PTSA Involvement

There are many different ways that families are involved at Cascade Community School and work together to support our school. Below are just a few examples.

Classroom Volunteers

One of the most important ways family members support CK8 is by volunteering in the classroom. Teachers welcome parent support, and having parents in the classroom allows the teachers to provide opportunities for the students that wouldn’t be possible without this support. Parent volunteers are also essential for the many field trips and excursions that are part of the CK8 learning experience.

Electives

Each trimester, the students at CK8 have the opportunity to engage in an electives class. Many of these elective classes are taught by parents, and include all different kinds of subjects such as knitting, yoga, outdoor games, board games, drama, photography, orienteering, animation, engineering with LEGOs, etc.

Fall Camp

This is an Overnight trip for the WHOLE SCHOOL! Camps are a strong tradition at Cascade! We kick off the year with a two-day experience for outdoor school and community building. Students (and family members who attend camp) sleep in cabins, go to nature classes, take hikes and sculpt clay from the riverbanks. While the school staff are responsible for the curriculum during the camp, parent volunteers help with many aspects of camp, such as cooking, monitoring the campfire, leading free choice activities, and helping with the evening talent show.

Spring Camp

This is like Fall Camp but much more involved. Students and parents look forward to Spring Camp every year. Unlike Fall Camp, we split into smaller groups for Spring Camp. Grades K-5 go together to one location, grades 6&7 camp at another location, and grade 8 heads out for a special outdoor education experience to wrap up their years at Cascade Community School. Spring Camp is a 4-day excursion, and in many ways serves as the culmination of all of the year’s experiences.

Bike-A-Thon

Our student leadership group, the Associated Student Body (ASB), hosts Bike-A-Thon each year to raise money for our exciting programs and activities. Each student chooses a distance to ride for the Bike-a-Thon (they chose from 3 mi, 6mi, 11mi, 15mi or 21mi), and then asks friends, relatives, and parents to sponsor their efforts. This is one of our oldest and largest fundraising traditions, and it is quite a sight to see our entire student body biking together (rain or shine)! While the event is organized and hosted by the ASB, the parent group provides hundreds of hours of volunteer time, cookies for the lunch break, and lots of moral support!

Bike Rodeo

A few days before Bike-a-Thon, we have our Bike Rodeo, during which students are assessed to ensure safety and success on the Bike-A-Thon trails. Helmets and bikes are checked for proper fit, speed is measured to ensure the distances are attainable, and safety rules are reviewed for use on the trails.

Science Fair

Science Fair is an educational evening event which showcases creative, in-depth science projects done by students. All grade levels participate in the science fair, and every student has something on display. This is a wonderful night for families and community members to see what students have been learning in Math and Sciences.

Math and Engineering Night

Math and Engineering Night is a fun opportunity for students and families to engage in hands-on activities related to engineering. Experiments, math games and other activities are set up in the classrooms. There are activities that are appropriate for students of all ages. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn – and have FUN!

Jazz Band

Fifth and sixth grade students at CK8 are invited to join the Meridian Park Band; the Cascade K-8 Jazz Band was is for the Journey students (6th, 7th, and 8th). This not only gives our students a chance to play in a band, but also to play in a small Jazz combo and to get some personalized attention. But the Cascade K-8 Jazz Band isn’t just for older students – students from 4th and 5th grade are welcome to try out for it, too. All they need to do is show that they know a little bit about their instrument by playing a couple things for our wonderful Band Director, David George, who keeps these tryouts friendly, short, and low-key. The band regularly performs at Cascade community functions such as Art Fest and the Moving On ceremony.

ArtFest

There are two opportunities each year to celebrate the extraordinary art pieces and projects produced by our students. On a Saturday, parents and students are invited to the school cafeteria to see the art, hear the band, and watch any other student performances that have been put together. This is a wonderful community time with the chance for students and parents to visit with each other and celebrate the artistic accomplishments of our students.

Reflections

This is a program sponsored by Washington State PTA for students to create personal art entries based on a yearly theme. The entries are judged against other same-aged student entries across the district, region and even the State Level. Many different mediums are available for student expression including drawing, painting, sculpting, song writing, etc. All Cascade Community School students have an opportunity to make an art piece regardless of whether they want to submit their piece for judging. Each of our students is encouraged to participate for the purpose of enjoying art. The competition is a secondary component.

Market Day/ Government Day

Market Day is a chance for students to participate in a Token Based Economy (No real money is used). Market Day happens 3-4 times per year. On Market Day, students are given the opportunity to run their own business for about 1.5 hours- but, there is much to do before the buying and selling begins. Students must make a Market Day proposal to bring something to sell that they have from home or have made (no soda or store bought candy), or to sell a service (e.g., fingernail painting, gift wrapping, etc.). If the proposal is approved, the students then get a business license and rent a table. On the “big day” the students bring their “wares” or talents to school and offer them for sale. Students are given an amount of Token Money at the beginning of the year to get them started. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend. All parents in attendance are also given Token Money in order to help keep the economy thriving. During the last month of school the parents get a turn to be the vendors, and the students get to be just consumers. This is Government Day. Students get to spend all the money they have saved from previous Market Days on the wares and talents offered by the parents!

Family Gatherings

Throughout the year, family gatherings such as Cosmic Bowling, roller skating, and beach picnics are organized by parent volunteers. These are wonderful opportunities for families to gather together and HAVE SOME FUN!

Back To School Picnic

The school hosts an annual gathering the week before school starts. The PTSA helps by coordinating a potluck, and having classroom liaisons and other PTSA officers present to help answer questions. Parents gather by classes with Parent Liaisons and classroom teachers to learn about volunteer opportunities and general information about what to expect.

Staff Appreciation

In addition to year-round thank you notes and apples for the teacher, two weeks are set aside each year to acknowledge the hard work done by the employees of our school: one week for the teachers and one week for the support staff. A parent volunteer is assigned to coordinate the efforts of the parents and students in providing lunch, bringing flowers, serving treats, etc. It’s a small way to let the staff know how much we appreciate their hard work and dedication!

After-School Programs

Periodically, after-school programs are made available to Cascade students. One example is our after-school LEGO® engineering program in which students built cities, bridges, and motorized cars/planes and explored the many creative possibilities of engineering with the LEGO® system. Students learned with the support of an experienced Play-Well Engineering instructor to guide them. Another example is the Boeing Engineering Class, offered to students in grades 4-8. Volunteers from the Boeing Company teach students engineering concepts through a variety of hands-on activities. Students have so much fun they hardly realize they are learning about engineering!

Community Business Meeting

This is the monthly business meeting for the PTSA, and members of the PTSA Representative Body (RepBod) are required to attend. All members of the Cascade community are welcome to attend if interested and can offer input on topics discussed, but only RepBod members can vote on decisions that are made at the business meetings.

Community Gathering Meetings

Community Gathering Meetings are designed for all Cascade Community School parents. Meeting topics include information about upcoming events, teacher classroom reports, finance and fundraising updates, celebrations of our accomplishments, brainstorming new ideas, and much more. It is a great time to get to know other families in the community.