Monday, October 11, 2010

Wildlife Safari

Wildlife Safari

At Wellsprings we like to begin the school year with a little adventure. Two years ago we visited the Portland zoo, so this year we decided to visit the Wildlife Safari, in Winston, OR. We spent over an hour driving though giraffes, bears, tigers, and many other herds of wild animals. We had a brief break for lunch and then proceeded through the walk-through area where we saw more large cats, lemurs, flamingos and even a crocodile. Some of us petted and fed miniature goats, while others milked a fake cow.
Wildlife SafariSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Videos of Graduation 2010

The graduation ceremony for Wellsprings students touches the hearts of everyone who experiences it. Once the first notes of "Pomp and Circumstance" are played on the piano and students start their slow walk down the aisle, the audience (and students) begin to sense the joyful spirit of the occasion.

The presentation of individual graduates by one of their teachers is a highlight of the ceremony, filled with special remembrances, laughter, cheers, tears, and applause for each student. Here are three videos showing the presentation of our 2010 graduates:

May each young person be blessed with all the best that life offers and with learnings that shine the light of their hearts and minds on the world! We'll miss you (and hope you'll stop by for a visit next year as well as join us for school reunions).

Videos of Graduation 2010SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Graduation Ceremony Photos Available to View and Order

Professional photos taken at our graduation ceremony for 2010 graduates are now available for viewing at the photographer's website.

Graduates, their families, and friends can order prints of the photos through the welcome page of the website.

Graduation Ceremony Photos Available to View and OrderSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Graduation Practice 2010

Graduation day began for our eighteen seniors with a rehearsal at 10 a.m. Students chose from a colorful selection caps and gowns, often struggling with getting the cap to stay on their head. Next came getting organized (by height and number) to practice the two-by-two "slow walk" down the aisle.

Once everyone gathered on stage in their assigned chair, the photographer arranged the young people for their class graduation photo. After some arranging and rearranging, students were in place for the photo (which they'll receive later this month). Here is an "unofficial" photo with some faces hiding behind others.

The seniors then practiced moving in their rows from the stage and walked two-by-two up the aisle to the back of the room and down the hallway from which they would emerge to begin the ceremony at 7 p.m.

Teachers and students mingled after the rehearsal to eat cupcakes and other sweet goodies while discussing plans for the evening. In just a little over eight hours, the students will have received their diplomas in a grand celebration of the spirit of each young person and their days at Wellsprings Friends School.

Graduation Practice 2010SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Last Day of School Picnic 2010

Our tradition for the last day of school is to have a picnic in Armitage Park to celebrate and reflect on the year together at Wellsprings. The yearbook is distributed and students and teachers spend time writing personal notes each other's copy. Then we eat hot dogs, cheeseburgers, veggie burgers, and chips for lunch. Once again this year, teachers Bob and Tyler ably did the burger and hot dog cooking on the grill (after students helped start the coals with a roaring flame).

Next came a challenge between students and several decorated pinatas created by fellow students. Like last year, the pinatas got the best of the baseball bat (and the rope got away from the pinata time after time):

Following the pinata battle, we had our traditional ceremony of gifting painted rocks to every student. Teachers paint the rocks with students' names along with a word or two that are symbolic of a particular quality the young person conveyed to the school community during the year. The presentation of a rock to each student brings rounds applause for everyone, lots of laughter, and many hugs between teachers and students.

We had a great time together on a cool Oregon day with lots of clouds, a mix of very light rain, and some brief bursts of sunshine to brighten our celebration. Our 18 seniors will be at graduation practice tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. and walking down the aisle in the evening. We wish our graduates all the best for their lives and for our returning students, an enjoyable summertime!

Last Day of School Picnic 2010SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Creating Polyhedra in Math Class

Math class with teachers Bob and Sam offers some interesting projects for students to take on to learn math concepts. Sam notes that "Plato, in his dialogue Timaeus, made mystical connections between the five regular polyhedra and fire, air, earth, water, and the cosmos. Kepler made models of the five regular polyhedra and decorated them with appropriate Platonic symbols."

In the spirit of Plato and Kepler, Shelby made and decorated models of the five regular polyhedra. Then she assembled them into an attractive mobile. "Sam suggested the project and I decided that it would be fun to do," said Shelby. "It took a long time to complete. The quotes and art on the sides are just random things that came to mind while I was working on it. The quote 'Filthy water cannot be washed' came while I was talking with Kiera."

