In January 2002, Walker School opened an innovative and compelling playground. Nothing like it existed between San Francisco and Portland. It is now a permanent community/regional asset that allows children with physical disabilities and able-bodied children to play together. Childern who use wheelchairs could not spin their wheels in wood fiber, pea gravel or sand of traditional playgrounds but, after instillation at behind Walker, they could enjoy a safe, rollable rubberized surface throughout our playground.

The playground was made possible by wide-spread community support. Ashland School District provided the majority of the funding as each elementary school gained a new playground. Other large contributions came from the Ford Family Foundation, Jackson County Developmental Disabilities, Hasbro Children's Foundation, Ashland Rotary, Soroptimists, Ashland Community Hospital, Providence Hospital, Asante Health Systems, an Anonymous Donor, the Walker PTO and many businesses and individual donors. The Playground Committee, led by Linda Hilligoss and Mary Ellen Cole, raised $185,000 for the project. The additional funding was necessary to create a playstructure with extensive ramps and a rubberized surface around the entire structure.

Krauss Craft of Cave Junction, OR designed and manufactured the structure with a spirit of collaboration and innovation. Spectraturf Inc, CA provided the attractive surface material at a very reasonable price. Steve Lawrence labored in all weather conditions to prepare the ground and install the equipment.

This playground manifests our values for living and learning in that we have a playspace that invites children of all abilities to play together, developing strong bodies and healthy social skills. Children's work IS their play and what a glorious area we have created for that to occur. The playground is open for public use after school hours, during weekends and school holidays.

Playground Rules and Expectations

Three times a year Walker has “Expectation Stations” that teach students what we expect in different areas of the school. We believe telling them the routine ahead of time helps them understand how to be successful at school. Below is the list of expectations we have taught students for the school year. We hope parents will find it very useful.

Coming and Going to School

1. Know when to come to school and how to start your day:

  • Doors are unlocked at 7:30

  • Come to school early enough to get things put away, eat breakfast (if you do) and be walking to class at 8:15.

  • Pay attention to when you need to leave home and get here.

  • Hang up your things correctly on your hook (keep halls clear) then go to supervised area (Cafeteria, playground, library, art room) when you arrive at school.

  • Breakfast is served from 7:45 to 8:10. Last meal served at 8:10 so students can get to class on time.

  • Head straight to class at the bell so you are on time for learning.

  • Be in your seat ready to start class when class starts at 8:20

2. If you are dropped off by your parents:

  • have them drive up in the library loop.

  • Be ready to jump out so your parents don’t hold up the line

3. If your parents come in to the school with you

  • Use the parking lot only for parking and walking in

4. If you ride a bike, scooter or board

  • Get off and always walk bikes, scooters, etc. when on campus.

  • Lock your bike at the bike rack.

5. When getting ready in the morning remember

  • Street shoes at Walker only (no wheels)

  • Cell phones off and put away deep in backpack. You can bring it back out after school.

  • Keep your toys or personal play equipment at home.




1. Before lunch

  • Listen to the lunch menu each morning so you know what you want to order.

  • Walk to the cafeteria with your class quietly so you do not disturb other classes still in session.

  • Use the restroom and wash your hands well before getting in line.

  • Remove your hat.

  • Stand in line politely and calmly.

2. Ordering

  • Know what you are ordering.

  • Speak loudly.

  • Say your first and last name.

  • Use “please” and “thank you

3. Salad bar

  • Everyone must have ½ cup of either fruit or vegies on their plate

  • Take only one serving your first time through the salad bar (you may come back for more until the last 5 minutes of lunch time)

  • Hold your tray with two hands

4. Eating

  • Sit with your class.

  • Make room for others.

  • Use your restaurant manners – manners that show respect for others.

  • Eat only your own food – do not ask for food from others.

  • Sit on bench forward with both feet on the ground.

  • Stay in your spot until you go to leave.

5. Leaving

  • Clean up after yourself.

  • Report spills so we can mop them up.

  • Raise your hand to ask if you may go to recess, wait to be excused.

  • Pour out liquids, scrap food & cartons into trash, stack your tray in the correct order, put utensils in water.

  • Exit by the back door and go straight to the playground.



1. Play Area:

  • Play only where there are supervisors who can see you

  • Playground limits: top of the hill and edge of the ball wall

  • Stay inside the fence, school side of the back trees, school side of the baseball home base back fence

  • Stay out of the bushes and off the boulders

  • The courtyard is closed at recess

  • If a ball goes out of bounds, ask a supervisor if you can get it

  • Stay out and away from trees – no pulling, climbing or swinging from trees

  • Get a pass to go in to the building to use the restroom.

 2. Swings

  • For swinging only (not climbing)

  • One person at a time facing forward.

  • Do not twist swing chains or give/get underdogs.

  • If you are not swinging stay on the green safe area.

  • Waiting for a turn: count to 120 loud enough for those swinging to hear. Those swinging exit after the count.

  • Get off the swing safely.

  • Do not push empty swings.

 3. Tire swing:

  • Only three at once

  • Legs in center

  • Bottom on tire

  • Holding on to the chain with hands.

  • One person only pushing

  • Others move to the green safe area.

  • Wait for everyone to be safely on then spin

  • Same rules for waiting as other swings: all those waiting count to 120 so tire swing riders can hear.

  • Wait for tire to stop before getting off.

  • Repeat riders allowed only if no one is waiting to ride. 

