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 — Washougal School District (WSD) last week welcomed their first 200 students into the classroom at all grade levels and the experience is helping administrators and educators shape their next phases of a detailed reopening plan.
“Just like everybody else we are moving to the first reopening category even though we’re in a high infection rate countywide,” said Dr. Mary Templeton, Superintendent of Washougal School District. “We are bringing back small groups of students totaling 200 who are coming to our campuses for in-person learning.”
The district is only serving special needs students in the classroom during this phase, who are dispersed through all Washougal schools. This is week two, and Templeton said WSD will likely roll in the second wave of students in mid-October — which includes students who are homeless or disadvantaged.
“We know which groups of students are not achieving at the rate we want them to,” said Templeton. “We want to level the playing field for them. Right now, all high school, middle school, elementary school students with special needs are in the classroom. We’ve identified them and that’s the breakout. We are busing, which is nice, it’s an indicator that we’re progressing. We had to temporarily lay off many employees, but we did keep a small group of transportation staff for this first phase.”
WSD has 40 staff members onsite operating in the classroom or working directly with children.
“I’ve been on campus several times and everybody is excited to be with the kids, and they tell me it’s going well,” said Templeton. “These are the comments I heard when I was out and about. I walked in and spoke with office staff who say it’s so great. I loved hearing the sound of children laughing and talking. The cafeteria had children laughing.”
Classrooms mostly consist of groups of five. There is no requirement for what small group means, but WSD is averaging five per class. Students and staff are following all the COVID-19 guidelines. Most tudents are not there for the entire day. They are having lunch and then busing them home.
Some students, however, are there five days a week, and some are attending hybrid and it’s based on student need.
“It’s one step in the right direction and it’s what is being recommended,” said Templeton. “We are fast-forwarding in our minds what will be the need, what do need to have ready to go in the next step, which we hope to be a hybrid elementary situation. Just like everybody we have community members and parents who would like us to go faster, and some would like us to go slower. We are taking a measured approach. We don’t want to move too quickly. We are trying to be respectful of everyone’s desire and to make sure we are prepared.”
Here are some of the things WSD is doing to get ready for the hybrid in-class phase:
Hygiene stations throughout the schools
Isolation rules and protocols
Health screening at entrances
Signage and markers
Increased sanitation receptacles
Templeton said they are working with the health department on a regular basis.
“Everybody needs to mask up and social distance, which will make our schools open faster,” said Templeton. “The last thing is that we need to maintain our focus on our remote learning. We can’t lose our remote learning momentum. It’s going well, but it does have problems. We are working through those. We must maintain our focus on keeping the learning going and keeping those relationships strong.”
For the next wave, WSD will possible add another 200 students that would most benefit from onsite instruction.
“We are taking a thoughtful and measured approach,” Templeton said. “I don’t have teachers telling me they don’t want to be in the classroom, but several have asked us to have a choice of being in the classroom or to teach strictly remotely. Some are choosing to be onsite and some are choosing to be at home.”
There is a process for a staff member who requires an accommodation, and WSD is able to offer that to them. These accommodations may be for them to have a completely virtual classroom, based on parent and student requests.
There might be teachers who may need to take a leave of absence.
“I think teachers miss students and they want to be in the classroom, and we’re making sure it’s a safe opening,” Templeton said. “What are things we need to shore up? We’ve been having this conversation for several months. Each building has a designated COVID safety coordinator.”
Templeton is in her third year as WSD Superintendent, entering the job at the height of the 2018 teacher’s strike. And, now these past six months she’s dealing with the pandemic.
“It’s all hands on deck, we have a good time,” she said. “We have accomplished much. We have successfully marketed the district with Washougal Rising. There’s a high self-esteem. We are now a destination district. It’s an indicator things are working. We’ve had three state recognized schools. Equity is very important to us. We have many students of color participating in accelerated programs. It’s unprecedented excellence. We are aggressively optimistic. If you can’t maintain your optimism it’s hard to move forward. We are all impacted by what is happening. We must have grace and patience with each other. I live here and those are the things we must maintain.”
