The 2020 spring conference and retreat is March 13-15 at Skamania Lodge!

If you are interested in presenting at the conference, Call for Proposals on the theme of Inseparable: Human-Environment Interactions is now open.  In the meantime, please see below for session documents from our 2018 Conference presenters for an idea of the scope of our Spring Conference offerings. 2020 Keynote speakers and workshop sessions will explore:

This Land - Classroom strategies for place-based education and indigenous connections to land

Global Issues - Past and present human activities and impacts (including climate change)

and how these contribute to both cooperation and conflict.

Present that amazing lesson or program you have at the Spring Conference!

The window for submitting sessions for the 2020 Spring Conference is open.  If you are interested in presenting at the Spring conference (and being able to attend the conference at a discounted registration rate) please begin brainstorming what great lessons or resources you could share on the theme of this year's spring conference: Land and Peoples

We know you've got that great lesson you refine year over year, the program that opened your eyes to a country, or a program that redefined how you teach.  If you've got it, flaunt it!  The deadline for submitting a proposal is December 14, 2019.  If your proposal is approved, remember to:

  1. Register for the conference. In exchange for presenting a session, you'll receive our most discounted conference registration rate!

  2. Book accommodations in Skamania. Remember to mention you're with the WSCSS to get the best rate.

  3. Submit your session documents to ASAP


Location and Date

The conference will convene from 1 PM on March 13th to late morning on March 15th, 2020 at Skamania Lodge. 

Skamania Lodge

1131 SW Skamania Lodge Way

Stevenson, WA 98648

2018 Conference Program (Archived)

The program for the 2018 Spring Conference and Retreat is now available!  Please check out the program to see the conference format and breadth of offerings!  Features include workshops led by:

  • The UW Jackson School of International Studies

  • Western Washington University

  • Seattle University School of Education

  • Concordia University (Portland)

  • Rethinking Schools

  • Brown University's Choices Program

2020 Session Documents

Documents provided by our 2020 session presenters can be found here for your reference and future use.

Learn more about amazing Skamania!

Calling all Washington and Oregon teachers!  We are so excited to be returning the spring conference and retreat to Skamania Lodge for 2020!  Visit the beautiful Columbia Gorge, avoid the mountain passes, and meet and build connections with new friends from across the state and across state lines!

Things for the Family

There are many great wineries, coffee shops, and points of interest to visit when staying with us in Skamania.  Check out the map to see what is available in town, or plan an afternoon to points beyond!

2018 Keynote Speakers (Archived)

Friday Night Keynote: Tom Ikeda

The World War II Japanese American Incarceration and Why it Matters Today

2018 marks the 76th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans. Densho executive director Tom Ikeda will discuss how this injustice happened during a time of fear and how we are seeing similar fears appearing in America today. Tom will discuss how immigration bans, discriminatory laws, and incarceration in an American concentration camp affected his Gold Star Japanese immigrant grandparents.

Tom Ikeda is the founding Executive Director of Densho. He is a third generation Japanese American who was born and raised in Seattle. Tom’s parents and grandparents were incarcerated during World War II at Minidoka, Idaho. In addition to leading the organization over the last 21 years, Tom has conducted over 250 video-recorded, oral history interviews with Japanese Americans. He has received numerous awards for his historical contributions, including the Humanities Washington Award for outstanding achievement in the public humanities, the National JACL Japanese American of the Biennium award for Education, and the Microsoft Alumni Integral Fellows Award.


 Saturday Breakfast Keynote Speaker: Chris Reykdal - Social Studies teacher and Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Resurgent Social Studies Knowledge is ubiquitous; our students have access to more content and learning tools than any time in history but struggle to enhance critical thinking and basic civility.  It’s time for resurgent social studies to fill that gap!






Saturday Lunch Keynote Speaker: Walter Parker - Professor of Social Studies Education at the University of Washington

Can Education Save Democracy? Yes and no. Democracies are the historical exception, not the historical rule (tyranny is the historical rule). Most democracies end when “we the people” elect a demagogue who then dismantles the democracy. This is how democracies typically commit suicide, and it is why the Greeks equated democracy with mob rule—the tyranny of the majority.  So, can education tame the mob? Can it discipline the majority? 

