Preschoolers at The Barbie School work with island artist Liz Lewis each year to make clay creations.
FROM THE SPONSOR
ABOUT ISLAND CHILD
Vashon is a great place to raise kids. From our excellent schools to our many fine youth-oriented programs, children on Vashon are nurtured, challenged and supported by an island community that clearly cares about them and their future success. At John L. Scott, where many of us are parents, we’re grateful both for the trust many of you have put in us and for the opportunity we have to give back to the community. It is particularly important to us to find ways to support our kids, as well as the schools and other organizations that help them to become fine adults. So please join us in supporting our island’s young people. And take a moment to feel some pride. We have great kids and a great community behind them. — The Vashon John L. Scott Family
This supplement, published by The Beachcomber, gives parents and other caregivers a thorough look at the island’s educational resources. Though Vashon is small, we have several educational options for families — from excellent public schools to highly regarded private ones. Vashon also has several preschools, a few after-school enrichment programs and many, many after-school clubs — for the budding dancer, musician, artist or explorer. As this supplement points out, Vashon residents walk their talk, supporting the public schools and the academic lives of our children with a handful of vibrant nonprofits. Each one helps our young people embark on a path toward a bright future. — The Beachcomber Staff
Support our kids: Give to the annual back-to-school drive The annual back-to-school drive was launched more than a decade ago by Islanders Lauri and Bob Hennessey and their three children — a family effort to help students with financial needs start the school year on a positive note. It’s since been adopted by Vashon’s PTSA, often garnering up to $3,000 worth of supplies. This year’s drive is under way. There will be bins at Thriftway Aug. 2, 3, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 24 and 27, and at IGA Vashon Market Aug. 9 and 23. Starting Aug. 9, drop off supplies at AJ’s Espresso between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily and receive $1 off your purchase. Twenty percent of the net proceeds from dinner at Saucy Sisters from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 14 will go to the drive. There will be a carwash at IGA Vashon Market 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, and a bake sale from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24 at
Thriftway. Those who wish to donate can also send checks to the PTSA at P.O. Box 2364, Vashon, 98070. Volunteers are also needed and should contact Manette Arteaga, drive coordinator at 280-9673. Families who would like to receive items can do so from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, at the Vashon Maury Community Food Bank at Sunrise Ridge near Granny’s Attic. A Spanish interpreter will be on site. “It’s open to anyone who needs a hand getting the family equipped for the school year,” said Jackie Merrill, PTSA’s president. What to donate? Backpacks are in great demand, organizers say. Other items include safety scissors, college-ruled paper, calculators, glue sticks, rulers, pens and pencils.
GET INVOLVED: JOIN THE PTSA www.vashonbeachcomber.com
Publisher .................................................... Daralyn Anderson Editor ........................................................... Natalie Johnson Section design and cover design ......................... Nance Scott Advertising ................................................. Daralyn Anderson Island Child is published biannually by Sound Publishing Inc. No part of this publication may be reprinted without the permission of Sound Publishing. For additional copies, call (206) 463-9195 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. ©2013 Sound Publishing Inc. Note: As of press time, the dates in the School Calendar on page 7 are set. Throughout the year, however, some may change. Confirm dates by calling the Vashon Island School District office at 463-2121 or visiting www.vashonsd.org.
3 | Vashon Island School District A note from the superintendent 4 | Chautauqua Elementary School 5 | McMurray Middle School 6 | Vashon High School 7 | Calendar 10 | Educational Alternatives FamilyLink StudentLink 11 | Community Support Vashon Island Public Schools Foundation Partners in Education Vashon Community Scholarship Foundation Private Schools The Harbor School Carpe Diem 12 | Enrichment programs and after school activities 13 | Kid Connections A multitude of offerings geared toward kids and their families
A great way to get involved in public education on Vashon is to join the PTSA, a local and active group of engaged parents and teachers who offer support, energy and expertise to the island’s three public schools. The PTSA meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday of the month at the library in McMurray Middle School. Come to a meeting and join the organization. Or visit its website — vashonptsa.org — to sign up and get more information about the group. The PTSA’s big fundraiser is an annual auction, often held in early spring. It
also hosts a large number of events at all three schools — including family science nights, career fairs, a field day, recreation nights, staff appreciation week, a film festival and book fairs. And for those who have kids in elementary school, consider kicking off the school year with the PTSA’s icebreaker, a social event at Chautauqua Elementary School from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29. Enjoy icepops, meet your child’s teacher and get to know other parents. Contact PTSA president Jackie Merrill at email@example.com.