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/29173350/B39E0609-0018-416C-9E6D-0B0F8D5AF87A.jpeg7241280Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2020-09-29 17:50:132020-09-29 17:51:24Washougal School District Welcomes First 200 Students Into Classrooms
Washougal, WA — If asked the question ‘what’s cooking’ at Washougal schools, the answer may surprise you. Washougal School District (WSD) is implementing a new approach for school meal service, with restaurant style, scratch-made, healthy, and nutritious food available for students and employees.
“At the end of the day it is really about the desire to provide our students with high quality, delicious, homemade meals,” said Mary Templeton, WSD Superintendent. “This program builds on our efforts to achieve our mission to know, nurture and challenge all students to rise. It is important for our students to know they are loved and cared for and we know food nourishes the body, the mind and the spirit.”
The work toward this change began in early 2020 with Templeton along with WSD Business Manager Kris Grindy and Career and Technical Education Director Margaret Rice researching schools across the country who were moving in a similar direction.
Grindy and Rice met with a local chef to start a needs analysis and survey of school kitchens.
“The main goal was to create a transition plan based on his findings and help us work through this complex transition, which included hiring an Executive Chef Supervisor to lead our own Culinary Staff,” explained Rice.
At the end of July, the district hired Chef Chris Youngren to lead the new Culinary Services team. Youngren has worked in the culinary business for more than 20 years. Her career started in restaurants, but she has worked extensively in schools, most recently for the Stevenson-Carson School District.
“Our goal is to transition our former Nutrition Service program into a Culinary Service Program that prepares meals with love and care for our students from scratch; meals we would be proud to serve our own families at home,” said Rice. “By doing this we will continue to work toward building a more inclusive culture/community, one where people sit down and eat together, share stories, and laugh while filling their stomachs.”
Even without students in classrooms, Culinary Services is already working with fresh produce and scratch cooking to provide meals for the district children, which are free through December. This program, funded by the Federal Government, is available at no cost to any child 18 or under. The District will return to charging students for reduced and full-price meals starting in January, unless the federal program is extended.
In the past, the food program meals were created with previously frozen foods. Now the ingredient quality is better, and all the meals are fresh. “This means we are starting with high quality ingredients,” explained Chef Youngren. “For example, we might purchase a ham and slice the meat for our deli sandwiches ourselves ensuring a higher quality product than what we might get if we purchased deli meats already sliced. Everything is being cooked in our central kitchen at Gause Elementary and then cooled immediately and prepared for distribution.”
Adjustments were made to the take-out model of delivery so families can easily reheat the meals to eat right away or freeze it to be eaten later. Meals include reheat instructions and are packaged in containers that can be used for reheating. Take-out bags include handles, which makes it easier for students and their families to carry several meals at once.
Washougal families who have not yet completed a Free and Reduced-Price Meal application form for the 2020-21 school year are encouraged to do so. This application needs to be resubmitted each school year.
“In addition, there may be families in our community who have never thought to apply, but who may qualify if their circumstances have changed due to the COVID crisis,” said Grindy. “Families are asked to apply before October 15, but can still apply any time during the year, especially if the family experiences a change in situation that may qualify them later.” To apply or reapply, even for those currently receiving meals, go to http://www.washougal.k12.wa.us/food-services/. The Washougal School District is an equal opportunity provider.
And while students have not yet returned, WSD employees working in buildings or offices are getting the opportunity to order and buy these meals too.
“Staff are invited to pre-order and purchase meals that will be available each day in all buildings at lunch time (11am-1pm),” explained Rice. “If they work in a District building other than a school, they come by the closest school to pick up their meals.” Staff meals are charged at the adult price, and the additional participation provides additional revenue that the culinary program will use to continue future innovations and investments.
Feedback from customers has been positive, with comments about how fresh and tasty the meals are. “We are also getting good suggestions to improve the service,” said Chef Youngren. “For instance, we have been asked to include more condiments and plastic silverware. We had in our minds that meals would be eaten at home and those items would not be necessary, but for instance, we are now serving staff in our buildings and they need those things. We are taking this time to listen and adjust to be ready when we are all back together again in the schools.”
According to Rice, a key to success will be providing an excellent product at an excellent value.
“We want our food quality to match up with other restaurants, to be just as good but not as expensive,” she said.
