Showing posts with the label #OutdoorClassrooms

LGUSD kids need more daily exposure to nature, not more daily exposure to biocides

LGUSD is in the process of designing elementary school outdoor classrooms outfitted with artificial turf. The imitation-grass blades they've chosen will be coated w/antimicrobials. Antimicrobials are associated w/human & environmental harm.   Kids need more daily exposure to nature, not more daily exposure to biocides. Outfitting #LGUSD elementary school outdoor classrooms w/antimicrobially-coated green plastic carpets made to imitate nature is not an "upgrade". View full antimicrobial video: — Question Fake Grass (@QuestnFakeGrass) February 17, 2022 Reduce unnecessary use of chemicals from the 6 classes of concern. Skip the artificial turf, especially for little kids. Image from , The Six Classes Approach to Reducing Chemical Harm

Even at highest stage of water conservation, San Jose Water considers watering playing fields reasonable use of water.

1700+ Los Gatos children currently get to passively and actively recreate on nature for two recess periods per schoolday on LGUSD's elementary schools play fields.  More than half these children may be about to lose this privilege . San Jose Water's latest Water Shortage Contingency Plan (a document titled "Schedule No. 14.1 Water Shortage Contingency Plan with Staged Mandatory Reductions and Drought Surcharges") has 5 stages of water conservation that include mandatory restrictions regarding water use. Failure to comply with the restrictions of a given stage is deemed a wasteful and unreasonable use of water. The 5 stages are: Conservation and outreach Water reduction needed Severe water reduction (<--- This is where Los Gatos is as of 12/5/21.) Critical water reduction Emergency water reduction Even at the highest stage of water conservation, "Emergency water reduction" (stage 5), when San Jose Water prohibits water or irrigation of lawn, landscap

Do proposed changes reflect full input of LGUSD students & parents? Daves Avenue parent responds with illustrated suggestions.

Posted with his permission, here is the message of an 11/9/21 letter to the LGUSD school board from a Daves Avenue parent... Dear Terese, Mrs. Mittleman, and all others concerned, Thank you for hosting the town hall session last night. I know a lot of work has gone into this by you and your team. Here are the thoughts I left the meeting with – first, 2 general notes about the process, and then 2 specific notes about the plans for Daves Avenue… [For those that don’t know me, I’m a designer (and licensed architect in 5 states) and a dad of 3 girls – one at Daves now and 2 more to follow in the years ahead.] General Notes Transparency - It would be great if the district’s designs could be posted at each of the schools for review by current parents, students, and even community members that may have future students. As is, the plans are hard to read and visualize (even for someone working in the architecture industry). Sadly, combining these issues with the lack of transparent communicatio

LGUSD Full STEAM Ahead?? We're not trading SEL for a vacant "outdoor classroom", are we?

What started out like this in September 2018... was transformed by March 2020 into this... THIS. IS. An outdoor classroom. There is no mention in the presentation materials about Van Meter's Full STEAM Ahead Project. What's the plan for this courtyard space outside of Van Meter's STEAM lab?? Hopefully, what was there pre-Covid is being preserved or at the very least its spirit and benefits are preserved by intentionally reproducing them elsewhere on campus. While a Life Lab space is in the Van Meter design plans, I'm not sure it fully accomplishes the same thing all on its own. Background: Mrs. Hill was awarded a grant by CTA's Institute for Teaching and invested massive amounts of her personal time building out that courtyard into a beautiful and lively space for our kids featuring a garden, a nasturtium tipi, blueberry bushes, a cozy seating area with a whiteboard, wildflowers, a root viewing box, and more. And she had exciting plans to incoporate a mural

Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society urges LGUSD to participate in the "global movement to reduce plastic and reconnect with nature"

Image from Highlights from Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society's 11/4/21 letter to the LGUSD school board include the following quotes: We see sterile environments, such as expanses of hardscape and plastic, as hostile to human development and well being.  Schools should surround children with life - native plant gardens, trees, even lawns - not plastic. Access to vegetation and nature, at all scales, is important to the development of children's physical and mental health, senses, curiosity, academics and cognitive ability. Natural play areas improve children’s health, mood, and creativity. Grass and artificial turf both require water; the difference being when you water grass, you water entire ecosystems, including surrounding redwoods and oaks. Louise Van Meter, Daves Avenue, and Blossom Hill are all elementary schools and should foster healthy learning environments, creative spaces, and a connection to nature for our children. There is a global movement to reduce