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The Gardner School of Arts & Sciences


December 2015

‘Klahowya’ was the common and universal Chinook Jargon greeting meaning ‘hello’ or ‘hello friend’. Chinook Jargon originated as a pidgin trade language of the Pacific Northwest and spread quickly up the West Coast from modern-day Oregon to the regions now known as Washington, British Columbia and Alaska.

The Gardner School Logo

The Famous Harvest Festival Double Rainbow!

WE WISH TO THANK…. Arabella Abdalah Argyro Apostolou George Apostolou Kay Barnhill Norma Bliley Terry Bowyer Mike Bowyer Sangeeta Chopra Krista Davis Jeff DeBonis Susan DeBonis Machelle Devena Jennifer English Donna Farnsworth Craig Gault Michelle Gault Hazar Jaber Ryan Kerr Sarah Kerr Caitlin Littlefield Jessie Mohandessi Nan Morales Cheney Palanuk Marcine Parker Cody Popkes-Perez Jared Renfro Jane Rhomberg

Matt Ross Lobelia Rountree Wil Shelton Laura Sparaco Jackie Taylor Fredrik Wallenberg and all our Kalama parents ...for driving on field trips this year and supporting us in providing a quality hands-on education for our students …. AND… ...everyone who has contributed to the over 400 hours of volunteer service logged at school so far this year... AND… ...everyone who serves on any of The Gardner School Committees... AND… ...everyone who serves on our dedicated and energetic PTO and our Board of Trustees… AND…you of course, for supporting our school and sharing your children with us!

Emerging from the idea of the golden rectangle and the golden spiral, created by drawing circular arcs connecting the opposite corners of squares in the Fibonacci tiling, The Gardner School logo represents both the school’s place in the natural world as well as its position in the world of learning. The Fibonacci sequence can be observed in the world of mathematics, science, art and music, and is replicated in the natural world -the ‘perfect’ rectangles producing a spiral that may be observed in a Nautilus shell, a ram’s horns, milk in coffee, and the unfolding of a fern. That spiral, here represented as a stylized 'G', connects the individual rectangles in the same way that students, teachers, parents and families are connected as members of The Gardner School community, leading them all on a Gardner path of learning.

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS In November we celebrated a very important Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos. This holiday is a celebration of people who have passed away. During this time people visit graves and bring food and flowers to leave on the graves of beloved family members and friends. The cemeteries are filled with people, flowers, candles and food. Altars are created in homes to honor family and friends who have passed. The altars have different levels. The top level contains a photo or photos and candles. The middle level holds things of significance to the honorees, such as a favorite toy for a child or a guitar for a musician. On the bottom level, food, fruit and a favorite beverage are placed alongside candles and flowers. On the day, people eat special bread that is called "Pan de Muerto". This is a sweet bread with a bone shape on the top. Eating Pan de Muerto in school was many students' favorite part of our celebration. Gardner students had the opportunity to learn more about this celebration when each class created an altar to honor a person who was significant to their thematic unit.




TAEKWONDO Aaron Burge, our TKD instructor, writes: “I'm very proud of our TKD Club members as they achieved another short-term goal. On November 23rd, five out of the eight members earned their next belt level. Please help me congratulate them on their hard work and dedication!� SubuNin Aaron

Our TKD club above (minus Neil Potnis) pose proudly for a club photograph!

COMPUTER CLUB This fall has been busy in the science classroom after school as students have come in to hone their abilities in creating things on the computers. Many students have chosen to practice their digital art skills, coloring line art or creating their own art in a new drawing program called Krita. A few have worked on their programming skills creating simple programs in the python language before attempting to recreate them in MIT's Scratch programming language. Very recently a tiny group has begun learning about 3D modeling in Blender. Jared Renfro




Back in August a group of nine Wy’Easters took to the pitch in the searing heat, three days a week, to prepare for their fall season of outdoor soccer. After a couple of humbling, but beneficial preseason tournaments (and a chance to play at Providence Park) the season began in September. After playing together for over a year, the Gardner Wolves FC started strong, going undefeated in the first half of the season. The only team with girls, and two at that, the group showed remarkable skills and chemistry. Early success bumped us into the top bracket for the rest of the season, which provided the team with tremendous competition. The five final games were tight, with the Wolves finishing 2-2-1, each game exciting right up to the final whistle. Besides showing excellent soccer skills, what impressed week after week is the way that this group carried themselves on the pitch. Sportsmanship was a key component of the program and whether they were winning or losing, they took care of each other and congratulated their opponents. They were true Gardner ambassadors!



