Friday, September 29, 2017

Principal Post: In A Word "Testing"

As we start our rapid decent toward much cooler temperatures and Fall, I wanted to speak briefly about testing. More to the point, I wanted to speak briefly about the upcoming ITBS tests that the students will attempt November 6th – 9 th, grades 2 – 8. Since we have quite a few new families to Bethany, I felt it vitally important to pass on some data regarding the assessments.

The ITBS or Iowa Tests are standardized tests provided as a service to schools by the College of Education of the University of Iowa. The tests are administered to students in kindergarten through eighth grade as part of the Iowa Statewide Testing Programs, a division of the Iowa Testing Programs (ITP). Over decades, participation expanded and currently nearly all school districts in Iowa participate annually in the program, as do many other school districts across the United States. In a cooperative relationship, participating schools receive ITBS test materials, scoring and reporting services and consultation in the use of ITBS for instructional purposes, and ITBS utilizes participation by schools in research and test development. Both the ITBS and Iowa Tests of Educational Development (ITED) were revised in the 2011–2012 school year. They were rebranded the Iowa Assessments 2016-2017 (Iowa, 2017).

ITBS are written in levels 5-14. Each test level consists of a series of tests administered in content sections with each section designed to measure specific skills. Test levels 5-8 are administered to students from kindergarten through second grade (K-2). School districts employ the series of tests in primary grades to gain information about classes and students for instructional planning, to supplement teacher observations regarding student abilities, and to establish a basis for subsequent annual evaluation of student progress. Sections for levels 5-8 include: Vocabulary, Word Analysis, Reading Comprehension, Listening, Language, Mathematics, Social Studies (Levels 7 and 8 only), Science (Levels 7 and 8 only), and Sources of Information.

Bethany utilizes the results of these assessments in a variety of ways. The scores provide our instructional staff an idea of where are students are academically, as compared to those students across the United States who take the exam. These assessments also provide direction for the school in terms of curriculum. It helps us identify areas which we thrive in and areas which may need improvement.

In preparation of the assessments, it is imperative that students eat well, get plenty of rest and study. There are free assessments tools online that can help. Here are just a few places to take the practice test and prep:

Dr. Chris Smith

Iowa, U. o. (2017, September 21). Retrieved from Iowa Test Research : https://

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Coloma Trip For 4th and 5th Graders

September​ ​27-29​ ​-​ ​Coloma​ ​Trip​ ​4th​ ​and​ ​5th​ ​Grade

The Coloma Trip is right around the corner. Please have all paperwork turned in to Mrs. Beall. Further questions should be directed to the school office.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Rita’s Italian Ice @ BLS Sept. 29

Rita’s Italian Ice—with special thanks to our PTO, Rita’s Italian Ice will be on campus Friday, September 29 after school (12:00 PM). Cost is $3 for kid’s size/ $4 for regular size. A percentage of all sales will be donated back to BLS. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Back-To-School Night Is Tonight!

Bethany Lutheran School
Wednesday, September 20th

The evening begins in the Fellowship Hall, and then parents will separate into groups and spend the evening with their child’s teacher(s).

While this event is for parents only, childcare will be provided.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Christian School Versus Public School

These days the major concern of any parent is the education of their children. They start getting tense as soon as their children reach the school going age. Nowadays most of the American parents send their children to public schools but there is also a significant increase in parents who choose private schools. Amidst these schools Christian or parochial schools are also increasing. Although parents generally like to enroll their child in Christian school depending on their beliefs, thinking and neighborhood but still there is confusion in choosing the best school for the child.

It's a fact that majority of children will do well in either public or private school. What you choose will depend on the options that are available and the price of enrollment. You must look at all the options before you select public or private schooling for your child.

Despite various advantages of enrolling their wards in a Christian or private school many parents still avoid that mainly because of the high tuition fee. If any school interests you then it is wise to look for the scholarship programs. Nowadays majority of schools offer financial advice and are always ready to help parents in regard to tuition fees. They also propose discounts if parents volunteer at the time of any event and gathering.

