Field Trips at Cascade Heights Public Charter School
Field trips are an essential component of instruction at Cascade Heights Public Charter School. As a sensory immersion school, Cascade Heights depends on the wider community to provide opportunities for experiential, focused learning related to the wider curriculum. Visiting experts, experiencing content outside of school, and making broader connections enables students to get excited, broaden their horizons, and gain perspective in their studies.
Field trips are scheduled for a minimum of five Fridays per year [link to Calendar], as well as during the regular school week. All field trips directly address the curriculum of the grade level; there are no field trips taken simply because they are "fun" or "traditional."
Parent and grandparent volunteers are a valued and necessary part of the success of our field trips; we have no buses, so adult volunteers are what make field trips happen (please click here for information on how to become a field trip chaperone and driver).
Field trips at Cascade Heights occur in three different ways: off-campus, on-campus, or a mix of the two. Teachers are encouraged to make a majority of Field Trip Fridays occur off-campus, allowing for curriculum constraints and budgetary concerns.
All field trips (with the exception of kindergarten) last the entire school day (8:00 to 3:30), although they have been known to start earlier or end later depending on driving time, scheduling of the destination, etc.
Some field trips are a constant throughout the years, while some change based on staffing, classroom needs or interest, and scheduling.
Here is just a sampling:
- Kindergarten takes a tour of Umpqua Bank to learn about saving money and how businesses work.
- First grade regularly visits the Audubon Society during their Living Things unit. Students also attend several plays throughout the year to make curriculum connections and learn about the art of theater as well as proper behavior and etiquette at a theater.
- Second grade drives out to Philip Foster Farms to learn about westward movement. Each year they also put on an amazing Greek Festival on campus, replete with plays, Olympic games, and a Mediterranean banquet.
- Third grade has walked the solar system in Eugene during their Astronomy unit.
- Fourth grade spends a week overnight in John Day, learning about geology, paleontology, and how to exist away from home. The best field trip of fourth grade is by far Hancock Field Station camping trip. Fourth graders never forget the nature walks, field games, three mile hike and camp fire sing-a-long. Hancock Field is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about their environment and the animals that inhabit Oregon.
- Fifth grade visits Starbase every other year, learning about basic physics, computer aided drafting, and the scientific method. They also visit JA Biztown annually, learning about the different aspects of running a business, supply and demand, and personal finance.
- Sixth grade attends Outdoor School each year.
- Seventh grade has created its own speakeasy on campus, toured Community Conservation Corps structures in the area, attended plays, visited the Holocaust Memorial, toured college campuses, and recreated the Battle of Midway in the Westmoreland Casting Pond.
- Eighth grade has gone camping, and participated in the Classroom Law Project.
- Teachers are constantly looking for new and unique perspectives and resources regarding the units they teach, and welcome your suggestions of locations, organizations, guest speakers, and resources for past and upcoming areas of study.