Peninsula schools back in session starting this week

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

North Olympic Peninsula schools’ floors are shined, whiteboards wiped clean and textbooks stacked, ready for classes to begin this week in the start of the 2014-15 school year.

In Clallam County, Port Angeles and Crescent schools will open their doors to students Tuesday followed by Sequim schools Wednesday and Quillayute Valley and Cape Flattery schools Thursday.

In Jefferson County, Port Townsend and Chimacum schools will open for classes Tuesday, followed by Quilcene and Brinnon schools Wednesday.

Prekindergarten and kindergarten classes are scheduled for later starts in most schools.

New student enrollment will be available for students in all school offices.

The new school year will bring changes to many schools.

Common Core

All schools will enter their first year of mandated Common Core standards testing, capped in spring 2015 with a new exam for students in the third through eighth grades and the 11th grade — the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

In Port Angeles, a new elementary school highly capable program called “The Ridge” will open at Roosevelt Elementary School.

Highly capable students are defined as “those who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences or environments.”

The Ridge, a self-contained “school within a school” located in a wing on the elementary school campus, has attracted students from all elementary schools and will open with three classrooms and around 60 children who qualified for the program and elected to move from their previous schools.

New Forks schools

Forks seventh- and eighth-grade students will attend a newly created school — Forks Junior High School — in the former Annex building, while fourth- and fifth-grade students will move from Forks Elementary to the former middle school, now Forks Intermediate School.

A new drop-off zone has been created for the intermediate school, a playground installed and a computer lab added to the school.

Even preschool students in Forks will have a new experience, as the half-day pre-kindergarten program has moved into the elementary school and will become a full-day program.

New mascot

Port Townsend High School students will wear the new mascot, the Redhawks, for the first time since the Port Townsend School Board voted to eliminate the Redskins mascot and students chose the new symbol.

Redhawks gear will be on sale at the school, and the high school’s gym floor has been repainted with the mascot’s image.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: August 31. 2014 8:52PM
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