Although they didn’t make the traditional treks to the mountains, PSD students still got their hands dirty and dug into outdoor learning during alternative 2021 Eco Week activities.
Eco Week is an outdoor experience that elementary students anticipate with excitement as they enter fifth grade. In previous years, many schools chose to head to the Rocky Mountains to engage students in outdoor education and many firsts: their first time away from home, their first time camping and, for this generation, potentially their first experience without a digital connection.
Outdoor education provides opportunities for students to develop positive relationships with the environment, others and themselves through interaction with the natural world. These relationships renew the well-being and sustainability of students, society and our environment. Eco Week engages students in practical and active learning experiences in natural environments and settings typically beyond the school classroom.
“Because this is the first year our fifth-graders haven’t gone anywhere for Eco Week, I was nervous about how things were going to turn out,” says Adrienne Stienle, fifth-grade teacher at Johnson Elementary. “I was happily surprised that our Eco Week went better than expected! The kids enjoyed going over to Westfield Park to identify leaves, needles and Eco Systems and the biggest hit was the predator/prey games we played at the end of each day.”
This year’s fifth graders had a unique opportunity to appreciate the environment and observe their natural habitats with a greater emphasis on their local surroundings. Northern Colorado Building Environmental Education Together (NoCO BEET), a collaboration of community partners, teamed up with PSD to support environmental outdoor education activities for our fifth-grade students.
Local experts virtually joined classrooms to explore and engage in a multitude of topics aligned with the Colorado State Academic Standards while infusing interdisciplinary skills. Personal skills were emphasized through activities such as nature hikes, team-building projects, water ecology studies, observation skills, creative expression and journaling, geology, astronomy, life zone studies and more.
Although PSD students missed the mountains during Eco Week 2021, the heart of Eco Week was still captured throughout our community.
“Eco Week is a rite of passage for fifth-graders. Not only does learning about nature and ecology promote future stewardship of our environment, but the activities also encourage connections and relationships between students as well as with their teachers,” says Leslie Hass, fifth-grade teacher at Bennett Elementary.
“There are valuable lessons about taking personal risks and stepping out of your comfort zone to deal with challenges. Even though students didn’t get the traditional Eco Week experience this year, we are happy that we could do some activities that get at the heart of what Eco Week is all about, and hopefully give these students some positive memories as they wrap up their time in elementary school.”
Livermore Elementary honors paraprofessional with special graduation ceremony:
A self-described high school dropout, Krista Fuller is now getting her bachelor’s in education at Colorado State University. Fuller is a paraprofessional at Livermore Elementary, whose community recently came together to celebrate her well-earned achievement. https://www.psdschools.org/News/Livermore-Para-Graduate
PSD mountain schools get kitchens
Students at Poudre School District mountain schools have been enjoying school meals this year thanks to new commercial kitchens that were installed at the schools last summer, just in time for the start of the 2020-21 school year. Previously, students brought their lunches from home to Livermore, Red Feather Lakes and Stove Prairie elementary schools. https://www.psdschools.org/News/kitchens-mountainschools
Lincoln Middle School’s Global Leadership class raises funds to support other students
With the help of Lincoln Middle School’s parent teacher organization, the Global Leadership class completed a service project aimed at raising money to create a laundry room on the school’s campus for families in need. https://www.psdschools.org/News/Lincoln-LaundryRoom
School of Choice
If you missed the first period of consideration for School of Choice, the second period is now open. Families have a wide array of wonderful PSD schools to choose from. Visit the school options web page on the PSD website to learn more. Register online at olr.psdschools.org. Even if you opt to send your child to a school outside your neighborhood through School Choice, you must still register your child at your neighborhood school.
Thanks to an extension of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s school district reimbursement program, PSD will once again offer free meals to any enrolled PSD student during the 2021-22 school year.
For the 2021-22 school year, Poudre Global Academy Virtual will replace Poudre School District Virtual (PSDV), the district’s current 100% online option that sunsets at the end of this school year. PGA Virtual is one of two tracks — the existing hybrid and 100% online — offered through Poudre Global Academy. Families may apply now, during the School of Choice second-consideration application period. For more PGAV information, visit PGAV’s website.
Early Childhood Education
Know a preschooler who could benefit from going to school in PSD and connecting with professional, compassionate educators? To learn about the application process and more, visit the Early Childhood Education web page.
Kindergarten registration is available online
Register online at olr.psdschools.org. Even if you opt to send your child to a school outside your neighborhood through School Choice, you must still register your child at your neighborhood school.