Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fourth Annual Camas Indoor Kite Festival

Students of Camas High School’s chapter of Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA have been busy planning for the 4th Annual Camas Indoor Kite Festival. In addition to hosting the event in the CHS gym, members will also be selling tickets at the door and providing concessions for the event.

This festival is the student’s major fundraiser for the year and allows them to attend the Statewide FCCLA leadership conference. This conference provides students the opportunity to experience and participate in a professional meeting, compete for and receive recognition for their efforts, and meet other like-minded students from across the state.

November is National Family month. This event is truly a wonderful way for the family to spend an afternoon or two enjoying healthy, artistic activity while avoiding the chilly and rainy November weather!

Kite flying is typically something one associates with the sun, lots of wind, and going to the beach. In this case, the American Kite Flyers Association sanctioned event is coming to the Portland Metro Area and the wind and the sun or rain is not a factor because this kite competition will be warm and dry inside the beautiful Camas High School Gymnasium, located about 15 minutes from the Portland/Vancouver area.

The first question that pops into most people’s minds when they hear the phrase “indoor kite flying” is, “How do you fly a kite indoors? Do you use fans?” The response is an emphatic no. The kites that are used are so light that small amounts of arm and body movement on the part of the flyer is enough to send these marvels made of former NASA materials sailing with a grace and beauty that has left many a person wondering, “How can this be happening?” The kite’s movements are set to music and the choreographed ballets are scored by a panel of judges who grade how well the flyer interprets the music, fly their kite or kites, and present showmanship.

Regional, National and International Champion kite flyers from Washington, Oregon and Canada will be there to participate in this American Kite Flyers and Northwest Sport Kite League sanctioned event. The results of the four separate competitions on Saturday and Sunday will count toward a regional championship which is key to qualifying for competition at the National level. On Saturday and Sunday, activities will include ballet competition, demonstration flying, hot tricks competition, kite making and the opportunity have a lesson and try your hand at flying yourself. See the website for a schedule of events:

FCCLA is the only national student leadership organization that focuses on the multiple roles of today’s individual as family member, wage earner, and community leader. The organization’s mission is to promote personal growth and leadership development through Family and Consumer Science Education. Members build skills for life through planning and completing projects using creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge, and vocational skills.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bus Ridership Week

Camas School District receives State transportation funding based on the number of students who utilize busing services. Each fall, districts conduct a ridership count for one week, which is reported to Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. If the district transports your student, please encourage them ride the bus to school during the week of October 12-16, 2009.

If you have questions, contact the Transportation Department at 833-5585.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Imagine the possibilities

"Imagine the Possibilities" is the theme of the Camas Educational Foundation (CEF) Auction that will be held October 10, 2009, at the Vancouver Hilton. This year marks the auction's 11th year. Tickets are on sale now. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Roxanne Giffin at 834-1345. Click the link below to register online.

District seeks advisory committee members

In preparation for the new school year, the Camas School District is seeking volunteers to serve on the district’s Citizens Advisory Committee. CAC consists of 18-25 school district patrons who advise school administrators and board members on a variety of issues. Meetings are held the first Monday of each month during the school year.

Interested citizens are encouraged to visit the next CAC meeting on October 5, 2009, at Grass Valley Elementary School, 3000 NW Grass Valley Dr., at 7:00 p.m. Of particular interest, this group currently has little representation from Director Districts II, III and V. Maps of each district are available online at

Applications to CAC can be completed at the meeting, online, or by contacting Lynette Marshall at 833-5412. All completed applications should be returned to the Camas School District Administration Center by Wednesday, October 14, and will be forwarded to the School Board for appointment.

Line dancing anyone?

If you’ve ever wanted to learn to line dance and get a good aerobic workout, then this fun class is for you! No partner necessary... bring friends or come alone!

What: Beginning Line Dancing
Where: Lacamas Elementary Gym
When: Mondays, Sept. 28-Oct. 19
Time: 7:00-8:30 p.m.
$30 (checks made payable to E.C.C.E.)
Class code: 1240-09

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vendors: register now for Holly Days

If you are interested in becoming a vendor at the 2009 Holly Days Arts & Crafts Bazaar, now is the time to register. The event takes place on November 14, and applications are due October 16. Click the link below for details and the registration form.

Be a Farmer for a Day!

