Our History

OCEAN LogoBefore 1992
Marci Van Cleve had a homeschool program called Quimper Academy, and expanded the program to Chimacum School District, forming the Pi Program.
In 1992, the Port Townsend School District's Migrant Education Program was split up and part of it became the Off-Campus Program with Marci, and part became the MarVista Alternative High School.
Marci started the Off-Campus Program, known as the "Floating Education" school, which was at Mountain View part of the day and floated up to the Gael Stuart building when Mountain View had its lunch time. The dozen or so students bagged up all their materials in red bags, and walked up the hill. Once at the Gale Stuart Building, they were in a space not much larger than a closet. Some of the younger students would climb onto shelves, as if they were train or ship berths, and they all listened to stories told by Marci or their peers.
During the next 4 years, The Off-Campus Program, which became the I.C.E. (Independent Curriculum Education) Program, moved from Mountain View to Grant Street into what is now the OCEAN House (sharing it with the preschool), back to Mountain View, covering about five moves of teaching spaces, and in the fall of 1996, moved into the dark brown portable at the south end of Grant Street School. Marci continued to share her time between Port Townsend and Chimacum School Districts.
On October 1, 1996, D. Liz Quayle (then known as Darlene) joined the I.C.E. Program, expanding the program to include 50 students. She had come from an alternative high school and various middle schools, complete with an office/organizational background, and quickly went to work creating forms, sorting paperwork and putting everything in order, as requested by the state from our first audit. The following fall, when we were audited again, the auditors were full of praise for the new organizational systems.
Veteran's Day of 1998 gave us the ICE House - a space that had been largely vacant since the preschool had moved out a few years previous. Having two separate teaching spaces allowed us to expand our class offerings, and Marci happily moved in and made it a home for our students. We renamed the program to the Individualized Choice Education Program, maintaining the acronym, but supporting the idea of choice.
The program held steady for several years, adding a Middle School Option (MiSO) Program-within-a-program. For the first two years, we were fortunate to have Christy Kisler with us, using creativity to connect with middle schoolers. The first year was excellent, with a balance of peer role models and students needing them. The second year saw the balance tip a little, and Christy chose to go elsewhere after the year ended. Marci and Liz took over, and found that many of the students who were "placed" in there needed a more diverse peer group. it was a challenging year for them both, and MiSO saw its end, returning middle schoolers to multi-age classes. 
We met Sue ___, who after a long time of asking for a third teacher, was hired from March until June as a reading specialist. The following fall, we were able to hire Lori Bernstein as our early elementary specialist, but her position was cut at the end of the year.
Marci took a leave of absence in 2000-2001, and Ken Wilson came in to teach for the year. When she returned, she changed her schedule to be 80% ICE and 20% Pi.
In 2003-2004, Liz pursued her Principal Certification, and spent 1-2 days a week at the high school, mentored by PTHS Principal Carrie Ehrhardt. There were some substitutes, but consistency was still there for most students, since the extra time with Marci on board made all the difference in what we were able to offer in the way of classes.
After 11 years in the brown portable, in the winter of 2007, we were granted space in the light-filled, newer beige portable next door. The brown portable became storage for ICE and for Grant Street. Liz moved in, grateful for the larger space.
Deciding not to pursue a principal position, Liz instead took a sabbatical leave from 2008-2009, and traveled to Europe for four months to research education in schools there. She volunteered time to help start up and close out the year. Marci moved some of her time back to Pi, which allowed Liz's position to be filled by two teachers: Daniel Molotsky and Luke Snyder. Daniel taught middle school and elementary classes, and Luke, shared with PTHS, focused on Math and Physical Science. Daniel took over the beige portable and half of the brown portable was opened up to provide part-time teaching space for Luke.
Upon Liz's return, a surge in interest in the program, and a transfer of part of Marci's time back to the Pi Program, allowed ICE to keep Daniel as a full-time teacher. That same year, Mountain View closed its doors as a school and moved 3rd grade into Grant Street. We lost the beige portable and the brown portable once again became our teaching space.
Now with three teachers on board, and only two teaching spaces (the brown portable and the ICE House), Liz was moved to the Stuart Building. This was convenient for high schoolers who were also taking classes on the high school campus, and a new experience for younger students coming to class there, but a challenge for communication among the staff members. Liz shared space to keep most of the elementary and middle school classes on Grant Street's campus, using the Grant Street Library for Monday's middle school math class, then using the ICE House for classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Daniel made sure that extra windows were installed in the brown portable, and painted the brown paneling white, to add more light to the space.
After two years back in the brown portable and in Stuart Building, the Preschool portables at the north end of the campus became available, and since the Superintendent's office was moving into the Stuart Building classroom, Liz and Daniel vacated their spaces and moved into the north-end portables where they are now.
Daniel worked on his principal credentials in 2011-2012, and during this, he developed the rebranding idea of changing the school name to OCEAN. Through many advisory board meetings, conversations with students, parents, and community members, we decided to make the change. In the fall of 2012, the new name, OCEAN (Opportunity, Community, Experience, Academics & Navigation), went into effect.
In September 2013, Marci announced that she had been granted additional time in the Pi Program so that she could have full medical benefits, which had been reduced due to her 40/60 split time in OCEAN and the Pi Program.
October saw a parade of substitute teachers, fueled by Marci's generous lesson plans, until we were at last able to hire Jeanne Chao to fill out our teaching staff. With her credentials in Science, Jeanne took on the K-8 science and the high school sciences, two days a week. Jeanne resigned effective the end of the 2014-15 school year.

Starting in September 2015, Robert (Bob) Kirk joined the OCEAN team for a 0.5 FTE teaching position, coming from various teaching positions, including environmental science at the community college level. He teaches various science and math courses K-12.

Over the summer of 2016, OCEAN moved its entire school program to Blue Heron Campus and is currently in portable classrooms 804 & 801 (Daniel & Bob, respectively), and 901 (Liz).

In August 2017, Liz moved on to take a position at OSPI (state superintendent's office) to support Alternative Learning Experience programs statewide. Daniel moved into the Lead Teacher role as a result of Liz's departure.

We were fortunate to find a passionate learner and teacher in Virginia Grace, who joined OCEAN as a full-time teacher beginning with the 2017-18 school year. She came from an International School and International Baccalaureate background, and teaches K-5 math/science and art, and various high school courses.

During the 2017-18 school year, Daniel developed medical issues which have limited his ability to be in the classroom as much as he would like. He will require a long-term guest teacher for the beginning of 2018-19. We are glad to introduce Janet Lozano, who will be teaching with us for first semester.
The school continues to grow, carrying an enrollment of approximately 75 students (68 FTE).

Last Modified August 2018
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