Friday, October 21, 2011

A Musical Homecoming

On October 27, Grass Valley Vocal Jazz at Grass Valley Elementary School in Camas will be presenting “A Musical Homecoming.”  This fall concert will honor vocal jazz members from the past 25+ years who have paved the way for Grass Valley Vocal Jazz.
Former Camas vocal jazz members from all grade levels are invited and encouraged to attend the concert.  A reception at Grass Valley Elementary School will immediately follow to provide time for conversations.  This reunion was inspired by former members who have stayed connected through the years because of their participation in the vocal jazz program.

Grass Valley Vocal Jazz (GVVJ) consists of students in grades 3-4-5 that perform only jazz music.  Accompanied by a student rhythm section on piano, bass and drums, GVVJ is one of very few elementary vocal jazz choirs in our nation.  Their accolades are numerous: various “Outstanding Musician Awards” at annual jazz festivals; first place at the 2011 NW Vocal Jazz Festival at Mt. Hood Community College in the middle school/junior high division; and student participation in local, state, regional and national honor choirs.

GVVJ­ was selected by audition to perform at the Washington State Music Educators Association (WMEA) Conference in Yakima this February 2012.  They will also be a demonstration choir for a session that director Natalie Wilson is presenting at the NW American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) conference next March in Seattle.  Other activities include the Friends of Frank DeMiero Jazz Reach festival in Lynnwood, Washington, and the NW Vocal Jazz Festival at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon, as well as concerts in our own school and community.

Director Natalie Wilson is looking forward to seeing former jazz members in the audience at Grass Valley Elementary School in Camas.  Please help announce this reunion concert to other former members of the Camas vocal jazz program.  GVVJ looks forward to meeting those who have set the standard of excellence for vocal jazz program where they now participate.  This performance is the GVVJ way of saying “thank you!”
For more information on this program and Grass Valley Vocal Jazz, please direct your inquiries to or at 360.833.5710 ext. 78100.

A Musical Homecoming              
Thursday, October 27, 2011        
6:30 PM | Free
Grass Valley Elementary School              
3000 NW Grass Valley Drive
(Located behind the park across from Lacamas Swim and Sport)

Monday, September 26, 2011

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 3, 2011, at the JD Zellerbach Administration Center, 841 NE 22nd Avenue, Camas, in the Dennison Board Room, at 5:30 p.m.

Applications to CAC can be completed at the meeting, online at or by contacting Lynette Marshall at 360-833-5412. All completed applications should be returned to the Camas School District Administration Center by no later than Wednesday, September 30, and will be forwarded to the School Board for appointment.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

CEF Auction Tickets Available Now!

The annual Camas Educational Foundation Auction will take place on Saturday, October 15, at Camas’ own Fairgate Inn, right behind Dorothy Fox Elementary. The event includes a silent and live auction as well as live entertainment. You can register for the Auction at If you can’t attend, but would like to buy a raffle ticket or make a donation, you can that there as well. More information and a link to the CEF site can be found from the Camas School District homepage.

Monday, August 22, 2011

District seeks health committee members

The Camas School District is seeking individuals to serve on the district’s “Student Health Advisory Council” (SHAC) beginning in September for the 2011-12 school year. Ideally volunteers would have a background/interest in one of the following areas: comprehensive school health education, physical education, health services, nutrition services, counseling, psychological or social work, health promotion for staff, and/or family/community experience. Committee members will also be a representative/liaison for a specific school building - elementary, middle or high school. Parents, teachers and community members are encouraged to apply.

This year SHAC members will primarily be assisting in implementing a $3,000 grant “Fuel Up to Play 60” from the Washington State and America’s Dairy Farmers.”Fuel Up to Play 60” is a nationwide movement focused on fighting childhood obesity by empowering kids to take control of their own health. Grant activities include: a once-a-week, before-school physical fitness program at Liberty Middle School; a cooking contest for middle school students; and creating posters with healthy messages and nutritional content of foods to be displayed in the Liberty School commons.

SHAC consists of about 20 school district stakeholders who advise school administrators and board members on a variety of health and fitness issues. Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month during the school year. SHAC members serve a three-year term.

Interested citizens are encouraged to send a letter of interest and resume to Kathy Tomei at 1612 NE Garfield Street, Camas, WA 98607.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Part VI, 2011 Staff Award Winners

Join us this summer as we spotlight our 2011 Staff Award winners each week. In our sixth post, we honor our team award recipients, the Camas Extended Day staff.

Left to right: Sue Rombeek, Linda Jacobs, Casey Greening, Barb Heckman, Carla Kanekoa, Eileen Kutch, Julie Werner, Nancy Pham, Glenda Starks, Jinx Handley, Cindi Morawski, and Theresa Larsen. Not Pictured:  Eileen Formento, Heidi Greening, Debbie McEnry, Jill McNealy, Jamie Nakamichi, and Connie Wilson. 
Before- and after-school care is made fun because of the team members at Camas Extended Day (CED) program who go above and beyond the call of duty. They don’t just sit back and monitor students; they are constantly up and moving, assisting, offering choices, redirecting students to new areas, and helping parents with the pick-up and drop-off process.

