District Communication

5/`3/2022 - Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

This week, we would like to begin with a celebration for the Bennington Public Schools’ administration, staff, students, parents, and community members. During the week of April 4, 2022, an External Accreditation Engagement Review was conducted by Cognia, an international school improvement and accrediting organization. All Nebraska public school systems are required by statute to participate in an accreditation and school improvement process, outlined in Rule 10, to improve effectiveness and efficiency throughout the system.

Cognia’s final report was submitted to Bennington Public Schools based on hundreds of pages of evidence, 116 interviews with parents, students, teachers, and administrators, an Executive Summary of the District, and an internal analysis of our current performance. Based on the evidence collected by the external visit team, an Index of Educational Quality (IEQ) is reported on a scale of 100 to 400 and provides information about how the institution is performing compared to expected criteria.

BPS is proud to share that our IEQ was 321.13. This places our institution well above the international average range of 278.34 – 283.33 for all Cognia Improvement Network (CIN) institutions evaluated for accreditation in the last five years. This does not mean our work as a District is complete. Improvement is a continuous process as we strive for continued excellence. As the Engagement Review Team evaluated our system they identified themes of strength and growth opportunities to guide our next steps in the continuous improvement journey. If you would like to view the full Accreditation Engagement Review Report, you may follow the link. Please take a moment to celebrate with us and know you are an important contributor to the success in Bennington Public Schools.

This has been a great year overall for the Badgers in athletics, music, and activities, and it continues as spring sports move into District and State competitions. Congratulations to the Badger Soccer Teams! Both the girls and boys qualified for the State Tournament this week. The girls move on to the second round of competition against #2 Norris on Saturday at 2 PM at Morrison Stadium in Omaha. The boys also moved on to the second round after a stormy game last night. They will play #2 Lexington on Saturday at 7:30 PM at Morrison Stadium in Omaha. The State Track and Field Meet will be held at Burke Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday, May 18-19th. Bennington has many qualifiers from both the Girls’ and Boys’ Teams! Also on May 17th, the Badger Boys’ Golf Team competes in the District Tournament in Wayne. The Girls’ Tennis Team will compete in the State Meet on May 19-20 at Woods Tennis Center in Lincoln. It will be a fun and busy week coming up, Good Luck Badgers!

Wednesday, May 11th, the District held an open house for the public to view proposed new curriculum materials. Teams of teachers worked with the District Curriculum Department for a full-year or more to select the best materials for our students. We appreciate the parents and community members who were able to stop by and share their comments.

Elementary students at Pine Creek and Anchor Pointe enjoyed their annual Fun Day today. Bennington Elementary and Heritage will have their special day next Friday. We hope everyone had, or will have, a great day of activities and send thanks out to the staff and parents who helped make this day possible.

With the end of the school year coming upon us quickly, we want to remind you that Bennington Public Schools offers several youth athletic camps throughout the summer. Attached you will find a document with details surrounding these camps as well as the link for registration. Please note we are using Myschoolbucks as the primary registration vehicle for this summer. While families will still be able to walk up on the day of the camp, registration cannot occur without payment being made first. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter and look forward to a summer of growth opportunities for all who are interested.

We hope everyone gets out to enjoy the warm weather this weekend! Take care, and remain Badger Strong!



5/6/2022 - Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

This week we celebrated Teachers! Many buildings took time on our Wednesday early

out to come together and grow as a staff and celebrate one another. We want to

acknowledge all of the incredible teachers that our district is privileged enough to have.

We are thankful for each and every one of you and we know this school district would

not be as successful without you.

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Cox and NFM have come together to celebrate

the dedication of educators and school employees through the Education Heroes

campaign. In March, Cox invited community members to nominate their favorite

teacher, paraprofessional, administrative or custodial staff member, nurse, counselor, or

learning specialist — and share about what makes that individual a hero. After receiving

over 235 nominations, a panel of leaders from Cox selected the 50 winners. Honorees

will receive a prize package consisting of a $250 gift card to NFM, an Education Heroes

water bottle, and Education Heroes t-shirts for staff members at their school.

Bennington Public Schools had two winners - Jennifer Parker, Bennington Elementary

and Rebecca Mergens, Heritage Elementary. Congratulations!

Today, we also recognized our School Lunch Heroes in Nutrition Services! These team

members make sure our students have healthy and tasty meals at school each day.

They are a valuable part of our school staff in each building.

Bennington Public Schools reviews and adopts new instructional materials on an eight-

year-cycle. A steering committee reviews and recommends high-quality instructional

materials for adoption following a rigorous evaluation process which includes a review

of research, District teaching and learning philosophies, alignment to Nebraska State

and National Standards, and availability and quality of student and teacher resources.

This year’s content areas up for instructional material adoption are Social Emotional

Learning including Elementary Counseling, English Language Arts Grades 6-8,

Business, Family and Consumer Science, and Physical Education with Health. The

Office of Curriculum and Instruction would like to extend an open house invitation for

parents/guardians to view the proposed instructional materials on Wednesday, May


11th, in the 1940 Board of Education Room from 5:00-7:00 PM. Samples of student and

teacher materials will be available. Please enter through the District Office main

entrance.

There are only 12 days of school remaining for the majority of our students. We know

this will be a very busy time for all. We ask families to continue to check your parent

portal often so that there are no surprises when it comes to final grade postings for the

2021-2022 school year.

With the end of the school year coming upon us quickly, we want to remind you that

Bennington Public Schools offers several youth athletic camps throughout the summer.

Attached you will find a document with details surrounding these camps as well as the

link for registration. Please note we are using Myschoolbucks as the primary registration

vehicle for this summer. While families will still be able to walk up on the day of the

camp, registration cannot occur without payment being made first. We appreciate your

cooperation in this matter and look forward to a summer of growth opportunities for all

that are interested.

As a reminder, any updates to our COVID-19 guidance will continue to be posted on our

district website. You may click here to find the most recent updates.

Congratulations go out to the Boys Golf Team for placing 3rd at the Conference Meet.

The EMC Conference Track Meet was hosted at Bennington High School on Tuesday

with many great performances. The Girls Team placed 3rd and the Boys Team placed

5th. Many more end of season events are coming up, so watch the school website for

opportunities to cheer on the Badgers.

Monday evening is the regular Board of Education meeting at 6:00 PM. Prior to the start

of the meeting, the semiannual review of the Social Studies curriculum will occur at 5:40

PM followed by honoring teachers and staff who have served Bennington Public

Schools for 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25 years.

We hope you take time to celebrate Mother's Day this Sunday. It is a time to honor

mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers for their contribution to family and

society. We wish all of the Badger Mothers a wonderful day!

Take care, and remain Badger Strong!

4/29/2022 - Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

We have just over three weeks of school left for our K-11 students, and exactly three weeks of school left for our seniors as well as our preschool students. As this year is wrapping up we understand the time constraints that come along with that and the eagerness to end the year on a positive note. We ask families to continue to please check your parent portal often so that there are no surprises when it comes to final grade postings for the 2021-2022 school year.

This past Sunday, April 24th, the Bennington Public Schools Foundation held their annual awards ceremony. The Foundation, along with other local organizations, honored graduating seniors with post-secondary scholarships. In addition, five special awards were presented to school district employees and community members. We appreciate all of the community members who attended and had a glimpse into some of the greatness that lies within Bennington Public Schools.

Bennington Public Schools received another honor to celebrate this week. Mr. Shawn Hoppes, Middle School Principal, was named Region 2 Middle School Principal of the Year for the Nebraska Council of School Administrators (NCSA). Region 2 covers Burt, Cass, Dodge, Douglas, Otoe, Sarpy, and Washington Counties. He was recognized for his leadership and dedication in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession. He will be considered for the state honor among the five regional winners. Congratulations Mr. Hoppes!

This week, we celebrated Administrative Assistants’ Day on Wednesday, April 27th. These amazing people do everything from answering the door or phone to handing out Band-Aids and ice packs. We could not operate our schools without them and they truly care for your children when you bring them to us. Thank You to these very special people.

We have completed the six-week window of the Nebraska Student Centered Assessment System’s (NSCAS) testing. Students who were absent during the testing window may have some testing to finish, but for the most part, we have completed state testing. Students and teachers have done a great job preparing for this demonstration of learning throughout the school year. A report will be sent home late this summer or early in the fall with final test results from the Nebraska Department of Education. Preliminary results will be shared with students when they are available in ELA and Math as many classrooms set personal achievement goals. We are very proud of our students and teachers for their achievement efforts.

Spring athletes continue to compete and get closer to end-of-season tournaments. Saturday, April 30th, begins Sub-Districts for both the Girls and Boys Soccer Teams. Check the website for opponents and game times. There are many events for our community to come out and support. For a list of such events, you may click here, or visit our district website and select the calendar icon.

This upcoming week, we celebrate School Lunch Hero Day on Friday, May 6th. This day recognizes our Nutrition Services Staff who work so very hard each day to prepare nutritious and delicious meals for our students. This team of dedicated people work behind the scenes to make school a great place for your students. Please remember to say “Thank You” to these very special people.

Take care, enjoy the ever-changing spring weather, and remain Badger Strong!


4/22/2022 - Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

Welcome back from Spring Break! There are just over four weeks of school left and students are working hard to reach the finish line. Happy holiday season! For the first time in thirty years, this month of April includes holidays for several religious and indigenous communities that celebrate Ramadan, Passover, Easter, Vaisakhi, Ridván, Mahavir Jayanti, Theravada New Year, and the Gathering of Nations.

April is also the month of many recognitions and celebrations. This week, we celebrate Volunteer Recognition Day on Wednesday, April 20th. Bennington Public Schools is fortunate to have volunteers who generously assist teachers and students through their time, talent, and treasure. We especially want to send a thank you out to our TeamMates’ Mentors who volunteer their time for our students. Today is Earth Day and students across our schools are celebrating by learning more about how to care for and protect our planet.

This Sunday, April 24th, at 2:00 pm, in the high school auditorium, the Bennington Public Schools Foundation will hold their annual awards ceremony. The Foundation, along with other local organizations, will honor graduating seniors with post-secondary scholarships. In addition, five special awards will be presented to school district employees and community members. Please help us in congratulating the five recipients: Alumni of the Year - Nancy Mohr, Support Staff of the Year - Linda White, Volunteer of the Year - Brenda Ferris, New Educator of the Year - Maddie Weaver, and Distinguished Educator of the Year - Jana Pohlmann-Noel. The event is free of charge with a dessert reception immediately following. If you would like to attend please Click Here to RSVP!

Spring is a busy time for students who participate in clubs, activities, and athletics. The Badgers have done well over the past couple of weeks and continue to prepare for the end of their season events. The Bennington SkillsUSA team received many awards at the State Competition including: Chapter Excellence Award, SkillsUSA Week: Silver, Architectural Blueprint Reading: Gold – Peyton Guenthner, Silver – Logan Vanecek, Bronze – Isaac Vondra, and MouseTraptor Pull – Silver - Dillon Kempkes. Dillon was also awarded a $500 Scholarship from the NE Trucking Association.

The Annual Eastern Midlands Conference Art Contest was held and Blake Merchant won overall Best in 2-D for his charcoal drawing, Brooke Sampson won Honorable Mention for her charcoal drawing, Abby Herman won Honorable Mention for her acrylic painting, and Joy Adell won Honorable Mention for her white chalk drawing.

The District II Music Contest for both instrumental and vocal musicians is being held today at Ralston High School. The instrumental students performed this morning while the vocal students performed this evening. No results were available at this time.

Today, the Bennington Track Invitational is being run at the high school after being postponed due to weather on Tuesday. Competition in field events began at 1:00 and track events began at 3:30 PM.

Bennington High School has two journalists who will compete at the State Journalism Contest on Monday, April 25th in Norfolk. Best of luck to Haley Hoelscher and Reagan Toelle!

We have completed Week #5 of the Nebraska Student Centered Assessment System’s (NSCAS) testing window. Students in grades 3-8 are nearly finished taking the state tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. Grades 5 and 8 also take the NSCAS-Science test to measure student knowledge of grade-level standards in Physical, Life, and Earth Sciences. Our principals and teachers have planned carefully to spread these tests over the six-week window, so students can best demonstrate their learning on these important statewide assessments.

Spring athletes continue to compete as they get closer to end-of-season tournaments. These busy schedules provide many events for our community to come out and support. For a list of such events, you may click here, or visit our district website and select the calendar icon.

This upcoming week, we celebrate Administrative Assistants’ Day on Wednesday, April 27th. These amazing people do everything from answering the door or phone to handing out Band-Aids and ice packs. We could not operate our schools without them and they truly care for your children when you bring them to us. Please remember to say “Thank You” to these very special people.

Take care, enjoy the ever-changing spring weather, and remain Badger Strong


4/8/2022 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

This week was the District’s Cognia Accreditation Review. All public school systems in

Nebraska are required by statute to be accredited. Accreditation is a designation earned

by complying with all provisions of Rule 10. Cognia is an international accrediting

association which Bennington has been a member of for decades with its own set of

Standards to meet above those of the State of Nebraska. An accreditation team is

assigned to the District every five years and is responsible for providing feedback to our

system that helps focus and guide improvement. The team assigned to Bennington

included evaluators from Alabama, Kansas, and Nebraska. While we will not receive the

final accreditation report from Cognia just yet, we did receive wonderful feedback from

our reviewers.

