Going back to school? Here’s what you need to know

Local orientations starting soon

CAMAS SCHOOL DISTRICT

Camas High School: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 10th-grade orientation: 8 to 10 a.m.; 11th-grade orientation: 2 to 4 p.m.; 12th-grade orientation: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Camas High School: Thursday, Aug. 23, Ninth-grade orientation: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Incoming freshman highly encouraged to attend this orientation session; Make-up orientation: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Integrated Arts and Academics: Monday, Aug. 27, Meet & Greet in Room Art 2, Freshman Success Academy orientation: 10 a.m.

Math Science Technology: Wednesday, Aug. 29, Math Science Technology orientation: 2:30 to 6 p.m.

Discovery High School: Thursday, Aug. 30, Open House and ninth-grade orientation: 5 to 7 p.m.

Hayes Freedom High School: Thursday, Aug. 30, All grades drop-in: 1 to 3 p.m.

Liberty Middle School: Wednesday, Aug. 29, Sixth-grade students: 4 to 6 p.m.

Liberty Middle School: Thursday, Aug. 30, Seventh- and eighth-grade students: 4 to 6 p.m.

Odyssey Middle School: Wednesday, Aug. 29, Open House: 5 to 7 p.m.

Skyridge Middle School: Wednesday, Aug. 29, Skyward activated: 8 a.m. Eighth-grade Open House: 10 to 11 a.m.; Seventh-grade Open House: 1 to 2 p.m.; Sixth-grade Open House: 4:30 to 6 p.m. All Camas elementary schools: Thursday, Aug. 30, All grades: 4 to 6 p.m.

Camas preschools 4 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 30: Papermaker, Lacamas Lake and Woodburn preschools, 4 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 6: CCE Preschool

WASHOUGAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

Canyon Creek Elementary: Thursday, Aug. 23, Back-to-school night: 4 to 6 p.m.

Cape Horn-Skye Elementary: Thursday, Aug. 23, Back-to-school night: 4 to 6 p.m.

Columbia River Gorge Elementary: Monday, Aug. 27, Back-to-school event and supply drop-off: 4 to 6 p.m.

Columbia River Gorge Elementary: Thursday, Aug. 23, Kindergarten visitation for parents and students: 4 to 5 p.m.

Gause Elementary: Thursday, Aug. 23, Kindergarten orientation: 10 to 11:30 a.m.; Open House: 5 to 6 p.m.

Hathaway Elementary: Thursday, Aug. 23, Back-to-school night and Open House: 5 to 6 p.m.

Jemtegaard Middle School: Thursday, Aug. 23, Back-to-school night: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Washougal High School: Monday, Aug. 27, Chromebook pick-up, student pictures and ASB cards: 8 a.m.; Senior orientation: 8 to 9:30 a.m.; Junior orientation: 9:15 to 11 a.m.; Sophomore orientation: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Freshman orientation: 1 to 3 p.m.

It’s back-to-school time again, and students in Camas-Washougal only have a couple weeks of summer break left.

The 2018-19 school year starts on Tuesday, Aug. 28 in the Washougal School District and on Tuesday, Sept. 4 for Camas School District students.

In both districts, crews have been working hard to finish up capital projects in time for the new school year.

Camas school leaders will debut the district’s new Lacamas Lake Elementary and Discovery High School buildings, both funded by a $120 million bond passed by voters in 2016, the first week of September.

In Washougal, excess money from the $57 million bond approved by voters in 2015 was put to use over the summer to provide covered play areas at Gause Elementary and Hathaway Elementary schools, improve parking and remove unused portables at Gause, construct a dry-storage building for athletic equipment at Canyon Creek Middle School and upgrade Fishback Stadium.

“As we conclude the exciting work of our capital projects, we look with anticipation to supporting our teachers, classified staff, administrators, students and parents in the shared work of educating our children,” Mary Templeton, Washougal School District’s new superintendent, said. “Together, we can exceed our own expectations for student achievement and guarantee each student is prepared for the exciting opportunities that await them in life. I look forward to seeing the Washougal School District continue to soar into the future.

In addition to the completion of Lacamas Lake and Discovery, Camas Superintendent Jeff Snell said summer was a busy time for several staffers in the Camas School District.

“There’s a flurry of a lot of behind-the-scenes activity by staff to ensure we’re ready to start the school year,” Snell said.

The superintendent said he remembers when he was a math teacher, and had to concentrate on greeting new students when fall rolled around.

“Each year of teaching you learn a lot and are excited to put that learning in action the following year,” Snell said. “You want all of your students to have the best experience, so there’s a lot of planning for how to do that.”

Another multi-year process coming to fruition this year for Camas students is the new school start times.

Elementary schools will start earlier, at 8 a.m., except for Lacamas Lake Elementary, that will start at 8:15 a.m.

High schools will start an hour later, at 8:40 a.m., and middle schools will also be delayed an hour and start at 9 a.m.

“I am excited for our students,” Snell said. “The research is very compelling about our adolescent youth and the impact of sleep on their mental health, safety and learning. I appreciate that this is a big change for everyone so I’m anxious to get started.”

Templeton said Washougal teachers have been busy preparing for the upcoming school year. For instance, recently hired elementary art teachers have spent time planning the district’s new visual arts program for elementary school students. And Washougal middle and high school teachers will attend a “Character Strong” training later this month to learn more about a new program emphasizing kindness, empathy and community service.

“As any new superintendent will tell you, the first day of school has to be the most exciting and anticipated event for the coming school year,” Templeton said. “I can hardly wait to be with our teams of educators as they welcome our students back for an exciting, challenging and rewarding school year.”

Templeton has been in charge of the school district for less than two months, but said she already is impressed by the commitment and dedication the Washougal community has shown when it comes to educating its youth.

“My weeks have been filled with learning about the great things that are happening in the Washougal School District as I have been meeting with staff, parents and community members,” Templeton said. “I look forward to a renewed energy and commitment to working together for a common idea: that what we all do together, daily serving students, has a great impact on our community for the future.”