A regular priced lunch at Washougal High School is $3.40 and adult meal cost is only $4.50.
“Once our students return to school, they will be greeted with the smell of delicious food cooking,” said Templeton. “Meals will be a higher quality and more restaurant style food.”
Menu items will include items such as teriyaki rice bowls, bento hummus boxes, pulled pork sliders with coleslaw, Taco Tuesday, and even chicken and waffles. You only need to step into the school kitchen to experience the welcoming smell of fresh pizza coming out of the ovens to understand the difference.
Another change students will see is the Culinary Services staff wearing chef coats as they prepare and serve meals. “We are professionals and we want staff to look like the professional team they are,” said Chef Youngren. “These folks work hard and deserve respect for making these meals with love and care. Our staff is extremely excited to be a part of this new Culinary Services model. They are looking forward to the direction it is going and proud to be a part of it. Everyone is excited, onboard, and willing to do whatever is needed to make sure we can meet our goals of this program.”
“It is exciting,” said Glenda Huddleston, Culinary Services Server 1. “It just feels better to actually be cooking and serving fresh food. And it tastes good!” Staff involvement includes the use of their recipes. Culinary Services Server 2, Linda Manire’s fresh pineapple salsa and pico de gallo recipes were used for a recent Taco Tuesday meal.
Rice, as WSD CTE Director, is playing a large part in the development of the new meal service program. “My role is to see the bigger picture as well as watch the fine details,” she explained. “I’m helping guide the program in the direction we want it to be in the future.” Long-term, WSD would like to build in the opportunities for WHS culinary students to learn and grow their skills working with Culinary Services staff in partnership with their teacher, Chef Brenda Hitchins. Eventually they would like to leverage partnerships to develop and establish a registered Youth Apprenticeship Program.
“We hope our students will enjoy the food more and that less students feel they need to bring lunches to school,” Rice said. “As a parent, I remember the added stress of trying to get a healthy, yet delicious meal together every day for my child and we would like parents to know that we have their backs. We want the food they eat here to be some of the best meals they had all day. We’re creating a food experience, one where folks look forward to what is on the menu for the next day and they are talking about it.”
“The highest compliment will be when students are posting photos of their school lunch on social media to tell others how yummy is,” Rice added.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/22135746/F0C92431-4EB9-431F-995D-C0920B8197BB.jpeg7431280Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2020-09-22 14:13:182020-09-22 16:21:29Washougal School District Implements New Culinary Approach to Student Meals
Washougal, WA – Late last week, Washougal School District began notifying staff in certain positions that they were being placed in temporary layoff status starting on September 9, 2020.
Temporary layoff status is temporary leave from a work assignment. In temporary layoff status, employees maintain their benefits, such as healthcare, as long as they pay their portion of their premiums. In this status, employees may also apply for unemployment benefits.
“Our goal is to get students back to the classroom as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Mary Templeton, WSD Superintendent. “Many of the staff will be able to return to work as the district begins bringing back groups of students for in-person education. The decision to bring employees back from temporary layoff will be based on need and position.”
“This very difficult decision was made to address budget challenges the district is facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Aaron Hansen, WSD Assistance Superintendent of Human Resources and Student Services. “School districts receive funding from the state based on enrollment numbers and bus ridership, both of which have declined.” Additionally, the district has additional unbudgeted expenses because of the COVID pandemic, including providing personal protective equipment, increased costs for postage and transporting classroom materials, and increased technology expenditures to support families in connecting to online coursework.
Positions identified for temporary layoff make up 29.4 full time equivalent (FTE), or about 60 full and part time employees.
“The majority of these staff work in the district transportation department, but the list also includes library assistant, playground assistant, paraeducators and custodial staff members,” said Hansen. “Additional positions may be impacted as we work to align staffing with our enrollment.”
Employees who are being laid off are provided with information about the change and resources to support them in accessing unemployment benefits, as well as guidance on maintaining their health care coverage.
