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new DC hort/ag/science elem school

  • Subject: [cg] new DC hort/ag/science elem school
  • From: Grow19@aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 19:52:25 EDT

Dear Friends, 

I'd like your input on the development of an urban charter elementary school 
in Washington, DC emphasizing interdisciplinary education centered on science 
and hands-on gardening (implied also in the planning meetings also are 
environmental education-watershed ecology, urban forestry, sustainable 
agriculture, landscape design).  I've posted this to the ACGA list and the 
SYH list.  Please feel free to forward to others lists you think with readers 
that might be able to help.

The plan calls for about 230 students in 14 classrooms and onsite gardening 
(edible and ornamental).  I am sitting on a school planning committee would 
appreciate the wisdom of your experience with regard to a few questions 
below.  Please feel free to email me directly at grow19@aol.com.

Forgive me -- I've got a lot of questions.

RECRUITING TEACHERS -- Applicants will need to be certified teachers, will 
need to have proven abilities in interdisciplinary approaches to education, 
have a willingness to provide strong reading and math education, and a 
willingness to be trained in science education and gardening education.  
QUESTIONS ARE -- 

1.If the school is to succeed in integrating gardening deeply into its 
'academic' success, do the teachers need to have proven knowledge and 
experience in gardening and integrating gardening / environmental science 
into the curriculum or will in-service training be adequate to prepare them?

2.Given the reported shortage of teachers, would this new school be able to 
adequately recruit teachers with experience integrating gardening and 
environmental education into the full curriculum of the school?  

3.What salary level would be required to attract such experience?

4.What would be some good national teacher recruitment strategies? (The 
school is still seeking its charter; if approved this Fall, the school would 
have 1 year for development, opening to students in Sept 2002)

GARDEN DEVELOPMENT / GARDENING CURRICULUM / PARTNERSHIPS -- The concept is 
still in development, but at this time the idea is that the school campus 
will have gardens (edible and ornamental) and that learning will include 
substantial 'field' experiences facilitated through partnerships with local 
environmental, horticulture/agriculture, and science institutions.  

*QUESTIONS ABOUT PARTNERSHIPS - how much can academic/educational success 
depend on partnerships and how much is reliant on the prior experience of 
incoming teachers?

*QUESTIONS ABOUT CURRICULUM - as above, the school will have almost 1 year 
for development before opening.  The first step will be to hire staff to 
develop the institution, recruit teachers, and develop curriculum linked 
directly to state testing standards.  

1.I'd appreciate your recommendations on recruiting the best leaders to help 
develop the gardening/ag/environmental education aspect of the school.

2.I'd appreciate your recommendations on curriculum that you have knowledge 
of that the school could incorporate into daily use--for elementary school 
use.  (I have to say that I have some experience with this, but would value 
your knowledge).

3.I'd appreciate your telling me about schools that might make good models 
for us to know about that use horticulture, agriculture, enviro.education, 
and sciences as the core of their educational model.

Again, please feel free to email me directly at grow19@aol.com.  And if you 
are willing, please include your name, mailing address, and phone # in case 
I'd like to contact you by those.

THANKS!!
Judy Tiger
GROW
1419 V Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
202-234-0591
grow19@aol.com


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