Camas students and community members are invited to help harvest and sell produce from the Camas Roots Garden at the Camas Farmer’s Market on Wednesday, September 23. From 9 to 11 AM, Hayes Freedom High School students and community members will harvest potatoes, squash, tomatoes, and other things from the garden, which is located next to the JD Zellerbach building. In the afternoon at the market, students will help display the produce, make signs, calculate costs, make change, and practice customer relations. There will be important jobs for all ages starting at 2:30 PM. Elementary age children must have an adult nearby (at the market). The market runs from 3 to 7 PM and shifts are flexible according to your schedule. Students are encouraged to come and help for a half hour or longer. All proceeds will benefit the garden project. Helpers are welcome to take home extra produce. If you are interested in participating, please contact Elisa Wells at 833-0925 or

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Camas Student Graduates from Washington Aerospace Scholars Program

The Washington Aerospace Scholars program is pleased to announce that Stuart Jergensen is a graduate of the 2009 WAS Summer Residency at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS) is a competitive educational program for high school juniors from across Washington State.

Stuart Jergensen was among the 150 students who qualified for the Washington Aerospace Scholars Summer Residency program from 260 students who applied in November. To qualify for the residency program, Stuart of Camas High School spent six months studying a NASA-designed, distance-learning curriculum via the Internet. Based on his academic performance on the distance-learning lessons, he was selected to attend one of the four residencies hosted at The Museum of Flight in Seattle this summer. During the residency experience, he collaborated with the other student participants on the design of a human mission to Mars. WAS scholars are guided by professional engineers, scientists, university students and certified educators as they plan these missions. The WAS program is designed to inspire students to pursue degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) but the students are divided into teams which also require them to learn about mission management, budgets, the legal aspects of space exploration, and medicine.

In addition to the design of the human mission to Mars, he and the other WAS scholars also participated in a number of hands-on engineering challenges. These challenges included design, construction and deployment of robotic rovers, model rockets, lander devices, and payload lofting systems. Summer residency participants also received briefings from experts in the fields of engineering, science, physics, medicine, project management, risk management, and space exploration. They also visited Everett, WA, for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Boeing Commercial Airplane assembly plant, (including the new 787) and toured engineering laboratories at the University of Washington. As a graduate of WAS, Stuart joins over 380 alumni, representing 170 different Washington high schools.

All expenses (including travel, meals and lodging) are provided to students free of charge by the Washington Aerospace Scholars Foundation. The program has been supported through generous grants from The Apex Foundation, The Aldarra Foundation, The Boeing Company, Microsoft, Battelle and individual donors. The Museum of Flight hosts both the program administration and the summer residency sessions. Additional partners include NASA Johnson Space Center for curriculum development, the Washington State Governor’s Office, Washington State Legislators, and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

District phone system update

The Camas School District has recently converted its phone system to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). While there have been more technical issues than anticipated, the transition is nearly complete.

The following is a simple list of tangible benefits that we will receive from the new phone system.

  • It is estimated the District will save more than $100,000 each year under the new VoIP system due to the following: support costs for contracts and service are estimated to decrease by $68,000 per year, beginning immediately; by not using the previous system, the district will now be able to cancel unused telecom lines, resulting in a savings of approximately of $28,200 annually; under VoIP, the new long distance provider is expected to save another $10,800 annually.
  • Implemented with the VoIP is a new voicemail system which is expected to save the technology department approximately 100 hours in maintenance each year.
  • The new voicemail system can be managed in-house by district technology staff which results in faster service and less downtime creating accounts for people.
  • While phone systems are generally reliable, under the old system there was a single point of failure with the land telephone lines. The new design has multiple service providers and other redundancies built in to minimize failure and keep phone service running in an emergency.
  • Under the former system, emergency responders (911) did not receive the specific address of the site to visit. This will be corrected with the new system.
  • Counselors, special education staff, and other employees who work at multiple sites will no longer have to track and manage multiple phone numbers and voicemail boxes. Their phone number will travel with them, making access to messages and phone calls easier.
  • Exciting new features including managing voice messages via computer workstations, recording phone calls, and sending faxes directly from a computer are available for high call volume users such as office staff and principals.

Once training is complete and technical issues have been resolved, the district staff members will enjoy a robust phone and voicemail system. We thank you for your patience as we bring this project to completion.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Skyridge Earns Green Grant

Skyridge Middle School has gained yet another A+ in its efforts to go green. In late February, Ann Hofmann applied for the Terry Husseman Sustainable Schools Seed Award grant. Along with more than 25 other Washington state schools, Skyridge received a monetary grant. On May 22, 2009, six students, teacher Ann Hofmann, and Associate Principal Springy Yamasaki, attended the Terry Husseman Sustainable Schools award ceremony at the state capitol in Olympia, Washington. The staff and students felt a tremendous sense of pride as their award was announced and took the stage to receive the check and certificate. It was also an opportunity to hear what other schools have done and how they will be applying their grant awards. Students and staff were energized, enlightened and ready to delve into more eco-friendly projects.

