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News Releases
The prairie High School Girls Basketball Team
The prairie High School Girls Basketball Team
Prairie High School girls basketball enjoying unprecedented success (Photo) - 02/17/17

After winning their 20th consecutive league title this year, the Prairie High School girls basketball team is on its way to the bi-district championship tournament on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Puyallup High School.

The team is currently 20-3 overall, went 10-0 in league play, and won their first three bi-district games by an average of 25 points. In fact, the PHS girls basketball team hasn't lost a single league game in their entire 20-year run of consecutive league titles. The team has captured the Greater St. Helens League title 30 out of the past 33 years. Over that span, the team has advanced to the state tournament just about every year, winning the state championship six times.

"Twenty consecutive league titles is an unbelievable accomplishment," said Jason Castro, PHS' athletic director. "We're incredibly proud of our girls and the success they've had over the span of the last three-plus decades."

Dave Galanter has been the announcer for the PHS girls basketball team for the last 18 years and has been involved with the high school for the past 34. He said that the success the girls basketball team has had over that period of time is unprecedented, and goes far beyond just the basketball court.

"Since the beginning of their unbelievable run through league and district play, there have been 200-plus girls who were awarded college scholarships thanks in large part to their participation in the basketball program," Galanter said. "Prairie has established a program that produces girls who are educated and excel on the court, in the classroom, and in their communities."

"Prolonged success like this doesn't happen by accident," said Castro, the school's athletic director. "Our past coaches have set the bar remarkably high, but each successor manages to continue building on the accomplishments of their predecessors."

"Al Aldridge established the tradition of excellence at Prairie over thirty years ago," Galanter said. "Coaches Brett Johnson, Michael Smith, and now Hala Corral continue to walk in his footsteps, instead of being overshadowed by his legacy."

With nine freshmen and sophomores on this year's roster, the future for girls basketball at Prairie High appears quite bright.

From left to right: Curtis Miller from Connect BG, Lydia Sanders from BGPS, and Tobie Bryant and Glynda Hamilton from Connect BG
From left to right: Curtis Miller from Connect BG, Lydia Sanders from BGPS, and Tobie Bryant and Glynda Hamilton from Connect BG
Battle Ground Public Schools receives $25,000 grant to support homeless students (Photo) - 02/16/17

Battle Ground Public Schools (BGPS) has received a $25,000 grant from the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for the development of a volunteer program that will help teach resilience skills to district students faced with housing instability.

According to the National Center for Homeless Education, a student who is considered homeless (lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence) and unaccompanied (not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian) can be identified as an unaccompanied homeless youth under the McKinney-Vento Act. These are the students this program seeks to support by providing individualized, one-on-one resilience coaching from qualified volunteers.

The resilience coaching program is a joint effort between BGPS' Family and Community Resource Center (FCRC) and Connect Battle Ground (Connect BG), a local nonprofit that will help identify and train resilience coaches to work with the district's unaccompanied youth.

"This program will help provide a positive trajectory for these students," said Lydia Sanders, the district's family resource services coordinator. "Resilience coaches will be powerful advocates for instilling hope and confidence in youth as well as assisting students with reaching specific goals they have for their lives. This will go a long way towards helping them become happy, healthy, independent adults."

"Building a system guided by resilience coaches will help students navigate their growth as they build confidence, said Curtis Miller, executive director of Connect BG. "Having a network of volunteer coaches who speak a common language and provide these kids with structure and support will be highly effective in helping them to establish life plans and achieve their long-term goals."

The program is seeking volunteer resilience coaches to meet with an unaccompanied student about once per week. Volunteers will receive training before being assigned to and meeting with a student. Ongoing training will also be provided. Sanders and Miller say that coaches should be prepared to volunteer about 10-12 hours per month for training, and meeting and communicating with a student.

"Volunteering to be a resilience coach is probably the most effective, hands-on way to have a positive impact in our local community" Sanders said. "Over and over again, I've witnessed the transformative effect that just one person can have in helping a struggling student simply by being a positive role model and assisting them with organizational and life skills goals."

If you're interested in becoming a resilience coach for an unaccompanied homeless youth, please contact ConnectBG at (360)399-6445 or email The BGPS Family and Community Resource Center can be reached at (360) 885-5434.

