• E Connections 2014-2015

    Personalized learning and an understanding of real-world problems are important elements of the Mercer Island School District's 2020 Vision

    Students learn career skills as they prepare for Crest Plant Sale in May

    When you visit the beautiful Crest greenhouse and nurseries on 86th Avenue Southeast, you'll find prize-winning heirloom tomatoes, a variety of herbs, flowers, squash, and vegetables. You'll see sustainable practices in action, from re-used plastic pots, instead of treating pots that would wind up in a landfill, to the absence of inorganic chemicals that would wind up in Lake Washington.


    More importantly, you'll find Mercer Island students in the Crest Urban Horticulture class developing skills for their careers in a personalized learning environment.


    The high school students are preparing for the Crest Plant Sale in May while they simulate a real job site. Teacher Lois Sargent plays the role of a business owner while students take responsibility for managing and executing operations. There is a student floor supervisor and a maintenance supervisor, just like a real-world greenhouse or nursery.


    "My students are learning new ways to take advantage of leadership opportunities in a whole different structure with a focus on job-site behaviors. I want them to have confidence following the direction of their boss, being proactive, and keeping busy with their tasks. They can learn these things while earning a science or elective credit and learning about plant nurturing, pest control, and organic gardening,' says Sargent. "I have students who view the greenhouse as a haven of peace in a stressful school day." 


    Opening day of the Crest Plant Sale and the CrestFest Open House will be May 2, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Sales of the all-organic plants from the Crest greenhouse support the work of horticulture students in the MIHS College and Career Readiness Program. Funds are carried over to fund the next year's class and the next spring crop. In addition to a variety of herbs, flowers, heirloom tomatoes, squash, and vegetables, a limited number of student-made garden stones will also be available.


    "Students take a lot of pride in their work and in their crop growing. During the Crest Plant Sale in May they provide great customer service and most of our advertising art is student generated," added Sargent. "Our heirloom tomatoes are famous up and down the Puget Sound! We have geraniums from our greenhouse growing in places like Bainbridge Island. What's also great is that I have students who have used me as a reference to seek real-world jobs as they begin to explore their career options."

    Statement of Nondiscrimination
    The Mercer Island School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.
    The following people have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:
    Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) Coordinator:
    Dr. Gary Plano, Superintendent, (206) 236-3300.
    Title IX Compliance Coordinator:
    Dean Mack, CFO/COO, (206) 236-4522.
    Section 504 & ADA Coordinator:
    Lindsay Myatich, Director, (206) 236-3326.
    Civil Rights Coordinator:
    Mark Roschy, Director, (206) 236-3439.
    Contact: Randy Bolerjack
    Phone: 206.230.6227