Olympic Peninsula

Fifth grade explores the Olympic Peninsula

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Last week the fifth grade students braved the wilds of the Olympic Peninsula on a coastal adventure. Students set up base camp at a beautiful recreation area near Port Angeles and groups took turns backpacking for one night in Olympic National Park. They explored tide pools, the Elwha River, and several coastal ecosystems. Students saw deer, bald eagles, seals, and salamanders.

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They smelled skunk cabbage and tasted salal leaves, touched whale bones and witnessed the effects of dam removal. Students reflected nightly in their journals where they also completed mind and event maps, collaborative poems, and letters of gratitude and appreciation.

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Upon returning to the classroom, they were ready to share stories and discover how each person experienced the trip in their own distinct way.

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Everyone is so happy to be home, showered and dry, but it was a wonderful experience camping on the beautiful coast!

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Fifth grade enjoys stunning views, sunsets, and sand

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The fifth grade class traveled across the Olympic Peninsula, visiting and learning about ecology, history, and Native American Culture during the Middle School Outdoor Education spring trip.

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The group studied the Elwha River, the removal of its dams, and the impacts it had on the people and the environment.

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They also headed to Neah Bay to begin coastal ecology and Makah tribal history studies. The group also had the chance to experience a coastal wilderness and amazing tide pooling on the class’s first overnight backpacking trip!

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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


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

Fifth grade students’ spring trip!

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Fifth grade is back from their trip to the Olympic Peninsula! During the trip students learned about the Elwha Dam removal and met members of the Makah tribe who shared their culture and history. The group also backpacked to Shi Shi Beach and Cape Alava, took in incredible views at Cape Flattery, and played in the sand and waves at Hobuck Beach. Overall, the trip was an incredible experience and they are excited to share stories and photographs!

Welcome back fifth graders!!!