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Friday Notes

12/4/2020

To All Bennington Public Schools’ Students and Families:
December is a month of generosity in our community. Tuesday was a “Day of Giving”
and many organizations in the Bennington Community received generous donations to
assist them in their missions and good works. As we walk the halls in our schools right
now, we see the kindness of our community as food is being piled high for the Food
Bank in our elementary schools and through the abundance of clothing, toys, and coats
being gathered in our middle and high school. It does not seem to matter in our
community how, or if, you celebrate any of the many winter holidays, the common
message is to be generous with others. Thank you for your contributions to our schools
and the broader community through your time, talent, and treasure.
This week the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has adjusted their quarantine
recommendations in regards to COVID-19 exposures from 14 days to 7-10 days,
depending on the scenario. The CDC has implemented these changes based on
research that has found the risk of developing the illness after 10 days, without showing
symptoms, is less than 5%. The Nebraska Directed Health Measure (DHM) now reflects
this in their guidance. As a reminder, even though the quarantine dates are shortened, if
you are exposed, you are still expected to self-monitor as well as wear a face covering
for the entire 14 days.
The newest DHM provides two scenarios that families can choose to pursue when
placed on quarantine: (1) Receiving a negative test and completing a seven-day
quarantine. With this option, an exposed person who is not having symptoms can test
out of quarantine if a test is taken on day five (or later) of the quarantine period. If the
result is negative, the person may leave quarantine after day seven. Tests taken prior to
the 5th day will not be considered for returning early. (2) Completing the 10-day
quarantine, if an individual chooses not to get tested, they will then quarantine for 10
days from the last date of exposure and may return to school as long as they are
symptom free. Just as before, the quarantine period does not officially start until the last
date of exposure.

When we return to in-person learning on December 7th, we will continue our level of
education at Tier II or Yellow. Local, state, and national health officials continue to tell
us that schools are a safe place for students and it is imperative we continue to stay
open. Although we remain open for instruction of students, we are limited in activities
available for students and extremely limited for spectators at these activities. You can
watch the Bennington High School Basketball and Wrestling teams on the Bennington
YouTube Channel for home events. We know it is not the same for either the athletes or
the spectators when friends and family cannot be there to cheer them on, but we are
very happy they are still able to participate.
We hope the BPS community recognizes the success we have had in attaining our goal
to proceed with in-person education as we approach winter break. With two weeks left
in the semester it is important for students to finish strong. Students will be participating
in formative and summative assessments to measure their academic progression.
These assessments assist teachers in identifying student performance levels and
developing pacing or content to meet the needs of the students. There is not much time
to turn things around if your student is struggling with a subject or course, so please
don’t wait to reach out to teachers. There may be opportunities for extra support that will
assist your student.
Remote learners will also be participating in end of the semester assessments.
Students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade will at a minimum complete MAP
Growth tests which will be scheduled by appointment. Middle and high school students
will have assignments, projects, and assessments to complete the semester or hexter,
so check communications carefully. The high school finals schedule was communicated
in this week’s Happenings.
In a remote testing setting we understand that it is difficult as a parent or guardian not to
intervene and support your student in completing assessments. Giving them assistance
alters the outcome of the assessment which may impact the support services they are
receiving and the ability to accurately measure their knowledge. A remote learner
should plan to identify a work space that is free of distractions, allows for independence,
and promotes the best outcome in measuring student progress.
All families will have the option to enroll in remote learning for the next grading period
after the winter break. Remote learners will also be asked their intentions for the return
to school in January (i.e. will they continue remote learning or will they return to the
classroom). Please complete the 12-2020 Remote Learning Registration Form.
Registration will be open from Friday, December 4th until Wednesday, December 16th,
at 6:00 PM. ALL families, even if the student(s) has chosen remote learning at any
period in the first semester, must complete the survey to notify the District of their

intentions. Remote students demonstrating poor performance or disengagement during
the first semester will need to hold a conference with their building principal as returning
to in-person learning in January may give the student a better chance for success.
Before registering for second semester remote learning, families should read and
understand the expectations outlined in the Remote Learning Expectations document.
Please continue to be careful with your health and protect your family by following the
safety guidelines. These coming weeks are important in the education of our students,
so we need to keep them healthy. Know that we are proud to be a part of the
Bennington community and wish you and your family only the best. We remain Badger
Strong!

