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Sunday, March 30th

Parenting Well in a Media Age

March 31st at the Friday Harbor High School Commons fro 6-8 p.m

Do Einstein videos really help babies? Will I make my toddler smarter with Leap Frog? If all her friends are dressing hip-hop, how do I get my eight year-old to wear the decent clothes we can afford? How much time is too much time for my 9th grader to spend chatting with friends on-line? How much is too much time for my 6th grader text messaging? What about a TV or a computer in my child’s bedroom?

In our high-tech society parents are continually bombarded with choices—choices that are not always easy to make and choices that often have unintended consequences. Gloria DeGaetano will address the nitty-gritty issues of parenting in what she calls our “industry-generated culture.”

De Gaetano has worked in this arena since 1987. She is the author of several books including, Screen Smarts: A Family Guide to Media Literacy. Her speaking has been nationally acclaimed and her audiences always walk away inspired, renewed, and resolved to make a difference. Over the years, DeGaetano has helped hundreds of Pacific Northwest parents develop sane strategies for their families, many coming back to her years later, thanking her, grateful for the information she had given them.


Friday, March 28th

Griffin Bay Learning Center Open House

ig_GB_OpeningDay-2 (57k image)

Griffin Bay is now located next to the district offices and offers three programs to the island community: Griffin Bay High School, Griffin Bay Virtual Academy, and Griffin Bay Parent Partner Program.

Kim Norton, Barb Bevins, Maggie Law, and Betsy Ridwan are proud of their new school and showed the those who dropped in for the open house on Thursday, how the programs work and who may take part in it. Griffin Bay is also open to students attending private schools, and it is expected that some Spring Street Students will take advantage of the virtual school options.

Griffin Bay High School students who wish to work more independently to earn a high school diploma. All on-line courses are now accessed through the Griffin Bay School - now renamed - Griffin Bay Learning Center.


Sunday, March 16th

Zach Named Finalist In National Geographic Bee.

ig_Zach_Reshovsky-1 (33k image)Zachary Reshovsky has just been notified by the National Geographic Society that he is one of the finalists eligible to compete in the 2008 Washington Geographic Bee.

Zach is an 8th grader in the Griffin Bay Learning Center-Parent Partner Program. Zach is the son of Marc Reshovsky, Last year Zach was also a state finalist, coming in second to Caitlyn Snaring of Redmond, Washington., who was the final winner

Bees were held in schools with fourth through eighth grade students throughout the state to determine each school’s Geographic Bee winner. School level winners then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. In each of the 50 states and in the territories, the National Geographic Society invited the students with the top 100 scores to compete at the state level.

The 2008 Washington Geographic Bee will be held at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center on Friday, April 4, 2008.

The state winner and his or her teacher will represent Washington in the national finals at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington D. C. The national winner will receive a $25,000 college scholarship.

How would you fare as a Bee contestant?


Friday, March 14th

Wynn Barnard Is The '08' Violet Richardson Winner

ig_Soro_Wynn_Barnard-1 (42k image)Friday Harbor High School senior Wynn Barnard has just been selected as the regional winner of the Soroptimists’ Violet Richardson Award . This award honors a young woman between the ages of 14 and 17 who is committed to making the world a better place and has had significant and noteworthy accomplishments as a volunteer.

Wynn was honored as the Friday Harbor club’s winner last month, and her application was forwarded to the Northwest Region, where she competed with 72 award recipients from other clubs. She will be presented with a $1000 cash award at the Soroptimists’ regional conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on April 26, and another $1000 will be donated to the Village-to-Village volunteer organization that she founded at the high school.

Wynn’s application has now been sent to Soroptimist International of the Americas, where she will compete for an additional award – including a contribution of $2500 to the winner’s volunteer organization -- with 27 other regional-level winners not only from the United States, but other countries as well.

This is the very first time that an award winner from the Friday Harbor club has ever been selected as the award recipient at the regional level of the Soroptimist organization.


Thursday, March 13th

Realtors Provide Life-Saving Devices To School

ig_R_Defibrillators-1 (64k image)
(L to R: Chris Spaulding, 2007 President of the San Juan County Association of REALTORS, Lainey Volk, San Juan EMS and Mike Soltman, San Juan Island School Superintendent)

In an effort to add another level of safety to our Island student and teachers, the San Juan County Association of REALTORS donated 9 Heart Start OnSite Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) to Island Schools. The units were placed in: Friday Harbor Elementary School, Friday Harbor Middle School, Friday Harbor High School, Lopez Elementary School, Lopez Middle/High School*, Children's House

School, Spring Street International School, Paidea School and Skagit Valley College San Juan Island Campus. "As part of our ongoing involvement with the Washington REALTORS Quality of Life campaign, our local Association is pleased to provide this safety feature to our Island Schools", Said Chris Spaulding, 2007 President of the San Juan County Association of REALTORS.

Training on the Defibrillators was provided by Lainey Volk and Steve Williamson from the San Juan Island EMS. "This gift will undoubtedly help save a life", stated Lainey Volk, "the element of quick response is invaluable".

On behalf of the school district, Michael Soltman said, "We are grateful to the Association of REALTORS and our EMS Services for donating this life-saving equipment and training to our schools. It brings peace of mind and a sense of security to be able to respond effectively in life threatening emergencies. We are fortunate to live in a community where people seek out opportunities to collaborate for the common good of our citizens."


Sunday, March 2nd

Dispatches From The Field

Spain – Trek to Santiago de Compostela, Galicia
ig_sss_08_SPAIN-1 (61k image)
(Kaj Benson, Lucas Peralta, Ashleigh Barnes, Zach Milkis, Sonja Anderson, Evan Anderson, Chelsea DeCouteau, Katie Johnson, Gabe Colburn and Ingrid Carlson)

One group is in Spain, led by SSIS Spanish and English teachers, Adam and Angie Erickson. Students will be trekking throughout Spain and participating in a Spanish language immersion and cultural studies program.

The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, in northwestern Spain that has been followed since the 10th century. There is no official starting point for the pilgrimage, as religious pilgrims from all over Europe would simply depart from wherever they happened to live (Germany, England, Italy, France etc.).

Goethe once stated that “Europe was built on the road to Santiago.” It was here that the citizens of so many nations first shared ideas, technology and language as they walked to the shrine of the Apostle Santiago (James).

Modern pilgrims walk the camino for many purposes aside from the traditionally religious intent: athletic, spiritual and cultural. One of the best things about hiking on the Camino is the chance to experience authentic rural Spanish life in a way that a tourist never could.

Our students will come to understand what it means to be an ambassador for their country, their state and their school, while practicing their Spanish and learning about Spain. They will gain an especially intimate view of Spanish culture as they spend 8 days living with local families and attending a local high school in the town of Astorga, Leon.

This 500-mile trek across northern Spain will not only provide our students with a deep understanding of the country, but, as they overcome the physical and spiritual challenges along the way, they will also come to better know themselves.


Tom Bauschke
John Evans
Mary Kalbert
Ron Keeshan
Gordy Petersen
Bruce Sallan
Terra Tamai
Piet Visser
Amy Wynn
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