The joy is palpable when you enter one of the six rooms located at CED. There is a hum of chatter and enjoyment witnessed in every room. The staff has created so many opportunities; it is sometimes difficult for students to choose. Along with caring for the before/after school program kids, CED staff also does an outstanding job in creating activities and curriculum for the half-day kindergartener program (KCARE) kids.

Anyone can see the staff is consistently engaged and very busy at Camas Extended Day. There are over 240 students enrolled, ranging from kindergarten to sixth grade. Each staff member takes pride in working with the students and making sure that everyone has something to do. Most importantly, they want the students to have fun while attending. Camas Extended Day staff is truly a team of people who make a difference for many Camas School District students and parents. The program continues to grow because of the great CED team.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Part V, 2011 Staff Award Winners

Join us this summer as we spotlight our 2011 Staff Award winners each week. In our fifth post, we honor Ruth Woodruff.

For Grass Valley Elementary media specialist Ruth Woodruff, students always come first. She exemplifies this by discovering each child’s ability and needs. She assists students in finding just the right book for specific assignments based on personal interests; offers monthly poster incentives to reinforce reading activities; designs lessons to accommodate students with particular challenges or skills; and researches best practice pedagogy to reach all students.

Ruth demonstrates enthusiasm and a true love of learning. Her wonderfully attractive and inviting library displays drives home the message that she loves the places books can take you. If you ask her about her favorite books like Guyku or The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, you will be awed by her vivid portrayal and presentation. Students volunteer to be in the library just to spend time with Mrs. Woodruff and soak in this atmosphere.

As a colleague, Ruth is a true media specialist. She assists teachers immediately with specific media issues; constantly provides materials and resources at the drop of a hat—even chasing down items from other libraries if she doesn’t have it; and she is more than willing to assist teachers in mining resources for units in any subject. Teachers report that Ruth sends them emails with resources for reading, writing, and social studies that perfectly align with their learning matrices—without being asked. Ruth is a team player and a special lady.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Part IV, 2011 Staff Award Winners

Join us this summer as we spotlight our 2011 Staff Award winners each week. In our fourth post, we honor Lisa Wilderman.

Lisa Wilderman is a consummate professional who connects with students at all levels at Skyridge Middle School. She goes the extra mile to get to know her students as learners and differentiates her instruction to meet their needs. She also gets to know them as individuals and intentionally creates a classroom environment that is safe, positive, fun, and productive. Lisa is a strong advocate for students at risk and has created special programs, such as the “Highlanders” team to support students who need extra structure and organizational support. The Highlanders program was created in response to students’ various academic needs in math and reading. Within the first year, students showed growth in both reading and math. She continues to be an advocate for all students, helping them realize their potential.

In addition to being great with kids, Lisa is always willing to do what is best for Skyridge. She has willingly taught multiple subjects at different grade levels and serves on many committees, such as the Shared Leadership Team. When she sees a need, she responds swiftly with a plan.

Lisa exemplifies excellence in collegiality and professionalism in both word and deed. Team playing is her mantra in her daily practice.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Schedule Changes for 2011-12

The Camas School District staff and administration have developed a modified school schedule which will begin this fall. Camas High School, Liberty Middle School and Skyridge Middle School will all begin and end the school day 15 minutes later than in previous years. The Hayes Freedom High School schedule has been adjusted as well.

This change will benefit both secondary and elementary students. For elementary students, the actual start and end times will remain the same which is 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. The change for elementary students will occur in the morning bus drop-off time. In the past, elementary students who rode a bus to school would typically arrive thirty minutes before the school day began. Although students were supervised by adults during that period, thirty minutes is a lengthy amount of unstructured time before school. Beginning this school year, buses will drop elementary students off at 8:45 AM. Parents of elementary students are also welcome to drop their kids off at school beginning at 8:45 AM. Secondary students will benefit from the later start time as well. Research is very clear that providing a later start time for teens improves student performance. Additionally, this change creates efficiencies in busing district wide.

Families should anticipate that busing will be affected by about 15 minutes, however, some re-routing may occur that could impact pick-up and drop-off schedules. As in previous years, the transportation department will mail bus route information to parents in late August.

All regular, secondary late start, and inclement weather late start schedules are outlined in the table below.
If you have any questions, please contact the transportation department at 360-833-5585.

Regular Schedule for 2011-12 School Year
7:45 AM   -    2:25 PM
Camas High School
8:10 AM   -    2:15 PM
Hayes Freedom High School
8:00 AM   -    2:45 PM
Liberty and Skyridge Middle Schools
9:00 AM   -   3:30 PM
All Elementary Schools
Secondary Late Start for 2011-12 School Year
10:15 AM   -    2:25 PM
Camas High School
Normal Schedule
Hayes Freedom High School
10:15 AM   -    2:45 PM
Liberty and Skyridge Middle Schools
Normal Schedule
All Elementary Schools
Inclement Weather Late Start for 2011-12 School Year
9:45 AM    -   2:25 PM
Camas High School
10:10 AM   -   2:15 PM
Hayes Freedom High School
10:00 AM   -   2:45 PM
Liberty and Skyridge Middle Schools
11:00 AM   -   3:30 PM
All Elementary Schools

Monday, July 25, 2011

Part III, 2011 Staff Award Winners

Join us this summer as we spotlight our 2011 Staff Award winners each week. In our third post, we honor Bonnie Murdock.