We’re Making Music! provided Gardner students with a wonderful opportunity to share their musical intelligence and they jumped at the chance. Dance numbers choreographed by the students, whole school songs and a cover version of an old Ozzy Osbourne number allowed this vast array of talent to find a place on the stage. Thank you to Dana Harris for leading our students in this wonderful production!




Thank you Ken and Ginger Lader and everyone who served on the Harvest Festival Committee or who helped make our Harvest Festival 2015 such an amazing success!





Exciting additions to the Gardner Physical Education and Health program have arrived! With a grant from Jill Karmy LLC, we were able to secure funds to purchase a number of Fitbit tracking systems. With these devices we are now able to gather, analyze and communicate data on our students activity. Our goal is to better educate our students on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle by bridging the awareness gap between fun and health. We have begun integrating the trackers into our classes and already the students have shown much excitement and interest in using them. The first chart below shows how active our students are. The second chart is an approximate measurement of distance covered during class. During class, the students perform many different movements which include crouching, sneaking, lateral movements, change of direction, and jumping. All of the classes took place outside in the wetlands where students grow acclimated and comfortable in nature while helping to develop their balance and coordination. A huge thank you to Jill Karmy for her generous donation and to Eddie Allen for his help in securing the grant for these devices.


Steps (ave.)























Class time was organized into two parts: 1. Non-structured time for students to explore and collaborate 2. Structured activity



Distance (ave.)

Hi (mi.)

Low (mi.)





















Wy’East (above) and Kalama (below) show off their Fitbits after another energetic, active and fun physical education class!


ALUMNI CORNER The Gardner School has always been very near and dear to my heart. I have so many fond memories of playing scooter tag in the Great Hall, creating the first ever Klickitat/Tahoma haunted house for the Harvest Festival and so much more. I still look back and remember all my wonCaroline Marso: 1999 - 2008 derfully creative and compassionate teachers and the fun projects they had us do. Some of my favorite projects were the archeological dig to excavate "dinosaur bones" from the garden, creating a persona for our Revolutionary War Culminating Project and traveling to Alabama and Mississippi for a truly hands on learning experience about the Civil Rights Movement. Never have I trusted or felt so close to any of my teachers as I did at Gardner. I can recall very vividly one year when the girls in my class were having trouble getting along. The minute my teacher became aware of the issue she stepped in and talked to each of us to understand and help fix the problem. Through her patience and commitment we were able to overcome our disagreements and eventually created a once a week girls lunch club that brought us all even closer together than before. I still keep in touch with many of my Gardner friends, some of which I consider to be my deepest and longest lasting relationships. The people you meet at The Gardner School really do change your life. Since graduating in 2008, I have put the academic foundations Gardner gave me to good use. I attended Skyview High School and continued on to Occidental College from which I graduated this past May. I sincerely believe that the strategies and building blocks that The Gardner School provided for me helped me succeed and graduate cum laude from Occidental College. Since graduating from Occidental, I have been working with the Southwest Washington Child Care Consortium to provide care for elementary students in the Greater Vancouver area. I hope to pass on the love and support I received from my teachers, peers and mentors at the Gardner school to every child I work with. In the future, I hope to find a job that allows me to travel internationally in addition to helping individuals, preferably children. However no matter where I go, I will always remember my Gardner School family. It is my hope that if I do decide to settle down in the Vancouver area, I can one day send my children to the Gardner School. That way they can experience the same incredible program I did when I was their age.


GARDNER MARKET AND GARDNEREACH BEYOND GARDNER An integral component of Gardner’s program is connecting with people and projects in our own community and beyond. For the past two years we have partnered with two local organizations, SHARE and Columbia River Estuary Partnership, as well as with Water is Life, An organization working to provide water filters and education to places around the world in need of clean water. This fall we began the process of selecting new charities for our outreach. During a community meeting in October, and the weeks that followed, the students were invited to suggest organizations for us to work with. Just the students alone brainstormed more than 20 groups doing wonderful work in our community and around the world. Gardner faculty and staff then worked to narrow down the choices. After dialogue, research, and then voting, we presented five charities to the students. The children viewed a brief summative video that highlighted the mission and vision of each organization, and then had a chance to pose questions for deeper understanding. Following the meeting each student in Kalama through Tahoma, as well as all faculty and staff, submitted a ballot of their choices. With an overwhelming percentage of the votes, we have selected NW Battle Buddies, based out of Battle Ground. NW Battle Buddies work to empower combat veterans with PTSD to regain their freedom and independence by partnering them with professionally trained and specifically matched service dogs at no charge – serving our Veterans who served us all. Our global partner will be MercyCorps, with a focus on assisting Syrian refuges. MercyCorps has many programs to help Syrian refugees - from providing food and shelter to those in immediate need, to helping children get an education when they are so far from home. The war in Syria has been going on for 4 years, and 11.7 million people have left their homes. MercyCorps provides emergency relief to those in need - clothing, food, blankets - and is focusing a lot of attention to Syrian children. MercyCorps is building playgrounds, sports fields and other safe places for the youngest refugees to play in Jordan and Iraq. MercyCorps is helping these children deal with the upheaval and trauma in their lives and providing them access to school. Look out for more information coming home soon on how we plan to engage our students in supporting these two organizations over the course of the next two years! KALAMA/TAHOMA BEACH TRIP!

