The National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative supports schools and districts around the country in their efforts to reopen safely and equitably using outdoor spaces as strategic, cost-effective tools to increase capacity with physical distancing measures in place. The Initiative seeks to equitably improve learning, mental and physical health, and happiness for children and adults using an affordable, time-tested outdoor approach to keeping schools open during a pandemic.
Every other Tuesday, we convene an open and welcoming discussion forum for schools, school districts, and county and state education departments from around the country that would like to share information with one another as you move forward with your outdoor learning plans. Our goal is to support you in this work, and to connect you with others who are working on similar outdoor plans. Our ongoing conversation focuses on addressing the pandemic, but we also recognize the long-term value of outdoor learning and green schoolyards and believe that investments made now will enrich education and improve the wellbeing of children and the environment for years to come.
Our meetings include opportunities for educational institution teams to share their work and questions with one another in large and small group formats, and to work together across jurisdictions to cross-pollinate ideas and build a community of practice. We also share timely information and resources as they are developed, and we often invite one or two guest speakers to share their work during most sessions.
We held the first meeting of this working group (WG#11) on June 30, 2020 and met 17 times through the end of December. We will use this new Zoom link for our 2021 sessions, which will be held bi-weekly beginning January 19, 2021.
Our meetings are designed for educational institution teams from the USA. Interested members of the public from anywhere in the world are also welcome to join us.