Jon's Update 5-14-19

posted May 14, 2019, 11:01 AM by Cynthia Friedman
Tues, 5/14                             ELA State Testing Begins
Thurs, 5/16                           Field Trip: Canopy Connections and Tree2Tree
Sat., 5/18, 11:30am              TRUE Performance: Spencer Creek Grange Farmer's Market
Fri, 5/24                                Move-Up Day, 8th Grade Escape
Mon, 5/27                              **NO SCHOOL: Memorial Day
Thurs, 6/6, 6-8pm                 8th Grade Graduation
Fri, 6/7                                    **NO SCHOOL: Grading Day
Mon-Thurs, June 10-13       MS Adventure Trip
Fri, June 14                           Last Day of School

Dear Middle School Family,
It's always a joy to take our middle school students out into the community. Not only because it's important to experience the world outside our classroom, but because our community members affirm what we at Ridgeline already know: we have truly exceptional students. We walked 3.5 miles from Ridgeline to the Eugene city center with 41 students. No problem. There were close to 1000 people at the "Red for Ed" rally in the Park Blocks by the time the formal program started at 11am. Our students respectfully engaged with the other folks gathered there, and listened carefully to what the speakers (teachers, school nurses, and school advocates) had to say during their speeches. 

The students thoughtfully completed their evaluations of the effectiveness of the rally, and this week wrote a letter to the president of the Eugene Education Association, Tad Shannon, to express their feelings about how effective they felt the rally (as part of the larger movement throughout the state) was as a civic action. Pretty effective, apparently, as for the first time since anyone can remember, the State of Oregon significantly INCREASED funding for education in Oregon.

When we got to Amazon Park for lunch, we got to see what real civic action looks like at the middle school level, though. The park was packed with little kids, since there was no school for 4J on May 8. Our big kids ran and frolicked and played with the little folks without any of the teenage angst that one would expect of middle schoolers bombarded by childish adoration. It was joyful to watch. And when some small conflicts arose, our students quite masterfully dissipated them. One of the things we've been talking a lot about this year is how civic action and responsibility isn't necessarily political: it's how we positively engage in the health of our community. 

This week, we completed the Oregon State ELA testing. Next week we'll get started on our Civic Action Projects to finish out the school year. Time is racing by!

Volunteers Needed: Move-Up Day/8th Grade Escape
Next Friday, May 24, is Move-Up Day. The 8th graders have a fun day planned at Washburne Park. The 7th graders will be leading the upcoming 6th graders on a hike from Ridgeline to the top of Mt. Baldy. We will leave at 9am and be back at school for dismissal at 1:05pm. If you would like to join us on the hike, please take 47 seconds to fill out this Google Form.

Adventure Trip
Paperwork for the Adventure Trip will be coming home at the end of this week. Please fill it out and return it as soon as possible. This year's adventure trip will be at the Wolf Creek campground just east of Roseburg in the Umpqua National Forest. It's a really terrific spot with a HUGE covered area, fresh water, and flush toilets. We have the entire campground to ourselves. We'll camp from Monday, June 10 to Thursday, June 13. We'll be back at Ridgeline at 4pm Thursday. 

The last day of school is Friday, June 14. We'll spend Friday getting the classroom cleaned up and ready for summer. 

Lots of fun stuff in store!
Jon and Maizzy