Outdoor Learning in 2021!

Hello Howard Families,

Happy New Year! We hope that your holidays were healthy and restful and that the virtual start to the school year is going as smoothly as possible for all of your households.

Our committee wanted to express our gratitude to the endless list of people that supported the creation and maintaining of our outdoor learning infrastructure in the fall.

Parents and supporters:

  • secured — and hauled! — tree stumps
  • sourced milk crates, as well as helping to clean them, and set them up on a daily basis
  • loaned (and repaired!) shade covers
  • loaned and hauled sand bags
  • cleaned, prepped and painted our outdoor teacher writing walls including materials donations from both parents and High Park Paints
  • arranged for infrastructure including clipboards and seat cushions for students and voice amps for teachers
  • advocated for expanded, adaptable policies around outdoor learning within the TDSB as part of a COVID-19 response, and supported other school communities curious about our process.

Teachers and school administration:

  • supported outdoor learning as an essential part of keeping our community healthy
  • adapted their lesson plans and modelled adaptability for the students
  • communicated flexibly with volunteers to ensure the systems were working for everyone.

The army of volunteers can’t all be named, partly because we never even got everyone’s name, esp the kindie parents who frequently stacked crates after 2:45pm! But this wouldn’t have happened so far without dozens and dozens, so thank you all.

And we’re not done! Whenever we get back to in-person learning, the administration has confirmed they support outdoor learning resuming immediately! Please consider helping out if you are not doing so already. Not everyone who has been working so hard these past months is available going forward, and we can always use more support. As a general rule, volunteers join one of four crews, and then sign up for several shifts (set-up or take-down) one week out of every four. Here’s a sign up link: https://signup.com/go/NztHeWQ And please feel free to reach out with any questions (via katelawrie [at] gmail.com).

Thank you again, Howard. Our community’s commitment to this common-sense initiative has been extraordinary,

— The Outdoor Learning Committee

Published by Howard Council

This account is run by volunteers of the Howard Junior Public School Council, the parent and family council that supports the school with fundraising and other initiatives.

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