tutoring 3:15-4:15

Dec. 20 Student/ Faculty Holiday Concert 9 am, Staff Appreciation - Holiday Cookies

Dec. 23-Jan. 3 No School all grades/Office Closed


Jan. 6 Students Return to School - 1st day of 3rd Quarter, 2nd Gr. Tutoring 3:15-4:15

Jan. 9 2nd Gr. Tutoring 3:15-4:15

Jan. 13 PTA Meeting 6:30 pm, 2nd Gr. Tutoring 3:15-4:15

Jan. 15 Mathletics @ BH, TMS All in One Night

Jan. 16 2nd Gr. Tutoring 3:15-4:15

Jan. 20 No School/Office Closed

Jan. 22 Art Club 3:10-4:00, NW Area Orchestra Fest

Jan. 23 Sneak a Peek 8:30-9 am, 2nd Gr. Tutoring 3:15-4:15, NW Area Band Fest

Jan. 25 PTA Bingo 7-8pm @ SMNW

Jan. 27 Kindness Week, PTA Clothing Exchange 9-11 am, 2nd Gr. Tutoring 3:15-4:15

Jan. 29 Student Council 3:15-4:00

Jan. 30 2nd Gr. Tutoring 3:15-4:00

Jan. 31 Kansas Day 4th Gr.

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From the Principal

Season's Greetings Knights Families,

The season of celebrations, generosity, and special time with loved ones is upon us! This time of year brings joy with it and we are excited to share in the merriment with you and your family. This time of year can also get very busy. With only 3 weeks between the Thanksgiving holiday and winter break, there are lots of festivities to fit in at school too. In the coming weeks we will begin to prepare for our annual dodgeball tournament with a parent meeting, attend Mathletics at Broken Arrow, hold our Spelling Bee, go caroling with choir, and host our first ever Parents Night Out! Find more details about these events below. The holidays can also remind us that there are members of our community who need our love and support during these weeks. We have included some holiday resources in this newsletter that you can access or share with someone in need. Lucy's Kids for Peace and Student Council are also working to spread some extra holiday cheer in the coming weeks.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, traditions you keep, or festivities you participate in, we wish you a merry month and hope you spend it in the company of loved ones.

Take care Knights Families,

Dr. Gonser

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Follow us on Twitter @BHknights512

Find us using #uKnighted512 or #Wild4Benninghoven

Food Service Info

Nutrition Information

FOOD SERVICE….Did you know…………

Did you know ways to keep you and your family healthy during the holiday season? Please follow these 4 basic food safety steps to reduce the risk of foodborne illness: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.


· Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of foodborne illness. Remember to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after handling food.

· Wash all kitchen counters, dishes, and utensils with hot soapy water.


· Prevent cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs separate from all other foods.

· Designate one cutting board for fresh produce and another for raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.

· Replace empty platters instead of adding fresh food to a dish that already had food on it.


· Use a food thermometer to ensure your foods have been cooked to the proper minimum internal temperature.

· Keep food at 140° F or above after cooking.

· Microwave food thoroughly to 165° F.


· Refrigerate perishable foods within 2 hours. Remember to store leftovers within 2 hours as well.

· Cooling food rapidly helps prevent bacterial growth. Large amounts of food should be divided into smaller containers before refrigerating.

· Know when to throw food out. When in doubt, throw it out.

Don’t forget – if your child receives free or reduced meals, they are eligible for one breakfast and one lunch per day as part of this benefit. All breakfast and lunch meal choices are available for all students regardless of eligibility status.


The school breakfast menus, lunch menus, and other nutrition information are available on the district’s website at

Books & Blankets Project

Our annual Books & Blankets Project is underway! Lucy's Kids for Peace and Student Council are again teaming up to assemble bags containing a bundle of age-appropriate books, a cozy blanket, slippers or fuzzy socks, a stuffed animal, flashlight, microwave popcorn, and hot cocoa. These are given to kids in our community just before winter break who may benefit from extra care and kindness over the holidays. If you'd like to contribute to this project, please see the sign up here: A collection bin will be available next to the Knight. THANK YOU for helping to spread kindness throughout our community!

