Outdoor Classroom is an innovative opportunity to engage students on multiple levels and disciplines by providing a multi-use and multi-age approach to a natural learning environment. Research shows outdoor classrooms contribute to increased imaginations, critical thinking skills, cooperative student behaviors, and positive attention spans that develop from the interests of students. Outdoor Classroom serves the over 450 currently enrolled students, faculty and the Council Oak community.
Elements of the outdoor classroom include a Children’s Forest, Prairie Classroom and, in the near future, a Science Education Classroom. Construction of the space commenced in December 2014 and culminated in a Grand Opening in May 2015. A Science Education classroom with two water labs was added in spring 2017. With an emphasis on STEM education, the Outdoor Classroom provides a unique atmosphere for students and teachers to engage all disciplines in a natural environment.
Discover Lee has become an extension of our Lee students’ daily education. At any given time, multiple classes are engaged in discovery and nature investigations, science observation and sketching, literacy, music and more. The space permits students to take part in hands-on and lab centered lessons to enrich and deepen their acquisition of science (STEM) skills and concepts. The students recently planted pollinator and habitat gardens, which will increase biodiversity and ecological interactions and teach students the role of pollinators in the natural/agriculture systems.
Our curriculum team presented “A School’s Journey Back to Nature” at the Southern Early Childhood Association (“SECA”) national conference in February. We are so proud to see our work being recognized at such an early stage. Council Oak was also recently selected to be a member of “Oklahoma Green Schools.”
We are grateful for the generosity of our donors for making the Outdoor Classroom possible. Your investment in Council Oak School and public education will pay dividends for years to come!