Island Child – Fall 2013
AN OPEN LETTER TO VASHON’S STUDENTS AND THEIR PARENTS
OFFICE DIRECTORY The school district offices are located in Chautauqua Elementary School at 9309 Cemetery Rd. S.W. The mailing address is P.O. Box 547, Vashon, WA 98070 District main number: 463-2121 Fax: 463-6262 Michael Soltman, superintendent, ext. 8123 Donna Donnelly, assistant to superintendent, ext. 8123 Paula Cummings, student services director, ext. 8120 Roxanne Lyons, curriculum director, ext. 8115 Amy Sassara, human services director, ext. 8111 Thomas Dargel, business manager, ext. 8106 Sarah Day, school nurse, 463-2882, ext. 245. Email addresses for employees in the school district follow a formula: the first initial of the person’s first name, followed by his or her last name, @vashonsd.org. For example, Michael Soltman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome back to a thriving district As you dust off your backpacks and gather your supplies and tools for a new school year, I’d like to recommend a few things for you to bring along to make the most of your experience. Please bring your curiosity and imagination to feed your creativity and stimulate new ideas and ways of thinking. Be thoughtful and flexible in considering alternative ways to solve problems. Set aside your fears, take responsible risks, try new things, and discover your growing competence. Collaborate with classmates to learn from each other and take time to really listen and understand the perspectives and ideas of others. Most important, bring along your sense of humor. Learning is more meaningful when it is fun. No doubt you have grown and changed over the summer, and so have we. We just finished a summer institute that has deepened our knowledge of teaching strategies that will deeply engage you in your excitement about learning. All have a renewed commitment to teaching the habits of mind that will enable you to enjoy a lifetime of learning. You will meet several outstanding new teachers and staff who have joined us. They were chosen for their love of teaching, their competence and experience and for being “just the right fit” for our Vashon community. Our new high school principal, Danny Rock, is excited to welcome you to a year of learning together, exploring ideas and planning together for a wonderful transition to the new building mid year. We also welcome Therresa Prather, our new assistant principal at Chautauqua and wonderful addition to our team. I’m proud of the professionalism of our faculty and staff and the commitment they make to your education and growth each day. Vashon Island High School is transforming daily while construction is under way to complete our new building by this
December. What a joy it will be to occupy this school designed to support the programs and learning goals of our school community. We are working to minimize the effects of the construction process and ask for your cooperation to “mind the signs” to ensure safety for all. At McMurray, the new technology network is installed along with the new intercom, bell system and clocks that all show the same exact time. Our school district prides itself in providing the best in academic instruction, the arts, sports and extracurricular activities. Families, businesses and community members have helped to make this possible through generous donations to the Vashon Island Public Schools Foundation, for which we are extremely grateful. We are also fortunate to have strong partnerships with Vashon Allied Arts, Partners in Education and the Vashon PTSA, each of which provides significant support to our academic and arts programs. The Vashon Park District and many athletic support organizations ensure that our children have great opportunities to develop physical and leadership skills for healthy living. I’m proud to be part of a community that stands for a deep commitment to the health, education and welfare of its youth. I wish each and every one of you a successful school year. Welcome back! — Michael Soltman, Superintendent
Vashon School Board of Directors
Bob Hennessey, chair
Position 1 email@example.com 463-2571
Position 2 firstname.lastname@example.org 463-1931
Position 3 email@example.com 300-2441
Position 4 firstname.lastname@example.org 391-0313
Position 5 email@example.com 463-6561
Chautauqua Elementary School Our school culture continues to promote respectful engagement in regard to self, others, learning and the environment. Children have been recognized for their kindness towards others, their commitment to keep our environment safe and inviting and for striving to do their best academically. We are proud of our students and their leadership throughout the school. Many of our children embody the habits of mind that great leaders possess: empathy, persistence, cooperation, responsible risk-taking, humor and so much more.
