A Seasonal Circular
Kootenay-Boundary School Districts
Supporting students’ understanding of their local environment and empowering thoughtful action through learning that is
Making Waves in the Kootenays!
The Kootenay-Boundary Environmental Education (KBEE) partnership was initiated to support a coordinated focus on K-12 environmental education across the region.
Intentionally connecting the districts, schools, and teachers of the region and providing common awareness, access to professional development, resources, and opportunities will enhance the EE experience and learning of all of our students.
Daily doses of connecting our students to the outdoors & nature are key to their academic, social, emotional and physical success. Click here for research on the benefits of connecting students to nature & the outdoors.
To help us to assess whether we are supporting this well, we will be asking the following questions in the Student Learning Survey:
1. My learning is connected to the local environment and community.
2. I go outside regularly for learning as part of my school day.
3. I am learning at school to take care of the environment.
You can find many connections to outdoor/place-based learning and the redesigned BC curriculum online here: http://cbeen.ca/curriculum/
Jennifer Roberts & Diane Casault
Terry Taylor & Lorna Newman
What's New? Plenty!
1) Spring Take Me Outside Day: In our first regional Spring Take Me Outside Day we had over 8000 students registered! This is nearly half of all of the students in our region.
2) Winners Announced! Everyone who submitted a photo and report from Spring Take Me Outside Day was entered in a draw for one of 2 overnight class trips. We are pleased to announce that Ryan MacGregor from Christina Lake Elementary has won an overnight class trip to Blue Lake Centre, and Dylan Dainard from J.A. Laird Elementary has won an overnight class trip to Nipika Mountain Resort!
2) Place-Based Education Exemplars Video Project: Shooting is now underway! This project will highlight mentor teachers and innovative practices from across the region in order to inspire more teachers to incorporate environmental education into their own work.
3) Curricular Tools: Supplementing the videos will be a series of curriculum-linked teaching resources, derived from participating teachers to support and inspire their colleagues. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have suggestions for resources that would support teaching in your school or class.
4) Leadership Clinic: KBEE Districts are supporting teachers from every school district in the region are heading to Nipika Mountain Resort on Saturday, April 29th to work with representatives from the Environmental Education Provincial Specialist Association (EEPSA) and CBEEN to set up local chapters of EEPSA in each school district. These local chapters will be able to better support local teachers in their environmental learning.
5) Assessment: We are working on assessment tools to monitor progress and assess our students' experience with environmental education in our schools.
Education: No Limits Conference
May 11-13, Jasper
The Global Environmental and Outdoor Education Council is teaming up with the Health and Physical Education Council to offer this joint conference.
The Great Outdoors Summer Institute
July, Kimberley This program is designed for adventurous educators who wish to acquire a deeper understanding of our natural environment. Read more...
World Environmental Education Congress
Sept 9 - 15, Vancouver
The congress is an international meeting point for everyone working with education for environment and sustainable future or who has an interest in the field.
International Play Association Triennial World Conference Sept 13- 16, Calgary
Includes nature play, parks, landscape design, and nature’s impact on child/family health and well-being.
Inquiring Voices Sustainability Symposium
Sept 29 - Oct 1, Blue Lake Centre, East Kootenays
Registration is now open for this annual CBEEN pro-d retreat! This event brings together educators to share, inquire, support, and collaborate with one another.
Click here: WildBC Resource Room
Upcoming Pro-D Opportunities
Bookable Pro-D Workshops
Tree Canada Greening Canada's School Grounds
Grants to to revitalize Canada’s school grounds by planting trees to provide shade and protection from solar radiation, and add beauty to the playgrounds and fields where our children play and learn.
TD Friends of the Environment Foundation
July 15 Deadline
Supports a wide range of environmental initiatives, with a primary funding focus on environmental education.
Click here: Funding Directory
COYOTE MENTORING: EXPLORING THE WONDER OF NATURE-BASED EDUCATION – Coyote Mentoring is a powerful nature-based educational model that fosters a deep connection with the natural world.
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE IN NEW CURRICULUM – Exploring inquiry and experiential learning in the new curriculum, engaging students with wild places. This workshop includes connections to big ideas and competencies through place-based learning strategies.
OUTDOOR PLAY SPACE ASSESSMENT TOOL - The tool, the first of its kind in Canada, examines 32 items grouped into seven domains: play zone, play environmental elements, physical movement and risk-taking, loose parts, experiential play, involving parents and families, and the role of early learning practitioners.
