COLDEN, N.Y. (WIVB)–In two weeks, many schools across our region will open doors to students, and Colden Elementary School is providing plenty of room to breathe with outdoor classrooms.
“Getting to create this was just like a memorable experience.”
Kalei Brautlacht used to go to Colden Elementary School. Now as a school custodian there, she was part of a team effort to prepare a series of four outdoor classrooms to help with social distancing when school reopens in a couple weeks.
“My favorite part was bringing in a chainsaw and definitely cutting up the trees and making this little area. I think this is so cool and I hope the kids love it as much as I love it out here,” Brautlacht said.
Principal Brooke Adams says, “I think they’re gonna love it. I mean they want to get outside. We’re used to having flexible furniture, flexible seating, having options for our students but now with COVID restrictions, it looks more like a traditional classroom. However, if we bring our students out here, we’re hoping that they can move around, have a mask break and still be healthy and be able to be kids again with this outdoor space.”
The thought is that not only would students get fresher air out here, but they also might be more inspired to learn in a unique environment like this.
“Oh, I definitely think it will help with learning. I think the mask safety-wise and health wise is necessary but just taking it off is a breath of fresh air,” Brautlacht tells us.
“There’s a lot of research out there saying that learning outside is better for our students. There’s more ventilation, you don’t have to worry about the virus spreading fast, so we already had an outside classroom set up. Actually it was an Eagle Scout project,” Adams added.
With only 156 students in the whole school and only half of the students coming in on any given day, most of the instruction may be outdoors at least on the good days.