Jody Metzger, Principal Theressa Prather, Vice Principal
AT A GLANCE Yvette Butler .......................Counselor Phone ................................463-2882 Fax ....................................463-0937 Students .....................................520 Teachers .......................................37 Support staff .................................25 Volunteers .................. More than 300
Thirty-eight Chautauqua kindergarteners were the first to complete a year of Spanish immersion this past year with Victoria Clayton, or as her children call her, Professora. Within the first six months, our 5-year-olds were conversing in Spanish at an advanced level. This program has been so successful that we are expanding it to offer Spanish Extension for our first graders in Mrs. Boyajian’s class this coming year. Also, our first, second and third graders will take a class with Professora Clayton once a week. Goodbye, Mrs. Haulman, Mrs. Davidson and Mrs. McElroy. Mrs. Haulman retired at the end of this past year. We will miss seeing her in our kindergarten classes each day, but are thrilled to know she will return as a substitute teacher. Mrs. Davidson resigned to spend more time with her young daughter. It is our hope to see Mrs. Davidson in the building from time to time. She has been another beloved kindergarten teacher in our school. Finally, Mrs. McElroy has retired after a teaching career that spanned many grade levels. We wish her well as she enjoys retirement with her husband Greg, who is another former teacher in the Vashon Island School District. What’s cool about Chautauqua? It is such a treat, as principal of this vibrant school, to take guests on tours of CES. While children are exploring Asian culture in the first grade classrooms, robotics is in full-swing in the fifthgrade commons area. If we’re lucky enough to tour during the fourth-grade birding unit, we can catch a glimpse of both realistic and whimsical birds reflecting the integration of science and art. Each year, our multi-age classes study a rotation of themes, and this past year it was such a treat to learn about
Thanks to the efforts of our Vashon Schools Foundation and the community at large, Chautauqua begins a new year with an excellent teaching and support staff. We are welcoming several new staff members to Chautauqua. Theressa Prather is joining us from the Peninsula School District as our new assistant principal. Mrs. Prather has taught at Artondale Elementary for 23 years and has been a national board-certified teacher. Ms. Amy Selland is our new kindergarten teacher. Ms. Sarah Hamill will join the second-grade teaching team, and Ms. Kelly Brynn is teaching with the third-grade team. These new teachers will bring new ideas, fresh eyes, and great respect for the wisdom of the Chautauqua staff. Thanks to PIE grants and support from VAA staff members, we will continue to incorporate the arts into programs that educate the whole child. As Chautauqua moves into this new school year, staff collaboration in the area of mathematics is a major focus. We will continue to learn how best to implement our new life-sciences curriculum that utilizes our campus for meaningful field-experiments. Our staff will continue their outstanding outreach by meeting with families and continuing to strengthen the ties between school and home. We will continue to work with our volunteers who support our school with hours of time and talent. They are an essential piece of a school that thrives. We look forward to a new year with our energetic and inquisitive children. It is with gratitude for our community and a sense of renewal that we also look forward to a year where family and community involvement is high and staff collaboration is abundant. — Jody Metzger, Principal
Natalie Johnson/Staff Photo
Kindergartners in Pam Haulman’s kindergarten class show off their enthusiasm one day last spring.
colonial America through the children’s living museums and their fine writing. They culminated a study of Asia with beautiful haiku poetry and stunning performances that demonstrated deep knowledge. Our teachers took on some fantastic professional development opportunities this year. They worked with a math facilitator from the University of Washington all year and into the summer. Also, they worked side by side with Trish Howard and Barbara Gustafson as they delved deeply into the new life sciences curriculum. Throughout this year, our staff learned from each other as they explored the best ways to teach math, reading and writing skills, including and beyond the curriculum. Teachers share their incredible knowledge and skills with one another, making our school a place where every child has a chance to learn to his or her highest potential.
Chautauqua students display whimsical art they made as part of a collaborative unit integrating their science and art lessons to learn about birds.
Island Child – Fall 2013
McMurray Middle School Greg Allison, Principal
AT A GLANCE Gates Johnson ...... Executive Assistant Carolyn Zike .......................Counselor Phone ................................ 463-9168 Fax ....................................463-9707 Students .....................................400 Teachers ....................................... 21 Support Staff ...................................8 Volunteers ...................More than 150
Overview As a learning community, McMurray Middle school prepares its students during the transition from elementary school to high school. We are committed to helping students achieve their fullest potential through dynamic instruction, challenge and unique learning activities during the significant sixth-, seventh- and eighth grades. We appreciate the diverse learning styles and abilities of middle school students and are responsive to their developmental and social characteristics. As a middle school, we recognize the intellectual, creative, social and emotional nature of young adolescents. We challenge each student to master essential academic skills, to acknowledge individual potential, to identify his or her strengths and challenges and to explore possibilities while developing a sense of respect and responsibility for themselves and peers. McMurray’s program is a blend of core academics, exploration and skill building that helps create a community of engaged learners. Challenge, exploration, acceptance and support are all part of the McMurray program. These aspects are fostered by students and staff that work to establish a building climate of positive communication, collaboration and cooperation.
