Camas, WA — Team Mean Machine and Discovery High School worked for months on the Power Pivot Project, which this week won a National Finalist title in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition. 

This is a device that helps people with limited mobility. The Power Pivot™ is a portable motorized disk that can assist caregivers transferring persons with limited mobility between wheelchairs, seats, and beds. Unlike existing transfer disks, the Power Pivot™ provides rotation to move the patient without having to twist or apply force. 

In December, the team entered the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Competition, and won statewide. Then, in February they made a video submission for the chance to win $50,000 as a national finalist and $100,000 and a national overall winner. On Thursday, Samsung announced the National Finalist, and the Power Pivot was one of them. There is a bounce of $10,000 to the project that gets the most community engagement. 

You can vote for Discovery High School at 

Here’s the video submission:

Power Pivot

Team 2471, a robotics team made up of students from Camas, Hockinson, and Washougal school districts in Washington state have used their design, machining, programming, and business skills to create a device for assisting people with injuries or other physical disabilities. During the 2021 FIRST Robotics competition season, the team was challenged to create an innovative design to facilitate aspects of health and fitness. As their answer to this challenge, Team 2471 created the Power Pivot™ to help persons with limited mobility and their caregivers.

The Power Pivot™ is a portable motorized disk that can assist caregivers transferring persons with limited mobility between wheelchairs, seats, and beds. Unlike existing transfer disks, the Power Pivot™ provides rotation to move the patient without having to twist or apply force. You can learn more at 

  • About 32,000 deaths are caused annually due to older adults falling. The Power Pivot aims to prevent these accidents.
  • The team said this is a great opportunity for students to gain all sorts of unique experience designing, building, and marketing a product before they’re even out of high school.

The high school team is currently assembling Power Pivots™ and making them available for those who can benefit from its capabilities. Power Pivots are built for each individual upon request. They are designed to be affordable with any profit directed to support STEM education in the community.

“The Power Pivot project has been an amazing opportunity for team members to come forward to learn and use their skills while creating something that can really help a lot of people,” said Zach Ager Vice President and fourth year member of Team 2471.

“The Power Pivot project has really allowed me to look behind the scenes and learn more about the production, business and outreach side of making a product (whether that be a robot or Power Pivot), whereas before I only focused on the building and designing,” said Taryn Cavil, first year member of Team 2471.

FRC Team 2471 is composed of students from Camas, Washougal, and Hockinson school districts in Washington state. The team competes in annual FIRST Robotics Competitions where they use design, machining, programming, and business skills to build robots to compete in a series of robot challenges that change from year to year. Team Members have opportunities to learn new skills and work together as a team while they are encouraged to seek innovative solutions to solve real world problems, preparing them for any professional STEM or business fields. Students show dedication to the FIRST Robotics principles of safety in their work, innovation in creation, excellence in design and gracious professionalism throughout their community. 

Users hold the Power Pivot.

Learn more at

FIRST® is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for grades PreK-12 that can be facilitated in both school or other structured programs. An international non-profit organization founded by accomplished inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has a proven impact on STEM learning, interest, and skill-building well beyond high school. Boosted by a global support system of mentors, coaches, volunteers, alumni, and sponsors that include over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, teams operate under a signature set of FIRST Core Values to conduct research, fundraise, design, and build robots, then compete and celebrate at local, regional, and international events. Students are eligible for more than $80 million in college scholarships through FIRST. Learn more at

Contact Team 2471 at

Power Pivot up close.

Camas, WA — After six weeks of successful testing, the brand-new Camas App is now available to the public.

What started as a local business directory and news aggregator, evolved to focus on connecting residents and visitors with local businesses and events. Its designers call it “collaborative commerce.”

“The Camas App was built for, in, and by community members – designed to help regenerate our economy and make it more resilient. We want to make it easy for residents and visitors to learn about local businesses and discover new ones they may not be aware of,” said Joseph Graves, Co-creator of the Camas App.