The greatest compliment they shared was their recognition of our ‘Rock Star Teachers’

and the work they do every day for students in Bennington. Another highlight shared

was the amazing Bennington community who collaborate with the District to make it a

great educational choice for children. These were just a couple of the highlights from

their visit closure report, and while we know we have the best of the best in both staff

and families, we want all of you to know that the outside world sees it too. We will share

more information when our report arrives, but thank you to everyone who participated in

activities this week and throughout the school year on committees and by completing

surveys.

Next week we enter Spring Break for the 2021-2022 school year. As a reminder,

Wednesday, April 13th, will be an early release day, followed by no school on April 14th

- April 18th. For planning purposes, please know that we will be taking a break from

Friday Notes during this time and will resume on April 22, 2022.

We have completed Week #3 of the Nebraska Student Centered Assessment System’s

(NSCAS) testing window. Students in grades 3-8 started taking the state tests in English

Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. Grades 5 and 8 also take the NSCAS-Science

test to measure student knowledge of grade-level standards in Physical, Life, and Earth


Sciences. It has been great to visit classrooms and see the focused effort our students

are putting into these important statewide assessments.

Spring sports are well underway. This afternoon and evening there are soccer, tennis,

and baseball games. These busy schedules will continue over the next two weeks, with

many events for our community to come out and support. For a list of such events, you

may click here, or visit our district website and select the calendar icon.

We are currently in severe weather season and Nebraska can be unpredictable. We

closely monitor weather conditions that may impact indoor and outdoor activities.

Bennington’s school buildings are designed to be very safe locations to be during

severe weather and staff and students regularly practice safety drills to be prepared. In

the event of a severe weather warning, school facility occupants will be directed to

storm shelters and will not be released until the National Weather Service announces

an “all clear.” If a severe weather warning is issued during school dismissal, the release

of students will be postponed. The building will be secured and students will remain in

the safety of a shelter until the “all clear” is announced.

Take care, enjoy the upcoming spring break with your family, and remain Badger

Strong!

4/1/2022 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

We cannot believe we have officially entered the month of April! While it is April Fool’s

Day to many, to the school district it is the opportunity to focus in on a successful end of

the 2021-2022 school year. We have just over seven weeks left in this school year and

there will be many culminating projects and events coming up. For planning purposes,

we are less than two weeks away from BPS Spring Break, which falls on April 14th -

April 18th.

All of our families who have children that receive Special Education services should

have received a link to complete a parent survey for the state of Nebraska. As a

reminder, today is the last day to complete this survey, please check your email for

correspondence from your child’s special education teacher for the link to complete this.

This feedback supports the state of Nebraska in meeting federal requirements as well

as in supporting school districts to better meet the needs of our students with

disabilities.

We have completed Week #2 of the Nebraska Student Centered Assessment System’s

(NSCAS) testing window. Students in grades 3-8 started taking the state tests in English

Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. Grades 5 and 8 also take the NSCAS-Science

test to measure student knowledge of grade-level standards in Physical, Life, and Earth

Sciences. It has been great to visit classrooms this week and see the focused effort our

students are putting into these important statewide assessments.

Saturday night is Prom for our High School Juniors and Seniors! Many thanks go out to

the students, staff, and parents who help to make this a fun and safe night. Students

finish the dance then move on to a night of fun activities, food, and prizes, all sponsored

through the hard work of the Bennington High School Post Prom Committee. We hope

everyone stays safe and has a great night!

The upcoming week is the District’s Cognia Accreditation Review Week. Cognia is the

international accrediting organization that Bennington schools have been part of for

decades. The organization was formerly known as the North Central Association of


Schools and Colleges, then later AdvancED. Cognia is the largest educational

improvement organization in the world and Bennington continues to strive to meet the

challenging standards of Cognia. A team of five experts from Nebraska, Kansas, and

North Carolina, will be visiting our District and schools virtually this week. We want to

thank all of the students, teachers, staff, administrators, parents, and community

members who will participate in interviews this week and have provided input over the

past five years to guide our focused improvement process. We will share the feedback

from our review over the upcoming weeks.

Middle School, Anchor Pointe, Pine Creek, and Stratford families should have received

school assignment emails. All change of residency needs to be communicated to Jodi

McCoy, District Office Secretary, to verify school attendance boundaries. Families who

have students enrolled in the Middle School, Anchor Pointe, Pine Creek, and Stratford

for the 2022-22023 school year who did not receive email confirmation please contact

the District Office.

As a reminder, changes were made to our COVID protocols in early March. These

changes, along with future changes, can be found by visiting our COVID-19 District Site.

Take care, enjoy the spring weather, and remain Badger Strong!

3/25/2022 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

Thank you to all who came out to support our talented Bennington High School cast and crew of Shrek the Musical. The performance was a hit with all and congratulations to the participants with four sold out shows!

During the previous week high school students traveled to the State Speech Competition in Kearney, Nebraska. Congratulations to the BPS Speech Team and their coaches as they represented Bennington strongly with several medalists and a State Championship in Oral Interpretation of Drama.

This week the Nebraska Student Centered Assessment System’s (NSCAS) testing window commenced. Students in grades 3-8 started taking the state tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. Grades 5 and 8 also take the NSCAS-Science test to measure student knowledge of grade-level standards in Physical, Life, and Earth Sciences. Our high school juniors participated in taking the State ACT test, while our sophomores participated in the pre-ACT test. Our students deserve praise for the time and effort they put into these important statewide assessments.

As a reminder, changes have been made to our COVID protocols. These changes, along with future changes, can be found by visiting our COVID-19 District Site.

This week 2022-2023 school assignments were emailed out to families in attendance areas that are experiencing school transitions. Middle School, Anchor Pointe, Pine Creek, and Stratford families should have received school assignment emails. All change of residency needs to be communicated to Jodi McCoy, District Office Secretary, to verify school attendance boundaries. Families who have students enrolled in the Middle School, Anchor Pointe, Pine Creek, and Stratford for the 2022-2023 school year who did not receive email confirmation please contact the District Office at (402) 238-3044.

Additional items that are worth noting again this week are the changes for the 2022-2023 school year. One major change being the elementary school day start time. They will begin at 8:05 AM each day and continue to end at 3:07 PM. An additional change that will affect all BPS families is that the U.S. Congress announced that the waivers for School Meals will end on June 30, 2022. Nothing will change for the remainder of this school year with school meals. Please remember to check your lunch account if your student enjoys second helpings or ala carte items as they are charged for these selections. We need all accounts paid in full as we plan to resume normal nutrition services at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year.

The Bennington Schools Foundation will host their annual fundraiser tonight at A View on State Street with a performance by the Dueling Pianos. The District greatly appreciates the support of the patrons and businesses, as proceeds directly impact student scholarships, innovative teaching projects, staff development, and student programming. Hope to see you there!

Take care, enjoy the spring weather, and remain Badger Strong!

3/18/2022 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

It seems like the 2021-2022 school year has been filled with successes for the Bennington students, staff, and community. Last week during the Nebraska State Basketball Tournament, Bennington High School was awarded the annual Sportsmanship Trophy for Class B. This is an award which honors a school and community for good sportsmanship throughout the year both on the playing field and in the stands. Thank you to each Bennington coach and activity sponsor who work to develop sportsmanship in each of our participants. Thank you to the enthusiastic students in the stands, cheerleaders, dancers, and Bennington fans who help to support our students.

Good Luck to our talented Bennington High School cast and crew of Shrek the Musical. Show dates are March 18th-20th. There are a handful of single tickets available for each performance, but basically the show is sold out! To purchase remaining tickets visit https://bhsmusical.weebly.com/.

The Spring sports season is underway! The Badgers are competing in Girls’ Tennis, Baseball, Soccer, and Track this spring. There are many opportunities to cheer on the Badgers, so check the website for upcoming activities.

Families using District Transportation may have noticed some new drivers on our routes. These are substitute drivers from Student Transportation of America as Bennington drivers are absent and we continue to struggle to hire enough drivers to fill all of our routes. Parents should use the Ride360 app to track buses for pick-up and drop-off. Please give the drivers some grace as they learn these routes and get to know our students. If you have ever thought about driving a bus, we are always looking for great people to join our team.

This coming week begins the Nebraska Student Centered Assessment System’s (NSCAS) testing window. Students in grades 3-8 will take the state tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. The ELA test covers grade-level standards in vocabulary, reading, and writing. The Math test covers grade-level standards in Number Sense and Operations, Algebra, Geometry, and Data Analysis. Grades 5 and 8 also take the NSCAS-Science test to measure student knowledge of grade-level standards in Physical, Life, and Earth Sciences.

The testing will be spread throughout the window of March 21st-April 29th with additional time for make-up tests the week of May 2-6. The 11th grade students will take the State ACT on Tuesday, March 22nd. The State of Nebraska moved to a college entrance exam six years ago to help remove barriers for all students to attend postsecondary opportunities if they choose. The ACT covers Reading, English, Math, Science, and Writing. These tests serve to measure student progress, but are also used to measure school success in teaching and learning.

As we presented at this week’s School Board Meeting, a few changes are being made to our COVID protocols. These changes, along with future changes, can be found by visiting our COVID-19 District Site. The greatest of these changes is that we will no longer be requiring masks at the elementary level when there is a positive case within a classroom. Due to a tremendous decrease in positive cases and the ability for all interested school age individuals to now have been fully vaccinated, the District feels it is an appropriate time to make one more step towards school normalcy.

We had hoped to get the 2022-2023 school assignments out to families in attendance areas that are experiencing school transitions this past week, but a computer glitch caused us to postpone until the upcoming week. Middle School, Anchor Pointe, Pine Creek, and Stratford families will receive school assignment emails next week. These emails will provide the official school assignments for the 2022-2023 school year and for the near future. Please watch your email next week for these announcements, we apologize for any frustration this delay caused, but we wanted the information correct the first time you receive it.

In other news for the 2022-2023 school year, we are changing the student school start time for elementary students. The elementary school day will begin at 8:05 AM each day and continue to end at 3:07 PM. We have found that most of our elementary students are already at school by this time each day and many are in the classrooms with their teachers. We want to be able to count this morning time as part of students’ instructional time. These additional 15 minutes each day will give teachers and students an extra 44 hours during the school year for learning. We have also heard that this may ease the load for working parents dropping students off and heading to work.

The U.S. Congress announced last week that the waivers for School Meals will end on June 30, 2022. Nothing will change for the remainder of the school year with school meals. Please remember to check your lunch account if your student enjoys second helpings or ala carte items as they are charged for these selections. We need all accounts paid in full as we plan to resume normal nutrition services at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. We appreciate everyone’s help to make this happen.

Take care, enjoy the spring weather, and remain Badger Strong!

3/11/2022 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,


As we stated in last week’s Friday Notes, today was dedicated to teacher in-service and professional learning. Bennington Public Schools certificated staff had the opportunity to gain additional knowledge surrounding Diversity, Inclusion, and Allyship. This professional learning opportunity aligns with the district’s most recent efforts in the intentionality we have surrounding our multicultural policies and practices.

Bennington has students and staff of many diverse backgrounds and beliefs. Our mission is to educate and support all learners entrusted to us, as well as the talented employees who have chosen to serve our school district. We do our best to recognize the importance of religious holidays and the impact those days may have on our students and staff. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Purim (Jewish holiday) begins on March 16 and ends on March 17

  • Ramadan (Muslim holy month) begins on April 2 and runs through May 2

  • Good Friday is April 15 and Easter Sunday (Christian holy days) is April 17 (Spring Break wraps around this weekend.)

We want to ensure our students and staff feel supported, and we will continue to be mindful of important dates like this as we schedule and plan ahead.

Congratulations to the following high school speech competitors for qualifying for the state meet: Selah Ryan (Entertainment Speaking), Carly Bishop (Dramatic Interpretation), Alexa Hall and Linnea Larson (Duo Interpretation), Logan Frost (Extemporaneous Speaking), and Maddy Trotter, Macy Petersen, Selah Ryan, Addie Thornburg, & Avery Wells (Oral Interpretation of Drama).

Other District speech medalists include: Addison Thornburg (Poetry), Maddy Trotter (Program Oral Interpretation), Elianna Loftus & Hailey Panowicz (Duo Interpretation), Gracie Bryant (Entertainment Speaking), and Spencer Byars (Informative Speaking).


Congratulations to all of our winter athletes and activity participants for their hard work and successes this season. The Spring season brings many opportunities to cheer on the Badgers, so check the website for upcoming activities.


Bennington High School will perform Shrek the Musical. Get Your Musical Tickets Now! Show dates are March 18th-20th. To purchase tickets visit https://bhsmusical.weebly.com/. Hurry, Friday and Saturday are almost sold out!!


We continue to monitor COVID-19 cases within our school district and with that we continue to stay hopeful. Cases within our school district have dropped drastically and therefore there is minimal impact on education for our students. For continuous updates on COVID-19 within Bennington Public Schools, please visit our COVID-19 District Site.