4. Equipment:

  • If the ball box is locked, it is off limits

  • Wait your turn to get equipment (do not push)

  • Balls and jump ropes are for blacktop areas only

  • If you see equipment when the bell rings, bring it in to the box

  • Place balls in to the box (do not throw)

  • Do not sit on the box or hang out around the box – go play.

 5. On the play structure:

  • Walk only.

  • No climbing on outside of structure

  • Slide on your bottom down slides only

  • Do not pick up others or push them on slide equipment

  • Balls and jump ropes stay out of the play structure area

  • No tag or chase in the play structure area

6. Everywhere at recess

  • Take turns -- allow everyone to play

  • Follow adult directions

  • No wrestling, kicking, pretend fighting or tackling type play at school

  • Use basketball courts and soccer goals for intended game only (no climbing)

  • Running games on grass only.

  • Give run away balls back to the person chasing the ball.

  • Decide the rules prior to game. Play by rules. Majority decides disagreements during games. If joining late, know the rules.

  • When bell rings line up immediately

  • Use and respect STOP-WALK-TALK

  • If STOP-WALK-TALK doesn’t work, go to a supervisor.

 Art Room

1. The art room is available before school and at lunch recess.
If you choose the art room at recess, choose at the beginning of recess.
The art room is for creating art while chatting with friends, do not pick it if you want to run and play.
Never walk in an unsupervised area to get to or from the art room.

  • From the cafeteria use the halls with a pass

  • From the playground make sure the supervisor is watching you walk along the side of the school

  • The courtyard is closed to students during school – do not cut through

2. Treat others with respect while in the art room

  • Compliment their work

  • Only touch your own work

  • Use materials as they are intended

3. At the end of recess

  • Clean up your area before the bell rings

  • Help others leave the art room neat

  • Go immediately to your class at the bell (stay in supervised areas)

  • Doors are locked during the day – do not go outside without your teacher 


1. In the morning:

  • Halls open at 8:10.

  • Before 8:10 be in a supervised area: play structure, library, cafeteria, art room

2. If you are late

  • Late is when you are not in your seat at 8:20

  • go to the office to get a pass to class before going to class

3. In the morning

  • Put your scooter, skateboard in rack by office

  • Hang up your coat and backpack on your hook

  • Be friendly: Look at others and say good morning to those you see

4. In the halls

  • Stay inside – doors are locked during the day and it is unsafe to go outside when no one is supervising

  • Do not let others in to a locked door. Visitors must enter through the office and sign in

  • Always walk when inside

  • Walk to the right like traffic on the street

  • Keep the halls clear of stuff

5. Need to go to the office?

  • Have a pass to come to the office for any reason

  • At recess, see a supervisor for your needs, do not come to the office unless sent

  • Wait at the front counter until the office manager can help you

  • If needing the health room you must check in and stay in room until excused

  • All medicines have to be checked in by your parents

  • Get Band-Aids from your teacher

  • Make arrangements for play dates after school in advanced. Do not use the phone to get permission to go to someone’s house

  • Know your afterschool plans before school – who is picking you up?

  • Get bus passes, if you need one, before school -- do not wait until after school when it is busy.

6. After school:

  • Leave campus by 3:00.

  • If no one picks you up by 3:15 report to the office after school.

  • Go straight home after school

  • Stay safe and respectful all the way home 


 1. Using the rest room:

  • Come early enough to school to use the restroom before class

  • Go straight to and from the restroom

  • Always get a pass from someone at recess or in the cafeteria to go to the restroom

  • Return the pass to the same person who gave it to you

  •  Wash your hand every time you use the restroom. Use soap and wash well.

  • Use the restroom as it is intended only. Do so quickly.

  • Give others privacy in the restrooms

  • Use the bathroom, wash hands and return immediately to class

2. If you do not feel good:

  • Ask your teacher for a pass to the health room in the office

  • Check in with Cheryl and tell her what is wrong

3. If you notice something wrong in the restroom

  • Report it to the office right away

4. Keep our school nice

  • Leave things the way you found them

  •  Feel good by doing the right thing 

When conflicts happen

 1. We want school to be fun for everyone

  • Use recess to have fun

  • Allow others to get their way too

  • It is not a competition time. Wining or losing games at recess does not matter

2. Social skills are like learning to read and do math

  • We are all at different spots in our learning

  • Some need more help to learn how to be social (just like we will all need some help at some time to learn something)

3. If something is bothering you

  • Hit Pause: stop what you are doing, look around and take three slow breathes

  • Use and respect Stop, Walk, Talk

  • When you say “stop” -- do so in a definite way, using the hand signal.

  • Stop moving around to tell them directly and firmly (without laughing)

  • Watch to see if the other person heard you

  • If they do not stop, walk away

  • If they follow you, talk to a supervisor

  • If stop, walk, talk doesn’t work go to an adult (sometimes you have to try more than once)

  • You can ask for a peer mediation to solve problem

4. If you have a conflict, let an adult know that day. There are many options, pick one you are comfortable with:

  • Report it to a playground supervisor

  • Tell your teacher when you return to class

  • Tell Drew or Mary if it was a conflict

  • Tell the principal – you can leave a note with Cheryl

  • If it is big enough to go home and tell your family, it is big enough to tell an adult here at school (the same day it happens)

5. Working out conflicts takes time

  • If you make an agreement stick to it

  • Sometimes you do not see the adults work on the problem. We may work with others when you do not know about it

  • If problems are not solved, go back to the adult you told or pick a new adult to get help

  • If you have an ongoing problem with another student make sure you let a supervisor or Principal know so we can work on how to make it better

  • Sometimes we have to go back and work on it more than once. Be patient as we are all learning social skills