Courage, determination, and strong work ethic are words that describe Bonnie Murdock, CSD senior grounds staff member. Challenging tasks and hard work do not daunt Bonnie; she just rolls up her sleeves and gets the job done. In recent years, she faced serious health challenges, but Bonnie always put her best effort forward saying, “It is what it is, and I just need to make the best of it.”

Whether Bonnie is on the mower, lining a sports field, spraying for weeds, or any other task, she will gather input, comply with all regulations, and complete the job to the very best of her ability. She is driven by her desire for Camas students and staff to thrive in an attractive, safe, and healthy outdoor school environment. She is always friendly and strives to keep positive connections among her colleagues.

Working in the “back lot” of the district can sometimes keep the limelight away. Undaunted, Bonnie lets her internal drive and self-satisfaction of a job well done be her reward. She is a hard worker who keeps her certifications current by attending classes and reading books and articles to keep her skills sharp. She is careful to safeguard student and staff safety by applying pesticides prudently and keeping diligent, detailed records. Bonnie is always willing to share her expertise with coworkers and is excited about new equipment and training. She is a gem!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Part II, 2011 Staff Award Winners

Join us this summer as we spotlight our 2011 Staff Award winners each week. In our second post, we honor Richard Mancini.

Music man Richard Mancini goes above and beyond as a teacher and staff team member. He offers an extensive music curriculum that includes marching band, concert band, symphonic band and three jazz bands. However, he is dedicated to much more than classroom instruction—which he does at both Camas High School and Skyridge Middle School. Richard inspires students and colleagues alike to be their best and do “what is right” (a Mancini quote). He connects with his students and instills a desire within them to learn and excel at a level many of his fellow staff members admire and appreciate. He teaches much more than music to our youth as he focuses on life’s lessons and continually integrates the importance of discipline, perseverance, achievement and pride in them while encouraging them to “set the bar high” (another Mancini quote) on both a personal and group level.

His students are proud to be self-described “band nerds.”  They support school spirit during sporting events and perform extraordinary half-time shows at football games. Richard also engages the band in gigs not only in the Camas community and regions in Oregon and Washington, but also as far away as California and Florida. Thanks to his efforts, the Camas High School marching band is the premier band for the annual Portland Macy’s Holiday Parade each November.

Through endless hours of dedication and detailed organization, he impacts our students, staff members, and the Camas community in ways that go far beyond the norm.

Friday, July 8, 2011

District seeks parent input via survey

District officials in Camas are currently seeking feedback from parents through a comprehensive survey titled "Taking the Pulse of Our Parents." Initially launched in 2004, the survey asks questions specifically aligned with AIMS and goals set by the district’s strategic plan.

Parents are encouraged to respond and have two options to do so: online by clicking here or by filling out a hard copy of the survey at the district office. For additional information, patrons can call Doreen McKercher, Public Information Officer, at the district office at 360-335-3000, extension 78220.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Part I, 2011 Staff Award Winners

Join us this summer as we spotlight our 2011 Staff Award winners each week. In our first post, we honor Cathy Carlson.

In the early part of 2009, Cathy Carlson, who had worked in various jobs around the district, took a position in the capital programs department. Since that time, she has become a furnishings and moving genius. She took on the responsibility to work with the planning principal and lead office staff of our new or remodeled schools and offices to determine furnishing needs including the purchasing, installation and troubleshooting of said furnishings. Additionally, she also arranged for the physical moving of contents of these schools.

To date, Cathy has coordinated the moving of more than half of our district staff and programs including Helen Baller, Grass Valley, Hayes Freedom, Extended Day, Special Services, District Office, Technology, Operations, Community Ed, Copy Center, and more. She also took on project management responsibilities, such as the conversion of JDZ into the Zellerbach Administration Center–which turned out amazing.

Cathy is highly organized, and refers to herself as the Queen of Spreadsheets. She also notices things that need to be done, and does them without fuss. However, what makes her special is her personal touch, caring attitude, and style. Her ability to treat all staff with the same kindness and patience has removed much of the difficulty engendered by the stressful process of moving. She brings problem-solving skills and a calm, cool, professional demeanor to work every day, and consistently does an incredible job.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Three Papermakers win credit union scholarships

Lacamas Community Credit Union (LCCU) has announced the recipients of three $1,500 Joseph J. Boyle Memorial Scholarships.

LCCU’s President/CEO Kathleen Romane presented the scholarship awards during a ceremony at the credit union’s Terrace Branch in Camas on June 1st. The three recipients are:

  • Joanna Guo is a graduate of Camas High School, and is the daughter of Wen Zhang of Camas. She is enrolled at the University of Southern California.
  • Stephanie Guo is a graduate of Camas High School, and plans to attend the University of Southern California. She is the daughter of Wen Zhang of Camas.
  • Martin Horn is a graduate of Camas High School. He is the son of Dean and Gail Horn of Camas. He will attend Seattle Pacific University.
Left to right, Martin Horn, LCCU President/CEO Kathleen Romane, Stephanie Guo, Joanna Guo.

“These three students exemplify the best qualities of today’s young adults. In addition to their academic achievement, they are also actively engaged in volunteer work and they truly reflect the credit union practice of giving back to the community. LCCU is pleased to help them in their pursuit of higher education,” said Romane.

