Mosier prepares to open charter school

Mosier community members have created the first Charter School in the Gorge. The board of directors and Administration leader Carole Schmidt, hope to create one of the best primary learning centers in the Gorge, according to Schmidt.

The school charges no tuition and the present enrollment has a low teacher-student ratio. As of Thursday, enrollment was at 88, slightly larger than the spring 2003 figure.

Enrollment continues weekdays, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the school through Aug. 27. For more information please contact Tami Berthold at the school, 478-3321.

Schmidt said the Mosier school board, administrators and teachers have decided to select the following priorities for their new school: a multi-age learning environment to allow children to flex their various skill levels and incorporate themes across a broad spectrum of subjects, to focus on core subjects in the morning hours and an afternoon emphasis on Spanish, science, music, art and computers.

Volunteers will provide more one-on-one time with students and offer a Spanish immersion pre-school and enrichment kindergarten.

Volunteers are needed and encouraged. Please call if you are interested in helping with: reading, science, art, music, Spanish, physical education or a mini course on just about anything.

Charter School legislation allows for special nonsectarian public schools of choice that operate with freedom from many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools. The “charter” is a performance document contract detailing the school’s mission, program, goals, students served, methods of assessment, and ways to measure success, according to Schmidt.

She said the length of time for which charters are granted varies, but most are granted for 3-5 years. At the end of the term, the Chenowith school board, which grants the charter, may renew the school’s contract. Charter schools are accountable to their sponsor — usually local school board — to produce positive academic results and adhere to the charter contract. The basic concept of charter schools is that they exercise increased autonomy in return for this accountability. They are accountable for both academic results and fiscal practices to several groups: the sponsor that grants them, the parents who choose them, and the public that funds them.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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