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Watershed Parent Information Meeting

Watershed Parent Information Meeting

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  • Entry slide.
  • Discuss “making the local relevant again” Place-based ed really isn’t a new concept, perhaps the term, but using locally relevant material to teach content was a staple….blah blah blah
  • On this slide for awhile. John talking.Place refers to both our cultural surroundings and our natural landscape
  • So, we went over PBE. We’re often called “The Outdoor School” - This slide is dispelling more myths about PBE. Showing that it can incorporate outdoor ed, but is not solely outdoor ed. Here you can see the differences between outdoor education and environmental ed. The primary difference here is that enviroed teaches ecology and includes the aspect of human interaction with the natural world, which then highlights the merits of conservation and sustainability. Outdoor education involves the teaching of skills. At Watershed we combine these two with the four components of PBE to create our program. We teach skiing, hiking, starting campfires, etc BUT we do so along with teaching the content areas (reading, writing, math, science, history, economics, etc) and nature literacy.
  • =There’s value in real accomplishment. Hiking to the top of Mt. Healy, biking to Polychrome Pass, surviving a hike at -15. Students become tougher, more self-reliant.=Overall, we’re becoming more sedentary. Louv points out increase in # kids organized sports and # kids with obesity. Outdoor ED provides kids with the SKILLS and CONFIDENCE to get out and be active and enjoy it.=This is where I go on my video game, computer, screen time rant. So much of what students are exposed to now is virtual, it’s important for students to have real experiences, real adventures. =As the quote indicates, to get students to care about their environment (what we hope for) they need to know it, experience it.
  • John still talking. Fighting the myth of provincial knowledge.
  • Environmental education often conjures up images of students raising money to save the Amazon rainforests, drowning polar bears, etc. While this may be the case, David Sobel questions the appropriateness of doing so. At our school, we try to follow the developmental levels of nature study he outlines in his book “Ecophobia.” As you can see, early on the focus is on developing a connection…..and on
  • =Many schools are seeing more and more prescribed and required materials (not just curriculum). A required hour and a half for math, 2.5 for language arts, throw in lunch, recesses, specials (in the elementary) and your left with very little time to teach science and social studies. DEPTH vs BREADTH =Helps students discover “awe” in what was the ordinary. Seasonal pond and red squirrel example.=Tourism example from Fairbanks Economy. =Importance of students seeing value in their community, once they understand it’s cultures, economy, history – it’s much more accessible to them.=Are excited to learn, they enjoy being able to make connections, to be surprised by something they thought they knew. (Food We Eat)=When students are motivated, they do better in school. Test scores.

Transcript

  • 1. “A grounded, rooted learner understands that his/her actions matter, that they affect the community beyond the school. It is out of this particular formulation that the „student as resource to the community‟ takes shapethat understanding that students need to be thought of as productive assets to the health of a community.” Rural School Challenge Research and Evaluation Program, 1999
  • 2. The Watershed School Making the Local Relevant Again
  • 3. The Watershed School • FNSBSD public school • Open to all children • Curriculum independent of school district • School of choice
  • 4. Application Process • Application period • Now – April 2 • Lottery • April 12 • School visitations • April 27 & 29 • Parent contract
  • 5. School Day and Calendar • FNSBSD calendar for 2012-13 • School hours 8:30 – 3:00 • 8:00 Drop-off • 3:00-3:20 Pick-up
  • 6. School of Choice What We Offer •Small school atmosphere •Locally relevant curriculum •Rigorous academics •Service learning projects •Outdoor education •Regular ski and hiking outings •Extra-curricular activities -Running club - Ski club - Biathlon - Math Counts What We Do Not Offer •Bussing •School lunch program •Band/Orchestra •After school programs •School counselor/behavior specialist
  • 7. What is Place-Based Education? • Defining “place” • Four components • Cultural Studies • Watershed Studies • Public Process • Economy Through a balanced focus on economic development and environmental preservation, the community and its businesses get revitalized, state curriculum standards are met, and students are given valuable opportunities to learn in real-world settings. David Sobel, Connecting Classrooms and Communities (2004)
  • 8. Outdoor and Environmental Education Environmental Education •Understanding outdoor ecosystems •Highlights conservation/sustainability •Examples Project Learning Tree Alaska Wildlife Curriculum GLOBE Program Camp Habitat Outdoor Education •Learning to survive and enjoy the outdoors •Camping, hiking, skiing skills taught •Examples: NOLS (Natl. Outdoor Leadership School) Outward Bound Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Alaska Conservation Camp Place-Based Education at The Watershed School Incorporation of outdoor skills into curriculum focusing on deepening students’ sense and understanding of place
  • 9. Importance of Outdoor Learning Increases student confidence Promotes active, healthy lifestyle Provides authentic experience Instills sense of environmental stewardship "In the end we will conserve only what we love. We love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” Baba Dioum
  • 10. Broadening Circles of Knowledge World US and N. America Tanana Valley and Alaska Neighborhood and Community Family, Classroom, School
  • 11. Developmental Levels of Nature Study Empathy (K – 2) Develop connection to living things Focus on enjoyment through direct experience Exploration (3-6) Investigations into natural systems Positive, academic experiences in the outdoors Social Action (7-8) Learn about regional environmental challenges Local, hands-on projects What’s important is that children have an opportunity to bond with the natural world, to learn to love it, before being asked to heal its wounds. David Sobel (1997)
  • 12. Why Teach Place-Based Education? Response to narrowed curriculum Improves understanding and appreciation of natural world Develops stronger ties to community Builds active, informed community members Motivating, relevant concepts Academic achievement
  • 13. Place-Based Social Studies and Science Curriculum • Unique curriculum sets this charter school apart from other schools in Alaska • Depth rather than breadth • Relevant curriculum motivates students
  • 14. Language Arts and Math • Follow goals and objectives of the FNSBSD Language Arts and Math Curriculum • Site-based materials • Singapore Math • Algebra I • Connects to science and social studies
  • 15. Creative Arts • Incorporates visual arts, music, drama, and literary arts into academic areas
  • 16. Physical Education • Double district requirement for elementary • 75% out-ofdoors • Cross country skis required
  • 17. Behavior Expectations Students need to develop: •Personal responsibility •Sense of community Outdoor instruction requires: •Self-control •Ability to focus on task at hand •Willingness to participate •Safe behavior
  • 18. The Watershed School Challenging Academics Study of Natural Surroundings Study of Community and Culture Responsibility to Self and Community
  • 19. "... the great waste in school comes from the child’s inability to utilize the experiences he gets outside the school in any complete and free way within the school itself; while at the other hand, he is unable to apply in daily life what he is learning at school." John Dewey, The School and Society (1899) For more information about place-based education and The Watershed School: www.thewatershedschool.com (907) 374-9350