GET OUTDOORS WITH THE NEW CURRICULUM – Dig into activities, beginning with inquiry. Get immersed in experiences, exchange ideas and make connections to big ideas and curricular competencies. Discover new ways to integrate place-based learning and community connections to your practice.
HOW TO TEACH ABOUT INVASIVE SPECIES –This workshop will empower teachers with the knowledge, tools and resources to teach about invasive species both inside and outside of their classrooms.
Click here: Community Partner Directory
Want to book a pro-d workshop for your school or school district?
Here are a few workshops you can choose from. For a full list and more information go to http://cbeen.ca/book-a-workshop.
Directory of Community Partner Organizations
This online searchable directory lists over 100 organizations that support environmental education opportunities for all ages in the Columbia Basin.
WildBC Resource Room
Books & Guides
Lessons & More!
School Kits & Materials
Southeast Kootenay School District 5 had 2995 students participate in Spring Take Me Outside Day!
School District No. 5 Board Office Employees at the board office 'walked the talk' and learned about the importance of getting outside to help with stress reduction, increased productivity, focus and creativity.
At Amy Wood Elementary, students had a forest kindergarten day at Jim Smith Provincial Park, and did science observation in the forest.
Fernie Secondary students started with a poem "What Does It Matter" and then talked about the importance of taking care of our environment.
At Frank J Mitchell enjoyed a scavenger hunt, writing about what they love about nature, using their senses, and a math lesson in calculating area.
Gordon Terrace had a nature cleanup and scavenger hunt.
Highlands Elementary adopted a tree and observed it using all of their senses. Students also created their own money using things found in nature, such as twigs, rocks and leaves.
Isabella Dicken Elementary answered the question, how long is your digestive system? by working in groups to measure the digestive system on a piece of string.
Laurie Middle School played a game called long ball, which was a fun way to introduce an aspect of Aboriginal culture.
Mount Baker students hiked to the top of the first butte, near Wycliffe , to experience and learn about the geography of our area.
Parkland worked on a habitat restoration project with the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council.
Sparwood Secondary got outside and cleaned up the school yard.
Steeples Elementary students explored the community forest.
TM Roberts cleaned up their community, explored nature, and did science and earth games.
woJMS Kindergarten collected information and photos for their next Knook Book. They are looking at berries in the forest and noticed so much more! The larches yellow needles carpet the forest .
GT have harvested kale, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, beets and potatoes. My class is having an outing each week somewhere in the neighbourhood and are working in the garden each week. We just spread all of the compost that has turned into soil into our garden. ��������qa6>� GT we have continued with our garden.We have harvested kale, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, beets and potatoes. My class is having an outing each week somewhere in the neighbourhood and are working in the garden each week. We just spread all of the compost that has turned into soil into our garden. GT we have continued with our garden.We have harvested kale, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, beets and potatoes. My class is having an outing each week somewhere in the neighbourhood and are working in the garden each week. We just spread all of the compost that has turned into soil into our garden.
They istened to listened to Our boardwalk pond has leaves that float, and soggy sinking leaves. We finished up at Mrs. Sauerborn's garden to do some winter planting and rake up big piles of leaves.
How do we deepen our students’ education experience with relevant place-based learning? How can all members in our district maintain integrity in their relationship to the natural world?
2099 students from Rocky Mountain School District 6 took part in Spring Take Me Outside Day!
Every Child, Every Day:
Our students will experience environmental, outdoor, and community-based learning.
Selkirk walked around Lois Creek to see what they could learn from nature.
McKim students were challenged with the task of keeping a potato warm as well as themselves while exposed to the elements. Students worked in groups and designed a number of shelter styles while discovering that body heat, much like that of the potato, could be conserved if insulated and sheltered.
Alexander Park students walked along the Rotary trail to the confluence of the Kicking Horse and Columbia rivers (unexpectedly increasing participation as two local preschool families spontaneously joined the experience). This day was the perfect fusion of community, inquiry and play based learning within our local natural environment.
Marysville Elementary hosted a Earth Play for Earth Day event. They were also a winner of the BC Green Games! Their project this year was called 'Who Speaks for the Trees?' Click here to read all about it!
JA Laird Elementary students enjoyed a 60 minute hike, nature-inspired art, a First Nations legend story-telling session, did a simulation activity on human migration, learned about the Ktunaxa sturgeon-nosed canoe and 'adopted' a tree and set to the task of determining approximately how many buds were on their chosen tree.
Edgewater Elementary students walked down to the neighboring wetlands and we had three science discovery stations and a literacy station. The students worked through the four stations and then we made our way back to the school. Some sun, wind, rain and two trains went by as we explored, learned and enjoyed an afternoon outside.