Anchor Pointe and Pine Creek families will receive school assignment emails next week. These emails will provide the official school assignments for the 2022-2023 school year and for the near future. Please watch your email late next week for these announcements.


We are pleased to announce two new Assistant Principals for the 2022-2023 school year. First, Mrs. Katie Lethcoe comes to Bennington from Millard Public Schools where she served as an administrative intern for the past six years. She will serve as the Assistant Principal to Pine Creek Elementary. Mrs. Alison Evangelisti, Principal of Pine Creek, is excited to have Mrs. Lethcoe join their team. Mr. Lucas Apfelbeck will be transitioning from the Learning Center at Bennington Middle School to the Assistant Principal/Activities Director position at Bennington South Middle School. Mr. Apfelbeck will team up with Mr. Shawn Hoppes, who will be Principal of the new Bennington South Middle School. We believe both of these new administrators will bring enthusiasm and talent to share with the families and students of Bennington Public Schools.


Take care, stay warm, and remain Badger Strong!

3/4/2022 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

Congratulations to the Boys Basketball Team for qualifying for the State Tournament! The team will play at Pinnacle Bank Arena at 10:45 AM on Monday, March 7th, against the Platteview Trojans. Tickets must be purchased online or at a ticket kiosk at the venue. The NSAA provides more information about purchasing tickets in this document. NSAA has a website dedicated to information about the tournament. For more information please check there. Students may attend the game, but should be checked out of school following the procedures provided by each building principal. Please check your email from Thursday, March 3rd, for messages from your student’s school.

This week we celebrated Read Across America Week in our elementary schools. The week was established by the National Education Association 24 years ago to get students excited about reading. Students and staff enjoyed guest readers and dress-up events each day. Many thanks go out to our community members, from our State Championship Wrestlers, to parents and community members, and district administrators, who served as guest readers this week. It was a week of great stories and experiences.

Today, March 4th, we celebrate National Maintenance Staff Appreciation Day! We are very fortunate to have beautiful facilities in Bennington for our students. Through the work of Mr. Jeremy Edens, Coordinator of Operations, and each building’s Maintenance and Custodial Personnel our facilities stay in top form. Thank you to each person who helps keep our facilities safe and running smoothly.

As a reminder, next Friday, March 11th, is marked as a snow make-up day for students. We will NOT have classes on this day, students will have the day off as originally planned. This will serve as an inservice day for teachers.

We continue to monitor COVID-19 cases within our school district and with that we continue to stay hopeful. Cases within our school district have dropped drastically and therefore there is minimal impact on education for our students. For continuous updates on COVID-19 within Bennington Public Schools, please visit our COVID-19 District Site.

Bennington High School will perform Shrek the musical. Get Your Musical Tickets Now! Show dates are March 18th-20th. To purchase tickets visit https://bhsmusical.weebly.com/. Hurry, Friday and Saturday are almost sold out!!

Remembering Our Fallen is a photographic war memorial that honors our country’s military fallen from The Global War on Terror (9/11/2001 - 8/30/2021). Unlike brick and mortar memorials, Remembering Our Fallen is designed to travel and includes both military and personal photos. This memorial will be on display in the high school activity entrance until March 11th.

Take care and remain Badger Strong!


02/25/2022 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

Bennington High School has much to celebrate after last weekend of State competitions. First, congratulations to the Badger Wrestlers for bringing home the State Championship Team Trophy as well as Individual Medals for Cadyn Coyle - State Runner-Up, Kael Lauridsen - State Champion, Connor Ritonya - State Champion, Kyler Lauridsen - State Champion, AJ Parrish - State Champion, Luke MacDonald - State Champion, and Maycee Peacher - State Champion. Maycee is not only the first Girls’ State Champion in school history, but also the first Girls’ State Champion in NSAA history!

Congratulations also to the Varsity Dance Team. They won a Class B Championship with their Pom Routine and they won a second state title with their Hip Hop Routine at the Nebraska State Cheer and Dance Championships this weekend. Finally, congratulations to the Varsity Cheer Team. They won Class B Runner-Up with their Traditional Routine, and 3rd place in their Non-Tumbling Routine at the Nebraska State Cheer and Dance Championships this weekend. Great job representing Bennington High School ladies!

Bennington High School will host a District Finals Boys Basketball game on Saturday, February 26th, at 2 PM against Elkhorn High School. The winner of this contest will qualify for the Boys’ State Basketball Tournament in Lincoln, March 7-12. We hope to pack the gym on Saturday afternoon, to support the Badgers! No passes are accepted for District Finals games. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for students.

Last week we celebrated our bus drivers, this week on Friday, March 4th, we celebrate National Maintenance Staff Appreciation Day! We are very fortunate to have beautiful facilities in Bennington for our students and they stay in top form through the work of Mr. Jeremy Edens, Coordinator of Operations and each building’s Maintenance and Custodial Personnel. Thank you to each person who helps keep our facilities safe and running smoothly.

March 11th is marked as a snow make-up day for students. We will NOT have classes on this day, students will have the day off as originally planned. This will serve as an inservice day for teachers.

We continue to monitor COVID-19 cases within our school district and we are feeling hopeful with the drastic dip we have seen in cases over the past couple of weeks compared to the peak we experienced in mid-January. For continuous updates on COVID-19 and the impact it is having within Bennington Public Schools, please visit our COVID-19 District Site.

The District has started the process of planning for a future second high school. A committee of over 40 parents, teachers, and administrators, have been visiting other newly-built high schools and analyzing the educational needs of our future high school students. Students have been shadowed and interviewed to include their perspectives of what is needed and preferred. It is an important process as the buildings we plan to build will serve our students for 40-50 years into the future. The work of the committee will be shared with the community as a design develops.

Remembering Our Fallen is a photographic war memorial that honors our country’s military Fallen from The Global War on Terror (9/11/2001 - 8/30/2021). Unlike brick and mortar memorials, Remembering Our Fallen is designed to travel and includes both military and personal photos. This memorial will be on display in the high school activity entrance until March 11th.

Take care, stay warm, and remain Badger Strong!



2/17/2022 Friday Notes Thursday Edition

Dear Bennington Families,


We bring you Friday Notes on Thursday this week, to celebrate the long weekend, and remind you that there is no school on Monday, February 21st as we celebrate Presidents’ Day. We hope you and your family can enjoy time together over this five day weekend.


Tuesday is a special once-in-a-lifetime day, it is Twosday! 2/22/22 will be celebrated throughout classrooms in our district as students look for ways to have fun with twos. Tuesday is also important because it is Bus Driver Appreciation Day! Please remember to say thank you to these important people as they are often the first and last school contact for students each day. Bennington Public Schools is fortunate to have a great team led by Mr. Jeremy Edens, Coordinator of Operations and Transportation and we appreciate the work they do everyday to get students safely to school and home again.


We hope everyone had an opportunity during Parent-Teacher Conferences to meet with teachers and review student progress so far this school year. The fourth hexter will close on Wednesday, February 23rd for middle school students and the third quarter will end on Thursday, March 10th for elementary students and high school students. If you have questions about student progress that were not addressed during conferences, please contact your student’s teachers, counselors, or administrators.


We continue to monitor COVID-19 cases within our school district and we are feeling hopeful with the drastic dip we have seen in cases over the past couple of weeks, compared to the peak we experienced in mid-January. For continuous updates on COVID-19 and the impact it is having within Bennington Public Schools, please visit our COVID-19 District Site.


This is an action-packed weekend for the Badgers! The Cheerleaders and Dance Team head to the State Championships at the Heartland Event Center in Grand Island. The Cheerleaders compete today and the Dancers perform on Saturday, February 19th. The Boys and Girls State Wrestling Championships begin today for the boys and Friday, February 18th for the girls at the CHI Health Center in Omaha. Good luck to all the Badgers competing at State this weekend!


The Boys’ Basketball Team will play at Mount Michael tonight and the Girls’ Basketball Team will begin Sub-District play on Monday, February 21st against Skutt Catholic at 6:30 PM. Please visit the Bennington Public Schools website to view all this week's events.


Remember, there is no school on Friday and Monday around this weekend. We hope you can enjoy some family time over this long weekend.


Take care, stay warm, and remain Badger Strong!



02/11/2022 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

Bennington has a busy week coming up! Monday, we celebrate Valentine’s Day in our schools and

selected 8th graders will participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). These

students will be part of Nebraska’s scores for the Nation’s Report Card in Reading and Math. We are

proud of our students as they demonstrate their learning through this program. Monday is also the regular

meeting of the Board of Education at 6 PM and during February we celebrate the community members

who volunteer to serve on this Board. We send our sincere appreciation to each member of the Board of

Education for their service to the students, families, and staff of the Bennington Public Schools.

Tuesday, February 15th and Wednesday, February 16th are scheduled for Parent-Teacher Conferences.

The elementary and middle schools have sent out links to sign up for conferences with your student’s

teachers. These are the final conferences scheduled for this school year. It is a wonderful opportunity to

touch base with teachers about your child’s progress, strengths, and weaknesses as we head toward the

final quarter of the year. Conference times in the elementary and middle schools will run from 4:00-8:00

PM each day. High school teachers will be available from 5:00-9:00 PM. There are times available for

virtual conferences if attending in person does not work into your schedule.

This week, our high school hosted its third vaccine clinic for the Douglas County Health Department and

we hope that any of our community members that wanted to take advantage of this, were able to. In total,

among the three vaccine clinics that the district hosted, we were able to provide a total of 595

vaccinations. As we continue to monitor COVID-19 cases within our school district, we are feeling hopeful

with the drastic dip we have seen in cases this week, compared to the peak we experienced in mid-

January. For continuous updates on COVID-19 and the impact it is having within Bennington Public

Schools, please visit our COVID-19 District Site.

Congratulations to our State Duals Wrestling Championship team! Good Luck to the Badger Wrestlers as

they head to Aurora for district competition this afternoon. The Lady Badger Wrestlers had two individual

District Champions, Maycee Peacher and Selena McCrery, congratulations! These athletes will head to

the first ever Girls’ State Wrestling Championship on February 18th-19th. The Badger Cheerleaders were

crowned Grand Champions at the Louisville Competition last weekend. Good Luck to all of our Badgers

competing this weekend and throughout the upcoming week. Please visit the Bennington Public Schools

website to view all this week's events.

Remember, there is no school on Thursday and Friday next week. Teachers will be involved in

professional development on Thursday and schools are closed on Friday. We hope you can enjoy some

family time over this upcoming long weekend.

Take care, stay warm, and remain Badger Strong!

02/04/2022 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

Today is Give Kids A Smile Day. This day was started by the American Dental Association to remind us of the importance of children’s dental health. Since it began, the day has expanded to remind us that a smile goes a long way to support our students’ social-emotional wellness. Remember to give your kids a smile today.

Black History Month is celebrated each year during February and is a chance for Americans to learn details of their nation’s history that are far often neglected and pushed to the wayside. A wise nation honors and learns from its past. What happened in the past shapes and informs where we are heading in the future, and it’s important to set aside a month for learning as much as we can about Black history.

Bennington Public Schools transitioned into its new website on February 1st. We encourage you to visit our revised website for information about Bennington Public Schools. We hope you find it user-friendly especially as you move between your different devices. If you have questions or comments, please reach out to our Tech Department at tech@bennps.org.

Bennington High School will host a third “shot clinic'' sponsored by the Douglas County Health Department on February 9th, from 4:00-7:00 PM. Individuals five years of age and up may receive a first, second, or booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccination. Please enter through the high school main entrance doors. If you are interested in registering for an appointment, please visit the Douglas County Health Department Website, by clicking on this link. Scroll down until you see Bennington High School in the location column and click register. For continuous updates on COVID-19 and the impact it is having within Bennington Public Schools, please visit our COVID-19 District Site.

Tuesday, February 15th and Wednesday, February 16th are scheduled for Parent-Teacher Conferences. The elementary and middle schools have sent out links to sign up for conferences with your student’s teachers. These are the final conferences scheduled for this school year. It is a wonderful opportunity to touch base with teachers about your child’s progress, strengths, and weaknesses as we head toward the final quarter of the year. Conference times in the elementary and middle schools will run from 4:00-8:00 PM each day. High school teachers will be available from 5:00-9:00 PM. There are times available for virtual conferences if attending in person does not work into your schedule. The partnership between home and school is shown to have a positive effect on students’ success. We hope you can join us.

Congratulations to the Boys’ Basketball team on both their regular season and tournament EMC Championship. More congratulations go out to the Badger Wrestlers who are also EMC Conference Champions. We wish the best for the wrestling team as they compete in the State Duals Championship this weekend. The Badger Cheerleaders competed at the Showcase last weekend and placed first in both divisions. Best wishes to the Badger Dancers as they compete in Florida at the National Competition this weekend. Watch the Activity Calendar for important parent and student meetings as teams and groups get organized for the spring season. The full activity schedule for the weekend and next week may be found on the District website. Good Luck to all Badgers competing this week!

Take care, stay warm, and remain Badger Strong!


01/28/2022 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,


Today, we celebrated our 100th day of school. This is such a great day as we have made it almost 60% through the school year and we have only missed one day of instruction due to a questionable weather day. Thank you to everyone who continues to work with us to navigate this challenging school year.