The app was created locally and operated with a focus on supporting the Camas community without global tech companies filtering results or optimizing for their own financial interests.

To get the app, go to from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Background — How did this come about?

Graves and Lacamas Magazine shared several clients and were discussing ways to help more businesses when the idea for a Camas App came up in conversation.

“I had an idea for a cool local business directory app, and Joe said he was already working on it with Tyler Kaye,” said Ernie Geigenmiller, Editor & Publisher of Lacamas Magazine. “So, the three of us have been working like crazy to get it launched.”

“It’s a perfect fit for the Lacamas Magazine audience and a great way to strengthen our local economy” said Graves. “Buying from local businesses is the most powerful method I can think of to protect our community.”

Camas App
Camas App
The Daily Deal in the Camas App.

“I have always wanted to find a way to connect a community to local businesses. In the ever-connected world of high speed connections, local businesses can still thrive with the right tools,” said Kaye. “The Camas App is a tool for the community as much as it is for the businesses in Camas.”

To make the app sustainable over the long term, there are several in app marketing opportunities including Premium listings, Daily Deals, Special Offers, Real Estate Listing, with more planned for the future. 

A portion of the revenue generated will be shared with three local nonprofits — The Camas-Washougal Community Chest, Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Camas Association.

Camas App
The Camas App has many categories.

Camas, WA — The new Camas Info App, which is currently in beta testing, was built to help connect Camas businesses, residents, and visitors. Designed as a local business directory and news aggregator, it offers perks for users and benefits for local businesses. 

“The Camas App is a simple business directory that provides users with useful information about local businesses and makes it easy to discover new ones they may not be aware of,” said Joseph Graves, Owner of Workshed.

Workshed and Lacamas Magazine shared several clients and were discussing ways to help more businesses when the idea for a Camas App came up in conversation.

“I had an idea about a cool local business directory app, and Joe said he was already working on it,” said Ernie Geigenmiller, Editor & Publisher of Lacamas Magazine. “So, we’ve been working like crazy to get it built.”

“It’s a great way to leverage the power of the Lacamas Magazine audience to further strengthen our local economy” said Graves. “We’re working hard to make the app super easy to use and give local businesses a powerful way to connect with new customers for their products or services.”

At launch, Camas businesses will have several in app marketing opportunities including standard listings, premium listings, and Daily Deals, with more planned for the future. A portion of the revenue will be shared with local nonprofits — Community Chest, Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Camas Association.

“Users will be able to see what’s happening with their favorite stores and businesses in one place,” said Geigenmiller. “It’s a win-win for residents, visitors, and businesses. Companies are signing up very quickly, and the waiting list is growing.”

To register for early access to the app, visit

Invitations will go out when it’s ready for general use, and Lacamas Magazine will provide regular updates.

This is a short video overview:

What is the Camas App?

Olympia, WA — Gov. Jay Inslee, along with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), on Monday announced the launch of WA Notify, an easy-to-use anonymous exposure notification tool that’s been created stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Inslee said by “adding WA Notify to their smartphones, Washington residents will be alerted if they spent time near another WA Notify user who later tests positive for COVID-19.”

The app uses technology developed by Google and Apple and works without collecting or revealing any location or personal data, Inslee’s office said.

“Secure, private and anonymous exposure notification technology is an important tool for Washington,” Inslee said Monday. “We’ve deployed WA Notify in 29 languages so as many Washington residents as possible can protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities. I encourage everyone to start using WA Notify today so we can continue to work together to contain this virus.”

Data models for three counties in Washington found that COVID-19 infections and deaths could be reduced if even a small percentage of people enabled WA Notify. 

Inslee was joined by outgoing Secretary of Health John Wiesman, who emphasized this tool will stop the virus from spreading. Studies from Oxford University and Stanford also show that the more people who use exposure notification technology, the more effective it is.