Christian schools focus on religion and incorporate it into the scholastic realm. If you are unpleased with public schooling or want to focus on religion in your child's life, then choosing a Christian school is the perfect choice. If you would like to incorporate religion into your child's life, but are not a Christian, check out other options in your community.

Most parents that choose to enroll their children into private schools do so because they usually provide more specific education for children to meet that child's needs. Kids with learning disabilities usually perform better in a private institution. Private schools usually have a small student to teacher ratio, allowing teachers to provide their students with more one on one interaction.

The private schools have a cutting edge over other schools as their students are well placed in colleges and universities. These days certain private schools are allied with many top-level colleges and universities including the famous Ivy League schools. Private schools are stepping-stone to the colleges in comparison with other high schools.

Many kids wish to attend certain Christian private schools due to certain programs. These programs may include art, drama, music, science, literature, mathematics, civics, or sports. Due to drastically cut funding and other financial problems, public school systems have lost many of their specialized programs. Children interested in specific aspects of schooling find themselves at a loss due to nonexistent or incredibly limited programs. Choose a private school that meets your child's interests and needs to ensure success in both the academic and extracurricular activities.

When contemplating enrolling your child in a Christian private institution instead of a private school, be sure to include your child's opinion. Since he or she will be the one attending the institution, ensure the choice is favorable for your child. Carefully consider your options and visit several schools in your area. Finding the perfect school for your child will ensure your child's success.

Article Source:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Timothy Bartik: The Economic Case For Preschool

In this well-argued talk, Timothy Bartik makes the macro-economic case for preschool education -- and explains why you should be happy to invest in it, even if you don't have kids that age (or kids at all). The economic benefits of well-educated kids, it turns out, go well beyond the altruistic. (Filmed at TEDxMiamiUniversity.)

Friday, September 8, 2017

About BLS: FAQs

Where are you located?

We are at 1011 Ulatis Drive in Vacaville, CA. For those of you who are familiar to Vacaville, it’s rather simple. We are across the street from the Vacaville Cultural Center at the corner of Ulatis and Harbison Drives. For those not familiar with Vacaville, we are minutes off of I-80 taking either the Allison Drive (EB I-80) exit or Nut Tree Drive (WB I-80) exit to Allison.  [East bound travelers may turn right onto Allison Drive; whereas, west bound travelers will want to turn left onto Allison Drive, going over the freeway. Proceed to Ulatis to then turn left at the light. Continue past the school to the next light after Harbison Drive and make a u-turn to allow access to the front parking lot. (It’s actually much simpler than it reads.)

What does it mean to be “Lutheran”?

Lutheran Christians believe in the inerrancy and authority of Scripture and that salvation comes as a free gift by God’s grace through His Son, made possible by the Holy Spirit nurturing in our hearts the faith God has given us. Faith is the confessed sinner’s acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and a trust in all of God’s promises. Forgiveness is the believer’s daily need, for total holiness is possible only after entering eternal life.

Do I have to be Christian/Lutheran to attend Bethany Lutheran School?

No. It is our desire that our actions as an overall ministry are a reflection of God’s love for us. If you desire to know more about what it means to be a redeemed child of God, you are welcome to ask any member of the church or school staffs. Know that your family will be in our prayers as a Christian community, regardless of your religious affiliation.

What is a “Christ-centered education?"

A Christ-centered education is an education that, quite simply, makes God’s love for all of us through His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, the reason why we do what we do. Having that freedom allows us the freedom to look at multiple viewpoints when addressing classroom topics. Being Christ-centered also allows us to use any opportunity that comes along as a moment where we can reflect to everyone in our midst the same love we understand as God’s redeemed people. In other words the understanding of Christ as Lord is not limited to just Bible class or Chapel.

Is there a school uniform?

Yes. Chapel day (Wednesday) requires a specific uniform, and there is standard school attire for the remainder of the days. All acceptable clothing is outlined in the handbook and available through Dennis Uniform Company. We also operate a used uniform closet for the drop-off and purchase of previously used uniform clothing.

Are you accredited? What does it mean to be accredited?

We are dually accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the National Lutheran Schools Accreditation (NLSA). Being accredited means that we have given a strenuous look into everything that makes us who we are, where we want to be, and how we are going to get there. Private schools are not required to be accredited; it is a voluntary process that allows a school to put into place a formal process for school improvement that involves the whole school community.