Anchor Pointe’s 4th Graders and Bennington Middle School’s 8th Graders were selected to represent thousands of students from across Nebraska on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). This is the test that provides the data for The Nation’s Report Card every two years. Students were randomly selected by the Nebraska Department of Education to participate in the NAEP tests in either Reading or Math. Our 4th Graders did their work today and the team from NAEP could not have been more complimentary to Bennington’s students. Thank you to our Anchor Pointe 4th Graders for representing us well! The 8th Graders will have their day in February and parents of selected students will receive a letter in the mail next week.


As the district continues to monitor all known COVID-19 cases within our district, our numbers are showing that this week has had a drastic dip in cases compared to the prior week. This allows us to be very hopeful as we continue to move into February. Last week, we had around 40% more cases reported than this week. As we meet with local and state healthcare providers, we are hopeful that the prevalence of cases will continue to decrease in the upcoming weeks. We ask you to continue to review our COVID-19 Protocols and have created a more condensed document that has several of the more common questions answered. There are also several visuals that the Nebraska Association of Local Health Departments has created that you may find here as well as on our COVID-19 District Site.


Bennington High School will host a third shot clinic sponsored by the Douglas County Health Department on February 9th, from 4:00-7:00 PM. Individuals five years of age and up may receive a first, second, or booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccination. Please enter through the main entrance high school doors.


The Boys’ Basketball team competes in the EMC Tournament Championship tonight at 5:30 PM against Waverly at Elkhorn North High School. Good luck to the Badger Wrestlers as they head into the EMC Conference Meet tomorrow at Elkhorn North High School. The Badger Speech Team will be in action tomorrow in Louisville. The full activity schedule for the weekend and next week may be found on the district website. Good Luck to all the Badgers!


Enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year is now open for new students through the district website. Students who will begin kindergarten in August 2022 may be registered at this time. Returning students do not need to be enrolled; families will complete verification of student registration during the summer.


Bennington Public Schools has a Strategic Planning Goal focused on our communication with our community. One of the key sources of information for our district is our website. The District’s committee has been working on updating our website over the past several months and we are almost ready to transition to our new site. We plan to transition to our new website on February 1st and wanted to share the news with you.


Take care, stay warm, and remain Badger Strong!

01/21/2022 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,


This week we celebrated I Love Public Schools Day on Wednesday, January 19th. We thank all of our families who joined our celebration with thoughtful notes and actions for staff. The families who are part of Bennington Public Schools make this a special place to work and learn. We thank you for your continued support.


Bennington Public Schools has four different construction projects underway at this time. Even though we have hit more inclement weather, work is still continuing to keep projects moving forward to reach completion on time. Bennington South Middle School’s contractor is working on interior finishes as window installation progresses in the academic wing. The construction team is also working to close-in the gym areas of the building. Stratford Elementary’s construction crews are working on the interior block walls and completing mechanical and plumbing rough-ins. The high school stadium improvements are moving along with work to expand the bus parking areas and the plaza improvements are completed except for lights. The new softball press box is having cabinetry installed and work continues on the concession and restroom areas. The final project is road work at 171st and Woodney. Over 50% of the paving is complete on both streets and utility piping is complete. It is exciting to see the projects moving forward.


The District has been notified by Douglas County Roads Department that they will be working on 168th Street between Military Road and State Street this summer. We will keep you informed as more information is provided by the County because we know this will cause inconvenience to many in our community.


The district is continuing to monitor the peak of COVID-19 cases within our community. As we meet with local and state healthcare providers, we are hopeful that the prevalence of cases will start to decrease in the next two to three weeks. Communication with your building principal or school office staff if your child has been in close contact with household individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 is still of great importance. Our goal continues to focus on keeping our school buildings open and ready for student learning, and in order to do this we need the support of all stakeholders. Buildings can only continue to run as they are if we have healthy staff and students to fill them. If your child is not feeling well or is experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms, please keep them home to assist with mitigating any spread among buildings. We will continue to update our Return to Learn Site Dashboard with active cases present across the district.



Bennington High School will host a third shot clinic sponsored by the Douglas County Health Department on February 9th, from 4:00-7:00 PM. Individuals five years of age and up may receive a first, second, or booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccination. Please enter through the main entrance high school doors.


The EMC Conference Basketball Tournament will take place this coming week. Girls’ basketball will start with a 6:00 PM game Monday in Blair. The girls will be on the road throughout the tournament week. With a win, they will play Tuesday evening and a loss will schedule them for Thursday. Boys’ basketball will begin the tournament with a home contest on Tuesday at 6:00 PM, against the winner between Norris and Blair. With a win, boys will be away for a Friday game and a loss will mean a home game on Thursday. Both the Girls’ and Boys’ wrestling teams are away at invitationals this weekend. For a more extensive look into all upcoming events for the week, please visit the Bennington Public Schools website for the Activity Calendar. Good luck to all of our Badgers!


Enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year is now open for new students through the district website. Students who will begin kindergarten in August 2022 may be registered at this time. Returning students do not need to be enrolled; families will complete verification of student registration during the summer.


Bennington Public Schools has a Strategic Planning Goal focused on our communication with our community. One of the key sources of information for our district is our website. The District’s committee has been working on updating our website over the past several months and we are almost ready to transition to our new site. We plan to transition to our new website on February 1st and wanted to share the news with you.


Take care, stay warm, and remain Badger Strong!

01/14/2022 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,


This coming week we celebrate I Love Public Schools Day on Wednesday, January 19th. Over the past seven years, I Love Public Schools Day has become a statewide tradition where Nebraskans honor and recognize educators, students, and staff in our public schools. This celebration is about connecting people to the humanity of public schools. This day celebrates pride and shows support for educators and students across our state. On I Love Public Schools Day, we thank our educators and support staff for their work and our community for their continued support. We hope you join the celebration.


The district is aware of the prevalence of COVID-19 that the Omicron Variant has brought into our community. We continue to update our District Return to Learn Site Dashboard with active cases present in each building. Elementary buildings will continue to send emails to any classroom with a positive case and the secondary buildings will communicate their weekly numbers to families via email on Fridays. As we see the spike in cases, we will continue to monitor and review our district protocols surrounding the health and safety of our staff and students.


We are hopeful for our community and applaud you all, as the Douglas County Health Department’s website shows that the zipcode of 68007 ranges from having between 75% - 84% of our population fully vaccinated. Even with a high vaccination rate, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of keeping your student home if they are not feeling well. We also want to emphasize the importance of communication with your building principal or front office if your child has been in close contact with household individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Our goal continues to focus on keeping our school buildings open and ready for student learning, and we need the support of all stakeholders in order to do this. Buildings can only continue to run as they are if we have healthy staff and students to fill them.


There are many school activities taking place throughout the next week. Due to inclement weather, events for this evening have been canceled. This includes both the wrestling invitational at Schuyler Central High School and home basketball contests against Waverly. The remainder of the weekend is also busy with events in many of our facilities. Please continue to be safe as we know this evening and Saturday morning could continue to bring less than ideal weather into our area. For a more extensive look into all upcoming events for the week, please visit the Bennington Public Schools website for the Activity Calendar.


As a reminder, there will be no school this coming Monday, January 17th, in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Omaha World Herald has published events in honor of MLK Jr. Day throughout the Omaha and Lincoln area. You can find a list of events at https://omaha.com/news/local/martin-luther-king-jr-day-events-throughout-omaha-area-and-lincoln/article_8e7adf6a-5c84-5ccc-a5ea-3ec3c157172c.html. This observed holiday is an outstanding opportunity to demonstrate respect for differing values and customs of racial and cultural groups and strive to work together to eliminate prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping.


Additionally, there is an early release on January 19th. On early release days, school dismissal times are as follows: elementary 11:40 AM, middle school 11:50 AM, and high school 12:00 PM.


Enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year is now open for new students through the district website. Returning students do not need to be enrolled; families will complete verification of student registration during the summer.


Take care, stay warm, and remain Badger Strong!

01/07/22 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,


Welcome to the new year! It was a pleasure to see the students entering schools on Thursday with renewed energy and anticipation for the second semester of school. On Wednesday, staff participated in a professional learning session with Dr. Dominique Smith, author and school administrator. The session focused on creating an inclusive and inviting culture for all students. Staff were encouraged to share their “why” for choosing education as their profession. The predominant answer was that students are at the forefront of everything we do and that we can make a difference for every student. This solidified our system’s shared belief in our mission.


As many have learned over winter break, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has updated their guidance surrounding COVID-19. In response to the CDC updates, Douglas County Health Department updates, and our district’s current COVID-19 trends; the Bennington Public Schools has updated our protocols. These updates can be found on our District Return to Learn Site by opening the Return to Learn Plan or by opening a newly created condensed version titled Key Elements of BPS Covid-19 Protocols - January, 2022.


In summary, our district will continue to strongly recommend masking for staff and students, and will only require masks to be worn in specific elementary classrooms that have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19. The masks will only be required for ten (10) days versus the former timeline of 14 days. Building Administrators will continue to communicate with families their positive cases in the building in the following manner: Elementary will send emails to classrooms that have been exposed to a positive COVID-19 case and Secondary will send weekly emails to the entire building stating how many positive cases they experienced and the grade levels affected.


Regarding quarantines of positive individuals and family members of positive individuals, our timelines for a safe return to school have been updated to better align with the CDC recommendations. The district is providing a resource from the Nebraska Association of Local Health Directors to assist with better understanding when and how to quarantine or isolate from others. These visuals can be found on our District Return to Learn Site by scrolling towards the bottom, or by clicking on the links provided here: Visual for a COVID-19 Positive or Symptomatic Individual: Isolation Guidance, Visual for COVID-19 Exposed Individuals Who Are Considered Fully Vaccinated, and a Visual for COVID-19 Exposed Individuals Who Are NOT Considered Fully Vaccinated. As always, we continue to appreciate the patience and grace you have granted BPS during these challenging times.


There are many athletic and school events taking place in the next week. The weekend kicks off with a home basketball contest against Platteview starting at 5:30 PM Please visit the Bennington Public Schools website to view all this week's events.


As we look through the month of January, we wanted to remind you that there will be no school on January 17th, in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Also, there is an early release on January 19th. On early release days, school dismissal times are as follows: elementary 11:40 AM, middle school 11:50 AM, and high school 12:00 PM.


Take care and remain Badger Strong!

12/22/21 Early Edition of Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,


We have made it through our first semester of the 2021-2022 school year and have done so impressively. We know this fall has not been the easiest to navigate and we appreciate each and every one of you. This winter break is a much deserved respite for all staff, students and families alike and we hope that you are able to slow down and enjoy this time together.


As we know that the break is looked upon with joy by many, we also know that our schools are a place of safety and consistency for many as well. Being that the year of 2021 has brought on many obstacles and struggles in our community and its surrounding areas, we wanted to be diligent in our efforts to support all. Many community partners have worked hard to provide resources to help families and individuals that struggle with anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideations and attempts. One resource that we were provided and are sharing out in this week’s notes is the Safe Home for the Holidays Infographic. This document will provide you some simple steps to take to assist in creating a safe environment within your home. Please also remember that even while we are on break there will continue to be resources such as safe2helpne.org available without disruption. This 24 hour resource is targeted to all individuals within our school systems across the state of Nebraska.


The district will be hosting its second COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic on December 27th, from 4:00 - 7:00 PM in the Bennington High School Auxiliary Gym. You may attend this site if you are in need of a booster, your first dose, or your second dose of the vaccine. To make an appointment please click here and scroll down until you find the Bennington High School location. You may also utilize the document the health department has provided for an easy one-click registration as well.


In Nebraska, school activities and athletics are required to shut down for five days over the Winter Break, to allow time for students and families to gather. Bennington Public Schools will close all buildings from December 22nd-December 26th for this purpose. Please check the activity calendar found on the district website for future activities.


Schools will be closed from December 23rd to January 5th when staff will be back in the buildings. The District Office will be open throughout the break with the exception of Fridays, December 24th and December 31st. If you need to reach a school official or leave a message for someone at one of the schools, you may call the District Office (402-238-3044) for assistance. As a reminder, while schools are closed, our Friday Notes will take a week off. We will resume with our weekly notes after the break on Friday, January 7th, 2022.


Take care and remain Badger Strong!

12/17/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,


A big thank you to all of our families who had to shift schedules with only a couple of hours notice for the early dismissal on Wednesday. As a District, we value our time in the classroom with students and afterschool activities, so we monitor weather situations closely with the assistance of the National Weather Service, and do our best to make the right decisions about closing school due to dangerous weather conditions.


Inclement weather will continue to bring the possibility of a delayed school start or closure. In the case of school closure, patrons will receive communication through our school messaging system. If you find that you missed a call from Bennington Public Schools, please check your voice and email messages before calling us back. If you are unsure if you are registered to receive school messages through phone, text, or email, please visit your NebSIS Family Account which may be accessed at benningtonschools.org under your school parent information. In Student Verification you must agree to receive our automated calls and emails. You may also find school closing information on local media channels.


