TRAILS Outdoor School News

December 4, 2022

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Principal's Message

Dear TRAILS Outdoor School Families,

I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving Break, whatever that looked like for your family. My husband, daughter, and I took a break from our normal traditions with extended family and got away for a couple days. It was the perfect post school move time to sink in together!

We are learning the ins and outs of our new school building. Elliot recently likened it to getting a new multi-purpose- it takes some time to learn everything it can do! We have also found a need to re-establish expectations and create new community agreements and renew some existing ones. We anticipate this will help our entire school community and reduce the influx of student behavior incidences. Any help that you all can provide with reinforcing expectations and good choices is so appreciated.

Some important information in this newsletter and other announcements:

  • New Schedule: Our new schedule will begin on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. M, T, Th, and F: 8:40-3:05. Drop-off: 8:05-8:35; Pick-up: 3:05. W: 8:40-1:50. Drop-off: 8:05-8:35; Pick-up: 1:50.
  • Bussing: As of Tuesday, January 3, 2023 we will begin bussing students to and from school. We may not be able to serve all routes immediately as that requires additional staffing. We are actively hiring in hopes to be able to serve all routes as soon as possible. Reminder: Interested families must complete the survey by 12/5 at noon:
  • Security/Front Doors: We have had a number of people unhappy about the main entry procedures. I hope that you can please treat our team with kindness and respect even if you're frustrated. The entry procedures are important for the safety of our school community. The front doors are open from 8:15-8:20 each morning. After that time, you need to hit the buzzer and look into the camera. A staff member will the buzz you into the vestibule. Hopefully we can address your needs in the vestibule. However, if it's then determined that you need to come into the building, we will buzz you into the second door.
  • Chapped Lips: We've had so many students coming to the office with dry, chapped lips. We encourage you to send kids with chapstick/ointment/lip salve each day and especially this time of year.
  • WinterFaire: Our WinterFaire will be held on Thursday, 12/15 from 5:30-7pm. (More details below)
  • Hot Breakfast: Our amazing Nutrition Services team has been working hard to offer a variety of different breakfast options. Students have been enjoying breakfast burritos, bagels, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, eggs & toast, waffles and more! If your mornings are tight, have your student eat breakfast in the Community Room from 7:45-8:15 each morning. The more participation we have the more options we can offer.
  • Full Time Custodian: For the first time in the history of our school, we have our own full-time custodian! Jeremy Aycock has been the most amazing addition to our team! He is an incredibly hard working person and we couldn't be more grateful to have him on our team.
  • OBOB is Rolling: Oregon Battle of the Books is up and running! Please see all the information below if you have a 3-8 student who is interested in participating or if you have an interest in coaching.
  • Sleepy Kids: It's such a busy time of year! We've noticed that many of our students are arriving to school tired and sluggish with some even falling asleep in classrooms or the office Health Room. Anything you can do to support students getting adequate sleep is appreciated.
  • Candy/Sweets at School: Can you please support us in not sending candy to school? We are finding wrappers everywhere!
  • Library Update: I have found a way for us to transition our library to a bar coded system without the significant expense that we've been struggling with! Our PTC is helping to form a library team that will support this effort. If you are interested in joining (even if it's just for a one day work party) please contact the PTC or Carolina.

We are looking forward to the next two amazingly full weeks before Winter Break. We also hope that you are planning to attend our first all school community WinterFaire in years!

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or celebrations, please do not hesitate to reach out. I spend as much time as possible out in the building in classrooms and with students so the best way to reach me is to call or email Carolina.


Jennifer Parks


Pronouns: she, her, hers

11.7.22 | TRAILS Outdoor School - First Day in New School
TRAILS Ribbon Cutting Ceremony 11-17-22

WinterFaire (Thursday, 12/15 5:30-7pm)

WinterFaire is almost here! While the last few years have been a school day event, we're now transitioning back to an evening event that includes families. We are requesting donations to help ensure the continuation of the magic gift room, one of the most treasured activities of this event!

Gift room donation needs include:

  • Donations of gift wrapping supplies, including: wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, and tape!

Donations for the gift room:

  • Items should be in good used, or new, condition.
  • Please no stuffies or pre-loved blankets due to health issues.
  • These can be items for kids to gift their parent/guardians, siblings, family friends, etc.

How Much Sleep Do Kids Need

5-6 Years Old: 10 - 12 hours per day

Children at this age typically go to bed between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. and wake up around 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., just as they did when they were younger.

