by: Tyler Graf WALKING — St. Helens Middle School Interim Principal Tim Olietti (center) walks the halls of his school flanked by school visitors, including County Commissioner Henry Heimuller (left).

The St. Helens School District opened its doors to the community Thursday, March 10 as a way of highlighting some of the district's new policies and programs while underscoring its vision for the future. The all-day event, called the Community Tour of Schools, happens annually.

The role of technology in the classroom was a point of emphasis during the tour.

Superintendent Patricia Adams, who is resigning her post at the end of the school year, told tour goers that she hoped the district would utilize more online resources in the future.

With increasing textbook costs, she said better online resources would provide cost savings for the district across the board.

'We should have access to everything on a computer,' she said.

Though only a handful of community members made it out to the event, St. Helens Middle School's Interim Principal Tim Olietti said the annual tours are an important way to provide an up-close view of the schools to the community.

At the middle school, tour goers saw how technology was being used in the classroom and talked to students about specialty programs, including students working to repair a damaged watershed and students editing the middle school's literary journal, 'Reflections.'

Elsewhere in the district, tour goers saw second grade music at McBride Elementary school, advanced art at St. Helens High School and the Sacagawea Health Center at Lewis and Clark Elementary School.

The tour lasted from 9:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

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