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Outdoor School 2017-2018 Reporting Data Summary: Equity, Diversity, Accessibility and Inclusion Responses

2017-2018 EDAI Reporting Summary

In 2017-2018, we asked schools to describe how their program served historically underrepresented populations, including supports for students with disabilities or students receiving special education while at outdoor school. The reports provided by participating schools and districts indicated that schools did accommodate students with disabilities as well as students receiving special education, and the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program funded additional services and supports needed for these students to have a positive experience at outdoor school.
The following quotes are a sampling of responses to the report question "What actions are you taking to make the outdoor school experience one in which all students can thrive?"

"The program is developed to cater to all learning styles and needs."

"All students can participate in hands on, verbal, kinesthetics, visual learning. Housing accommodations are made for students with health needs to attend."

"No matter their levels, the students were engaged and exposed information that is catered to multiple intelligences and different learning styles. There was so much hands on, visual, auditory, social, etc."

"Many students, particularly active students, often feel alienated at school as the activities indoors lack appeal to their needs. Outdoor school engages these students."

"The Pendleton Outdoor School Program is complying with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards. All ability levels find success through outdoor school. When kids are learning through games, hands-on activities, exploration, and group work, and they are supported by staff and counselors and have very small groups with lots of attention, it is difficult not to experience success, learning and growth."

"Outdoor school instruction is intentionally accessible. The limited reliance on text for information and the emphasis on experiential and hands-on learning help students with limited English proficiency and students with a variety of learning styles engage fully. Students learn kinesthetically, musically, and collaboratively. Small groups (usually around 5 students per group) allow instructors to ensure attention and engagement from all students."

"The OMSI facility we use for outdoor school gives both urban and rural experiences for students of all ability levels, academic and physical. Easily accessible pathways to get to and from different areas within the facility and the beach, including a state park which serves to give students learning opportunities for both coastal and forest ecology."

"The camp is very accommodating and works well with students of all disabilities whether they be physical, mental, etc."

"Information, materials activities can be adapted to meet the needs of individual students."

"Accessible activities provided for students with disabilities, including accessible transportation. Extra staff support was provided to assist students with disabilities and provide required health care."

In 2017-2018, we asked schools to describe how their program served historically underrepresented populations, including supports for English Language Learners (ELLs) while at outdoor school. Schools reported that:

  • "We incorporate visual and hands-on learning as well as oral and written word in our curriculum so ELL students can experience the curriculum through multiple entry points."
  • "Information, registration forms, field study notebooks, student journals can be modified to meet the needs of the individual student."
  • "For our limited English student, we provided a counselor who spoke Spanish and assisted the student. Curriculum is translated as much as possible."
  • "Instruction was available in other languages."
  • "For parents of ELL's we met with anyone who was concerned to put them at ease about sending their child away."
  • "Contacting parents in native language to talk about the importance of outdoor school. Materials provided in Spanish and English."
  • "Individual contacts were made to parents that did not speak English to encourage them to send their students. Written communication in English and Spanish was given to any students that needed Spanish."
  • "We provide individual outreach to our underserved families to make sure they are comfortable sending their student to ODS. We are often not 100% successful with this population, but we work hard for it!"
  • "We fully involve EL students in Outdoor School. Spanish language translation of materials, including all parent communication is standard practice and a Spanish interpreter is available as needed. In addition, we have made an effort to incorporate ESOL strategies into all program components."
In 2017-2018, we asked schools to select all of the historically underrepresented populations served by their outdoor school programs and describe how their outdoor school program served those students. Schools reported they served rural students, students for low socio-economic backgrounds, American Indian/Alaska Native students, Asian students, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American students, and Hispanic/Latino students.
A sampling of responses to the report questions are provided below:
  • "Our students all live in a rural community."
  • "Students in the Athena-Weston School District come from a very rural area of Umatilla County. All students but one who was on a family trip attended outdoor school. The daytime-only format was important to our participation rate as we have a number of students and/or parents who indicated that they were uncomfortable with an overnight scenario."
  • "Some of our students had never even seen the ocean... Ensuring the opportunity places them in a new and unfamiliar setting."
  • "Spanish language translation for student and parent materials are available."
  • "All students attend outdoor school and are included in all outdoor school activities."
  • "For all races: if a student was unable to attend for any reason, every effort was made to contact the family to encourage the student's participation; offers of funding, emotional support, contact with families on a daily basis, supplies needs, medical needs were all discussed and offered. Only one student did not attend (8th grader, not part of this funding). His mother simply was not comfortable sending him without his father. He did attend the year before and his father chaperoned. His race is black."
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