Lacamas Community Credit Union was the first credit union established in Southwest Washington, chartered in 1936. The credit union serves anyone who lives or works in Southwest Washington. A full-service financial institution, LCCU serves its members through six convenient branch locations in Clark and Skamania Counties as well as online banking. For more information about Lacamas Community Credit Union, visit our web site at, or call (360) 834-3611 or (888) 834-3611.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Camas Student Wins National Scholarship

Lisa Nicholson, a Camas High School senior, has been named a recipient of a NASSP/Herff Jones Principal's Leadership Award Scholarship (PLA), co-sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and Herff Jones, Inc. One hundred national state PLA winners were chosen from among more than 3,000 applications. Each winner will receive a $1,000 college scholarship.

To quote Principal Steve Marshall "There are many students who succeed academically, but shy away from taking the time, or risk, to get involved and challenge themselves in areas outside of scholastics.  Lisa takes on all challenges and stretches herself as a student, citizen, and leader."

Participating high school principals from across the country could nominate one senior high student to compete in this year's program. Winners were selected on the basis of their leadership skills; participation in service organizations and clubs; achievements in the arts and sciences; employment experience; and academic record. They also were required to write an essay.

While at Camas High School, Lisa has held leadership positions in several clubs, been a state participant in tennis, performed weekly community service hours, and served as one of only 11 International Trustees for Key Club International, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

"The qualities recognized by the PLA scholarship and demonstrated by Lisa Nicholson have never been more important than now. Academic excellence represents an aspiration for all students, leadership exemplifies an essential skill to possess in the 21st century, and service to others symbolizes the spirit of America. Students like Lisa stand out to bravely face the  challenges of today and lead us to a better tomorrow," said Gerald Tirozzi, executive director, NASSP. "We warmly thank our partner, Herff Jones, without which this program would not be possible."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Change in Immunization Exemption Law

The 2011 Washington State Legislature passed a law that changes the process for obtaining an immunization exemption. Beginning July 22, 2011, the new law says that if a parent/guardian wants to exempt their child from school or child care immunization requirements, they must first talk with a licensed health care provider about the benefits and risks of vaccinations. The provider will sign the Certificate of Exemption form for parents to submit to the school in order to exempt their child. Instead of signing the form, providers may choose to write and sign a letter verifying the same information.

Parents or guardians who demonstrate membership in a church or religious body that does not believe in medical treatment do not have to have a health care provider sign the exemption form.

See Washington State Department of Health “Vaccines Requires for School/Child Care and 2011 Immunization Exemption Law” for additional information.

Last Day of School Bus Schedule

The last day of school this year is Wednesday, June 22. It is a very short day--the following outlines the bus departure schedule:

9:15 a.m.     Hayes Freedom
9:30 a.m.     Camas High
9:50 a.m.     Liberty and Skyridge
11:00 a.m.   Elementary Schools

Friday, May 20, 2011

CHS Wellness Fair & PE Open House

You are invited to the 2011 Camas High School Wellness Fair and PE Open House this Monday in the commons.

The goals of this event are to:

  • Educate and encourage our staff, students, and families to maintain active, healthy lifestyles and
  • Give the CHS community the opportunity to tour our newly remodeled Fitness and Weight Rooms.

Date: Monday, May 23, 2011
Times: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: Main Gym
Camas High School
26900 SE 15th St.
Camas, WA 98607

Wellness Fair Participants and Services:

  • Apple Health (Washington State Insurance Program)
  • Asthma & Allergy Center of SW Washington

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

CEF Fun Run June 11

The Camas Educational Foundation is holding its second annual Fun Run on Saturday, June 11. This little corner of paradise is just one of many beautiful sites to see as you make your way around the Round Lake Trails.

Join the fun, experience Pacific Northwest natural landscapes, and get some exercise all in the name of supporting Camas kids!

Registration and details are available at the CEF website.

Camas DECA Students Impress at Nationals

Students in the DECA program at Camas High School outdid themselves at the 2011 International Career Development Conference.

Each student or student team competes against approximately 130 other students/teams in their category.  The top 20 then qualify to compete in the finals of their category.  The following students qualified for finals.

·         Chad Wiley- Business Services Marketing
·         Elijah Kent/Scott Feather-Sports and Entertainment Marketing
·         Sara Slayton/Evan Klein-Financial Literacy Promotion

From left: Keira Alkema, David Meyer, Sara Slayton,
Scott Feather, Elijah Kent, and Chad Wiley.
The 20 finalists in each category then solve another role play situation or present their project again.  At the final awards ceremony the top 10 are called up on stage.  Placing in the top 10 at the international conference were:

·         Sara Slayton/Evan Klein
·         Elijah Kent/Scott Feather

Although they were not in the finals, Keira Alkema and David Meyer were recognized because they placed in the top 6 in their competition area.

“The international conference continues to become more and more competitive as our neighbors to the north in Ontario, Canada are really becoming tough competitors,” commented DECA teacher David Johnson.  I believe this experience will stay with them forever.

History: Before 2011 International Career Development Conference (ICDC = International DECA competition), Camas DECA has had only 14 finalists, 4 of those who went on to become top 10 international winners. This year was the best Camas DECA has seen with 5 more finalists and 4 of those becoming top 10 international winners. So, now Camas has 19 finalists and 8 top 10 winners. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

CSD names new Deputy Superintendent

Jeff Snell
The Camas School District Board of Directors has approved the hiring of Jeff Snell as its new Deputy Superintendent of Technology and Education Services. He will join the district July 1 after wrapping up his current assignment as Principal of Fort Vancouver High School in the Vancouver School District. 

