BGPS announces administrative changes for the 2018-19 school year

posted May 17, 2018, 2:49 PM by Joe Vajgrt   [ updated May 18, 2018, 8:37 AM ]

BGPS announces administrative changes for the 2018-19 school year

May 17, 2018


Battle Ground Public Schools announces administrative changes for the 2018-19 school year, including principals, assistant principals and directors. The administrators will begin their new positions July 1.

Principals

Charbonneau Gourde is taking over as principal of Battle Ground High School for Mike Hamilton, who is retiring. For the past four years, Gourde has been the principal of Covington Middle School in the Evergreen Public Schools district. Previously, Gourde was the associate principal of Heritage High School, the dean of students at Union High School, and an English teacher at Selah Middle School and Mountain View High School.



Beth Beattie (left), current principal of Chief Umtuch Middle School, will be the new principal of Summit View High School. Beattie is replacing Andy Schoonover, who resigned after accepting the principal position at Hockinson High School.


Tamarah Grigg (right), current principal of Pleasant Valley Middle School, will be the new principal of Chief Umtuch Middle School. Grigg replaces Beth Beattie, who is moving to Summit View High School.






Michael Maloney
(left), current principal of Amboy Middle School, will be the new principal of Pleasant
Valley Middle School. Maloney replaces Tamarah Grigg, who is moving to Chief Umtuch Middle School.


Nick Krause (right), current principal of Laurin Middle School, will be the new principal of Amboy Middle School. Krause replaces Michael Maloney, who is moving to Pleasant Valley Middle School.






Matt Kesler (left), current associate principal of Chief Umtuch Middle School, will be the new principal of Laurin Middle School. Kesler replaces Nick Krause, who is moving to Amboy Middle School.

Antonio Lopez is taking over as principal of Glenwood Heights Primary for Ken Evans, who is retiring. Lopez is currently an assistant superintendent of school performance for Portland Public Schools.


Craig Pearson
(right) will be the new assistant principal of Pleasant Valley Primary School. Pearson spent the 2017-18 school year as an administrative intern at Pleasant Valley Primary and is filling a position that was left vacant a year ago by the resignation of Diane Castle.

District Administrators

Tom Adams (left) will be the new Director of Student Services for Battle Ground Public Schools. Adams is replacing Teresa Taylor, who is retiring. Adams is currently the principal at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Vancouver. Before that, he served as an associate principal in the Vancouver Public Schools district from 2006 to 2011. 

Mitch Thompson (right) will be the new Director of Business Operations and Risk Management. Thompson is replacing Linda Gellings, who is retiring. Thompson is currently the director of financial services for the Tumwater School District and was previously the executive director of fiscal services for the Centralia School District from 2009 to 2014. 

Annie Lamberto, current assistant director of special services, will be the new director of special services. Lamberto is replacing Cynthia Christensen, who is resigning. 

Tamra Scheetz will be the new assistant director of special services. Scheetz is replacing Annie Lamberto, who is taking the director position. 

All changes have been approved by Battle Ground Public Schools’ Board of Directors and will be effective on July 1. 

Results from the 2018 District Art Show

posted May 17, 2018, 12:22 PM by Joe Vajgrt   [ updated May 17, 2018, 12:26 PM ]

results from the 2018 district art show

May 17, 2018


Battle Ground Public Schools recognized the winners of its 59th annual District Art Show on Monday during a school board meeting held at Captain Strong Primary. The Bob Peck Award honors the late Bob Peck, a former Battle Ground High School teacher and the founder of the District Art Show. The award was established after Peck passed away last year. Peck taught art at the high school for more than 37 years, and the school's art gallery is named for him.

More than 800 pieces of art created by K-12th graders are on display through May 25 at Captain Strong Primary School, 1002 NW 6th Ave., Battle Ground. The public is invited to view the art free of charge from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on school days through May 25 at the school. 