We enjoyed another wonderful buddy beach trip earlier in the fall with our Kalama/ Tahoma buddies heading to Newport for a night in the yurts and a series of educational workshops and visits culminating in a discovery cruise of the bay! A great Gardner tradition!




Andy Fields

20 YEARS - LOOKING BOTH WAYS I typically wax philosophical this time of year. The long nights provide ample opportunity for reflection and contemplation. As the Board and I have pondered the celebrations and activities around the 20th anniversary of the School, I have tried to identify anchor points for our own family’s involvement. To that end, I asked our middle child, who will complete her Gardner Path this spring, to consider her time at The Gardner School. My conversation with her led me to look at several aspects of the school, from her perspective and my own, over the last 10 years. Her classmates: None of her preschool, kindergarten, or 1st grade cohort will graduate with her, though her class size is on par with the previous several years. While I’m certain that her current schoolmates will still be friends in five years’ time, I’m startled by the contrast provided by our youngest, who has five classmates in her cohort who are already spending their 5th year together - in the 2nd grade! Her teachers: When I think of the amazing faculty at The Gardner School, the first thing that strikes me is the tremendous tenure of some of our teachers. Many of them, including Gayle, Katherine, Jackie, Patrice, Dana and Jane, have been teaching at Gardner since before we started. Having that many teachers who have known my daughter from the age of 4 to 13 has given her a rare chance to be known and understood. I also see what she has gained from the wide range of caring, enthusiastic faculty and staff at school who, regardless of the length of their time here, have made such a big difference in her life. Then I think of how she has benefitted from the new programs and approaches and the instructors to support them, like dedicated science and middle school performing arts. The campus: The changes to the school grounds in the last 10 years are perhaps the easiest for her to recall. She has known school as a place to play, to move, to be in nature, to perform, to experiment, to learn by doing in a multitude of ways. The play structure, the science lab, enhanced wetlands stewardship, the Great Room rehabilitation, the Early Childhood play area, and the evolving garden each contribute in a memorable way to her Gardner experience. There are the things that have changed in the last decade that she may not be wholly aware of, but their positive impact on her education is incontrovertible. The articulation of The Gardner Path, laying out her individual learning goals each year. The definition and refinement of The Gardner Curriculum. Implementation of school-wide assessment and limited use of standardized testing in Tahoma. The educational, environmental, and social changes that have been so thoughtfully implemented by the faculty and staff, and supported by the community as a whole, have all resulted in an exemplary experience. The last decade at The Gardner School has been full of change. Yet with this litany of changes in the span of one student’s experience, we also have had consistent levels of enrollment, stability in leadership, and solid operational processes. We have a lot to celebrate at this our 20th anniversary. We can


feel proud of both our changes and our stability. Thinking about the next 20 years, we look to our vision: The Gardner School of Arts and Sciences aspires to be the premier progressive independent school serving a diverse community from Southwest Washington and Portland. We have to change, to evolve, to move forward in order to deliver our mission. So what does that mean for the school? The Board is actively engaged in the search for a new Head of School for the 2016/17 school year and plans to make a hiring decision in the first quarter of 2016. While the next Head of School must have the pedagogical, relationship, and management qualifications to lead the school, the Board of Trustees is looking for someone with experience in driving enrollment, strategic planning and execution, and advancement of the school. Maintaining the existing culture of The Gardner School is paramount to both The Board of Trustees and Faculty and Staff, and we will provide continuity as the next Head of School steps into his or her role. The next major milestone from a school governance perspective will be to embark on a new Strategic Planning process - tentatively in the 2017/18 school year. The outcome of the Strategic Plan will chart our course for the next 10 years. Until then, our priorities are determined by the existing strategic plan, adopted in 2006 and modified annually by the Board of Trustees to reflect the changing world and our children’s place in it. The existing plan calls for growth in enrollment to a sustained 120 students, balanced across all classes. We will need to plan for additional facilities to support enrollment beyond that, but sustaining enrollment at 20% more students than today is a necessary first step. The existing plan calls for us to expand our partnerships, alliances, and community engagement through GardneReach, the Annual Gala, the Spring Art Show, and other activities determined by the Development Committee. This 20th anniversary year marks a major milestone in the evolution of The Gardner School of Arts and Sciences. We are wonderfully positioned for growth, with a strong, unique program and a fantastic faculty and staff. The energy of a talented and dedicated Board combined with the support and engagement of our parent community will fuel our progress. The one thing we can count on as we move forward is change. We depend on it. We thrive on it. To paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, we must be the change we wish to see in the world.

