Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE)
The Outdoor Learning Environment is an extension of our traditional playground, providing students with a natural places for exploration, solace, and creative/unstructured play. OLE serves as an outdoor classroom, service learning site, and natural schoolyard.
Outdoor Learning Environment Guidelines
We transform conventional thinking about outdoor environments and plan our outdoor learning environment as thoughtfully as we do our indoor learning environments.
In his important book, Lost Child in the Woods: Saving Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv reminds us that unlike television (and we might add school), nature does not steal time. It amplifies it. It offers new possibilities.
The out-of-doors offers a large world for children. It can provide places for freedom, exploring and solace. Being in natural outdoor environments helps children thrive, not only physically but also socially, emotionally and intellectually.
Well-designed outdoor learning environments reduce stress, sharpen concentration and promote creative problem solving. We can nurture children’s enthusiasm for the out-of-doors and their commitment to protecting nature for generations to come.
When planning our outdoor environment we consider:
Connecting children to nature
Caring for plants and creatures
Landscaping for adventure and drama
Creating places to feel powerful and competent
Designing cozy spaces and gathering places
Enhancing play with props and activities
Defining spaces for people and things
To Leave No Child Indoors
Helping Students Learn Through Exploration, Solace, and Creative Play
OLE Master Plan
Adam Rahberg, Co-Chair
Rachel Scarborough, Co-Chair
Stacy Wagner, Co-Chair
Guy & Barb Smith
The OLE Committee meets regularly to improve and add to the Outdoor Learning Environment. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Stacy Wagner.