While the school’s Go-Green efforts span a variety of areas, the grant request was specific for funding efforts to recycle, compost, and reduce the amount of waste produced by the school. Indeed, by recycling bottles and cans, reusing items such as paper and containers, and composting, Skyridge students and staff have already lessened their impact on landfills and diminished their environmental footprint.
First efforts began in 2007, when Skyridge started recycling in earnest. This involved putting paper and bottle/can recycle containers in all classrooms, and milk carton and bottle/can recycle containers in the dining room. The results were swift and remarkable: daily garbage output was reduced from 65 bags per day to 18. During that same year, the school started the Washington Green Schools Pilot program, but was unable to complete it during that school year. Thanks to a great team effort the following year, Skyridge completed the documentation and became the first school in Clark County to be certified a Level 1 Washington Green School in the spring of 2008.

In the fall of 2008, Skyridge added composting in the dining room. They further reduced daily trash output from 18 bags per day to 14. In the spring of 2009, the kitchen staff began composting and reduced their output from 3 bags to 1 bag per day.

Still, Green Team leaders have identified several areas for improvement. First, they hope to see the amount of bottles and cans in the garbage reduced, which will signify an increase in recyclates. Skyridge also hopes to see an improvement in their composting program. Based on a recent audit, the student dining hall compost contains over 30% trash/contaminants. Additionally, they plan to improve the staff recycling by purchasing recycling bins that allow easy sorting of compost, bottles/cans, and trash for the staff lounge and teacher workrooms. Team members hope to improve recycling in office areas by providing conveniently marked receptacles that are easily accessed and accommodate staff’s limited working space. While the $1,700 Husseman Sustainable Schools Seed grant will not fully fund the entire “wish list,” the Green Team is working to partner with community members to fill in the gaps and continue forward eco-progress.

For more information, contact Ann Hofman via e-mail at or (360) 833-5400, extension 2851.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Community Education Offers Bevy of Summer Opportunities

While the district is no longer able to offer its traditional summer school, Community Education has created an exciting summer program this year. From Kindergarten Readiness to week-long sports camps, there will surely be something for everyone. Please visit the Community Education web page for a listing of all offerings as well as registration.

Camas School District Enjoys Consecutive Clean Audits

In early May the State Auditor’s Office released the results of their annual audit. Each year the area of focus can vary. This year, auditing staff focused their work in the areas of accountability, federal programs, and finances.

In an exit interview with administration, the auditors indicated that the district financial practices are extremely well run and in full compliance with state statue and board policy. Additionally, the auditors complemented the district on its strong controls.

Business director Ina Evers-Martin was pleased with the audit results, though not surprised. “Our staff members take their jobs very seriously and work hard to ensure that all accounts are in perfect order,” she commented. “We take great pride in our clean audit history.”

“In these trying economic times, it is very reassuring to know that our $55 million budget is run so competently,” stated Board President Doug Quinn. “These consistent clean audit reports are a reflection of Ina’s professionalism and good management.”

Free Immunizations for Incoming Sixth Graders

Lacamas Medical Group has partnered with both Camas and Washougal schools by providing a free immunization clinic for incoming sixth graders on Wednesday, June 3, from 3 – 6:30 PM. They will require a parent/guardian accompany the student, plus immunization record. This clinic will focus on the Tdap and Varicella requirements.

Sixth graders are required to have three doses of DTaP, DT or Td if the last dose is given on or after the fourth birthday. Additionally, the student needs 1 dose Tdap if he/she is 11 years old and it has been at least 5 years since the last DTaP, DT or Td.

Varicella requirement is a minimum of 1 dose, which must be given on or after the first birthday. Parent-reported history of disease is acceptable.

No appointments are required. Lacamas Medical Group is located at 3240 NE 3rd Ave., Camas, WA 98607. Phone: (360) 838-2440.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

CHS Students Athletes Set Personal Best

Grade point averages (GPA’s) at Camas High School hit an all-time high for the 2008-09 school year. Among the 371 varsity student athletes, the average GPA is 3.38. Way to go Papermakers!

Sport – GPA (Number of varsity students)

Cheer - 3.22 (12)
Boys Cross Country - 3.56 (9)
Girls Cross Country - 3.56 (9)
Dance - 3.22 (18)
Football - 3.06 (49)
Boys Golf - 3.38 (12)
Boys Tennis - 3.11 (23)
Volleyball - 3.57 (11)
Girls Soccer - 3.5 (20)
Girls Swim - 3.74 (19)

Boys Basketball - 3.07 (12)
Girls Basketball - 3.38 (12)
Gymnastics - 3.37 (17)
Boys Swimming - 3.31 (22)
Wrestling - 3.11 (22)

Baseball - 3.26 (16)
Girls Golf - 3.50 (7)
Boys Soccer - 3.45 (19)
Girls Softball - 3.32 (16)
Girls Tennis - 3.40 (9)
Boys Track - 3.55 (18)
Girls Track - 3.40 (19)

Volunteering, Raising Awareness

CHS senior Alyssa Everett is volunteering at the Southwest Washington Humane Society in conjunction with her senior project. In an effort to raise awareness about animal adoptions, Alyssa is promoting a how-to flyer detailing process and hours of operation. Click here to view the flyer.

