March 5, 2019 Hail the Quail

posted in: PPCS News & Announcements | 0

Save the Date! On March 22nd from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., we will be hosting a celebration and tour of our new building. This event is for all our families, prospective families, donors, and anyone who has helped us to become the success we are today! We’ll have food and drinks along with examples of student work, memories of how far we’ve come, and the opportunity to commune in our new multipurpose room and visit our new classrooms! Please help us spread the word.

New School Update – Ms. Branen sent an update to families about our new school building on February 12. If you have not read the update, please do so here. The key aspect of her letter is that we have come so far, but we have more work to do:

  • The construction of our new building at the corner of Nursery and Power streets has been ahead of schedule and should be ready for us to move in over the summer! Please join Ms. Branen and the PPCS Board of Directors on March 22 for a celebration and tour of the new building and bring a friend!
  • Our new building will be the first completed phase of construction of a 14,030 square foot energy efficient school building encompassing a multipurpose room with a climbing wall, STEM lab, playground, gardens, landscaping, and a small serving kitchen.  Two modular classrooms will be used for additional necessary middle school classrooms.
  • The cost of our Phase 1 work is $2 million. Our mortgage payment will be significantly higher than our current rent. We can do it, and we will do it, but we won’t have a lot of wiggle room.
  • We hope to add some critical finishing touches that are important to our student and teacher experience in Phase 1.  These are non-budgeted items that will require additional funds to be raised to be included in the Phase 1 plans:  Athletic flooring for the multipurpose room, a key-in security system, a playground structure, drinking fountain and water bottle filler, and exterior main entry signage.

We Need You! The Campaign Continues . . .

  • Leave a Legacy – You can still Buy A Brick to commemorate your family’s contribution or scroll down the page to see other naming opportunities still available.
  • Help fundraise – We are looking for 25 families to host or organize small fundraisers. See details below.
  • Promote our school – Having full classrooms is our very best strategy for long-term success! The best advertising is word-of-mouth, so please share positive stories and information with your friends and neighbors both verbally and through social media.

We’re Looking for 25 PPCS Families!What you can do to help:

We need your help raising funds for a few key items for our new school. Last year 10 PPCS families helped us raise over $7,000 by hosting small fundraisers. We’d like to see 25 families hosting this year! There are several ways to help:

  • Approach a local business you like and see if they offer a fundraising opportunity for local schools. Many do, like Jamms. Stay tuned for our PPCS Jamms Night in April!
  • Host a Dinner, Movie Night, Game Night, or childcare for a Parents’ Night Out, asking your guests to donate what they’d pay for an equivalent night out.
  • Offer a class in whatever particular skill you have and donate the proceeds to PPCS. Last year’s yoga class raised $500!
  • Organize PPCS students to host a car wash, mow lawns, host a bake sale, etc. this summer!
  • Talk with extended family and friends who support your students or education in general and send them this link: https://palouseprairieschool.org/future/

Events are great ways to let people know about Palouse Prairie, build community, and raise funds. And many hands make light work. By having lots of folks help how they can, we can achieve our dream school. If you are willing to host a fundraising event of some kind, please email Trish Gardner at tgardner@palouseprairieschool.org. We have capital campaign information you can share and a video you can show. If you’d like a more formal presentation, someone from the Development Committee would be happy to speak at your event. Please be sure to turn in donations along with donor’s names and addresses so we can thank them. Let us know how we can help!


Congratulations to Ms. Berg and the 5th Grade Crew! Their recent expedition, We the People, Si Se Puede! has been accepted into the EL Education’s Models of Excellence collection, an amazing and very selective resource of exemplary student work open to educators across the country. Here’s what the selection committee had to say: “We were very inspired by the topic itself and the use of outside experts to inspire your students. The artwork is truly impressive. This is the kind of project that will be so useful to new teachers trying to understand the components of an expedition.” Check out the link to see the work created by students that will be used as a model to raise questions, provoke thinking, and inspire excellence. You’ll also find their wood block prints adorning the produce aisles of the Moscow Food Coop!


PPCS Collaborates with UI Interior Design Class – The University of Idaho instructor and students of ID 352: Interior Design Junior Studio are collaborating with Palouse Prairie on an interior design plan for our new school building. Design students will design the interior of the new building based on a collaborative initiative between the school’s stakeholders and the university. The university students’ work will include collecting literature on best evidence-based working designs/case studies for spaces that foster learning in the 21st century, based on the mission statement and vision of the school. The students’ final presentation and deliverables will include master plan concepts, research, graphics, massing, master site plan, conceptual visioning, rendering of specific 2D and 3D views, and elevator pitch approach with necessary documents. Check out the design students’ posters at our March 22nd Celebration at the new school!


On February 14, Kindergarten through 2nd Grade Crews had a collaborative snowball greeting followed by giant snowman building! They had such a fun morning with all the K-2 students working together! The giant snowman tied in perfectly with the 1st and 2nd Grade knowledge of the water cycle and as they watched the snowman change they were able to compile all their learning and observations into a story about the life cycle of a snowman.

