With funding secured, businesses on board and school staff and administration committed, and Gisele as a key component of our team, scheduling and planning programs for each class began. It was decided (due to weather, local tourism business availability and school scheduling commitments that a end of April-June (8 week ) schedule would work best. Teachers were given the available dates and back-to-back days (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) were decided upon for ease of scheduling and to build upon lessons.
In planning programs the focus was first and foremost to get students outside on the land and water, experiencing the natural and cultural history of this place firsthand. More specifically, we tried to have an ecology/natural history day and a cultural, traditional knowledge day. A letter was issued to each teacher (see Contents Section 5, II), asking for input on areas of study or specific activity requests and then the BC curriculum packages (https://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/) were consulted for each grade (specifically the Science and Social Studies sections) and appropriate learning outcomes were selected as an area of focus. The goal was an overarching theme for each week, with programs, activities and sites feeding into the overall theme. (see Contents Section 2).
The 2015 Spring Field School exceeded all expectations and was extremely well received by the students, teachers, administrators, parents and the community at large. With the success of the inaugural Field School, moving forward the goal is to extend the Field School to incorporate an additional fall session, or perhaps weekly regularly scheduled days (dependent upon school staff and administration support), and bring the Field School into other schools in the region.