AN INDIVIDUAL LEARNING JOURNEY… Aiko is in Kalama. Last year, in Mazama, when the class were making Day of the Dead pots with their buddies and planting succulents in them, something sparked inside him. Like many young minds, he began his own learning journey. With the help of friends and family he began to learn how to collect and propagate succulent plants. This year, when the project rolled around again, Aiko stepped back into Mazama and taught the Mazamans all about succulents. He brought in the succulent plants he had propagated himself and helped the Mazama students plant them in their own pots. Aiko’s learning journey is just one of many stories that could be told about Gardner students. It exemplifies their love of learning, ownership and personal inquiry that have been the foundation of learning at Gardner for many, many years!


UNITS OF STUDY WRITING ACROSS THE GRADES This year, The Gardner School has been using a new writing curriculum - the Units of Study developed by The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project out of Columbia University. This curriculum aims to develop students’ skills in three types of writing - opinion, informative and narrative - and uses a common vocabulary to extend student writing skills every year. This fall, all the homerooms have taught narrative writing, focusing on creating believable stories. To teach students how to make their work authentic, The Units of Study asks students to hone their observational skills starting with examining their own experiences in Loowit, and moving to developing realistic, motivated characters with a message in Tahoma. The progression of these learning goals is also reflected in the rubric progression - 1st graders are expected to tell about “one time” and in 8th grade, students should be able to “create a narrative with welldeveloped characters who change and use the story to comment on a larger issue, lesson or perspective.” Using these rubrics, students are able to clearly see the development of their writing skills and evaluate their own work - a key skill for any writer. In Loowit, the students studied stories that describe small moments by master authors, Jane Yolen and Patricia McKissack. They then created writer’s notebooks for recording events and ideas from their own lives that could be used as small moment stories. Using the master authors’ books as examples, the students then examined how to zoom in on an event and develop a detailed story that describes the moment in a powerful way. The Loowits experienced the entire writing process, from generating ideas to publishing, and then celebrated their work with an Author’s Party where they shared their finished products with their buddies. Similarly, Tahomans were asked to discover a “small drama” in their lives. Each week, Tahomans analyze a short piece that demonstrates their writing goal for the week and then write their own narrative using those skills. In this example, students were asked to observe and see what was “really happening” at school - to witness a small moment and bring out its drama.


INFECTED by: Chris Harris (Tahoma - 7th) It was 11:15 A.M. Loowit had P.E. They played “Infection.” It started with one zombie, then screams followed. Soha stumbled and fell in the grassy dirt. Roman took his chance and attacked his victim, spreading his virus. Jacob soon fell after her. Next, it was Max's turn to be infected as Roman chased him down and infected him. The virus was spreading faster and faster. Roman called a meeting with his minions at the back pond. There were seven zombies in the gathering. Rea heard their plans, and escaped just in time - the infected horde groaning like kids getting homework. She raced to the bush area, a refuge for the weary. The Zombies attacked the healthy and put them in a panic. They started to scramble, but it was too late. They were trapped, and picked off one by one. Soon the human race was over, with a new species on top. There was one person left: Soren. She ran out of the bush area. She could taste the sweet victory. But to her horror she felt a hand on her foot that came from the bushes. She was infected...The zombie race had won. Their prize? The extinction of humans. The Units of Study writing curriculum is an excellent guide to help students become strong writers - focusing deeply on the “how” of writing, and giving students the space to find out “what” they want to write. In true Gardner fashion, students are given the tools they need to develop their best talents, and express their perspective of the world around them. MI QUILTS A selection of student work inspired by self-reflections on the multiple intelligences!


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GARDNER SCHOOL MISSION The Gardner School inspires students to actively seek knowledge and understanding, think independently, reason critically, and embrace challenge. Teaching to the uniqueness of each individual, we focus on the process of learning and value the exchange of ideas through collaborative work, inspiring all learners to reach their highest potential. While building knowledge of self and an awareness of their connection to others, our students develop responsibility for themselves, their community, the earth and humanity.


Klahowya dec 15  
Klahowya dec 15