News and Announcements
The Blanchet development team works with student leadership to plan a Student Raffle each year! This is the 17th year of Blanchet’s Student Raffle fundraiser and our theme is “Captain Cavalier’s Student Raffle”. Our goal is to raise $48,000 for Blanchet programs and students such as New Student Orientation, CAV Spirit Day, Class Retreats, Grandparents Day, and many more. Tuition alone does not cover the cost to educate a student and these fundraisers like the raffle and are crucial in continuing Blanchet’s day-to-day operations as well as support our student programs.
Student participation in this fundraiser is required and encouraged. We offer incentive prizes for students to sell tickets. Although each student is only required to sell 10 tickets, we encourage students to sell as many tickets as possible to support the school and earn prizes. The more they sell, the more they can earn.
When you purchase a Blanchet Student Raffle ticket, you are entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of the prizes listed below. The drawing for the prize winners will be held on Friday, December 4, 2020, at 8:45 a.m. via a live video. Winners need not be present to win.
2020 Raffle Prizes include:
- $500 Cash
- iRoomba with Echo dot — value: $350
- Microsoft Xbox One S Star Wars Jedi — value: $299
- Field & Stream Blade Kayak & $50 Dicks Sporting Goods Gift Card (Value $279)
- Acer Chromebook 14 — value: $240
- Ring Video Doorbell with Echo Dot — value: $199
- Electric Pressure Washer — value: $155
- Instant Pot Duo 80 — value: $140
Blanchet Catholic School is blessed to partner with Mt. Angel Abbey as part of their Pastoral Formation Field Education program. For the last 6 years, Mt. Angel Abbey has sent two seminarian students to participate in Blanchets' Christian service learning efforts during the school year. The seminarians interact with the religion classes, retreats, and service opportunities. The Field Education experience provides the ideal opportunity for seminarians to grow in pastoral charity and to serve as a bridge for youth to connect with their faith. Whether in religion classes, at retreats, or community events, the seminarians help provide a spiritual, human, and academic dimension to faith and spirituality at Blanchet.
This year, our seminarians include Richard Ordos and Scott Borba. With our digital learning protocols in place, the seminarians participate by joining Zoom classes, virtually attending retreat planning sessions, and giving theological insight for classroom lessons.
The staff and students enjoy working with these gentlemen, and we would like to introduce them to the Blanchet community. Please keep them in your prayers and welcome them to Blanchet Catholic School.
Diack Ecology Grant Allows for Exploration at Home
Blanchet science teacher Dr. Micki Halsey Randall knew that she needed to find a creative solution for keeping students engaged in the midst of digital learning. With all the screen time required in a distance learning environment, she wanted to give her students a breath of fresh air--literally!
“When we decided to go back digitally, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, how do I get kids engaged outside, because I don’t want them staring at a screen the whole time?’” Dr. HR explained. “Even the idea of them coming back but being socially distanced--how do we do microscope work if they can’t share a microscope?”
The solution? Take-home science kits with portable equipment to help students conduct observations in their own backyards. Dr. HR turned to Mike Weddle at Diack Ecology for help funding the large undertaking. The Diack Ecology Education Program provides grants and resources for teachers and students in Oregon to encourage field-based science and ecology studies. Through her work with the Outdoor Learning Environment, Dr. HR had already received several grants from the nonprofit.
“This is a company that loves to get kids outside,” she said. “With my Outdoor Learning Environment, it was this natural marriage between what I needed and who they wanted to give money to.”
The take-home kits were delivered to all of Dr. HR’s eighth graders in Integrated Science 8 and freshmen/sophomores in Biology--about 100 students in total. Mid high students received handheld lenses to identify specimens of rocks, soils, insects, and plants. As a class, they will be creating a map of their locations and comparing/contrasting the items discovered in their backyards.
High school Biology students received handheld microscopes instead of lenses, which they are using to explore habitat characteristics, looking closely at insects and plants. The information they gather will be used to design a plan for improving the habitat of the OLE once on-campus learning resumes. All kits included a journal, colored pencils, whiteboard, and markers.
“I’m a big fan of whiteboards,” Dr. HR said. “There’s new research that says kids are more likely to engage on a whiteboard than they are on pencil/paper because it’s so easy to erase if they make a mistake. There’s no permanent record, so they’re more willing to take those risks to try to answer things and brainstorm.”
