Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.61
Liaison Brandon Trelstad
Submission Date Dec. 20, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Oregon State University
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Brandon Trelstad
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Statewide Oregon Outdoor School Program

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

Outdoor school is a transformative outdoor education experience for Oregon’s 5th and 6th graders in the world’s greatest classroom. Immersed in Oregon’s natural landscape, students learn about themselves, their peers, the environment and natural resources, and leave with skills to prepare them for their future.

The OSU Statewide Extension Service, part of OSU's Land Grant designation, runs the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program and houses its staff. Extension provides program administration, curriculum, assessment and other core functions. As Extension employees, outdoor school staff engage leaders, educators, and community members across the state. The Outdoor School team each year hosts workshops and presentations. They also partner with or participate in the Intertwine Group, Straub Environmental Education Center, Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, annual Educational Service District conference, Extension Service gatherings, and school district Meetings. In the program startup year, Outdoor School staff worked with the outdoor school advisory committee to craft mission, vision, and values statements, as well as a “Principles of Outdoor School” document that reflects the spirit of the state legislation (SB 439).

Along with OSU Extension Service, a group of dedicated volunteers works diligently to provide resources to outdoor school
providers, school districts, ESDs, and teachers to successfully implement outdoor school.

The opportunity to provide every 5th or 6th grade student in the state of Oregon an outdoor school educational experience became a reality in July 2017 when the Oregon Legislature formally approved $24 million for the statewide Outdoor School program over the next two years. This followed Oregon voters’ approval of Ballot Measure 99 in November 2016, which designated funding and adoption of Senate Bill 439 codified into law as ORS327.390 by the 2015 Oregon Legislature. This law directed the OSU Extension Service to assist Education Service Districts (ESDs) and school districts to provide a statewide outdoor school program. Oregon is the only state that fully funds outdoor school for every 5th or 6th grader in the state, with impressive first year results: in the 2017-18 school year, Oregon’s 30,739 participating Outdoor School students spent a total of 115,131 days outside. That's three-quarters of Oregon’s eligible fifth- and sixth-grade students.

According to the OSU Extension Outdoor School 2017-18 year in review:
-Schools in all 36 Oregon counties participated
-128 of the state’s 197 school districts received funding
-Of the 385 funded schools, 82 were offering Outdoor School for the first time.

More data and information are available in the full year in review document at https://oregonstate.app.box.com/s/c2k565f7uw2b2jzfkkqls6nmk6ttl7gj

The principles of Oregon Outdoor School including the following:
-PROGRAM BUILT ON HIGH-QUALITY CURRICULUM, that incorporates key characteristics and instructional strategies of environmental and science education, and is culturally relevant and takes into account multiple cultures and perspectives. Curriculum is based in ecological phenomena that supports the classroom experience.
-SAFE AND INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT PROVIDED FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS, requiring that the place and space of the outdoor school demonstrates cultural responsiveness by design throughout all activities.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Public Engagement
Diversity & Affordability

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Special thanks to Kim Silva at Friends of Outdoor School and Kris Elliott from Oregon Outdoor School for their help with this credit.

Special thanks to Kim Silva at Friends of Outdoor School and Kris Elliott from Oregon Outdoor School for their help with this credit.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.