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Friday Notes

7/2/21

Dear Bennington Families,

We hope you are enjoying the sultry summer weather and some fun family time. 

We want to begin with congratulations to all of the students and staff who participated in the elementary and middle school summer school program this year. Over 200 students in grades K-5 and over 40 middle school students worked on reading, writing, and math skills while having fun. The elementary theme was “Wild About Learning” and students earned books for attendance and enjoyed a visit from Animal Adventures to culminate the program. The middle school students competed in daily contests in honor of the upcoming Olympics and challenged themselves to “go for the gold” in learning.

The district has updated the Return to Learn Year 2 Plan. A group of community members reviewed the draft and provided feedback for each area of the plan. Their feedback was shared with the Board of Education at the June 14th meeting. The major highlights of the Year 2 Plan include a return to pre-pandemic operations, no remote learning, and optional face masks. You will be receiving a district newsletter through the mail in the next few weeks with links to the complete plan. There are parts of the plan which will remain flexible based on the latest information we receive from the Douglas County Health Department on quarantine requirements based on vaccinations.

In addition, we are joining Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in sharing new information about COVID-19 vaccinations for patients 12 and older. Children’s Omaha is hosting vaccine clinics throughout our area. A link to those clinics can be found by CLICKING HERE. We encourage you to continue to educate yourselves and watch the video from Dr. Mel St. German, Vice President and Medical Director for Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Omaha. CLICK HERE to watch. In addition to the information provided in that video, a detailed FAQ for parents and families can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Please watch for the district newsletter which will have news about Student Verification, registration, and other important topics for the opening of the 2021-2022 school year.

Take care and remain Badger Strong!


 


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5/27/2021

Dear Bennington Families,

With continued updates from the CDC and Local Health Departments, along with the Omaha City Council allowing their mask mandate to expire earlier this week; I am writing to let you know how Bennington will proceed and the effects this guidance has on our school district. 

Starting Tuesday, June 1st, masking will be optional for staff members and any students participating in summer school and all other school sponsored summer activities on Bennington Public School property. Again, you may or may not wear a mask. It is your personal choice. If you choose not to wear a mask and you have close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual, we will follow guidance from the Douglas County Health Department. Below is a graphic identifying what is reasonable to expect.

Should there be any unanticipated outbreak of COVID-19, we will consult with the Health Department and determine if short-term masking will be required until the outbreak can be mitigated.  

In addition, we are joining Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in sharing new information about COVID-19 vaccinations for patients 12 and older. Children’s Omaha is hosting vaccine clinics throughout our area. A link to those clinics can be found by CLICKING HERE. We encourage you to continue to educate yourselves and watch the video from Dr. Mel St. German, Vice President and Medical Director for Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Omaha. CLICK HERE to watch. In addition to the information provided in that video, a detailed FAQ for parents and families can be found by CLICKING HERE.

We appreciate your patience as we continue to navigate through the pandemic. Plans for August surrounding masking have not been finalized. The current plans continue to be subject to change based on any guidance we receive from the health departments or any new directed health measures put into place.

Take care and remain Badger Strong!

 


 


Bennington Public Schools would like to continue connecting with you via email. If you prefer to be removed from our list, please contact Bennington Public Schools directly. To stop receiving all email messages distributed through our SchoolMessenger service, follow this link and confirm: Unsubscribe

SchoolMessenger is a notification service used by the nation's leading school systems to connect with parents, students, and staff through voice, SMS text, email, and social media.

5/21/21

To All Bennington Public Schools’ Students and Families:

Congratulations! There are so many reasons to celebrate this week. Bennington’s students, families, staff, teachers, and administrators have completed the most unusual of school years. We have been in school with students in classrooms with their teachers, safely learning, for 176 days, while other schools around the area and across the country have had a more limited school year. Our success has come from a strong partnership between our families, students, Board of Education, educators, and our leadership team. We have all had a common goal of educating all students through in-person or remote learning since last March. Thank you all for your part in making this goal achievable. 

Next, we celebrate the Class of 2021 and all of their accomplishments. Many families chose to come to Bennington along their educational path because of the outstanding quality of the schools and this community. What started as a core group of 66 kindergartners grew to 169 graduates who have added value to our schools. These graduates have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships to help them at the next level of education. These students have been part of State Tournament level athletic teams with a few Championships earned along the way. Some students have earned national recognition with their knowledge, skills, and talents with groups like SkillsUSA, FBLA, and athletics.

We know all students and parents are becoming more curious about what the start of the 2021-2022 school year will look like and bring us. In June, the administration will present an initial outline for Year Two of the Return to Learn Plan to the Board of Education. A key element of the plan for the 2021-2022 school year is that there will be no remote learning offered. We plan to return with all students in the classroom with their teachers. Students who have attended school remotely this year should have received information from their school administrator about transition to the upcoming school year. 