Skyridge Student Earns Grant

A team Skyridge students spent a Saturday in April at the Student Environmental Leadership Forum (SELF), a free all-day student conference held at Clark College in Vancouver, WA. Sponsored by Clark County Solid Waste Program, attendees learned about a variety of environmental topics and leadership development skills through multiple educational sessions. The goal of SELF was that students gain a greater knowledge about environmental topics and leadership skills to enable them to create ‘action plans’ with solutions for environmental issues within their community.

This month brought about an opportunity to apply for a mini-grant of up to $500 for the “action plan” projects they had developed through the SELF Forum. Seventh grader and Green Team member Allison Emmet wrote and was awarded the full $500 funding for her “Envirotote Lunchbag” project. She will be using the money to purchase cloth lunch bags with the Skyridge colors and name for students to purchase. Allison hopes this will cut down on the amount of lunch garbage generated each day by students. Since the bags are washable and reusable, Allison is looking forward to a positive reaction to this example of practicing good environmental stewardship.

Romp Around the Lake

Camas High School seniors Rachel Pierce, Bailey Johnson, and Shayna Nerland are hosting a fundraiser run to raise funds throught the O Ambassador program to build either a school or a water well in East Africa. The run will take place on May 9 at 8 AM. Click the link below for more information.

Camas HS Science Olympiad Team Places 3rd

The Camas High School Science Olympiad Team took home the third place trophy, for the second year in a row, at the State Tournament at Clark College on April 18. The team performed tremendously, and several talented Camas students took home first place medals, with a narrow 15 points separating the top three teams.

Camas High School teacher and Science Olympiad coach Ron Wright has done an outstanding job building the program from its infancy just three years ago to becoming a state level competitor. In addition to the high school team, Wright led the effort to create both elementary and middle school Science Olympiad teams. In fact, Liberty Middle School also qualified for the state competition and took home several medals.

“In three short years we have established ourselves as one of the premier teams in the state,” commented Wright. “Congratulations to the team, parents, and Camas School District staff.”

Events included: Cell Biology, Disease Detectives, Ecology , Health Science, Herpetology, Astronomy, Dynamic Planet, Fossils, Remote Sensing, It’s About Time, Physics Lab, Trajectory, Chem Lab, Environmental Chemistry, Forensics, Egg-O-Naut, Electric Vehicle, Elevated Bridge, Junkyard Challenge, Experimental Design, Picture This, Technical Problem Solving, and Write It Do It.

Science Olympiad is a team competition that encourages high school and middle school students to apply their technical knowledge and abilities. The Camas High School team formed in 2006 and has competed at the state level each year, taking third at the State competition in 2007 and first in the past three regional competitions.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Safety Night at Prune Hill

The Prune Hill Elementary PTA would like to invite Camas elementary families to an event organized in honor of National Internet Safety Week. This free Safety Night will be held on Wednesday, April 29, 6 - 8 PM at Prune Hill Elementary.

Representatives from the Camas Police Department, Vancouver Computer Forensics, and the YWCA will present information to parents about the Registered Sex Offender Program and Internet Safety. Meanwhile, East West Premier Martial Arts and Clark County Sheriff's Office will keep children busy teaching them about Stranger Danger, Water Safety and Bike Safety.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Light Humor, Serious Music

Combining the warm sonority of the Double Bass with the soaring melodic beauty of the Cello, the Bottom Line Duo tastefully and artfully presents a concert for all ages and musical backgrounds. Fans have come to expect a concert program that is masterful, warm-hearted, charming, entertaining, and educational. Concert goers are delighted to share with Spencer and Traci Hoveskeland the great diversity in music, from classical to modern works, and are amazed at what these two instruments are capable of. Don’t be surprised if Mozart is followed by Duke Ellington!

Click here for a Liberty MS Fundraiser Coupon.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tiffani Pekkala Blood Drive

Tiffani Pekkala, an eighth grade student at Liberty Middle School, was diagnosed with Primary Immune Deficiency Disease, four years ago. This means her body is unable to make antibodies to protect her from infection, and as a result she has infusions twice weekly.

In Tiffani's Honor, Liberty Middle School, in cooperation with the American Red Cross, will hold a blood drive on Tuesday, April 28, from 2 -7 PM at Liberty.

