Category Archives: Featured

Bertrand JH Quiz Bowl Wins Big at Alma

The Bertrand Junior High Quiz Bowl team had a great day at the Alma Quiz Bowl Meet on Tuesday, March 12, 2020. The tournament began as pool play and then concluded with the top two teams from each pool participating in the championship rounds. Bertrand’s pool included Franklin, Southern Valley, and Wilcox-Hildreth.

They first faced off against Wilcox-Hildreth and won 60 to 15. Second, they won a very close match 30 to 25 against Franklin. In their final match of pool play, the opponent was Southern Valley. They dominated during this match with a final score of 95 to 15. They came out of pool play ranked first in the pool. The championship match was played against Alma. Bertrand tied the match up when the final toss-up question was answered correctly. The team was able to secure the win by answering the bonus correctly! It was definitely a very exciting day for the team. Many team members contributed to the success!

Bertrand Community School District Plan for Coronavirus Outbreak

Parents and Patrons of the Bertrand Community School District:

I want to update you on our district plan regarding the Coronavirus.  As with any contagious illness, we are working closely with Two Rivers Health Department and will follow their guidelines.  Based on those guidelines, staff will be in contact with all appropriate entities as the need arises.  After attending meetings at the NDE and Two Rivers Health level it is becoming obvious that there are no hard fast mandates or edicts coming from either organization that will inform our school when it must close and for how long.  Please bear with all of us as we attempt to navigate this situation.  I plan to communicate with you via One Call Now and other digital media outlets.

Also, many parents have already heard from some of our proactive teachers regarding instructing students, electronically, during the time they are out of school.  I have learned from our school attorney that this plan has legal issues…so any day where we are forced to be at home, instead of at school, due to pandemic conditions, will be considered a “day out of school educationally, whereby there will be no instruction.”  It may be required that these non-educational days be made up after the end of the academic calendar year.

If you suspect your student is ill, we are asking you to keep them home from school.

We encourage you to check out the following resources regarding Coronavirus from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention:

Please read below some information and steps we are taking on the local school level:
Q: Who will make a decision to close schools?

A: If an outbreak occurs, and school closures are recommended or ordered, decisions will be made following discussion between the school district and Two Rivers Public Health Department.  We will also consider guidance from the Nebraska Department of Education.  The school district is unable to know if or when individuals are exposed to any illness, which is why we follow guidelines from expert agencies like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and our local public health department. Rather than recommending the cancellation of schools and public events, at this time, these agencies are asking people who may have been exposed to the virus to stay home.

Q: How are student absences being handled?

A: All student absences due to illness will be excused with parent confirmation that a child is ill.  The district will not require a doctor’s note to have a student absence excused for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.  We are also suspending all classroom and school-wide perfect attendance awards and incentives (if a school shutdown occurs.)  If your student is home ill, we ask that parents describe the symptoms the student is experiencing (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, etc.) Students are strictly prohibited from attending school until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without temperature reducing medication.

District policies governing student absences for reasons other than student illness will continue to be enforced.

Q: Are there any plans to alter or cancel travel, field trips, school dances, etc… due to concerns?

A: There are no recommendations from public health officials at this time for the school district to cancel school events.  According to state and local health officials, students and staff should continue with normal daily activities and practice the same precautions you use during cold and flu seasons.  If a student falls ill during an activity trip, we will follow the same procedure as we would at school, in that we will isolate the student and contact the parent/guardian to pick up the student.

If public health officials recommend that the district cancel events or activities, the school district will comply with that recommendation.  We will use our regular communication systems to share that information with families if it becomes necessary.  Presently, avoiding large groups of people is a strategy barrier to the virus.

Q: Are additional sanitization procedures taking place at sites and in classrooms?

A: Our district is already implementing additional sanitation procedures.  We have hand sanitizer available in all classrooms.  Custodial staff is implementing increased cleaning procedures, including disinfecting high-traffic locations using state-recommended cleaning procedures.  All soap dispensers are being filled regularly.  We are also reminding students on how to properly wash hands, which is one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of germs and respiratory illnesses according to health officials.

Q: Are alcohol-based hand sanitizers allowed in the school?


Q: What if a student catches the virus?

A: Any time a student is confirmed to have a communicable disease, the District communicates with our local public health department for directives and guidance preventing the spread of the specific communicable disease. This not only applies to coronavirus but other health conditions as well (H1N1, tuberculosis, meningitis, etc.). The Public Health Department will notify the District of any known cases.

Q: What if someone in a student’s or staff member’s immediate family is diagnosed? Are all quarantined in that household?

A: If students or staff come in contact with someone confirmed to be an infected person they should stay home, contact their medical provider, and call the Two Rivers County Public Health Department at (888) 669-7154. If someone must quarantine or isolate, they will be notified by health department.