“If we all do our part to stay healthy and avoid the spread of COVID19 virus, we will all be together in our schools more quickly,” said Templeton.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/01180507/0CD700EE-52AE-476D-9774-E1856375EF0A.jpeg4921030Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2020-09-10 21:51:412020-09-10 21:51:49Washougal School District Temporarily Lays Off 60 Staff Members
Washougal, WA — In times of great need, we often find ways to help in unexpected places. Margaret Rice, Washougal School District (WSD) Career and Technical Director, heard about the critical need for personal protective equipment (PPE) for local hospitals, and she knew just where to look.
“I know I have boxes of gloves, masks and eye protection sitting in my classrooms not being used that could be of assistance to them,” said Rice. “Our medical professionals are on the front lines working hard to help the sick, while trying to stay well themselves with supplies of PPE dwindling.”
These items are used when instructing students in Health Sciences and other Career and Technical Education classes. Some of these classes include: Medical Detectives, Medical Careers & Terminology, BioMedical Anatomy & Physiology, and even Woods Technology and Visual Arts.
After receiving the approval from WSD Superintendent Mary Templeton and Business Manager Kris Grindy, both stating that “it seems like the right thing to do during this crisis,” Rice reached out to Rene Del Donno, Legacy Health Logistics and Materials Manager at Salmon Creek Medical Center who has been working with the Emergency Operations Center to address this challenge. He confirmed that the situation is dire.
A list of needed items and donation delivery was coordinated with Rice by Tamara Uppendahl, Legacy Health VP of Philanthropy Services. According to Uppendahl, needed items included Nitrile gloves, isolation gowns, isolation masks, N95 masks, P95 masks and dust masks.
The next step for Rice was contacting her regional CTE peers to see if they were willing and able to donate their programs’ PPE to these medical centers.
“It was just a ‘Hey, this is what I am going to do, would you like to be a part of it,’” Rice said. “I received an almost immediate positive response.”
A shareable spreadsheet was created to log the inventory each district was willing to donate. CTE Directors Mark Wreath, Vancouver Public School and Tiffany Gould, Ridgefield School District have been the first to step up to help.
Dr. Nathan McCann, Ridgefield School District Superintendent, immediately reached out to Rice to extend his appreciation for making this donation possible.
McCann said, “I’m very proud to see our school districts coming together to support the amazing health care professionals in Clark County. Together, we will get through this and come out stronger.”
The first wave of supplies was delivered on Friday, March 20 by Rice, Wreath and Gould.
“Between our three districts alone, we were able to contribute 166 pairs of protective eyewear, 141 boxes of Nitrile gloves, 1,930 masks of various types, 13 bottles of hand sanitizer, and 2 boxes of tech wipes,” said Rice.
“The response from our teachers was amazing,” said Gould. “Every teacher that was contacted had supplies ready within hours. Additional teachers have since offered to donate materials and we are now working on another donation.”
Liam Contino, Development Coordinator for Legacy Health Office of Philanthropy and Community Engagement, was at the receiving center and shared that his job has changed through all of this.
“Usually we are planning fundraising events and direct mail appeals, but with the need of supplies and increase in donations coming in, they needed people to be here to accept them,” he said. “We are so grateful that these supplies arrived.”
To expand the reach of this idea, Wreath, who is also the Southwest lead for WACTA (Washington Association for Career & Technical Administrators) the state CTE administrators’ organization, encouraged that this message be sent out statewide suggesting other school districts consider making similar donations locally.
“I am grateful for the strong partnerships that we have built in our community,” said Templeton. “During these times of great need, these partnerships are critical for as we work together to make sure our community is healthy and safe. Although there are significant challenges as we face this virus, there are also significant opportunities for us to shine together and ‘lean in’ to the service of others.”
“Our businesses and communities are so supportive of the Career and Technical Education programs in our respective districts,” said Wreath. “So it is a privilege to be able to give back in a small way during this time of tremendous need.”
If you have PPE supplies that could help our local medical professionals, contact the Legacy Health Office of Philanthropy and Community Engagement at [email protected]or call 503-415-4700 for more information.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/07073939/2275D5A5-EFA1-40B1-AA84-BC741D4CC812-e1585358895355.jpeg336756Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2020-03-27 18:36:302020-03-27 18:37:13Schools Donate Personal Protective Equipment to Legacy Salmon Creek
Washougal School District Food Service is providing FREE grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals from 10 AM to noon, Monday through Friday, for the duration of the school outage.