1st and 2nd Grade Crew have been learning about the water cycle and states of matter to kick off their spring expedition.  These scientists are developing the skills of researchers – learning to make close observations, asking high-quality questions, and using various resources to gather information.  They will connect their knowledge of the importance of water on the Palouse with the significance of native plants and pollinators in our lives.

Third Grade Crew is kicking off their expedition studying the lifecycle of the steelhead trout.  We’ll focus first on defining the needs and challenges (natural and man-made) for each life stage of the steelhead.  During this phase of the expedition, we will discuss the unique characteristics of the steelhead/rainbow that allow it to live an anadromous lifestyle, a highlight being dissection of the fish for those who are not squeamish.  We also have the opportunity to raise eggs to the fry stage to release in May. Our expedition continues to evaluate the effects dams have on the migration of the steelhead compared to the benefits to people, asking students to select what actions, if any, should be taken.  Our current plan is to have two final products: an activity book for children around our age that teaches about the life of the steelhead/rainbow and a day of service to improve nest to fry habitat.


This year’s 4th Grade Crew has launched their spring expedition The Confluence of Cultures! As part of this standards-based educational expedition, the fourth-grade crew will build a David Thompson-style cedar plank canoe, which was traditionally built incorporating both European and Indigenous forms and techniques, and will symbolize the confluence of cultures throughout the Pacific Northwest region and beyond. Each student will also hand-carve their very own paddle. Xander Demetrios, lead canoe builder from Voyages of Rediscovery, met with the crew this week to learn about canoe styles and tool safety in preparation to start building. This year’s crew has been asked to build their canoe for and with the Nez Perce tribal organization Nimi´ipuu Protecting the Environment who will use it to provide paddling opportunities for tribal and non-tribal youth and adults into the future. We are grateful for the Nez Perce Tribe for contributing financially to make this project possible this year. We are also grateful to all of our Go Fund Me campaign donors. Your donations will positively impact the lives of youth, their communities, and Pacific Northwest canoe families for years to come! Soon you will be able to see the progress happening on the back playground. Come stop by and see their awesome work!


Go Fund Me

Our fourth-grade teacher Renée Hill has launched a Go Fund Me campaign to raise $36,000 so that she can offer this project to her next three crews of fourth-graders. (Each crew needs $12,000 to build their canoe and paddle it together in a celebration of learning with regional canoe families.) By securing the next 3 years of funding, she will be able to spend her free time collaborating with regional canoe families and tribal organizations to develop and fund a long-term project to build canoes with and for tribal organizations throughout our region.  Renée and the current and future fourth-graders really need YOUR help to make this possible! Please click now to donate. And please share this Go Fund Me link (https://www.gofundme.com/Help-Kids-Build-Canoes) with your friends and families who would like to help make education meaningful, empowering and unforgettable for children, families and our communities! Also know that you are welcome to make a check out to “PPCS” (Canoe Project in memo line) and mail it to PPCS or give it to office staff. Renée will add all offline donations to the Go Fund Me site so that everyone can see all of the fundraising progress!


Palouse Prairie 5th Grade Crew has been learning about our country’s long history of social movements and people coming together to create change as part of  their expedition, We the People, Se Se Puede!

Upon researching and working with the University of Idaho’s College Assistant Migrant Program, the 5th graders learned that farm workers today still have many of the same issues as farm workers of the 1960’s when they set out to establish The United Farm Workers Union — low wages, laws that don’t protect them, unhealthy working conditions, and other forms of discrimination.

In order to help raise awareness around this issue and help migrant farm workers, the students created linoleum block prints that represented migrant farm work and/or immigration. Posters with their artwork helped advertise for a hygiene drive for migrant farm workers of Idaho. In addition to the items students collected at the school, customers at the Moscow Food Coop purchased $165 worth of CAMP donation cards that students used to purchase more items for their drive.


The 8th Grade Crew conducted an experiment to rate the energy efficiency of different types of bulbs. They learned that LED’s are the most efficient. Their Plugging into Sustainability expedition was focused on energy with a guiding question of, ‘What makes energy sustainable?’  Through their expedition they learned about atoms, the periodic table of elements, atomic models, isotopes, and explored different forms of energy such as chemical, physical, elastic, sound, and radiant energy. They further learned about climate change and asked three questions: 1) what it the greenhouse gas effect; 2) how does our use of energy contribute to climate change; and 3) What CO­2 mitigation strategies can we implement locally to reduce the impacts of climate change? For their final products, the class selected two strategies, e-bikes and reducing food waste, to take to our community. One group intends to make a slide presentation to the City of Moscow, and another group is creating a poster to inspire the reduction of food waste.


If you would like to support the work of Palouse Prairie School and it’s creation of a new educational home you can learn more and donate at this link: https://palouseprairieschool.org/future/

Thank you for your support!