What are the average class size and teacher-to-student ratio?

While numbers fluctuate from one year to the next, it is expected that enrollment in any one class will not exceed twenty-five students (Kindergarten not to exceed 22). At this time the average class size is nineteen students and the staff:student ratio is 1:13.

What co-curricular opportunities are available for students?

The school’s Parent teacher Organization facilitates and After-School Enrichment program for students that covers a wide range of interests. Band, Art (K-4), Computers, Physical Education, and Music are contained within the scheduled school day; athletics are slated for introduction beginning the 2013-2014 school year.

Is there a requirement for parent involvement?

Parents of Bethany students are not required to purchase SCRIP to lessen their cost of tuition. Parents are required to give hours of service to the school as part of the Partnership Program. More information and forms for completion of required hours can be found through the Parent Teacher Organization section of this website where you can also be updated on ways to get involved.

Is there Extended Care available?

Yes. There is before and after school Extended Care available for a cost specified in the registration materials. For further information on the program, please fell free to contact the school’s office at 707-451-6683.

Is there Financial Aid?

Yes. Information on Financial Aid is available through the office of the Business Administrator at the church by calling 707-451-6681.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Three Reasons To Send Your Child To A Christian School

There are an incredible amount of benefits of sending your child to a Christian school. While some of the often quoted, negative statistics about government schools should be enough, I have decided to lay out three primary benefits for those who may still need convincing. These three benefits are as follows.

One benefit of a Christian school is that your child is raised among fellow believers. As the old adage goes, "bad company corrupts good character." By sending your children to a Christian school, you are likely to see that your child's friends are the some of the best people that your child could be around. If you're child grows up around other believing children, it is far less likely that your child will be involved in drugs, sex, underage drinking, or other negative actions.

Another benefit of a Christian education is the education itself. It is especially true of Classical Christian schools that there education is often times much better than the government schools in the area. The students of these types of schools tend to score higher on standardized tests and are generally more prepared for college as well!

A final benefit of Christian schools is that by sending your child to one, you help ensure that your child will remain a Christian. With Barna Group statistics saying that 70% of kids who go to church will leave the faith when they leave home, it is the Christian duty of any Christian parent to not add to this negative statistic! Chances are undoubtedly better when sending your child to a school that teaches the Bible through and through.

As Proberbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." Training up a child in the way he should is ultimately the responsibility of the parents of the child. And this training must go far beyond Sunday school and youth group! Sending our children to receive Christian educations is one way to fulfill our responsibility to the call of God for our children.

Article Source:

Friday, September 1, 2017

Student Activities


Chapel is held on a weekly basis and serves as a time when the whole student body can come together for community worship. Through the chapel program, students serve needs in the community by collecting canned foods, used clothing, raising money to find a cure for leukemia, making greeting cards, and the like. An upbeat worship style with applications of Biblical truths to their lives greets the students every Wednesday morning. All parents are also welcomed to come and participate in praise-filled worship.

Student Council

Students in grades 4 – 8 are allowed to serve their classmates, school community and the general community through an organized Student Council.  The Student Council is responsible for the school-wide recycling program as well as for determining which charitable organization the weekly chapel offering will support. Students can serve in an elected position as an officer, committee member, or as a representative of their class.

Enrichment Programs

The school facilitates the After School Enrichment Program, a program that serves to allow students to experience multiple opportunities to either learn something new or grow in knowledge already acquired. Offerings change on a periodic basis and are held immediately after school, so as to better accommodate parents schedules and have included the visual and performing arts, athletics, and Mad Science.


Physical activity is a great way to allow for better focus in the classroom. Students in grades Kindergarten-8 are exposed to physical activity through intentional physical education time with a P.E. teacher and recesses in the day. All students in grades Kindergarten-8 are able to participate in team sports. Volleyball is offered in the fall for boys and girls in grades 5-8 and soccer in the spring. As interest dictates and facilities allow, our athletics program will grow for the purposes of glorifying God through healthy use of the body, as well as for learning teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership through experience.