Awards were given to:

Bob Peck Award (pictured, left)

Gordon Stenersen - 11th Grade RHL

Superintendent's Award 

Kaylene Yandell - 11th Grade RHL

Best of Show

Elizabeth Gushtyuk - 12th Grade PHS
Anna Cox - 7th Grade RHL
Mia Tatkovski - 4th Grade CSP (pictured, right)

12th Grade

1st Place: Karina Linchuk - SVHS 
2nd Place: Elizabeth Gushtyuk - PHS
3rd Place: Jonah Medina - BGHS


11th Grade 
1st Place: Kaylene Yandell - RHL 
(pictured, right)
2nd Place: Mireya Estrada-Conchas - BGHS

10th Grade
1st Place: Kylee Booker - BGHS
2nd Place: Joel LaCasse - BGHS

9th Grade
1st Place: Rebekah Alvarez - RHL
2nd Place: Andrew Zherebnenko - RHL


8th Grade
1st Place: Alexis Mathesis - TVM (pictured, left)
2nd Place: Fennel Johnson - CMS
3rd Place: Lucas Lyle - LM
4th Place: Leah M. - AM
Honorable Mention: Cameron Howard - DBM
Honorable Mention: Elsa Steigman - LM

7th Grade
1st Place: Laela Richards - DBM
2nd Place: Neli Nartea - LM
3rd Place: Amee Indino - PVM

4th Place: Heidi Pratt - CMS
Honorable Mention: Zoey Turner - MG
Honorable Mention: Sarah Williams - MG




6th Grade
1st Place: Sofia Lobanova - RHL (pictured, right)
2nd Place: Emily Ackerman - RHL
3rd Place: Ariana G. - AM
4th Place: Kristina Kaygorodova - LM
Honorable Mention: Natalie Coughran - LM
Honorable Mention: Aiden Belding - RHL


5th Grade
1st Place: Alvina Kutsar - PVM
2nd Place: Malachi Cossette - RHL
3rd Place: Irene Ho - PVM
4th Place: Dyllan Doph - DBM
Honorable Mention: Bella Stokes - LM
Honorable Mention: Diana Reslaya - DBM

4th Grade
1st Place: Chloe Hudson - CSP
2nd Place: Emma Hagedorn - RHL
3rd Place: Adam M., Gavin Q., Audrey J., Jenning S., Ruby H. - TVP
4th Place: Halle Olin - YP
Honorable Mention: Sydney Ebert - MG
Honorable Mention: Nicole Williams - GHP


3rd Grade

1st Place: Kenna Jenkins - GHP (pictured, left)
2nd Place: Jack Fassett - YP
3rd Place: Nathaniel Jarrett - PVP
4th Place: Judah Zable - RHL
Honorable Mention: Alexander Stanek - GHP
Honorable Mention: Carol Tanninen - YP

2nd Grade
1st Place: Lou Kissinger - RHL
2nd Place: Malia Leavitt - MG
3rd Place: Kylie Listek - YP
4th Place: Gigi Riesterer - GHP
Honorable Mention: Emersyn Wishard - PVP
Honorable Mention: Esther Kirillov - MG



1st Grade
1st Place: Emily Miller - PVP
2nd Place: Shaniya Coponen - YP
3rd Place: Avery Popkes-Perez - MG
4th Place: Viktor Nedilenko - PVP
Honorable Mention: Kylie Grier - GHP
Honorable Mention: Anais Martinez-Avilez - MG

Photography: All grade levels

1st Place: Andrey G. Germanov - 11th Grade  RHL  (pictured, right)
2nd Place: Carson Oltmann - 11th Grade BGHS
3rd Place: Sidney Phoumyvong - 11th Grade - BGHS
4th Place: Elena Kent - 11th Grade BGHS
Honorable Mention: Alyssa M. Zoller - 9th Grade RHL
Honorable Mention:  Dennis N. Polyashov - 9th Grade RHL
Honorable Mention:  Isabelle A. Pietz - 9th Grade RHL

Computer/Digital Art: High School
1st Place: Nate Wright - 8th Grade MG
2nd Place: Molly Jordan - 8th Grade MG
3rd Place: Madison Stevens - 7th Grade TVM

Computer/Digital Art: Middle School
1st Place: Gabrielle Elliott - 11th Grade RHL
2nd Place: Kylee Booker - 10th Grade BGHS
3rd Place: Justin Jondahl - 12th Grade BGHS

3D Sculpture: All grade levels

1st Place: Chalize Matson - 12th Grade BGHS
2nd Place: Kylie Smithline - 12th Grade BGHS
3rd Place: Katt Gamblin - 10th Grade BGHS
4th Place: Pravina Blunk - 8th Grade PVM
Honorable Mention: Damien Amezcua-Ruiz - 7th Grade TVM