More information about the Family and Community Resource Center is available at More information about Connect BG can be found online at

The Battle Ground High School Jazz Band earned top honors at the West Salem Jazz Festival
The Battle Ground High School Jazz Band earned top honors at the West Salem Jazz Festival
BGHS, Chief Umtuch bands enjoy success at the West Salem Jazz Festival (Photo) - 02/14/17

Jazz Bands from Battle Ground High School and Chief Umtuch Middle School participated in the Fifth Annual West Salem High School Jazz Festival over the weekend, bringing home many awards.

The festival offers a unique format that provides participating bands with a positive experience by grouping them into comparable classifications for the competition. The high schools were organized into Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Heavy programs, while middle school bands were divided into Novice and Advanced groups. There were also competitions for Jazz Combos. Each group competed in a 30-minute period that included an on-stage clinic by one of the festival's adjudicators.

Battle Ground High School placed first overall in the "Heavy" Division; took first place in the Jazz Combo competition, and placed third in the Intermediate Division. Battle Ground High School was also awarded the Outstanding Trumpet and Outstanding Sax Section awards in the Advanced Division competitions.

Top soloists in the High School Heavy Division were: Owen Lantz, clarinet and tenor sax; Shane Walz, alto sax; Madelyn Breaux, vocals; Riley Brown, trombone; and senior Cade O'Haver, piano, who also received the most "Outstanding Soloist" award for the entire festival! Top soloists in the High School Advanced Division were: Alex Forstrom, trumpet; Mallory Meyer, trombone; Erika Moody, baritone sax; and Ian McDougal, drums. In the High School Intermediate Division, Katelyn Vaile received a soloist award for alto sax.

Chief Umtuch placed second overall in the Middle School Advanced Division, and soloist awards in the category were given to Dominic Mendoza, bass; Alex Forstrom, trumpet; Mallory Meyer, trombone; and Ashton Hemming, tenor sax. In the Middle School Novice Division, Chief Umtuch students Josh Ferguson, tenor sax; Laila Ronning and Sabrina Prill, alto sax; and Austin Cloke and Ann McCready, trumpet received soloist awards.

Patron Tour explores Battle Ground Public Schools' Career and Technical Education programs - 02/13/17

Community members and parents of 8th graders are invited to the annual patron tour of Battle Ground Public Schools' Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes on Friday, March 3. The tour will visit three schools where visitors will see firsthand what students learn in CTE classes such as welding, culinary arts, early childhood education, video game design and agriculture. Patrons will tour CTE classes at Battle Ground and Prairie high schools as well as the Center for Agriculture, Science and Environmental Education (CASEE).

"Career and Technical Education classes help prepare students for the future," said Cindy Arnold, director of CTE. "No matter whether they're planning to enter the workforce right out of high school or continue their education in college, these classes provide our students with the necessary skills to be successful, and we look forward to sharing what they're learning."

At Battle Ground Public Schools, more than 200 CTE classes are taught each semester in 36 content areas by teachers who have worked in the industry they are teaching. Many of the district's CTE programs have agreements with local community colleges that let students receive college credit for some of the high school classes.

The tour offers parents and members of the business community an inside look at the classrooms and students in action. It's a great way for parents of eighth graders to learn more about the classes and CTE programs that students in the Battle Ground Public Schools district can take at Prairie and Battle Ground high schools.

The Career and Technical Education Patron tour will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, March 3. It will begin at Battle Ground High School, continue to Prairie High School, and then end at CASEE. Transportation will be provided between campuses. Please RSVP by Feb. 23 to the CTE program by calling (360) 885-5359 or emailing

Attend the 5th Annual Southwest Washington Match Challenge on Feb. 25 - 02/06/17

Chief Umtuch Middle School will host the 2017 Southwest Washington Math Challenge on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Chief Umtuch Middle School. The fifth annual competition features both individual and team events for students in fifth through eighth grades.

Students compete in the Math Challenge by grade level to solve word problems and complex equations. In events such as the College Bowl, teams of three to four students work together to answer questions about geometry, division, scientific notation and more.

Teams from all over the Battle Ground Public Schools district are participating in the challenge. Parents and spectators are welcome to watch events scheduled 9-9:20 a.m. and 11:05 a.m.-1 p.m. The event will be held at Chief Umtuch Middle School, 700 NW Ninth Ave., Battle Ground.

