Mt. St. Helen’s

The Class of 2017 culminates Westside years with final Outdoor Ed trip

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The Class of 2017 had a fun and successful final Westside School Outdoor Education trip! Students did a great job of helping to make the trip happen – starting with the planning process at school, and culminating with cooking meals, setting up camp and engaging in activities and discussions throughout the week.

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The first destination was the Hummocks Loop Trail, where students saw firsthand the recovery of the Toutle River valley since the 1980 eruption, and enjoyed beautiful views of Mt. St. Helens. While it was raining throughout the hike, everyone still enjoyed beautiful scenery, and appreciated the group of students who taught the rest of the group about the origin of the Hummocks.

There was time for great reflection, games and community time, as well as traditional s’mores around the campfire!

Westside School 2016 Graduates reminisce, prepare for the next journey during spring trip

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The eighth grade students had a fun and successful spring trip last week, their final Outdoor Education experience with Westside School! Each student did a great job of helping to make the trip happen – starting with the planning process at school, and culminating with cooking meals, setting up camp and engaging in activities and discussions throughout the week.

The group’s destinations included the Hummocks Loop Trail, where students saw firsthand the recovery of the Toutle River valley since the 1980 eruption, and enjoyed beautiful views of Mt. St. Helens. The group then headed to the south side of the mountain, and found their way to the next campsite – a bit of National Forest near Marble Mountain Sno-Park.  After camp was established, students spent a fun afternoon exploring the forest and playing group games.  That evening students enjoyed a dinner of hot dogs cooked over the campfire.
Next the group headed to the Ape Caves, which turned out to be one of the great highlights of the adventure. A ranger led them through the caves, sharing interesting stories and facts about the history, geology, and ecology of the caves.
The graduating Class of 2016 ended the week with activites, games and great moments they’ll never forget!

 

Fourth grade ventures to the Washington State History Museum

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Westside School fourth grade students spent the day in Tacoma at the Washington State History Museum as part of their study of Washington State History and Geography. The students participated in the History Lab portion of the Museum which guided them through a study of the Mt. St. Helens eruption in May 1980 as well as a scavenger hunt of Washington State history.
Before driving home, both classes walked across the bridge from the Washington State History Museum to the Chihuly Museum where they saw the amazing glass creations that are part of the art installation on the bridge as well as having an opportunity to get the wiggles out before the long drive home.

Outdoor Education for Middle School Students – spring trips!

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It’s that time of year again – spring trips (and spring weather!!!) are on their way! This spring, each of the Middle School grade level groups will be headed out on a great adventure. As always, if your family has any outgrown items to donate to our student gear closet (rain and winter jackets and pants, synthetic clothing, backpacks, sleeping bags, and other miscellaneous gear are all welcome – we especially need larger sizes!), please drop it off in Sarah Harper-Smith’s room (142).

Trip letters and gear lists will be coming soon, but it’s not too early to start getting excited for the next great adventure!

Olympic Penninsula

Fifth gradeOlympic Peninsula Ecology and History

The fifth grade class will travel across the Olympic Peninsula, with a focus on the Elwha river (and dam removal), Makah history and culture (in and around the town of Neah Bay, WA), and coastal and marine ecology. This trip includes a one-night backpacking trip to the coast.

Leaders: Jeremy, Kristel, Marc, Mary and expert Field Instructors

Central Washington Rocks

Sixth grade Central Washington Rocks!

The sixth grade will spend the week exploring the rocks of central Washington, building on their studies of land forms, plate tectonics, and geology in science class, as well as continuing to improve the rock climbing skills developed in the fall. Primary destinations include Dry Falls State Park and rock climbing sites near Vantage, WA.

Leaders: Lauren, Glyn, Mike, Michelle, and expert Field Instructors

Grande Ronde River

Seventh grade – Grande Ronde River Adventure

The seventh grade class will venture out of Washington and into northeastern Oregon for a rafting adventure on the Grande Ronde river – students will paddle, float, explore, and play their way 40 miles through the river canyons, starting near Minam, OR and ending up just south of the Washington border.

Leaders: Susannah, Michael, and expert Field Instructors

Mount-StHelens

Eighth grade – Mt. St. Helens Adventure and Retreat

On this capstone eighth grade adventure, the week will be broken into two parts: (1) the first half of the week adventuring and exploring at Mt. St. Helens, studying the impacts and recovery from the 1981 eruption, as well as utilizing the outdoor skills students have gained throughout Middle School to take on the Survival Challenge, and (2) the second half of the week will be focused on looking back at Middle School and forward to High School – a time for reflecting, sharing, and enjoying one another’s company at Anderson Lodge, just south of Mt. St. Helens.

Leaders: Sarah, Don, Kate, and an expert Field Instructor