- Bismarck Public Schools
- School Newsletter
December 2019 Newsletter
PARENT POLICY COUNCIL MEETINGS
The next Policy Council meeting is December 2nd at 6pm. Any parent is welcome to attend the meetings. Policy Council Minutes from each meeting are posted on the bulletin board in the main hallway and on the website under Bismarck Public Schools. Click on the Our Schools Tab and find BECEP.
PRESCHOOL PLAYTIME! OPEN GYM
Through a partnership with the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District, the gym at BECEP will be open most Sunday afternoons from 2pm-5pm for preschool age children and their parents. The gym will also be open December 1st, 8th and 15th. The gym will be closed December 20th and 29th over the Holiday break. We would especially encourage fathers to use this time to come out and PLAY with your children! Give the moms a break! Please enter the gym through door #11 on the south side of the building by the shed off 13th street.
HOLIDAY SOCIAL FOR BIRTH-THREE PROGRAMS
Families in Early Head Start, Early Intervention and Right Track Programs will be having a Holiday Family Social at BECEP at Richholt on December 10th in the evening. Families in these programs will be receiving invitations from their Home Visiting Staff. Other community programs involved are Healthy Families and the FACE Program with special guests Miss Sparkles and Santa!
SAVE THE DATE! All Head Start Classrooms will be having a Holiday Parent –Child Social on Thursday, December 12th from 9:45am-10:45am. An invitation will be coming home through your child’s backpack.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Avon Fundraiser. BECEP profited $3170 from this fundraiser!
The tallies are in…we are the BECEP Bees! We are working with a graphic design company and will roll out a fun image soon.
LOST AND FOUND
There is a Lost and Found bin in the hallway by the Parent Book Shelf. If you are missing anything, please check it out. There was a pair of black framed glasses left on the book shelf, check with the front office.
When you are in the building, remember to check out the Parent Corner located to the right of the main hallway… Giveaway Cart with free clothing, food items etc. Items will change as things become available so check back frequently! Book Shelf for Parents and Children with parenting books, resource books and special topic books for children. It is a self -check- out system.
EARLY HEAD START
Did you know that BECEP also has an Early Head Start Program serving families and children prenatally to age three? The Program is designed to provide early support to families of infants and toddlers in their home. Family group activities are also provided twice a month. The Program will enhance your child’s development through healthy beginnings and caring relationships. Early Head Start offers an individualized curriculum that will transition your child into pre-school with success! If you or someone you know is interested in this program, you can contact the BECEP office at 323-4400.
Would you like a FREE, in-home developmental screening for you infant or toddler? If so, simply call 701-328-8985 to request Right Track for your child. Right Track is a statewide program that is unique to ND. Right Track Specialists complete developmental screenings, go over the results, answer questions, and provide ideas to promote development and referrals to other community programs, all from the comfort of your own home! Right Track is FREE for all children under the age of 3 and is a one of our BECEP programs.
NEED HELP WITH HEATING BILLS?
Families who need help with their heating bills this winter can apply for Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP) through Burleigh County Social Services. Call 222-6622 for an application or fill it out online. If families are eligible for Fuel Assistance, they may also be eligible for help through the Energy Share Program through Community Action Program.
CONSCIOUS DISCIPLINE SKILL #2-ENCOURAGEMENT
In the classrooms, your child is learning how to be helpful in the classroom and at school. Learning the skill of Encouragement means, “We Are All in This Together!” and creates the Power of Unity within the family. Encouragement is about noticing, accepting and connecting with your child. The goal is for the family to feel safe and that they belong. Positive relationships are the key motivator for wanting to learn. Below is an example of how to teach the skill of encouragement to your child.
“You… (Describe what you see them doing without judgement,)
So… (Describe how the action impacts others)”
“You put the toys back in the toy box so next time you and your brother can find them, and your room stays clean. That was helpful! You did it!”
I Love You Ritual-You Have a Present
This game can be played at Christmas, during Hanukkah, as part of a birthday celebration, or when you return from a trip and the child asks, “Did you bring me anything?”