Walter Parker is Professor of education and political science at the University of Washington. He studies social studies education K-12 and the civic development of youth. He is implementing a simulations-based approach to the high school AP course, U. S. Government and Politics, and an inquiry-based approach to elementary school social studies. The aim of both is deeper learning of carefully-chosen subject matter. His books include Teaching Democracy, Educating the Democratic Mind, and Social Studies Today: Research & Practice.

Saturday Night Keynote Speaker: Andrea Rodgers - Senior Attorney with Our Children's Trust

The Atmosphere is the Breath of Life: Youth Taking Their Governments to Court to Assert Their Constitutional Rights to A Stable Climate System.

In 2015, 21 young people from across the United States filed a constitutional climate change lawsuit against the federal government in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. These plaintiffs assert that, in causing climate change, the federal government has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, and has failed to protect essential public trust resources.

On November 10, 2016, U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken rejected all arguments to dismiss the case, known as Juliana v. United States, and determined that the young plaintiffs’ constitutional and public trust claims could proceed. The plaintiffs seek a court order requiring the President to immediately implement a national plan to decrease atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide from over 440 to 350 parts per million (ppm) by the year 2100. What are the grounds for their complaint, and the likelihood of its success? How is this legal theory being used in other States, including Washington? In addition to the details and stunning implications of this historic case, Andrea will also share an exciting update on the various youth-brought state lawsuits that Our Children's Trust also supports. 

2018 Spring Conference Registration - Opening in December 2019

WSCSS Spring Conference Teacher Registration
Type of Registration:
Add to Cart

Registration includes admittance to all regular sessions, five meals at Skamania Resort, and 16 clock hours (WA Teachers) or 16 PDU's (Oregon Teachers)

  • Teacher: $275

  • Group (4+ teachers from the same district): $250

  • Presenter: $240

  • Spouse (meals only): $185

LODGING AT SKAMANIA -- Lodging is not included with conference registration.  Strong demand for this conference means Skamania Lodge has sold out all of the rooms we were able to negotiate at a discounted rate.  The regular resort rate is notably higher than the discounted rate, so please make sure to ask Skamania Lodge what rooms are still available and at what price before you make the decision to register and attend the conference.  Please consider Comfort Inn in Troutdale, OR the Best Western in Cascade Locks, OR or other accommodations that are reasonably close to Skamania Lodge.   Accommodations should be made for Friday, March 9th and Saturday, March 10th. 

PAYMENT INFO -- We are an all-volunteer nonprofit comprised of working teachers. To simplify conference registration, all registrations payments are through online credit card only.  We no longer accept checks or purchase orders.  If your district is paying your conference fee, please ask your administrator to use the district credit card. 

QUESTIONS -- If you have any registration questions or concerns including cancellation, please contact Mary Barnes at

Spring Conference Exhibitor Registration
from 40.00
Table Size:
Add to Cart

2018 Exhibitor Registration - Opening in December 2019

Get face to face with Washington State Teachers!

 The Spring conference is a great way to introduce your organization and maintain professional relationships with the most involved Social Studies teachers, curriculum directors, and department chairs from across the state. Share table with another exhibitor for just $135, or reserve your own 6 foot table for $210  

Cant attend the conference, but want to get the word out about your organization?  Consider getting your flyer directly into the hands of our teachers by registering for a flyer placement in the program folders for $40.

Feel free to begin setting up your table at 7AM (One hour before the conference starts) on Saturday, March 10th. Please be sure to pack an extension cord for your electronics if needed.

Please remember to reserve accommodations at Skamania.  Skamania Lodge has a discounted WSCSS rate.  Mention that you're with the WSCSS when you call to get the discounted rate!

Please direct all questions about exhibitor registration to Jennifer Ligot at