Battle Ground Sch. Dist.
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News Releases
BGHS Language Arts teacher Daniel Hidden will teach the AP Seminar course next year
BGHS Language Arts teacher Daniel Hidden will teach the AP Seminar course next year
Battle Ground High School offers national college prep program (Photo) - 04/20/18

Beginning next year, Battle Ground High School (BGHS) students can get an idea of what it is like to do college research and potentially earn the college credit that goes with having acquired such a skill set. Battle Ground High will offer the Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone diploma program. The program, which develops collaboration, research, and analytical writing skills in high school students, consists of two courses taken in sequence: AP Seminar and AP Research.
"We are excited to be an Advanced Placement Capstone School,” said Principal Mike Hamilton. “This program is a unique opportunity for students to distinguish themselves to colleges and universities as well as prepare themselves for lifelong learning. It also speaks to our school's commitment to increasing student access to advanced placement courses and academic rigor."
Currently, only 33 high schools in Washington State offer the nationally-recognized program, which was developed in partnership with college faculty, admissions officers, and the College Board. The program was established in 2014 at 114 schools in the U.S. In just four years, the program has grown to include approximately 1,500 schools worldwide.
The AP Seminar course, typically taken by sophomores or juniors, helps students examine current issues from multiple perspectives. Students learn to analyze the strength of an argument; work to understand and evaluate opposing viewpoints; interpret and synthesize information; and construct, communicate and defend research-based arguments to support their conclusions.  
BGHS English teacher Daniel Hidden will teach the AP Seminar course next year. Hidden has the flexibility to choose research topics based on students’ interests. Students taking the class will be assessed through both individual and team projects and a year-end AP exam. 
So far, 61 students have signed up to take AP Seminar in the fall.“We were hoping to have at least one full class the first year," said BGHS history teacher and AP coordinator Adam Horn. "But now we could have three. We’re pleased with the response from students and are excited to offer this engaging and challenging learning opportunity.”  
The second course in the capstone sequence is AP Research. This course is typically taken by seniors, with AP Seminar as a prerequisite. Students in AP Research dive deep into an academic topic, problem or issue of individual interest. After selecting a topic, students design, plan, and conduct a year-long investigation. The students document their process by developing a portfolio of work, building on the skills developed in the AP Seminar course by further learning how to understand research methodology; employ ethical research practices; and collect, analyze, and synthesize information to build, present, and defend an argument.
“A big focus of the AP Research class will be collaboration with peers and developing intellectual maturity that will give students the skills they need to be successful in college and in their professional lives,” Horn said. “The AP Capstone program is deliberately broad and teaches skills that are valuable not only for college, but also are important life skills.”  
Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on the AP Seminar and AP Research exams and on four additional AP exams of their choosing will earn the AP Capstone Diploma. This signifies their outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills. In addition, students might also earn college credit for the AP courses they complete while in high school. 
Alternatively, students can earn an AP Seminar and Research Certificate by completing these two courses with AP exam scores of 3 or higher, but without taking the additional four AP courses required for earning the AP Capstone Diploma. 
“Completing the AP Capstone program helps prepare students for college and beyond in several ways,” Horn said. “Not only do they get a head start by earning college credit while they’re still in high school, but they’ll also stand out on college entrance and scholarship applications and will have the academic and research skills to be successful after high school.” 

A kindergartner at Tukes Valley Primary works on an art project
A kindergartner at Tukes Valley Primary works on an art project
Kindergarten orientations begin May 17, enroll now (Photo) - 04/18/18

Calling the Class of 2031! Kindergarten orientations are coming up soon in Battle Ground schools, so don’t wait to enroll! Online enrollment is now open for kindergartners who will attend Battle Ground Public Schools for the 2018-19 school year. Once enrolled, students and their families will be invited to attend a kindergarten orientation at their school.  

Kindergarten orientations will be held at:

  • Captain Strong Primary, May 24, 5-7 p.m.
  • Daybreak Primary, May 17, 6-7 p.m.
  • Glenwood Heights Primary, May 31, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
  • Maple Grove K-8, May 24, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Pleasant Valley Primary, May 30, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
  • Tukes Valley Primary, May 31, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Yacolt Primary, May 31, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

These orientations are a time for you and your child to get to know your school and to learn more about the kindergarten program. Enrolling your child prior to these orientations is a key step in being prepared for the school year, and helps the district plan for the number of teachers it will need to serve our youngest students. 

Any child who will be five years old before Sept. 1, 2018 is eligible to enter kindergarten in the fall. To enroll, parents will need proof of their child's birth date (such as a birth certificate) and a signed and completed Washington state Certificate of Immunization Status form.

Full-day kindergarten will be offered at all primary schools so that students can benefit from the advantages of a developmentally appropriate, program. Parents can find out which school their child will attend by using the district's online boundary map at or by calling the district boundaries office at (360) 885-6577.