If you would like to donate, schedule your appointment by visiting and use “libertyschool” as the code. You can also contact Bette-Jo Poser by phone at 833-4673 or by e-mail at

Liberty Student Brings Home Gold

Over spring break, Liberty seventh grader Nick McAfee won first All-Around at the Region 2 Men's Gymnastics Championship in Bozeman, Montana. His received gold medals for high bar, parallel bars, floor, rings, plus the all-around gold. He also received the bronze medal for pommel horse. This is Nick's third consecutive year to win the title. He also hold the AA Regional Championship for the last two years. Congratulations Nick!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Papermakers Rocking D-Town

The Camas High School Marching Band spent spring break in Disneyland where they marched in the Disneyland parade. Band Director Richard Mancini reports that the parade went very well despite a bout of illness among some of the band members. They were allowed to take part in a great Disney workshop “recording session” where they received compliments from Disney’s clinician and stage managers.

The students also toured Universal Studios, spent a night on Catalina Island, and ended the trip with a tour of the Kodak Theater in Hollywood—home of the Academy Awards.

“The kids were fantastic on the whole trip and represented the state of Washington with the highest standards of behavior,” remarked Mancini.

Superintendent Mike Nerland was visiting his daughter in California and took in the parade. “The CHS band gave a stellar performance, and Mr. Mancini does fantastic work with the kids,” commented Nerland. “Camas really has something to be very proud of in our marching band.”

The band trip was paid for through fundraisers and the Associated Student Body (ASB) fund.

Photo Credits: Greg Anderson, Hank Garner, Laurie Kepfer, Cherrie Melton, and Jody Pieters. Thanks for sharing your photos!

New Boundary Exception Request Timeline

The Camas School District normally begins the annual boundary exception process each summer, making decisions in late August in order to accommodate the influx of new students typically seen just before the beginning of school. Due to the fact that enrollment growth has leveled off in recent years, and in light of anticipated budget cuts, the district has moved up the boundary process for certain groups of students. This accelerated schedule will allow principals to staff their schools efficiently while providing families a higher level of consistency and assurance for the year to come.

Click the link to view detailed information about the boundary process, timelines, and frequently asked questions: Boundary Exception Facts and FAQ.

Community Education Summer Opportunities

Are you wondering how you or your students will fill the long weeks of summer? You may have heard that the Camas School District was not able to include its summer school program in the budget this year, but fear not! In addition to the plethora of classes already to be found in the Community Education catalogue, plans are well underway for a summer, day-camp style set of classes for students entering grades one through eight. Kids will have the opportunity to sign up for one class or a set of classes that can fill a six-hour day. The camp will take place during the last two weeks of July and will be located at Liberty Middle School.

So if you have an elementary or middle school student who needs an exciting and fun camp this summer, or if you have a talent and would like to be become a Community Education instructor, contact Mary Weishaar or Karen Rudolph at 954-3836.

Please note: Camas High School will still offer the summer credit recovery program.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dancers Wow Competition

The Camas High School Papershakers dance team returned from state dance competition in Yakima with a second place in the Pom category! They also placed third out of six teams in dance category beating both Columbia River and Union. They received an Exceptional rating in Pom and Excellent ratings in Hip Hop and Dance categories.

These girls represented Camas High School well and are making a name for themselves as a competitive dance team! Way to go, Papershakers!

CHS Mock Trial Team Prevails

The Camas High School Mock Trial team set a new personal best for themselves over spring break at the YMCA Mock Trial Competition. They claimed first place in Clark County while beating worthy opponent Ft. Vancouver High School for the very first time. The competition placed Camas ranked fourth in among public schools in the state and ninth overall.

“Camas has never made it into the top 10 at state,” commented coach Jackie Hofer. “And they are bound and determined to be in the top 5 next year!”

Camas had a bevy of accolades including nominations of seven out of eight witnesses for Best Witness—more than any other team at state. Additionally, three of five attorneys were nominated for Best Attorney.

“The kids were amazing and considering two-thirds have never participated in the program before… well, we were proud!” Hofer added.