From the PTA

Wow…December already! See below for PTA happenings and visit the PTA website for more details and links:

Upcoming PTA Events

December 6—Fundraiser at Emerald City

Christmas is coming! Need some time to shop WITHOUT your KIDS? PTA has got you covered. Mark your calendars now for Friday, December 6 and plan to take your kids to Emerald City Gym from 7-9 pm. Kids 4-12 are welcome to come play while you go shop (or go have a much needed date night or meet up with a friend). The cost is $12 per child (and PTA get 25% back) and all you have to do is fill out the release form and you'll be on your way. Want to save time that evening? Bring a copy of the release form already filled out. You can find it here:

December 20—Staff Appreciation Cookies

Benninghoven staff love to receive an assortment of cookies for the holiday season. Help us show them how much we appreciate everything they do by bringing 2 dozen cookies to add to the mix. See the link below to sign up!

December Cookies

Plan Ahead for January

January 13---General PTA Meeting

Join us for an evening of learning about sugar and its effect on children’s health with Joy Thomas, former Benninghoven mom. She will address sugar cravings and participants will learn about natural sugars, hidden sugar and the many names for sugar on labels. Come and learn with us at 6:30 in the library. After the presentation there will be a short PTA meeting.

January 25th—Bingo Night

The bingo night tradition continues from 7-8:30pm at SMNW Cafeteria. Get this free, family event on your calendar now.


There is still time to join your Benninghoven PTA! Memberships are just $9 and are an important way to show your support for and commitment to our school community. You can complete your membership quickly and easily ONLINE through MemberHub. See the link on our PTA website and join today!

Watch D.O.G.S.

WatchDOGS is an initiative of the National Center for Fathering and is aimed at providing positive male role models for students. WatchDOGS are fathers, uncles, grandfathers, and other father figures who spend one or more days volunteering in our school by helping with arrival or dismissal, monitoring in the lunch room, helping in the classroom, working with groups of students, and hanging out at recess. Volunteering as a WatchDOG is a great way to spend time at school with your student! WatchDOGS may volunteer up to once per month per student and may choose either a morning or an afternoon shift. Sign up on the PTA website (click on the WatchDOGS logo at the top.)


The Benninghoven Student Directory is now available! Need access or can't remember your log in information? Please send an email to Heather Hussey at for assistance! A link to the directory can also be found on the PTA website.


Looking for that perfect gift for a loved one? Why not say, "I love you" with a work of art straight from the heart. Visit for custom gift ideas using your student's one of a kind creation that can be placed on a variety of items, such as ornaments, calendars, coffee mugs, and much more! There's still time to order just in time for Christmas, so be sure to check it out.


Yes, it seems early to be talking about yearbooks….but we need your candid pictures to make the yearbook fun. If you have any pictures of field trips, 1st day of school, carnival, grandparents’ day, Halloween parties, etc. send them via email to Courtney O’Neal at They could end up in the yearbook this spring!

News from the Nurse

Illness Policy

Illness while at school
If a student becomes ill at school, they must come to the nurse. A parent/guardian must be contacted before students can leave the building. It is important to keep phone numbers updated so you may be reached in the event of an emergency.

To protect your student and prevent the spread of disease, please keep your student home when any of the following conditions are present:

  • Temperature of 100 degrees or greater
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe sore throat or pain with swallowing
  • Severe headache
  • Severe cough
  • Undiagnosed rash or skin lesions or sores that are weeping or draining
  • Live head lice
  • Any suspected or doctor-diagnosed contagious disease

Students may return to school when they have been free from fever (without medication), vomiting, or diarrhea for 24 hours.

Students should be checked by the school nurse after head lice treatment before returning to class.

If in doubt about sending your child to school, contact the school nurse or your child's doctor.

Enfermedad en la escuela
Si un estudiante se enferma en la escuela, debe acudir a la enfermera. Se debe contactar a un padre / tutor antes de que los estudiantes puedan salir del edificio. Es importante mantener los números de teléfono actualizados para que puedan contactarlo en caso de una emergencia.

