Sky Islands welcomes all of its new students this year, as well as new teachers Petro Yakovchuk and Christine Merrill! The kickoff to the 2016-17 school year saw an orientation week filled with activities involving learning about the school, composting and recycling, and our local place here in the Tucson region. Jennifer Parlin from The Garden Kitchen also came and spoke about our food system and how to localize it and enact a positive change in what we eat and how we grow it. Some students took a break to go bowling after school, or enjoyed our lush fields and water harvesting projects, thanks to lots of welcome monsoon rain!
As the semester continued, Keith from Metro Fire gave a talk and a demonstration of fire safety, including a hands-on fire extinguisher training, students from the photography class took all of the school photos for the yearbook and student IDs, and once the heat waned a bit, basketball games at lunch started up in earnest. Students kept busy both inside and outside the classroom, from planning the Halloween Party to weeding and maintaining the school’s grounds, and listening to a variety of guest speakers, including two Buffalo Soldier re-enactors in the US/AZ History class, and representatives from the Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace and Mission Gardens. The whole school was also treated to the first performance of the year by the Lead Guitar class. At the end of the semester, students in the US/AZ History class toured the Arizona Historical Society, and everybody was treated to a surprise visit from none other than Santa Claus himself (albeit looking a little like Petro)!