Connect with local employers at the Feb. 23 Industry Fair - 02/06/17

Students and community members are invited to learn about careers in southwest Washington at Battle Ground Public Schools' Industry Fair at Battle Ground High School on Thursday, Feb. 23. Students and community members who attend the fair will be able to learn about career paths by talking with local employers about the jobs available at their companies. Bring your resume and consider your dress, because some companies have positions open now. The event, sponsored by BGPS, WorkSource and Partners in Careers, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at Battle Ground High School, 300 W. Main St., in Battle Ground. There is also a resume writing workshop from 3 to 6:30 p.m. in the school's College and Career Center.

Many industries will be represented: health science, manufacturing, technology, construction, finance, hospitality, retail, human services and transportation; and participants will have a chance to ask about the skills, abilities, and educational requirements to work in various jobs, along with what the work environment is like and what kinds of tasks are performed in various job roles. Representatives from more than 50 businesses will be available to answer questions.

Please join us for an educational evening at Battle Ground High School about the many career opportunities in our region. Please contact career guidance specialist Kevin Doyle at (360) 885-6598 or with questions.

Battle Ground Public Schools' Alternative Learning Program information - 02/01/17

Battle Ground Public Schools' (BGPS) alternative learning experience programs are now accepting applications for enrollment for the 2017-18 school year. Parents and students are invited to attend upcoming information sessions and open houses to learn more about each program.

Battle Ground Public Schools offers four alternative programs for students in kindergarten through high school. The programs are designed to help students pursue their interests and gain the knowledge and skills needed for college and careers. The programs offer a variety of alternative education opportunities, from a parent-partnered homeschool and a rigorous academy focused on academics, to a half-day science-focused program for high school students and one that supports self-learners.

Current Battle Ground students may apply for any of the programs that serve the grade they will be in next year. Some programs are also open to students who live outside the district. Students who live within district boundaries will be given priority over students from other districts. Transportation is not provided to/from these programs unless specified in the description.

Enrollment in the alternative programs is free; however, students must apply for admission. The admission process is specific to each program and directions for applying are described below. Admission is based on qualifications, not the order in which the applications are received. Recommendations or counselor approval may be required.

Below is a description of Battle Ground Public Schools' alternative learning experience programs and their application/enrollment requirements and procedures:

CAM (Character and Academics for the Marketplace) Academy (grades 3-12)
CAM Academy offers a rigorous alternative education for students in third grade through high school. Students attend school four days each week (campus is closed on Wednesdays for at-home learning). The program requires parent participation. CAM's mission is to support and promote the academic success, positive character development and acquisition of marketplace skills in students that will facilitate their success both in college and a global society. In the classroom, students study a core curriculum that comprises English language arts, history, science and mathematics and instruction in computer technology. At-home learning covers health and fitness and visual and performing arts and is completed in partnership with parents. Prospective students must take an assessment. Parents should attend an information meeting to learn more and get an application. Notification of acceptance will be sent March 29.

Application deadline: Mon., March 1 at 3 p.m.
Informational meetings: Thurs., Feb. 9, 3-4:30 p.m.; Mon., Feb. 13, 6-7:30 p.m.; and Thurs. Feb. 16, 6-7:30 p.m.

Assessments: Wed., March 8. Grades 3-4 test 3-4:30 p.m.; grades 5-8 test 3-5 p.m.; and high school students can test either 3-5:30 p.m. or 6-8:30 p.m.

Center for Agriculture, Science and Environmental Education (CASEE) (grades 9-12)
The Center for Agriculture, Science and Environmental Education (CASEE) is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program for high school students that integrates biological, environmental and agricultural sciences with English language arts. Students in the program attend classes on the CASEE campus, an 80-acre learning laboratory where scientific concepts are explored and reinforced through experiential learning in the classroom, in the lab, and outdoors. Bus transportation is provided to CASEE from both Prairie and Battle Ground high schools. Applications for new students are due March 27, and the process requires work samples and a teacher recommendation. If you have questions about CASEE, please call (360) 885-5361.

Application deadline: Mon., March 27
CASEE Open house: Prospective students and their families are invited to attend on Thurs., Feb. 16, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at CASEE Building B, room 205, 11104 NE 149th St., Brush Prairie.

Get more information about the CASEE program and an application at or by calling (360) 885-5361.