The Battle Ground Art Alliance also presented awards:

Best of Show (pictured at right)
Elizabeth Gushtyuk 
- 12th Grade PHS

High School
1st Place: Kaylene Yandell - 11th Grade RHL
2nd Place: Andrew Zherebnenko - 9th Grade RHL
3rd Place: Lazarus Mann - 10th Grade RHL
Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Gushtyuk - 12th Grade PHS
Honorable Mention: Joel LaCasse - 10th Grade BGHS
Honorable Mention: Cole Withington - 11th Grade BGHS

Middle School
1st Place: Anna Cox - 7th Grade RHL
2nd Place: Laela Rhichards - 7th Grade DBM
3rd Place: Mary Hervi - 8th Grade CMS
Honorable Mention: Irene Ho - 5th Grade PVM
Honorable Mention: Sofia Lobanova - 6th Grade RHL
Honorable Mention: Andrea Pratt - 7th Grade CMS
Honorable Mention: Gina Muonio - 8th Grade CMS



Primary School
1st Place: Kylie Listek - 2nd Grade YP (pictured, left)
2nd Place: Evan Micu - 4th Grade GHP
3rd Place: Avery Popkes-Perez - 1st Grade MG
Honorable Mention: Martin Sarkkinen - 1st Grade MG
Honorable Mention: Lou Kissinger - 2nd Grade RHL
Honorable Mention: Max Yavniy - 3rd Grade GHP
Honorable Mention: Kenna Jenkins - 3rd Grade GHP
Honorable Mention: Ezekiel Aho - 4th Grade PVP
Honorable Mention: Anjelika Zakharov - 4th Grade GHP





Photography/Digital
1st Place: Andrey G. Germanov - 11th Grade RHL
2nd Place: Olivia Lawson - 11th Grade RHL
3rd Place: Maria Zherebnenko - 10th Grade RHL
Honorable Mention: Hannah Reuther - 11th Grade RHL
Honorable Mention: Madison Stevens - 7th Grade TVM
Honorable Mention: Samantha Phan - 10th Grade RHL


Sculpture/3D (grades K-12)

1st Place: Klaire Thomas - 12th Grade PHS (pictured, right)
2nd Place: Brianna Morrell - 8th Grade DBM
3rd Place: Garrett Johnson - 12th Grade BGHS
Honorable Mention: Hayden Zigler - 8th Grade TVM










Four BGPS students heading to National History Day Finals

posted May 10, 2018, 2:41 PM by Joe Vajgrt

Four BGPS students heading to National History Day Finals

May 10, 2018


After top finishes in the state competition, an eighth grader from Chief Umtuch Middle School and a team of three seventh graders from Pleasant Valley Middle School are headed to the National History Day finals. Chief Umtuch 8th grader Karleigh Potter and Pleasant Valley 7th graders Logan Bigelow, Lucas Braunschweig, and Jaxon Lewis will represent Battle Ground Public Schools in the national competition.

In late April, dozens of district students participated in the Washington State National History Day competition in Auburn, Wash. at Green River Community College. Only the top two finishers in each category advance to the national finals, which will be June 10-14 at the University of Maryland in College Park, just outside of Washington, D.C.

National History Day is a dynamic program that encourages students to become historians by developing research, analysis, presentation and social skills. Students select a topic related to an annual national theme and work individually or in groups to conduct extensive historical research using primary and secondary sources. 

This year’s theme is “Conflict and Compromise in History.” Based on this theme, the students conducted research and analysis before developing projects such as research papers, performances, documentaries, websites, and more. 

Chief Umtuch 8th grader Karleigh Potter took first place in the Individual Exhibit category for her project, "Small Feet, Big Strides: Birmingham’s Conflict and Compromise," where she examined the events surrounding the 1963 children's march in Birmingham, Ala.   

“The Children’s March piqued my interest primarily because students my age played a defining role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” Potter said. “This age connection remained in my thoughts and made it personal. I wanted to know how these students succeeded when the adults before them had not.”

Karleigh started her project by researching the tumultuous political climate of the 1960s. She watched “hours upon hours” of documentaries, read newspapers, and collected books from the library and by ordering some from Amazon.