Accomplishments McMurray focuses on challenging and supporting students in literacy, mathematics, critical thinking and life skills. Students made gains in supporting and chal-
The McMurray seventh-grade Math Is Cool team strikes a pose at the Math Is Cool Seattle regional championships last fall. Both McMurray’s seventh-and eighth-grade teams went on to compete at the state competition.
lenging each other toward academic excellence, particularly in reading and math. Our school climate was enhanced in many ways through our student mentors, student leadership, homeroom advisory and student-led conferences, positive recognition and cultural enrichment programs. We strive to engage students, families and the community. We enjoy the support of key volunteers, enhancing students’ experience in a variety of settings and helping to make our school a special place for learning. Additionally, student-led conferences and online family and student access to our database system continued with great success.
Our entire school participated in Community Day at the beginning of the year. This day focused on many homeroom team-building activities designed to build community, respect and involvement throughout the school. High percentages of our students participated in and excelled in the various activities McMurray offers. All of our sports teams received WIAA recognition as distinguished and outstanding scholar-athletes. We continued to collaborate with a variety of partner groups, such as PTSA, Artists in the Schools and Vashon Youth & Family Services to support our students’ success. Reading and math assessment and intervention, prevention activities and student mentors were very successful in helping students reach their fullest potential. Eighth-graders also took part in 10 different experiential learning programs during Exploratory Week in June with outstanding achievement.
Goals for the year Student engagement, literacy, critical thinking and academic excellence and growth for all students continue as our highest priorities. Developing a positive, respectful, and inclusive school climate will be emphasized throughout the year in our homerooms and throughout the school. Developing positive partnerships with students, home and the community through a variety of outreach and communications will also continue to be a high priority.
Events and programs
Several eighth-grade McMurray students enjoy a moment with Miss Washington last fall in Yakima at the Washington State Prevention Summit. The annual summit is intended to reduce substance abuse and other destructive behaviors.
McMurray students participate in a variety of activities, such as Recreation Nights, artistic endeavors, sports teams, drama productions, band concerts, student council, yearbook production, History Day, student mentorship, Egypt Festival, Tech Club/Lego League, Science Fair, Math Olympiad, Math Counts, Math Is Cool, Exploratory Week and many other service opportunities — Greg Allison, Principal
Vashon Island High School Danny Rock, Principal Stephanie Spencer, Assistant Principal and Athletic Director
AT A GLANCE Susan Haworth ................... Freshman and Junior Counselor Laurie Martin ................... Sophomore and Senior Counselor MJ Hartwell ............. Career Specialist Phone ................................ 463-9171 Fax .................................... 463-1944 Students .....................................520 Faculty ..........................................34 Support staff ................................. 10 Volunteers ................................... 148
Introductions It is a great honor to begin the year as the new principal of Vashon High School, home of the Pirates! My family moved onto the island at the beginning of July and has been warmly welcomed by not only the weather, but the characteristic friendliness of the island. This school year will be a year of introductions for the high school, including new staff, new students, new classes, a new schedule and the amazing experience of opening a new building. We will continue to blend a strong academic program with vibrant extracurricular experiences this coming year as we equip students to be prepared for 21st century challenges.
Craig Hanson Photo
Students performed in last year’s musical “Into the Heights“ as a culmination of a musical theater elective.
Accomplishments This past year, Vashon High School students were highly successful in and out of the classroom. Our students placed well above the state average in all state assessment scores, including significant increases in our reading, writing, math and science scores. Our student athletes were recognized for being State Academic Champions in girls cross country, boys baseball, boys basketball and debate. Our musical theater students were praised for their spring production of “In The Heights.” We also hosted 20 students and two staff from our sister school, Himeji Minami High School, in Himeji, Japan. Outside the classroom, our students were equally successful. The VHS Percussion Ensemble com-
High school football players carved jack-o-lanterns for the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie as a team.
Members of the VHS Amnesty Interact club participated in the Seattle Aids Walk last fall.
peted in the state competition, earning a perfect 1 (Superior) rating. Senior Cole Devereau qualified for the state golf tournament for the 4th time in 4 years and Parker Scott qualified for Tri-District. The VHS baseball team qualified for the state competition, tennis singles Victoria Zaknich and Taryn Mulvihill both qualified for State, Cate Stackhouse and Lili Stenn placed third in the state debate tournament and the boys’ wrestling team qualified athletes to compete in post-season tournaments as well as placing first in the Nisqually League. Our students and community also demonstrated the strong connection and support we share in responding to the passing of current and former students this last year. There are no easy ways to deal with the loss of part of our community, and our students, staff and parents were quick to be there for one another in times of need.
