Pleasant Valley
Community Schools
6th Grade Science Camp Out Moves to Fall

Posted July 13th, 2017

At the June 26th meeting, the Board of Education approved moving of the sixth grade outdoor education camp from May 2018 to this coming September 2017.  The main drivers behind the change included curricular opportunities, weather, calendar conflicts in the spring and the availability of high school volunteers.  With this change for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year, please read the following very closely:

The Iowa Department of Education determined that schools can no longer require students to pay for school-sponsored field trips that are considered a part of the district curriculum.  The sixth grade outdoor education camp falls under this rule.  The camps have been a part of Pleasant Valley’s environmental education program for over 25 years and support not only science education in the district but also the development of independence, responsibility, and social skills.  Students are afforded the opportunity to explore the geology of Maquoketa Caves, collect chemical and biological water data for the Iowa Water Program, and study pond and stream ecosystems at Camp Wyoming by wading through aquatic environments and examining captured organisms.  Owl calling, pellet dissection, geocaching, and a night walk have been added to help students learn more about the lives of various nocturnal animals.  The list of activities is long and varied.  Most are specifically designed around cooperative learning strategies including a team building challenge hike that highlights the first day’s events.  The camp encompasses such a wide range of educational and social values that we feel very strongly about continuing its tradition.  It allows all students to flourish in a natural setting and provides a wonderful lasting memory for all who participate.

The district supports the continuation of the camp experience, but the overall cost of the program is too great for the district to absorb. Prior to the DE ruling, the practice was for students to pay a fee to attend the sixth grade campout to help cover costs.  If we were still operating under that model, per student cost would be $34.00.  This money pays for the use of the camp, lodging, three meals, and necessary supplies.  It was also our practice that families who could not afford this amount either paid a lesser amount or were covered by a scholarship.

We ask that you consider a contribution to help support the cost of offering this program. Such contributions are strictly voluntary and are a tax deductible gift. Your contribution, if in the form of a check, may be made payable to the Pleasant Valley Community School District and sent to your child’s school by Friday, September 1, 2017.  If you would prefer, you may also make an online contribution by clicking https://pleasval.revtrak.net/2017-6th-grade-outdoor-education-camp  (Please note: contributing by credit card comes with a $2.50 convenience fee.)

The unfortunate reality is if we are unable to generate sufficient funds to support the portion of this experience which has historically been provided by student fees, the trip will not continue as part of our curriculum.  If you have further questions, please feel free to contact your school’s principal or science specialist. The district will make a decision regarding the status of the science camps on Tuesday, September 5th.  Again, we ask that gifts/pledges be received by Friday, September 1st.  Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.

Mark your calendar!  If you are new to the district or this is your first child attending camp, the science teachers will be available during Elementary Meet and Greet on Monday, August 21st from 5:30 to 6:15 to provide insight into the learning opportunities your child will experience.  Please feel free to stop by their room.

The fall campout dates for each elementary are:

Cody                               September 14-15
Hopewell                       September 21-22
Bridgeview                    September 28-29
Pleasant View               September 18-19
Riverdale Heights        September 25-26

 

Sincerely,

Brian Strusz, Ed.S.

Assistant Superintendent

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Posted in Announcements – Bridgeview | Announcements – Cody | Announcements – Hopewell | Announcements – PV Preschool | Announcements – Riverdale
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