Summer Education Can Be Fun

It is a sunny day in June. The horses are basking in the sun. The cats are lounging in the shade. It is enough to make you want to get out there and enjoy the weather. Here at Maple Lake, the students are working hard in their classrooms. The teacher is busy explaining the next assignment, while the students listen intently in excitement for their next project. However, this is no ordinary type of lesson plan. The students aren’t just learning math or english, this time they are learning about something of great interest to each one of them.

So what is this project we are talking about? We’ll let one of the teachers explain it in his own words:

“This term we thought we would allow each student to complete a research project on any subject they are interested in. Each student was given the opportunity to choose 3 topics. Jeff and I then discussed those topics with each student and helped each of them whittle their choices down to one topic. The goal here is to give the students ownership and control over what they are learning.”

– Seth Campbell

In addition to doing this research project, the students are also attending a Scholar’s Camp where they will be learning different types of study skills and executive functioning.

Good-byes Are Hard :(

After two years of service, we say good-bye to Byron, our science teacher. He leaves to pursue his teaching career in other areas and will be missed by all of us. Byron leaves an imprint of passion and enthusiasm for science and states his favorite part of MLA is “working with the students.” If we were all paying attention we would have noted that Byron’s favorite science is geology. He enjoys teaching about Earth’s physical structures and processes and was able to bring that to life for our students. Byron’s wish for our students is that, “they all fulfill their hopes and dreams (especially if it includes science).” Wink. Farewell Bryon. We wish the best for you and will miss you!

Look for an upcoming post about our new science teacher very soon!

Humanitarian Update

This has been quite an unusual period of time.  I extend a very grateful, and heartfelt, thank you to all who participated and shared supplies for the humanitarian project we had in February. The students were so very excited to work on it.  It was, I think, a profound experience for them to work together toward helping others. 

We ended up with 75+ hygiene kits
We were able to make 25+ blankets and had many other high priority necessities contributed

Just as we had scheduled and were planning our visit to the Lifting Hands International warehouse, it was canceled due to the quarantine.  We are looking forward to having a field trip is the near future when we are cleared to go.  We will share more photos at that time. Thank you for all you have done to help.

Latest Posts

Understanding High School Math from Jeff Owens

Happy New year!  I thought since we have had such a turnover in students the last couple of months, I would post about our approach to mathematics education at MLA.  My hope is that this information will help you understand how we are helping your student on their pathway through mathematics in high school.  MLA […]

Humanitarian Class Project

It has been such a fun semester in our Humanitarian Class. We have 2 classes – a Monday class and a Wednesday class. The students are divided into 2 groups and each group meets one of these days. When we first started, we sat down and made a list of the projects we would like […]

Q&A With TA Regan Whimpey

We took a moment to sit down with our Teacher’s Aid to ask him a few questions about his duties. We felt this would be a useful exercise for your viewing pleasure. Q: “What is the first thing that you do when you get to MLA at the start of your shift?” A: “Well, the […]


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A Call to Help Others

Something new and exciting is happening at the girls school this year. A new class called Humanitarian Processes was instigated by the warming hearts of our students. The class is facilitated by our Social Studies teacher and promises to be a highlight of the year. The course is described as students participating in planning, gathering […]

A Snake Came to Visit

In July our science teacher McKay brought in his Ball Python Orion. He showed Orion to all of the kids who stayed at Maple Lake Academy during the week some students went on pass. McKay was able to use his knowledge about snakes and reptiles to show why their conservation is important. He was also […]

Cookie Color Wheels Are Fun

At the end of summer semester, the girls school had the opportunity to create color wheels using cookies. This exciting exercise was a class favorite in a summer full of fun activities. Below are the more pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Strawberry DNA

We have been doing great things in science! The lab we most recently did in Biology is checking out Strawberry DNA! Here are some pictures of the students obtaining the strawberry DNA.

First the students had to make a solution with the following materials.

We started with mashing up the strawberry in a bag and then dumping the contents into the coffee filter to strain out all the chunks.

Once that material had been separated, we added the rubbing alcohol and the Strawberry DNA Appeared! The white stuff hanging from the craft stick.

The students had a great time extracting the DNA from the strawberries.