We’re proud to have a dedicated, creative teacher like Dr. HR as part of our Blanchet family, and look forward to seeing all the wonderful observations and discoveries that stem from our students’ outdoor learning experiences!
When the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools this past spring, Blanchet’s teachers quickly adapted their teaching methods to help students continue their learning online. It took a lot of planning, communication and creativity to finish out the school year.
Luckily, Mary Heintzman, Blanchet’s visual arts teacher, is the embodiment of creativity. She thought outside the box and helped students learn art concepts in a whole new way. How do you teach pottery when students don’t have an art studio at home? You use the resources they do have and challenge students to learn shape building and form with paper, plastic, and anything else they can get their hands on. Mary worked with students to find new and clever ways to excel in drawing, painting, pottery, and photography.
Armed with her knowledge and experiences from last school year, Mary used the summer break to prepare her art classes for her current students. She created take home art supply packets that students can use for at home learning as well as in-person classes. She thought out every lesson she planned to teach for the year and found the items students would need to be successful. If you stopped by her classroom this summer, you would have seen all the items she carefully curated and individually packed for each student.
Mary also set up a special recording studio to allow students to follow her step-by-step instructions while learning online. Her preparation for each lesson takes countless hours of set up and forethought. She is dedicated to offering Blanchet students the opportunity to participate in the elective classes they love through online learning.
And, if that wasn’t enough, she also spent part of her summer break working on a new art addition for Blanchet’s press box overlooking the courtyard of Mountain West Stadium. Next time you are on campus, we highly recommend you check out the Blanchet shield and motto Mary painted for all the Cavaliers to enjoy.
To Be or Not to Be! Even in the time of Covid-19 and digital learning, Blanchet Catholic Schools’ drama program has chosen TO BE! Drama is an important tool for preparing students to live and work in a world that is increasingly team-oriented rather than hierarchical. Drama also helps students develop tolerance and empathy. In addition to its intrinsic educational value, drama can reinforce the rest of the school curriculum.
Blanchet's drama program is moving forward and while things may be different to adjust for COVID-19 restrictions, we will be offering drama productions for both middle school and high school students. We will also continue our membership in the International Thespian Society for Blanchet club members.
We’re excited to announce that longtime Blanchet teacher, Mrs. Kasey Roberts is back in costume. Mrs. Roberts was Blanchet’s Drama director for many years and directed many memorable performances including Les Misérables, Aida, and many more. She is also joined by Blanchet alumni and first year Blanchet teacher, Mr. Shea White-Toney (‘14). While a student at Blanchet Shea participated in drama and was Prince Charming in the 2014 production of Cinderella.
This year's performances will be one-act vignettes that will allow for socially distanced rehearsals and performances. There will be one show presented this November (19-21) and another in April 2021 (15-17). More information about show times and how the performances will be shared will be sent closer to the performance dates.
While local governance prevents us from beginning the school year with in-person instruction, our staff has worked hard to prepare the best possible experience for our Blanchet community. Here are a few things to keep in mind as we start this unique school year.
1. Blanchet students will receive personalized instruction four days a week and be enrolled in the typical course load of seven classes.
Our administration developed a three-part schedule to help students stay on track and manage a normal academic workload. Mondays and Wednesdays follow a “Blue Schedule,” while Tuesdays and Thursdays follow a “Gray Schedule.” Friday is utilized as a “Work Day.” Expectations and timelines for those schedules are listed below.
Students will engage in their digital courses via Google Classroom, which can be accessed here--along with several other online resources. Blanchet will still be offering letter grades to value the effort and performance of our students.
2. Honors and AP courses are still available.
Blanchet is committed to providing a superior college preparatory education, even during digital learning. Our students have access to the same advanced classes they would in an in-person setting, with knowledgeable teachers at the ready for individualized instruction.
3. Blanchet is still offering electives.
Unlike many schools in the area, Blanchet has the opportunity to offer all of its normal elective classes. Our elective instructors worked hard over the summer to re-craft their curriculums, create take-home kits, and find other clever ways to keep students engaged.
4. Students will still be able to socialize through co-curricular activities.
Activities like athletic workouts, drama rehearsals, and club meetings are still allowed on campus under the current State of Oregon guidelines. To view the current athletic calendar for both Mid High and High School, click here. To participate in these workouts, a student must complete the Athletic Participation Form, have a current physical on file, and submit a Concussion Form. Participation in these activities is free.