The trip was smooth, the kids were great. Thank you all for your support along the way. Those Camas kiddos really are impressive!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Baller

How can you say, “Goodbye,” to the old Helen Baller building? It is simple! Make plans to stop by the old building on Saturday, May 16, between 11 AM – 3 PM to bid farewell at our community event. Staff, students, and parents have a number of festivities planned for that day including slideshows, historical scrapbooks, and a community photo in front of the school at 1 PM. Absolutely everyone in town is invited! If you or someone you know has had any involvement with Helen Baller Elementary in its 50+ year history, tell them to come at 1 PM and take part. During the open house we are encouraging visitors to write their thoughts and memories on the walls, floors, and ceilings. So don’t miss this event, and be sure to tell your friends, families, and acquaintances.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Whole Foods Market Hosts 5% Day for Camas Roots

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 8, when the Vancouver Whole Foods Market will host a 5% Day for the Camas Roots Garden. On that day five percent from all purchases will be donated to the garden project, which is located next to JDZ Elementary and serves students from preschool to high school. As part of the 5% Day, Camas Roots will be featuring a garden story time from 10-11 AM and will have information about the garden on display during the day. We hope to see you at Whole Foods Market (164th and SE Mill Plain) on April 8!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Break is right around the corner. If your student is looking for something to do, Community Education may have just the solution. Take a look at offerings occurring not only during Spring Break, but also well into summer!

Spring Break Classes and More! (WORD)
Spring Break Classes and More! (PDF)
Basketball Camp (WORD)
Basketball Camp(PDF)

Skyridge Becomes Greener and Greener

For the last two years, Skyridge students have been engaged in a concerted effort to reduce carbon footprint. The Camas middle school was one of 10 Washington State schools chosen to participate in the, web-based Washington Green Schools pilot program. Participating schools progress through four tiers completing requirements and earning points to achieve each level of the Washington Green Schools program. The process is initiated with the formation of a Green Team, which includes students, teachers, administration, parents, and classified staff. The Team works as the liaison between the program requirements and the school.

There are five categories that are the basis for the program: Energy Efficiency; Recycling and Waste Reduction; Toxics Reduction and Indoor Air Quality; Transportation and Outdoor Air Quality; Water Quality and Conservation. Green Team members assess how the school is doing in the above categories, and then form sustainable action items based on the evaluation. These action items impact changes within their school that reduce or address the particular environmental issues outlined in the program. Finally, data is entered electronically through the Green Schools website. When a school has acquired 100 points, it is designated as a Tier 1 Green School. During subsequent years, a school can garner Tiers 2-4 by further addressing environmental issues.

In 2008, staff and students at Skyridge implemented a paper and plastic recycling program that has reduced the total waste by almost 70%. This year they partnered with Clark County Solid Waste liaison Erin Rowland and implemented the Save Organic Scraps (SOS) food waste/composting program. At lunch, students are seen separating paper and plastics from food waste. The waste is then collected and composted by Waste Connections. The process in becoming a Green School was started by environmentally-sensitive teacher Ann Hofmann. Within the first year, there were paper and plastic recycling bins in each classroom, hall, gym, and in the cafeteria. This was a big step considering plastic bottles weren’t recycled the year before. Skyridge earned enough points to be designated as a Tier 1 green school last month, the first school in Clark County to do so! They hope to continue their efforts to reduce their environmental impact, with the added bonus of saving the Camas School District money in operations and maintenance.

Expanded projects include vermicomposting worm bins in classrooms, participating in a Bike to School Day, having a student-lead recycling fair where students exchange items they no longer use, and creating a low-maintenance native garden at Skyridge using composted food as fertilizer. Students are linking up with Science teacher John Condon to start flowers and herbs in the school green house. These items will then be transferred to the ROOTS community Garden then sold by students at the Camas Farmer’s Market, and during the CamTown Festival in June.

Access to information:

Contact information:
Ann Hofmann,
Gayle Cooper,
Erin Rowland,

Monday, March 16, 2009

Papermaker Scientists Take the Trophy

Our own Camas High School Science Olympiad team, under of the guidance of Coach Ron Wright, earned top honors at the 22nd Annual Southwest Washington Science Olympiad Regional Tournament on Saturday.

Seventeen teams from 11 schools competed at the Lower Columbia Community College in Longview on March 14. The three-year-old Camas team placed third in last year's state competition and hopes to progress to the national event this year in Augusta, Georgia.

Top scoring CHS students included club president and senior Stephanie Nicholson, as well as team captain and senior Gaelen LeBlanc, senior Jason Reiter, and junior Natalie Stone.

Qualifying for the Washington State Tournament, were CHS (1st Place), Union (2nd), Columbia River (3rd), Mountain View (4th), Prairie (5th), and Excel Academic League (6th). The state tournament will be held on April 18th, all day, at Clark College. Viewing is free and open to the public. Science Olympiad involves both academic science skills and hands-on engineering abilities in 23 different events. Students compete in tests and "build it" events that require study, practice, and teamwork.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Camas Student Selected as a Washington Aerospace Scholar

Congratulations to Camas High School junior Stuart Jergensen who has been selected as one of 260 students to participate in the 2009 Washington Aerospace Scholar (WAS) program.

