High School Programs
- Freshman Success
- Literacy Camp
- One Week Leaders (OWLS)
- WELS (Waskowitz Environmental Leadership Service)
Waskowitz offers quality experiential education to students as they transition into high school. These programs help students prepare for their educational journeys, as well as develop relationships with their classmates and teachers. The program focuses on building community within each advisory class, helping to create a supportive school climate. Programs are designed around the following:
- The district promise to know every student by name, strength and need
- Natural classroom management
- Peer mentor training opportunities
- Establishment of a positive school climate
- Developing a common mindset of excellence and ethics
What is unique about residential programming at Waskowitz?
Residential programming allows participants to work, eat and live with one another for a period of time. This type of programming is very beneficial to creating a strong, safe and positive community.
The Waskowitz experience honors a Highline Public Schools tradition that is 70 years strong! Staff are invested to Highline and understand the district's strategic goals.
What is Literacy Camp?
Literacy Camp is designed to provide students in 9th or 10th grade the opportunity to earn 0.5 credit in Language Arts or social studies. It is held at Waskowitz over three weekends (nine days total). Lit Camp is a highly engaging residential program. Curriculum design allows students to set goals, develop positive peer support, understand themselves as learners and obtain literacy skills for school and the workplace.
What do I do at Literacy Camp?
Activities at Lit Camp vary based on students. Basic activities include:
- Group/individual reading and completion of instructor-selected novel.
- Journal writing and reflections.
- Homework assignments in addition to the work assigned at school.
- Group project, including poster design, essay and presentation.
- Team-building challenges and activities.
- Personal slam poetry piece, written and performed.
What will I learn through Literacy Camp?
As a Lit Camp student, it is your role to:
- Grow as a learner by reflecting upon your academic work and seeking feedback.
- Gain a clearer academic understanding of your strengths and areas for improvement.
- Retain new and personal productive ways to learn.
- Develop skills to become a stronger student and community member.
Literacy Camp Logistics
In this intensive weekend course, students will explore a topic related to social studies or social justice through reading, discussion, debate and research. Students will keep a writer’s journal and will write papers that demonstrate their depth of understanding about the topic and their ability to communicate to a variety of audiences about the topic. The course will culminate in a poetry slam/open mic experience where students present their topic to other students and staff.
Students travel by bus from their high school to Waskowitz in North Bend, where they stay overnight for each of the program weekends, returning to their high school on Sunday. This course is free for students and includes all meals.
Students will earn a 0.5 credit in Language Arts or social studies if they attend all three weekends and complete the coursework during the weekends.
The OWL program allows high school students the chance to spend a week at Outdoor School working with 5th/6th grade students, their teachers, and Waskowitz staff. During this week, they act as a cabin counselor, teacher's assistant, hike leader, table leader, and an overall role model. Interest in building community and environmental stewardship is a must for this leadership position. Leading games, hikes, songs, and skits help to build a sense of community and are often the most memorable experiences for the 5th/6th grade students.
This week is great fun, but it is also an intensive, professional learning experience and can be life-changing when leaders put forth energy, enthusiasm, a positive attitude, compassion, and hard work.
High school leaders must get permission from their teachers to be excused from class. Two leadership training weekends are offered during the year: one in late September and one in March. Students who complete the mandatory weekend training and their week of Outdoor School may receive credit for community service and a 0.5 general elective credit from their home high school if their school is a part of Highline Public Schools.
Printable COVID Testing Consent Forms
In the midst of a climate crisis and following a global pandemic, the Waskowitz Environmental Leadership Service (WELS) program aims to prepare its students with the tools necessary to become stewards of our Earth, to feel empowered to take action on environmental issues, and to speak out about environmental injustices. Education is power and our students will support and guide their community, especially the young students, in building scientific literacy.
WELS is different than traditional education.
All of our students get an opportunity to learn and practice teaching skills in a variety of situations throughout the program.
We believe that all our students are capable of being leaders -- with younger elementary students, with their own peers, and within their communities. We spend a great deal of time exploring what it means to be a leader as well as practical opportunities to try out new leadership skills.
During an outdoor adventure, nature provides real-life situations with immediate feedback that require the use of communication, self-evaluation, and creative problem-solving.
Project based Learning
Project Based Learning is a curriculum and structure designed to engage students in authentic and relevant problem-based projects. Projects are student-centered, meet rigorous academic standards, are interdisciplinary, and provide students with opportunities to build 21st century skills. Community partnerships are an essential piece of these projects to motivate change. Some of these partners include Waskowitz, Mountains to Sound Greenway, YMCA, Earth gen, Pacific Education Institute, etc.
Hands-on, Minds-on Learning
Much of our curriculum is taught experientially--learning through experience--and thereby serves most intelligence and learning styles.
In the real world, life is not divided into math, science, or English. We recognize this, and we use a scientific lens while incorporating multiple subjects at once in authentic learning opportunities.
Our community is not limited to the people around us. Our community includes the plants, animals, land, air, and water. Throughout our programs, we remain sensitive to how our decisions impact everything around us.