NSA Outdoor Ed Precautions

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NSA Outdoor Ed Precautions

Daniel, Reporter

This year something unique will happen, 6th grade will go on the Outdoor Education Field Trip in October! Last year, because of the pandemic, Outdoor-Ed was canceled for 5th graders, but the SMCOE (San Mateo County Office of Education), decided that this year, in the fall the 6th graders will go on their missed Outdoor-Ed and in the end of winter the 5th graders will go to their Outdoor Education. The camp at Jones Gulch is making many changes so that it will be safe to go.
Kevin from 6th grade said while doing splits in his All Sports Enrichment, “We should go on the field trip because we missed it last year. Sad that it is during the pandemic.”
To go on the Outdoor Education field trip students will require a negative Covid-19 test within 4 days of the trip. Thursday or Friday before attending outdoor education, school staff or families will have their child tested and submit a negative test to the school staff when they arrive on Monday. The school determines the required test for parents to submit.
Some of the students do not want to come, for example Piper said she doesn’t want to do it. “Don’t want to be away for that long from school.” Piper thinks that the Outdoor Education will be different because we will need to wear masks and social distance.
There will be a required health check including a temperature check before students depart on the bus that is conducted by the school nurse, school staff or school approved volunteers.
Ryan stated, “Excited, ‘cause I get to skip gymnastics for a week.” He feels fine that it is during the pandemic, he will be vaccinated then.
The students will be placed in cabin groups by the Friday before departure. Cabin groups will ride in sections of the bus together and will be the learning group with 1-2 high school cabin leaders recruited from other high schools and a naturalist for the week.
“Will be pretty fun to get away from school,” says Briona. She thinks it will be different with wearing masks and social distance.
The students will need to wear masks indoors, not outdoors and not while sleeping. Also the cabins will have air purifiers that have the same level of filtration as classrooms.
“I want to go, I like it,” says Teia. But has no opinion that it is during the pandemic.
If a student should become ill, OE will follow protocol and send the child home. Prior to leaving, the student will be tested for Covid-19 using an antigen test. If the test is positive, all students in the cabin will be tested by our staff and parents will be contacted. Further protocols can be found in the SMCOE guidelines once posted.
Ashe V. said he is excited because they didn’t get to go last year. “Good that made it for this year.” says Asher V. He thinks that everyone should wear masks so they will not be back to distance learning.
All of our Outdoor Education staff and YMCA staff are vaccinated. Staff will be tested weekly. The YMCA will ensure enhanced cleaning protocols for cabins, bathrooms and indoor meeting areas.
Cole says, “Want to go, but will probably not get through because of COVID.” He thinks it is not good that it is during the pandemic.
Students will eat together as cabin groups separated for other cabin groups following required Covid-19 protocol. The YMCA will ensure that food preparation will meet Covid-19 requirements. Students will eat outside for lunch.
Suren is excited and says, “Good thing that we are getting out, we were inside for months.”
“We will be mostly outdoors, learning about the environment, about the flora and fauna. The students will learn self esteem, self sufficiency, and social responsibility.” says Mr. Havey the 6th grade organizator for Outdoor-Ed, “We will learn to make their own beds, set their own meals, eat in dining halls, create performance skits, and develop new friendships”
The Outdoor Education field trip is going to be at Jones Gulch. The students will ride to Jones Gulch by a bus, and it will take about 1 hour.
“I absolutely love Outdoor Ed. I think it is important for students to learn about the environment, get their hands dirty. Know that science is fun!” said Mr. Havey about his own opinion of Outdoor Education.
Many of the interviewed are happy, excited or glad that this is happening. Julia says that it will be ok if the students will wear masks, be 6 feet apart, and also it is in the woods.
We hope that this field trip will happen and it will be safe!

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