7-12 Years Old: 10 - 11 hours per day

At these ages, with social, school, and family activities, bedtimes gradually become later and later. There is still a wide range of bedtimes, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., as well as total sleep times, from 9 to 12 hours, although the average is only about 9 hours. For brains and bodies to properly develop 10-11 hours of sleep are needed.

12-18 Years Old: 8 - 9 hours per day

Sleep needs remain just as vital to health and well-being for teenagers as when they were younger. It turns out that many teenagers actually may need more sleep than in previous years. However, for many teenagers social pressures conspire against getting the proper amount and quality of sleep. 8-9 hours should be the absolute minimum each night.

Erin's Law Lessons

As you may know, Oregon passed Senate Bill 856 ("Erin's Law") that mandates sexual assault prevention education in grades K-12. The elementary schools in the Ashland School District are working with the Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team (JC SART). JC SART is a local organization that provides services to sexual assault survivors and brings prevention education classes into our local schools.

The Prevention Coordinator will be offering a comprehensive K-12 sexual and gender violence curriculum for schools that focuses on prevention, as well as risk reduction methods. The lesson plans are age appropriate and in line with state and national sexual health standards and Erin’s Law recommendations.

The fall lessons this school year for our 3/4 and 4/5 student will be deliveredn their classes, this coming Tuesday between 1-2:50pm.

The K-5 curriculum focuses on personal space, understanding and recognizing a freely given yes, and a reluctant yes- in the perspective of playing a game with their friend, telling/reporting to an adult if someone is getting hurt, empathy, internet safety and peer pressure. They will also focus on good touch/bad touch, body ownership, good secrets/bad secrets, and grooming. The presentations are delivered with sensitivity, in a conversation style.

Please feel free to contact Principal Parks with any questions or concerns.
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OBOB Update from OBOB 3-8 Coordinator Amanda Groover

Hi families,

You are receiving this email because your child has said they are interested in participating in OBOB (Oregon Battle of the Books) this year. If you aren’t familiar, OBOB is a book competition that involves 16 books chosen at the state level. Kids read, compete on a team about book knowledge, and of course have fun.

We will have our first whole group meeting this Monday, December 5th from 3-4pm in the Community Room. Please plan to pick up your child no later than 4pm.

In general, I plan to hold practices Mondays 3-4pm, but coaches who volunteer may need to change that.

At the first meeting, we will:

  • Overview the program
  • View/discuss the books
  • Discuss whether to pick teams now, or wait to see how reading goes
  • Create group community agreements
  • Decide who from middle school will help coach (if you have a middle school student, they may want to do this)

Right now we have 40 students signed up for OBOB- this is great! However, I need help to make this a great OBOB season.

I am still looking for 2-3 more parent/family coaches. If you are able to commit to this time and would like to help, it is very easy and a lot of fun!

Coaching involves:

  • Coming to practices once a week
  • Giving kids questions and quizzes (provided to you)
  • Fun activities with kids (last year we tie-dyed our own OBOB shirts)
  • If necessary, traveling to regional/state competitions
  • I promise you will LOVE it! And it will really mean a lot to the kids

Other information to know:

  • We have ALL of the OBOB books at TRAILS and I’ve created a clipboard checkout system for students to borrow books as needed
  • Students CAN listen to the books in audio version
  • Books are also available for purchase at Treehouse Books in Ashland, or to borrow from the library and many digital libraries such as Hoopla and Libby
  • You can find a list of each book’s description and lexile level on the website below (your child’s teacher can tell you their lexile level)

If you’d like to learn more about OBOB, the books for this year, and lots more, check out the official OBOB website here:

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to help (or coach!) in any way. Please remind your child about practice on Monday. See you then, and reach out anytime!

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When Should I Keep My Child Home?

We've had a noticeable uptick in illnesses at school. Please follow the guidance below to help keep other children and staff well.

