Outdoor Experiential Learning for Online Students

Outdoor Experiential Learning for Online Students
Posted on 09/20/2022
Outdoor Experiential Learning for Online StudentsOlympic Nature Experience (ONE) and Port Angeles School District’s Seaview Online Learning Academy are teaming up this fall to provide outdoor experiential learning opportunities for online students in kindergarten through fourth grade.

Seaview and Port Angeles School District received funding to conduct a pilot program that will measure improvements in educational outcomes for students in grades K - 4 as a result of in-person experiential learning. As the look and delivery of school have changed over the past couple of years, families have expressed a desire to have more innovative opportunities in distance learning, build social skills, and promote a solid academic foundation. From this feedback, Seaview and ONE developed the Orca Program, in addition to Seaview’s regular online program. The Orca Program is a combination of distance learning, outdoor school, and hands-on learning available to families on the North Olympic Peninsula.

Olympic Nature Experience will provide outdoor environmental education once a week at Lincoln Park in Port Angeles every Wednesday in two sessions. Seaview Elementary teacher, Lisa Cobb, will also facilitate lessons, tutoring, and small group support at the Seaview Learning Center on the Lincoln Center Campus. 

Merissa Koller Williams, Executive Director of ONE, says: “We are honored to be involved in this pilot program and are confident that participating students will see an overall improvement in their physical, mental and educational well-being this year. Washington State continues to invest heavily in environmental education, and we hope this collaboration will lead to more inclusive and immersive outdoor experiences for the children of Clallam County.” 

ONE teachers, Andrea Low and Amanda Erickson, seasoned outdoor educators, will guide two classes of 14 students on a journey toward nature awareness and stewardship through play-based learning and a unique STEM-focused curriculum. 

“Students can engage with nature and explore the world around them,” said Cobb. “The Orca Program aims to provide a free, experiential opportunity that enriches distance learning by offering our youngest students a program with outstanding academic and social components.”

Parents interested in enrolling can call Seaview Academy at 360-452-9502.