Benicia Unified School District

Superintendent October Newsletter

Posted On: September 29, 2023



As a District, BUSD remains committed to ensuring “all students achieve at their highest potential in an engaging, inspiring and challenging learning environment,” as we understand that students rely on professionals to provide the necessary tools to excel beyond their TK-12 experience. BUSD will accomplish this vision by implementing the four LCAP focus areas: Social-Emotional Learning and Sense of Belonging, Literacy and Humanities, Math and STEAM, and Equity and Opportunity.

5 C’s

Cultivating our strengths by protecting, nurturing, and growing relationships to ensure all staff, students, and educational partners feel valued to foster organizational growth. BUSD will use the five components of trust to navigate relationships and measure progress: Competence, Consistency, Concern, Candor, and Connection.

Budget Roadshow

BUSD, in collaboration with School Services of California, is hosting a Budget Roadshow to share current statewide trends regarding school finance and the potential impact on BUSD programs and services. Please join us on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, at 6:00 PM in the District Office (350 East K Street). We will also livestream and record the event to enable you to watch it remotely. Please review the flier linked here for additional information. Budget Road Show

Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. As a community, let’s do our part to prevent bullying. Inclusion is the answer.

Bullying Prevention Month

Universal Meals Program

Under the Universal Meals Program for school children, BUSD will provide every student with two free meals daily, complimentary breakfast, and lunch during the 2023-2024 school year. You can find more information on the Universal Meals Program linked here: California Universal Meals Program. 

We encourage all families to complete the Free and Reduced Meal Application. If eligible, the District would receive additional funding for programs, and families may have college applications waived, internet and utility discounts, SAT/PSAT/ACT Testing Discounts, and EBT Cards.

If you received communication informing you that your eligibility was expiring on 9/29/23 or have not yet applied, please do not delay submitting a new application for the 2023-2024 school year to receive the benefits. Apply here today: You will also find additional information regarding our program linked here:Free or Reduced Meals

Employment Opportunities

Benicia Unified School District has vacant positions for the current school year. If you or someone you know is looking for a job and interested in serving our students and our community, please click on this EdJoin Link and apply. If you have any questions, please email Human Resources at: [email protected]

Cultural Corner

Please join BUSD as we recognize and celebrate the Hispanic Latinx community’s achievements, culture, and contributions to the nation’s history. The 2023 theme is “Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power and Progress in America,” President Lyndon Johnson observed Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, and in 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded the observance to cover thirty days. Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month now ranges from September 15 through October 15 to incorporate the independence days of Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua.

Latinx Hispanic Heritage Month

Superintendent Message

Damon Wright

Dear BUSD Families,

We understand that you entrust us with your children daily; thus, we want to continue working with our parents and community to support student growth. The District remains committed to educating students holistically as outlined by our four LCAP goals (Social-Emotional Learning, Literacy and Humanities, Math and Steam, and Equity and Opportunity) and encourages parental reinforcement of our core principles through routine dialogue.

Obtaining detailed information from students regarding their school day may present challenges, yet the practice is essential. As a District, we ask that you routinely inquire and discuss your student’s school experiences  to help us identify a barometer of support required to ensure they feel included and thriving. Here are some potential questions to facilitate a discussion about social-emotional health and inclusion:

  • What was the best part of your day?
  • Who did you sit with at lunch today?
  • What did you like most about school today?
  • What was the hardest thing you did today?
  • How included did you feel in class today?
  • What can teachers or other adults at school do to help you better?

In addition to inquiring about your students’ social-emotional well-being and sense of belonging within our program, we encourage parents to ask about teaching and learning. This year, the District is emphasizing BEST First Instructional Strategies to provide opportunities for students to earn “more than one year’s growth in one year’s time.” District and site-level administrators have facilitated scheduled learning walks at each school site to observe BEST First Instructional Strategies, engage with students regarding the lesson objective, and identify and calibrate areas for celebration and growth. When engaging with students, we ask three essential questions:

  1. What are you learning?
  2. How do you know you have learned it?
  3. What steps would you take if you had yet to learn it?

 These three questions help us know if the students understand the task and the lesson’s learning objective. The questions also inform us if students can identify that they acquired the necessary information and if they plan to follow up if they need additional assistance. 

Please listen for a learning objective in your conversation and inquire about the academic language acquired, such as, “Today I learned how to multiply compound fractions.” We also ask that you encourage them to demonstrate their learning by explaining the content of their homework or teaching you the information they received in class. 

Here are some additional resources you can use to reinforce your student’s learning:

  • Imagine Math (K-12) for students in a math class
  • ELA (K-2 AND all Multi-language learners) found in each student’s Clever Account
  • Personalized pathways based on what students need
  • Fifteen minutes/day is a wonderful support

    As a District, we are grateful for our partnership with parents and together, we will continue on this path to supporting students with their goals and aspirations.


    Damon J. Wright, Ed.D.
    Benicia Unified School District

    Benicia High School in the News

    The Benicia Unified School District celebrates David Broom for earning National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist honors, placing him in the top one percent of students nationwide. David was highlighted in the Benicia Herald printed edition and the Vallejo Times Herald online on September 15, 2023. The digital article is linked here: National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist.

    Benicia High School in the News

    BUSD Makes Top 25 Districts in the Bay Area

    The Benicia Unified School District made the top twenty-five school Districts within the Bay Area. We thank our staff, students, and community for contributing to this great honor. This honor is just the beginning. BUSD aims to climb the chart. Please review the article linked here: Bay Area School District Rankings

    Storybook Stroll

    Benicia Reads is a partnership between the city of Benicia and the Benicia Unified School District.  Benicia Reads emphasizes the powerful impact that talking, singing, and reading have on the developing mind. Parents, grandparents, older siblings, and everyone who is part of the Benicia community can play a vital role in the literacy development of our children. Reading with your child, especially in their first three years, supports their future language development, reading, writing, and overall learning. Other benefits include brain development, longer attention spans, social and emotional growth, greater creativity, and memory retention. Reading together is also an excellent way to connect with your child and build a comfortable, safe space in which you can explore life lessons as they grow older.

    On Saturday, October 21st from 10:00 am to noon families with children of all ages are invited to pick up an activity guide at St. Paul’s Square (corner of First Street and J Street). Then take a “Story Stroll” around First Street! Families will be treated to stories and poems in multiple locations and can hunt for literary clues along the way before picking up coloring sheets and other giveaways, including a children’s book to take home to add to the family library. Snacks will be provided by Benicia Kiwanis Club. The entire event is FREE.

    Please see the attached flier for more information.Storybook Stroll 

    We hope to see you there!

    Dr. Leslie Beatson
    Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services

    Elementary  Harvest Festivals

    Robert Semple: October 14, 2023 from 11:00 to 2:00 PM
    Joe Henderson: October 21, 2023 from 1:00 to 5:00 PM.  Please review the flier linked here: Joechella
    Mary Farmar: October 21, 2023 from 11:00 to 2:00 PM

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