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  Spring 2020 at The Outdoor Classroom:  The Forest Ecosystem

RE: COVID-19 — Updated March 16, 2020:

On March 12, Governor Inslee announced that all public, private and charter schools in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties will be closed beginning March 16th through at least April 24th due to the novel Coronavirus. South Whidbey School District has announced it will also close school buildings during that time (see SWSD’s message here). As the Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom is a South Whidbey School District facility, we will close our doors during this time.

Unfortunately the vast majority of our lesson planning and volunteer training takes place between now and mid April, so although many of our planned field trips would occur post April 24, we currently anticipate that we will not be able to provide our normal Outdoor Classroom field trip opportunities to school groups in Spring 2020.

Our organization has come up with Online Environmental Education Activities to pursue while at home during this time. Please keep checking back as we plan to add activities throughout the Spring. 

Thank you so much for your interest in Whidbey Watershed Stewards’ programming at the Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom. We sincerely hope to see you in a future season, and in the meantime we wish you good health, and that you seize this opportunity to slow down and connect with family and (virtually) with friends. Stay home and wash your hands! 

Bring a class or group of ten or more 1st-5th grade students to the Outdoor Classroom this Spring to learn more about the Forest Ecosystem! Contact Amy.whidbeywatersheds@gmail.com for more information.

The spring season runs from approximately April 21 – June 5 on weekday mornings excluding Mondays. A day at the Classroom typically begins around 10am for your students. There are two environmental education activities in the morning, followed by a 20 minute lunch break, and two more activities in the afternoon. We wrap up so that your students can catch the bus by 1:15 pm. Timing is flexible for groups traveling from off-island. 

The majority of our environmental education activities take place outdoors, on the trails of our nature preserve property. Typically one of our four daily activities takes place inside the classroom itself.  

Classes are filled first come first serve. For schools or groups outside of South Whidbey School District, there is a $5 fee per student to help cover our program costs. Please email Amy for availability and to sign your classroom up for a day of lessons!

Reminders for classroom teachers: 

Chaperones: All grades need at least two chaperones so that each small group has one chaperone in attendance. We welcome all adults who would like to attend.

Contact Information: Outdoor Classroom Coordinator, Amy McInerney. Amy.WhidbeyWatersheds@gmail.com. Outdoor Classroom Office:  360-579-1272.  Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 617, Langley, WA 98260. Physical Address: 7015 Maxwelton Rd, Clinton, 98236

Groups: We have four stations through which students rotate. Visiting groups need to be divided into four groups total (if you have two classes coming from your school, each needs to be split in half for four groups total).

What to Bring: It is always cooler here, so encourage kids to dress in layers. On rainy days, please send students with rain coats and boots if possible. Please have students wear strung/hanging name tags (no stickers, please!) that are legible for our Volunteer Instructors to read all day.

Lunch: Students should bring packed lunches that do not require a microwave or stove. We do not have garbage service so we ask that students take their garbage back to school or home with them.

Read below for this season’s Curriculum Descriptions, along with applicable NGSS education standards:

Fall 2020: “The Salmon Ecosystem” – Descriptions coming soon