News and Announcements
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
Retail, Arts & Entertainment
Hawk Hummingbird Moon Designs
Once Upon A Child
Salem-Keizer Catholic Neighbors Magazine
Small Chapter, Big Results
What is DECA?
DECA is an international nonprofit organization for students studying marketing, management, and entrepreneurship in secondary schools. DECA is endorsed by the US Department of Education and chartered through state departments of education.
DECA is primarily a co-curricular activity where students conduct marketing research projects, promotion plans, start-up businesses, and encounter realistic workplace challenges. The experience-based activities require students to use both basic and higher academic skills such as writing, math, economics, social science, communication, presentation, research, and data analysis.
DECA is a fun way to take what is learned across all classroom subjects and put it to practical use. Students first learn the basics of business attire, handshakes, and etiquette. From there they can choose from a broad range of competitive categories based on their interests. Most beginners compete in business case study role plays, where they are given a real-life business problem and must come up with a plan of action that they present to a judge. Other advanced projects require months of research and preparation to complete before the State competition, which is at the end of February every year. Finally, DECA is an opportunity for students to network with others from all over Oregon at the State level, and around the world at the International level. Blanchet has had an active chapter since 2006.
2020 DECA State Career Development Conference (SCDC):
This February, Blanchet brought 29 students to SCDC. To be eligible to attend the conference, students must prepare by taking practice tests and business case study role plays. These practices paid off with multiple awards on stage at the Grand Awards session. Members Lila Bray and Brooke Foresee will continue on to compete at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC), held in Nashville April 29 - May 2.
Update: ICDC has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are sure to see some of these students as qualifiers next year.
Lila Bray (10), Ripley Carson (10) & Brooke Foresee (10) - 3rd place written business operations research project
Lauren Kennedy (11) - 4th place overall finalist - business case study and exam, Apparel & Accessories Marketing
Abby Weber (9) - 4th place overall finalist - business case study and exam, Principles of Hospitality & Tourism
Sienna Abbott (11) - 4th place overall finalist - business case study and exam, Quick Serve Management
Brooke Foresee (10) - 2nd place in business case study #2, Human Resources Management
Ellie Fromwiller (9) - 2nd place in business case study #2, Restaurant & Food Service Management
James Moore (12) - 3rd place in business case study #2, Sports & Entertainment Marketing
Other notable results include: Sam Schindler (10) - 11th place overall, Business Finance; James Moore (12) - 11th place overall, Retail Merchandising; Max Hoskins (10) - 6th place in business case study, Hotel & Lodging Management; Aliya Suri (11) - 5th place in business case study, Retail Merchandising; Emma Snawder (11) - 10th place in business case study, Retail Merchandising; Randy Gilland (11) - 8th place in exam; and Kayla Greenwood (11) - 7th place in exam.
April 22 marks Earth Day each year--and social distancing doesn’t have to prevent your participation. You may not be able to attend a group tree planting or beach cleanup this year, but there are plenty of other ways to celebrate our planet. Here are 10 easy ways to honor Earth Day from your own home.
1. Plant a seed.
Does your family have a vegetable garden or even some flower beds that need tending? Weather permitting, grab a trowel and start working on your green thumb. Spring is the perfect time to plant and gardening can be a fun activity whether you’re going solo or with a buddy. If the rain keeps you inside, consider filling a windowsill planter with herbs or other house-friendly plants.
2. Create a compost bin.
Be efficient with your food scraps and create or buy a compost bin. Compost is an easy way to get rid of waste without actually wasting it. Instead of creating more refuse at a landfill, you’ll end up with some great fertilizer.
3. Shoot for the stars.
We may have cloud cover this week, but if we luck out with a clear night, make sure to hop outside for some stargazing. We’re in the midst of the Lyrid meteor shower, so your chances for spotting a shooting star are high!
4. Become a local expert.
Go for a walk this week and keep your eyes peeled for native plants. Use a site like Native Plant Finder or apps like iNaturalist or PlantSnap to identify and learn about plants in our local area.
5. Catch the Earth Day Network livestream.
The Earth Day Network, one of the largest organizations associated with Earth Day, will be livestreaming activities, musicians, and speakers between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. PDT on April 22. If you’re interested in environmental activism or global climate politics, this event is for you!
6. Grab some local produce.
The next time your family needs fresh produce, run to a farmer’s market or stand instead of the big box grocery store. Buying locally sourced produce is not only better for the environment, it’s better for the local economy. Support our farmers and small business owners by shopping small. Some local favorites include EZ Orchards and Aspinwall’s--and most are offering delivery and curbside pickup!
7. Utilize as many reusable items as you can.
Hydro flasks are more than just essential Oregonian accessories. Challenge yourself to use as many reusable items and products as you can throughout the day. Drink from reusable water bottles, store food in Mason jars or Tupperware instead of plastic baggies, and take cloth grocery bags to the store with you. (Just remember that most stores are making you bag your own groceries if you bring your reusable bags!)
8. Be conscious of your water use.
Water conservation isn’t a new concept, but it can be a difficult one to implement in your own household. Try to take a shorter shower or be conscious about leaving the faucet on while washing dishes in the sink. Even better? See if you can identify and fix any leaks in the house. According to the EPA, the average household can waste up to 180 gallons of water per week due to leaky appliances. Take care of the planet and make your parents happy about a smaller water bill, all in one fell swoop.