School buses are transporting the meals to three locations. They are Hamllik Park – 4300 Addy Street; Hathaway Elementary – 630 24th Street; and Cape Horn-Skye – 9731 Washougal River Road. Plans are being developed for food delivery to more areas for families who do not have access to transportation. There is no paperwork requirements for people to access these free meals.
“We are asking our families to practice social distancing protocols when lining up for their sacked meals,” said WSD superintendent, Mary Templeton. “This means staying approximately six feet away from non-family members who have collected to pick up these items. We are grateful to our wonderful food services and transportation teams for their work to help provide this vital service to our families.”
The WSD sprang into action and began distributing meals on Monday, March 16, in response to the sudden closure of schools that was announced by Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Friday, March 13 to slow the spread of the COVID-19.
Meals are currently available for students 18 and under.
“Although we are under direction to serve only students, we are looking for ways to partner with other organizations and businesses to be able to support adults who need access to food during this crisis as well,” said Templeton.
Additionally, the district is making plans to continue the weekend backpack program for students who have food assurance issues over the weekend. Nancy Boon, Family Resource Coordinator, will be working on this. You may reach out to her via e-mail at [email protected], to find out how to support or access that program. This offering too is likely to be provided in conjunction with other agencies that support our students and their families.
Washougal WA — Washougal School District, along with other Clark County school districts, are closing all schools Monday, March 16 through April 24, to help our state and nation combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“We take any decision to close schools very seriously, recognizing that closures can pose difficulties for families, disrupt children’s education and create hardships in our community. However, these measures will reduce exposure to COVID-19 by limiting the number of people gathering in our buildings,” said Dr. Mary Templeton, WSD Superintendent, in a letter to parents.
The letter shared the following information:
Effective immediately and throughout the closure, athletics and afternoon/evening school activities will be canceled.
The district will apply with the state to waive additional days.
Updates to families will be sent via the following channels: E-mail, phone calls, WSD website updates and social media.
“We appreciate the understanding and patience from families as we address this unprecedented situation,” Templeton said. “We are committed to the safety and well-being of our students, their families, our staff members, volunteers and community. Please continue to take care of yourselves and one another. We are a resilient community, and I know that we will get through this challenging time together.”
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/07074039/FD4176F2-CF1C-4749-9240-50CBA2982512.jpeg8321200Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2020-03-13 13:52:222020-03-13 13:52:30Washougal School District Shuts Down From March 16 Through April 24
At its regular meeting on Tuesday, November 26, the Washougal School District (WSD) Board of Directors approved two levies — a replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy (EPO) and a replacement Technology Levy to be placed on the February 11, 2020 ballot.
The levies would replace the current levies, which are set to expire December 31, 2020.
The Educational Programs and Operations Levy funds services and operations not funded by state or federal funding. These services include: health and safety; instructional support; athletics, musical after school activities, coding club (and other enrichment activities); student learning and staffing; security personnel; and operations and maintenance.
Levy dollars cover innovation projects, such as a Strings (orchestra) program. They could also cover a dual language immersion program.
The proposed Educational Programs and Operations Levy rates are projected to remain flat over the next three years (2021, 2022, and 2023) at $2.14 per $1,000 of assessed value (is projected on assessed value growth). They levy is projected to collect $7,392,656 in the first year of collection, $7,984,068 in 2022, and $8,622,793 in 2023.
“What was right for our district was also right for Camas School District,” said Dr. Mary Templeton, Superintendent of Washougal School District. “The Levy provides the funding that allows our district to invest in students, gives us capacity to innovate, and ensures we keep programs that let us nurture and challenge all students so that students rise every day. We are just trying to restore the pre-McCleary dollars that voters agreed to.
“We think the $2.14 allows us to grow and stay fiscally responsible. We think this investment that the local dollar makes in that is critical. This all lines up with our vision statement. We value the dollars that we get greatly, and we don’t want to collect one more dollar that we need knowing we must be responsible and efficient.”
Technology Levy dollars pay for the district’s 1:1 initiative, up-to-date computers and devices, classroom instructional technology, professional development and coaching, technology infrastructure and staffing, and curriculum and software.
