503-602-0745 info@salemee.org

Outdoor School

Salem Environmental Education is the lead for the Salem-Keizer Outdoor School Coalition, providing unique and high quality outdoor school experiences for all students

We are a coalition of agencies and organizations dedicated to environmental education and conducting unique, top quality outdoor school experiences. We provide a four day-long ODS experience named PAWS (Plants, Animals,. Water, Soil) at four different field sites: Oregon Garden, Salem 4-H Center, Minto Brown Park and Keizer Rapids Park. Four elementary schools will be accepted to our program in the fall and four more schools in the spring. In a unique feature schools will rotate to a different field site each day, all within convenience distance from S-K schools.

Fall (Four schools) –  First week of October
Spring (Four schools) – Third week of May
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

We provide:
• A program that is academically oriented and aligned to the state OARS (content and themes), NGSS, contains literacy components, and uses effective instructional practices
• Engaging and hands-on lessons that allow ALL students to explore and examine their environment
• Instructors and experts with years of experience in both content and instruction with additional training for working with elementary students
• Common concepts and nature observations that connect all field sites together
• Social-emotional learning components to build a sense of community and a focus on equity, diversity and inclusion to make all students feel welcome and included.
• Opportunities to journal and reflect
• Support for pre- and post-learning opportunities in the classroom

The coalition is composed of the following agencies and organizations who are directly involved in providing instruction
• Salem Environmental Education
• Oregon Garden
• Oregon Forests Resource Institute
• Marion Soil, Water, and Conservation District
• OSU Extension Service
• Salem YMCA
• City of Salem Public Works
• City of Keizer Public Works

Fees per student: $100. Schools can use their remaining allotment of outdoor school funds for transportation and to purchase a variety of resources from curriculum support and field studies equipment, to student supplies (backpacks, ponchos, enclosed clip boards, etc.).

We are available to come into classrooms before the program begins and conduct classroom sessions to better prepare students. In addition, we are available to support post outdoor school projects you may be interested in conducting after the field portion of outdoor school is finished.

Contact Information:
Jon Yoder

This was the most content rich outdoor school experience I have ever participated in with students. My students gained valuable information from highly qualified professionals from different community agencies. The collaboration of these agencies teamed with the highly qualified staff, allowed my students to gain knowledge, confidence, and a new interest in outdoor experiences. The positive comments, encouragement, and career examples from the staff has created intrigue for potential future career opportunities. I highly recommend this program.

Teri Birkel
5th grade teacher
Englewood Elementary School
Salem, Oregon

Students from Salem-Keizer Elementary Schools learn about plants, animals, soil and water. They participate in social-emotional learning activities and have a Nature Notes student journal to collect data from field studies and record reflections of their experiences. It is a great learning experience for all students.

Battle Creek Elementary Spring 2022

Scott and Richmond Elementary Schools May 2022