Given the emphasis on place-based learning, Aboriginal Perspectives and citizenship in the Curriculum, how can we instill place-based consciousness in ourselves and our students?
A Green school district that regularly practices innovative place-conscious outdoor learning, embodies ecological and sustainability principles in all classrooms, schools and district operations, incorporates First Peoples Principles of Learning in outdoor experience, and improves student self-regulation and health through outdoor experiences.
School District 8 is moving forward with a local EEPSA chapter. They had a professional development opportunity on April 10 where educators from SD8 met to discuss the connections and possibilities. for Environmental Education.
At Wildflower, parents and teachers planned a variety of outdoor activities for the day, including planting, pot painting, games and a school yard wide clean up effort for Earth Day! Our current learning is about bees and their need for wild flowers and a clean habitat. Our Kindergarten/Grade One class got busy cleaning, planting and playing!
Redfish Elementary surprised their students with ‘Nature’s Lego’, a “pop-up” outdoor nature center. Sticks, stumps, tree cookies, bark and large stones provide students with a chance to create, build and collaborate in this new and exciting outdoor space. Once students discovered the new center they quickly began to explore the capacity of the different pieces, building teeter totters, sculptures, huts and lean-tos. The pop up center continues to grow and change to respond to students’ play, with students and staff bringing materials to contribute to the space.
School District 10 regularly practices innovative place-conscious outdoor learning, embodies ecological and sustainability. principles
The entire school at Edgewood Elementary celebrated Take Me Outside by going on a community scavenger hunt. Multi-grade teams of students visited a variety of community buildings searching for clues. Along the way they were also asked to find a variety of other natural and man-made items. Creativity was abundant, as was laughter and teamwork! Mother Nature joined us and brought a long a little sunshine. Students took photos of all the objects they found. We will have a fabulous slideshow at our next assembly. Can you unscramble the clues and reveal the quote as quickly as our students did?
At Fruitvale Elementary, students collected garbage to clean the earth in preparation for Earth Day. They also went outside to collect and measure things from nature. Students gathered twigs, branches, sticks, rocks, leaves, pine cones, grass, maple leaf seeds, etc. Other students did an Applied Design Stem challenge outside where students had to build a birds nest using only found natural materials.
Glenmerry Elementary students focused on experiencing First People's Principles of Science. In a collaboration with our district Ab. Ed. Teacher and two other classes we experienced a traditional harvesting method of a native plant species, Camas, which contains an edible bulb that was a rich food source and culturally important plant for Sinixt people. This was followed by a STEM activity focusing on developing a technology to harvest local food sources utilizing natural materials.
Kinnaird Elementary students were great scientists, encouraging the Gr. 2s not just to look, but to listen and smell, too! The magnifying glasses were a big hit! They then went back to the classroom to record our observations.
Rossland Summit School participated in a tri-school outdoor collaborative builder day. They learned about camas and the students had to design and build a prototype to harvest a local species. Other students After read the book The Gift of the Inukshuk and painting in the style of Ted Harrison art, and then built Inukshuks of their own.
Stanley Humphries Secondary went outside and discussed how visible light made it possible to see things around us.
Committed to providing our learners with quality public education through partnerships with our communities and connections to our natural environment.
School District 20 had over 1800 students participate in Spring Take Me Outside Day!
Wet weather didn't stop the Boundary Central Secondary students from heading outdoors to participate in a "Chasse au Trésor". Students learned new vocabulary as they collected items for a nature themed scavenger hunt.
Christina Lake Elementary is looking at habitat, and adaptations for animals in their environment. They thought of local animals, examining their appearances, and protecting the habitats are they existed in. Then, they looked at new animals they did not encounter before, and protected their habitats as well.
Grand Forks Secondary Outdoor Leadership class had a great day bird watching at Christina Lake with their MP Richard Cannings, who gave students lots of information on local birds.
Greenwood Elementary has started a program to get "kids on bikes". We cycled the trails with the purpose of getting students to think of a project which will showcase their connections between the trail and our environment and community. Grade 4-7 students are participating in a joint project with the Trails to the Boundary Society, where they are creating a project to showcase either an endangered species or an invasive species.
Hutton Elementary revisited a forested area next to their school grounds. Their written observations showed awareness of the new season and were enthusiastic.
Midway Elementary headed out to see their community garden, and all the changes since early Spring. We noticed a number of early wild plants and birds who are visiting the area.
School District 51 had 2/3 of all students participate in the Spring Take Me Outside Day!
How can we cultivate personal and social consciousness of the environment to empower students through thoughtful action to affect positive, sustainable change?