By Ian Hanigan
Outdoor education trips have long been an integral part of the sixth-grade experience for IUSD students, who get to travel to bucolic settings for five days of hands-on science instruction, hiking and games.
And that’s not changing, despite the Orange County Department of Education’s recent decision to end its overnight program.
In fact, nearly all of IUSD’s elementary schools send their sixth-graders to private science camps for one week each year, and the two that have been participating in the county program — Santiago Hills Elementary School and Vista Verde School — have already secured spots at alternative camps.
“We are committed to outdoor science education for our students,” Cassie Parham, IUSD’s assistant superintendent of education services, told the NewsFlash on Thursday. “The changes at the county level won’t impact this commitment.”
Outdoor education programs have proven extremely popular in Irvine because — well, let’s face it — they’re fun. But they also represent a one-of-a-kind learning experience, Parham said.
“It’s an opportunity for students to learn team-building skills while engaging in hands-on science lessons,” she said. “It’s almost a rite of passage for kids.”
Read more here: Irvine Unified News