Karleigh was also honored as the sole state representative chosen by National History Day Coordinator Katie DeMar-Aldrich. After being selected, Karleigh’s exhibit will be on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History on June 13th, where tourists will be able to see her work and museum curators and education staff at the NMAH will be able to ask students about their exhibits.

“I am so incredibly proud of her accomplishments,” said Chief Umtuch history teacher Beth Doughty. “Karleigh is more than deserving of this recognition, and I know she’s going to do an amazing job representing Chief Umtuch at the national competition next month.” 

Pleasant Valley Middle School seventh graders Logan Bigelow, Lucas Braunschweig, and Jaxon Lewis were top finishers in the Website category. The team conducted original research that culminated in their project, “Compromise, Key to Success: James Reed Ellis and METRO.” The students conducted most of their work after school and on Saturdays with Pleasant Valley Middle reading specialist and History Day teacher Irene Soohoo.They will be the 37th through 39th students from Pleasant Valley to compete at the national finals! 

The Pleasant Valley team also won the Washington State Archives Special Award for research they conducted and documents they discovered at the State archives in Olympia and Bellevue, the King County Archives, Allen Special Collections at the University of Washington, and the National Archives in Seattle. 

At the end of May, the Pleasant Valley team will present their research to the Secretary of State at the State Archives in Olympia before they prepare for the National History Day Competition in June. 

The National History Day organization and its state affiliate, Washington History Day, provide leading-edge training and curriculum materials to help educators meet and exceed education standards. 


Battle Ground Schools’ nurses train to ‘Stop the Bleed’

posted May 4, 2018, 2:21 PM by Joe Vajgrt

Battle Ground Schools’ nurses train to ‘Stop the Bleed’

May 4, 2018


The school nurses in Battle Ground Public Schools hope it’s a skill they never have to use: knowing how to stop life threatening bleeding before it’s too late. Thanks to a free training provided by Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), all of the district’s school nurses are certified to “Stop the Bleed” in emergency situations. 

Life threatening accidents can happen remarkably quickly and in unexpected ways. For example, just this March, a nine-year-old student in Georgia was simply playing at recess when she fell and broke her arm so severely that an artery was severed. Thankfully, the school’s nurse had just completed the Stop the Bleed training program and was able to spring into action, quite possibly saving the young girl’s life. 

Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death from trauma. Battle Ground is the first district in Southwest Washington to receive training for such emergencies. At the Stop the Bleed training, Battle Ground's nurses learned to use tourniquets and other items from specialized bleeding control kits. Soon, such kits will be placed next to every Automated External Defibrillator (AED) machine in the district. An AED is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock that can potentially stop an irregular heartbeat and allow a normal rhythm to resume following sudden cardiac arrest. One of BGPS’ AEDs has already been used to save a person’s life

“We hope we’ll never need to use this training at a school,” said BGPS’ School Health Services and Nursing Supervisor Cathy Shannon. “But you always have to be prepared. Whether it’s on a school campus, at the airport, or even driving down the road, this training can help save a life.”

Now that the district’s nurses have completed the Stop the Bleed training, they are qualified and have registered as trainers for the program. Soon, the BGPS nurses will be hosting training sessions to teach district staff, and eventually, even middle and high school students, the life-saving techniques.  

The ‘Stop the Bleed’ campaign was initiated by the National Security Council Staff to better prepare the public to save lives by raising awareness of basic actions to stop life threatening bleeding. Advances made by military medicine and research in hemorrhage control during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq informed the work of this initiative. 

Research has shown that even bystanders who have very little or no medical training can save lives. Similar to the use of CPR or automatic defibrillators, improving public awareness of how to stop severe bleeding and expanding personal and public access to bleeding control kits can be the difference between life and death for an injured person.

“Training our nurses and district staff to help control bleeding is just one of the many things we’re doing to be prepared for emergency events on campus,” said Shannon. “Ordinary people can do extraordinary things, and it’s amazing that life-saving skills can be learned in a free 40-minute class.”

Visit https://www.bleedingcontrol.org/ for more information. 