Snell replaces Tanis Knight, who retired last year. He was selected from a highly qualified pool of applicants and greatly impressed interview teams with his interpersonal skills, knowledge, professionalism and demonstrated commitment to student success. "We feel so fortunate to have such an incredibly competent, high quality individual to fill this role," said Superintendent Mike Nerland. "I am confident Jeff will be a great leader in helping us continually improve student achievement in Camas," he added. Nerland also praised Snell's expertise in the area of instructional technology and utilizing data to make decisions. "His knowledge in that area will provide huge benefits in meeting the educational needs of each individual student in the district," said Nerland. 

Snell is quite familiar with the caliber of education that has long been a common standard in Camas. Two of his three young children attend Prune Hill Elementary. "I'm excited about the opportunity to join a system that I'm already familiar with as a parent," said Snell. 
But one of the characteristics that most appeals to Snell is the small-district feel where everyone knows each other. "The district has a real collaborative feel to it. It's all about working together to do what's best for students," he said. 

When asked how he feels about following the 25-year legacy of Knight, he replied: "I can't fill Tanis' shoes, but I can bring many strengths to the job that will help the district make continuous improvements." Snell believes his role as principal of a large, diverse high school has prepared him well to work effectively with teachers, problem-solve tough challenges and make measurable academic strides. "I'm just thrilled to have the opportunity to help facilitate that effort," he added. 

Snell is also an Adjunct Professor in Concordia University's School of Education. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education from Boston University and his Master's degree in Educational Leadership from Washington State University. Most recently, he was named the 2011 Southwest Washington Principal of the Year.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Science Olympiad Team Set for Nationals

Our Science Olympiad team won state and will now move on to the National tournament in Wisconsin on May 18-22. The team hopes to raise funds to contribute to the cost of the trip. The CHS Cheer Team is holding a fundraiser at Big Al’s on Sunday, May 15, to build an endowment fund for Camas students to attend extra-curricular activities like Science Olympiad Nationals. CEF has provided an online donation page at their website.

Please help our Magnet students by taking a quick survey on energy!

Students from the CHS Magnet Program are working on a project for an upcoming symposium, and they need input from the community. They have created a survey to assess general public opinion on transparent solar panels and organic LEDs. If you are 18 or older, please take the survey. Thank you for supporting the Camas Magnet Program!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

District Seeks Health Committee Members

The Camas School District is seeking individuals to serve on the district’s “Student Health Advisory Council” (SHAC) beginning 2011-12 school year. Ideally the volunteers would have a background in one of the following areas:  comprehensive school health education, physical education, health services, nutrition services, counseling, psychological or social work, or health promotion for staff and/or family/community experience. Committee members will also act as a representative/liaison for a specific school building. Parents, teachers and community members are encouraged to apply.

SHAC consists of about 20 school district stakeholders who advise school administrators and board members on a variety of health and fitness issues. Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month during the school year. SHAC members serve a three year term.

Interested citizens are encouraged to send a letter of interest and resume to Kathy Tomei at 841 NE 22nd Avenue, Camas, WA 98607 or by June 1, 2011. 

Interest Form Now Available for Advanced Middle School Classes

The Camas School District offers a Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP) program for Language Arts and Social Studies (LA/SS) and Advanced Math at the middle-school level. Both programs reflect high academic expectations and are available for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students. Click the link below to read more and complete the interest form.

Pre-AP and Advanced Math Interest Form

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Parent Education Night

What will be covered? Our parent education night will focus on:
  1. Current drug and alcohol trends and issues affecting Camas kids 
  2. Results from the Fall 2010 Healthy Youth Survey 
  3. District drug & alcohol curriculum and tobacco prevention program 
  4. Resources available to Camas parents 
… and featuring the following presenters:

  • Glenn Hartman and Linda Hutchins, CSD Drug and Alcohol Intervention Specialists 
  • Sherrie Geiger, Skyridge MS Health Teacher 
  • Rachel Williams, CHS Health Teacher 
  • Detective from the Clark County Drug Task Force 
  • Students involved in the CHS Prevention Club 
  • Drug and Alcohol Treatment Professionals 

Who should attend? Any CSD Parent or member of community member who is interested in protecting the health of Camas youth should attend.

When is it? Wednesday, April 20, from 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Where will it take place? CHS Library

We hope you are able to attend this year’s Parent Education Night. This will be an informative evening that both students and parents will find relevant and useful. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Senior Project: Style-Your-Sole

Help out a Camas High School senior project and give a pair of shoes to someone in need! CHS student Amanda Rutter’s senior project is to learn and help companies that give back to their communities. Her focus is TOMS shoes. If you aren’t familiar with TOMS, their company purpose is to provide shoes to men, women, and children who have to go without. For every pair of shoes that is purchased a pair is given to people around the world.

Amanda is hosting an event called Style-Your-Sole on May 7 at Crown Park from 1-4 p.m. People from around the community (like you!) can pre-order TOMS from Amanda by contacting her by April 20. At the event, the shoe orders will be available for pick up and there will be fabric paint, stencils, markers, etc. for everyone who would like to decorate their new TOMS!