Q: What happens if a child is symptomatic with flu/cold symptoms?

A: If a child is symptomatic (fever, shortness of breath, cough, congestion), they should stay home and contact their physician further guidance. A child may return to school once he or she is fever free for 24 hours without medication. If they are at school, and begin to feel sick, they should check in with the health office and wait for their parent/guardian to pick them up. Remember that schools are not equipped to screen students or staff to identify cases of COVID-19.

Q: There’s so much information out there and I don’t know what’s true or not. Where can I go to find the most updated information about the coronavirus?

Be sure to always get your information from credible sources such as:

Thank you for your support and understanding. 

Dr. Dennis Shipp
Bertrand Community School

Plan Download

Phelps County Safe Communities Coalition Assembly

On March 25 th , 9 th -12 th grade students will be attending the Phelps County Safe Communities Coalition Spring Assembly in Holdrege. Johnathon McKee will be the speaker and his presentation is called “Becoming Screen-Wise.” Technology and social media will be the topic for this presentation.

This same evening, there will be a free “Parenting Generation Screen” workshop for parents and guardians of elementary through high school-age children. Johnathon will be presenting at this workshop as well. The following flyer contains additional information if you are interested in attending.

Preschool Community Helpers

The preschool students enjoyed the month of February with our Community Helpers unit! We are so thankful to have wonderful people in our town to teach us about what they do.

Our curriculum, World of Wonders has provided tons of ideas with books, songs, and questions to provoke ideas and conversations within our classroom. We love taking it one step further and asking our community members to come in and visit our classroom or for us to visit them in their workplace!

Our first community helper was Jonny Sand with Holdrege Family Dental. He brought his stuffed dragon with large teeth and a large tooth brush to show proper technique of brushing and why it is important to brush our teeth. The students and Jonny also talked about why we should eat healthy foods to help our teeth. Thank you, Dentist Jonny Sand for coming to visit our classroom and teach our students about teeth!

The next visitors were our firefighters who brought in their gear and taught us about staying safe in a fire. The students talked with the firefighters about the outfits that they wear, the things that they do to help people besides fighting fires, and how we can be proactive with our families about planning of where to meet and how to get out safe in case of a fire. Thank you to our volunteer fire department for the hours that you put in to keep us safe and provide an education to our children.

Aryn Schwarz, of Divine Stylez came in to talk with our students about being a hair stylist. She brought in a variety of things that she needs to accomplish doing her job, such as the brush to color hair, a comb, and the sheers that she uses to cut hair. Our students had fun with the doll that she brought with to practice doing hair. We even got out our pretend doll heads to practice doing hair after Aryn left. We may have some future hair stylists in our preschool classroom, thank you for teaching us about your job Aryn!

Our final community helpers visit was to our local post office. We learned about what it takes to mail something, how they sort mail, and how they deliver things different ways. Our students got to see mail coming in to the post office and the drivers showed us where they put our mail before they put it in our boxes. Some of the students got to see their specific slot of mail! The students got to see P.O. boxes, stamps, and boxes, all thanks to our local post office workers. Thank you for taking time out of your schedules to teach our students about the mail.

We are so thankful to have a great group of community helpers in our town! We like to visit each “set” of community helpers every other year so that our students, in their two years of attending preschool, get to visit two different groups of community helpers. Next year we will visit new places and have new visitors! Thank you for being willing to come visit our students and educate them on the work that goes on in our town.

Learning about Leap Year

What is so special about the month of February?  This is the question the first and third graders learned about on Wednesday.  Jane Tonjes, a recent native of Bertrand and para at the school, came to discuss what it means to have 29 days in February.  Jane celebrates her birthday on February 29 and will be 18 this year. Well, not really, but if she only got to celebrate her birthday every four years that is how old she would be.  Her mom actually let her celebrate the 28th of February and March 1st.

Jane explained that her grand kids have always had a lot of questions about the 29th. In fact, one grandson wanted to know when grandpa’s leap year birthday was.  She decided that after trying to explain it to her grand kids several times, that maybe it was time for her to write a book about it for kids. Her book called Leap is about several frogs that decide to have a party.   Leap’s friends wanted to make his birthday special because his birthday is on the 29th.  Her book shows illustrations that give you a better understanding of what leap year is.

Her family played a big part in helping this book come to life.  Her grand kids helped draw the frogs and all the illustrations. Jane also had fun incorporating many frog facts into her book. Her daughters helped edit the book and found a publisher to print it.

Jane shared that she has often thought of writing a book.  She shared that it takes time to write a book. It took her 10 years to get all of her ideas down and pictures drawn.  Jane had the children think of a topic that they were interested in. They were asked to come up with a title and begin their rough draft.  The kids eagerly started writing and were anxious to share their stories with each other.

We appreciated Jane coming to visit and sharing her book with the children.

Jane shows the students a new game.