Nature-Based Learning at Holland Heights
Holland Heights Elementary is partnering with the Outdoor Discovery Center Education Network to provide kids with a TUITION-FREE Nature-Based Learning Experience that will help them learn, read, and grow.
Starting in the Fall of 2022, HPS will focus on Kindergarten and 1st Grade classes, providing experiences and lessons beyond the classroom in our neighborhood, school grounds, and local parks.
- Regular visits to the classroom from ODC teachers and nature experts.
- Lessons that help kids make sense of the world around them related to our classroom learning goals.
- Explorations that help tie together our literacy with the world around us.
In 2023 we will add Grades 2 and 3 as a focus. And in 2024, we will add Grades 4 and 5.
Children and the Outdoors Naturally Go Together!
Nature-based Education focuses on educating the whole child through experience-based and project-based experiences aimed at delivering content, skills, and context to students.
This holistic educational model emphasizes play and learning at a young age and grows and evolves to include hands-on, project and inquiry-based investigations as the student matures.
The focus is on building the executive function, soft skills, and cognitive growth of a child while establishing a connection to the places they live, work, play and learn.
- Learning, playing and exploring in the outdoors has been directly linked to improved school attendance and achievement.
Unstructured outdoor play has been proven to foster connections with nature for children and youth of all ages, families, and communities.
Outdoor learning experiences at all ages can yield significant benefits for brain development, motor skill development, team building, and an overall increase in comprehension, retention and engagement in curriculum.
Recent research indicates that development of social and emotional skills in these types of environments is a necessary precursor to formal learning objectives among pre kindergarten aged children.
FAQs about Nature-Based Education at Holland Heights:
Will my child be outside all day? No.
There will still be meaningful learning that goes on in our classrooms in a traditional way. However, your child will get regular opportunities to learn in settings outside of the class as well.
Will my child be missing out because of this program? No.
In fact, this program is meant to enhance your child's learning experience with more REAL activities and opportunities to build knowledge and relationships with your teacher.
What if my child is nervous about being outside? No problem.
Just as always, we welcome each child where they are and work to meet their needs and give them a way to voice their feelings and concerns. We also will help you with outdoor clothing and gear if that is an issue!
Timeline for Enrolling for Nature-Based Education at Holland Heights:
Thru May 14, 2022:
Students/Families who already attend Holland Heights, or who live in the Holland Heights Neighborhood School Zone, will have first priority to enroll in the Nature-based Education program. These families will have guaranteed enrollment at Holland Heights until May 15.
Live in the Heights neighborhood? ENROLL TODAY!
May 15, 2022:
Students/Families who live within the HPS School District boundaries, but who do not already attend Holland Heights, will have the opportunity to enroll in the Nature-based Education program. Please visit the HPS website, social media channels, and watch your inbox for information about enrolling.
Live in the HPS School District? ENROLL TODAY!
June 1, 2022:
The HPS School of Choice window will open for all families in the greater-Holland area to enroll to attend HPS. Availability for Nature-based Education program will be posted on the HPS website while School of Choice enrollment is open.
Live outside the District but interested in School of Choice? LEARN MORE!
First day of Nature-based Education at Holland Heights Elementary