School Blog & News

School Blog and News

Posts Tagged "green_campus"

A Summer Challenge from the Head of School: Go out and play!

June 07, 2018
By Barrie Hillman

Dear WSA,

The last three weeks have been full of joy and exploration through our June Term classes. The campus has been hopping with creativity and creation. We also are happy to welcome home our June TREC travelers from their trip to France and Spain!

The Maker Playground class with 'The Bunker' that they made for WSA's new adventure playgroundHaving worked so hard all year long on academics, this experiential learning opportunity allows for deeper collaboration, innovation and problem-solving with students of all ages in each group. While the faculty can recognize the achievements of the students, the students often think of it as play. In fact, I am such a huge fan of play that I created the Maker Playground June Term class specifically for the purpose of encouraging more free play that is not sanitized with lots of direction and adult intervention.

Play can stimulate brain activity, relieve stress and build valuable skills and we, adults and kids, simply do not do enough of it. Teens and tweens desperately need more play and we often forget about this as kids grow more autonomous. So my challenge for you all this summer ( need to play too) is to mindfully embrace play. Look for opportunities to create play in unexpected places. Stuck in a ferry line? Create a game out of items you can find in the car. Going on a hike? Find a cool stick to carve. Hanging out with friends? Put down your phones and play cards. Play with electronics is not the same as unstructured play and doesn't reap the same benefits.

At "The Gully," as our maker playground was named, we play with "loose materials" and tools. We hope to have some open sessions this summer and will invite you to come play with us! It was a great school year and to everyone: students, parents, staff, faculty and dogs...job well done and happy summer!


April, 2017: Coming Up at West Sound Academy

March 31, 2017
By Susan Trower

 Britannica ImageQuest - Spring LeavesApril 3 - 7:

West Sound Academy is
                  April 3 - 7, 2017


 Senior Project PresentationsApril 12 - 13:


Presentations of
 Senior Projects

      will be made to the
               Senior Project panel
                 on April 12 and 13
            in the Conference Room
Wednesday, April 12
  • 2:05 p.m. -  Ching WokFrank Gehry
  • 2:30 p.m. - Miranda Ma, The Kangaroo of Australia
  • 2:55 p.m. - Ryley MercadoMichael Jackson
Thursday, April 13
  • 2:05 p.m. -  Sherry Pan, Hans Christian Andersen Fairytales
  • 2:30 p.m. - Annika HaldThe Effect of Childhood Trauma on Adult Life
  • 2:55 p.m. - Samira Cao, The Effect of Heavy Metals on the Human Body

 April 14:


Friday Sound!

Members of the band Tuesday - l to r, Max Metters, River Gsellman, Alessandro Scott, Emily Bradford, and Lucius VigeantDoors open at 6:30 p.m.
Show starts at 7:00 p.m.
Come to the Commons for live music by local bands and performers.
$5 for students, $7 for adults, $15 for families of 3 or more
Friday Sound is a Listen to Your Art program.

Days for Girls International April 15:


Days for Girls (DFG) International helps girls around the world stay in school by providing sustainable feminine hygiene solutions and health education. The DFG hygiene kits are produced with the help of thousands of volunteers - including the ones in Poulsbo's own DFG chapter.

The Poulsbo DFG is hosting a community work party for anyone who is interested on Saturday, April 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at West Sound Academy in the Commons. Parents and students are welcome to drop by anytime during the day to learn more and help out.

You don't need to sew in order to help; there are many non-sewing tasks also. If you do sew, however, please bring your sewing machine or serger and join in the fun. Feel free to bring friends! For more information contact Molly Masker at

 April 20:

  ACT10th Graders take the

  Practice ACT

 Mrs. Freeman's Room
           Parke 4
  8:20 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

 Britannica ImageQuest imageApril 22:


Saturday, April 22, 2017, is Earth Day

Earth Day is a voluntary service day for West Sound Academy students and staff.

Posted in All School

Taking the Initiative Doesn't Mean Inventing

June 22, 2016
By Barrie Hillman

Barrie's pressure washer at work on the front steps to Baker HallIt is Week Two of summer vacation and I bet that some students are already getting a little bored. Summer is a great time to get a jump start on Creative, Active & Service Learning (CAS) for the 2016-17 school year. However, just doing these types of activities is not enough to "count for CAS". Students must also reflect on their activities and account for meeting any of the seven CAS Learning Outcomes.

One of the trickier Learning Outcomes is to initiate an activity. Students will often equate initiating with inventing making their CAS projects more complex and challenging than they need to be. Initiating is not inventing. Initiating is being someone who reaches out to start an activity rather than waiting to be asked. For example, summer is a time of clean-up and maintenance at WSA. Railing on the back of Ryan Hall - BEFORE pressure washingWe always have projects underway in summer that more often than not are done by WSA staff.