Keep your child home if:

  • They have a Fever of 100.4 or > - Your child MAY RETURN AFTER they have been fever- free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication and per COVID-19 Guidelines.
  • They have vomited -Your child MAY RETURN 48 hours after the last episode without the use of medication.
  • They have had diarrhea - (with or without fever)-Your child MAY RETURN 48 hours after the last episode without the use of medication.
  • Brown/green drainage from nose that the student can’t contain/control- Your child MAY return when symptoms resolve or drainage is clear and student is able to self-manage drainage.
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath- Your child MAY RETURN AFTER symptoms improving for 24 hours AND per COVID-19 Guidelines. (This symptom is likely to require immediate medical attention)
  • Persistent Cough that is not yet diagnosed and cleared by a licensed healthcare provider or any acute cough illness that is frequent or severe enough to interfere with participation in usual school activities-Your child MAY RETURN AFTER symptoms improving after 24 hours (no cough or cough is well- controlled) AND per COVID-19 Guidelines.
  • New Loss of taste or smell-MAY RETURN per COVID-19 Guidelines.
  • Strep Throat- Your child MAY RETURN after taking antibiotics for 24 hours.
  • Symptoms or complaints that prevent them from participating in their usual school activities, such as a persistent cough, discomfort or fatigue with or without presence of fever. Your child MAY RETURN when symptoms resolve or seen and cleared by a licensed healthcare provider.

Middle School Update from Jim and Jessica

Hello TRAILS middle school families,

We have some excited updates to share with you all and thought a quick email would do the trick to communicate this information. As always, please reference our latest newsletter for reminders and additional information.

  1. Mt. Ashland Ski Day- Our Mt. Ashland ski day is fast approaching. We will be going to Mt. Ashland the first week back from winter break.
    1. We will be sending students home with a packet of paperwork on Monday. We’ll survey students this week to get a sense of gear/lesson needs, but the rest of the forms are for families to fill out. We will need these completed forms back by Monday, December 12th.

  2. Outdoor Ed this Friday- Our plan is to spend the day in the high elevation wilderness! This means snow and cold temperatures.
    1. It is essential that students come prepared with proper outdoor clothing and gear to keep themselves warm, comfortable, and safe. This will be our first day really getting into winter weather, so planning ahead will make the experience enjoyable for all.
    2. This means wearing a warm coat, hat, gloves, waterproof boots, and lots of layers. *If students do not come to school with proper attire, they will not be allowed to attend our trip and will remain at school with other activities planned.

  3. Winter Solstice Celebration- Our Solstice Celebration is on Friday, December 16th at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland.
    1. We need donations of small votive candles in cups or holders for our ceremony. Please give any candles to be donated to your student to bring in to school in the morning.
    2. We need help hauling evergreen boughs down from Earth Teach to Temple Emek Shalom. We will be going up to Earth Teach on Friday, the 9th to collect boughs. We need a parent with a truck to transport the boughs down from Earth Teach on the 9th. We would meet at Earth Teach at 12pm to load up boughs, then again at Emek Shalom at 2:15pm to have students unload them. Please reach out as soon as possible if you are interested in help with this.
    3. A big Thank You goes out to Sarah Kuhn and Liz Galicia for offering to clean up boughs after the celebration! We appreciate your help!
    4. Parents are invited to attend the Solstice Celebration on the 16th but will need to be cleared as a volunteer.

  4. Winter Faire- Our annual Winter Faire will take place on Thursday, December 15th from 5-7:30pm.
    1. We are taking donations of unwanted, but still functional items for our re-gifting room. Now’s your chance to clean out those closets and pass on items that will brighten someone else’s holiday!
    2. We also need donations of gift-wrapping supplies – wrapping paper, tape, ribbon, gift bags or gift boxes. Please drop these off with your student in the morning or at the front desk with Carolina.
    3. Lastly, we would love help from any parents who would like to organize and/or lead a craft with our middle school students to create items to sell during our Winter Faire market. We’re open to ideas and donations of materials.

We are really looking forward to all these exciting events, and we appreciate your help in making them successful and memorable. Please reach out if you have any questions at all.

Thank you,

Jim and Jessica

PTC Corner

Gear Swap Success

Thank you to everyone who donated to and participated in the Gear Swap. We had a lot of gear, from rain pants to ski boots to down jackets to backpacks and snazzy leggings, with so much of it redistributed within our community. With the gear left over we were able to shore up the TRAILS gear closet, start a TRAILS account at Get 'n Gear, and donate to the high school's clothing drive for the unhoused. Big thanks to organizers Cathy Berger, Jane Prine, and Christian Gold-Stagg. If you have gear you no longer need consider posting a picture on the school's community page on Facebook. Happy trails!
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PTC Meeting Schedule

PTC Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every month from 5:30-7pm. Meetings will be held on campus in our new Community Room with dinner and childcare provided. Be sure to get these upcoming dates on your calendar!