“WA Notify complements the actions Washington residents are already taking, like wearing masks, physical distancing and keeping gatherings small,” said Wiesman. “We’re excited to be joining the states already using this safe and secure technology and encourage all Washingtonians to join the effort.”

Several states including Virginia, New York and Colorado are already using this tool. Countries successfully using this technology include Ireland, Canada and Germany.

The voluntarily activated app uses Bluetooth technology to exchange random codes with the phones of other users they are near. And, according to Inslee, it does this without revealing a user’s identity or location. Users who test positive for COVID-19 can enter a verification code provided by public health into WA Notify, so that other users who have been near them within the last 14 days can be anonymously alerted and take appropriate action.

The WA Notify tool is free and can be enabled in iPhone settings or downloaded as an app from the Google Play Store for Android phones. Users can opt out at any time.

“People are understandably concerned these days about being tracked and having their personal information compromised,” said Associate Professor Stefano Tessaro with the UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. “However, the technology behind WA Notify has been vetted by security and privacy experts across the world, and it does not collect or store any information that personally identifies its users.”

Before launching the tool, Washington state received a recommendation to adopt the technology from an oversight committee which included security and civil liberties experts and a diverse group of community leaders.

To learn more:

  • Visit to learn how to install the tool to your smartphone or to learn more.
  • Information about WA Notify is available in multiple languages — choose from the full list at

WASHOUGAL, WA — Software startup Mathaesthetics LLC has released MathPaint, its flagship software application, enabling anyone with a Mac to create amazing art generated by the power and beauty of mathematics.

MathPaint is built for graphic designers who have a need to create abstract, geometric, or fractal illustrations and visual textures. The new software title is also expected to appeal to experimental visual artists, hobbyists, and students.

MathPaint 1.0 is offered through Apple’s Mac App Store. The software’s sale price is $29.99. The App Store entry includes more information about the software, screenshots, and video previews:

The MathPaint home page on the Mathaesthetics website also features more information, screenshots, and a free 10-day demo version of the software:

Connecting With a Virtual Art Community
Although MathPaint was only just released the app has already gained a following online on social media. MathPaint creator Christopher Corbell regularly posts images created with the program on Instagram and other channels. Digital art made with MathPaint has earned follows and “likes” from around the world.

“The images made with MathPaint have gained follows and likes from France, Brazil, Japan, Iran and other places around the world,” said Corbell. “At this time when we’re all isolated by the pandemic it’s really meaningful to see how art can connect us worldwide. There’s a virtual community around hashtags like #generative and #creativecode. Mathematical art has a kind of beauty, like music, which transcends cultures. Its visual forms reflect something in that’s in all of us, in our sense of harmony and our wonder at complexity. Anyone can appreciate these designs even if they don’t regularly do mathematics. That’s really what made me want to create MathPaint – it’s a program powered by math but it isn’t for doing math; it’s for making art. I think this kind of program might be really useful in education as well. It can give students a way to explore mathematics as a creative activity, motivated by wonder or playfulness.” 


Introduction to MathPaint Video Tutorial
Mathaesthetics will be delivering MathPaint tutorials on its YouTube channel, accessible from within the application or in any web browser. The initial video tutorial is an introduction to the features of MathPaint, showing its variety of capabilities in action:

About Mathaesthetics LLC

Founded in the summer of 2020, Mathaesthetics is a Washington limited-liability company based in Washougal. The company’s mission is to explore the intersection of technology and creativity with imaginative software products. Founder Christopher Corbell moved to Washougal in 2019 from nearby Portland. Corbell has worked as a software engineer since 2000 and has also participated in the Portland arts scene as a music composer, producer, and performer.

An example of digital art.

Field trips are often one of the most memorable learning experiences for young students.  The opportunity to go outside the classroom can be an exciting and impactful way to bring lessons to life. This is why Cape Horn-Skye Elementary first grade teachers, Darcy Hickey and Nicol Yung, decided to deliver the experience online.  

