Bethel Schools Closing Through March 31st

At the request of Oregon Governor Kate Brown, all Bethel schools and programs will close beginning Monday, March 16th, and will reopen Wednesday, April 1st for students. Teachers are tentatively scheduled to return on Monday, March 30.

– While schools will not be open, we are finalizing plans to provide bagged to-go lunches at several of our sites. Details will be shared as soon as they are confirmed, including locations and times.

– Childcare providers that are located on school campuses will not be open during the school closure.

– This is intended to be a temporary closure and we will not be providing distance learning at this time.

– There are many decisions yet to be made, including whether these days will be made up at the end of the school year.

We all hope this closure will be successful in combating the coronavirus, and we look forward to being able to return to our normal, healthy school routine.

Bethel Suspends Large and Non-Essential Gatherings

Latest update from the District Office:

At the direction of Oregon Governor Kate Brown and the recommendation of public health experts, Bethel School District will begin postponing events which are intended to bring together large groups of students, parents and staff. This is intended to encourage social distancing as a method to prevent the spread of COVID-19, although at this time no cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Lane County.

Large non-essential school and district-based gatherings and group activities such as Oregon Battle of the Books, music concerts, school assemblies, field trips, PTO meetings, KIDSPORTS practices and games, and family nights will be suspended. This action will remain in effect for approximately 4 weeks, with the possibility that the time frame could be adjusted. This means our Family Fun Night (tonight, March 12th) is postponed and the field trip to the Hult Center on March 17th are cancelled. We will work on rescheduling our Family Fun Night and information will be sent out later.

Bethel School District fully realizes that this change will impact a number of highly anticipated events for which students, parents, and staff have worked long and hard to prepare. We are not alone in experiencing these unanticipated changes; school districts throughout the state are now making similar plans to postpone events.

What You Need to Know About Coronavirus at Bethel Schools

From the District Office:

Bethel School District families should know that the health and safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. We are in constant communication with Lane County Public Health (LCPH) and will be notified by them of increased precautions or actions the district need to take as a response to the coronavirus, COVID-19. LCPH also guides us on potential school closures or health-related measures in our schools. Any change that affects students, staff or school operations will be shared with families as quickly as possible.

Our District health team has increased the monitoring of illnesses and encourages families to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines: stay home when sick, contact your health provider with illness concerns, and continue common preventative measures to remain free from illness, including hand washing, covering coughs, not touching eyes, nose or mouth.

As a preventative measure, cleaning and disinfecting of our schools is being performed daily with recommended products. Meanwhile, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and CDC websites continue to include updates on the virus. We encourage the use of these reliable sites as sources for accurate and factual information.


Teacher’s Choice: Ozobots

As part of our Positive Behavior Support (PBS) program here at Clear Lake that encourages students to follow our three school rules–Be Responsible, Be Respectful, and Be Safe–students can ear a variety of awards by collecting Paw Pride Tickets. Prizes range from free time to movie and popcorn to Pajama Day. Today, after having earned more than 350 Paw Pride tickets, Room 5 enjoyed one of the prizes that always has a surprise in store: Teacher’s Choice! Students got to try something all new during our Teacher’s Choice time. Ozobots! These small, smart robots can follow lines or roam around independently, detect colors (which are programmed to give the robot directions on what to do or where to go) or can be programmed. Who knew computer science could be so hands on–or fun!?

Continue reading Teacher’s Choice: Ozobots

Move Over Breakfast! We Start Our Day with a Dance!

Has your student come home and told you about our Morning Meetings? Or, maybe they’ve mentioned our Morning Meeting Song? Curious what in the world they’re talking about?

Morning Meeting is a school wide initiative we’ve started to help build a stronger sense of community and set up kids for social and academic success. We spend the first 15 minutes every day (8:55-9:10) greeting one another, sharing and learning about characteristics such as kindness or empathy. Our meetings generally consist of four parts: a greeting, sharing, an activity and a morning message. Recently, we added one more component: Our Morning Song (see video). The kids love the time we spend together in the morning and it gives us time to interact with one another and have some FUN!

Interested in learning more about Morning Meeting? Visit Responsive Classroom’s website to read more!

2nd Grade to Learn About Pedestrian Safety

The City of Eugene’s River House Outdoor Center in partnership with Bethel Safe Routes to Schools is bringing Pedestrian Safety Education (PSE) to Clear Lake Elementary School. The Pedestrian Safety Program is a 2-session unit that is being conducted in the 2nd grade classes. This program is designed to teach students the basics of safe walking, street crossing, and the importance of road awareness. Students will first learn safety information in the classroom, followed by a walk around the school’s neighborhood.  