Phase One of WAS is performed via distance learning utilizing a NASA-designed curriculum covering the history of space exploration, the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, the Moon, and Mars. From January through May, the Scholars will complete ten lessons – submitting quizzes, math solutions, essays, and graphics concerning these topics every other week. Scholars will independently select a topic of interest for a final project combining an essay with a graphic. Scholars are also competing for a space in a summer residency session.

Phase Two of WAS is a six-day summer residency experience for 160 students. Selection is competitive and centers on performance in Phase One of WAS. In each residency session, 40 Scholars are selected to work cooperatively to plan a human mission to Mars with support from professional engineers/scientists, university students, and certificated educators. Each session also includes briefings from aerospace professionals, tours of engineering facilities, and hands-on engineering challenges involving model rocketry, robotics, landing devices, and payload lofting. The daily schedule is quite full, and the students lodge in double rooms at a local hotel under the supervision of certificated teachers. Travel, lodging, and meal expenses are provided to participating students and teachers thanks to the WAS Foundation and many generous donors.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Team Mean Machine Wows Competition

The Camas-Washougal FIRST Robotics team ranked fourth out of 54 teams at the Oregon Regional Competition this past weekend. In addition, the team brought home the General Motors Industrial Design Award for the simplicity and reliability of their design as well as for incorporating organic materials in its construction.

In a couple of weeks they will compete against 63 other teams in Seattle--some traveling from as far away as Turkey and Israel. Way to Go FIRST team, and good luck in Seattle!

Drug & Alcohol Awareness Night

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about prescription drug abuse in the news as well as in the CHS community. In response to these concerns, Glenn Hartman, CHS intervention specialist, and the CHS administrative team have put together a Parent Awareness Night on Thursday, March 19, from 6-7 PM in the CHS Library.

Because our families are very busy, organizers have made sure that this evening is packed with information that will benefit every parent. Glenn will share data from our 2009 Healthy Youth Survey that was administered anonymously to CHS students earlier this year. There will be representatives from the Clark County Drug Task Force and the counseling field, as well as a small panel of students all share their insights and experiences. A question-and-answer session will follow these presentations.

CHS Student Earns Marshall Award

Emma Sagor, a senior at Camas High School, has been named the recipient of the 2009 General George C. Marshall Youth Leadership Award.

Sagor is the school’s Associated Student Body president, vice president of the Key Club, president of Healthy Lifestyle Advocates, and is a member of National Honor Society, School Health Council and Camas Youth Advisory Council.

She coordinated the first “stuff the bus” food drive in both Camas and Washougal, participated in the LSW Architects internship, volunteered with “At Home, At School” for homeless and disadvantaged youth, implemented an education and advocacy program titled “Small City, Big Difference” and is organizing a benefit dinner for Mercy Corps’ Action Center to End World Hunger. In addition, Sagor is first chair in wind ensemble, a member of the Camas High School select vocal ensemble and has performed in three of the school’s theatrical productions.

Sagor will be recognized at a public award ceremony at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, at the Marshall House on Officers Row. She will receive a $1,000 scholarship and a $500 paid summer internship in the Historic Reserve Trust office. Sagor was nominated for the award by Steven Marshall, principal of Camas High School, and by Casey Wyckoff of LSW Architects.

The General George C. Marshall Youth Leadership Award was established in 2000 and is presented to a Clark County high school age student who demonstrates leadership, takes a stand for the rights of others, serves as a role model, shows initiative and motivates others to become involved. The award is one of the Celebrate Freedom programs organized by the Vancouver National Historic Reserve Trust.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Camtown Youth Festival Poster Contest

Camas Parks and Recreation is now accepting entries for the Camtown Youth Festival poster contest. Entries must be turned in by April 10.

The Camtown Youth Festival is a free youth-focused event and includes a variety of games and interactive amusements, arts and crafts activities, entertainment, food, dunk tank, youth art show, a petting zoo, a kids’ flea & craft market, and kid-related information booths. This year’s event will be held at Crown Park in Camas on Saturday, June 13, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

All Camas youth, all ages, are eligible to participate in the 2009 Camtown poster contest. The poster design must be drawn on white, 8.5” x 11” paper. Any art medium may be used. Some elements of the festival, such as those listed above should be included; dates, time, and location do not need to be included in the design (this will be added in the production stage). Students must write their name, school, grade, and phone number on the back of the design. Poster designs will not be returned unless requested. Designs can be dropped off at any Camas public school, the Camas Community Center, 1718 SE 7th Ave, or can be mailed to P.O. Box 1055, Camas, WA 98607, attn: CYF Poster Contest. The contest ends April 10. Winners will be announced the week of April 20.

