Battle Ground Sch. Dist.
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News Releases
Superintendent Mark Ross (left) with Fire District 3 Chiefe Steve Wrightson (right)
Superintendent Mark Ross (left) with Fire District 3 Chiefe Steve Wrightson (right)
BGPS receives AED from Fire District 3 and American Medical Response (Photo) - 08/17/17

Battle Ground Public Schools has received a new Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, thanks to the generosity of Clark County Fire District 3 and American Medical Response (AMR). An AED is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock that can potentially stop an irregular heartbeat and allow a normal rhythm to resume following sudden cardiac arrest.

"We are very pleased to donate this AED to the Battle Ground School District," said Fire District 3 Chief Steve Wrightson. "They are a proven tool to help save lives, and we greatly appreciate our partnership with AMR, which donated this AED to Fire District 3 to be placed in the Battle Ground community."

AEDs make it possible for more people to respond to a medical emergency where defibrillation is required. Because AEDs are portable and easy to use, they can be used by non-medical people. In fact, an AED at Chief Umtuch Middle School was used last school year to save a man's life after he went into sudden cardiac arrest while playing basketball, providing a great reminder of the effectiveness of citizen CPR combined with having an AED nearby.

"Each year, there are more and more people working, learning and recreating in district buildings," said BGPS School Health Services and Nursing Supervisor, Cathy Shannon. "Improving access to AEDs in our schools is more important than ever and can literally be the difference between life and death, so we are very grateful for the donation from AMR and Fire District 3."

Incoming Daybreak Primary kindergartners tour the library
Incoming Daybreak Primary kindergartners tour the library
New program seeks to give kindergartners a 'Jump Start' on learning (Photo) - 08/17/17

One child's hand after another darts into the air, arms outstretched and waving in anticipation of being called upon to share their life experiences with a classroom full of peers. If this sounds like a typical scene from a kindergarten classroom, well, that's the point.

This scene has been playing out all week at Daybreak Primary School, where incoming kindergartners are participating in Battle Ground Public Schools' "Jump Start" pilot program. "The goal of Jump Start is to help students get acclimated to the school learning environment," said Principal Matt Kauffman. "Providing kids with an early introduction to their teachers, classrooms and classmates helps ease the transition for everyone so the focus can be on learning once the school year officially begins."

In addition to providing a sense of familiarity for the kindergartners prior to the beginning of the school year, it's also a valuable opportunity for teachers to get to know their students and their learning needs. Plus, parents whose little ones are beginning full-day school for the first time get to meet their kids' teachers and school administrators, helping to ease the transition for everyone.

Kauffman and the newly-hired assistant principal at Daybreak Primary, Solina Journey, have several years of Jump Start experience from their time working in the Vancouver School District. The pair of administrators saw an opportunity and helped launch BGPS' own Jump Start pilot program, which they hope to see expanded across the district in future years.

The Jump Start program is free for incoming kindergartners, and enrollment is optional. Even though this program is new to BGPS, more than 70 percent of Daybreak's incoming kindergarten students attended. Some of the specific school readiness goals of the program include the importance of raising your hand in class and walking in a single-file line through hallways, how to treat school supplies, and how to sit on the carpet and be an active listener. The young students also get their first introduction to the school's Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, or PBIS expectations.

Battle Ground Public Schools has implemented PBIS at all its schools in support of its focus on social-emotional learning. With PBIS, staff teach behavioral expectations to students just as they would any core subject, and reinforce those expectations with rewards. Daybreak's unique PBIS expectations are known as Dragon ARMOR, which stands for Always Safe, Responsible, Making Good Choices, On Task, and Respectful to All. By demonstrating these expected behaviors, students can earn "dragon scales" that accumulate for a grade-level award.

"The Jump Start kindergarten program helps students build confidence and be more comfortable in their school surroundings," said Laurie Sundby, BGPS' director of instructional leadership for early childhood and primary education. "We're excited to have Jump Start at Daybreak this year to introduce children to the joy of learning in an enriching environment."

Battle Ground High School
Battle Ground High School
Facilities improvements save money, reduce carbon footprint for BGPS (Photo) - 08/01/17

Battle Ground Public Schools is saving an estimated $380,000 per year on utilities thanks to energy efficiency projects at several schools. The projects not only resulted in cost savings for the district, but also improved comfort for students and staff who spend their days learning and working in district buildings.

Ameresco, a provider of comprehensive energy efficiency solutions, contracted with the district to complete the projects, valued at $3.6 million, in three phases that provided mechanical and controls upgrades; updated HVAC, lighting and plumbing systems; and other upgrades that all focused on conserving energy resources at multiple district facilities.

Phase 1 projects began in 2008 and included the retrofitting and replacement of various mechanical, controls, lighting and insulation systems at Prairie High School. Phase 2 projects focused on lighting and plumbing system upgrades at multiple school district facilities and included the replacement of the aging steam boiler and kettle at Battle Ground High School. Phase 3, completed in 2015, made mechanical and electronic monitoring and controls upgrades at the CASEE Administrative complex, Captain Strong and Yacolt Primary schools, Maple Grove K-8, Amboy Middle School, and Battle Ground and Prairie high schools.

To help offset project costs, BGPS applied for and received a $1 million grant from Washington's Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for facility improvement projects and saved an additional $223,206 with incentives and rebates provided by local utilities to help cover project costs. Ameresco guarantees that completed projects will pay for themselves through reduced energy costs over the course of a project's loan payments, and provides verification of cost savings through an audit.

In addition to building improvements and cost savings, the projects also have helped BGPS decrease its carbon footprint, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 3,380 tons per year. This is the equivalent of taking 662 vehicles off the road for a year, of powering 421 households for a year, or the amount of carbon that 721 acres of pine forest can absorb in a year.

"The success of these projects tells a powerful story that should prove to the community that Battle Ground Public Schools is willing to form partnerships and be creative while finding ways to improve classrooms," said Joseph O'Donnell, Business Development Manager for Ameresco. "We are proud of the results."

Ameresco is an independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America.

Attached Media Files: Battle Ground High School