Oroville students take AVID field trip to Seattle

Jennifer Cisneros sworn in as new student rep

“It’s for a very substantial amount as they hope to hire a full time person to try and get drugs out of kids’ hands.” Supt. Steve Quick, Oroville School District

OROVILLE – Jennifer Cisneros has been sworn in as the new student representative to the Oroville School Board. Cisneros, who will hold an advisory, non-voting position, took the oath at the board’s Monday, March 28 meeting.

The first order of business at the meeting was “Good News and Announcements” and Superintendent Steve Quick discussed the grant application being made by the Oroville CARES coalition.

“It’s for a very substantial amount as they hope to hire a full time person to try and get drugs out of kids’ hands,” said Supt. Quick, adding that the coalition partners with law enforcement and schools to try and accomplish this goal.

CARES is an acronym for Community Advocates Responding w/Effective Strategies. The group is working on creating strategies to prevent substance abuse in the community’s youth.

Quick said they hope to know the results of the grant submission by next August or September.

Oroville Elementary Principal Joan Hoehn commented on the fact that Leo Chen, a sixth grader, will be going to Washington, D.C. to compete in the National Spelling Bee, a competition for kids in the fourth through eighth grades.

“He won the regional spelling bee in Wenatchee and now he is going to nationals. He has been second at regionals two times before,” said Hoehn. “His trip and that of a parent is paid for by the Washington Apple Foundation for five days at the end of May. We are very proud of him.”

Anne Marie Ricevuto voiced her concern that some of the trees that were planted to replace ones cut down along Main Street at the elementary school might be ornamental Bradford pear trees. During the public comment period of the meeting she said many schools had made the mistake planting them and that they did not self-pollinate and often crossed with other trees, making them become barren. She also said they have a tendency to break in the wind and have only a 20 year lifespan, as well as sharp thorns.

“We might want to pull those babies out, especially as they might have a negative affect on the commercial pear industry in our community,” said Ricevuto.

Principal Hoehn said no Bradford pear trees had been planted, stating the district planted two old glory maples, some aspens and plums.

Ricevuto asked if she could double check.

“We will check on it and check the invoice, maybe we got something we didn’t want,” said Hoehn.

High school teacher Ed Booker had a presentation on the AVID field trip to Seattle which was funded by the GearUp program. The group of students went to the University of Washington and toured the campus.

“I think we do a great job of taking kids and exposing them to the university, but they were really exposed to the university experiences on this trip. They also toured the Museum of Flight, went to iFly to do some indoor skydiving, had a meal at the Space Needle restaurant and went to Pikes Place Market.

“At the Museum of Flight they got to go on the flight simulator for the space shuttle,” said Booker.

The teacher had an interesting slideshow and videos of the indoor skydiving, including students learning how to use their bodies to increase flight and maneuver. The indoor skydiving uses a vertical wind tunnel, with fans at the top that work to simulate skydiving. The students also calculated how much wind flow would be required for lift based on their weight, he said.

“Several of the kids said they didn’t want to do iFly, but we made sure everyone had their paperwork signed so they could fly if they wanted to. Everyone did fly, they flew twice, they did a low fly and a high fly (30 feet),” he said.

AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination and is a college readiness program designed to help students develop the skills they need to be successful in college. The program places special emphasis on growing writing, critical thinking, teamwork, organization and reading skills.

“All wrote papers after we got back. Ms. Miller said she wanted five paragraphs and we got two or three pages. As a teacher this was probably the most rewarding field trip I’ve ever made,” said Booker, expressing his thanks to the GearUp program and the Oroville-Tonasket Masonic Lodge for their financial support, the Oroville School District, the school board and Dawn Miller of the Gear Up Program, as well as Alex Egerton McGarvin.

Booker also talked about the four University of Washington students who came and worked with his science classes over the UW students’ spring break. The classes focused on the environmental sciences and while here they did analysis of water in the Similkameen River near the high school, taking samples and measuring stream flows.

“They found areas that were very healthy and indications in areas that were not as healthy,” said Booker.

Booker added that the UW students, most not heading in the direction of the teaching field, “enjoyed it, but it was kind of an eye opener for them.”

Elementary school teacher Ila Hall reported on the GLAD training she did in February. GLAD stands for Guided Language Acquisition Design and it is important because the Oroville School District has many students where English is their second language, according to Hall.

“ESL students don’t always learn the same way as those where English is their first language,” said Hall. GLAD also helps students who are behind to catch up, even when English is their first language.”

She said that she already used many of the techniques in her classroom, but GLAD has helped her modify some.

“Test scores have increased, I’m absolutely astounded by that. We took a Language Arts test and everyone got an A. The only difference was GLAD.” she said.