Back to school? Yes, it’s true

Open house events, preparations are in the works

Parents and children line up at Woodburn Elementary in Camas for the first day of school in 2015.

School supply shopping is likely on the minds of many parents as August begins and thoughts turn to back-to-school preparations. (Contributed photo)

Prepping the classroom is a favorite for many teachers. Although the weather tells an opposite story, fall and the start of school are just a little more than a month away. (Post-Record file photo)

"Circle time," on the kindergarten rug is a time-honored tradition at many local schools.

Although it seems like school just let out for the summer, local educators are already shifting their focus to the first day in September.

Classes will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 5, for Camas students, and on Thursday, Sept. 7, for Washougal students.

“As July turns to August, we start ramping up our preparations for the new school year,” noted Camas Superintendent Jeff Snell. “In addition to the normal sprucing up of schools, staff members have been working on a number of summer projects including carpet and roof replacements, a new traffic entrance to the north of (Camas High), and construction on the new Lacamas Lake Elementary and Discovery High School.”

He noted that staff members use August as a time for professional learning, taking in new school safety information and further refining their instructional practices.

“We’re excited for the 2017-18 school year and can’t wait to welcome everyone on our first day on Sept. 5,” Snell said.

Camas schools will host back-to-school nights during the last week of August to give students and their families a chance to pick up schedules, pay fees, add money to lunch accounts and meet teachers. Elementary school students also will be able to drop off school supplies at the open houses.

Following is the back-to-school night schedule for Camas schools:

All elementary schools — 4 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 31.

Liberty Middle School — Sixth-grade students, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 29 (3 p.m. for students who are new to the school district). New seventh and eighth graders, 4:30 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 30. Returning seventh and eighth grade students, 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 30.

Skyridge Middle School — all will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 30. Skyward Activated students will meet at 8 a.m.; eighth-grade open house is from 10 to 11 a.m.; seventh-grade open house is from 1 to 2 p.m.; and sixth-grade open house will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Odyssey Middle School open house, 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 30.

Camas High School — Freshman Success Academy orientation is from 10 a.m. to noon, on Monday, Aug. 28. Senior orientation will be held from 1 to 4 p.m., on Tuesday, Aug. 29. MST magnet program meets from 3 to 5:30 p.m., with a barbecue at 5 p.m., on Tuesday, Aug. 29. Junior orientation will be from 1 to 4 p.m., on Wednesday, Aug. 30. And the following will all be held on Thursday, Aug. 31: Sophomore orientation from 8 to 10:30 a.m.; freshmen orientation from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a barbecue from 1 to 2 p.m.; and Integrated Arts and Academics at CHS will host a meet-and-greet event from 2 to 3 p.m.

Hayes Freedom High School — All-grades will have drop-in open houses from 1 to 3 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 31.

At Liberty Middle School, educators are easing the transition between fifth and sixth grade this week with a week-long camp put on by teachers, students and high school students.

“We know that for some kids (and more than a couple parents) coming to middle school from elementary can be a stressful time, and we want to reduce that stress as much as possible,” said Gary Moller, Liberty’s principal.

He noted that after last year’s summer projects to upgrade safety and install new carpets, this back-to-school season has been relatively quiet.

During orientations, the Liberty administrators will have an informational parent meeting regarding internet safety and real-life pressures facing today’s social-media savvy teens.

“Our goal is to share our real-life experiences in helping our students navigate the pressures of social media, the dangers lurking online, and some practical steps all parents should be taking to keep kids safe,” Moller said. “For parents who cannot make it to one of the orientation days, we will have additional opportunities early in the school year.

At Woodburn Elementary, staff are busy preparing for the first day of school.

“We are excited to welcome back students and their families on Back to School Night,” said Brian Graham, principal. “This is a great time for students to meet their teacher, see their classroom and bring in their supplies. It is an important opportunity for new and returning students to spend time at their school in a relaxed and low stress setting.”

“We also encourage parents to consider signing up to volunteer in their child’s classroom, in our arts program, or our parent organization, PAWS. We look forward to sharing smiles, high fives, and excitement with Woodburn families for the upcoming school year.”

Graham also noted that it can be a tough transition back to school from summer break.

“Helping children remember what they love about school, their friends, and their teachers can help the transition,” Graham said. “We always encourage students to be reading books interesting to them at their reading level, and for parents to talk with their children about what they are reading. It’s great to review counting and math facts so students feel confident starting the year.”

The Washougal School District is opening three new buildings this fall — Excelsior High School, Jemtegaard Middle School and Columbia River Gorge Elementary.

Those who attend back-to-school nights will get a sneak peek inside the new buildings.

Back to school nights in the Washougal School District are as follows:

Canyon Creek Middle School — 5 to 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 5.

Cape Horn-Skye Elementary — 4 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 31.

Columbia River Gorge Elementary — 4 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 6. Kindergarten visitation is from 5 to 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 5.

Gause Elementary — 5 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 31. Kindergarten orientation will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m., Monday, Aug. 28.

Hathaway Elementary — 5 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 31. Kindergarten orientation will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Monday, Aug. 21.

Jemtegaard Middle School — 6 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 31.

Washougal High School — Chromebook pick-up, student photos and ASB cards begin at 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 28. Students meet in the WHS commons and then pick-up their devices. Times are 8 to 9:30 a.m. for seniors; 9:15 to 11 a.m. for juniors; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for sophomores; and 1 to 3 p.m. for freshmen.