The District is providing summer school to students who meet qualifications. Elementary summer school will be held at Anchor Pointe Elementary from June 1st to June 24th in the mornings. Middle school students will attend from June 7th to June 25th in the mornings and high school students will have multiple sessions through June and July for credit recovery. The goal of summer school is to strengthen the students’ academic areas and to reduce learning loss as they move into the upcoming school year, so the district only offers remediation for the current school year. 

As Summer School is optional and a continuation of our school year, we will continue our safety protocols in school. While in the building, students and staff will wear masks and while outside, masks are optional. Requiring masks indoors assists with the current quarantine guidance from our local health department. If a child is exposed to a positive COVID-19 case at school, but is in a mask, they will not be required to quarantine. This will hopefully assist with having little interruption to our students’ academic progress as well as having little effect on your summer planning outside of school. We will also continue with hand washing and sanitizing throughout the day and continue with spot cleaning in high-traffic and touch areas.

Parents often wonder what students can do through the summer to maintain the gains they made through the school year. First, it is important to rest and refresh. Then, students currently enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grade can access Summer Bridge Learning opportunities. There is no enrollment required. Every K-8th grade student is eligible and will have access through their school Clever account. Students should have brought home paper copies detailing the program along with their login information. Participation is not required but just a few minutes each week can bridge the gap from one year to the next and impact your student’s performance in years to come.   

In regards to COVID-19, we want to encourage those families who are interested in vaccinations for their children to reach out to their children’s health care providers and continue to educate themselves as more studies are being completed and published. Vaccinations are available for individuals aged 12 and up. Students can be vaccinated at any of the Douglas County clinics, FQHCs, or pharmacies. Children will need a parent or guardian to be present and a consent form to be filled out, which is available by clicking on this Link. For More information please see the following video from Dr. Mel St. Germain, Vice-President and Medical Director for Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Omaha:

Dr. Mel St. Germain, VP and Medical Director, Children’s Omaha. In addition to the video, an FAQ for parents can be found here:  COVID Vaccine FAQs, Children’s Omaha.

The inaugural season for the Badger Girls’ Tennis Team concludes today in Lincoln.  Six State qualifiers represented Bennington; an exceptional outcome for our first tennis team in Badger history! The Boys’ Golf Team recorded impressive rounds at Districts and will compete in the State Tournament next week. The Boys’ Soccer Team played tough against Skutt in the semifinals of the State Tournament for their final game of the season. The Boys’ Baseball Team qualified for, and completed in, the state baseball tournament this spring. Don’t miss the Nebraska State Track Meet for Classes B and C today and Saturday at Burke Stadium. The BHS Track and Field Team is well represented with student qualifiers in running and field events. We celebrate and recognize all our student athletes and performers throughout the year. Their representation of talent, perseverance, dedication, and character contribute to Badger Pride! 

We end this Friday Notes as we started it, with congratulations and thanks to all of Bennington’s students, families, educators, staff, administrators, and Board of Education for attaining our goal of a safe and successful school year! We will reduce our Friday Notes to once a month through the summer, so look for school news in June from the District Office. Each of you continues to prove there is no place like Bennington.

Take care and remain Badger Strong!

 

 


5/14/21

To All Bennington Public Schools’ Students and Families:
The final week of school is here and we are excited for all that brings to our students
and educators. We know all students and parents are becoming more curious about
what the start of the 2021-2022 school year will look like and bring us. We want to
provide accurate and timely information to the community about the protocols for the
2021-2022 school year. In these upcoming months of May and June, the administration
will present an initial outline for Year Two of the Return to Learn Plan to the Board of
Education. As a reminder the May Board Meeting will be Monday, May 17th at 6:00 PM.
The District plans to continue our level of education at Tier II, or Yellow, for the final
week of school. As you were informed earlier this week, we made one change in
regards to face coverings. The state’s latest Directed Health Measure was updated and
masking while outside will be optional for Bennington Public Schools’ students and staff.
In regards to COVID-19, we also wanted to inform those families who are interested in
vaccinations for their children that vaccinations are now available for individuals aged
12 and up. Students can be vaccinated at any of the Douglas County clinics, FQHCs, or
pharmacies. Children will need a parent or guardian to be present and a consent form to
be filled out, which is available by clicking on this Link.
Our Badger athletes are wrapping up their seasons over the next week. If you are
looking for a fun and exciting event to cheer the Badgers on, there are many
opportunities coming up. Thursday, the Girls’ and Boys’ Badger Track Teams competed
in the district meet in Blair, while the Boys’ Soccer Team made their appearance in the
State Soccer Tournament at Morrison Stadium. The Track Teams’ qualifiers for the
State Meet will compete at the Burke Stadium on Friday, May 21st. The Soccer Team
will continue in the State Tournament on Monday at Morrison Stadium.
The Bennington Baseball Team has qualified for the State Tournament and will play
their first game against Norris at Werner Park on Saturday, May 15th, and their second-
round game on Monday, May 17th. The Boys’ Golf Team will compete at the District
Tournament on Monday, May 17th in Wayne, with hopes to qualify for the State
Tournament to be held on May 25th-26th in Columbus. Finally, the Badger Girls’ Tennis
Team will compete in the State Tournament on May 20th-21st in Lincoln. Tickets to all

