It may be summer break, but the list of things to celebrate about OSSU never ends!
- Woodbury has completed some major upgrades to its school garden hoop house. Despite school meals no longer being prepared onsite*, the Woodbury staff are strongly committed to growing and integrating food into their school programs. As teacher John Kordet wrote about the hoop house project, “I’m really looking forward to the fall when I can get the kids out there and explore agronomy with them. What an asset it will be!”
*Woodbury meals are now prepared by the Hardwick Elementary School Food Service team and delivered daily.
- Lakeview LOVES its new bulk milk cooler! Partially funded through a VT Agency of Agriculture Farm to School Equipment Grant, the new cooler has helped significantly reduce waste (no cartons in the trash!). Students are now enjoying fresh, cold, local milk from Kingdom Creamery that is actually cheaper per serving than cartons!
- Student Survey: You’ve read about the Student Survey Project in several past posts and seen the resulting data that shows a strong desire for outdoor and nature-based learning experiences. One final piece to report out is how the students who led this project were impacted. In a debrief session at the close of the school year, the student survey team reflected on what the project meant to them. Highlights of the experience included:
- being seen and taken seriously
- feeling accepted, appreciated, important and happy
- having conversations with adult audiences
- changing people’s thinking
- being known as, “The kid that made a change, not just so-and-so’s daughter.”
The team also thought about what they could improve on or do differently next time, including getting more kids involved in leading the project, surveying more students, presenting to additional audiences, and more practice responding to anticipated questions from the audience.
- Effects of Farm to School on Student Behavior: As part of a collaborative project with Green Mountain Farm to School, the CAE has been collecting and analyzing data from several schools (both in and out of OSSU) to compare behavior referral rates on days with and without farm to school activities. Our initial findings are exciting and do seem to show a trend: the rate for office behavior referrals on days with farm-to-school activities in specific grades are about half the rate for other days. This initial work is exploratory and our first round of data has limitations, so we are curious to hear your thoughts and reactions. Can you think of factors that might lead to a false trend showing up? Do you have anecdotal or other evidence that this trend seems to make sense, or not? Are we barking up the right tree? We appreciate all feedback as we explore the idea of a larger study.
- A visual update on the Hazen Greenhouse: getting jungly!