“The idea of having Virtual Field Trip Fridays came about from us as a team discussing how we could do something fun as a grade level and make it meaningful to the kids,” said Hickey.  “We chose Fridays because after a week of distance learning, we wanted the kids to have something fun and different to look forward to.  We set up a Zoom link for the entire first grade so all the students get to experience the field trip together.”

Students have participated in four virtual field trips so far this year.  “We have visited a dairy farm, an egg farm, an ice cream factory and a symphony,” explained Yung. “An upcoming field trip will be to attend a shadow puppet show.”

Each field trip is planned with a thought to science, literacy, and the arts. “For example, our trip to the symphony fell in line with our study of sound in science,” said Hickey. “We also love that it supported music standards.”  

A lesson unit in language arts involved fables, and since many centered around a farm setting, a virtual trip to an egg farm was arranged.  “Our trip was also a segue into doing a science experiment with eggs,” said Yung.  “Our art teacher, Alice Yang, was a special guest who joined us on our field trip to the dairy farm.  She led the students in a directed drawing of a cow.  The upcoming field trip to the shadow puppet show aligns with our study of light and shadows in science.”

“We want the kids to know and understand that despite the fact that we are in a remote learning situation, there are still many opportunities for them to experience and learn things about their world around them,” explained Hickey.  “We want them to know that they are still connected to the world and that they can participate in meaningful activities, experiments, literature and discussions about everyday things that are a part of their lives like eggs, milk, ice cream, light, and sound to name a few.”


Hickey and Yung strive to help students think about topics that they are familiar with more critically and on a larger scale. They provide hands-on science experiments and activities throughout the week that support the field trips.  For example, students were provided materials to do an experiment on how sound waves travel before the symphony.  For the upcoming puppetry field trip, they were given materials to create shadow shapes on the wall.

The most recent field trip to an ice cream factory on October 2nd also featured CH-S’s new principal, Brian Amundson, reading the book Should I Share My Ice Cream, by Mo Willems.  “This was a great way for our students to get to know Mr. Amundson since we aren’t in person right now,” said Hickey. “He also led the students through a STEM challenge.”

“The entire staff at Cape Horn-Skye is awesome,” said Amundson. “The creativity of the teachers and the ways they are finding to connect with students and families is amazing.”

The virtual time together this week ended with a surprise Dairy Queen gift card for a free ice cream. “We reached out to former School Board member, Teresa Lees, who contacted the manager of Cams DQ to ask about donating the 50 gift cards to our students,” said Hickey. “Donna from DQ was thrilled to be a part of this and didn’t hesitate to say yes.”

Washougal, WA — The role of high school libraries is evolving as technology changes the way information is accessed and researched. Washougal High School Librarian, Hillary Marshall, is helping to forward the new vision for how libraries interact with students by helping establish Makerspaces throughout Washington schools.

Makerspaces are collaborative work spaces devoted to using high tech and other tools and materials for creating, making, learning, exploring and sharing.  Marshall, who is the Washington Library Association, School Library Division Chair, worked over the summer with a team of nine other educators and librarians to develop the “Makerspace Your School Library” curriculum for teacher librarians.   The project was funded by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) though the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and written by Siri Hiltz, Youth Services Consultant, Library Development, Washington State Library, Office of the Secretary of State.  The group worked for two full days to develop the training for all grade levels that will be shared throughout the State of Washington.

“Libraries used to be the center for information, but now students have the internet,” explained Marshall. “The makerspace activities bring students back into libraries.  The concept is also effective when paired with school curriculum and can be used to move the challenge a student faces in that area of study up a notch.  We also provide students who may never have tried computer sciences a place to experiment and explore.  They find out that it may not be as hard as they had thought it might be.”

Sections in the Makerspace program training include Robotics (Computational Thinking), Design Challenge (Collaborative Problem Solving), Creation Station (Innovative Design), Circuitry (Computational Thinking) and Break & Make (Innovative Design).  “The Break & Make section focuses on taking parts of unrelated or broken items to design and create something brand new,” Marshall explained.  “The Circuitry section allows students to explore electricity and building circuits in fun ways like the MakeyMakey banana piano.  Students create a loop circuit through the conduit of a banana, alligator clips, and the programming found online through the MakeyMakey website.  Once it is properly set up students can play various
bananas that emit different sounds on their Banana Piano.”