The Game: Take some newspaper or scrap paper and wrap the paper around the child’s hand. Use this time to touch the child affectionately. The goal is not to wrap the hand, but to connect with and touch the child. After the hand is wrapped, pretend to put a bow on the top. Announce, “What a wonderful present; it looks beautiful. I wonder what is in it?” Begin to unwrap the hand slowly, expressing all your feelings and thoughts aloud. You may say, “I am so excited. This is the best present ever. I just can’t wait to see it. I know it will be just perfect.” Once you open your entire “gift”, scoop the child up in your arms, expressing “I love you” in as many ways as you can think of. If you brought a “real” gift, a delightful time to give it to your child would be after this game.
DON’T FORGET-HOLIDAY BREAK!
There will be no school for all BPS students December 23rd, 2019-Jan 1st, 2020. School resumes on Thursday January 2nd, 2020.
HOLIDAY BREAK BUCKET LIST IDEAS
Build a Christmas tree with LEGOs
Build a snowman
Drink hot chocolate
Make paper snowflakes
Make snow angels
Shovel a neighbor’s driveway
Read holiday books at the Bismarck Public Library
Any third party non-school district events in this newsletter are not sponsored/endorsed by Bismarck Public Schools.
Keeping you updated on our Strategic Planning!
By Dr. Jason Hornbacher, Superintendent
There was a definite buzz in the room as I walked from table to table during our second Strategic Planning Committee meeting. This group of 60 parents, staff, students and community members were highly engaged in the work that will frame the future of BPS.
Their homework was to review the feedback from a dozen focus groups conducted by BPS staff and strategic planning consultant Jeffry Schatz. Focus groups included students at each high school, booster groups, regular and special education parents, Native American parents, teachers, school support staff, professional support staff, administrators, and community groups like the Chamber EDC. Here’s a synopsis of what they told us:
Academic Skills: Communication was first, followed by collaboration/teamwork, critical thinking/problem solving, financial literacy, and applied or basic math.
Workplace Skills: Work ethic was first, then collaboration/teamwork, problem solving, self-advocacy, pre-job skills like writing resumes, and financial literacy.
Life Skills: Soft skills/work skills, then empathy/compassion, respect for self and others, and emotional intelligence and coping skills.
What makes BPS unique: Student opportunities in all areas, the Career Academy, innovation, staff training, special needs services/programs, and community support.
Strengths: BPS staff members and all of the opportunities available to students!
Trends: Youth issues such as vaping, mental wellness, etc., followed by community issues such as affordable housing, cultural diversity, lack of mental health services, etc.
Challenges/Critical Decisions: Facilities/crowding, social-emotional health/behavior issues, school safety, staffing shortages, and diversity and socio-economic trends.
Improvement Opportunities: Staffing issues, staff communication as the district grows, and mental health for all.
Last but not least, we reviewed the district’s current mission statement: All students will have the academic, social, and personal skills to be college, career, and community ready. The rich dialog provided diverse feedback around our current mission statement. In the near future we will review our vision statement (Together, we inspire a passion for learning, discovery, and excellence) and discuss the values central to Bismarck Public Schools. I’m sure there will be robust conversation around those topics as well! BPS will work to collate the thoughts, ideas, and suggestions into a set of unified statements that will frame the future of BPS.
At the conclusion of the Strategic Planning Committee meetings in 2020, all of the work will be posted so that the entire community can provide feedback. The final step will be to present it to the Bismarck Public School Board for approval.
I want to thank all of you who have been a part of this process! If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 701-323-4054.
Open Your Heart campaign
The 90th consecutive annual Open Your Heart campaign is underway! Tote boxes will be delivered to Bismarck’s public schools on Monday, Nov. 25. Remember: do not donate glass containers or damaged or out of date food items. The last day to donate non-perishable food items is Wednesday, Dec. 18. Donations will support families in Bismarck and Burleigh who are in need this Christmas.
The Legionnaires of Lloyd Spetz Post No. 1 of the American Legion want to say “THANKS!” in advance to the wonderful and charitable students, faculty and staff of the Bismarck Public Schools who so generously donate non-perishable food items to Open Your Heart to fill all of those tote boxes. In the 2018, about 300 tote boxes full of food were collected. For more information or to donate through PayPal, visit http://www.openyourheart.us/.
The Bismarck Public School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age or disability in admission or access to or treatment or employment in its programs and activities. To obtain this material in an alternate format, or if you need access, or auxiliary services such as interpreters, large print, braille or recorded material, call (701) 323-4071, or a TTY Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-366-6888 two weeks prior to the event.