Dear Parents of Student Leaders,
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing your student to attend the Student Leader Workshop this past weekend. Knowing that overnights sometimes cause a schedule conflict with a family, we would like to reassure you that the time spent during the workshop is a truly necessary part of a Student Leader’s training.
Having completed the workshop training, your student is now an Outdoor School Student Leader and has either been assigned a week to attend or is on the reserve list. At this point Student Leaders have committed themselves to involvement in a program that requires dedication, maturity, and responsibility for one week. A Student Leader is responsible:
1. for the guidance and safety of a cabin group of approximately ten sixth grade students;
2. for instruction of natural sciences to small groups of sixth grade students;
3. for providing appropriate supervision during the other general activities at an Outdoor School site.
Since approximately 7,000 sixth grade students will attend Outdoor School, our responsibility is widespread and the Student Leader’s job is very serious.
Because we are dealing with the safety and education of many children, we need to be certain that high school students will attend the week they are scheduled. This area is where we really need your help. The students have been instructed to call our office if there is any change in their plans regarding their attendance. But, sometimes schedules become hectic, students get sick, or forgetfulness sets in .... and we are not notified of the Student Leader’s cancellation in time to find a replacement. So, if you could remind your student to phone us if they must cancel, or if you could call and notify us, it would be a tremendous help. The phone number for the Outdoor School Office is: 503-257-1600 (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., or leave a message evenings and weekends).
TRANSGENDER and GENDER NONCONFORMING STUDENTS: Multnomah ESD and Outdoor School are committed to creating a learning environment conductive to the overall development and social-emotional health and well-being of students. Gender nonconforming students often experience discrimination, harassment and implicit bias at school and in their lives. These experiences can send students the message that they do not belong. At MESD and Outdoor School, we make it clear: All students do belong and are welcome.
Outdoor School will accept and address a student by their preferred pronoun (he/she/they), gender identity, and name. Students will be assigned to the cabin group and bathroom that is aligned with their asserted gender identity; students that identify as male will be assigned to a male cabin and bathroom and students that identify as female will be assigned to a female cabin and bathroom.
CABINS and BATHROOMS: At Outdoor School students typically change clothes in cabins and shower in the school bathrooms. Cabins are led by Student Leaders who live in the cabins with the students. At Outdoor School we support a student’s right to use a facility corresponding with their gender identity. Sixth grade students that identify as male will be placed in male cabins and sixth grade students that identify as female will be placed in female cabins. Student Leaders that identify as male will be assigned to male cabin groups and Student Leaders that identify as female will be assigned to female cabin groups. If the student’s cabin and bathroom assignment does not meet the student’s comfort level, ODS staff will work with the parent to create a solution that ensures student safety and comfort.
Sixth grade students that identify as male will use male designated bathrooms, and students that identify as female will use female designated bathrooms. Student Leaders that identify as male will use male designated bathrooms, and student leaders that identify as female will use female designated bathrooms. Single stall bathrooms are also available to any student who desires increased privacy.
STUDENT DIRECTORY INFORMATION
Student directory information, personally identifiable information including a student’s photograph, participation in program activities and receipt of awards, may be occasionally used or released as part of the Outdoor School program. Use or release includes a child’s name and/or picture appearing in Multnomah Education Service District (MESD) materials prepared for the purpose of informing the community about the MESD’s Outdoor School and Companion Programs. MESD materials may discuss some aspect of the program or may request the donation of tools, games or other materials from community citizens. Use or release also includes news stories in print or television media and Outdoor School programs as part of a research or thesis study meriting publication in journals in areas such as, but not limited to, education and the environment. Student directory information may be released unless you as the parent sign and return the statement denying permission for release on the health history form included in this packet. See MESD Board Policies JOA and JOB for additional information regarding descriptions and release of student directory information.
We’d like to thank you in advance for allowing your student to attend Outdoor School as a Student Leader. Watching your high school student in action as a Student Leader at Outdoor School would make you very proud!!
Daniel Prince, Coordinator