OSSE has compiled resources to support the establishment or enhancement of outdoor learning on school grounds for schools. These resources are intended to provide options to schools to safely and equitably provide in-person instruction.
Below is a list of resources currently available. Additional resources are in development and will be posted soon. Please let us know what resources would support outdoor learning in your school by completing this survey.
How to Begin
- The CDC’s Operational Considerations for Schools, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ COVID-19 Guidance for Safe Schools, and OSSE’s Health and Safety Guidance for Schools all include moving classrooms outside if the conditions are safe and conducive to a learning environment (must consider weather conditions, pollution, wildlife, etc.), as well as having meals outside to avoid congregating in cafeterias or being indoors with masks off.
- Numerous benefits to students, especially in areas that have been severely impacted by the pandemic.
Planning and Creating Outdoor Spaces
- Designing Spaces
- Examples of Materials
- Procurement and Funding
- Case Studies
- Notes from OSSE’s Health and Safety guidance technical assistance call on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, which include a link to the full meeting recording, from an OSSE technical assistance call on outdoor learning spaces
- Webinar hosted by the DC State Board of Education’s Well-Rounded Education Committee
- Case studies from across the country
Working with Students Outdoors
- For Teachers and Educators
- For Meal Service Providers
- For Community Members
- OSSE’s School Garden, Environmental Literacy, and Farm to School programs
- DOEE’s RiverSmart Schools Program
- RiverTools Field Manual and Growing Strong: A Comprehensive Guide to Support All School Garden Programs in the District
- DC Coalition for Equitable Outdoor Education website
- Chesapeake Bay Program’s School Grounds for Learning resources on Bay Backpack
- Green Schoolyards America’s National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative Resource Library