BGPS celebrates student art at 59th District Art Show

posted May 3, 2018, 1:48 PM by Rita Sanders

BGPS celebrates student art at 59th District Art Show

May 3, 2018


More than 800 creative works will be on display May 9-25 during Battle Ground Public Schools' annual District Student Art Show. The event, in its 59th year, will be held at Captain Strong Primary School.

The art show celebrates the work of student artists from every grade level. Pieces on display include 3D sculptures, ceramics, drawings, digital art, photography and paintings. The event was founded by the late Bob Peck, who taught art classes and shaped the art program at Battle Ground High School for more than 37 years before he retired.

The public is invited to view the art free of charge from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on school days from May 9 to 25 at the school, 1002 NW 6th Ave., Battle Ground. A public reception for student artists will be held on Monday, May 14 at 4:30 p.m. at Captain Strong, in conjunction with a regular school board meeting at 6 p.m. At the meeting, board members will recognize the first place, grand prize and best of show student winners. The school building will remain open until 8 p.m. that evening for the art show.

      
   
   

Battle Ground High School Drama Club to perform Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’

posted May 1, 2018, 10:42 AM by Joe Vajgrt

Battle Ground High School Drama Club to perform Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’

May 1, 2018

 
The Battle Ground High School Drama Club is set to perform Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” a fun play about love, deception, and redemption.

The play follows its heroine, Rosalind, as she flees persecution in her uncle's court. Accompanied by her cousin Celia, Rosalind finds safety and eventually, love, in the Forest of Arden. In the forest, they encounter a variety of memorable characters, notably the melancholy traveller Jaques, who speaks many of Shakespeare's most famous speeches (such as "All the world's a stage," "Too much of a good thing," and "A fool! A fool! I met a fool in the forest"). Jaques provides a sharp contrast to the other characters in the play, always observing and disputing the hardships of life in the country.

The show runs May 10-12 and 17-19. Performances will be at Battle Ground High School in The Lair, 300 W. Main St., with the doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and performances beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $5 for students and senior citizens and $7 for the general public. Tickets are available for purchase at the door on performance dates and online at https://payments.battlegroundps.org.
 
Battle Ground Public Schools staff can get a special discounted rate of just $3 per ticket by purchasing tickets at the door. Simply show your BGPS ID at the door to receive the reduced rate.
 
The performance dates and times are as follows: 
  • Thursday, May 10, 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, May 11, 7:00 p.m. 
  • Saturday, May 12, 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 17, 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, May 18, 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 19, 7:00 p.m. 
We look forward to seeing you at Battle Ground High School for this fun and funny production!

Battle Ground Public Schools hosts annual plant and greenhouse sales

posted Apr 30, 2018, 10:41 AM by Joe Vajgrt

Battle Ground Public Schools hosts annual plant and greenhouse sales

April 30, 2018


A variety of annual and perennial bedding and flowering plants, as well as vegetable starts and hanging baskets grown by high school students in Battle Ground Public Schools’ greenhouses, will be available for purchase at upcoming public sales. Money raised from these sales supports the district's horticulture and Future Farmers of America (FFA) programs and welding teams. 

Students from Battle Ground High School; Prairie High School; the Center for Agriculture, Science, and Environmental Education (CASEE); and the FFA program grow tens of thousands of plants each year. Some of these plants are used in landscaping projects on school campuses, while the rest are sold at annual public sales. 

Community members are encouraged to arrive early for the best selection and bring boxes to carry purchased plants. Upcoming sales will be held:

Battle Ground High School 
Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
BGHS greenhouses, 300 W Main St., Battle Ground

There more than 15,000 plants for sale this year, including hanging baskets, perennial flowers,  bedding plants, vegetables, berry plants and nursery stock. Cash or checks only, please. Customers are also welcome to walk through and see the demonstration garden named after Paddy Hough. It includes aquaculture, tissue culture, hydroponics, trellised fruit trees, and several perennial fruits that aren’t common in a Pacific Northwest garden. Cash or check only.  

Prairie High School Plant Sale
Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Prairie High School greenhouse, 11311 NE 119th St., Vancouver

Shop a large selection of hanging baskets, grasses, vegetables, herbs, flowers, trees and succulents. Cash or check only.