All visitors to campus will have their temperature taken and must wear face coverings at all times.
5. Perhaps more than ever, our staff is dedicated to the success and growth of our students.
Our faculty and staff will miss seeing students in person every day; we really wanted to be on campus, too! Luckily, our small size and extensive preparation will allow us to return to in-person protocol as soon as it’s allowed. We ask that students and their families offer our teachers patience in the coming weeks, as this is an adjustment for them, as well.
Whenever possible, we are trying to get both students and staff on campus. We are currently finalizing plans to provide in-person study halls during Cav Club time blocks. Students would be able to come to school and work on their own devices under teacher supervision.
Our development team is planning a handful of special, socially-distanced events, spirit days, and surprises to keep our community feeling connected and engaged. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.
During Mrs. Bashaw's Leadership Class final via Zoom last week they received big news! Laurie Shaw Casarez, the Youth Development and Prevention Coordinator with the City of Salem was a surprise guest and announced that the Leadership team, along with the entire Blanchet student body and Blanchet community, won the 1000 Soles Shoe Battle for the third consecutive year.
One Thousand Soles is a teen-championed community shoe drive for children and teens in-need. Coordinated by the City of Salem, collections and awareness campaigns occur year-round. Teams collect and donate new and clean, gently-used shoes along with new socks and new laces to win the 2020 Shoe Battle of the Schools.
This year Blanchet had help from great schools and businesses who we would have not been able to achieve our goal without their help. They include:
- Blanchet Catholic School
- Abiqua Academy
- Geppetto's Italian Restaurant
- Holy Family Academy
- Queen of Peace Parish and School
- Les Schwab, Lancaster Drive
- McNary Golf Club
- Northwest Rehabilitation Associates
- RE Building (Both)
- Regis Catholic High School
- Sacred Heart Parish and School
- St Edwards Parish
- St James Parish and School
- St Joseph Parish and School
- St Mary's Catholic School
- St Vincent Parish and School
- Salem Academy High School
- Swegle Elementary
Blanchet and the Leadership team will be receiving a special plaque from the City of Salem in appreciation of their efforts over the last three years! Thank you to Mrs. Bashaw and her Leadership class and the entire Blanchet community for supporting this great event to help out kids who need shoes! By courage and faith!
We as a Blanchet community are blessed. We are blessed to have our faith, to learn together, and to shelter in place in comfort--and we are blessed to have each other.
Many of our current and former Blanchet families own their own businesses. While this “pause” on normal life has been stressful for all of us, it can be particularly uncertain for small businesses that cannot operate or cater to their customers in a regular manner. With this in mind, we decided to create a list of some local, Blanchet community-owned or operated businesses for other community members to support. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and we’d love to continue to add to it! Please email us if you have a business to add.
A large part of what makes Blanchet so special is its community. We are surrounded by people of quality and kindness, people who support and bolster each other. If your family is interested and financially able, we humbly suggest the following companies to support with your business in the coming weeks.
Please be sure to check individual websites for updated hours and processes.
Food & Beverage
Christos Pizzeria & Lounge
Scenic Valley Farms
Nurseries & Landscaping Needs
Al’s Garden Center
EarthTech Landscape Solutions
Green Acres Landscape Inc.
N&M Herb Nursery
Russell's Landscape Service, Inc.
Health & Wellness
Harmony Salon & Spa
Howerton, Hopkin, Kennedy & Clark
Auto, Home & Manufacturing/Construction Needs
7 Points Painting
Baker & Baker Towing Service
Barry Bray Construction
Geoff Wyatt Construction
Mateo’s Mobile Car Wash
Mega Markdown Outlet
Smart Green Cleaning LLC
Snair Excavating, Inc
South Town Glass
Boldt Carlisle + Smith
Charlotte Eugenio - Realty One Group, Willamette Valley
Fischer, Hayes, Joye & Allen
Heltzel Williams PC
Hittner & Associates
J.R. Frelich & Associates
Laura Gail Gwyn Properties
Law Offices of Keri Trask Lazarus
Mosar Commercial Properties
Mannix Law Firm
Overall Real Estate
Phillips Agency DBA Legacy Real Estate
Richard Hansen, Allstate Insurance
Rick Lewis Country Financial