2018-19 School Calendar
School will begin next year on Wednesday, Aug. 29. A list of key dates for the 2018-19 school year, including breaks and holidays, is available on the district website: 

Online enrollment for kindergartners is now open:

Learn which school your child will attend:

Key dates for the 2018-19 school year:

1-2-3 Grow and Learn:

2018 'Stuff the Bus' poster
2018 'Stuff the Bus' poster
Help BGPS staff 'Stuff the Bus' (Photo) - 04/18/18

Public School Employees (PSE) of Battle Ground wants to give back to the community! Join members of the district's classified union on Saturday, May 5 at the Battle Ground Walmart and Fred Meyer stores from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help them ‘Stuff the Bus.’

PSE members will be collecting non-perishable food items, personal hygiene supplies, paper products, and cash donations during their annual event. Items collected will be delivered to the North County Community Food Bank.

Community partners for the event are Battle Ground PSE, Cascade Student Transportation, Walmart, and Fred Meyer. Several groups of volunteers will be on hand to help during the event, including students and parents from River HomeLink, members from Battle Ground High School’s Air Force Junior ROTC program, and high school students from CAM Academy and Prairie High School.

“Stuff the Bus” is an opportunity to help make a difference in our community. See you on the bus!

Attached Media Files: 2018 'Stuff the Bus' poster
The greenhouse at Battle Ground High School is ready for the annual plant sale
The greenhouse at Battle Ground High School is ready for the annual plant sale
Battle Ground Public Schools hosts annual plant and greenhouse sales (Photo) - 04/17/18

A variety of annual and perennial bedding and flowering plants, as well as vegetable starts and hanging baskets grown by high school students in Battle Ground Public Schools’ greenhouses, will be available for purchase at upcoming public sales. Money raised from these sales supports the district's horticulture and Future Farmers of America (FFA) programs and welding teams.

Students from Battle Ground High School; Prairie High School; the Center for Agriculture, Science, and Environmental Education (CASEE); and the FFA program grow tens of thousands of plants each year. Some of these plants are used in landscaping projects on school campuses, while the rest are sold at annual public sales.

Community members are encouraged to arrive early for the best selection and bring boxes to carry purchased plants. Upcoming sales will be held:

Center for Agriculture, Science, and Environmental Education (CASEE)
Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
CASEE Center, 11104 N.E. 149th Street, Brush Prairie

Held in conjunction with NatureScaping of SW Washington's Bare Root trees, shrubs and perennials sale, CASEE will be selling northwest native trees and shrubs. Prices are $3, $5 and $10. Cash only, please.

Battle Ground High School
Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
BGHS greenhouses, 300 W Main St., Battle Ground

There more than 15,000 plants for sale this year, including hanging baskets, perennial flowers,  bedding plants, vegetables, berry plants and nursery stock. Cash or checks only, please. Customers are also welcome to walk through and see the demonstration garden named after Paddy Hough. It includes aquaculture, tissue culture, hydroponics, trellised fruit trees, and several perennial fruits that aren’t common in a Pacific Northwest garden. Cash or check only.  

Prairie High School Plant Sale
Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Prairie High School greenhouse, 11311 NE 119th St., Vancouver

Shop a large selection of hanging baskets, grasses, vegetables, herbs, flowers, trees and succulents. Cash or check only.

Seniors BayLee Saldino (left) and Kaitlyn Rose (right)
Seniors BayLee Saldino (left) and Kaitlyn Rose (right)
Battle Ground schools' CTE programs prepare students for life after high school (Photo) - 04/16/18

For Prairie High School senior Isabel Hidalgo, taking Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes opened up a world of opportunities. As a sophomore, Hidalgo was still unsure of what career path she wanted to pursue after high school. That all changed when she took a Health Science class from teacher Melissa Levine. Levine's experiences working in the healthcare field inspired Hidalgo to work toward becoming a medical doctor, and she chose to take the Health Sciences pathway at Prairie.  

The CTE term is applied to high school classes in skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies and career preparation. The classes provide hands-on training in skills that help students get jobs or prepare them to continue their educations beyond high school.

Battle Ground Public Schools' mission is to empower all students to reach their highest potential through innovative, creative and supportive learning environments. The district’s CTE offerings and related club activities are highly effective in achieving this mission.

According to the Association for Career and Technical Education, the average high school graduation rate for students in CTE programs is 93 percent, compared to an average national graduation rate of 80 percent. CTE students are also significantly more likely than their non-CTE counterparts to develop problem solving, research, math, communication, time management and critical-thinking skills during high school. In addition to helping prepare students academically, CTE programs provide opportunities for students to gain experience and build confidence for life after high school.

As a sophomore, Hidalgo joined the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) club, where she competed in medical terminology and CPR contests against her high school peers. Last year, Hidalgo finished fourth overall in a state CPR competition.  

“Getting hands-on experience through competitions, the blood drives we host, and classes that are practical and interesting has opened up so many doors,” Hidalgo said. “It’s not so much that doors were closed, it’s that I didn’t even know the doors existed.”