 

11/29/2020

To All Bennington Public Schools’ Students and Families:

We hope that you have enjoyed a restful holiday week with your family. Thanksgiving is a holiday to celebrate harvest and the blessings we have enjoyed through the year. Many of our schools have been celebrating “Thankfulness” days throughout November and the leadership team of Bennington Public Schools is thankful for the families, students, and staff, we are fortunate to work with each day. 2020 has been a year that has strained schools and everyone across our community, nation, and the world, but we are hopeful as we race to close out the first semester and the calendar year.

When we return to in-person learning on November 30th, we will continue our level of education at Tier II or Yellow. Local, state, and national health officials continue to tell us that schools are a safe place for students and it is imperative we continue to stay open. Many families have reached out to encourage us to remain in school and we believe this is best for students to be here for learning and interacting with classmates and teachers. Families may choose at-home remote learning for a number of reasons. If you wish to select this option to complete the semester, please contact your student’s building principal.

The remaining three weeks of the first semester will be busy and important for all students. First, we remind elementary students to complete their assignments and bring them back to school on Monday. Middle and high school students should have completed their work and have that already submitted to their teachers. Elementary students will be working on MAP Growth testing and the mid-year benchmark tests in the next few weeks. High school students will be preparing for the end of semester tests. Middle school students will also be completing Hexter Three with important demonstrations of their learning and completing their MAP Growth mid-year assessments. There is not much time to turn things around if your student is struggling with a subject or course, so please don’t wait to reach out to teachers. There may be opportunities for extra support that will assist your student.

Remote learners will also be participating in the end of the semester assessments. The elementary students will have a minimum of MAP Growth tests that will be completed by appointment only with teachers from their school. Middle and high school students will have assignments, projects, and assessments to complete the semester or hexter, so check communications carefully. Please reach out to individual teachers if your student is struggling with a course. Remote learners will also be asked their intentions for the return to school in January (i.e. will they continue remote learning or will they return to the classroom). Please complete the survey when it arrives in early December.

We join the Governor and health officials in encouraging everyone to avoid the three C’s: Crowded Places, Close-Contact Settings, and Confined Spaces. We emphasize the important precautions that masks are being worn, handwashing is happening, and social distancing is occurring whenever possible. We also ask that you carefully screen your family before sending them back to school and work following the holiday break. Please do not send students to school if they have any one (1) of the following symptoms: loss of taste or smell, new onset of cough, or shortness of breath. Please also continue keeping your child home if they have two (2) or more of the following symptoms: fever of 100.4, chills, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, or fatigue.

We have added a COVID-19 Dashboard to our BPS COVID Site. You can find this through our district website or by clicking on the link provided: Bennington Public Schools COVID-19 Site. This is where you can find updated information in regards to the district’s plan and resources surrounding COVID-19, as well as positive COVID-19 cases within our district.

We look forward to seeing students and teachers back with us tomorrow. Know that we are thankful to be a part of the Bennington community and wish you and your family only the best. We remain Badger Strong!

 

 

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Notice of Non-Discrimination Bennington Public Schools
 
Students, their families and potential employees of the Bennington Public Schools are hereby notified that the Bennington Public School District does not discriminate on the basis of sex, disability, race, color, religion, veteran status, national or ethnic origin, age, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition, or other protected status in employment, career or technical programs and activities as set forth in compliance with federal and state statutes and regulations. Any persons having inquiries concerning Bennington Public Schools compliance with Title II, Title IV, Title VI, Title IX, ADA and/or Section 504 may contact:

Dr. Terry L. Haack, Superintendent · 11620 North 156th Street · Bennington, NE · Phone: (402) ­ 238­-3044
Email: thaack@bennps.org
 
Bennington Elementary · 11620 North 156th Street · PO Box 309 · 402­-238­-2690 · fax 402­-238­-2185
Bennington High School · 16610 Bennington Road · PO Box 309 · 402­-238­-2447 · fax 402­-238­-2950
Bennington Middle School · 11201 N. 168th Street ·PO Box 309 · 402­-238­-3082 · fax 402­-916­-5823
Anchor Pointe Elementary · 17007 HWS Cleveland Boulevard · PO Box 309 · 402­-238­-2166 · fax 402­-885­-8604
Pine Creek Elementary · 7801 N HWS Cleveland Blvd. · PO Box 309 · 402­-238­-2372 · fax 402­-238­-2416
Heritage Elementary · 9950 Rosewater Parkway · PO Box 309 · 402­-238­-2095 · fax 402­-238­-3351
District Office · 11620 North 156th Street · PO Box 309 · 402­-238­-3044 · 402­-238­-2185