Fur Pom Beanies at LILY ATELIER in Downtown Camas. $78!! Get Yours Before They’re Gone!!

Other training will be available at various locations throughout the state of Washington.  However, Marshall and training partner, Craig Seasholes, Dearborn Park International Elementary Librarian, Seattle Public Schools, also have a training scheduled at Fort Vancouver Regional Library on Saturday, November 16.  They are paired to offer six different trainings up the I-5 corridor and the Olympic Peninsula throughout the school year.

“We have school librarians and teachers attending from a variety of instructional areas ranging from elementary to high school,” said Marshall. “All are interested in bringing makerspace ideas and more STEAM (Science, Technology Engineering, Art and Math) concepts into their curriculum, library or classroom.”

According to Marshall, the development of this type of educational experience for students is driven by best library practices, OSPI Educational Technology standards and industry job requirements.  “Our students need opportunities to be challenged and problem solve,” she explained.  “We don’t know exactly what jobs will be available to these kids, so we need to prepare them with a variety of 21st century skills.”

At the WHS Makerspace, students’ named the BETA Base, students are encouraged to come to the library to tinker and practice design principles as they explore computer science through monthly projects.  “They come in before school, at lunch, during Hop and Stop (study period) and after school,” explained Marshall.  “Each month I set up a new challenge for them to work out.”

The October challenge of programming with a Micro:bit was developed by a recent WHS graduate. The materials were purchased with funds raised through the WHS student Keepers of the Library social club through sports concessions and the proceeds from their entry into the Festival of the Trees.  The club members voted on what they wanted to support with the funds and chose both art supplies and computer coding robotic tools.  WHS also has a strong relationship with FVRL Washougal branch and regularly borrow maker materials to support dual programming offered after school, during Tween/Teen nights at the Washougal Community Library, or for special MakerSpaces programs for some of the activities.

WHS Junior, Maxwell Malcom, has made use of the library makerspaces to learn about 3D printing.  “I used to come to the library to do research,” he said.  “Now I come here to learn a new skill that I never even knew about. I really enjoy 3D printing.  It is a technology that wasn’t available to us a few years ago.”  

Malcom’s first project was a simple Christmas ornament and he most recently created an impressive six-piece Halloween lantern.

“Makerspaces provide opportunities for students to create, innovate, and collaborate,” Marshall explained. “They help to build a sense of community and allow students to make connections with students, staff, and community members as well as with technology.  I love that this work is not being graded so they may freely experiment and learn through trial and error.”

Maxwell Malcom with 3D printer.

Approximately 600 adults attended a #SAVETHEKIDS parent education event Tuesday night in Vancouver featuring Instagram Influencer/Youth Advocate Collin Kartchner and Educator Katey McPherson.

“This has been a year in the making,” said one of the event’s organizers, Greg Gillespie, who introduced all of the local volunteers. “I’ve been following him on Instagram, and Collin started off making fun of social media influencers, but when Hurricane Harvey hit in Texas he realized he could do things that make a difference. They helped big time in Houston. Has helped out with many causes. Then he really started this crusade about helping kids and parents navigate screens, and now he visits schools and communities all over the country. He even has a TEDX talk.”

Kartchner spent Tuesday at Liberty Middle School and Hood River Elementary, and encouraged guests to evaluate individual phone and screen usage.

“First, none of us had any clue we’d be dealing with this when we had our children,” said Kartchner. “We are the first generation of parents figuring this out, and we have to talk to each other, and I want you to understand this is a no-shame evening.”

He showed a video that of three people from three generations, the first two of which discussed a childhood outdoors, close to nature.