Take a look back as CASEE celebrates 25 years

posted Apr 27, 2018, 1:56 PM by Joe Vajgrt

Take a look back as CASEE celebrates 25 years

April 26, 2018


Take a walk around the sprawling 80-acre campus that is home to Battle Ground Public Schools’ Center for Agriculture, Science and Environment Education (CASEE) program, and you’re likely to see high school students performing experiments, collecting data and conducting research in the lush outdoor learning lab. This half-day STEM program offers high school students an integrated curriculum in science and English, and provides district students of all ages with access to a site perfectly suited for field trips filled with opportunities for fun and exciting hands-on science projects.

“CASEE provides a unique learning opportunity for Battle Ground students,” said Career and Technical Education Director Cindy Arnold. “Small class sizes mean that students have close working relationships with their teachers and peers, and there are so many opportunities to connect with professionals and scientists who work in the fields they’re studying.”

The CASEE program started in 1993 as a cooperative effort of the district's Career and Technical Education (CTE) and science programs. Supported by a community advisory group, CASEE was designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge to enter a professional world that increasingly relies on science and technology skills.

Over the last two and a half decades, thousands of students have sharpened their science skills and had their curiosity piqued thanks to the CASEE program. To celebrate CASEE’s 25th Anniversary event on May 12, we’re taking a look at the program’s history, including how the concept was inspired by a trip to 
Disney World, and how it got its name thanks to a dog.

While CASEE officially launched in the 1990s, the program can trace its inspiration all the way back to 1985,  in Disney World, of all places. That year, teacher Tim Hicks presented Battle Ground’s successful agriculture curriculum at a national conference in Florida. At the conference, Hicks and other teachers discussed the future of agriculture programs. They knew the rural landscape was rapidly changing: farms that were once plentiful were being turned into housing developments, yet the worldwide need for food was growing.

Conference participants also were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the newly opened EPCOT Center. At the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, Hicks saw cutting edge ideas: tissue cultures used to develop plant material, Tilapia fish raised as an aquaculture crop, and examples of highly developed composting and recycling schemes.

Inspired and full of enthusiasm, Hicks returned to the Battle Ground School District with a new assignment on his plate. When the district asked teachers to restructure the agriculture department, Hicks told his peers that if they were going to dream, they should dream big. Hicks and his colleagues had always wished for a place where students could work hands-on with professionals, where there were no bells or 50-minute class periods.

In 1987, steps to develop an outdoor laboratory for BGPS began in earnest. District administrators and teachers collaborated with community consultants from Clark County, Washington State University and the Farmers Home Administration for the project. Together, they envisioned a center for environmental and agriculture agencies that would work to educate students and benefit the entire community.

In February of 1987, the Battle Ground School Board approved the concept and a site on NE 149th Street in Brush Prairie. One year later, BGPS agreed to lease the site from the state Department of Natural Resources. They dubbed it the Salmon Creek Center. Warren Reeves was designated as the director during its development. He saw the need to give the project a name with a catchy acronym. For that he looked no further than Casey, a dog that wandered the campus in the early stages of its development. From that point, the program was referred to as the CASEE project, or the Center for Agriculture, Science and Environmental Education.

In 1989, CASEE began to take shape. A summer youth employment program built sheds and picnic tables, constructed nature trails and planted vegetation at the site. That fall marked the first annual pumpkin patch hunt by local kindergartners.

In February of 1990, BGPS announced its intention to build administrative offices at the Salmon Creek Center. The following year saw the implementation of a district-wide CASEE curriculum for K-12 students. Written by the teachers who would be using the site, it included sections on insect study, water analysis, plant classification and tree measurement activities. The goal was that every science-based class would make two visits to CASEE, prompting more than 14,000 students to visit that year.

Meanwhile, plans for construction continued to evolve, and the district office moved in during the summer of 1992. Building B opened to the first CASEE classes in the fall of 1993.

Today, the CASEE campus still serves as a hub for science learning for the entire district, as well as the home of the BGPS district offices. More than 110 students attend CASEE on a 3-hour block schedule Monday-Friday before or after attending their home high school for a half day to round out their studies. During their four-years in the CASEE program, students explore courses in Biology, Natural Resources, Environmental Science, Forestry, Wildlife, Chemistry, Food Science, Microbiology, Agricultural and Industrial Biotechnology and four years of English.

Over the past 25 years, CASEE students have made significant improvements to the campus’s infrastructure, including the installation of two and a half miles of trails, an arboretum, ponds, additional structures, and reinventing the garden each year as new students enter the program.