River HomeLink (grades K-12)
River HomeLink is a parent-partnered program for Battle Ground School District families that provides a range of educational supports for homeschooling. Families can choose from a pure homeschool model that offers curricula help combined with weekly meetings with a certificated teacher, a blended homeschool model that combines homeschool lessons with classes on core subjects and/or extracurricular subjects, a classroom model in the program's unique academic setting, or online classes for students in grades 6-12.

Registration for River HomeLink is a three-step process*:
Parents must register for and attend one of three meetings taking place on March 1 at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Incoming high school students for the 2017-18 school year must attend this meeting with a parent. At this meeting, each parent/guardian will fill out an application to enroll at RHL and an appointment will be scheduled to meet with a consultant on March 3. Registration for the meetings is now open, so visit for more information and to sign up.
On March 3, each student and parent will have a meeting with a teacher for program placement and to plan a schedule. An appointment will be scheduled before you leave the parent meeting on March 1.
Parents are responsible for following registration instructions from the River HomeLink registrar.
*Please note - all three registration steps must be completed in order for a student to be enrolled at RHL.

Get more information about River HomeLink at or by calling (360) 334-8200.

Summit View High School (grades 9-12)
Summit View High School offers an individualized learning experience to self-directed learners up to 21 years old. Summit View serves independent students, working teens, at-risk students and teen parents who have unique and diverse educational demands. The high school assists students in the completion of courses, credit and assessment requirements for graduation, transitioning into another educational setting, and preparing for life after high school. The school is located in the CASEE C Building at 11104 NE 149th Street, Brush Prairie. Admission to Summit View High School is by recommendation of a school counselor.

Get more information about Summit View High School at or by calling (360) 885-5331.

Battle Ground High School Drama Club to perform "Almost, Maine" beginning February 2 (Photo) - 01/27/17

Battle Ground High School Drama Club is set to perform "Almost, Maine" beginning February 2. Director Stephan "Cash" Henry describes it as "a beautiful play made up of short vignettes all about different aspects of love." The play takes place during one day in a little town in Maine called Almost. The stories are heartfelt and honest in their content and are intertwined in some way.

The show runs February 2-4 and 9-11. Performances will be at The Lair at Battle Ground High School, 300 W. Main St. in Battle Ground. Tickets cost $5 for students and senior citizens, and $7 for adults and the general public. Tickets can be purchased at the Battle Ground High School ASB Office, at the door just prior to the performance, or online at

The performance dates and times are as follows:

Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 3 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 10 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 11 at 7:00 p.m.

Later this year, the Drama Club will be performing "Almost, Maine" at the 23rd Annual American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Battle Ground High School was one of just 40 of the schools chosen to participate out of the nearly 3,000 that were nominated.

Part of the world's largest arts festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe encompasses more than 3,500 performances at 315 venues, utilizing more than 40,000 performers.

Attached Media Files: ALMOST_MAINE_POSTER_FINAL.jpg
L to R: sophomores Gabe Rance, Cassidy Flemling and Ethan Floyd's team placed second at the Mount St. Helens Institute’s High School Field Ecology symposium competition. Their research poster is now on display at the Johnson Ridge Observatory at Mount St.
L to R: sophomores Gabe Rance, Cassidy Flemling and Ethan Floyd's team placed second at the Mount St. Helens Institute’s High School Field Ecology symposium competition. Their research poster is now on display at the Johnson Ridge Observatory at Mount St.
CASEE students place in top 10 at field ecology symposium (Photo) - 01/26/17

Last month, three teams of students from teacher Irene Catlin's CASEE II Environmental Science class placed in the top 10 at the Mount St. Helens Institute's High School Field Ecology symposium at Washington State University-Vancouver (WSUV). CASEE teams placed second, fourth, and fifth at the competition. In all, about 50 teams comprising 200 students from seven schools presented their research findings at the competition.

Prior to the competition the students spent two days at the Mount St. Helens Institute collecting data to use in their research project for the competition. They analyzed soil, calculated ground and canopy cover ratios, and identified, measured and catalogued tree species.

After harvesting the data, the teams designed and created posters showing data in support of specific research questions and then presented them to a panel of experts and scientists from the Mount St. Helens Institute and WSUV faculty and staff.