After finishing high school this year, Hidalgo plans to study biology at the University of Portland in the fall, and has her sights set on attending medical school after that. Her goal is to specialize in children’s cancer and immunotherapy; options that she learned about from her experiences in CTE classes and competitions.

"Students in CTE programs are more connected to their interests and see how those interests can translate into a career,” said Cindy Arnold, the district’s Director of Career and Technical Education. "CTE classes help students prepare to find and get jobs right out of high school, and also gives them the skills to be successful in college."

Battle Ground High School senior Adriana Esparza agrees. Before joining the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC), Esparza wasn’t sure what she wanted to do after graduation. In less than two years in the CTE program, she says that her involvement with the AFJROTC program has provided clarity of her career goals.

“Before I joined the JROTC program, I had no idea if I even wanted to go to college,” Esparza said. Now, she plans to get a degree in psychology with the goal of becoming a clinical psychologist in the military. She also plans to continue ROTC in college and become a commissioned officer in the Air Force.

“It’s special to have a program that helps develop each student’s individual strengths while also teaching the core value of ‘service before self’ and stressing the importance of community,” Esparza said. “Junior ROTC is an amazing option that I’d strongly encourage any student to explore.”

Prairie High School seniors BayLee Saldino and Kaitlyn Rose have taken several agriculture classes together and are both members of the school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) club. Saldino and Rose echoed the sentiment that their CTE classes and club activities build confidence and teach practical skills that are useful during and after high school.

“After I moved here from California halfway through my freshman year, I was very shy and quiet,” Saldino said. “That’s not the case anymore. Not only did I make great friends through FFA and my agriculture classes, but the public speaking and presentations I had to give helped me open up and be confident.”

Saldino said she always knew that she was interested in working with animals, but her CTE experiences have informed her decision to focus on animal behavior and wildlife rehabilitation.

Kaitlyn Rose runs the Eagle Fern summer horse camp and says that her FFA experience has taught her the record keeping and facilities care skills to transform a fun hobby into more of a business opportunity.

“You’re always moving, delegating, and having to step up and take responsibility as a leader in the greenhouse and in the labs,” Rose said. “Everyone shows steady improvement over time, and you can definitely see people’s confidence building as they develop leadership skills.”

Rose herself has demonstrated that confidence and growth, recently placing second at an FFA job interviewing skills competition in the Evergreen school district and preparing to participate in the state competition in Pullman next month.   

Battle Ground's middle and high school students can choose from 200 CTE courses across 36 content areas including: agriculture, food and natural resources; architecture and construction; arts, audio/video technology and communications; business management and administration; education and training; finance; government and public administration; hospitality and tourism; human services; information technology; law, public safety, corrections and security; manufacturing; health services; marketing; science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and transportation, distribution and logistics.

Visit for more information.

From left: National Board Facilitators Deborah Ortner and Lorri Sibley with Battle Ground Public Schools’ newest National Board Certified Teachers, William Baur, Marla Caesar, Gloria Ferguson, Angie Foster, Maryke Haynes, Amy Hicks, and Amanda Howard. Not
From left: National Board Facilitators Deborah Ortner and Lorri Sibley with Battle Ground Public Schools’ newest National Board Certified Teachers, William Baur, Marla Caesar, Gloria Ferguson, Angie Foster, Maryke Haynes, Amy Hicks, and Amanda Howard. Not
Battle Ground educators earn National Board Certification (Photo) - 03/29/18

Eight educators from Battle Ground Public Schools earned certification in 2017 from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). This accomplishment marks the successful completion of a rigorous, one-to-three year program aimed at honing teaching techniques and styles that bolster students’ enthusiasm for learning.

National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential that goes beyond state licensure. Only about 40 percent of educators earn the certification on their first attempt.

Battle Ground's 2017 recipients are:

  • William Baur, science teacher at River HomeLink School
  • Marla Caesar, guidance counselor at Battle Ground High School
  • Gloria Ferguson, math intervention specialist at Yacolt Primary School
  • Angie Foster, English language arts teacher at Battle Ground High School
  • Amy Hicks, third grade teacher at Captain Strong Primary School
  • Amanda Howard, math intervention specialist at Daybreak Middle School
  • Maryke Haynes, math teacher at Battle Ground High School 
  • Lindsay Pethick, math teacher at Prairie High School

National Board Certified Teachers are highly accomplished educators who meet rigorous standards set by the NBPTS. Board-certified teachers benefit the school district by sharing their information, knowledge and experience with other teachers who can then take the knowledge into their own classrooms. Most importantly, students benefit from the enhanced skills of board-certified teachers who make the most of their interactions with the children they teach.

The state awards stipends of approximately $3,178 to $5,296 a year to national board certified teachers in Washington State. With nearly 9,000 NBCTs, Washington state has the fourth largest group of NBCTs in the nation.