TRAILS Outdoor School News

August 15, 2022

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Principal's Message

Dear TRAILS Outdoor School Families,

It's hard to believe that the first day of school is less than two weeks away! If you are new to the TRAILS community... welcome! I look forward to meeting you and getting to know your family. For those of you that are returning, I took my own advice and let my "duck run amok" this summer. My family spent the most time outdoors together that we have in years and it was incredible! I returned to school refreshed and ready for the phenomenal year to come.

Some important information in this newsletter:

  • We will start school (K-8) on Wednesday, 8/31 on the Lincoln campus. Our newly rebuilt site is slated for an 10/21/22 completion.
  • As always, on the first day of school dismissal is at 12:30pm.
  • There will be a PTC Picnic at 12:30 on the first day of school on the Lincoln Lawn. All students and families are welcome!
  • Class lists will be posted on the Lincoln main entrance doors on Friday, 8/26 at 4pm.
  • We have a new Office Manager, Carolina Walling (pronounced like South Carolina, where she's originally from).
  • For the first time since the global pandemic began, we will have our Rite of Passage River Crossing at Touvelle on Friday, September 2nd. All families are welcome! We will transport students to and from the river by bus, leaving at 9:00am and returning at 2:15. Times for families to join us at Touvelle to come soon.

More details about pick-up, drop-off, and class lists will come closer to the the beginning of school. Please enjoy your last bits of Summer Break and do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.


Jennifer Parks


Pronouns: she, her, hers

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Class Configuration 2022-23

K/1: JoEllen Meyeroff

1/2: Randi Nash

3/4: Charlie Henry

4/5: Nasser Rihan

6/7/8: Jim Bowers

6/7/8: Marcia Ososke

Note: Class lists will be posted on Friday, 8/26 at 4pm at the Lincoln campus main entrance.

Math by Grade

This year math will once again be taught by grade level. This provides smaller class sizes, increased opportunities for differentiation, and enhances our blended grade model. Our Math Specialist works with each teaching team and teaches core math to three different grade levels and identifies enrichment opportunities throughout the grades. This year we will also have additional math intervention support provided by Patrick McCullagh.

  • Kindergarten: JoEllen Meyeroff
  • First Grade: Randi Nash
  • Second Grade: David Wasserman
  • Third Grade: Charlie Henry
  • Fourth Grade: Nasser Rihan
  • Fifth Grade: David Wasserman
  • Sixth Grade: Jim Bowers
  • Seventh Grade: Marcia Ososke
  • Eighth Grade: David Wasserman

New to the TRAILS Team

Please join me in welcoming:

  • Carolina Walling, Office Manager
  • Charlie Henry, 3/4 Teacher
  • Angela Johnson, PE Teacher
  • Patrick McCullagh, Special Education Teacher and Math Intervention Specialist
  • Jennifer Roberson, Speech Language Pathologist
  • Arlene Saum, School Psychologist (to join Nora Knox, the School Psychologist who joined us last year)
  • Jennifer Pelzer, Special Education Support

Carolina Walling, Office Manager

Born and raised in a small town outside of Charleston, SC. Moved to California in 2008 and spent the last 14 years working in a variety of hospitals as an ER Tech and CNA while completing pre-requisites for PA school. After working the pandemic in the hospitals I decided I needed a change and switched gears in school and decided to find a position that would allow me to continue serving the community. My husband and I visited Ashland during our honeymoon, fell in love with the valley, and signed a lease before leaving. We just moved here. We are very focused on my son who is a senior in high school. We love the outdoors, hiking, collecting comic books, cooking, time with friends & family, and spoiling our Labrador retriever MJ. I also make jewelry and sell at craft shows on the weekend. My first will be at Ani-Medford in October. One of the reasons I am excited about starting at TRAILS is the small close-knit school that it is and it’s focus on building a relationship with the outdoors at an early age.

PTC Corner

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Where did your duck go?

Principal Parks had a firm request for the summer for our TRAILS team. She’s insisting that we let our ducks run amok. And… we did! Here are just a few of the many adventures. How many of you joined us?

