Dear Willamette Community,
Willamette life continues to be enriching, engaging and full of purpose during the month of May! Many of our fourth and fifth graders are on an overnight field trip to OMSI’s Camp Hancock in John Day. They will investigate incredible rock formations and fossil beds to discover clues about how Oregon’s wildlife and landscape features have changed over time. Our straight fifth grade class journeys to Mount St. Helens next week to learn about the geology of the Pacific Northwest and the influence of tectonic forces on landforms. Third graders are spending the day at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and first grade classes will be learning off campus at our district’s CREST center. These field trips provide exciting hand-on learning experiences and create lifelong memories. I am incredibly thankful for the teachers and parent volunteers who make these trips happen. We are also thankful for Willamette’s incredible PTA, who provides financial support, transportation and scholarships for each trip.
Our staff meeting this week centered on examining the Key Learning Skills and Techniques necessary for our children to acquire skills and knowledge to become college and career ready by the time they graduate from high school. As we approach the end of the school year, teachers and children will reflect on how key learning skills, such as persistence and goal setting, influence our academic and personal growth. We will also continue to explore ways to explicitly teach children these skills. You may find the website www.epiconline.org interesting. It provides much research-based information (from the University of Oregon!) about preparing children for college and/or fulfilling careers upon graduation.
Today we welcome the class of 2026 to our school during Kindergarten Open House. Current student leaders will give tours to children and families, provide important information about our school and answer questions. The highlight of the event for many of our newest students is the practice bus ride! If you have a child of any age to enroll for next year, please give our office a call as soon as possible. Our school secretaries, Bo and Gretchen, will be happy to assist you. Early enrollment of new students helps us determine our staffing needs for the 2013/14 school year.
I know I speak for every single staff member when I say how thankful we feel for the love, support, gifts and food showered upon us during Teacher Appreciation Week. It is truly a privilege to work alongside you and your children each day. You make us feel very special. Thank you!