9. Choose your wheels wisely.
We’re all doing our best to stay home as much as possible. But sometimes, you or a family member inevitably has to make a grocery or essential items run. If you live close enough (and the Oregon weather permits!), consider riding your bike or taking a walk to your local store. Exercise and environmental benefits? It’s a win-win.
10. Read up on recycling rules.
When our county recycling restrictions changed, many residents were confused about what could and couldn’t be tossed in their recycling bins--and many still are. It’s important to only toss permitted recyclables into your bin so that the whole load isn’t sorted as trash. Visit your sanitation company’s website for the exact guidelines regarding recycling. Here’s one such handy guide, provided by Loren’s Sanitation.
Blanchet is partnering with 18 other local area schools to promote next week as Virtual Wellness Week. Below are some ideas to help you have a week of mindfulness, movement, and creativity.
Monday, April 20 - Meditation and Movement
- Guided Meditation with the Jellies
- Soothing Meditations
- Yoga for Complete Beginners
- 10-Minute Yoga Practice for Anxiety
- UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Resource Center Free Meditations
- 12 Meditation Apps & Tools for Lifting Pandemic Anxiety
Tuesday, April 22 - Play Break
Wednesday, April 22 - Move it! Move it! Move it!
Thursday, April 23 - Smile and Laugh
Friday, April 24 - Sing Out
Find Your Own Fun this Spring Break
Spring Break 2020 looks quite a bit different from what many of us expected. And while the health and safety of our community is a top priority, we understand how disappointing it is to cancel fun vacations and trips. But that doesn’t mean your Spring Break has to be dull! Here are a few ways--virtual and otherwise--to create your own adventures this week.
Louvre to See It
Dozens of top-notch museums around the world offer virtual tours of their collections. Explore paintings from Dali or van Gogh at the MoMA, or view the Mona Lisa without all the crowds. Turn to Google Arts & Culture for more visual content, tours, and activities related to famous works of art.
- Guggenheim Museum
- Van Gogh Museum
- The Louvre
- National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
- Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.
- Museum of Modern Art, New York City (MOMA)
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
- American Museum of Natural History, New York City
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
- Detroit Institute of Arts
- The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
- J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Find Some Monkey Business
One positive of the coronavirus-related closures? Lots of zoos have been able to give their adorable residents the chance to explore outside their habitat boundaries. For example, did you see that viral video of the Shedd Aquarium penguins?! Tag along on their explorations, view live web cams, or virtually join a zookeeper for some incredible animal experiences.
Travel in Style
You may not be able to hop on a plane right now, but you can hop online to experience fabulous sights and sounds from around the globe. Whether you enjoy history, hair-raising adventures, or beautiful vistas, there’s a virtual travel experience that fits your interests. Check Google Earth for new tours added daily. In this case, armchair anthropology could be just the ticket.
- Great Wall of China
- Inside the Great Pyramid of Giza
- Tour some of Hawaii’s landmarks
- Yosemite National Park
- Yellowstone National Park
Board games, trivia, and puzzles may seem old-fashioned, but there’s a reason they remain popular activities! Amazon is still delivering, so it’s not too late to add some updated offerings to the family collection.
- Ticket to Ride
- Family Feud Trivia
- Cranium 3-in-1
- Apples to Apples
- Watch Ya Mouth
- Monopoly: Fortnite Edition
Or, take your own spin on a classic like Guess Who (like this Blanchet edition we created).
If you have younger siblings, you know it can be difficult to find activities suitable for the whole family. Use your own creativity and brain power to keep younger ones entertained. Create a scavenger hunt around your own house or yard to get the whole family hunting for clues (this article offers some tips for getting started). If you and your siblings enjoy more hands-on experiences, raid the kitchen (with parental approval!) to make your own slime, bath bombs, tie-dye shirts, or yes, even soap!
Turn the Page
Would we really be a school blog if we didn’t mention reading as a Spring Break option? If you’re not a natural avid reader, don’t despair! We guarantee there’s a book out there you’ll enjoy, and the folks over at SparkNotes agree. Take their quiz to receive customized options to place on your reading list.
Everyone could use a breath of fresh air, and plants help deliver that in spades! Now is the perfect time to begin planting vegetables like bell peppers, peas, lettuce, and tomatoes. Use a planting calendar (like this region-specific one from the Farmer’s Almanac) to determine which seeds can be planted directly in your garden, and which need to be started inside.
If you and your family use lots of herbs and spices when cooking, consider starting your own indoor herb garden. It’s a great introduction to gardening and growing your own food. You can even find starter kits online.
Cooked to Perfection
Family meals are important, but you can extend the bonding time beyond the dinner table. Ask the typical cook of your household if you can help prepare a couple meals this week. Even if you don’t feel comfortable in front of the stove or navigating a complex recipe, you can always help with prep work like chopping or measuring. Contributing to a meal that your whole family gets to enjoy can be incredibly rewarding--and you may be surprised by how much fun you have in the kitchen!
Need some inspiration for easy-to-prep dishes? Pinterest is always helpful, but why not look locally? Several area restaurants are sharing recipes and ideas on their social media accounts during the closures. Some, like Epilogue, are even offering recipes based on what you personally have in your pantry and fridge!
Take It Outside
Need a break from the indoors? If our Oregon weather cooperates, step outside to enjoy activities that get you moving. Organized sports may be temporarily suspended, but that doesn’t mean you can’t muster up some competition in your own household. Most of these games can be created using items you’ll have lying around the house or garage. Sometimes, the sillier the better.