There will be several new engaging courses offered this year, including Advanced Placement World History, AP Human Geography and AP Computer Science, which are open to all students. We also will have new career and technical education courses in marketing, video game design, intro to computer science and independent living. Additionally, we will offer Anthropology, Body Conditioning and Tournament PE as new courses this year. Our school is moving from trimesters to semesters and introducing block scheduling on specific Wednesdays and Thursdays. The move to semesters will better align schedules between the middle school and high school, more closely align students’ schedules with state and national testing requirements, reduce gaps in learning between semesters and reflect the research linking high performing schools and student schedules. The new time schedule will be posted on the high school website as well as sent home in our welcome newsletter in midAugust. It is hard not to focus on one of the biggest changes for us this next year as we prepare to move into our beautiful new building the first week of January. The new Vashon High School will be the pride of our whole community, and we are greatly looking forward to opening the doors and moving in. The new school will be a state-of-the-art learning environment with the latest technology, tons of natural light and an environmentally friendly design. Our students will be the biggest winners, as this new building will make it much easier for students and staff to focus on learning instead of the quirks of an old building. Our school is poised to continue our tradition of engaging students in learning, connecting them to their passions, and preparing them for challenges that await all of us in the coming year. — Danny Rock, Principal
Island Child – Fall 2013
Educational alternatives at VISD online classes this year in geometry, chemistry, Spanish and career exploration. The use of online courses is helpful when the subject — like chemistry — is more challenging to do as a homeschool student. We also offered all parents more opportunities to use webbased and subscription curriculum to supplement their primary program of study. • Community-building and student/ parent support activities included our fall orientation, winter wreath and ornament-making workshops, test Tips and strategies workshop and the endof-year pool party and potluck. • Eight seniors graduated with FamilyLink diplomas in June.
Julie Hanger, Program Manager
AT A GLANCE Danny Rock ..........................Principal Jim Gilmour & Richenda Hawkins ............... Teachers Janet Chapman ...... Program Secretary Phone ................. 463-9171, ext. 503 Students ...................................... 70
FamilyLink FamilyLink is a community of homeschooling families, teachers and staff who are committed to providing quality education in a way that acknowledges the individual interests and learning styles of each student. FamilyLink teachers partner with parents to create learning plans, develop teaching strategies and learning activities, find curriculum and access district services. In addition to teacher support, we also offer enrichment classes, family-friendly activities and events, a resource library and computer lab, regular communication via our website and monthly Community Connection, the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and an educational support fund for each student.
Highlights from 2012-13 • Enrichment activities included field trips to Tutankhamen: The Golden King and The Great Pharaohs at the Pacific Science Center with teacher Richenda Hawkins and a beach walk around the north end ferry dock with science instructor Barbara Gustafson. Her students also studied the physics of structure and designed and built their own structures. High school students fulfilled
Nan Hammett, Teacher
AT A GLANCE Danny Rock ..........................Principal Julie Hanger...........Program Manager Nan Hammett ........................ Teacher Janet Chapman .................... Program Secretary Phone .................. 463-9171, ext. 503 Students ....................................... 17
StudentLink StudentLink is a self-directed, contract-based learning program open to students in grades nine to 12. Students meet weekly with the teacher to develop their individual learning plan and document 25 hours per week of independent learning and progress toward completion of their high school diploma. They may also choose to take a course at Vashon High School or attend Running Start. They are provided more time to develop skills and learn concepts if needed. Students must complete a minimum of 21.5 credits, pass all required state assessments and complete a Five-Year Plan and Culminating Project to graduate. StudentLink seniors are eligible to submit scholarship notebooks to the Vashon Community Scholarship Foundation and walk in the VHS graduation ceremony. This program works best for students who are willing to be creative, able to manage their time and work independently and are well organized. Because of their more flexible schedule, StudentLink
Plans for this year FamilyLink plans to offer regularly scheduled enrichment classes and Courtesy Photo workshops for students in grades K Laura Erickson displays a wreath she made at a wreath-making workshop. Her though eight, including science, language arts, writing and art. High school mother Heather and brother Evan are in the background. students will have the opportunity to take physical science with teacher Jim their lab requirement in the biology lab class taught by Gilmour. We also will continue to publicize the wealth teacher Jim Gilmour. In the visual arts, students made of enrichment activities and events available on mosaics and jewelry with teacher Katie Lewandowski Vashon in our newsletter and on our website. and raku pottery with artist Liz Lewis. They made FamilyLink is housed in two portables on the encaustic photographs with photographer Ray Pfortner and exhibited their work at the Two Wall Gallery during Vashon High School campus. For more information First Friday in May and June. about FamilyLink enrollment and services, contact us at 463-9171 ext. 503 or visit www.vashonsd.org/links. • Some of our high school students took state-approved students are encouraged to develop courses that are experiential or community-based. For example, one student who excels in blacksmithing was invited to demonstrate his skill to one of the career and technical education classes at Vashon High School. He also displays his creations at the Vashon Market. Another student used her graphic design and Photoshop skills to create the poster for the Day of Silence event at Vashon High School. Still another student with an interest in poetry was chosen to be a Junior Vashon Poet Laureate this year.