Para proteger a su estudiante y prevenir la propagación de enfermedades, mantenga a su estudiante en casa cuando se presente alguna de las siguientes condiciones:

  • Temperatura de 100 grados o más.
  • Vómitos
  • Diarrea
  • Dolor de garganta severo o dolor al tragar
  • Dolor de cabeza intenso
  • Tos severa
  • Erupción no diagnosticada o lesiones en la piel o llagas que sale liquido o drenando
  • Piojos vivos
  • Cualquier enfermedad contagiosa sospechada o diagnosticada por el médico.

Los estudiantes pueden regresar a la escuela cuando hayan estado sin fiebre, vómitos o diarrea,(sin medicamentos) durante 24 horas..

Los estudiantes deben ser revisados por la enfermera de la escuela después del tratamiento de piojos antes de regresar a clase.

Si tiene dudas acerca de enviar a su hijo a la escuela, comuníquese con la enfermera de la escuela o con el médico de su hijo.

Updated SMSD Flu Exclusion Requirements

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has updated exclusion requirements for staff and students with influenza (the flu). The period for keeping individuals with the flu out of school (exclusion) has decreased from 7 days to 5 days for influenza cases diagnosed by a physician.

Persons with a case of influenza should stay home for five days from the time the illness begins or until the individual is fever free for 24 hours without the aid of fever reducing medications, whichever is longer.

For more information about the flu visit:

Flu prevention measures include:​​​​​​​

  • Get a flu vaccine
  • Practice good handwashing
  • Cover your cough with your sleeve
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, mouth throughout the day
  • Stay away from those who are ill
Stay home if you are ill!

Holiday Assistance Resources

Johnson County resource page or 913-274-0043

Other area agencies that may be contacted for holiday assistance are:

Jo Co Christmas Bureau 913.341.4342

Salvation Army 913.782.3640

Johnson Co Multi-Service Agency 913.715.8970

Shawnee Community Services 913.268.7746

Catholic Charities 913.384.6608

Your own church or an area church

Technology Update

The Shawnee Mission School District and Benninghoven Elementary are constantly working to improve our technology practices and making digital learning safe, relevant, and accessible for all students. As you know, a committee has been meeting to evaluate our technology practices and implement any changes or new procedures we have learned during our first years of our Digital Learning Initiative. One recent update includes the removal of the iTunes store and the Manager application from all elementary iPads. Manger is an application that houses all district approved applications. This new practice will serve as an increased safeguard. Apps will now need to be vetted by our district app committee, and they will need to be approved by the classroom teacher before they can be added to an iPad. This also allows teachers to install apps on a student by student basis and no longer requires them to push the app to all devices in the grade level. This is a great step in increasing safety and accessibility for all students. One reminder we would like to give to all families is in regard to Apple IDs. Your student's school device should not be linked to a personal Apple ID. An Apple ID is not required to access school tools. All students have been told that Apple IDs are not permitted on school devices. If you notice your child has utilized an Apple ID on their school device, please help them remove it or inform their teacher and we will help the with this.

Winter Assessments

Over the course of the next 3 weeks, all student in the Shawnee Mission School District will complete some middle of the year testing. Students in grades K-6 will complete the NWEA MAP test for Math and Reading, and the Acadience assessment of Math and Reading.

The NWEA MAP assessment is an electronic assessment each student will take on their iPad. It includes multiple choice questions, interactive questions, reading passages, and more. These assessments are administered in the classroom by the homeroom teacher. This assessment is unique because it measures student growth so far this year. It lets families and teachers know if students are growing as expected. All students are permitted to take breaks as needed during this assessment. Assessment results will be available for you to review at the beginning of the new year. If you have questions, please consult with your child's teacher.

Acadience assessments (formerly DIBELS), are given to each child individually and are indicators of whether students are on track to make appropriate progress by the end of the school year. These assessments look slightly different at each grade level because they are based on developmentally appropriate skills. Each Acadience assessment takes just a few minutes. These results will also be available in the new year.

The chart below indicates when each grade level will complete NWEA MAP assessments. Please help us by making sure students are in attendance when possible on these days. You can also let students know about these assessments ahead of time, encourage them to do their best, and prepare them with a good night's sleep and a healthy breakfast.

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