Middle School Message from Jim and Marcia

Dear parents of sixth, seventh and eighth graders,

As you know, this school year JMOS is embracing a shifted model for our middle school-aged students. Marcia and Jim will each have a “homeroom” that is a mixture of sixth, seventh and eighth graders. This model will be a combination of our self-contained classrooms and a traditional middle-school configuration. Marcia, Jim, and David Wasserman, our Math Specialist, will each teach one grade level of math. The two classes will be intermixed in different groupings for other content areas. This model will offer:

  • A broader “middle school experience” for our approximately 55 students
  • The ability to differentiate instruction for all students in a variety of configurations throughout the day and year
  • A mirrored schedule for both classes, offering flexible groupings in Music, P.E., and throughout all content areas.
  • The ability to dive deep into the district’s newly-adopted social studies curriculum.
  • An age-appropriate separation from youngers in the school at times while still offering the benefits of learning in a K-8 environment. Both classes will be in the “upper-grades wing” of our new site.
  • A team-teaching approach with two teachers who have both taught multi-aged blends and who’ve worked well together for eleven years to make the middle school experience for TRAILS students fulfilling.
  • Flexibility to differentiate outdoor education experiences for students, honoring grade levels with age-appropriate opportunities.
  • Increased opportunities for leadership

We have a really exciting schedule of outdoor education experiences lined up that will challenge your child, deepen their connection to the natural world, and strengthen their bonds with one another. Marcia and Jim love the outdoors and can’t wait to share that love with your middle school kids. Outdoor Education calendars will be out soon and we hope parents are able to block out a few important dates and join us!

  • Fall Backpacking Trip: September 22nd to 23rd – Pacific Crest Trail
  • Annual Unit Studies Trip: October 11th to 14th – Redwoods National Park and Oregon Coast (this trip requires parent involvement)
  • EarthTeach Upper Grades Parent Day: To Be Announced

Community Resources and Opportunities

Access Free Mobile Market

At GracePoint Church of the Nazarene

1760 E Main St, Ashland

2nd & 4th Wednesdays of the month.

2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

See below for more information.

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Families in Need

The Ashland Emergency Food Bank, located at 560 Clover Lane is ready to serve you for free regarding any supplemental nutrition needs you may have. They take pride in offering a vast pantry with a plethora of nutritional options as well as shelf-stable necessities for anyone in your family. Additionally, they also supply fresh organic produce from local farmers daily in their generously packed food boxes, which families can get up two twice a month. Stop by Monday through Friday 9:30 am -12:30 pm or or email them on their website at www.

Also, if transportation is an issue, they offer home delivery services to clients. Please reach out. They can’t wait to be of assistance to you!

The various programs offered in this email newsletter are distributed to Ashland School District students as a courtesy to families per board policy. Ashland School District does not endorse or sponsor community activities including any described in this newsletter. If you have questions regarding this policy, please contact our principal, Jennifer Parks.
TRAILS Bond Update

The TRAILS roadside monument has been installed clearly identifying the campus. The signage is cunningly designed to capture the outdoor school theme with style to last. Completion: October 21, 2022

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John Muir Outdoor School

Upcoming Important Dates and Events

August 31: First Day of 2022-23 School Year (All Students: K-8; 12:30 Dismissal)

August 31: PTC Picnic (All Students and Families Welcome; 12:30-2pm)

September 2: Touvelle River Crossing (K-8; Families Welcome)

September 5: Labor Day (No School)

September 15: Back to School Night (5:30-7pm)

October 7: Inservice Day (No School for Students)

October 10: Indigenous People's Day (No School for Students)

October 21: Estimated Site Completion Date

School-wide Unit of Study: Ecosystems (September-Thanksgiving Break)

Approved District Calendar for 2022-2023

TRAILS Outdoor School

  • Trust
  • Respect
  • Awareness
  • Interdependency
  • Leadership
  • Stewardship

TRAILS: Inspiring our students to deepen their connection with the Earth through integrity, the arts, stewardship, and authentic learning experiences.

At TRAILS Outdoor School, we value the outdoors, the arts, collaboration, responsibility, and kindness. We guide students to become resilient, independent learners who give back to their community.