For questions, please call Krista Bashaw at 360-834-5307.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Phone-A-Thon Week

A group of Liberty and Skyridge students will volunteer their evenings this week to make phone calls on behalf of the Camas Educational Foundation for their fundraising effort titled “Phone-A-Thon.” Each night on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday these middle school students will be phoning school district households to ask for donations to support the Foundation’s important mission of bringing enhanced curriculum opportunities to Camas schools. The Foundation’s Phone-A-Thon is one of only two fundraisers held each year--the other being the CEF Auction held in the fall.

In 2009, through the generosity of Camas families and businesses, CEF supported the following projects through grants given to Camas educators:
· Science Olympiad for elementary schools,
· Camas High School robotics program,
· "Hawkeye Gazette” (Skyridge Middle School newspaper run by students),
· Parenting resource libraries at all elementary schools,
· Alternative energy project at Camas High School, and much more!

Highly Capable Application Window

The Camas School District offers a unique program for highly capable (Hi-Cap) students in grades three through five.

The Hi-Cap Gifted Cluster classroom consists of a group of gifted students within a regular, grade-level heterogeneous classroom. This program is offered at grades three through five at all Camas elementary schools. The classrooms are designed to accommodate varied levels of a gifted child's academic needs. Clustering provides students with opportunities to accelerate learning in their gifted areas. It also enables students to work at their own grade level in other subjects as needed. Gifted students experience working with age peers and ability peers as well as mixed ability groups that model their real-world experiences.

Applications for the Hi-Cap program are due on March 12. The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) will take place at JDZ Elementary on Saturday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Click here to view the application form.
Click here to view the Hi-Cap brochure.

Pre-AP and Advanced Math Application Window

Both Pre-AP and Advanced Math options are available for middle school students in the Camas School District. Interested students who will enter sixth, seventh, or eighth grade next year are invited to apply. Deadline for application is Monday, March 9.

Placement of any of these programs is determined by a combination of district measures including the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT). All current fifth grade applicants are required to test on Saturday, March 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Liberty Middle School , even if they have previously taken the CogAT. Current sixth and seventh grade applicants will be tested at their respective middle schools on Tuesday, March 17, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Click here to view the parent letter and permission to test form.
Click here to view the brochure.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Parenting Course Offered by Camas SD Counselors

Our very own elementary school counselors are offering a free parenting class for families with children ages 2-12. Topics include: Controlling Obnoxious Behavior; Encouraging Good Behavior; and Strengthening Relationships. The class will take place on Saturday, March 7, from 9 AM-12 PM at the Joyce Garver Theater.

Free child care will be offered by Camas High School Key Club. If you need childcare while taking the class or have question about the program, please contact Edie Hagstrom, School Counselor, by email: or by phone:(360) 833-5720 ext. 2352.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Budget Committee Minutes Posted

In an effort keep all stakeholders abreast of the budget development process, a new web page has been created in the business section of the Camas School District site. Click the link below to view minutes, presentations, and updates as our 2009-10 budget develops.



Good Stuff: Free Online Resources From the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the world's largest library, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections. The Library's primary site ( has made these resources available online for years. And now, the Library has launched two new sites: a personalized site ( that presents items in compelling online exhibitions and a specific site for teachers ( with lesson plans, interactive projects, and links to primary resources.

The Hills Are Alive...

Drama Director Rob Kankelberg and his students are excited to present this year’s Spring Musical, The Sound of Music. The musical will start at 7:00 PM in the CHS Theatre on March 13 & 14 and the following week on March 19, 20, & 21.

Tickets are: $6 for CHS students with ASB, senior citizens and children under the age of 12. $8 for adults and CHS students without ASB.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Camas Roots Garden Seeks LINKS/Americorps Volunteer Garden Coordinator

The Camas Roots Garden is seeking a LINKS/Americorps volunteer to serve as Garden Coordinator. This is a part-time, unpaid position with an education stipend of up to $1,800 upon completion of service. This dynamic grass roots school garden project needs your organizing skills, interest and knowledge of sustainable gardening practices, and enthusiasm to help it fulfill its mission to provide a living learning experience that involves students and community members in environmental stewardship, service learning, healthy eating and building community connections. The Garden Coordinator will help the Camas Roots Garden Committee organize work parties and other volunteer activities, help teachers integrate garden activities with learning objectives, and work directly with a range of students while promoting sustainable growing practices and service learning.

The Garden Coordinator’s job includes working along side of and mentoring alternative high school students and working with at-risk teens through the Clark County Juvenile County Restorative Community Service program. Working with elementary students as they watch the garden grow in their own backyard and building community connections are other large parts of the job. This position is a great chance for a motivated individual to develop relationships within the Camas School District and with community organizations and service providers in Clark County. The hours average up to 15 per week, and include school year and summer service. Applications are due March 15, 2009.

For more information, please contact Elisa Wells at 833-0925. A position description is posted at