We look forward to seeing what new projects will emerge from our math classes when school begins again in September.

Creating Polyhedra in Math ClassSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wellsprings Prom Night 2010

This year, the theme for our Wellsprings prom was "masquerade." Of course, there were lots of masks along with girls in dazzling dresses and boys in black tuxes (and one white), plus some with stylish black top hats.

The room was ablaze with lights and silver streamers and there was a great spread of food and refreshments for nibbling during the evening. Music from the DJ was lively and loud (but getting the dancing started was a challenge!). There was lots of conversation as well, especially about what people were wearing for the masquerade party.

Thank you to all the students, parents, and teachers who helped make the prom a memorable experience for everyone who attended!

Here are several photos taken during the prom (click a photo to enlarge for better viewing):

And here's a short video of the event taken early in the evening:

Wellsprings Prom Night 2010SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Free Sale" Serves Our Community

On a gray day with light rain falling, the school's parking lot filled up and a crowd of people came through the doors for our second "Free Sale" of the school year. Our super-organizer of the event, Yancey, and several students had arranged items on tables and stacked clothes for people to take away for free.

The sale provides people in our community with household items, clothing, toys, and other goods that they would not otherwise be able to afford for their family members. For our students, it is one of many community service projects they participate in during the school year at Wellsprings Friends School.

Thank you to the many friends who contributed items, to the students who helped with the "Free Sale," and to everyone who showed up on a rainy Saturday morning in Oregon.

And once again, dear Yancey, we deeply appreciate the many hours of work you do to make this community service project possible and for all you do for our students and for Wellsprings!

Here are more photos from the event (click on a photo to enlarge).

"Free Sale" Serves Our CommunitySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Invitation to Graduation 2010

Only four weeks until graduation day for our eighteen seniors. Here's the invitation they're sending to family and friends:

Please join us to celebrate our seniors on their very special evening. It's a great way to experience the joys of "the little school with the big heart."

Invitation to Graduation 2010SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Storyteller Visits Wellsprings

Diane Ferlatte, an award-winning international storyteller, visited our school last week to share stories with us. She sang and spoke both ancient and personal stories from her life as well as used percussion to "move" the audience and her stories along.

Diane's website notes that "While Diane loves to tell stories to adults and families, school performances are what she loves the most. It is here that she feels she has the greatest impact as the stacks and stacks of letters, drawings, thank you notes, and handwritten stories from thousands of school children attest to. Her vast repertoire and ability to relate make her equally popular with all ages from pre-school through high school.
Singing and signing (American Sign Language) are an integral part of these performances. While many performances can be theme oriented along the program types listed above, Diane´s main focus is to promote reading-readiness, visual imagery, imagination, and character/moral development."

Diane came to Eugene to headline the Multicultural Storytelling Festival and to perform at schools in the area. We're pleased that Wellsprings was chosen to be one of the schools! Here's a video sample of Diane Ferlatte at her finest:

Storyteller Visits WellspringsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Peace & Justice Festival 2010

"Peace is our gift to each other."
-- Elie Wiesel

Our 8th annual Peace & Justice Festival was held at school on a beautiful, sunny May Day. Teacher Eva spearheaded the festival and did a great job with arranging for speakers and organizing the event (while volunteer Mary Steinberg-Pichey arranged for a wonderful spread of food donated by local businesses). Several students helped set-up for the event and clean-up after all the festivities were done for the afternoon.

The program began with a presentation on "Fair Trade" by Melanie Bigalke from Cafe Mam. Martin Jones followed with a talk about Beyond War and "How Military Expenditure Impact Economic Problems" (see video below). Next up was Wes Shirley from the Eugene-Springfield Solidarity Network who spoke about the labor movement in our area. Samantha Chirillo followed with a talk about the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign as well as her personal experience of networking for social justice.

Here's a video of the Beyond War presentation by Martin Jones, MD.

Head of School, Dennis Hoerner, moderated a student/teacher panel which explored the topic of "Teenagers, Jobs, Fairness." Members of the panel included recent graduate, Mo, current students Nataya and Emily, teacher Eva, and parent-jobs specialist, Laurel Henry. Everyone shared their experiences in getting a job as a teenager (or not) and shared their ideas about what would be helpful for young people seeking employment.

Our thanks to everyone who helped and participated in the festival (especially Eva!) and to the businesses who provided food and refreshments: Cafe Mam, Sundance Natural Foods, Eugene City Bakery, Toby's Tofu Pate, and Dana's Cheesecake.

