High Meadows School, an independent, International Baccalaureate® (IB) school focused on progressive education for students age three through eighth grade,  was on the itinerary for the 2017 Green Strides Tour announced by the U.S. Department of Education. This year’s tour is themed “Taking Learning Outside,” and visited High Meadows, located at 1055 Willeo Road in Roswell,. on Tuesday Sept. 19. 

High Meadows was named a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School in 2014 for its efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach environmental education. Specifically, the school received the award for the many facets of its environmental programming:

● The 42-acre campus of grassy fields and scenic woodland which serves as an outdoor classroom hosing bird feeding stations and butterflies/insect pollinators; vegetable, herb and flower gardens; native plant landscapes; nature trails; picnic tables, benches and other study sites.

● Environmental education program which combines the study of environmental science with environmental responsibility and is integrated into classroom activity, and offered as part of the regular enrichment curriculum. 

● Relevant literature, indoor and outdoor laboratory experiments, examination of environmental issues, and evaluation of potential solutions and action plans for Middle Years students. 

● Extracurricular opportunities for students who wish to pursue environmental studies and action on an even broader level. 

● Partnering with the organic and healthy food provider Wholesome Tummies to provide better lunch options.

● Sponsoring an annual farmer’s market that is open to the community.

● Rigorous indoor air quality testing on a regular basis.

● Clear asbestos-removal and remediation plan for older buildings.

“Our inquiry-based curriculum emphasizes love of learning, creativity, meaningful connections and environmental responsibility both inside and outside of the classroom,” says Jay Underwood, Head of School for High Meadows. “Our commitment to the environment extends well beyond the curriculum, as we believe in making responsible choices with maintenance, building construction and renovation, and waste management. These efforts led to a LEED Gold certification for our Community Center building.”

During the tour, federal, state, and local officials, non-profit representatives, and other visitors from neighboring school communities will bring additional attention to how outdoor learning in its many forms – from school gardens, to field studies, to citizen science, and forest schools – provides opportunities to expand traditional learning into the real world to create real change for the betterment of our society and the environment.

The 2017 tour will highlight how schools teaching effective environmental education, stewardship, and civic values through learning outside school walls, using experience to breathe life into standards, in addition to making positive contributions to our communities and planet.

Assistant U.S. Education Secretary Holly Ham announced this year’s tour at an annual ceremony in Washington, DC honoring 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees.

“The annual Green Strides Tour is an opportunity to convene national, state, and local policymakers, legislators, partners, and school communities to listen and learn from our honorees, as well as celebrate their achievements,” noted Andrea Suarez Falken, Director of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. “These awardees are doing fantastic work that should be shared.”  

The Green Strides Tour visited some 18 states, completing over 95 events in 2013, 2014, and 2016 iterations.  

High Meadows School Part of Green Strides Tour

High Meadows School Part of Green Strides Tour 1