The area for the outdoor classroom at Lac la Hache Elementary School in School District 27. The Campbell River School Board is looking at investing funds to offer more outdoor learning opportunities in the district. Black Press file photo

Campbell River School District to explore more outdoor learning opportunities

Trustees interest in investing funds for outdoor classrooms and programs

A Campbell River Board of Education trustee wants the district to look into funding outdoor classrooms and outdoor learning programs. During the first regular school board meeting of the academic calendar on Sept. 8, Trustee Daryl Hagen asked the board to earmark up to a quarter of a million dollars for the cause.

“I really believe that we need to somehow decompress the classroom,” he said, “and if we can create a long-lasting legacy in the midst of chaos, I think we should try for it.”

Hagen said he thought district schools had already done some work in the area of outdoor learning, but wanted to throw some funds behind the effort of taking kids outside the classroom into well, the great outdoors.

RELATED: B.C.’s largest school district to get $26M in federal COVID-19 classroom funds

“There’s been some interest across the province and I’ve seen what going outside, taking your math class for instance outside, and you are actually using the physical outdoors to create your math problems,” he said. “Some children learn differently than others.”

He put forward a motion to set aside up to $250,000 to help get classes outside.

“If we had some resources which would allow each school to move forward in this area,” he said. “Perhaps it’s physical structures that we put so that we can take the children outside even in weather that’s Campbell River weather.”

When questioned by board chair Richard Franklin about where the funds would come from, Hagen said the district had just received money from the federal government through its Safe Return to Class Fund.

The district is set to receive $972,654 in the first allocation of the funds, which can be used for a variety of things including outdoor learning spaces, more staffing and buying personal protective equipment. A spokesperson for the district said they’re hopeful the December allocation will be about the same amount, but said they haven’t received official confirmation of the exact amount.

RELATED: Parents, educators push for outdoor learning experiments to address COVID fears

Hagen’s motion was seconded by trustee Joyce McMann, who said she supported the idea of outdoor education and learning outside, but questioned why such a large amount of money was needed.

“I’m definitely a huge enthusiast for both outdoor education and education outside,” she said. “I think that if we’re going to build buildings outside, then we have to be really careful that we’re not taking people outside and then creating a building around them.”

Trustee John Kerr was also supportive of the idea of outdoor learning spaces, but wanted more background information before voting on the motion. He asked that discussion be reserved until the next meeting when they could have a better idea of how the money would be spent.

The issue is expected to return at the Sept. 29 school board meeting.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Campbell RiverCampbell River School District 72Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shawn Decaire does a blessing ceremony for the Hama?Elas Community Kitchen in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Hama?Elas Community Kitchen progress shared

Strategic planning, progress made on various projects also discussed at CRDCEH meeting

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
B.C. forestry companies agree to abide by cedar protocols drafted by Indigenous council

Western Forest Products and Interfor Corporation among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

Campbell River city council has given unanimous support to its mayor to continue the fight for the aquaculture industry on our coast. Black Press file photo
Campbell River city council unanimous in support of fish farms

‘I’m certainly not willing to roll over and accept a bad decision,’ says one councilor

(Black Press file photo)
One dead after single-vehicle accident in Campbell River yesterday

‘…we are hoping for a full recovery for both passengers,’ says RCMP

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Dr. Shannon Waters, the medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley Region, is reminding people to stay the course with COVID-19 measures. (File photo)
‘Stay the course’ with COVID measures, Island Health reminds

Limit social activity, wash hands, wear a mask, and isolate if you feel sick

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
BCAFN condems racism against Cowichan Tribes after COVID-19 outbreak

“Any one of us could do everything right and still catch the virus”: Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Nursing staff at West Coast General Hospital celebrate the announcement of a $6.25-million expansion of the emergency department that will start in March 2021. (File photo)
B.C. health ministry commits $6.25M to hospital expansion in Port Alberni

Plans for larger emergency department have been on hold since 2015

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government announces creation of B.C.’s first anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Most Read