“The current generation is obsessed with video games and using their smart phones and tablets,” he said. “So, what if this trend continues? Nature has always been a part of childhood, and we need to keep it that way. Society has changed and we’ve created new systems and tech and now can tell it’s harming our kids. Our kids are creative geniuses if we let them.”

He shared a story about Whitney, a 20-year-old in Utah who committed suicide because of the pain she suffered using her smart phone.

“So, we created a program called #savethekids and as parents we have to lead the way,” he said. “When we have our phones out in front of our kids it means we appreciate the phone more than we appreciate them.”

Citing examples of new baby and toddler toys that incorporate smart phone technology he said “we have traded all this amazing stuff and have converted it all to a digital screen and we’re realizing it’s been a mistake. Inmates get more outdoor time than our children do.”

And, the older generations are doing it, too.

“Parents: this is not a phone, this is a mini-super computer with access to everything,” said Kartchner. “We are handing them loaded weapons and if we don’t teach them they will destroy themselves. You have to parent your kids, you have know what they’re getting into. If you give them a smartphone you’re giving them a ticket to do anything.”

Video: Sobering Statistics

Then he showed the audience sobering statistics (click video link):

“Parents, we have to intervene,” he said. “We have created a society for our children that is extremely stressful. We can stop ‘still facing’ our kids and their problems. Babies are very responsive to the world around them. Infants really do engage in personal interaction.”

Video: ”Still Facing”

He used this video to show his point (click video link):

Using images of the pre-frontal cortex slide, Kartchner explained how the brain develops from the rear to the front. 

“The pre-frontal cortex, which is the last part of the brain to develop, affects decision making,” he explained. “Your kid isn’t even close to full development.  Social media and gaming have negative effects on our children’s brains. Games are more addictive than cocaine. Fortnite, a company that makes $1.8 billion a quarter off a ‘free’ game is also an attraction for sexual predators. We are letting our kids turn their backs on their talents.” 

Social Media App Ratings

“Social media app ratings are misleading,” he said. “We’re trying to help the tech companies change how the way apps are rated. For example, lots of porn links are sent through Instagram. Watch out for private DMs. It’s too much for our kids. These phones are destroying our kids. Instagram is a dangerous place for our kids. SnapChat is the worst. They throw out articles to our kids encouraging porn, and 82 percent of porn on Pornhub encourages violence. We have to be careful. TikTok is the next big one and is a place for predators.” 

SnapChat is the worst!”

— Collin Kartchner
Easy to find porn on these apps.

“Mom, I Got Bit”

When you hand your kids a snake they’re gonna get bit, and that’s why he will soon be releasing a book called “Mom, I Got Bit.” He likened the dangers of smartphones to having a snake, and explained how to react when your children get bit:

  1. Don’t yell, don’t get mad.
  2. Tell them “I love you, thank you for being brave enough to tell me you got bit.”
  3. Offer assistance: “What can we do to help you?”
  4. Create a “no trouble” bubble, which is a safe place. 

Hugs and Signs You Might Be a Lawnmower Parent

“Hugs! Our kids need more of this than ever before,” he said. “Hug your kids — kids need 8 hugs a day for 8 seconds each. 20 second hugs have proven to boost the immune system. Why are they so desperate to be seen and loved?”

In this video, he explained what it means to be a “Lawnmower Parent” (click video link):

Katey’s Presentation

“Technology is part of our life but it cannot be our central focus,” she said. “When you hand over your device you’re giving them a medium to share their feelings … Prior to age 2 you’ve taken about 2,000 photos. It teaches them that life is to not be lived, it is to be documented.”

“After Columbine (the school shooting) in 1999 we decided nobody would harm our kids. We’ve taken away from our children the ability to cope with their own pain. Our students are walking around with a thin veil of terror and the device is not going to save their lives.”

Citing increasing national anxiety trends, McPherson said that students need to know they have dignity.

“Students need to know they have dignity,” she said. “Think about adding this to your daily vocabulary.

