Return to Headlines

New class teaches A3 students emergency preparedness

Academy of Arts and Academics (A3) students received Oregon Emergency Management’s Certificate of Preparedness, and earned language arts and physical education credits by completing the new “A3 Scouts” class in January.

25 students from grades 9-12 completed a variety of disaster preparedness activities with the help of survival and emergency management experts. “In my class I learned all about how to correctly use all sorts of survival gear, along with how to prepare for natural disasters,’’ A3 junior Gabriel Sabrowski said.

Students learned to build fires, construct shelters, perform first-aid, use a knife safely, pack a “go bag.”

“When you use a knife, you always want to make sure you have a ‘blood bubble,’ which is an arm’s length away from you,” senior Lydia Roebuck-Ebener said. This ensures no one else is close enough to be cut when the knife is in use.

Ninth-grader Sarah McIlrath says her family already had some supplies together, but she decided to do more after taking the class. “I keep an emergency go kit in reach of my bed,” Sarah said. McIlrath’s family also has a designated meeting place. 

“The other beautiful thing is that this is an avenue for us to offer language arts and P.E. credit. We were able to offer PE credits by being outside on a regular basis, but we were also able to offer language arts credit through this course by having students record their experiences,” co-teacher Rebecca Krop said. Students also wrote evacuation plans after researching potential natural disasters in specific areas of Oregon. 

“This class really came out of passion Rebecca and I have for being outdoors, hands-on learning and then also for being  prepared for natural disasters,” said co-teacher Robyn Louden.

The Springfield Education Foundation provided a grant that enabled them to offer the class. Coyle Outside, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), City of Springfield, Lane County and OEM provided instruction and materials.