Highlights from 2012-13
they choose not to attend, but most embraced the offer and were able to receive additional assistance on their work. • StudentLink honored two graduating seniors at our Celebration of Graduates in June.
Plans for this year We expect to hire an additional teacher this coming year as enrollment in StudentLink increased from 17 to 25 students. The StudentLink classroom is located in the K Building of the Vashon High School campus.
• We are fortunate to have tutor Daphne Purpus continue to work with our students Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon. Most students use her help in math, but she also helps with writing and general problem-solving. She is another caring adult on whom our students can rely, and we are very lucky to have her. • This year, we offered students the opportunity to be in the StudentLink classroom at least three hours per week, in Courtesy Photo addition to their one-hour meeting with teacher Nan Hammett. Volunteer tutor Daphne Purpose is ready to help students Ethan Albers, Keirsten Allen There are no consequences if and Lily Robinthal.
Island Child – Fall 2013
COMMUNITY SUPPORT Despite state funding, Vashon schools still need support from the community to help them thrive. Here are a few examples of programs that support public education on Vashon.
The Vashon Island Public Schools Foundation The foundation was created in 2010 to bridge the gap between state funding for education and what the Vashon Island School District needs to maintain quality programs. Due to the generosity of island businesses, community members, school families and staff, the foundation has raised an average of $400,000 annually for the district. But the foundation’s goal is not to respond to yearly funding crises, Superintendent Michael Soltman said. Its purpose is to help sustain a quality school district. Increasingly, he says, it’s important that islanders see education as a public-private partnership. Many districts benefit from additional private funding; there are 32 school foundations in Washington State. The foundation is a nonprofit governed by a 12-member board. Foundation funds help keep teaching positions — striving to give all students the tools they need to thrive. For more information, visit www. vashonschoolsfoundation.org.
Partners in Education Vashon Partners in Education, or PIE, is an all-volunteer organization that enriches the learning environment at Vashon’s public schools by funding creative programs and innovative educational materials. Every year, with funds donated by the community, it awards more than 40 grants. Last year’s grants included Shakespeare DVD’s, several field trips, including the eighth- grade touring our state capitol and tricycles for the preschoolers. PIE holds several fundraising events, including the annual phone-a-thon, which will be held on Oct. 8, 9 and 10 this year. Contact president Ingrid Petersons at Ingrid.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.vashonpie.org for more information.
The Vashon Community Scholarship Foundation This community-based foundation supports Vashon High School graduates who seek support in their post-high school educational efforts. Supported by Vashon organizations, businesses and individuals, the foundation handed out $115,000 to 80 graduates last May. The foundation’s biggest fundraising event is a spelling bee for adults and teens, called Spell It! The 2014 spelling bee will be held in late January. To learn more about VCSF, contact Barbara Gustafson, this year’s co-president, at 463-1638.
