Friday, June 2, 2017

Outdoor Classroom Transformation Approved

Good Morning Hillendale Community!

We want to provide an update to the Outdoor Classroom Meeting last night. Thank you to those that attended, we understand this is a very busy time of year and understand if you could not attend.  Special Thanks to Mrs. Lawrence for coming to be the voice of the Teachers and the K-1 kids. 

We discussed the space in length and why it is no longer functional as an Outdoor classroom. Mrs. Lawrence explained to the group that the small space is currently being shared by K, 1st, 2nd and Y care, often at the same time.  This could be up to 140 children at once.  She explained that these primary children are in need of more movement and require a safe and appropriate space for this.  The small play structure is not enough to satisfy these needs.  The outdoor classroom space is currently not being used as intended and is not currently a space that the kids can use at play time. Another parent that specializes in implementing outdoor classrooms agreed that the space is not big enough to be used in the capacity of an outdoor classroom and perhaps another space could be utilized at a later date for this reason.
 
Currently, there is an Eagle Scout Project underway to remove the long sitting bench that is in the space now and the wood will be repurposed into another project that will be located somewhere on our school property.  We are waiting for full details on that and will update with that information once we have it.  This project was happening regardless of our decision to remake the outdoor classroom as the benches are causing issues during playtime.

We reviewed the Survey results, which were 100% positive with just a few questions.  We answered those questions so there is a better understanding of costs, why this is the only space that can be used and the using the Trail money. We discussed options for making it into a playground and showed a few examples of equipment that can safely be used in that space.

Taking into account the Survey results, It was approved to go ahead and move forward and change over the space to a playground for the kids. It was approved to use a portion of the Trail funds and we set a budget of $15,000.   Mrs. Lawrence and the K-1 teachers will make the final decisions for the equipment that go into the space as they are most knowledgeable of what the kids need. 

We are hoping to have the space transformed over the summer so that it is ready for the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.   We are excited about this project and the PTO being able to help give the kids what they really need.  If you have any questions or additional feedback please email Jennifer and Shannon, heptopresident@gmail.com.




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