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

Established 2009


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

OLE Mission

To Leave No Child Indoors

OLE Goal

Helping Students Learn Through Exploration, Solace, and Creative Play

OLE Master Plan

OLE Committee

Adam Rahberg, Co-Chair

Rachel Scarborough, Co-Chair

Stacy Wagner, Co-Chair

Tim Reckseen

Bill Sherwood

Doug Baker

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.


Attendance Line:


Main Number:


Fax: 303-387-8001

Find us: 

3960 Trail Boss Lane

Castle Rock, Colorado



School Hours:

8:40 am - 4:00 pm

Wed 1:00 pm early dismissal

Douglas County School District Nondiscrimination Notice: The Douglas County School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, age, martial status, genetic information, or physical characteristics, disability or need for special education services in admissions, access to, treatment of, or employment in educational programs or activities. The School District's Compliance Officer is Ted Knight, Assistant Superintendent, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, complianceofficer@dcsdk12.org, 303-387-0067. Compliant procedures have been established for students, parents, employees and members of the public.