See you next year on April 23 for our 9th annual Peace & Justice Festival!

NOTE: See more photos on our Web Albums.

Peace & Justice Festival 2010SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, April 26, 2010

Students Evaluate Staff Members

In late spring each year, our students are asked to provide a written evaluation of their teachers and other Wellsprings staff members. They're given a form that allows them to give confidential feedback to the staff.

In the instructions, students are asked to think about their interactions with individual staff members since the current school began. For each person, they're asked to give sincere and thoughtful feedback to nine questions. The first five utilize a rating scale of "1" as most positive, to "3" as neutral, through "5" as very negative:

1. I have had at least one class this year with this staff member. Yes or No
A. Her/his class is usually interesting.
B. I learned a lot in her/his class.
C. In course planning, s/he takes my input into consideration.
D. I would recommend to other students that they take classes with this person.
2. S/he was helpful to me as an advisor.
3. This staff member helps to maintain an environment during class and around the school that is emotionally and physically safe.
4. S/he is easy to approach.
5. I feel heard and respected by her/him.

The last four questions give students a chance to express their perceptions of each staff member in their own words:

6. Describe the way this staff member makes you feel.

7. what does this person contribute to the Wellsprings community?

8. What could this person improve on?

9. Other comments?

The responses from students are then compiled anonymously for review by staff members to see what they are doing well and what they might do better. This evaluation is just a small sample of the interactive environment our learning community continually creates to enhance personal growth and academic (or professional) achievement for everyone, students and adults alike.

Students Evaluate Staff MembersSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, April 19, 2010

An Absolutely "Cozmic" Benefit Concert

Once again, our Benefit Concert at Cozmic (yes, with a "z") Pizza was a great success with a large enthusiastic crowd of students, parents, and friends of Wellsprings on hand to cheer the performers. This year we had more student musicians performing, along with a student who recited her poetry and another who belly-danced. Of course, our talented group of teachers -- Paul, Bob, Chanci, and Tyler -- played and sang in their bands and Rio, an "old" graduate of the school, topped off the evening with his rappin'.

For a look at happenings during the evening, here's a gallery of photos taken during the event which supports our school's art and music programs (Click on a photo to enlarge for better viewing):

If you'd like to listen and view videos of several of the performances, here's a selection of the groups and individuals to enjoy:

ChanciPants & The Educators

Alex & Laura

Axle - Jammin' with Paul & Tyler

Strum Theory

Chayla, Our Poet Extraordinare


Rio the Rapper

Thank you to everyone who attended our benefit concert and for your generous donations (and to Cozmic Pizza for the great venue)! Plus a big round of "cheers" to all of the students and teachers who entertained us with their talents.


An Absolutely "Cozmic" Benefit ConcertSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, March 12, 2010

Community Spirit on a Snowy Mountain

Along with creative classes, community spirit is at the heart of the Wellsprings experience for our students. Community means starting each day with Morning Circle, sitting in Silent Meeting every Friday morning, sharing in Community Meetings, and taking time to have fun together in community activities.

One of our annual all-school outings is a trip to Hoodoo for some snow play and tubing on the mountain. We had a beautiful day, some sunshine, lots of snow, and great time together in the lodge and on the bus. Here's a selection of photos taken by teacher Chanci (just click on a photo to enlarge the image).

Thank you, Chanci, for taking all the pics ... and many more!

Community Spirit on a Snowy MountainSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Photos of the Week

Blossoms, blossoms, everywhere this week. And some local creatures have been scurrying around and enjoying the sunbeams.

Must be going to rain soon!

Photos of the WeekSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, February 15, 2010

Making Sushi & Stir-Fry: Community Building Class Creates Lunch

A couple of weeks ago in morning circle, a student asked why we have never had sushi for lunch. Well, officer manager/teacher Yancey decided to make it happen and got the ingredients. On Friday morning right after circle, teacher Eva's community-building class started working on creating our sushi and stir-fry lunch. Here's a photo album showing the process and tasty outcomes from their work. Yummm!

Thanks to everyone who made it happen! Looks like we'll have to do it again soon.

Making Sushi & Stir-Fry: Community Building Class Creates LunchSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, January 8, 2010

Photo of the Week

Every so often, cooking class with teacher Chanci makes tacos and other delights for school lunch. Here's a photo of taco and cookie making is progress.

In just two hours, all of our students and teachers will be sitting down for lunch and enjoying the tacos and cookies made by their friends in cooking class.

Photo of the WeekSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend