The Attic traditionally has an "opening event" picnic at Flowing Lake in Snohomish. This fun family event is typically scheduled on Wednesday during the first week of classes, to gather as a community of families and staff.
Optional family trips are usually held twice a year in the fall and spring. These family trips provide a valuable opportunity to build community with Attic families and staff. Typically the fall trip is a 2-3 day weekend in October at Four Winds Westward Ho camp on Orcas Island. The spring trip is usually a weekend camping trip in June, just after the end of the Attic year.
Attic interest projects are an Attic tradition. Students each choose a topic to research at their developmental level. All Attic students are involved in the Interest Project event. Young students typically do not spend as many weeks researching and preparing, as they are obviously not asked to write long research papers, and are given ample class time to work on this project at the Attic during reading/writing. Middle and high-schoolers do more of the work independently on their own time. The process culminates with an evening of students sharing expertise through oral presentations, visual displays, movies, music, crafts, or model building.
The Attic hosts a math night every year, typically in mid-winter. All Attic students participate, hosting a table to present a math problem or provide a sample of what they are working on in math. Parents, siblings, and guests visit the tables where children explain their mathematics and/or present a challenge problem for the visitor to solve.
This optional, year-long, student-led research project involves high-school students choosing and working on a biology topic to enter the annual Student BioExpo, hosted by the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research. The Student BioExpo is a unique science exposition that engages high school students to demonstrate their understanding of biotechnology and biomedicine in creative ways. Each student choose a biology topic and project category from a variety of forms - art, drama, music, molecular modeling, web design, traditional scientific research, creative writing, or journalism. During their project, students have the option to work with a mentor scientist currently working in the field of biotechnology. For all projects, students are required to do extensive research, write an in-depth scientific paper to rigorous standards, and present their findings to judges and visitors.
The children usually plan a haunted house and Halloween party. Often a room or two is transformed (by children) into a haunted house. All Attic community members, including families, are welcome to tour the haunted house.
Valentine Exchange/Senior Center Singing
Usually the children decorate valentine boxes during art the week before Valentines Day. The kids exchange valentines and have an ice cream social or other treat during regular Attic hours. Some years the children have hosted an optional singing event at a local senior center, singing "oldie" love songs.
Many of the Attic children ~ages 10-14 spend a magical week at Islandwood camp every year. Located on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Islandwood is a unique, 255 acre outdoor learning center designed to provide exceptional learning experiences and inspire lifelong environmental and community stewardship. Islandwood's educators combine scientific inquiry, technology, and the arts to help students discover natural connections with the outdoors.
The Attic has a tradition of producing a "no cut" spring play. Students ages 5 through 18 participate in this exceptionally fun event!
As The Attic draws to a close, the children create a yearbook filled with memories. Everyone is asked to donate pictures taken at The Attic or during Attic events from the current year. These might be pictures taken from classes, family Attic weekends, or special Attic events.