There will also be a viewing of the award-winning documentary, For Tomorrow: The TOMS Shoes Story, so their story is shared and that everyone gets to learn about their great cause! Order any kind you like but in order to decorate your TOMS it is suggested that you buy their basic canvas shoe but the color is up to you!

If you would like to place your order for TOMS, the deadline to do so is fast approaching! All orders must be in by Wednesday, April 20. In order to place an order, Amanda will need the quantity of shoes you’re going to purchase, shoe size(s), shoe style name(s), and a cash or check for the amount of the shoe(s) order plus $5 for each pair for shipping (ALL PRICES AND STYLES ARE ON THE TOMS’ WEBSITE!). If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Amanda at anytime at!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Penguins for Puppies

Prune Hill students recently donated supplies to help out the local animal shelters in conjunction with the completion of the book study “Because of Winn Dixie.” They collected 7 boxes of supplies and $119 in cash. Great job, Penguins!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Key Club Students Earn Honors

Over the weekend 26 CHS Key Clubbers attended their District Convention in Seattle along with about 1,500 other Key Clubbers. The Pacific Northwest Key Club district runs from Alaska to northern California, including northern Idaho. There are about 350 Key Clubs in the district. The CHS Key Club, led by president Nick Jaech, came home with six awards and honors--more than any other club!
  1. Best Key Club Video--created by Kelly Wourms; 
  2. Best Club Scrapbook--created by Mikayla  Lindstrom; 
  3. Most Service Hours by the Top 6 Club Volunteers--CHS's top six volunteers had a total over 1,000 hours of volunteer; 
  4. Outstanding Club Advisor - Mrs. Rosemary Knapp; 
  5. Convention Spirit Award for enthusiasm and leadership; and
  6. Sophomore Ariel Orasud was elected District Treasurer. 
It was a great weekend to be a CHS Key Clubber!

CEF Phone-a-thon success!

The Camas Educational Foundation hosted the 10th annual Phone-a-thon the first week of March. With the help of students from Liberty, Skyridge and the CHS Key Club, CEF raised well over $14,000. Due to the snow days during the event, students may have been unable to reach you. If you would like to support CEF with a donation, you may do so securely on the CEF website

CEF is an all volunteer, non-profit organization that raises money to support curriculum in all Camas schools through teacher grants. Over $25,000 was awarded throughout the schools this February in mini-grants and another $25,000 will be awarded this May in major grants. All thanks to the generosity of people like you.

Chldfind Screening

The next Childfind screening will occur on April 20 from 1:30-4:30 PM at Grass Valley Elementary.

The district conducts Childfind activities for the purpose of locating, evaluating, and identifying students with a suspected disability who are residing within district boundaries. Childfind activities apply to children who are not currently receiving special education and related services. Parents having concerns about their child’s health, hearing, intellectual functioning, language, learning, movement, serious behavioral needs, speech, or vision can call the district’s special services department at 833-5570 for an appointment.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Last Day of School

Now that our rocky winter is behind us, the official last day of school will be Wednesday, June 22, 2011.

In case you are wondering, the 2011-12 District Calendar school year includes two possible inclement weather makeup dates: February 17 and May 25, 2012.

Camas Iron Chef

It is the Battle of the Middle School Principals!

Come see Aaron Smith, Skyridge Principal, take on Marilyn Boerke, Liberty Principal, in the second annual Camas Iron Chef event! Both teams will include a professional chef and our own variety of local celebrities. This Camas Educational Foundation fundraiser will take place at Camas Meadows on April 27 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $30, and seating is limited. Register online at the CEF web site.

Save the Date for The Big Deal

Mark your calendars for The Big Deal: a fundraiser set for Saturday, May 21.

Camas Athletics Booster Club is proud to announce The Big Deal: a social evening with casino-type games and a silent auction. All proceeds will benefit the student athletes in the Camas School District. More information will be posted soon at the Camas Athletics Booster web site!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mock Trial Success at State

Bumped up a bracket and still contenders.

CHS Mock Trial team who, despite being bumped up to a more challenging bracket where they were seeded with the nations’ fourth place winner from last year, proved their merit by placing 11th in state competition last week. Also, great job to our students nominated for Best Attorney: Hannah Tweed, Sam Svilar, and Deborah Lubanga. Nominated for Best Witness: Jacqueline Harms, Derek Hood, Jason Jay, Ben Gibson, and Garrett Wilgus. Great job!

FIRST Robotics Takes State (again)

It wasn't enough for Team Mean Machine to power through the state championship in Seattle last weekend--they had to take Oregon too.

FIRST Robotics once again showed their strength at the Portland Regional competition this past weekend. Competing against 59 teams, they became regional winners for the second time in two weekends. They will travel to St. Louis for World Championships on April 27. Wish them luck!

Update: The team was just informed of a mistake in the scoring from the Seattle Regional Competition. They actually won the cooperation award for best demonstrating the ability to help their opponents compete. This award is granted to the team that earns the most Cooperation Bonus points during the competition. So they actually won two awards and the first place trophy from Seattle as well as first place trophy from Portland. Great job, team!

