Leaning Into Outdoor Learning
Envision the learning adventures that this amazing Adirondack lean-to will afford students at The Norman Howard School! The structure is the newest addition to the school’s suite of outdoor spaces, which includes: an amphitheater with fire pit, a meditation garden, a greenhouse, gardens and pergola, arboretum, picnic area, and more. While many head indoors when the temperatures drop, Norman Howard School students are heading outside! The school is in-person, 5 days per week and increasing outdoor time also improves safety during COVID.
While many people choose to head indoors when the temperatures drop, students at The Norman Howard School are braving the cold daily to make the most of their growing suite of outdoor learning spaces. This week, students and teachers worked together to assemble an Adirondack Lean-To, the newest addition to the school’s suite of outdoor spaces: an amphitheater with fire pit, a meditation garden, a greenhouse, gardens and pergola, arboretum, picnic area, and more.
“Outdoors and hands-on learning experiences have always been hallmarks of our school,” states Rosemary Hodges, Director or Education. “Safely serving 100 students in-person, days per week during COVID is made safer by spending time outdoors! Our teachers have intentionally increased the amount of learning that takes place outside- in fact our Ecology Class is 100% outdoors this year.”
This year more than ever, the school is “leaning into outdoor learning” and Science Teacher, Adam Ciluffo, could not be happier about it, “students who struggle to learn inside the classroom do not struggle outside! Opportunities to engage with nature is are baked into our curriculum and our model. In addition to our campus, we have a strong partnership with GVCM. Some students call their ongoing relationship with the 800 acres as the best part of high school! Throughout 6 day trips and 1 overnight- sometimes on 400 privately-owned acres that few others have access to, our students do more than just clear the creek of debris like tires, bottles, and old license plates.
Students play an integral role in conservation and restoration efforts, working alongside individuals from the Department of Environmental Conservation, and students and faculty from Finger Lakes Community College, and Hobart William Smith.”
The school thanks several current and former students and families whose donations have made this robust, outdoor campus come to life.