As we are close to embarking on winter break, we want to send a reminder about a resource our District has been using for the past three years called Safe 2 Help Nebraska. This is a statewide tip line that any individual may utilize if they have concerns about safety and security at school. This resource is available at all times and even while on break, if students are struggling or have any concerns, they may continue to make reports. Reportable items may include: bullying, talk of violence, weapons, or threats, suicidal thoughts or self-harm, dangerous online trends, and dating-related violence or harassment. This list is not exhaustive. In order to make a report to our local tip line, you may call 1-833-980-7233 or visit their website at safe2helpne.org.


The district will be hosting its second COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic on December 27th, from 4:00 - 7:00 PM in the Bennington High School Auxiliary Gym. You may attend this site if you are in need of a booster, your first dose, or your second dose of the vaccine. To make an appointment please click here and scroll down until you find the Bennington High School location. You may also utilize the document the health department has provided for an easy one-click registration as well.


Elementary and middle school students are completing their mid-year assessments. Students are taking winter benchmark assessments, MAP-Growth assessments, or NSCAS-Growth state test pilot. Results for these assessments are typically shared at Parent-Teacher Conferences in February.


High school students will have semester final exams on Monday and Tuesday, December 20th and 21st. This is an important time for students to maintain their focus to complete final papers and projects. There are many opportunities for students to get assistance from teachers and participate in review activities before these final summative assessments.


Several opportunities are available early next week to support Bennington athletics, music performances, and extracurricular activities. In Nebraska, school activities and athletics are required to shut down for five days over the Winter Break, to allow time for students and families to gather. Bennington Public Schools will close all buildings from December 22nd-December 26th for this purpose. Please check the activity calendar found on the district website.


We will send a short Friday Notes on Wednesday, December 22nd, when schools close for the Winter Break. Friday Notes will take a week off, then resume after the break on Friday, January 7th, 2022.


Take care and remain Badger Strong!

12/10/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

While the winter season has not formally commenced, we are starting to experience brief weather moments of what we all know a Nebraska winter can bring. Please ensure your children are coming to school with the proper winter apparel and if you are in need of assistance for such items, please do not hesitate to reach out to your building principal or school counselor for support.

Winter weather also brings the possibility of a delayed school start or closure. In the case of school closure, patrons will receive communication through our school messaging system. If you are unsure if you are registered to receive school messages through phone, text, or email, please visit your NebSIS Family Account which may be accessed at benningtonschools.org under your school parent information. In student verification you must agree to receive our automated calls and emails. You may also find school closing information on local media channels.

The school district hosted its first of two Vaccination Clinics this past Monday for the Douglas County Health Department. We had a large turnout with 243 vaccinations provided; 130 of those vaccinations were for individuals in the five-eleven year old age range. We will be hosting an additional clinic on December 27, 2021, at our High School from 4:00 PM-7:00 PM. This clinic will be held in the Auxiliary Gym and all individuals who wish to be vaccinated must enter through the activity entrance at the high school. This site will be open to all individuals who are five years of age and older. If your child is under the age of 19, they must have a parent present in order to receive the vaccination.

You may attend this site if you are in need of a booster, your first dose, or your second dose of the vaccine. To make an appointment please click here and scroll down until you find the Bennington High School location. You may also utilize the document the health department has provided for an easy one-click registration as well. As we continue to move forward in the COVID-19 Pandemic, we do want to share with you a statistic from the cases that have occurred within our school district during the 2021-2022 school year. At this time, 90% of the individuals who have tested positive with COVID-19 during the current school year have been unvaccinated while 10% of the positive cases have been of vaccinated individuals.

This week and next, each elementary will host a District Spelling Bee. The top two spellers from each first-fifth grade classroom are selected for the school-based bee through an in-class oral and written assessment. The winners from each elementary school will be given the opportunity to represent Bennington Public Schools in the County Spelling Bee. The Middle School will hold their District Spelling Bee on December 16th, following a similar format as the elementary.

High school students will have semester final exams on Monday and Tuesday, December 20th and 21st. This is an important time for students to maintain their focus to complete final papers and projects. There are many opportunities for students to get assistance from teachers and participate in review activities before these final summative assessments.

Several opportunities are available in the upcoming week to support Bennington athletics, music performances, and extracurricular activities. Please check the activity calendar found on the district website.

Take care and remain Badger Strong!

12/3/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

What a Fall activity season Bennington Public Schools has had! Congratulations to our Nebraska State Championship Football Team and Head Coach, Kam Lenhart, and all of the coaches and support personnel to the team. It was a great football game to attend, but the most impressive part was the Bennington Community coming out to be part of the event and to support the team! It was great to see multiple generations of Badgers in attendance at the game, from tiny “future” Badgers in their carriers to Great-Grandparents. We often hear that families move into the Bennington School District to become a part of the “small town community feel” and this event demonstrated what a community does to celebrate their students.

The school district will be hosting a Vaccination Site for the Douglas County Health Department at our High School on December 6, 2021 and December 27, 2021. The sites will be open from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM on both of these dates. December 6th will be located in the Auditorium Commons and all individuals who wish to be vaccinated must enter the main entrance at the high school. December 27th will be held in the Auxiliary Gym and all individuals who wish to be vaccinated must enter the activity entrance at the high school.

This site will be open to all individuals who are five years of age and older. You may attend this site if you need a booster, your first dose, or your second dose of the vaccine. To make an appointment please click here and scroll down until you find the Bennington High School location. You may also utilize the document that the health department has provided for an easy one click registration as well. If your child is under the age of 19, they must have a parent present in order to receive the vaccination.

We have solicited some information from Dr. Kelly Cawcutt, MD, with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) regarding commonly asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccination. Please click this link to find a document that will provide the reader some answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Cawcutt is a mother of two elementary school children in Bennington and Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Associate Medical Director of Infection Control and Epidemiology at UNMC.

Students in grades 3-5 are participating in the Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS) starting this week. The NSCAS is the state test in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The elementary students will take the state test rather than the MAP test this December. Students in grades 6-8 will take their MAP tests in December as a checkpoint of progress through the first semester and take the NSCAS mid-year test in January. We will use the scores as a comparison of the tests as we hope to reduce the number of tests a student must take through the year in the future. Elementary students in grades K-2 are working on their Winter Benchmark assessments which include MAP and other measures of progress during December.

Congratulations to the One Act cast, crew, and directors as they finished as Runner-Up in the Conference Play Contest. Acting awards from the Conference were won by: Cooper Diamond, Jack Thompson, Tanner in den Bosch, Selah Ryan, Addison Thornburg, Kesin Chipperfield, and Max Elwood. There was a large crowd who attended the public performance on Thursday evening at the high school. The cast and crew send their thanks to everyone who was able to attend. The One Act Play will be competing at the District Contest, Saturday, December 4th at 11:30 AM at Elkhorn South High School. Best of luck!

The Winter Sports season is underway. Good Luck to all of the Badger basketball teams and the wrestling teams as they begin the season. Please check the District Website to see the upcoming contests you may be interested in attending.

Thank you to everyone who supported Together Bennington Gives! There was over $71,000 raised for 28 charitable organizations in our community. Several of these organizations are affiliated with the schools and support Bennington students including the PTOs, Booster Club, and Bennington Public Schools Foundation. Thank you all for your support.

Take care and remain Badger Strong!

11/19/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,


November is the month of “Thanks-Giving” and this coming week we celebrate the holiday. There are many reasons to be thankful as part of the Bennington Schools’ community. This community supports and values education for their children and a Badger’s education is expected to go well beyond the learning from books. Bennington students receive an excellent education that includes Physical Education and Health, Art and Music, and the 21st Century life skills of being a communicator, collaborator, and citizen. We are thankful for the educators and all of the support staff who make this educational experience possible for the students of Bennington. We are thankful for the families who choose to entrust their children to our schools and continue to support the District as it grows.


For those families that are interested in learning more about scheduling vaccination appointments for their child(ren), you can find many vaccine sites and resources by visiting the Douglas County Health Department website. We know that all school age children will have the opportunity to have been fully vaccinated by the time we return from winter break. Due to this, we will continue to work with the health department to determine any adjustments to our Return to Learn Plan as we get closer to that date. At this time, we do not foresee any changes to the plan for the remainder of this semester. We continue to show our gratitude to our families and staff for the patience and grace that has been shown during this continued unprecedented time.


The BPS Strategic Plan is a guiding mechanism for continuous school improvement. The plan identifies four major District goals that were formulated through a collaborative planning process. To read more about the Bennington Public Schools' Strategic Plan visit the District website at the bottom of the page District Strategic Plan.


Parents of students in grades three-twelve will be able to view midterm progress reports at the end of today through Parent Web access. Middle school Hexter Two report cards will also be posted at the end of today. If you need assistance please contact your school front office.


The BHS Varsity Football team plays for the State Championship on Monday, November 22nd at 7:00 PM when they will meet the Aurora Huskies. The Badgers will play at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. The gates will open at 6:15 PM. Please be prepared to follow the expectations of the University and Lancaster County. There is a clear bag requirement and masks must be worn in indoor spaces. This is a Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) event, so no passes are accepted. Tickets must be purchased online at https://gofan.co/app/school/NSAA and admission prices are set by the NSAA at $8 for Adults and $6 for Students. No cash will be accepted and paper tickets are not being used. The game will stream on the NET website for all with internet access. The link to our game can be found here: https://nebraskapublicmedia.org/en/series-media/nsaa-state-footballchampionships-video/standalone-video-15984/class-b-50016955/. The game will be broadcast live on TV on local NET affiliates. Coverage will begin at 7:00PM.


Congratulations to the Unified Bowling Team as they earned first place in the EMC tournament. They continue to have competitions so check out upcoming events on the school activity calendar at http://benningtonschools.org/.


Congratulations to the nine high school music students who qualified for Nebraska All-State Music and are participating in the All-State Music Program this week.


Good Luck to the Bennington High School One-Act Play as they perform at the Eastern Midlands Conference contest on Tuesday, November 23rd at 3:30 PM at Elkhorn High School. You can see their public performance of Robin Hood on Thursday, December 2nd at 7 PM in the BHS Auditorium.


Next week as we celebrate the tradition of Thanksgiving, school will be in session Monday and Tuesday. The District Office will be open Wednesday, but closed Thursday and Friday. There will be no Friday Notes next week; we will be back with you on December 3rd.

Enjoy time with your family during the upcoming holiday break.


Take care and remain Badger Strong!

11/12/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,


This week we celebrated Veterans Day. The District enjoyed inviting Veterans into our schools to celebrate and honor their services and the sacrifices they have made on behalf of our freedom. The Pine Creek Elementary students were able to share their talents and gratitude through music as they performed for the guests that attended the assembly this past Thursday. We want to take this opportunity to thank all of our community members that have made up the armed forces, past and present, as well as their family members. We are truly grateful for each of you.


We continue to share with you the reminder that the FDA has authorized the COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children aged five through eleven. At this time, we do not know if vaccinations for this age range will have any immediate changes to our current protocols. We continue to be in communication with the Douglas County Health Department, if or when they adjust their guidance, we will communicate those details with our stakeholders. For those families that are interested in learning more about scheduling vaccination appointments for their child(ren), you can find many vaccine sites and resources by visiting the Douglas County Health Department website.


As many of you know, the District will be bringing on two new schools in August of 2022. The administration will be recommending new attendance center boundaries to accommodate these two new facilities and our growing school district. We would like to clarify some confusion regarding the Shadowbrook neighborhoods. The District has identified Shadowbrook I & II as homes in this subdivision that are located west of Military Road. Shadowbrook III is identified as homes in this subdivision that are located east of Military Road. Elementary students in Shadowbrook I & II are, and will be, attending Pine Creek Elementary with elementary students living in Shadowbrook III attending Heritage Elementary. A recording of the presentation is available on our District YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/AzmDmcLIk6Q. A copy of the presentation is also available on the District’s website.


The BPS Strategic Plan is a guiding mechanism for continuous school improvement. The plan identifies four major District goals that were formulated through a collaborative planning process. To read more about the Bennington Public Schools' Strategic Plan visit the District website at the bottom of the page District Strategic Plan.


The BHS Varsity Football team continues on to the semifinal round of State Playoffs tonight at 7:00 PM when they host the Elkhorn Antlers. This is a Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) event, so no passes are accepted. Admission prices are also set by the NSAA at $8 for Adults and $6 for Students. Please have cash to pay for admission to the game. NSAA rules do not allow for the streaming of semifinals and final games through the YouTube Channel. You may view tonight’s game on the NFHS Network at https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/nsaa/gamcca2e52e27 with a subscription fee.


Cheer on the Unified Bowling Team at Maplewood Lanes this Saturday, 12:00 PM as they compete in the EMC tournament. There is no cost for admission. Good Luck Badgers!


Today provided our first dose of cold, blowing winter weather. A warm coat is a necessity in weather like today. The Bennington Public Schools Foundation has created the Student Needs Fund to address the unmet basic needs of our students. You can find out more information on the attached link provided or contact your school counselor for assistance.


We want to close this week with a reminder that tomorrow, November 13th, is World Kindness Day. It is a day to be kind to yourself and others around you. We encourage you to celebrate this event tomorrow by pledging to do at least one intentional act of kindness to benefit someone else. We hope you can enjoy some rest and share some kindness this weekend.


Take care and remain Badger Strong!