Private Schools Harbor School 15920 Vashon Hwy. S.W. Type of program: Independent school for students in fourth through eighth grades. Contact: Head of School James Cardo at 567-5955 or james@harborschool. org. Openings: Now enrolling only for sixth grade and eighth grades for 201314; contact the school for details. Since 1995, the Harbor School has helped young students reach their potential by providing them with an outstanding, fully rounded educational experience. In a smaller environment, with relationships built with teachers over multiple years, a child’s strengths are nurtured and celebrated, engendering a noticeable self-awareness and confidence. The middle years are developmentally crucial, and Harbor School helps early adolescents navigate the path to young adulthood with encouragement and self-discipline and wide-ranging experiences. Early on, students learn to take responsibility for their own education. A rigorous academic program features a full schedule of traditional courses taught by experts in their fields. Students are coached and guided through lessons that are discoverybased, with the students researching, analyzing and demonstrating the facts. The school is also pleased that its Arts Initiative is fully underway for the fall. Harbor School travels extensively
Carpe Diem Primary School
to expand students’ awareness of their world, exploring on-island and in the Pacific Northwest regularly. Students also have opportunities to visit Washington D.C., New Orleans and Guadalajara, Mexico, among other destinations. Assessment at Harbor School is authentic, in that work is evaluated fully by the teacher and student. “Personal Best” is the hallmark of success, not an arbitrary grade, and a student’s voice is highly valued. The File Photo parents are involved Isa Trujillo sells cookies at the annual Mercado. closely, and threeway communication some of the top colleges in the counamong student, parent and teacher is try, including Dartmouth, Brown, central to the school. Columbia, Duke and MIT. Finally, Harbor School is an upliftForeign Language: Spanish is taught ing community. Its Cornerstone Values to all students. are evident in all interactions, making Student-teacher ratio: 9 to 1 in the the school a respectful, compassionate whole school. Maximum class size is 16. haven. Personal growth is valued. Financial aid: Yes, available to famiApproximately 60 percent of the lies who qualify. school’s alumni matriculate to Vashon Meals: Students bring their own. High School, where they have been School calendar: 2013-2014 school decorated with academic and extracuryear calendar is posted online. ricular laurels. Alumni have attended Website: www.harborschool.org/
10014 S.W. Bank Road (the Land Trust Building)
there is no ceiling to learning. They set high standards for student achievement and expect each student to work to his or her personal best. Through experiential thematic units
Type of program: Independent school for students in kindergarten through third grade. Contact: Director and teacher Janice Campbell at 375-8898 or carpediemps@ comcast.net Openings: Currently has a waiting list. The mission of Carpe Diem is to educate the whole child. The school’s two main goals are to teach and model good character and create an academic environment where students develop an attitude of healthy risk-taking to learn new skills and concepts. Setting personal goals for the development of good character qualities and core academic excellence are backbones in the school’s learning environment. At Carpe Diem, students and teachers see good character as a key to being a happy and successful person as well as a good peer leader. Carpe Diem teachers believe
Carpe Diem student Sadie Liebo plays outside the school.
and integrated studies, the school’s teachers strive to create lifelong learners who continue to be curious about our world of nature, arts, science, literature and cultures. At Carpe Diem, students and teachers believe that the classroom exists beyond the walls of their school. Through wilderness activities and nature studies, students learn to appreciate the fragile beauty of nature and gain an understanding of the importance of their role as Earth stewards. Special needs students are accepted depending on qualifications of the applicant and the school’s ability to accommodate the need. Foreign Language: French or Spanish are incorporated into the curriculum. Student-teacher ratio: Three teachers for up to 28 students for core academics; two teachers for up to 28 students for all enrichment activities. Meals: Students bring their own. School Calendar: School starts in September and ends in mid-June. Website: www.carpediemschool.org
Enrichment programs and after-school activities Vashon offers a variety of opportunities for young children through teenagers to stay active. Below is a sampling of ideas.
infused mentoring with the arts. The program offers options of four, three or one day each week Monday through Thursday for children ages 5 to 10. Website: www.homesteadschool.org Phone: 463-OWLS (6957)
Vashon Allied Arts Vashon Allied Arts, the island’s largest arts organization, is bustling with activity every afternoon. VAA serves the community with more than 120 classes and summer camps each year. Geared toward students of all ages, VAA offers classes in dance, pottery, fine arts, music and theater. The VAA Center for dance is entering its 34th year of providing exceptional dance instruction. Scholarship assistance is available. Website: www.vashonalliedarts.orgPhone: 463-5131
Vashon Dance Academy The school, run by instructor Cheryl Krown, includes a full suite of dance classes for tots through adults and a spring show. Phone: 463-1895
Vashon Island Junior Crew
The program is open to teens ages 13 to 19 and in grades eight though 12. Novice rowers will learn the basics, and returning rowers will continue to train for technique and fitness. Those interested in being coxswains are encouraged to sign up as well. Regattas require off-island travel on weekends. Registration is under way, and the fall season starts with an all-day camp from Aug. 26 to 30. Regular afterschool practice starts Sept. 3. The fall season focuses on long distance races and concludes in November. Website: www.vashoncrew.com and click on the Juniors tab.
Vashon Allied Arts offers a variety of offerings throughout the year, including musical theater, above.