  • No Meeting in December
  • Tuesday, January 17th
  • Tuesday, February 21st
  • Tuesday, March 21st
  • Tuesday, April 18th
  • Tuesday, May 16th
  • Tuesday, June 20th

Ping Pong Table Addition to Campus

Thanks to our amazing PTC, we now have a ping pong table for students to enjoy at recess! Thank you, Parent Teacher Collective!
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Volunteer Registration Form

Please complete and return to Carolina as soon as possible.

Community Resources and Opportunities

AMS Theater Presents "The Addams Family"

  • December 8th @ 7PM - Opening Night
  • December 9th @ 7PM
  • December 10th @ 3PM - Understudy Matinee
  • December 10th @ 7PM - Closing Night

Middle School Sports (available to AMS, WW, and TRAILS)

Upcoming Middle School Sports:

  • Wrestling & Girls Basketball (January 3rd)
  • Track & Field (February 27th)

Students must be registered on FamilyID, and have a current sports physical on file.

Ashland School District Monday Night Series for Middle School Families

6pm-7:30pm, Presentation from 6pm-7pm

In the AMS Library (Located Next to the TRAILS Campus)

Snacks and Childcare Provided


  • January 23rd: Tech Values
  • February 27th: ADHD and the Middle School Years
  • March 20th: Peer Relations and Friendships
  • April 24th: Transition to High School
  • May 22nd: Teen Drug and Alcohol Use

Rogue Reindeer Run

Run Like a Reindeer!

A portion of the proceeds will support the Ashland Middle School Cross Country Team.

Celebrate the holiday season with a dash along the Bear Creek Greenway in the Talent area. Distances include the Dasher 1-Mile, Reindeer Run 5K, and Reindeer Run 10k. All courses are out-and-back starting and finishing at Wrangler's Arena (off of Pacific Hwy., in between Ashland and Talent.

When & Where:

Saturday, December 17, 2022
Bear Creek Greenway (Wrangler's Arena Trailhead)
Pacific Hwy, Ashland, Oregon

Register Now

10K Starts at 9:00 am
5K Starts at 9:15 am
1-Mile Starts at 9:30 am

Aerial Arts Winter Break Camp

All Levels Winter Break Camp - Register Now

Monday - Thursday
December 19-22
all levels (beginners truly welcome!) ages 6-12

We are also running our first Adaptive Aerial Camp for youth experiencing disabilities that might limit their ability to participate in our all levels camps! This will be a beta test for staff and volunteers to find out what will be the MOST fun skills for our students.

Adaptive Aerial Winter Break Camp Beta Test
Monday - Wednesday
December 19-22
Sliding scale $0-120
Ages 8+

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.

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.

Come to the S.W.A.M.P!

ScienceWorks Afterschool Maker Program - Flyer

Every Wednesday that school is in session! 1:30 - 5 PM

Ages 10-14

Make projects centered around learning new tools like drones, 3D printers, laser cutters, power tools, and more. Our child-led program encourages the exploration of new hobbies, as well as creative problem-solving.

Members: $90 Per Day

Non-Members: $110 Per Day

For more information visit their website.

Elks Essay Contest "What is your American Dream?"

The Elks national organization is holding their annual 300-word essay contest with 5th-8th graders on "What is your American Dream". Each grade division has a 1st place prize of $1,000, a 2nd place prize of $500 and 3rd place prize of $250. The aim is to encourage 10-13 year old students to thoughtfully consider the benefits and responsibilities of being an American citizen.

Entry Deadline: December 15, 2022

Contest Forms

Parenting Workshops

The Family Connection

Free Event on Zoom


December 19th - Self-Care and Boundaries

OHP Health Coverage

Health coverage for you and your family.

Marketplace: Open enrollment Nov. 1 - Jan. 15

OHP: You may apply at any time

Learn More

Flyer in English and Spanish

8-Week Teen Circle

Connect • Be Yourself • Have Fun

Dec. 5th-Feb. 28th

7th & 8th Grade

Tuesdays 4-6 PM

Hidden Springs Wellness Center


Circles Include:

  • Council Format
  • Social-Emotional Skill Building
  • Games
  • Fun Activities
  • Snacks
  • A Safe, Inclusive Space

Upcoming Important Dates and Events

December 15: WinterFaire (5:30-7pm; All School Community Welcome)

December 19-January 2: Winter Break (No School)

January 2: New Years Day Observed (No School)

January 3: Return to School after Winter Break (New Schedule: Our new schedule M, T, Th, and F: 8:40-3:05. Drop-off: 8:05-8:35; Pick-up: 3:05. W: 8:40-1:50. Drop-off: 8:05-8:35; Pick-up: 1:50.)

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.