11/5/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,


As we have entered the month of November, we are being intentional around shifting our focus into a season of gratitude and thankfulness. The school district is thankful for each of the stakeholders that assist us in keeping Bennington one of the greatest places to live and educate our children. We are a short six and a half weeks away from the end of the first semester. We encourage all to continue to strive to end this semester with success and pride.


In order to continue with the focus of keeping as many staff and students in school as possible, we want to remind all to be conscious of the fact that we are ramping up into the Cold and Flu Season. Please continue to check your child for symptoms of illness and keep them home from school if they are not feeling well or if they have a fever. We will continue to provide communication surrounding COVID-19 positive cases and any potential of outbreaks within our buildings. While COVID is at the forefront of most of our minds, we also want to ensure all are being intentional in regards to not spreading all of the other illnesses that are common this time of year. We appreciate your continued efforts in keeping our students and staff safe and healthy this school year.


As many have heard by now, the FDA has authorized the COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children aged five through eleven. We have added clarification to our elementary classroom exposure documents stating that regardless of vaccination status, if an individual within your child’s elementary classroom tests positive for COVID-19 we will continue to require masks for the advised timeline that the health department provides. As these vaccines roll out and the health department adjusts guidance, we will continue to adjust our protocols and communicate with our stakeholders of any changes. For those families that are interested in learning more or scheduling vaccination appointments for their child(ren), you can find many vaccine sites by visiting the Douglas County Health Department website.


Today, parents of students in grades 4-9 will find the Individual Student Report of NSCAS 2021 on the Parent Web. This report shares student performance on the Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS) State Tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math that were administered in spring 2021. Please know that any assessment result is limited in its ability to tell the story of learning for an individual student. Bennington’s schools use these results along with many other types of data to monitor student progress. For more information an ISR Interpretive Guide for Parents is available online to aid in understanding test results. This guide provides a definition of each achievement level. There has been no District or State group data released at this time, but as this information is released we will share it with you.

As many of you know, the District will be bringing on two new schools in August of 2022. The administration will be recommending new attendance center boundaries to accommodate these two new facilities and our growing school district. We would like to clarify some confusion regarding the Shadowbrook neighborhoods. The District has identified Shadowbrook I & II as homes in this subdivision that are located west of Military Road. Shadowbrook III is identified as homes in this subdivision that are located east of Military Road. Elementary students in Shadowbrook I & II are, and will be, attending Pine Creek Elementary with elementary students living in Shadowbrook III attending Heritage Elementary. A recording of the presentation is available on our District YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/AzmDmcLIk6Q. A copy of the presentation is also available on the District’s website.


The Varsity football team continues in the second round of State Playoffs tonight at 7:00 PM when they host the Waverly Vikings. This is a Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) event, so no passes are accepted. Admission prices are also set by the NSAA at $8 for Adults and $6 for Students. Please have cash to pay for admission to the game. Good Luck Badgers!


Take care and remain Badger Strong!

10/29/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,


We are ending the month of October and wish you all a safe Halloween weekend. As we are about to enter the month of November, we want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for assisting us in keeping our buildings thriving during this time. Continued guidance and updates regarding COVID within our school district can be found on the District’s website.


This week we wanted to send a reminder about a resource our District has been using for the past three years called Safe 2 Help Nebraska. This is a statewide tip line that any individual may utilize if they have concerns about safety and security at school. Reportable items may include: bullying, talk of violence, weapons, or threats, suicidal thoughts or self-harm, dangerous online trends, and dating-related violence or harassment. This list is not exhaustive. In order to make a report to our local tip line, you may call 1-833-980-7233 or visit their website at safe2helpne.org.


As many of you know, the District is in the process of constructing two new school facilities to accommodate the rapid growth of our community. The new schools are located on the southwest corner of 168th and Military Road. The District is currently drafting new attendance centers for Elementary #5 and Middle School #2. Administration has held two public meetings and a recording of the presentation is available on our District YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/AzmDmcLIk6Q. A copy of the presentation is also available on the website. You may give your input at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XMKQVX5. The survey takes about 1 minute to complete. Your input is appreciated and will be shared with the Board of Education during November.


We will be re-sending emails to those families whose responses about Technology Access in Student Verification were not saved and would appreciate your assistance by responding to these questions. The emails will come from esu3.org as they manage our student information system with us. We appreciate everyone’s assistance to help us gather the needed information.

As the District plans for the future, we must consider technology access, availability, and needs for our students, families, and both current and future curriculum and programs and this survey information helps us do this.


We want to celebrate our Girls’ and Boys’ Cross Country Teams performances at the State competition last Friday. The Girls were State Runner-Up and the Boys’ Team finished 5th. More congratulations go out to the Badger Marching Band for their Superior rating at the NSBA State Marching Band Competition last Saturday.


The Lady Badger Volleyball Team qualified for a District Final and will play at 11:00 AM on Saturday at Waverly High School vs. Waverly.


The Varsity football team begins the State Playoffs tonight at 6:00 PM when they host the McCook Bison. This is a Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) event, so no passes are accepted. Admission prices are also set by the NSAA at $8 for Adults and $6 for Students. Please have cash to pay for admission to the game. Good Luck Badgers!


Enjoy the fun of this weekend, but please, stay safe. Take care and remain Badger Strong!

10/22/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,


Congratulations! We have made it through the first quarter of the school year. Next week on Wednesday, October 27th, we will have an early dismissal to allow for teacher professional development. Please watch for additional information from your building administrators.


We continue to keep our COVID Dashboard updated with the current active cases that may impact your child’s school building. Along with the dashboard, our COVID site has educational health resources provided. The hope is that this will allow for each individual family to continue to have resources on the virus as well as the vaccination. Here is a link to an article from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services that provides specific information around the options of vaccines, as well as some data points that may better support or inform you in making decisions for you and your family.


As many of you know, the District is in the process of constructing two new school facilities to accommodate the rapid growth of our community. The new schools are located on the southwest corner of 168th and Military Road. The District is currently drafting new attendance centers for Elementary #5 and Middle School #2. Administration has held two public meetings this week and a recording of the Thursday presentation is available on our District YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/AzmDmcLIk6Q. A copy of the presentation is also available on the website. You may give your input at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XMKQVX5.


As the District plans for the future, we must consider technology access, availability, and needs for our students, families, and both current and future curriculum and programs. Part of this year’s Student Verification process included questions required by the Nebraska Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education about digital access. We have discovered that not every families’ answers were saved due to a glitch in the system. We will be sending out emails to those families whose responses were not saved and would appreciate your assistance by responding to these questions. Some of the federal and state funds require our submission of this data and all responses are aggregated to represent our district as a whole. We appreciate everyone’s assistance to help us gather the needed information.


State competition continued this week for our Boys’ and Girls’ Cross Country Teams. They are competing in Kearney this afternoon. The Lady Badger Softball Team finished 4th in Class B at the state tournament last week! They had a great season at 27-6, congratulations to the Seniors and the entire team!


Congratulations to the Badger Marching Band for their debut performance in Class A last weekend. They earned a Superior rating. Next, they move on to the NSBA State Marching Band Competition on Saturday, October 23rd, at Seacrest Field in Lincoln.


Varsity football hosts Gross Catholic tonight with a 7:00 PM kickoff for their final regular season game. The Lady Badger Volleyball Team begins Sub-District play on Tuesday. Good luck to all of our talented students and coaches as they finish up the fall competition season.


Take care and remain Badger Strong!

10/15/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

This week’s edition of “Friday Notes” is being sent out on Thursday to give everyone a long weekend break.

This week wraps up our Fall edition of Parent Teacher Conferences. Our goal for Parent Teacher Conferences is to provide the opportunity for all of our families to attend and learn about the great things happening for their child(ren) during their school days and communicate strategies for growth.

As we have shared in the last two editions of our Friday Notes, we will be providing our stakeholders with one last letter written by local healthcare providers from Children’s Hospital. These letters are just one resource we are providing around better understanding the COVID-19 Vaccination. We want to reiterate, we have additional opportunities for learning linked into our district COVID-19 website that will take you to many other resources that you may find helpful. This week’s letter comes from both, Dr. Melissa St. Germain and Dr. Kari Simonsen. It is a joint letter on behalf of Children’s Hospital, sharing continued medical recommendations regarding the COVID-19 vaccination. Thank you Dr. St. Germain and Dr. Simonsen for sharing your expertise with us.

As many of you know, the District is in the process of constructing two new school facilities to accommodate the rapid growth of our community. The new schools are located on the southwest corner of 168th and Military Road. The District is currently drafting new attendance centers for Elementary #5 and Middle School #2. Administration has completed preliminary work on these new attendance centers and would like to share our findings and recommendations with the community. We will host two public meetings next week at Anchor Pointe Elementary and the Middle School. Both public meetings will begin at 6:30 PM and will be recorded and posted for review on the District website at a later date. The meeting at Anchor Pointe Elementary will be Tuesday, October 19th and the meeting at the Middle School will be Thursday, October 21st. Please come review and listen to the administrative findings and recommendations during these two public meetings. As always, we welcome your input.

The long conference weekend gives our students and families some time to decompress, relax, and connect. The COVID Pandemic has caused prolonged increased uncertainty and stress which has resulted in unprecedented levels of anxiety and depression. We need to give each other permission to be human and take good care of ourselves. A district contract with Arbor Family Counseling provides up to three free sessions for students and families to formulate strategies and develop a plan to appropriately resolve problems with effective, short-term counseling. If you would like more information please contact your school counselor or Arbor Family Counseling at 402-330-0960.

State competition was in full swing this week. Our Badger softball team traveled to Hastings to participate in the state tournament. The Lady Badger Golf Team finished 6th in Class B at the state tournament this week! This is the highest finish for our Lady Badgers since joining Class B competition and only once have they finished higher at 4th in 1999. Way to go golfers!

Varsity football travels to Roncalli Catholic Friday evening for a 7:00 PM kickoff. On Saturday, the marching band will participate in the Lincoln Public Schools Invitation at Seacrest Field.

We hope the long weekend that follows conferences treats you to beautiful fall weather and provides a bit of reprieve. Recharge will be needed as next week will begin the second quarter for Elementary and High School, and the last half of the second hexter at the Middle School. This means we are halfway through our first semester!

Take care and remain Badger Strong!

10/8/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

This week wraps up the final week of the first quarter for the 2021-2022 school year. The Middle School students are mid-way through their second hexter. This point in the school year brings the excitement of our first round of Parent Teacher Conferences for this fall. As you plan ahead, we want to remind you that fall Parent Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Tuesday, October 12th and Wednesday, October 13th. You should have received communication regarding the format and registering for conferences from your building Principal or classroom teachers over the past few weeks.

As we stated in last week’s Friday Notes, we will be sharing with our stakeholders letters from local healthcare providers from Children’s Hospital. These letters are just one resource we are providing around better understanding the COVID-19 Vaccination. We have additional resources linked into our district COVID-19 website. We hope these assist you in making the best decision for your family as we get closer to having vaccine availability for ages five (5) and up. This week’s letter comes from Dr. Kari Simonsen. Thank you Dr. Simonsen.

This is an exciting time of year for our Athletic and Activity programs. This afternoon, the Lady Badger Softball Team hosted the B-3 District Final beginning at 12 noon against Aurora. This is the best two out of three games to move to the state tournament on October 13-15th in Hastings and the Badgers won the first two games! CONGRATULATIONS! Tonight the Badger Football Team plays at Elkhorn High School at 7:00 PM. Tomorrow, the Lady Badger Volleyball Team will compete in the Eastern Midlands Conference Tournament. Pool Play begins at 9:00 AM against Norris at Norris Middle School for the Lady Badgers.

The Badger Marching Band is hosting the Bennington Marching Festival on Saturday, October 9th beginning at 11 AM in the BHS Stadium. If you are looking for some great music and marching, there are 15 bands this year and awards will be presented at 3:15pm. The Badger Marching Band performs at 2:45 PM. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children under 13.

The Lady Badger Golf Team has qualified the entire team for the state tournament! Congratulations to these golfers and good luck as they compete on Monday, October 11th and Tuesday, October 12th at the Scotts Bluff Country Club beginning at 9 AM. The Bennington Boys’ and Girls’ Cross Country Teams earned Runner-Up Honors in the Eastern Midlands Conference Meet on Thursday afternoon. Both teams head into the District Meet on Thursday, October 14th at Mount Michael Benedictine starting at 4 PM for the Girls and 4:40 PM for the Boys.

Good Luck to all of the Badger Events!

Take care and remain Badger Strong!

10/1/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

Happy Bennington Badger Homecoming Week! We have made it to the month of October, which means we are near the completion of the first quarter of school. October marks a busy month for the school district as many activities are underway along with the planning and preparation that comes with Parent Teacher Conferences and wrapping up our first grading period of the school year.

Along with a busy month within the school district, we know it will be a busy fall for the community. As we continue to meet with our local health department and health professionals, we continue to be educated around the importance of the COVID-19 Vaccination. It is said that Douglas County hopes to have the vaccine available for children ages five (5) and up prior to the end of Fall. Over the next few weeks the district will be sharing with you letters from local healthcare providers from Children’s Hospital that promote and better explain the COVID-19 Vaccine from a medical perspective. This week, we are sharing a letter written by a Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Pediatrician, Dr. Melissa St. Germain. Thank you Dr. St. Germain.

