Our students returned to campus this week for the start of winter term, greeted by a fresh layer of snow covering our surrounding mountainscape. Cold temperatures brought with them the start of ice skating season on our frozen hockey pond, while our campus trails and hills provided the perfect playground for cross-country skiing, sledding, and snowboarding. This week also marked the start of a new arts class rotation, offering students even more ways to explore their creative skills in areas including baking, glass art, jewelry making, robotics, and community space design.


In Gavi’s 5th grade math class students began an exploration of divisibility rules through extended word problems. The group was given a problem about a farmer with an unknown number of broken eggs and worked together to find a number that is divisible by 7, but not by 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. The class will continue to work through this problem over the next week in order to find various tricks and tools for determining divisibility.

Caroline’s beginner and intermediate English as a Second Language (ESL) class is currently reading the second volume of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved Little House on the Prairie series. During the fall, students practiced taking reading notes and worked on character studies from the first book, and the group will continue to practice their literary analysis and discussion skills throughout the winter term. In the spring, the class plans to visit the nearby Almanzo Wilder homestead after reading the third installment of the series, Farmer Boy. This portion of ESL class connects to the unit on westward expansion being studied in 7th grade US history class, as well as the current 6th grade social studies unit exploring identity and personal stories.


As part of the new winter term art offerings, students were given the opportunity to work creatively in several different visual mediums. In glass art class, students including Alex and Helen began working on colorful projects that will be fused in the kiln, becoming chess boards and sparkling holiday ornaments. In Larry’s Community Lounge design and construction class, students began looking at and measuring our new Community Lounge space. The class will be working together throughout the term to besign, build, and install tree themed play-spaces, climbing structures, and relaxing areas for the school and camp population to enjoy for years to come.

As a first assignment for art recreation class, students are learning about lighting, backdrops and portraiture to create Time Magazine covers. They studied current Time Magazine covers to look at how celebrities used styling, gesture, and body language. Instead of replicating the covers, students were tasked with creating their own “Time’s Top 100” portrait. This gave each child the opportunity to be a model, a photographer, and to control the lighting design.


We returned to a snow-covered campus this week, and students and adults alike were thrilled to spend afternoons enjoying the many recreational activities available on our 220 acres. Weeks of below-freezing temperatures have ensured that our hockey pond is now safely frozen solid, and this week marked the official start of the ice skating season. Along with pond skating comes the need to create a smooth ice surface; Director of School Dave Steckler brought a group of students out during out time to do some combination shoveling and skating under the snow-covered summits of Pitchoff and Cascade mountains.

As we continue into winter term, some of our out-time offerings will include active indoor time, and this week basketball coach Sierra ran a practice in the Quonset gym space with our JV basketball students. The group ran drills, working to develop their skills, before having a quick scrimmage against one another.


Out-time this week also provided students with the opportunity to spend some time in the barnyard, working with the animals and helping prepare our wool for use in the fiber-arts program. Students including Cecy, Wyatt, Evie, Grace, Edie, and Josh visited our sheep and goats before helping Barn Manager Erica skirt and card the wool sheared from last year’s flock. Skirting involves removing debris from the wool, and carding involves using brushes to pull the wool fibers in line with one another once the fleeces have been washed. Once skirted and carded, the wool can be spun into different weights of yarn that will be used to create beautiful knit and woven projects in our school and camp fiber-arts studios.

Check back next week to see what we’re up to on our mountain campus.

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