Education outside your classroom makes your students thrive! To make the most of your site and your time and increase curriculum connections even more, you may need to develop a major project.
This is going to be big, don't plan to do it alone. Remember to take your time - good education is your goal. Ask yourself (and be honest) if you are really ready for a whole developed project or would a few site enhancements do the trick with less stress? (redirect to Enhance Your Site)
If you're ready to dig in, LEAF's School Grounds Handbook is an excellent resource to lead you through the process, step-by-step.
School Grounds Development Handbook
- Let’s face it. This isn’t going to be easy. One or two people can’t do this alone. You are going to need a broad base of support – interested people committed to seeing the project through to completion. Involving a wide variety of people from the beginning will help prevent burnout and keep interest high. It will also ensure that teachers, students, administrators, facilities staff, and the community feel a sense of ownership in the school grounds project. So get started on creating a School Grounds Committee.
- Take time to learn more about your site and the opinions of the school community. By doing brief needs assessments with staff and students and a site assessment, you’ll have all the information you need to create your written plan.
Write Your Plan
- Now that your committee is formed and you are armed with information, you are ready to create a written plan. Your plan should give readers a basic understanding of why your school grounds project is important, what topics the education programs will cover, and how the school grounds site will be developed.
Design the Dream
- It’s time to put your thoughts and ideas into a visual format. You have all the background work done and know what you want to do. Design your site to encompass as many of your great ideas as you can.
Implement It and Use It
- Don't stop now! Getting everything ready was the hard part. If you’ve cultivated the community relationships, this is the time for them to shine. Does one of your parent group members have landscaping equipment? Are the Master Gardeners anxious to help you find the right plants for the butterfly garden? Does the local tree care business have tree nursery connections to get you large trees at cost? Does the art teacher have student projects planned that would be great in a sculpture garden?
Lessons to use on your school grounds - Link