You may also notice that our district website has been updated with COVID-19 active cases. We shifted how we present the cases to the community to provide a live and most current picture of how many active cases are occurring within the district, as well as any specific building on a daily basis. Active cases mean they are cases of staff or students that have tested positive with COVID-19 and lie within the ten day contagious period of the infection. These are the cases that may have an effect on your child’s classroom or school building at that given time. Stakeholders can find this number on our COVID Dashboard by clicking here.

As we plan ahead, please note that students' next early release day is set for Wednesday, October 6th. Elementary students will be released at 11:40 a.m., Middle School students at 11:50 a.m., and High School at 12:00 p.m. Nutrition Services will provide a take-home sack lunch for students who choose to participate. Please look for building level communication on the procedures for take-home sack lunches in the week to come. Please mark on your calendars the reminder that there will be an additional early dismissal this month on October 27th.

Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Tuesday, October 12th and Wednesday, October 13th. Families with elementary and middle school students should have received communication on sign ups for Parent-Teacher Conferences. The high school will be sending out information about conferences this weekend. Parents and guardians will have the option to attend conferences virtually or in-person.

This weekend wraps up our week of Homecoming festivities. Tonight, our Varsity Football team will be competing at home against South Sioux City at 7:00 PM. Girl’s Softball begins Sub-Districts next week with home field advantage at 2:00 PM on Monday, October 4th. There are several opportunities to enjoy many Bennington Public Schools activities this upcoming week, please visit the activities calendar to see when and where you can support our students. Good Luck to all of the Badger Events!

Take care and remain Badger Strong!

**We made a correction, the Softball game is at 2:00 PM on Monday, October 4th, not 4:15 PM.

9/24/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

Wednesday of this week the Autumnal Equinox took place. During the autumnal equinox, the sun shines directly on the equator, and the northern and southern hemispheres get the same amount of sunshine. After this occurrence, the nights begin to become longer than the days until the Spring Equinox in March. Our high school science courses, such as Science and Technology and Astronomy discuss this natural phenomena. Elementary students understand this through the changes in weather or the rotational axes of our planet. For a school system, this signals we are approaching the completion of the first quarter of the school year and we have so much more to accomplish!

The District continues to follow directives that come from the Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) in regards to additional layers of protection being implemented around COVID-19 exposures. We understand that fluid guidelines can be confusing. Please keep in mind, these guidelines are put in place by DCHD in the hope to be able to continue to allow students to safely stay in school when exposed to a positive COVID-19 case. If protocols are not honored, students will not be allowed to be at school until the 14 day timeline expires.


If cases occur within the Elementary setting, the following will be followed: 1st Case within a classroom, entire class Self Monitors and Wears a Mask for 14 days from the last date of exposure. 2nd Case within a classroom, entire class Self Monitors and Wears a Mask for 14 days from the last date of exposure. 3rd Case within a classroom (within 14 days of the first case), administration will consult with the Douglas County Health Department and determine if the case falls within a timeframe that would call for further mitigation measures.


For cases that occur at the Secondary level, we will continue to contact trace for all positive cases. Contact trace means we will determine all students who were within 6 feet for 15 minutes of an infected person and they will need to self monitor for symptoms. If they are unvaccinated, they should wear a Mask for 14 days from the last date of exposure. We submit each case to the health department and if they deem there is an outbreak, further mitigation steps will be put in place and may include a building-wide mask mandate up to 28 days in length (two full incubation periods). Again, these guidelines can change based on the specific situations we face and we will do our best to add any updates from the Health Department to our Return to Learn Plan, pages 11-13.

Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Tuesday, October 12th and Wednesday, October 13th. Families will receive communication on sign ups for Parent-Teacher Conferences in the upcoming weeks. Parents and guardians will have the option to attend conferences virtually or in-person. Principals will share the details through building level communication.

High school First Quarter Progress Reports were posted this week. Middle school Hexter 1 will end on September 28th. Grades for Hexter 1 will be posted at the end of the day on Friday, October 1st. Families may view progress reports, report cards, attendance, and other information on the NebSIS Family Account. Each family received their login information to complete their Student Verification for registration to begin school. Middle and High School students have their own login to be able to review current grades down to the assignment level. Elementary families will be able to view reports for the first quarter at Parent-Teacher Conferences. If you can’t locate your login information, please contact the school secretary.

This weekend and through the upcoming week there are many opportunities to support Badger athletics and activities. Tonight, our Girl’s JV Softball team will be playing a home game versus Elkhorn South at 5:00 PM. The Varsity Football team will be competing in an away game against Blair High School at 7:00 PM. Girls’ Varsity Softball and Varsity Volleyball teams will be participating in Invitationals at Tuxedo Park and Aurora High School, while our Marching Band will be performing at Midland University as part of the Fremont Marching Band Invitational. Please visit the activities calendar to view additional events. Good Luck to all of the Badger Events!

Enjoy the beautiful autumnal weather and sunshine with your family before we have to transition to the colder season.

Take care and remain Badger Strong!

9/17/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

We are excited to utilize this week’s Friday Notes to make the announcement of who the district has assigned to be Principal for the new Middle School and who has been assigned to the fifth Elementary. Congratulations to Mr. Shawn Hoppes, who will be the Principal of Bennington’s Second Middle School and Congratulations to Mrs. Molly O’Connor, who will be the Principal of Bennington’s Fifth Elementary.


Mr. Hoppes is entering his 21st year in education. He entered the field of education at West Point, NE where he taught for four years. From there he moved to Elkhorn Public Schools and taught for four years, then became Dean of Students in Bellevue at Mission Middle School for three years before moving to an Assistant Principal position at Russell Middle School in Millard for four years. Shawn is in his 6th year of a leadership position for Bennington Public Schools, where he serves as the current Middle School Principal.


Mrs. O’Connor has been in education for twelve years. Prior to coming to Bennington, she taught for Millard Public Schools for eight years. Her experience in 2nd grade, 4th grade, and as a support for K-5 Math and high ability learners prepared her for an administrative intern position with Millard. In 2018, Mrs. O’Connor transitioned to Bennington Public Schools as the assistant principal at Bennington Elementary. The following year, Mrs. O’Connor was appointed elementary principal at Bennington Elementary where she has spent the past three years. Mrs. O’Connor will bring her talents as well as an abundance of energy and enthusiasm to her new assignment as leader of elementary #5.

Students, staff, and community will be well served by both Mr. Hoppes and Mrs. O’Connor’s continued leadership. We plan to announce the new Principals for the current Middle School and for Bennington Elementary later this Fall. All of these positions will not start until the 2022-2023 school year. For those of you with current students at either the Middle School or Bennington Elementary, please know that is where both Mr. Hoppes and Mrs. O’Connor’s current focus will be and will stay through the end of this school year.


The district also wants to provide reminders about the guidance on COVID-19 protocols. First, the protocols we follow are under direct guidance of the Douglas County Health Department (DCHD). To find frequently asked questions or documents they have shared, you can navigate through their website by clicking here. Once we receive updated guidance, we work to update our Return to Learn Plan, along with emailing out any changes that may impact our students, staff, or families. If you are ever unsure of plans, please do not hesitate to reach out to your building Principal. Details on when additional layers of protection for COVID-19 will be implemented as a mandate can be found in our Return to Learn Plan, pages 11-12.

The Board of Education passed a resolution on Monday evening to approve the 2021/22 budget and property tax levy for the school district. The property tax levy for the school district will be lowered by $.004453 for the 2021/22 fiscal school year. This will result in a decrease of approximately $11.00 for the owner of a property valued at $250,000. The District anticipates a levy increase of $.004453 for the 2022/23 fiscal school year to help offset the impact of current and future facility needs for students as the community continues to grow at a rapid pace.

Tonight's football game is at home against Skutt Catholic at 7:00 PM. Please stay away from the areas still under construction in the stadium. During the game, elementary students should be seated with parents and middle school students in the designated area on the northwest side of the stadium. Girls’ reserve Volleyball will participate in tournament play on Saturday at Conestoga High School. This weekend and through the upcoming week there are many opportunities to support Badger athletics and activities. Visit the activities calendar to view additional events. Good Luck to all of the Badger Teams!

Take care and remain Badger Strong!

9/10/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

Today, our schools took the time to remember and reflect on the tragedies of September 11th, 2001. This is the 20th Anniversary of the attack on America and we honor the lives of nearly 3,000 people killed through the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and the hijacked airplane in Pennsylvania. Today, we also remember and honor the first responders and others who tried to rescue and help people who were caught in the devastation. Students participated in learning activities about Patriot’s Day and commemorating the day through 9/11 Memorial virtual field trips, class discussions promoting the ongoing relevance of 9/11, viewing of media coverage, passages read over the daily announcements, and listening to virtual presentations from the National 9/11 Museum.


We continue to receive communication from local health departments and local health providers regarding the fight against COVID. The most consistent message we receive is the importance of the COVID-19 vaccinations. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Site (click here) provides a comprehensive summary of all things COVID-19 Vaccine related. If you are looking to schedule a vaccination appointment, vaccines.gov is a great resource to find a location near you. You can find information about COVID and the District’s plans through our website www.benningtonschools.org, then click on the yellow Return to Learn Plan at the top of the main page. You can click on one of the tabs at the top of the COVID page to find more details.


As a reminder, students' next early release day is set for Wednesday, September 15th. Elementary students will be released at 11:40 a.m., Middle School students at 11:50 a.m. and High School at 12:00 p.m. Lunch will not be provided at school this day, but Nutrition Services will provide take-home sack lunches for students who choose to participate. Please look for building level communication on the procedures for take-home sack lunches.


Tonight's football game is at home against the Norris Titans at 7:00 PM. Please stay away from the areas still under construction in the stadium. During the game, elementary students should be seated with parents and middle school students in the designated area on the northwest side of the stadium. Girls’ softball will play in the EMC Conference Tournament on Saturday at the Blair Youth Sports Facility with the first game at 9:00 AM. This weekend and through the upcoming week there are many opportunities to support Badger athletics and activities. Visit the activities calendar to view additional events. Good Luck to all of the Badger Teams!


We hope you enjoy the weekend and consider participating in the National Day of Remembrance and Service with your family on this 20th Anniversary of 9/11.

Take care and remain Badger Strong!

9/3/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

Labor Day first became a federal holiday in 1894 created by the labor movement. On this day we pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. No school Monday presents a long holiday weekend of barbecues, travel, and family events. Bennington Public Schools wants to recognize and celebrate the achievements from this past year. It requires a whole community of workers that have shown persistence, passion, and commitment. Thank you to our staff, students, parents, and community for their hard work and commitment to the success of Bennington Public Schools. We look forward, with excitement, to what we can continue to accomplish as we work together in the coming year!

As the school year is unfolding, we continue to be in close contact with the Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) regarding COVID-19 Protocols. Earlier this week we shared updated guidance with elementary families. This communication, and all communication regarding COVID-19 from the District, can be found on our website or directly by clicking here. Additional communication regarding COVID-19 protocols and that of wearing a mask is provided in these notes.

Any requirement to wear a face covering that may be imposed by the school would be purely for health and safety reasons. Such a face covering requirement, if imposed, would be neutrally applied to all students and staff members without regard to sex, race, socioeconomic status, or religion and would neither promote nor discriminate against any person.


As we plan ahead, please note that students' next early release day is set for Wednesday, September 15th. Elementary students will be released at 11:40 a.m., Middle School students at 11:50 a.m., and High School at 12:00 p.m. Lunch will not be provided at school this day, but Nutrition Services will provide take-home sack lunches for students who choose to participate. Please look for building level communication on the procedures for take-home sack lunches in the week to come. We appreciate your flexibility during these times, as our teachers gain much from this opportunity to learn from colleagues, collaborate and increase their pedagogy.

Tonight's football game is away in Aurora, Nebraska, as the Badgers take on the Huskies at 7:00 PM. Girls’ softball will play in a triangular Saturday at Omaha’s Dill Field with the first game at 10:00 AM against Duchesne. This weekend and the upcoming week there are many opportunities to support Badger athletics and activities. Visit the activities calendar to view additional events.

We appreciate the patience and flexibility our families have continued to show during this time of unknown and what seems to be constant change. Monday is a well-deserved tribute to a community of hard workers. No matter what kind of work you do, Labor Day is for you. We hope you relax and have an enjoyable day! We look forward to seeing all of our staff and students back in school on Tuesday, September 7th.

Take care and remain Badger Strong!

8/31/21 Updated Elementary Guidance

August 31st, 2021 (Emailed to all Elementary Families)


To All Elementary Families of Bennington Public Schools,


We continue to receive updated guidance from the Douglas County Health Department regarding how to handle positive cases in an elementary classroom. Bennington has received notification of seven (7) positive COVID-19 cases within our elementary schools and 32 elementary students who have been sent home due to COVID-19 symptoms or having close contact with COVID-19. Due to the updated guidance and the increase in ill and exposed students, we are making the following change in our guidance that was sent out in our Friday Notes.


