- Environmental educators and programs can help support and transform teaching and learning in challenging times
- Outdoor classrooms offer opportunities for newly-reopening schools and districts
- Classroom capacity can be expanded with environmental education programming
Washington, DC, July 1, 2020 – The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) today released eeGuidance for Reopening Schools, a new publication that offers support for schools and districts as they find ways to safely and equitably reopen for students this fall. Developed in collaboration with members of its state Affiliate Network, the guidance offers dozens of specific recommendations for schools and districts. Solutions include 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 resources for learning, tapping into the expertise of environmental educators to support teaching and learning, creating healthier learning environments, and supporting at-home learning. The recommendations were developed based on more than 65 community feedback calls conducted by NAAEE Affiliate organizations with hundreds of environmental and outdoors learning providers from around the country during the spring of 2020.
Engaging environmental and outdoor education programs will help schools reopen equitably. The eeGuidance states, “Environmental and outdoor education programs offer some solutions to challenges schools face now and in the future. These organizations can and should be essential partners in supporting schools and families as states begin to reopen schools. 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.”
According to Judy Braus, Executive Director for NAAEE, “States are approaching plans to reopen schools according to their own unique circumstances and timelines. NAAEE is excited about linking thousands of environmental education programs across the country with schools and districts to help support students, teachers, and families as schools make plans to reopen in the coming school year. Our goal is to share a range of recommendations that can be adapted for use at the state and local level by our Affiliate organizations in partnership with schools to create a win-win for everyone during a very challenging time.”
View the eeGuidance document online: https://naaee.org/eepro/resources/eeguidance-reopening-schools