School Briefs for week of Oct. 9

Oct 09, 2013
Photo by: Sara Bruestle Four-year-old Sam Collins puts a handful of dirt onto burlap bags that cover a newly planted orchard at Discovery Elementary on Sept. 28 as part of the Green Apple Day of service. About 40 students, parents and staff planted a variety of 21 fruit trees on the north side of the school. A garden and greenhouse are also in the works.

Discovery plants fruit trees, veggie garden

The wind was blowing and the rain was pouring on Sept. 28, but that didn’t stop students, parents and staff members Discovery Elementary from participating in the school’s second Green Apple Day, a global event to transform schools into healthy productive learning environments through local service projects.

With shovels in hand and wheel barrels full of dirt, the school community planted 21 fruit trees of different varieties – Granny Smith Apple, Frost Peach, Anjou Pear, Beauty Plum, Italian Prune and more – in a long row along the north side of the school.

After planting, the trees were surrounded with burlap bags and covered with compost to protect them.

“Those trees will still be here and children will still be enjoying the fruits of their labor long after we are retired and sitting on a beach somewhere, enjoying the sun and talking about that blustery day we planted the trees,” said Shelley Franz of Discovery.

A school garden is also in the works that will bring a bounty of fruits and vegetables this year. Students, staff and parents will cultivate and manage the garden.

“We want our students to be inspired to dream of a brighter future,” said Laurie James, coordinator of Green Apple Day.

“When children learn about where their vegetables come from, it increases their desire to eat healthier and helps them make better food choices.”

She said participating in this event also teaches families how easy it can be to start a small backyard garden at home.

Washington Green Schools and Farmer Frog is assisting with the school project; Cedar Grove Compost donated the compost. For more information, go to

Public meetings about building needs set for Oct. 15, 17

The Mukilteo School District was in the news this past summer when it turned down about $1.6 million in state funding for all-day kindergarten at five high-poverty schools.

The problem? Enrollment in Mukilteo elementary schools has grown to the point that there aren’t enough additional classrooms available to hold the all-day sessions.

What should the school district do to address the problem of overcrowding in its elementary schools? Some possible solutions will be discussed at a pair of public meetings next week.

The public is invited to attend a meeting to be held at Voyager Middle School at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15 and at Harbour Pointe Middle School at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17.

State students score well in SAT test

Washington’s 12th graders earned a combined average score of 1,526 on the 2013 SAT, according to figures released by the College Board last week.

It is the nation’s fourth highest score among states where at least half of eligible students took the test. The national average composite score is 1,474.

Washington students scored very close to the top, especially in math. In fact, only two states with more than half of students taking the test had a higher score than Washington, and both by only one point.

The state’s participation rate of 55 percent was higher than all but two Western states.

A way to honor students who serve the community

For 18 years, Prudential Spirit of Community Awards have been given to more than 100,000 middle and high school students across the country for helping the less fortunate, promoting health and safety, protecting the environment, and serving their communities through many other volunteer activities.

The search is now on to identify thousands more who have made meaningful contributions to their communities within the last 12 months.

These awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, honor outstanding community service by students in 5th through 12th grades.

Applications must be completed by Nov. 3. For more information about prizes and the application process, go to

-Edited by Beacon staff

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