“CASEE's integrated course structure allows students to spend more time exploring particular topics in-depth,” said science teacher Mark Watrin. “Having the ability to choose a research emphasis creates a work environment closer to what people do in their careers. Professionals in the STEM fields apply their skills to try and solve a central problem. CASEE gets closer to that real work environment than most school classes.”

The public is invited to CASEE’s 25th Anniversary Celebration and Open House on Saturday, May 12 at 11104 NE 149th Street, Building B, in Brush Prairie. Tours and displays begin at 1 p.m., with a special program at 2 p.m. and light refreshments and campus tours at 3 p.m.


Battle Ground High School offers national college prep program

posted Apr 19, 2018, 4:39 PM by Joe Vajgrt

Battle Ground High School offers national college prep program

April 19, 2018


Beginning next year, Battle Ground High School (BGHS) students can get an idea of what it is like to do college research and potentially earn the college credit that goes with having acquired such a skill set. Battle Ground High will offer the Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone diploma program. The program, which develops collaboration, research, and analytical writing skills in high school students, consists of two courses taken in sequence: AP Seminar and AP Research.
 
"We are excited to be an Advanced Placement Capstone School,” said Principal Mike Hamilton. “This program is a unique opportunity for students to distinguish themselves to colleges and universities as well as prepare themselves for lifelong learning. It also speaks to our school's commitment to increasing student access to advanced placement courses and academic rigor."
 
Currently, only 33 high schools in Washington State offer the nationally-recognized program, which was developed in partnership with college faculty, admissions officers, and the College Board. The program was established in 2014 at 114 schools in the U.S. In just four years, the program has grown to include approximately 1,500 schools worldwide.
 
The AP Seminar course, typically taken by sophomores or juniors, helps students examine current issues from multiple perspectives. Students learn to analyze the strength of an argument; work to understand and evaluate opposing viewpoints; interpret and synthesize information; and construct, communicate and defend research-based arguments to support their conclusions.  
 
BGHS English teacher Daniel Hidden (pictured) will teach the AP Seminar course next year. Hidden has the flexibility to choose research topics based on students’ interests. Students taking the class will be assessed through both individual and team projects and a year-end AP exam. 
 
So far, 61 students have signed up to take AP Seminar in the fall. “We were hoping to have at least one full class the first year," said BGHS history teacher and AP coordinator Adam Horn. "But now we could have three. We’re pleased with the response from students and are excited to offer this engaging and challenging learning opportunity.”  
 
The second course in the capstone sequence is AP Research. This course is typically taken by seniors, with AP Seminar as a prerequisite. Students in AP Research dive deep into an academic topic, problem or issue of individual interest. After selecting a topic, students design, plan, and conduct a year-long investigation. The students document their process by developing a portfolio of work, building on the skills developed in the AP Seminar course by further learning how to understand research methodology; employ ethical research practices; and collect, analyze, and synthesize information to build, present, and defend an argument.
 
“A big focus of the AP Research class will be collaboration with peers and developing intellectual maturity that will give students the skills they need to be successful in college and in their professional lives,” Horn said. “The AP Capstone program is deliberately broad and teaches skills that are valuable not only for college, but also are important life skills.”  
 
Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on the AP Seminar and AP Research exams and on four additional AP exams of their choosing will earn the AP Capstone Diploma. This signifies their outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills. In addition, students might also earn college credit for the AP courses they complete while in high school. 
 
Alternatively, students can earn an AP Seminar and Research Certificate by completing these two courses with AP exam scores of 3 or higher, but without taking the additional four AP courses required for earning the AP Capstone Diploma. 
 
“Completing the AP Capstone program helps prepare students for college and beyond in several ways,” Horn said. “Not only do they get a head start by earning college credit while they’re still in high school, but they’ll also stand out on college entrance and scholarship applications and will have the academic and research skills to be successful after high school.” 