Parent-Teacher Conferences April 24, 2020

Dear Parents, emails were sent out on April 15th to sign up for a time to attend our online parent conference. We appreciate your attendance and flexibility as we continue to work together. If you did not receive an email, please contact our Education Department.

We love these times when our teachers can visit one-on-one with you as we work and serve your children. School rocks!

Thumbs Up and All Smiles

Flexibility is defined as the quality of being able to bend without breaking and that is exactly the feel on campus here at Maple Lake. You cannot see it, but these two faces are actually smiling. As weeks progress and we continue to apply safety as our top priority, those of us on campus have geared up to meet the challenge. Although some of us may look different, the work we do has not changed.

This is also true for the Education Department as students and faculty adjust to the altered format of teaching. We are making it work! For example, our math teacher has implemented a “help chair” for his post lecture. Students are able to use the chair to indicate they need help from the teacher and get a one-on-one guide to completing the math problem while still in class. Our English teacher is effectively using Edmodo, our online resource for uploading assignments and homework, by giving students “real time” feedback on their current projects.

I have to say that we love our supportive staff and how they are an important part of pulling it all together. We could not do this without them. THANK YOU STAFF!

Wonderful Words Win 1st Place

What does it take to be a writer? Well, one of our own can answer that. She has earned the honor of first place for Youth Poetry at the Central Oregon Writer’s Guild 2020 Writing Contest. Her poem, why is it hard to love a poet? will be shared at a showcase later this year. Her English teacher states, “Her poetry is noticeably complex and stylistic. Her words are relentlessly real and revelatory. She is an amazing writer and we are proud of her.”

We can’t have these words all to ourselves and want to share here. Enjoy the read.

why it is hard to love a poet?
it is such a curse
to see the beauty in
everything as long as
it's impersonal
the vulnerability reserved for
the blooming flowers
or the music that moves my
feet into a
pathetic one-two step
being a poet is no more painful
than being human, it's just that i feel
it more.  it feels like a fog-drenched cliff with no
lighthouse in sight
more like a soliloquy that won't stop
no matter how many rotten tomatoes the
front row tosses heavy-handed
i eat until the juice drips down
my face my callused hands ripe and red
and i am still unfulfilled
it is such a curse to see the beauty
in every word, except for the ones
you create
It’s Just Rocket Science.

It’s Just Rocket Science.

Oh man, it’s time to build ROCKETS! *shwoosh* *roar* *pew pew!* The teachers and students have chosen to build rockets as one of the many fun and engaging activities we do at Maple Lake Academy. The plan for our rockets is to build them, note the differences in design, and then launch them to see how the differences in design affect the rocket’s flight! Even though the rockets are still not finished, we have already noticed many differences. Each rocket is unique, just like our students! Some rockets are smooth, some are a little rough, and some only have two fins. No matter what the rocket looks like, we are excited to see how high each of them will go! We plan to keep the blog updated on the status of our rockets until they are finished and ready to launch! Here is a picture of a few current rocket models:

We plan to paint them, put in the engines and parachutes, and launch them very soon! In the meantime we are having a great time being rocket scientists:

Stay tuned for more status updates on our rockets!

You Can Teach Old Dogs New Tricks

This may look like our teachers are hovering over the computer making secret plans but this is no secret. Maple Lake Academy is training teachers to use video conferencing as a format for lessons. In the wake of current world events, the education department is determined to do all they can to keep school in session. Nothing will take the place of having a teacher in the classroom and giving their personal touch to the lessons, but being able to keep the flow of academics going is an important part of what we do at Maple Lake Academy. In fact, these two teachers are piloting video conferencing this week and have worked hard to adapt the curriculum to this format. Math, English, Social Studies and Science will get a new look this Spring as we continue to adapt to our changing world.

Congratulations to one of our own!

Flowers and Lobsters

One of Maple Lake’s own was honored by a local museum by earning the privilege of having her art work displayed to the public for several weeks. The local museum sponsors high school art each year during March as thousands of submissions are reviewed and evaluated for presentation and only a fraction are placed on display.

This social statement of incorporating water creatures to a bouquet of flowers comes from the student’s home town and the over use of lobsters in the local artwork. Her color choices reflect a trend toward warm and cool colors representing the vacillating ideas reflected in the piece.

Congratulations student Liz!