• Outdoor classrooms offer opportunities for schools and districts reopening amidst COVID-19
  • Environmental Education programs can help expand the classroom outside of the school building
  • Environmental educators and programs can support teaching and learning in challenging times

EENC has released eeGuidance for Reopening Schools, a new publication which offers support for schools and districts as they find ways to safely reopen their schools to students this fall.  Developed in collaboration with the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), the guidance offers dozens of specific strategies for schools and districts, including using the school grounds for outdoor classroom spaces as a strategy for adhering to physical distancing guidelines, engaging community environmental and outdoor education programs as alternative spaces for learning, tapping into the expertise of environmental educators to support teaching and learning, creating healthier learning environments and supporting at-home learning. 

“With schools quickly developing their plans to keep students safe this fall, it is critical that we connect schools to nature centers, museums, parks and community programs,” says EENC Executive Director Lauren Pyle. “By combining the knowledge, expertise, and resources of all our state’s educators, working in an out of the classroom, we can provide students with the high quality learning opportunities they need to succeed through this pandemic.”

As stated in the eeGuidance, “These organizations can and should be essential partners in supporting schools and families as states begin to reopen schools. As with any strategy, these recommendations are not without hurdles, nor will they fully address all of the challenges facing schools. But environmental and outdoor education programs present some promising tools for schools and districts throughout the U.S. and are essential partners in creating a more just and sustainable future for all.” 

View the eeGuidance for Reopening Schools here.

adult wearing a brown hat and grey t-shirt and youth wearing a grey t-shirt, standing outside looking at a sign with a picture of a page from "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" book

rows or wooden benches going up a hill, serving as an outdoor classroom.  There is a podium in the front and a sign with a roof in the back.

a boy in a blue shirt is looking at a cicada inside a clear insect jar

How you can help:

Environmental Educators of North Carolina

P.O. Box 4904
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-4904

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