State events can be purchased online at NSAAhome.org. Best of luck to all of our
Badger athletes!
Parents often wonder what students can do through the summer to maintain all the
gains they made through the school year. First, it is important to rest and refresh. Then,
students currently enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grade can access Summer
Bridge Learning opportunities. There is no enrollment required. Every K-8th grade
student is eligible and will have access through their school Clever account. Be on the
lookout next week, as students bring home paper copies detailing the program along
with their login information. Participation is not required but just a few minutes each
week can bridge the gap from one year to the next and impact your student’s
performance in years to come.
What a year it has been. It is time to start wrapping up one of the most unprecedented
school years we have ever experienced. Good Luck to all of our seniors who will be
crossing the stage this Sunday and earning their high school diploma. This is a great
accomplishment and the Bennington High School hallways will miss having you. This
coming week will be filled with culminating projects, final exams, clean up and lots of
celebrating. We made it, you made it, applaud yourselves! We are beyond proud of
every student, staff member, and family that has done their part to ensure we ended this
school year on a high note. Each of you continue to prove there is no place like
Bennington.
Take care and remain Badger Strong!

5/7/21

To All Bennington Public Schools’ Students and Families:

The final two weeks of school are approaching and we are excited for all that this brings to our students and educators. We know all are becoming more curious about what the start of the 2021-2022 school year will look like and bring us. We want to provide accurate and timely information to the community about the protocols for the 2021-2022 school year. In these upcoming months of May and June, the administration will present an initial outline for Year Two of the Return to Learn Plan to the Board of Education. As we have learned throughout this year, circumstances of a pandemic are fluid and transitional. Our plan must reflect the most current information and will remain adaptable. We continue to appreciate the adaptability and grace you have allotted us during this unprecedented time.

The District plans to continue our level of education at Tier II, or Yellow, for the week of May 10th. With only two weeks of school left, we plan to continue all protocols that we currently have in place. Protocols such as, wearing face coverings, socially distancing, and good hygiene have allowed us to provide in-person learning thus far and we hope to end the school year with that continuing. Please visit our BPS COVID-19 Site for updated information in regards to Bennington’s COVID-19 plan, as well as resources such as vaccination links.

With the week for National Teacher Appreciation wrapping up, we want to take this opportunity to appreciate all of our teachers across the district and highlight three specific Bennington educators. We congratulate the recipients of the New Teacher of the Year Award to Ms. Emily Weitzenkamp (Special Education Teacher at Heritage Elementary) and the Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award to Mrs. Kris Melvin (Fourth Grade Teacher at Bennington Elementary). The Bennington Schools Foundation received several nominations on behalf of both of these great educators and we are honored to have them as Bennington Badgers. We encourage you to visit the BPS Foundation website to view all student and adult award winners and honorees this past year.

We also want to celebrate one of our educators who has earned the honor of being titled as a Cox Education Hero. Mr. Dean Wood, our Life Skills Teacher at the High School, was nominated by several families that he has worked with over the past two years while being a Badger for the impact he has made on their students and family’s lives. We celebrate him, his students, and the emphasis he puts on inclusion within our school district.  Congratulations, Mr. Wood! 

Bennington High School continues to seek out parent feedback as part of our school improvement process. If you have students currently enrolled in the High School, please take a few moments to complete the following survey. If you have already filled out a survey for elementary or middle school, we encourage you to complete the high school specific survey. We value your input and seek to continually improve our school system and understand the unique aspects of each individual facility. You are an important part of the system, so please follow this link to complete the survey. Your participation is greatly appreciated. Students and staff are also participating in surveys this spring to give feedback from their perspectives. These responses are part of our continuous improvement process leading up to our five-year accreditation visit in the spring of 2022.

We truly cannot believe there are only a few short days left for our Seniors and just two weeks left for the rest of the students. As a reminder, our K-8 remote students will not have to login for remote services on May 21stunless an individual teacher requests them to do so. High school students will be finishing up final exams and therefore remote learners will be expected to participate just as the in-person learners do. We encourage everyone to take care of themselves and their students during this very busy and exciting time. Staying healthy will support a strong finish to the school year for students.  

Take care and 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