Students enjoy end-of-year thrills

Thrilling adventures mark culmination of Plumas Charter School’s year
Posted on 06/27/2018
PCS fifth-graders tackle a treetop challenge.To close out their school year, the fifth- and eighth-grade classes at Plumas Charter School’s Quincy site each embarked on an exciting trip that combined learning and adventure.

Fifth grade: Tahoe ropes course
During the first week of June, 15 fifth-graders from Plumas Charter School’s Quincy site headed to the tree tops to develop trust, confidence, and teamwork.

The group visited Lake Tahoe, which teacher Cindy Thackeray said marked the first time some of her students had seen the lake. The class discussed meeting challenges, overcoming fears, and “how each of us is unique,” said Thackeray.

Next, everyone headed to the Tahoe Treetop Adventure Park in Tahoe Vista. With help from the facilitators, the kids participated in various challenges on the high ropes course. Emphasis was placed on communication and working together.

“I was very impressed,” said student Jake Thackeray.  “We were doing the challenges by ourselves. Some of the obstacles were hard and we were high up, but you knew you were safe. The courses were also challenging and that is why I had a lot of fun and because we were up in the air 210 feet.”

Cindy Thackeray reported that most of her students completed at least two levels of difficulty. “I was especially impressed with how they supported each other,” she said. “As I walked the paths below, I would hear shouts of encouragement from all the students to their classmates on other courses.”

Eighth grade: San Francisco science and history
To mark their graduation from middle school, Plumas Charter School eighth-graders planned and funded their own end-of-year trip, said science teacher Hannah Stewart. This is the second year for this tradition.

Though it was not required that the trip be educational in nature, the eighth-grade class of 2018 chose a San Francisco itinerary that included visits to science and history venues. The students raised more than $3,000 through fundraisers to pay for the overnight adventure, said Plumas Charter School office manager Maggie Hennessy.

During their excursion at the end of May, they visited the Exploratorium, learning about science and physics, and the Jelly Belly factory in nearby Fairfield, which provided a behind-the-scenes view of how candy is made.

The students also chose to visit The San Francisco Dungeon, an attraction that uses special effects and actors to tell the story of the city’s past in a frightening and funny way. Stewart and fellow teacher Casey Peters said they were pleased to find the information behind the sensational presentation to be accurate.

After the thrills and chills in the dungeon, “it got real” at Alcatraz, said Stewart. All students participated in the audio tour of the famous island prison, and Stewart said they were noticeably moved by the stories from former prisoners and guards.
The students came away from their whirlwind trip with a deeper understanding of their cultural history, said Stewart.

By Ingrid Burke, I. Burke Writing & Editing
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In the photo: Fifth-graders Bobby Barnes (left) and Jahson Sanderson tackle a treetop challenge using teamwork.