Battle Ground schools' CTE programs prepare students for life after high school

posted Apr 12, 2018, 2:55 PM by Joe Vajgrt   [ updated Apr 16, 2018, 10:47 AM ]

Battle Ground schools' CTE programs prepare students for life after high school

April 12, 2018


For Prairie High School senior Isabel Hidalgo, taking Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes opened up a world of opportunities. As a sophomore, Hidalgo was still unsure of what career path she wanted to pursue after high school. That all changed when she took a Health Science class from teacher Melissa Levine. Levine's experiences working in the healthcare field inspired Hidalgo to work toward becoming a medical doctor, and she chose to take the Health Sciences pathway at Prairie.  

The CTE term is applied to high school classes in skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies and career preparation. The classes provide hands-on training in skills that help students get jobs or prepare them to continue their educations beyond high school.

Battle Ground Public Schools' mission is to empower all students to reach their highest potential through innovative, creative and supportive learning environments. The district’s CTE offerings and related club activities are highly effective in achieving this mission.

According to the Association for Career and Technical Education, the average high school graduation rate for students in CTE programs is 93 percent, compared to an average national graduation rate of 80 percent. CTE students are also significantly more likely than their non-CTE counterparts to develop problem solving, research, math, communication, time management and critical-thinking skills during high school. In addition to helping prepare students academically, CTE programs provide opportunities for students to gain experience and build confidence for life after high school.

As a sophomore, Hidalgo joined the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) club, where she competed in medical terminology and CPR contests against her high school peers. Last year, Hidalgo finished fourth overall in a state CPR competition.  
“Getting hands-on experience through competitions, the blood drives we host, and classes that are practical and interesting has opened up so many doors,” Hidalgo said. “It’s not so much that doors were closed, it’s that I didn’t even know the doors existed.”

After finishing high school this year, Hidalgo plans to study biology at the University of Portland in the fall, and has her sights set on attending medical school after that. Her goal is to specialize in children’s cancer and immunotherapy; options that she learned about from her experiences in CTE classes and competitions.

"Students in CTE programs are more connected to their interests and see how those interests can translate into a career,” said Cindy Arnold, the district’s Director of Career and Technical Education. "CTE classes help students prepare to find and get jobs right out of high school, and also gives them the skills to be successful in college."

Battle Ground High School senior Adriana Esparza agrees. Before joining the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC), Esparza wasn’t sure what she wanted to do after graduation. In less than two years in the CTE program, she says that her involvement with the AFJROTC program has provided clarity of her career goals.

“Before I joined the JROTC program, I had no idea if I even wanted to go to college,” Esparza said. Now, she plans to get a degree in psychology with the goal of becoming a clinical psychologist in the military. She also plans to continue ROTC in college and become a commissioned officer in the Air Force.

“It’s special to have a program that helps develop each student’s individual strengths while also teaching the core value of ‘service before self’ and stressing the importance of community,” Esparza said. “Junior ROTC is an amazing option that I’d strongly encourage any student to explore.”

Prairie High School seniors BayLee Saldino and Kaitlyn Rose have taken several agriculture classes together and are both members of the school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) club. Saldino and Rose echoed the sentiment that their CTE classes and club activities build confidence and teach practical skills that are useful during and after high school.

“After I moved here from California halfway through my freshman year, I was very shy and quiet,” Saldino said. “That’s not the case anymore. Not only did I make great friends through FFA and my agriculture classes, but the public speaking and presentations I had to give helped me open up and be confident.”

Saldino said she always knew that she was interested in working with animals, but her CTE experiences have informed her decision to focus on animal behavior and wildlife rehabilitation.

Kaitlyn Rose runs the Eagle Fern summer horse camp and says that her FFA experience has taught her the record keeping and facilities care skills to transform a fun hobby into more of a business opportunity.

“You’re always moving, delegating, and having to step up and take responsibility as a leader in the greenhouse and in the labs,” Rose said. “Everyone shows steady improvement over time, and you can definitely see people’s confidence building as they develop leadership skills.”

Rose herself has demonstrated that confidence and growth, recently placing second at an FFA job interviewing skills competition in the Evergreen school district and preparing to participate in the state competition in Pullman next month.   

Battle Ground's middle and high school students can choose from 200 CTE courses across 36 content areas including: agriculture, food and natural resources; architecture and construction; arts, audio/video technology and communications; business management and administration; education and training; finance; government and public administration; hospitality and tourism; human services; information technology; law, public safety, corrections and security; manufacturing; health services; marketing; science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and transportation, distribution and logistics.


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