K-Bowl Wins State Title

For the second year in a row, Camas High School has claimed the 3A state title in Knowledge Bowl for the state of Washington.
Left to Right: Jacob Freedman, Chris Grote,
Captain Ryan Gompertz, Nicholas Lim,
Alec Maier, and Chris Emmet

The team members truly represented themselves, our school, and our community very well. They won their preliminary bracket, then stormed through the semi and championship rounds to emerge with the trophy.
The team members include Jacob Freedman, Chris Grote, Captain Ryan Gompertz, Nicholas Lim, Alec Maier, and Chris Emmet.

"It was another great tournament. This group of seniors will certainly be missed by me (but probably not so much by Charles Wright Academy, whose teams lost to ours in the final rounds both this year and last," commented Knowledge Bowl coach Dale Croswell. "Thanks for the continued support," he added.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Camtown: Calling all student artists!

The 2011 Camtown Youth Festival is just around the corner, and you can have your best artwork displayed at the Camtown-Forgey Art Show! Simply bring your favorite, original artwork (limit five) to Scout Hall at Crown Park on June 10 between 4:30-6:00 PM with an official entry form. All art will be on display during Camtown the following day. Individual entries will be judged and winners will be announced. Good luck!
Click here for camtown_forgey_entry_form.pdf

“Bird of Paradise”
CamTown Art Festival 2007
Hsuan-Hsuan Dai, Grade 11,
Camas High School

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

FIRST Robotics Takes State

Team Mean Machine dominated the competition in Seattle over the weekend winning eight of nine matches.

The FIRST Robotics Team 2471 (a.k.a. Team Mean Machine) reigned over the competition  last weekend at the FIRST Robotics Regional in Seattle. They won eight of nine matches which ranked the team in first place throughout the event. This win will take them to the FIRST Robotics World Championships in St. Louis at the end of April.

The Mean Machine team consists of students from four area high schools: Camas, Hayes Freedom, Washougal and Hockinson.

If you can't make it to St. Louis next month and want to witness the spectacle that is a robotics competition, you have the chance to watch the team, and their mean machine, strut their stuff at the Portland Regional Competition this weekend. They will be at the Memorial Coliseum on both Friday and Saturday (3/25 - 3/26) from about 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. You won't be disappointed!

They also were awarded by the judges the industrial design for engineering award sponsored by General Motors which "celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively achieves the game challenge." If you seen any of our FIRST Robotics team members, be sure to congratulate them!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Seniors Place at Symposium

Camas MST Magnet students earn distinction in first-time entry in the WJSHS. 
Three Camas seniors represented Camas High School at the 49th annual Washington Junior Sciences and Humanities Symposium (WJSHS) last weekend:  Jacob Freedman, Carolyn Foster and Nicholas Lim.  These students presented their senior research projects in juried presentations settings. Nicholas earned a sixth place in oral presentations and an all-expenses-paid trip to San Diego for the national event!  Carolyn earned a ribbon as a second-runner-up in the poster presentations competition.   Please congratulate all three on excellent presentations and representing Camas so well on our first-ever participation in this event. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Everything in Art

High school artists featured in downtown art event.
Three students from the Camas High School Everything in Art classes participated in the second annual “Arts and Letters” (student art and local authors) First Friday event in March in downtown Camas. It was such a successful event in 2010 that students were asked to participate again. Carrie Schulstad, owner of The Uncommon Gift and Board Member of the Downtown Camas Association said, “The event is such a great way to connect the schools with downtown as well as provide a venue for student expression and development of the love of the arts.” Gina Mariotti Shapard, the teacher of the Everything in Art classes was excited about the opportunity to showcase her students’ art saying, “Students stretched their creative thinking by using a synectic (a tool for generating creative ideas) to show their paper mache’ animals in a new light. I think students ‘get’ that art has meaning and it can go beyond decoration.” Students reported that synectics helped them experiment with ideas as well as the elements and principles of art.

Students who participated in the First Friday were: Noah Shannon “The Mighty Butterfrog,” a colorful hybrid of butterfly and frog; Gabrielle Curtis “Octosushi,” a parody of a purple octopus who made his own sushi; and Alexis Wallen “Johnny,” a snappy alligator morphing into a Converse shoe.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Kindergarten Orientation Events Scheduled

It is time for Kindergarten registration for the 2011-12 school year! Listed below are the dates for registration and orientation events for each school. The purpose of orientation is to meet teachers and staff, and learn about the kindergarten curriculum. If you are not sure which school your child will attend, please call the transportation department at (360) 833-5585. The district registrar, Shanna Nielson, will be on site at each event to register your child. You may access registration packets and requirements for entrance on the district web site. If you are unable to attend kindergarten orientation, please contact Shanna Nielson at 360-833-5410 to schedule a registration appointment.

Please be aware that in addition to the registration forms, you will need to submit the following paperwork:
  • State-issued birth certificate
  • Immunization information: students must be fully immunized (doctors refer to this as “5-year-old” or “kindergarten shots” or an exemption needs to be on file in order for your child to be registered
  • Proof of residency, i.e., driver's license, utility bill, purchase agreement, renter's agreement
If you are aware of or know any future Camas kindergarten students in your neighborhood, preschool, etc., please let them know about kindergarten orientation and encourage them to attend!

