OSSE has compiled resources to support the establishment or enhancement of outdoor learning on school grounds for schools.
Below is a list of resources currently available. Additional resources are in development and will be posted soon.
Planning and Designing Outdoor Spaces
- Outdoor Learning Frequently Asked Questions
- Designing Spaces
- Outdoor Weather and Allergies
- Examples of Materials
- Photos from District schools of various elements of outdoor learning spaces, such as outdoor classroom structures, meeting areas, seating, and more.
- Canopy (protection from weather elements)
- Teaching Supplies and Storage
- Procurement and Funding
- Alternative Locations
Resources for Teachers and Educators
- Tip Sheet for Outdoor Learning
- Outdoor Learning Training Series
- Outdoor Learning Community of Practice
- Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education’s 5-Part Training Series: Using the Outdoors as a Classroom
- Walking Field Trips
- Distance Learning Resources for Environmental Literacy
- Division of Early Learning Nature-Based Trainings
- Any DC early childhood education teacher can register for OSSE's Professional Development Information System (PDIS), which provides numerous PD courses and reference materials designed for educators working with the District’s youngest learners (ages 0 to 8). Register here for an account. View upcoming PD sessions in the catalog here.
- March 24: Quality Interactions During Nature Walks and Outdoor Plan. Register here.
- April 14: Sense of Wonder: Protecting the Planet. Register here.
Resources for Meal Service Providers
- Outdoor Meals at School
- Serving Meals Inside (and Outside!) of Schools
- Summer Series Models of Meal Service
- Tip Sheet for Outdoor Learning: Recommendations for Outdoor Meal Service
- Guidance for School Food Authorities (SFAs) to serve meals.
- No Kid Hungry Equipment List
- Anne Beers ES case study
- Briya PCS case study
- Garrison ES case study
- Shining Stars Montessori Academy PCS case study
- Patterson ES featured in OSSE’s Sprout It Out monthly newsletter
- Video and case study of Whittier ES
- Field reports from the National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative’s Community of Practice for Schools and District’s Moving Learning Outside. Scroll the page to find the following DC presentations:
- Briya PCS (Meeting #33)
- OSSE (Meeting #30)
- DC Coalition for Equitable and Outdoor Education (Meeting #18)
- Webinar hosted by the DC State Board of Education’s Well-Rounded Education Committee with speakers from Cardozo EC, Friendship PCS, Horace Mann ES, and FreshFarm FoodPrints
- Teaching and Learning Outdoors webinar hosted by Out Teach (direct link to OSSE’s presentation)
- Join the Sprout it Out online forum to ask a question or learn from others in the school garden and farm-to-school community here.
- Register here to receive "Sprout it Out": A monthly e-newsletter for District school garden, farm to child nutrition programs, and environmental literacy efforts
- OSSE’s School Gardens, 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 Outdoor Learning Initiative Resource Library
- Urban Adventure Squad's Guide to Outdoor Learning