Charles Wright Academy Blog

Happy National Library Week from Charles Wright!

Happy National Library Week from Charles Wright!

By: Jane Riches

In honor of National Library Week, Charles Wright Academy Head Librarian Jane Riches shares her insights on the importance of school libraries and public libraries and their roles in helping children learn and grow.

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From Odysseus to Luke Skywalker: The 12 Stages of the Hero's Journey

From Odysseus to Luke Skywalker: The 12 Stages of the Hero's Journey

By: Rob Scotlan

After finishing The Odyssesy in his ninth grade English class, teacher Rob Scotlan took to social media to make the 12 stages of the hero even more relatable—by applying the lesson to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars IV: A New Hope. Read more about Mr. Scotlan's online lessons below.

Social media dominates the lives of students these days. They have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Kik, Soundcloud, Tumblr, YouTube—and whatever the next big thing is. I am always trying to find ways to engage my students through the things that matter to them.

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In Their Eyes: Middle Schoolers Report on Middle School Days 2014

In Their Eyes: Middle Schoolers Report on Middle School Days 2014

Last week, Middle School students attending Charles Wright Academy set aside their regular studies and embarked on Middle School Days. The annual event has been offered continuously for almost 40 years and continues to be one of the most popular experiences for both students and faculty today. Below, several Middle Schoolers share their insights—and photos—on this year's adventures.

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Around the World: Second Graders Take Visitors to Australia and Antarctica

Around the World: Second Graders Take Visitors to Australia and Antarctica

The Charles Wright second grade curriculum theme is Around the World, and students spend time studying each of the seven continents—both in their core lessons as well as in their art, music, library, and technology classes. This week the Class of 2024 served as experts on their chosen topics at their annual Australia and Antarctica Fair, presenting to schoolmates, parents, and other visitors information they learned during four weeks of research on topics such as the Great Barrier Reef, penguins, koalas, wombats, glaciers, and more! Take a look at photos below:

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Up Close and Personal with the Pierce County Drug Court

Up Close and Personal with the Pierce County Drug Court

By: Emily Gass ’14

Upper Schoolers in Gary Petersen’s criminology class attended several Pierce County Superior Court hearings this week—a long-standing field trip that his class has undertaken for more than 10 years. This year, students met with both prosecuting and defense attorneys, a judge, and other members of the local crime-fighting community. Senior Emily Gass ’14 shares her insights below.

The week of March 17 stirred up excitement in the Charles Wright Upper School, as Gary Petersen’s criminology classes embarked on two separate field trips to the Pierce County Superior Court. Being granted the ability to attend Pierce County’s drug court allowed students to gain an insider’s perspective on court procedures, state laws, and an overarching idea of the system’s drug court program. Drug court originated in Pierce County 20 years ago and has served as an archetype for many nationwide drug enforcement programs. It deals with nonviolent drug felonies and allows criminals to participate in a yearlong program in order to lessen or evade possible prison time.

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Critter Hole at the Bottom of the Chapel Stairs

Critter Hole at the Bottom of the Chapel Stairs

By: JoAnn McKay

It was a wintery Wednesday morning. Denny began the weekly Facilities staff meeting promptly at 7:30. He fired off the usual round of topics in the usual predictable pattern. I was taking the minutes like I typically do. Write, write…Upper School – the science wing remodel update; Middle School – upcoming events in the commons; Lower School – lights out in the breezeway. Write, write…Chapel – critter hole at the bottom of the chapel stairs. Randy piped up with, “I wonder if they have a little welcome mat at the doorway.” My sense of creativity shifted a few degrees and somewhere in the back of my mind an idea began to percolate.

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Taking the Long View: A Member of CWA’s First Graduating Class Looks Back on School History

Taking the Long View: A Member of CWA’s First Graduating Class Looks Back on School History

By: by John Long ’64

This June will mark 50 years since 14 boys graduated in the first commencement ceremony at Charles Wright—my class of 1964. The teachers, being academics, wore the gowns. We students were dressed in scratchy wool slacks, sport coats, and very skinny black ties. The school was still young, having been started only seven years earlier with a paltry 40 students. We were inventing a school, in a delightful and homespun fashion, as we went along.

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Welcome Back from Winterim!

Welcome Back from Winterim!

Upper Schoolers are back on campus this week after learning lessons outside the classroom during Charles Wright's annual Winterim program—a decades-old tradition. Students traveled near and far, participating in experiential education opportunities that ranged from service learning to culinary classes to cultural exchanges and more. Listen to an interview between KLAY 1180's Ty Ray and Upper School Head Bill White and History Department Chair David Adams—and see student and teacher photos from all over the world—below.

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Jumping Jaguars Perform for Classmates at Town Meeting

Jumping Jaguars Perform for Classmates at Town Meeting

The Lower School's Jumping Jaguars performed a spirited routine this morning for classmates at Town Meeting that included jumping rope, dancing, and stunt work—their last on-campus performance of the academic year. "The children are quite excited to perform in front of their friends, classmates, faculty, staff, and, of course, Mrs.Hunt," said Jim Pelander, Jumping Jaguars founder and coach, ahead of Town Meeting. The team will perform their last school-based performance on March 6 at Drum Intermediate School, and they will go on to participate in the Junior Daffodil Parade in Tacoma's Proctor District for the ninth year in a row on Satruday, April 12. See photos of this morning's performance below!

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So Long, Sochi—Winter Olympics Come to Tarrier Dome

So Long, Sochi—Winter Olympics Come to Tarrier Dome

Just because the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi came to a close on Sunday doesn’t mean Charles Wright students can’t still enjoy athletic endeavors! Today the Lower School held its own Winter Games, with help from Upper Schoolers on Winterim, in the Tarrier Dome. From figure and speed skating on carpet squares to bobsledding on gym scooters to snowboarding over gym mats, everyone had a field day in the Dome. Check out photos below!

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