Parent volunteers are great to help monitor students during the 45–60 minute community walk. On the community walk, students walk through the residential neighborhood streets using skills learned in class. If you are able to volunteer for the community walk, you will help model safe behavior and coach students as they practice identifying safe crossings and crossing at both marked and unmarked intersections. You will help remind students to be aware of the road and to pay attention to traffic signals. Please email me if you are interested in volunteering. 

Be sure appropriate outdoor clothes are worn on our walk days. 

SCHEDULED TIMES (students will go with their math teacher)
Mrs. Cox                                March 9 & 10           12:15 pm – 1:15 pm
Mrs. Brandon                       March 11 & 12          12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

All in a K-9 Day’s Work

Students in Room 5 enjoyed a special visitor as part of our studies on the role of K-9s in public safety. Springfield Police Department’s Officer Kendrick and his K-9 partner, Gryff, visited Clear Lake to talk about their work in public safety. Officer Kendrick has worked in law enforcement for 22 years and has had several K-9 partners. He and Gryff have been partners for two years. Officers Kendrick and Gryff demonstrated basic commands, sets of commands similar to those required for annual re-certification, and the bond they share working together.

Students absolutely loved the presentation and learned so much. One student, who happens to live in Springfield, said she didn’t know there was a police department in Springfield until today. Another student said Officer Kendrick taught her about the job of police officers and K-9s. She really liked learning about the training the dogs get. Students were unanimous that Gryff is the cutest visitor we’ve had!

To see more photos of Gryff, visit our classroom photo album. Also, mark your calendar for the annual K-9 competition at Silke Field in Springfield on June 20th! More information will come home in Tuesday folders later this year when it becomes available.

Wondering about weather?

Often around this time of year, the Willamette Valley sees periodic adverse weather conditions such as ice or snow. The District Office and Transportation Department are responsible for determining delays and cancellations and try to make these decisions early in the morning to give families as much time as possible to make arrangements for their children. For parents, obtaining this information can be quick and easy if you know where to look. Of course, our local news stations maintain a running list of schedule delays and cancellations on particularly treacherous days, but there are some other resources available to you:

Flash Alerts — This subscription allows you to sign up using your mobile number and/or email address for alerts from Bethel School District, as well as other area organizations. You select which agencies you want alerts from and they will send you a text or email anytime one of those organizations release information on the system. This is my personal favorite.

Twitter — Follow Superintendent Chris Parra (@Bethel_Supt) for weather delay information, as well as other district updates.

Clear Lake Blog — Building administrators in the district also post information about delays and cancellations as it becomes available, and you can find these posts right on our own Clear Lake blog where Principal Karyn Bayer keeps families informed about building events and updates.

Cue the Qball!

Last week, we were greeted by the joyous sounds of the annual Bethel Education Foundation (BEF) Grant Parade! Each year the BEF raises funds to support our district classrooms through their grant program. Grant applications can be for anything–books, cameras, art supplies, etc.–and are scored through a blind scoring process. The process can be very competitive, so wining a grant is very, very exciting! This year, 33 classrooms had grants funded, including our class. 

Our application was for a fun new tool called a Qball. This is a ball that looks much like a playground ball and can be tossed, rolled and generally handled by busy little ones, but has one special feature you won’t find in a playground ball–a microphone! The microphone connects to a bluetooth speaker and amplifies the kids’ voices when they speak into the ball by sending the signal to the speaker! We have placed our order for our new tool and it should be here when we return from winter break. 

Want to learn more about it? Check it out here

Parent Conferences Next Week

It’s that time of year again! Time to meet with your child’s teacher and find out more about what we’ve been learning during the first third of the year.

Parent-Teacher conferences are scheduled for Wednesday, December 4th and Thursday, December 5th. You should have received a paper in your child’s Tuesday folder with your scheduled time. If you do not know when your conference is, you can email me or phone the school at 541-689-0511. The front office has a copy of our conference schedule and will be able to help you even if we are in class and I’m unable to take your call right away. If you can’t make your scheduled time, please let me know so that we can reschedule. 

I would encourage you to bring your child to the conference with you, too. They have lots to share about what they’ve done so far this year, and it is a perfect opportunity to help your child develop ownership of their learning.