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Gardiner students design middle school for national contest; Naming forum rescheduled; Recreation program offers classes for all ages; Spring break nature camp at CCC; See 'Angst' at Putnam

Sixth-graders from the Gardiner Middle School bilingual program are designing their own school as part of the national SchoolsNEXT design competition.As architects gathered community input on the design of the new Gardiner Middle School, some of the most in-depth ideas came from a group of students who are part of a national school design contest called SchoolsNEXT.

Thirty sixth-graders in the bilingual program at Gardiner work every day in class to design their ideal school. They brainstormed ideas, gathered input from professional architects, toured newly built schools, and surveyed teachers on their needs. After developing an initial design on paper, they spent several days doing the math required to build a scale model out of foam core.

"We based our design on a healthy lifestyle theme because good mental health and active bodies help us learn better," said student Ava Hsieh. "Our plan includes a view of Mt. Hood, outdoor learning spaces, lots of windows, and roll up garage doors so we can connect with the natural world."

"We want a school where we can learn outside with farm and gardening classes," said student Keely Merter. "We want to include solar energy panels and recycling stations, plus a way to reduce food waste by ordering meals in advance."

"This is the best project I've ever done in my teaching career," said teacher Keely Rock. "I am amazed at the engagement, thoughtfulness, and focus my sixth graders have brought to this project. They are working to plan a space where all kids feel safe, connected and inspired to learn."

Six of the SchoolsNEXT students and six students from Ogden Middle School are also part of the school district's middle school design team, where they work alongside architects, teachers, and administrators to provide input on the school that will replace the original Gardiner Middle School, built in 1954. The project is one of many funded by a bond issue approved by Oregon City voters in the November 2018 election.

While not every idea proposed by students will be part of the new Gardiner School, Bond Program Manager Wes Rogers expects the new building will include several items students prioritized. This may include additional windows to let in natural light and "learning stairs," a versatile space that can be used for presentations, gatherings, study or socializing.

Naming forum rescheduled

Due to inclement weather, the North Clackamas School District has rescheduled its second forum this year for community members to discuss potential high school names.

This year's first naming forum took place Feb. 21. The second forum, initially scheduled for Feb. 27, was canceled due to snow. This second forum is set for 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, March 18, in the Rock Creek Middle School Commons; 14897 S.E. Parklane Drive. Child care will be provided at the event.

NCSD officials are trying again to name the area's fourth neighborhood high school, as Rock Creek Middle School is converted for older students using bond funds that voters approved in 2016.

In late 2017, NCSD's elected officials formed a committee to provide suggested names for the new high school, along with the now-named Beatrice Morrow Cannady Elementary School.

The process concluded in May 2018 when the school board voted 4-3 against the committee's recommendations for naming the high school after Oregon Supreme Court Justice Adrienne Nelson or former Oregon Symphony director James DePreist (1936-2013).

School board members attending the naming forums promise to incorporate the conversations as they decide the high school's name. It is anticipated they will take action at the April 11 board meeting.

Recreation program offers classes for all ages

Gladstone and Oregon City's community schools programs will offer classes and recreation programs this spring for children, teens and adults throughout the region.

Adult courses range from cooking, organic gardening and water exercise to bird watching, watercolor painting, Spanish and country line dance. Spring youth classes range from softball, baseball and ballet to tap dance and tumbling.

To register in Gladstone, call 503-650-2570 or visit bit.ly/2MMivsb. To register in Oregon City, call 503-785-8520 or visit ocsd62.org/community-education.

Spring break nature camp

Children can explore the outdoors and learn about nature's engineers during spring break at the Clackamas Community College Environmental Learning Center.

In this camp, nature's engineers will inspire children to build their own nests, lodges, spider webs and flying objects. The 5-acre site includes walking trails and provides critical wetland habitat for resident and migratory birds, such as great blue herons, flickers and mallards.

Camps are for first- and second-graders from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. March 26-28 (they can attend one or all three). Cost: $60/day. Third- through fifth-graders can attend the camp from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. March 27. Cost: $65.

"The Environmental Learning Center is a wonderful place for children to experience and learn about nature and the animals that live here," said Renee Harber, Environmental Learning Center administrator. "Campers will learn about the environment through hands-on, interactive activities that are both educational and fun."

Before- and after-care and scholarships are available. For more information or to request a scholarship application, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To register, visit bit.ly/ELCspringbreakcamp. To learn more about the Environmental Learning Center, visit clackamas.edu/ELC.

The Environment Learning Center is in Oregon City at 19600 Molalla Ave.

See 'Angst' at Putnam

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, the North Clackamas School District and the Parent Community Leadership Alliance will hold a special screening of the documentary "Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety" at Rex Putnam High School's auditorium.

The film's producers, Scilla Andreen and Karin Gornick, hope to start a global conversation and raise awareness about anxiety. Through interviews, they tell stories of several kids and teens who've experienced anxiety and discuss its impact on their lives and relationships, along with how they've found solutions and hope. The film also includes a special interview with Olympian and mental health advocate Michael Phelps.

Free tickets are available; space is limited. Reserve your seats at bit.ly/2TXVBOW.

In addition to the film, the March 20 event will feature a panel discussion, led by Trillium Family Services counselor Lana Shotwell, with special guests Clackamas County Mental Health Program Supervisor Ben DeGuilio and Miranda Gambett of Western Psychological & Counseling Services.

According to the World Health Organization, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health challenge in the United States, impacting 54 percent of females and 46 percent of males, with age 7 being the median age of onset.

While anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only one-third of those suffering receive treatment. Everyone involved in the development of "Angst" has a personal experience with anxiety.


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