Dorothy Fox Elementary
2623 NW Sierra St.
(360) 833-5700
Date: May 11
Time: 4:00-6:00 PM

Grass Valley Elementary
3000 NW Grass Valley Drive
(360) 833-5710
Date: May 5
Time: 9:00-11:00 AM

Helen Baller Elementary
1954 NE Garfield Street
(360) 833-5720
Date: May 11
Time: 9:30-11:30 AM

Lacamas Heights Elementary
4600 NE Garfield Street
(360) 833-5740
Date: May 18
Time: 9:00-11:00 AM

Prune Hill Elementary
1601 NW Tidland St.
(360) 833-5730
Date: May 11
Time: 2:00-3:30 PM

Papermaker Preschool Enrollment for 2011-12 Opens March 28

Papermaker Preschool 
Camas High School’s Papermaker Preschool is open to children who are four years of age by August 31, 2011. The morning session runs 8:45-11:15 a.m. and the afternoon session runs 12:45-3:15 p.m. The full-time preschool hours are 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuition is $230 per month, pro-rated September through May, for part-time preschoolers and $690 per month for full-time (nine-hour maximum/day) preschoolers. Our integrated, developmental preschool follows the Camas School District Calendar.

If you have any questions regarding our program or would like to schedule a visit, please call the Career & Technical Education Office at 833-7258.

If you would like to register your child, please call Shanna Nielsen at 833-5410 to schedule a registration appointment. Registration materials are available online at the CSD website. Registration applications are also available for pick up at the District Office, located at 841 NE 22nd Ave.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Benefit Concert for Camas Schools Music Programs

The Liberty Theatre in downtown Camas is opening its doors again and kicking things off as the host for a three-day movie and concert event to benefit the Camas Schools Music Program. The events are organized by the Camas Educational Foundation and the Downtown Camas Association.

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, the events begin on Thursday, March 17, with a 6:00 PM showing of the 1959 Walt Disney Classic “Darby O’Gill and the Little People.” Tickets for the movie are $2.

On Friday, March, 18, come join in the fun with the sing-a-long version of “Grease”! Showtimes are at 5:30 and 8:00 PM for this event and tickets are still only $2!

Starting at 4:00 PM on Saturday, March 19, come see great talent from across the Camas School District as well as local musicians donating their time and musical talent. Performances showcased during this event will include the Liberty Middle School Choir, talent from Hayes Freedom High School, and two bands comprised of CHS students: Julia’s Misfortune and Storm Runner. Entertainment will also be provided by Jon Hecox, James Kerridge, The Go project, and Social Gravy. An All Day pass (4 – 10 PM) will cost $5 which includes specials at participating downtown business.

The following links will provide more information about the events, how to purchase tickets, or make a donation to give all kids an opportunity to learn music.

Camas Educational Foundation
Liberty Theatre

The Liberty Theatre is located at 315 NE 4th Ave., Camas, and can be reached at 360-859-9555.

Friday, March 4, 2011

K-Bowl Teams Bowl the Competition

Did you hear? One of our Camas HS Knowledge Bowl teams qualified for state by taking first place at the SW WA (ESD 112) Regional tournament this past Monday. This dynamic Varsity team consists of these members: Chris Grote, Chris Emmet, Ryan Gompertz, Alec Maier, and Nick Lim. These five Papermakers are the returning state triple A champions in Washington, and will get the chance to defend that title on March 26  at the state tournament in Richland. This is also the group that traveled to DC last spring to compete in a national tournament. They will be joined at state this year by another teammate Jacob Freedman.

We had four varsity teams compete, and out of 12 triple A teams in our region, we finished in first, sixth, seventh, and ninth. Not a bad tourney!

We also had three teams compete at the Junior Varsity level where the top nine out of all 39 JV teams in our region competed. They finished second, fifth, and sixth, which is fantastic! The team members of the second place team  include these freshmen: Kyle Binder, Xinyang Chen, Rachel Fadlovich, Shicon Wen, Lindsay Weinberg, and Tim Liu.

If you see any of these champions of knowledge, tell them congratulations!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

State could cut levy equalization funds for property-poor school districts

Our state is facing a $4.6 billion shortfall for 2011-13, and public education is not immune to significant cuts that will impact students, staff and communities. While Washington’s “paramount duty” is to provide full funding for education, less than 70 percent of a school district’s budget is covered by the state. In the current budget crisis, state support for basic programs and services are at risk.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Inclement Weather: Open, Late, or Closed?

Today marks the fourth day of school we’ve missed this year due to inclement weather in the Camas School District. On a day like today, where there is well over a foot of snow in some areas in Camas and trace amounts in others, I thought it would be a good time to cover the process involved in determining a school closure day due to inclement weather.

On a morning when the threat of hazardous conditions exists, district staff members begin driving bus routes around 4:00 a.m. to examine road conditions. We consider weather-related situations that students and staff will face as well as the forecast for later in the day. We also monitor the road conditions through our county’s web site. Our school district covers a large region with remote areas and steep terrain in places. While roads may be passable in town, conditions may be very different just a few miles away—in fact, the elevation within the district boundaries varies from 50 to 2,500 feet. Before we close schools or delay start times, we seek answers to the questions below:
  • Can we ensure that buses are able to navigate streets safely?
  • Will students be safe waiting for buses, driving, or walking to school?
  • What are the predicted weather conditions later in the school day so we can also ensure students a safe return home?
  • If we start school late (e.g. two-hour late start), will conditions be substantially improved?