August 23, 2019
Wednesday, August 28th – Welcome Back Picnic
Tuesday, September 3rd – First Day of School
September 4th – 6th – Fall Orientation
Wednesday, September 11th – Family Night
The First Day of School
As summer winds down, EA staff have been hard at work putting together another amazing year of travel, adventure, service, and learning. We can’t wait to welcome students back to campus for the school year. Our first day of school will be Tuesday, September 3. In addition to our first day, there are several other important dates and events coming up soon. They are detailed in this early family bulletin, and we will also send out email reminders as necessary. We can’t wait to see you all!
Introducing Our New Teachers
We have two new staff members joining us this year. They bring a ton of experience, adventure, and enthusiasm for our middle school. You will get a chance to meet them in person at the picnic, and we are excited to introduce them to you here:
Nora Jacobs grew up in sunny Eastern Washington before heading out to attend the University of Montana and earn a degree in resource conservation. In college, she was lucky enough to spend her summers leading kayaking trips for young people in the San Juan Islands. It was during these trips that Nora began to really notice and appreciate the quality of learning that can occur when a student is fully immersed and connected to the subject matter. She has continued to lead outdoor trips, both locally and abroad, earning her teaching certificate. She has taught science and math at Waldorf and Expeditionary Learning schools. In her free time, Nora enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, and mountain biking with her wild dog, Agnes, who follows behind and knows to stay close but not too close.
Rhys was born into a family of fisheries biologists in Juneau, Alaska, where he grew up on wild berries and salmon. He completed a BS in Oceanography at Humboldt State University and eventually returned to his home waters to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching at the University of Alaska Southeast. He is a passionate natural science and mathematics educator who has taught in many classroom and outdoor settings. Rhys moved to Bellingham with his wife and daughter in 2016 and is honored to be starting his first year teaching at EA this fall.
Welcome Back Picnic
Please join us for a casual picnic this Wednesday, August 28, as we gather at Lake Padden in the Rotary Shelter (the covered area nearest the baseball fields) at 5:30 pm. We’ll play kickball, share dinner, and have plenty of time to meet and greet. We will also share important information and paperwork at this event, so please contact Bacchus if you aren’t able to join us. The picnic will be a potluck, and we ask that each family bring a homemade dish labeled with common allergens, along with plates and silverware. The school will have disposable options available for those who forget however, as always, we are actively trying to decrease the waste we generate.
Again, we will be distributing important papers at this event, so please contact Bacchus if you aren’t able to join us.
T-Shirts for Sale
We will have EA shirts for sale at the Welcome Picnic. They are $25 each, unisex, and available in sizes from XS to XXL.
Mt. Baker Orientation
On September 4, we leave town for three days of orientation at the Mountaineers Lodge on Mt. Baker. Students will need to have the gear from the front country gear list. The Mountaineers Lodge has bunk beds and a kitchen, so on this trip students will not need a camping pad, groundsheet, or dishes and cutlery. The packing list is attached below, and please note that there are some changes from last year.
Parent Volunteers Needed
Explorations Academy will have a booth at the Bellingham Farmer’s Market on Saturday, August 31, between 10 am and 3 pm. We would very much appreciate a few volunteers to pass out flyers and answer questions about the school. Please contact Bacchus if you are available and interested.
We have a lot of new families this year, but even returning families start the year with loads of great questions for our team. We invite parents and guardians to join us the evening of Wednesday, September 11 to cover the nitty-gritty of our clusters, trips, policies, and family expectations. We will also meet separately with parents of current juniors and seniors to discuss a timeline for college planning. If there is anything that you want to make sure we cover at this meeting, please contact Bacchus to add items to the agenda.
Reminder to Submit Forms
We sent an email to families last week with several attached forms that need to be returned before the start of the school year. All families need to complete these forms. Even if your student is returning and you filled these out last year, we need new copies to ensure our records and permissions are current. If you have any questions about forms, please contact Tania.