Outdoor & Community Education
Project based,“hands-on” learning and and especially field trips are a cornerstone of this curriculum and program. Students will have opportunities for leadership, as well as partnering with students across all grade levels and even possibly in other communities.
Meridian is developing a curriculum which combines NGSS standards with outdoor education and the local community that is specific to our area. This will be our first year adopting, creating and developing the curriculum, and we expect to expand and grow, and establish a program that is unique to our area and gives students skills they can apply across multiple subjects.
Our vision includes a thematic based curriculum by grade level, which is hands-on, incorporates our unique local environment and economy, creates lasting partnerships with local farms, businesses, and environmental organizations.
“In 2013, the California Department of Education adopted new science standards to update and improve the framework for educating generations of science-literate students. The “Next Generation Science Standards” (NGSS) have a unique and unprecedented framework that calls for a three-dimensional approach to science instruction. It focuses on practices, content, and crosscutting concepts. According to the CA Department of Education, the goal of NGSS is to “develop an in-depth understanding of content and develop key skills—communication, collaboration, inquiry, problem-solving, and flexibility—that will serve students throughout their educational and professional lives.” The NGSS framework and core ideas were created with the flexibility for local educators to adopt a unique strategy to best fit their school’s needs and strengths.” (This synopsis is from the Plumas Unified School District’s “Outdoor Core” of which is a model of what we at Meridian are trying to achieve)
Desired Skills For Students:
Some of the skills students will take away from NGSS curriculum include asking questions, analyzing data, using mathematics, designing solutions, constructing explanations, and communicating information. One of the tools we will be using is nature journaling, which emphasizes observation, curiosity, problem solving, and reasoning.
***We feel that there needs to be some acknowledgement of pulling best practices from a variety of places, including schools who have already implemented the curriculum.***