This generation is over the word ‘respect.’ The reason is because we’ve taken away their dignity all day long. We bring them to this Earth with inherent worth, and we need to stop doing the heavy lifting for them. If we want to stop school shootings we better start with the inside out.”

“Spend your energy on being clear on access and sit down with your family to discuss what’s fair. Sit down and be really clear about what the boundaries are. Create a family data contract. They’re not allowed to share private information. Don’t share inappropriate photos. It has to be an ongoing and pervasive message. This is a parent issue, not a school issue. The goal is self-governance by 17 or 18. It is not easy work, but it is possible. If you stop dancing you will lose your child to pornography or gaming or suicide. It’s time to really step into this. We are here to get you in the know about what our kids are exposed to.”

The next #savethekids event happens Wednesday, October 16 from 7-8:30 pm at Mannahouse in Vancouver. 

Washougal, WA — Washougal High School is introducing a new Advanced Placement (AP) course titled Computer Science Principles this year, bringing the total number of AP courses to 13.  AP courses offer a rigorous, collegiate level curriculum that prepares students to succeed in college and other educational and training programs after graduation.  

The Computer Science Principles course will feature volunteer instructors through the Microsoft Philanthropies TEALS program, bringing subject matter experience and opportunities for students to learn alongside industry professionals.  In addition to computer science, students at WHS can take AP courses in subjects like art, calculus, biology, chemistry, English, music theory, physics, psychology, Spanish, and history.   Students who complete the course can register for the AP exam in May, and students who perform well on the exam can earn college credit, providing an opportunity to skip introductory coursework when they enroll in college.  

“We are excited about adding a new AP course subject for the 2019-20 school year,” said Aaron Hansen, WSD Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Student Services. “Last spring we were intentional with our message to students that we wanted all of our students to challenge themselves academically. Our AP enrollment reflects the good work our counselors did as we have many more students enrolled in AP courses this coming school year.”

Computer Science

According to Hansen, students who take AP courses learn valuable college-level study skills that will benefit them in all their high school classes and beyond. One of the benefits of taking an AP class is the exposure to the level of thinking, rigor and academics that Washougal students will experience in college, not to mention earning college level credit. “We are planning to continue to add more AP offerings at WHS as well as continuing to encourage all students to stretch themselves,” he said. “The work our students are doing now is preparing them to compete in the global economy and be able to effectively participate in a rapidly changing world.”

“Some families or students may believe that AP offerings are only available to students who ‘already get it’ or who already have all of the skill sets necessary to be successful in an AP course,” said Sheree Clark, WHS Principal.  “This in fact is not the case at all.  While our AP courses are rigorous, there is a high level of support within a small classroom setting that will coach and teach our students the skills necessary to be successful in these programs.”

Additionally, Clark points out that some believe AP courses are only for students on a 4-year college track.  “While having AP courses on a students’ transcript for 4-year colleges can significantly increase a student’s chance for acceptance, these courses also provide essential 21st Century Skills needed for other post-secondary programs including apprenticeships, vocational programs and other career focused programs,” she said. “Many of these post-secondary programs and careers are seeking out candidates who are willing to take risks, work hard and challenge themselves.”

WHS students can also earn college credit while studying at WHS by taking College in the High School coursework in pre-Calculus, Calculus, and Spanish through a partnership with Central Washington University, and many additional courses through Dual Credit courses with Clark College and Mt. Hood Community College. 

Helping students be prepared and be able to contribute to their community through career and college opportunities is a pillar of the new WSD Strategic Plan.  These AP options prepare students academically to succeed in college and build job readiness skills to expand career opportunities.  Students and families interested in learning more about Advanced Placement, Dual Credit, or College in the Classroom coursework can contact their school counselor.  More information can also be found at

“At Washougal High School we believe that students should have every opportunity and access to rigorous courses, we want to see more of our students challenge and stretch their thinking beyond what is easy; if you take on the challenge, we will provide the high level of support,” Clark said.