In summary:

  1. If one (1) confirmed case of COVID-19 has occurred in a classroom, all students and staff in the class will be required to wear a mask, while indoors, for 14 calendar days following the last unmasked exposure. Note: The previous guidance that was sent out on Friday noted masks should be worn, but were not required when a classroom exposure occurs.

  2. Masking while indoors will continue to be required if a second case is identified in the same classroom. If additional cases are identified within the masked classroom, BPS will work with DCHD to determine if a classroom closure is necessary.

  3. If two (2) or more classrooms in a school are closed within a 14-day period, ALL students and staff in the building will be required to wear a mask at all times while inside the school building for 28 calendar days (two incubation periods) following the second class closure.

Beginning with positive cases identified on or after August 31, a classroom-based mask requirement will take effect on the following school day for the entire 14-day period. You will be notified by your child’s principal regarding the final day of your student’s mask requirement. This notification is done via email which will have a letter attached. If a second case occurs within 14 days of the first case, the masking period may be extended up to an additional 14 days. If your child arrives at school without a mask, one will be provided for him/her.

Thank you for your assistance in keeping our classrooms open for our students.

8/27/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

Welcome Back! We have finished our first full week back to school, and it seems all are transitioning back into their routines well.

As the school year is unfolding, we continue to be in close contact with the Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) regarding COVID-19 Protocols. We aim to provide transparency with all of our stakeholders as our practices call for change, even if it is just slightly. We appreciate the flexibility and patience you have provided as we continue to navigate this within the parameters that have been provided.

Updated Elementary Guidance:

  • First case in a classroom: All self-monitor, and unvaccinated individuals wear face masks until 14 days have passed from the last exposure to the positive case.

  • Second case in the same classroom: Within 14 days of the first case, all self-monitor and unvaccinated wear a mask until 14 days have passed from the last exposure.

  • Third case in the same classroom: Within 14 days of the second case, the school district will consult with DCHD and the possibility of closing down a classroom is likely; however we will continue to follow the quarantine guidelines from the Douglas County Health Department, which are linked here: COVID Exposed & NOT Vaccinated - How to Quarantine Graphic.

  • If Two or More Classes are Closed Down in a Building: The health department will be consulted and the current guidance from the department is to implement a mask mandate for that building for 28 days (two full incubation periods).


Updated Secondary Guidance:

The change in guidance for the Middle School and High School is minimal at this time. We will continue to contact trace and send home notification for individuals within close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. They will be asked to self-monitor for symptoms and those who are unvaccinated will be asked to wear a mask. The additional guidance we received is that if an outbreak should occur (which will be determined by consulting the health department) a mask mandate for that building for 28 days may be implemented. The possibility of going back to quarantining close contacts at that time may also be considered by the health department to further mitigate any spread.

Students across grades K-10 are involved in MAP-Growth Assessments right now. These assessments offer teachers, students, and parents a great deal of information about their students. This assessment measures a student’s achievement in areas such as Reading, Math, Language, and Science as compared to other students both locally and nationally. This information is also used to evaluate the need for additional support and interventions for students. Finally, in the upper elementary, middle, and high school level, there are predictive measures of how well a student might perform on the NSCAS (State Tests) and the ACT. All of this information guides teachers when planning their lessons and the District as we evaluate the effectiveness of our curriculum. Student reports will be shared through the Parent Web and you will be notified when these are available.

We wish the Badgers good luck as the Football Team has their home-opener tonight against Grand Island Northwest at 7:00 PM. Parking will be available in the Main lot (Bennington Road), North lot (168th Street), or at the Middle School. Fans should enter through the main gate, but please be aware that construction is still underway in some areas. Please stay out of the areas marked off for construction. Parents are asked to keep elementary children with them and seated throughout the game.

We congratulate our Softball team for their great start to the season with five big wins against very good teams and to the Girls’ Golf Team for bringing home impressive scores and trophies this past week. Good luck to the Volleyball team on Saturday at Norfolk and the Softball team against Central City in Seward. We are proud of all of our Badgers!

Take care and remain Badger Strong!

8/20/21 Friday Notes

Dear Bennington Families,

Welcome Back! We are very happy to see students and teachers back at school together. Principals report students are doing well transitioning back from summer.

Bennington Public Schools experienced another record increase in our student enrollment this school year. We greeted more than 600 new students this week. We welcome all of our new students and their families to the Badger community.

The District continues to update the Return to Learn Year 2 Plan. The major highlights of the Year 2 Plan include a return to as close to pre-pandemic operations as possible, no remote learning, and face masks are highly recommended. The entire plan can be found on the District website. 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 and masking requirements. Bennington Public Schools supports the CDC and local medical community’s recommendations to wear masks and to vaccinate eligible students.

If you would like to refer to the updated guidance that was sent out to all families regarding the District’s protocols when addressing positive COVID-19 cases within the school setting, please visit the District COVID Website. Here, you will be able to access resources, copies of Friday Notes, the Dashboard, and links to our Return to Learn Plan. The Dashboard will be updated next week once we have a full week of school. We will keep this website updated with any additional information or guidance provided by the health department. To start, there are updates on what to do if there is a positive COVID-19 case in your household. This can be found on the homepage of the website.

The Boys Town Pediatrics shared some resources with our families. Here is a link to a page created specifically with information related to the COVID-19 vaccine and children. It includes a video of encouragement from one of the pediatricians and a video on the most common questions their doctors are getting in the clinic related to the COVID-19 vaccine, such as “should my child mask” and “are you getting your own children vaccinated.” What Parents Need to Know about Kids and the COVID Vaccine (boystownhospital.org)

Bennington’s Nutrition Services Department has a new website with information about meal prices, free and reduced price meal applications, and the menus. Even though meals are free for this school year, there are other benefits available to families who qualify for free or reduced price meals. Please contact Tracy Watsabaugh, twatsabaugh@bennps.org, Nutrition Services Coordinator, if you have questions.

We wish the Badgers good luck as they kick off their seasons for Girls’ Golf, Softball, Volleyball, Cross Country, and Football. If you are planning to attend the Football Scrimmage tonight, please sit in the visitors’ section as the home section is still closed for construction. Open admission gates will be located on the southwest side by the softball field and the northeast side by the bus barn. Traditionally, sports drinks for the athletes are collected for admission into the game. Donation collection bins will be located at the gates. Our area is forecasted to have inclement weather this evening, so the start time has been moved up to 5 PM. Please watch for announcements if the event must be postponed.

Take care and remain Badger Strong!

8/17/21 Elementary Email Home


For possible positive cases within our Elementary Buildings, there are steps that differ between Vaccinated and UnVaccinated. At this time we understand that Elementary Students do not have the option to receive a vaccination, but if that should change this explains how it would affect the close contact experience:

  • First case in a classroom: All self monitor (vaccinated and unvaccinated) until 14 days have passed from the last exposure to the positive case.

  • Second case in the same classroom: Within 14 days of the first case, all self monitor and unvaccinated wear a mask (i.e. vaccinated do not have to wear a mask at that step. Unvaccinated choosing to NOT mask at this step will not be allowed to attend school) This occurs until 14 days have passed from the last exposure to the positive second case.

  • Third case in the same classroom: Within 14 days of the first case, the school district will consult with DCHD to determine further mitigation measures; may include quarantine.

  • The health department recommends if a household member tests positive for COVID-19, that the unvaccinated other household members quarantine. Your child’s school’s front office staff will be able to assist you in determining a safe return to school date for your child should this event occur within your household. COVID Exposed & NOT Vaccinated - How to Quarantine Graphic


We will once again send staff and students home who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. The updated criteria for readmittance to school when meeting either of the symptom criteria listed below can be found by clicking on this link: Exclusion and Re-Admittance of Ill Students and Staff in Schools. (In summary, if your child is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they cannot return to school until they have proof of a negative test or they quarantine for ten days from symptom onset.)


COVID-19 Symptom Lists:

Students and staff with any one (1) of the following symptoms will be sent home:

New Cough, New Onset of Shortness of Breath, New Loss of Taste or Smell


Students and staff with any two (2) of the following symptoms will be sent home:

Fever 100.4 F. or Above, Chills, Muscle Aches, Headache, Sore Throat, Nausea or Vomiting, Diarrhea, Fatigue


Please continue to communicate with us if a household member of your student has tested positive for COVID-19. If the student is Unvaccinated, the student must quarantine at home away from the positive individual. They may return to school with a negative COVID-19 test on Day 5 or later from the last time they were in close contact with the household member and may return to school after Day 7. The student should wear a mask and continue to self-monitor through Day 14. An updated visual to assist with this guidance can be found by clicking on this link: COVID Exposed & NOT Vaccinated - How to Quarantine, your building’s front office staff may also assist you with this.



8/17/21 Secondary Email Home

For possible positive cases, there are steps that differ between Vaccinated and UnVaccinated Students. At this time individuals that are 12 years of age or older have the option to receive a vaccination and the guidance below is what has been provided to us by the Douglas County Health Department:

  • Contact Trace: If a student is within six (6) feet for 15 minutes or more with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19, we will contact trace and provide the following guidance through a letter that will go home:

    • Quarantine will no longer be required like it was in the past

    • If unvaccinated, student continues to attend school and it is recommended to wear a mask and self monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the last date of close contact

    • If vaccinated, student continues to attend school and self monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the last date of close contact

    • If more than two cases occur within a classroom within a 14 day period, the district and building administrators will contact the Douglas County Health Department to discuss further mitigation and next steps; at that time, quarantines or mask mandates may be put into place for up to 14 days.


We will once again send staff and students home who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. The updated criteria for readmittance to school when meeting either of the symptom criteria listed below can be found by clicking on this link: Exclusion and Re-Admittance of Ill Students and Staff in Schools. (in summary if your child is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they cannot return to school until they have proof of a negative test or they quarantine for ten days from symptom onset)


COVID-19 Symptom Lists:

Students and staff with any one (1) of the following symptoms will be sent home:

New Cough, New Onset of Shortness of Breath, New Loss of Taste or Smell


Students and staff with any two (2) of the following symptoms will be sent home:

Fever 100.4 F. or Above, Chills, Muscle Aches, Headache, Sore Throat, Nausea or Vomiting, Diarrhea, Fatigue


Please continue to communicate with us if a household member of your student has tested positive for COVID-19. The steps for this will be as follows:

  • If the student is Unvaccinated, the student must quarantine at home away from the positive individual. They may return to school with a negative COVID-19 test on Day 5 or later from the last time they were in close contact with the household member and may return to school after Day 7. The student should wear a mask and continue to self-monitor through Day 14. An updated visual to assist with this guidance can be found by clicking on this link: COVID Exposed & NOT Vaccinated - How to Quarantine, your building’s front office staff may also assist you with this.

  • If the student is Vaccinated, the student may return to school as long as the positive household member continues to isolate while they are contagious and the student wears a mask until they have proof of a negative COVID-19 test or for 14 days. They may get this test anytime after Day 3 from the last date of close contact and with negative test results they may remove the mask after on Day 6 from the last date of exposure.


As a reminder if your student is vaccinated, please log back into your child’s student verification and mark that.

8/10/21 Update

8/10/21

Dear Bennington Families,

We are bringing you the Tuesday version of our Friday Notes to provide you with the most up-to-date information for the beginning of the school year following the Board of Education meeting last night.

Back-to-School verification is underway and onsite registration days were held on Monday, August 2nd and Tuesday, August 3rd. If you have not completed the student verification process, please visit NebSIS Family Accounts. Updating your student verification records will allow you to receive teacher assignments and student schedules. If you have a student new to the Bennington Public Schools, please create an account at Enroll New Student.

The District has updated the Return to Learn Year 2 Plan. The major highlights of the Year Two Plan include a return to as close to pre-pandemic operations as possible, no remote learning, and face masks are highly recommended. The entire plan can be found on the District website. 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 and masking requirements. Bennington Public Schools supports the CDC and local medical community’s recommendations to wear masks and to vaccinate eligible students.

In addition, we are joining Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in sharing 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 want to inform the community that the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) released a second draft of the Nebraska Health Education Standards and is currently receiving public comment on this draft. The proposed K-12 standards create a framework for students to acquire health knowledge and skills necessary to maintain and promote lifelong health. Adoption of the Health Education Standards by the State Board of Education, will require school districts to cover the content within their curriculum and measure student attainment of these or equivalent standards. The second draft of the standards is available here and the public survey to collect feedback and input across the State can be accessed here: Nebraska Health Education Standards Survey. Additional information is located on theNebraska Health Education Standards Development Webpage. We appreciate your participation in representing our community with the NDE.

Bennington’s Nutrition Services Department has a new website with information about meal prices, free and reduced price meal applications, and the menus. Even though meals are free for this school year, there are other benefits available to families who qualify for free or reduced price meals. Please contact Tracy Watsabaugh, twatsabaugh@bennps.org, Nutrition Services Coordinator, if you have questions.

High school athletes began the fall sports’ season on Monday, August 9th. We are excited to have our athletes back on the diamond, field, court, and courses, and we look forward to cheering them on from the stands. Good luck Badgers!

We hope you have been able to enjoy some fun family time over the past eleven weeks since school was dismissed for summer! We are very busy preparing to welcome students back to school on Wednesday, August 18th. Take care and remain Badger Stron