The PlaySpace, provided by Vashon Youth & Family Services, offers a centrally located facility replete with an indoor playroom, a natural playground, full kitchen and private rooms for parents to meet with VYFS parent coaches. PlaySpace is open most weekdays, providing a facility where parents and caregivers can play with their children, meet with their peers and have access to parent educators and classes. Website: www.vyfs.org Phone: 463-5511
Now in its 21st year, the club emphasizes good sportsmanship, fitness and teamwork while introducing young players to the fun of the game. It provides playing opportunities for boys and girls in several grades Website: www.vashonlacrosse.net
Vashon Island Soccer Club VISC offers on-island programs for kids in kindergarten through 10 years old and an Association League for youth ages 11 to 18 years old. This league plays half its games off island. Website: www.vashonsoccer.org
Vashon Youth Baseball & Softball This program offers leagues for children ages 5 to 14 and fast-pitch softball leagues for girls ages 8 to 15. It seeks to instill teamwork, individual achievement, a spirit of fair play and a healthy sense of balance between competition and honorable cooperation. Website: www.eteamz.com/VYBS/
La Petite Etoile The school will offer a French class and choir on late arrival mornings at
the island’s public schools. This class is for students in first-grade and up, and adults are welcome as well. The class is taught with a storytelling method with skits and songs. Holly Boaz, one of Vashon’s opera singers, will join the group as a choir director. The class and choir meet from 9 to 11 a.m. at La Petite Etoile, located at Bethel Church. For more information, email Aristy Gill at email@example.com.
Vashon Wilderness Program The Vashon Wilderness Program offers nature programs for youth from age 4 through high school. Its mentoring approach blends modern naturalist knowledge with ancient wisdom, creating a safe place for children to explore and learn more about nature. The program offers opportunities in the school year and during the summer. Website: www.vashonwildernessprogram.org Phone: 651-5715
Homestead Homestead is a learning community based on seven acres of farm and for-
est on Vashon’s west side. Homestead’s hands-on, hearts-on approach is rooted in practices that promote social intelligence and connection to the natural world. Lessons draw from a themebased curriculum that blends nature-
Olympus Pony Club Club members compete and train in many disciplines, including combined training, dressage, and stadium jumping. Website: www.angelfire.com/wa3/ ponyclub/ Phone: Erica Ellison at 463-9466 Boy Scout Troop #294 Part of the Boy Scouts of America, this troop meets at 7 p.m. Monday evenings at the Sportsman’s Club. Website: www.scoutlander.com Phone: Michael de Blasi at 567-5957
PRESCHOOLS, DAYCARES AND OTHER AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS The Barbie School: Preschool and kindergarten. Contact Zoe Cheroke at 463-3135. Cedarsong Nature School: Outdoor preschool. Visit www.cedarsongnatureschool.org. Chautauqua Early Childhood Program: Preschool for children with developmental delays and their typically developing peers. Contact Gillian Callison at 463-2882, ext. 401. A Child’s Garden Montessori: Preschool and kindergarten. Contact Heather Baldwin at 7539924 or www.achildsgardenmontessori.com. Creative Preschool: Contact the school at 463-2166 or see www.creativeps.org. El Gato con Botas: Full-day, state-licenced Spanish bilingual daycare. Contact Sarah Bunch at 473-0445 or see elgatopreschool.blogspot.com. Homestead School: Multi-age learning community. Contact Dana Schuerholz at 463-OWLS or firstname.lastname@example.org. Kids Are People Too: Preschool and extended care. Contact Danielle York at 463-2610. Klahanie School: Year-round Montessori preschool program. Call the school at 491-9465 or see www.klahanieschool.org. La Petite Etoile: French language school. Contact Aristy Gill at (206) 304-4903 or see vashonfrenchschool.blogspot.com. Little Tree Montessori: Preschool and kindergarten. Contact Teri Tipton at 463-9249 or see www.littletreemontessori.com. Love and Laughter Drop-in Preschool: Preschool and licensed daycare. Contact Jenny Mickelson at 529-5124 or see www.loveandlaughterpreschool.com. Starbreak Adventure School: Preschool and kindergarten. Contact the school at 463-6277 or see www.starbreak.org. Vashon-Maury Cooperative Preschool: Preschool. Contact the school at 463-2779 or see www.vmcp.org. VYFS Vashon Kids: Before and after school care for kids ages 5 to 12, as well as care during school breaks. Contact Dalinda Vivero at 930-2592 or see www.vyfs.org. The Beachcomber’s spring issue of Island Child, published in April, contains more information about day care and preschool programs. Drop by the office for a copy.
Island Child – Fall 2013