Dear Parents and Community Members,
In January we started the process for gathering community input and information concerning the Skamania School owned property on Butler Loop Rd. It is my pleasure to give you a brief update on what we have been working on these past few months concerning the use of the property and with our emerging science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) school initiative.
- We have reviewed the suggestions and comments about possible uses of the property received at the January 18th meeting.
- Several experts, including foresters, Fish and Wildlife rangers, biologist, birders, and agents from the Dept of Natural Resources, have explored the property.
- A timber cruise has been conducted which has given us a better idea of the value of the property resources.
- A task force of approximately fifteen, which includes community members, experts in the field, parents, teachers and a board member, have met several times in the past few months. They have reviewed feedback and reports and are now brainstorming a range of ways to accomplish the following Skamania School Board objectives.
- Board objectives
- Provide an education benefit to the school and area. b
- Provide responsible land management
- Provide a financial benefit to the school (revenue producing)
- Board objectives
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) school initiative
- I am including an update on the STEM initiative as it directly impacts our decisions on the property.
- Skamania School teachers and I have attended a variety of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workshops.
- We are working closely with both Education Service District 112 and Pacific Education Institute on the STEM initiative.
- I have met with the West Gorge superintendents to discuss ways we can partner on STEM related activities.
- We have toured two schools and studied others with similar projects in order to get ideas.
- One of our teachers is working closely with a regional center (ESD 112) to develop STEM curriculum.
- I attended a meeting with Governor Inslee and other superintendents from the region on the topic of increasing STEM related activities and apprenticeship opportunities for our students.
- We are partnering with Mt. Pleasant and drafting a vision, with the help of ESD 112, for incorporating STEM into both of our schools.
- The Skamania PTO has installed garden boxes at the school which will support our STEM activities.
- The US Fish and Wildlife Service is supporting an all-school field experience later this month at Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge.
- We are part of two federal grants submitted by ESD112, the National Science Foundation and EPA, which will both include staff professional development opportunities and experiences for our students.
I hope that this update has been helpful. Let me know if you have any questions. Feel free to send ideas that may meet the objectives listed above for the use of the property. You may send your suggestions to my email address below.
Dr. Ralph H. Pruitt, Superintendent/Principal
School phone: (509) 427-8239