In fact just today Lisa remarked, "Boy, you sure like power tools," just as I was firing up my gas-powered pressure washer to work on the front entrance.

Railing on the back of Ryan Hall - AFTER pressure washing

See the cool "before and after" picture that shows just how much gunk gets built up on our stairs. That gunk is no match for my awesome pressure washer. A student can meet the initiating learning outcome by simply emailing me and saying, "I want to spend some time helping to make WSA a beautiful place this summer and how can I help?"  And just like that, you have initiated yourself into a fun and rewarding project such as helping me to restore the railings on the back stairs.

Railing on the back of Ryan Hall - BEFORE pressure washingLook at the amazing difference between what the Ryan railings looked like before the treatment and after. All this benefit from a safe non-toxic process that just requires some scrubbing muscles. If scrubbing isn't your thing, perhaps flooring can provide some reward.

The floor in Gretchen's classroom has been floating for two years now and it isn't meant to be a floating floor! We need to pull up the old tiles and make way for the flooring installer to put down a new floor product.

Railing on the back of Ryan Hall - AFTER pressure washing

Yes, we have a plethora of activities waiting to be initiated by you! For more information, just initiate an email conversation with me at

April, 2016: Coming Up at West Sound Academy

April 01, 2016
By Susan Trower

 Britannica ImageQuest imageApril 1:

    No fooling!  There is
             on Friday, April 1, 2016
     so that WSA Teachers
           can complete
3rd Quarter narrative reports

 Britannica ImageQuest - Spring LeavesApril 4 - 8:

West Sound Academy is
                  April 4 - 8, 2016


 Pennies for PatientsApril 11:

                fund drive
      begins Monday, April 11
         ends Friday, April 29
           Funds raised will go
              to support the
Leukemia & Lymphona Society's 
   efforts to fight blood cancers

Hatter M series, by Frank BeddorArch Enemy, The Looking Glass Wars, vol. 3, by Frank BeddorSeeing Redd, by Frank Beddor, volume 2 in The Looking Glass War series April 11:

Straight from Comicon!
       Two authors coming to WSA
   during lunch, 11:55 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.
                Frank Beddor
         Author of
       The Looking Glass Wars
          and the 
             Hatter M series
#Static, by Eric Laster#Static, by Eric Laster#Static, by Eric Laster 
                Eric Laster
            Author of #Static
      Attendees get CAS credit
               a free comic!

 April 13 - 14:


Presentations of
 Senior Projects

      will be made to the
               Senior Board panel
                 on April 13 and 14
            in the Conference Room
Wednesday, April 13
  • 2:05 p.m. -  Megan HallThe Effects of Music on Human Emotion
  • 2:30 p.m. - Conor Ultican, A Review of Music in the 1960's
  • 2:55 p.m. - Liam NearAmerica’s Music: How Jazz and its Culture both Epitomizes and Transcends National Identity
Thursday, April 14
  • 2:05 p.m. -  Taylor Thornton
  • 2:30 p.m. - Ben Taylor
  • 2:55 p.m. - Sam PhillipsCommunism and the Collective

 April 21:

  ACT10th Graders take the

  Practice ACT

 Mrs. Freeman's Room
           Parke 4
  8:20 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

 Britannica ImageQuest imageApril 22:


Friday, April 22, 2016, is Earth Day

A special schedule will be in effect for Friday, April 22, to allow time for WSA's all-school service project.

WSA students and staff will leave campus at 1:30 p.m. and travel by advocacies to designated clean-up routes throughout Poulsbo.

Students will make their way from the start of their route to Poulsbo's Waterfront Park for pick up at the park at 3 p.m.

Students in 7th Grade will be at Poulsbo's Raab Park, and can be picked up there at 3 p.m.

Posted in All School

Have Used Markers?  Color Cycle Them!

September 30, 2015
By Susan Trower

A recycling Color Cycle bin for 'dead' markers (AKA 'marker graveyard') has been set up in the Conference Room in Baker Hall. 

Have a marker that no longer works?  Bring it to the Color Cycle bin!  Any type of marker can be recycled:  highlighter, Sharpy, washable, fabric, dry-erase, etc.

Thanks go to Valerie Allen-Keane, WSA's Director of Residential Life, for setting this program up for us.  She will collect the markers when the bin is full and ship them off to Crayola for recycling.  The markers will be turned into diesel and other liquid fuels that don't need refinement.  A welcome green addition to the WSA campus!

marker recycling bin


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