September 7, 2021
September 14 All-parent night 6-7pm
September 20-24 High School Backpacking trip at Mt. Baker Lake
September 29-10/1 Middle School Backpacking Trip at Larrabee State Park
Message from the Head of School: Why Explore?
“Before Explorations, I never would have believed that the first day of school could be better than the last day of summer”- Middle School Student
For the first day of school, we played group games to get to know each other, shared a walk and lunch at the park, HS discovered cluster and elective placement and MS selected their elective, and we explored the ground rules for operating in our common areas. In the exploration of our commons, we are navigating our individual and collective responsibility for keeping them healthy and safe spaces for learning. This is an essential skill for a person to be a part of a healthy and sustainable community. We are setting ourselves up to move like a cell- each part with their role in making the whole functional. Another reason why explore.
Gavin Ray: Adjunct Faculty, Intro to Python
I was raised here in the Pacific Northwest, and enjoy the typical hobbies of the region: farming, carpentry, brewing, backcountry survival, and of course–Tech! My teaching career started at a wilderness therapy camp where I helped develop a program for kids on the autism spectrum. This led to a six year career in group homes for the neural divergent as a case manager and advocate. Then, when my son Damien was born, I decided to switch directions and focus more seriously on my passion for IT. I taught myself a couple programming languages while making a series of video games and Android apps. After completing a data science immersive at Galvanize, I found myself suddenly in very high demand as a programming instructor. I also run a private tutoring business for graduate level students and working professionals which serves a dual purpose of keeping my knowledge base relevant. In the emerging world of tech, one must constantly be pushing themself to learn new technologies and frameworks. Above all else as a teacher, I aim to impart on my students a super-learner mentality that will support their growth in any classroom and beyond.
Additionally, I have an irrelevant bachelor’s degree, am a member of Mensa, and prefer the Dvorak keyboard layout.
My entire life I’ve been drawn to teaching. Through high school I volunteered and worked in Middle and Elementary school classrooms, and realized that the traditional structure of education was limited in it’s ability to give students meaningful experience, so I changed course and pursued environmental education at university, outside the traditional classroom. I spent the past year slowing down and focusing on supporting my father after he had a major surgery. The knowledge I gained with my own education proved foundational for the co-creation process, and diving into our common passion for mutualism within the community. Growing up each weekend was spent exploring around the Salish Sea, from catching fish to investigating tidepools and singing to whales. These passions expanded in my studies at Western. As a passionate learner I’ve found lessons from places I didn’t expect, like meditation through flow arts, hanging drywall, and natural building. Through most experience in my life, and the pursuit of more I reached a point in which the most powerful choice is to help create those opportunities with and for someone else.
Orientation: September 8- 10th
Orientations will take place at Washington Park Group Campsite in Anacortes. There are 2 options for transportation: either leave from the school in transportation provided by the school or drive yourself and meet us at the group campsite by 10:45am. If you are leaving with the school then please arrive 8:30- 8:55 am on September 8th for departure. We return to school on September 10th for a 4:00 pick up. If you are driving your child to Washington Park then please bring your child to the group campsite by 10:45 am and you will pick them up at 12:45pm the day we leave. Students will tent camp and should bring a bag lunch for the first day. TO DO:
If you have not yet filled this out, please do so asap: essential planning form for orientation
You MUST list the names of other students you are allowing your child to share a tent with or select that they are sleeping alone.
If you don’t have a tent or have not arranged for your child to share a tent with another student then we will provide tarps and show them how to set up a tarp.
Packing items for front country (sleep pads, sleeping bag (under 32 degrees), tent)
Pack a lunch for the 8th. They will prepare all other meals with faculty. Food provided.
Please direct questions to your child’s advisor
Bring PEN or PENCIL and Notebook