From one of our 2004 graduates: Where is he now and what is he doing?
posted June 22, 2018, by Robbie J Wilson 

It’s days like this that I like to look back on the events that have brought me to where I am today. When I was 22 I fell in love with a woman in Corvallis Oregon who in turn showed me the most amazing industry in the world, the hospitality industry. I got engaged, quit my job as an accountant and started to work at her restaurant. Fearing that I would be looked down upon because of my age and position in the restaurant I put myself in every position there and drove myself to master it. But it wasn’t until I found the bar that my purpose in life became clear (how lucky can someone get to find their calling when they are 23?!). I re-opened a small bar in the basement of our restaurant and got to work teaching myself how to bartend as well as learning to serve the wonderful town of Corvallis. Sadly that relationship didn’t work out and I moved to Portland. From there I met amazing people, learned that I didn’t know everything and had many occasions to be humbled, even broken. 3 years ago I joined the amazing team at @urbanfarmerpdx and with their help made it to the #woodfordmanhattanexperience finals. I created the worlds largest solera barrel-aged cocktail and got to expand into teaching (another passion and calling of mine). But finally, it has come time to put my words into actions and open my own place once again. Later this summer (fingers crossed) I will be opening #botanistpdx a gin and jazz bar in the pearl. I couldn’t be more proud and happy to be able to announce this. And thanks to an amazing business partner, a supportive family and friends/teammates hopefully I will be able to create a bar that is first and foremost a place of community. Where many first memories and first experiences will be made. Please stay tuned to find out more information as well as see Botanist start and grow.

A Good Year at Coast Redwood High School

posted 03/13/2018 by Michale and Cindy Laurin [updated March 13, 2018]

We've had a good year at CRHS. My son has only been there 2 years, he's a senior, but he's learned a lot about himself in those years. First year was difficult as he had never been in a 'real' high school class, always been homeschooled, so getting all the logistics down in regards to classwork and homework took a bit of time. That first year was a little rocky in the beginning as he got his first experience with typical teen/high school social issues. There were some topics of concern and when I brought them to our teacher and the counselor they responded quickly, and I am very grateful for that. Communication is key, with teachers, admin and counselor, they are responsive to the needs of the kids and families.

We Love Coast Redwood HS
posted February 21, 2018, on FB by Heather Robertson [updated March 2, 2018]

My son started Coast Redwood HS this year. We love it! My son is very smart but was doing horribly in a traditional high school environment. He struggled with the social status and with the homework load and lack of teacher participation. In a comprehensive high school teachers are overloaded and students and parents are much on their own. With my son being super shy and afraid to speak up or ask when needed, he slipped through the cracks and got bad grades. By the time I contacted teachers to try to help him, it was too late and there was no tolerance for late work. Coast Redwood is a Godsend! He gets along with the kids and made friends right away and there is so much teacher involvement that kids don't even get behind. Teachers are also great at recognizing and accommodating a kids shortfalls and pick them up when needed.

It was the best thing we could have done!

posted Oct 18, 2014, 12:01 PM by Laurie Becker   [ updated Oct 18, 2014, 12:07 PM ]

My daughter, now 17, has always been a confident student - happy, healthy, social, with no learning disabilities at all.  As she reached middle school, she began to develop anxiety regarding the school regime - early mornings, homework, and relations with multiple teachers.  I encouraged her to work through this, as it was my thought this is the "real world" and it's not always going to be easy.  Well, after several unhappy years, her anxiety increased to the point it was time to readdress alternative education.  We enrolled her into Coast Redwood her Junior year...and it was the best thing we could have done!  My daughter thrived on the expectation that she was responsible for her own schedule and school work.  She blossomed as a student and as a young adult.  She had a very successful year.  

As her senior year approached, she decided she wanted to have the "full senior experience" which meant having her senior portrait in the yearbook and walking during the graduation ceremony with the friends she'd been going to school with her whole life. If she continued with Coast Redwood, she would miss out on those things, so she re-enrolled at SLV. However, after her first week of school, my daughter realized she had made a big mistake and wanted the freedom Coast Redwood offered her, and she quickly returned!  

Thank you Coast Redwood!  
Carrie Morrison 

A Hybrid Approach to Education

By Sonia Zeringue Cruz
Published in the Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin, June 2013 

We are swiftly becoming a hybrid society. We have hybrid families, and hybrid cars, buses, and garbage trucks. We can even follow the latest in hybrid aircraft projects by Boeing and NASA. So, I’ve been thinking, how many families know about hybrid education? 

Some families love traditional education, some hate it, and some don’t know of any other option. My children have predominately experienced traditional public education and some of them had a segment of Montessori or a segment of private Christian education. Of course, each child is different and educating them individually is a challenging prospect for parents. I thought about what worked in the past or at present, and more often about what was not working. As a result, I was not sure how to make adjustments that would meet our family’s ability to educate our children and so, I just stayed with the program. It was not until my eldest son wrote a position paper for his Honors English course, did I even consider the thought of homeschooling. 

Let me be honest, I had NO interest in this form of education because it was completely foreign to me and my background. I’m not sure that my teenage son had much interest in our perception of homeschooling either. But it was clear that the public education model that he was performing so well at was burning him out at a very young age. He held a 4.0 GPA, played several sports, participated in a community service organization and enjoyed the musical challenges of band, and he was at school a lot! When he was home, he was simply eating, doing homework, practicing his instrument, studying, or - at long last - sleeping. I saw his spirit dying amidst exhaustion and deadlines. Missing the chitchats of his younger years and witnessing a young man aging far too early, I was willing to do whatever it took to change that. And he was certain he did not want another year of getting on a bus at 6:30 a.m. and getting home after 5:00 p.m. 

After some research, we found a model that we thought we could try together – a Charter Home School Program. Moving into a new area and school district as a result of employment really opened the doors of opportunity to explore another approach to education. Luckily, we found a high school charter located on the local high school campus of our school district. The foreign concepts of this Charter Home School raised many, many questions that were quite thoroughly answered by the Supervising Lead Teacher. A plethora of options includes on-site classroom courses, online courses, courses at the traditional high school and community college, courses through occupational programs on-site or off-site as well as independent studies and/or contracted learning models. After much discussion, we decided program participation would provide an opportunity to decompress and to explore some areas of interest that were not available through traditional programs. And so, it was the birth of our hybrid approach to education. 

Our model includes one part “traditional high school classroom”, two parts “charter classroom”, one part “adventure classroom”, three parts “homeschool classroom”, two parts “sports” and all of it Charter! With a supervising teacher working closely with us to ensure graduation requirements are met and university preparations are satisfied, we are pleased with our hybrid model. As with anything new, it is not without its challenges, but overall this year has provided so much for our family. With the demands of an out of state move, an out of the country mission trip, and some tough family losses, this school year was successful only because of the flexibility a charter homeschool provides. My son was able to connect his mission trip experiences to his Geography and Cultures courses in a very personal way. He was able to start his Associates Degree by concurrently enrolling in college math courses at the community college, and imagine my joy in witnessing his inner light shining brightly while he explored a hands-on science course through the Regional Occupational Program. Through the charter, we experienced smaller class size, individual attention, exploration of interests, external activities, and educational variety in a smaller learning community. Our hybrid model provided a path where my son still challenged himself academically, enjoyed high school sports athletically, and reignited his passion for life and experiences by allowing him to breathe and to be refreshed because of the time he had at home. 

Such a hybrid approach to education is truly customized to fit any family. Without question, our family will continue exploring the charter options and various models for our other children. Who knows, maybe one of them will explore aviation and offer Boeing or NASA some tips on hybrid models!