“We’ve been very successful with the use of technology,” Templeton said. “We’ve see great student achievement with how we’re using tech in the classroom. We are, of course, hoping voters will support these efforts in the district. We do appreciate the opportunity to let the voters know this investment will support our children to be prepared for college. What you need to know as you graduate into the world has change significantly in the last 10-15 years.”
The proposed Technology Levy rates are projected to decline over the three years of the levy, with the rate per $1,000 of assessed value at $0.25 in 2021, $0.24 in 2022, and $0.22 in 2023. The Technology levy is projected to collect $845,000 in the first year of collection, $870,000 in 2022, and $898,000 in 2023.
Washougal, WA — The third-grade students at Columbia River Gorge Elementary School learned the ways of the wolves at a Wolfways presentation on Friday, November 22.
“They teach about the re-population of wolves in the western US, the importance of balanced ecosystems and adaptations that allow wolves and other wildlife to survive in their habitat,” said CRGE third grade teacher, Ellen Hein. “The program aligns with 3rd grade NGSS (Science) standards in addition to our CKLA Animal Classification unit.”
The classes of Cindy Coons and Angie Barnes also participated.
Oregon Wild and Wolf Haven International sponsor the Wolfways program, which engaged students through a multi-sensory experience and helped bring the science topics they’re learning in class to life.
Co-founder Joanie Beldin said the presenters’ goal is to increase the students’ overall understanding and interpretation of these animals.
Sheila Redman, who has volunteered for Wolfways for four years, said there is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to wolves, and that much of these myths stem from cartoons and fairy tales that portray them in a negative light.
“It wasn’t until people started to study wolves in the wild that they discovered their complexity and intelligence,” said Redman. “All information related to wolves is fairly new, and it has only been about 20 years since people started to make discoveries about the species.”
The third graders at Columbia River Gorge learned details about the strong family ties in a wolf pack and how parents, children, aunts and uncles all live together. They also learned interesting facts such as baby wolves remain in their den for 3-4 weeks, a wolf can hunt an elk by breaking its leg with two bites; and that wolves increase biodiversity and their presence can help maintain the presence of other animals, like aquatic life in streams and songbirds.
“I was surprised to learn that after wolves kill an animal for food, it can end up feeding a lot of different animals,” said third grader Aubree McConnville.
A highlight for students was the chance to run their fingers through wolf hair, compare their hand size to a wolf paw casting, and hold a wolf skull.
At the conclusion of the presentation, students were challenged to share the truth they have learned about wolves and to believe that they can make a difference in their protection. Each student was provided a wolf fact sheet and poster to take home.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/07074329/47B73BE3-5DDC-4208-8FA8-13B078DF633F.jpeg5581280Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2019-12-04 06:46:182019-12-04 06:46:31Washougal’s CRGE Students Learn About the Ways of the Wolves
Washougal WA — Congratulations to the Cape Horn-Skye Science Olympiad team who competed on November 16 at the SW Region A Tournament at Clark College in Vancouver. The team of 18 fifth grade students earned 1st place in Rockets, 2nd place in Weather, 3rd in Benthic Bugs and 4th in Electricity.
The group met once a week for two months under the leadership of CH-S teachers Darcy Hickey and Hana Gustely.
“My favorite part about this year has been bringing in community members such as water resource educators, a pilot, an electrician, and a retired science teacher to talk with the kids about their field of expertise,” said Gustely. “We had a lot of hands-on time as well as a field study along the nature trails near our school.”
Gustely is proud of how confident and supportive the students were during the event.
“They not only learned a lot of science, but practiced perseverance, problem solving and teamwork,” she said. “After this experience, some students may choose to participate in our school’s after-school STEM club, and then they will have another opportunity to participate in Science Olympiad at Washougal High School.”
“I see science as a gateway subject,” explained Penny Andrews, CH-S principal. “Science helps to students to be curious, innovative, engaged and active in hands on work. We hope students will take lessons they have learned in the study of science to their math and reading work. It is a win-win for everybody.”
Science Olympiad is an international nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, creating a passion for learning science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. These goals are accomplished through classroom activities, research, professional development workshops and the encouragement of intramural, district, regional, state, national and international tournaments.