Next year's intensives are shaping up!

Intensives are the heart and soul of KCA, the place where the Community and Arts of Kalmiopsis Community Arts High School really shine. Each year has three intensives, when students dive into one class all day for two weeks (intensive = intense!). 

What's in store for next year? 

  • Summer I Intensive (August 28 - September 7). Students will choose from...
  • Winter Intensive (January 16 - January 25)
    • We have some ideas, but nothing's confirmed yet. What do you think?
  • Summer II Intensive (May 28 - June 6)
    • Choices #1/2/3: Wilderness skills training and a whole-school backpacking/camping trip with Earth Scouts!

so, what else is new?

What else is new with us? Take a look...

  • Look, we're already modeling vulnerability! Imperfection! Being human! Between now and August 28th's Opening Day, we're doing the dance of getting things ready for KCA while (at the same, sweet time) continuing to work our until-KCA-opens jobs before KCA staff receives our first paychecks in August (or September? Who knows!). Also, there's only four of us so far. Four adults working four pre-KCA jobs and raising five kids makes for busy people! This means that we're not able to do all the things. We're so committed to being excellent at communicating with students, their families, and our community, yet we're not perfect about it yet, and, well, we'll probably never be perfect at it. We realize that teachers model "how to be an adult" for the kids, especially the teenager kids, which means that, yes, we model working hard and having a vision, but it's so important to show that adulthood also includes (a) taking care of ourselves, (b) having a life outside of our professions (no matter how much we love what we do), and (c) continuing to play, adventure, and explore the world!  
  • We're building a data/base of community members who want to teach intensives, volunteer, join the board, and otherwise support the vision of KCA. If we've already talked with you about helping out KCA, you're already on the list! If we haven't talked yet, well then, what are you waiting for?
  • We've collected so many donations that KCA now has its own storage unit in town! The Illinois Valley Family Coalition donated a copy machine, Illinois Valley News gifted office desks, chairs, and file cabinets, local nurse Teresa Allison gifted a piano, the Dome School gifted classroom furniture, and we have a few more generosities to follow-up on! (How many used pianos does one school need? It turns out, we'll take all of them!). Please let us know if you'd like to donate to KCA, or if you already donated and we are terrible people who forgot to acknowledge you (we're sorry!).  
  • Grants are also helping KCA prepare for opening day. With a $10,000 grant from Four Way Community Foundation, we've been able to support local artists such as Alan Laurie, who is creating a large KCA sign, and Forest Peace Tree-Hugger, whose dream catchers will adorn the classroom walls. We're also buying technology for our staff and classrooms, the necessary purchases from Costco which, among all the corporations, treats its employees pretty darn well! Our latest grant is small but mighty: $300 from the Oregon Council of Teachers of English to begin the KCA library and purchase class sets of books for students. We also received support from the Ford Family Foundation, which sent us to the National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, D.C. in June. We didn't receive an Oregon Department of Education's LGBTQ2SIA+ Student Success grant (since the school hasn't opened yet, we were told that we *probably* wouldn't qualify...and we didn't), nor the federal Charter Schools Program or the nonprofit Snapdragon Book Foundation (which taught us to submit early, just in case the technology falls apart at the last minute!). We will try again! We're now applying for the next round of Four Way Community Foundation grants, and next we might apply for an Oregon Humanities Public Program Grant and National Endowment for the Arts grant, depending on our ability (= time!) to apply.
  • We've found a temporary location in Cave Junction for the first 1-2 years until we can move into our permanent home at Rusk Ranch Nature Center! We need to take one more step to confirm the lease, and when we do, you'll hear all about it!
  • Contract negotiations are underway with Three Rivers School District! It's the important nitty gritty of creating a great relationship with the school district and our other local schools in the Illinois Valley. Our first contract lasts three years and then we'll renew again. We'll let you know when our contract has been signed, and then all of us can collectively exhale. A big big big exhale!
  • Families! We're meeting the coolest new families and students. When folks enroll at KCA, we're reaching out to talk over the phone or in person. Who says we need to wait until the school year begins before getting to know each other?
  • The Priority Enrollment Window closes March 31! That doesn't mean that you can't enroll after March 31, not at all. It only means that on March 31 we'll stop and count the number of enrollment requests so far. We have 16 spaces available for each grade. If more than 16 people have requested enrollment in a grade, we'll need to hold an anonymous lottery in early April to see who gets a spot. If there aren't more than 16 enrollments per grade for any of the grades, then no lottery! Simple as that.  
  • So...what's new with you?! (We really want to know.!)
Enroll here!
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Kalmiopsis Community Arts High School

Teacher Leaders
Melissa DeNardo (she/her)

Ryan Forsythe (he/him)

Kaci Elder (she/her)


Kimiko Maglio (she/her)
Founding Board Chairperson

Art credits: Lady in the Mountain by Malin Townsend (upper image), Early Summer Azaleas by Justice Palacios (lower image).

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Kalmiopsis Community Arts High School · PO Box 110 · O Brien, OR 97534-0110 · USA