ONTARIO — Sixth-graders in Ontario School District went to take a three-day, three-night trip to the Oregon Coast April 22-25 as a new state initiative dubbed Outdoor School. All 183 students in sixth grade throughout the district planned to attend the Outdoor School. Sammy Castaguay, of Ontario, helped write the curriculum for the trip, according to Mary Jo Evers, financial director for the school district. The Oregon State University Extension Office also pitched in.

“I’m excited the schools took the initiative,” Evers said in a previous interview.

Alameda Elementary Principal Andrea Buchholz wrote the grant for Alameda and May Roberts Elementary School.

“The staffing ratio is one staff member to seven kids,” she said, adding that since so many teachers were attending, the district hired several substitute teachers for the week.

“It’s a big deal and super cool,” Evers said. “We have to redo this, but next year, maybe Yellowstone.”

Students got to travel on motor coaches which had movie screens and bathrooms.

At Rockaway Beach, they stayed at Twin Rocks Friends Camp.

In addition to hiking, students, staff and volunteers got to learn about all of the different animals and plants that they would encounter. They also got hands-on experience with some of the marine life they found on the beaches.

“By the looks of it, I’d say they had a blast,” wrote Taryn Smith, public information officer for the district in an email.

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