School notes for Oct. 27, 2015

Student mock election runs through this week

While Washington voters have until Tuesday, Nov. 3 to fill out and return their general election ballots, thousands of students in grades K-12 will have their own chance this week to experience voting by taking part in the annual Washington State Mock Election.

Now in its 11th year, the mock election lets students experience “voting” for real candidates and measures. Sponsored by the Office of Secretary of State, the mock election is a nonpartisan educational program that teaches kids to be informed voters.

It is free and open to all Washington students in kindergarten through 12th grade who attend public, private or tribal school, or are home schooled.

Voting takes place online and will conclude Friday at 1 p.m.

Students can vote by visiting www.vote.wa.gov/MockElection. Students who participate will receive free “I Voted!” stickers from their teachers.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman notes that the experience of voting prepares students to be active in civic life.

“The mock election is a great way to introduce students to voting and why it’s important,” Wyman said. “I hope every Washington student will graduate with the skills to fully engage in our democracy, and have the passion and commitment to do so. Voting is a key part of that.”

Students will “vote” on two high-profile state initiatives, I-1366, which seeks to make it harder to raise taxes, and I-1401, which prohibits sale of endangered animals or their parts.

“Ballot measures can be tough issues for kids,” Wyman said. “But it’s important for them to learn how to consider and respectfully discuss the choices we face as adults.”

The mock election happens a week before the end of the General Election. Last year, just more than 51 percent of student voters and adult voters approved I-1351 (lower class sizes).

About 55 percent of students and adult voters alike rejected I-591 (prohibiting background checks on guns that exceed federal law).

More than 68 percent of student voters OK’d I-594 (universal background checks on gun purchases) compared to 59 percent of adult voters approving it.

“It’s always interesting to see how students vote on key measures and whether they vote the same way as the adults,” Wyman said. “This is another reason why the mock election is fun.”

Results will be posted online for the state and by school at http://1.usa.gov/bB9M3Q immediately after the Mock Election ends Friday.

The first mock election was held in 2004, with 1,552 students participating. About 10,000 students are expected to vote in this year’s event.

High school completion fair set this Wednesday

Programs and options are available for students who want to finish high school, but have become disengaged for a variety of reasons.

Students and families are invited to attend the Re-Engagement Options Fair on Wednesday, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Bates Center, 2921 Falk Road, Vancouver.

The free event is sponsored by Vancouver Public Schools. Students can choose from educational, diploma and skills-training options that include alternative, small-school, independent and online programs.

Representatives from Lieser Campus, Vancouver Flex Academy, Success Academies, GRADS teen parent program, Bridges, Open Doors GED program, Job Corps, Washington Youth Academy, Youth Workforce program, Partners in Careers and Transition Youth Impact Program will be available. Students also can begin the enrollment process for these programs at the Re-Engagement Options Fair.

All students are welcome and food will be provided.

For more information, contact Rachel Benton, student success coordinator, at 313-1187 or rachel.benton@vansd.org.

Mount Pleasant seeks volunteer board member

The Mount Pleasant School District is currently seeking candidates to serve the remaining term for School Board Director Position 1.

Those who reside within the district boundaries and are interested in serving should call 835-3371 for more information.

The board meets on the third Tuesday of every month.

Big Learning for Washougal’s Little Learners is tonight

A free evening of family focused learning activities to support early learning and school readiness skills will happen tonight in Washougal. The focus is on early literacy and math skills. Materials are provided for attendees to take home so the learning can continue.

Childcare is available for children younger than 3 and older than 6 years of age.

The event takes place at Gause Elementary School, 1100 34th St., Room 111. Registration is required, and can be done at www.washougal.k12.wa.us/wordpress/event/big-learning-for-washougals-little-learners/.

CEF Phone-A-Thon set

In November 2014, more than 100 student volunteers carried out the annual tradition of calling more than 1,000 households in the Camas School District to ask for support. The community responded and raised $25,000.

This year, the Camas Educational Foundation Phone-A-Thon will occur from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 3 to Nov. 5.

The CEF board has set a goal of $30,000.

This event has raised more than $260,000 to date for Camas schools. These donations fund curriculum and special programs for kids at all grade levels and all schools, according to the CEF website.

To donate online, visit www.cefcamas.org/phone-a-thon.html.

Communication workshop is Oct. 29

Unite! Washougal Community Coalition is sponsoring a free series of classes for parents on improving family relationships and reducing conflict.

The Thursday, Oct. 29 class is focused on the topic “Positive Communication is Possible.” It will be held at Canyon Creek Middle School, 9731 Washougal River Road.

Dinner is provided at 5:30 p.m.; the meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

The event is part of Parenting Wisely, an interactive course designed by family specialists to empower parents with the tools necessary to engage children.

Learn positive communication skills to enhance school and homework success. Improve family relationships, parent-child bonding, and reduce conflict.

Topics will include homework, chore avoidance, sibling conflict, disrespectful talk and undesirable peers.

A gift card will be provided to participants upon completion of the class.

For more information, visit www.unitewashougal.org.

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