"This project covers so many of the Washington State Learning Standards for science," Catlin said. "Collecting and analyzing data, formulating their research questions, the scientific writing that's involved, and researching background questions provides the students with excellent preparation for future college-level science courses."

Catlin said the project is valuable for teaching other essential skills as well. By working in small groups to create the research posters, students learn teamwork, problem solving, and time management skills. This project is also excellent practice for learning computer skills because it requires formatting and manipulating data using tables and formulas.

"This is a unique and valuable experience that challenges the students to think like professional scientists," said Catlin, who has asked her class to participate in the project for the last three years. "Presenting their projects to a panel of scientists who look at their work and ask questions is a very challenging but equally rewarding experience for our students, and I'm very proud of their accomplishments."

Photo caption: Sophomores Cassidy Flemling, Ethan Floyd, and Gabe Rance were on the team that placed second at the competition. Their research poster is now on display at the Johnson Ridge Observatory at Mount St. Helens.

Tukes Valley 6th grader Yailene Pena using a Chromebook computer
Tukes Valley 6th grader Yailene Pena using a Chromebook computer
Battle Ground students receive Chromebooks through technology program (Photo) - 01/26/17

Battle Ground Public Schools is launching a 1:1 (one-to-one) computing initiative that will put a Chromebook into the hands of every student in grades 3-12 for use at school and at home. Seventh grade students at three middle schools will be the first to receive Chromebooks--a type of laptop computer that accesses educational applications on the Internet--through a pilot program launching next semester. Eventually, through a phased rollout, every student in grades 3-12 will be assigned a Chromebook.

"We believe technology plays a critical role in education, and we're committed to providing tools for students to use at school and at home," said Scott McDaniel, the district's director of technology. "Providing this level of access prepares our students for twenty-first century learning, increases student engagement, and enhances collaboration between students and their teachers."

The 1:1 initiative launches next semester with a pilot program in seventh grades at Pleasant Valley, Tukes Valley and Amboy middle schools. Principals at these pilot locations have 1:1 program experience, and the seventh grade instructors participate in Battle Ground's Tech Academy program for teachers. The 1:1 initiative will be expanded to all seventh and eighth graders next fall, and then across one or two additional grade levels each year until all students in grades 3-12 have devices assigned to them.

The district chose Chromebooks for the 1:1 initiative because the devices are easy to manage, cost-effective, and compatible with the Google suite of education apps that the district has used for the past five years. "Chromebooks are useful for school projects, accessing educational applications and websites, and even completing state-required online testing," McDaniel said. "Chromebooks also provide the most efficient use of available funding resources."

Until the 1:1 program is rolled out to each grade level, Battle Ground students will have access to Chromebooks that are stored in carts and shared between classrooms. The district considered purchasing carts for each classroom, but assigning a Chromebook to each student will cost less than placing additional computer carts in classrooms, McDaniel said.

The 1:1 initiative is also a matter of equity. "By assigning a computing device to each student, we're empowering them to create and collaborate," McDaniel said. "That's transformative." By providing the same access to technology at school and at home, students who couldn't otherwise afford a computer will be less likely to fall behind their peers academically. And because the devices work offline, students do not need Internet access to use the Chromebooks at home.

The district's technology department has implemented considerable safeguards to make sure students are being responsible with the devices. The district is able to monitor students' use and filter inappropriate content. This web filtering will be in effect no matter where students are connected to the Internet.

To prepare for 1:1, the district has placed a lot of emphasis on demonstrating for teachers how to incorporate technology into their lessons. Amie Mickle, who taught in her own classroom before becoming the district's Educational Technology Coordinator, knows that staff professional development is key to a successful 1:1 initiative. "Integrating technology in the classroom will eventually become as seamless as the integration of pencil and paper," Mickle said. "Our teachers are beginning to use technology to redefine their lessons, to provide timely feedback for students, and to foster a collaborative and globally-minded classroom."

By taking advantage of federal funding over the past several years, the district's technology staff has been working behind the scenes to build the infrastructure necessary to support innovative technology education in Battle Ground schools. "The result is that we have a strong, reliable and secure network that is ready and capable of supporting technology use by each student, every day, in all of our schools."

"I'm really proud of the work our teachers have put into this program," McDaniel said. "Great things are happening in our classrooms, and seeing students prepare for their future is truly inspiring. It's what we're here for."