Outdoor Experiential Learning Program & SOAR

Ridgway Elementary School

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1st graders observing birds by the river

Day Trips

Day trips, led by teachers or in collaboration with outside educators/agencies, extend academic learning beyond the classroom. They occur at field sites or indoor locations within nearby counties and offer diverse educational experiences. For example, preschoolers might visit the post office to learn about mail, while older students may explore historical sites or natural parks. These outings serve as valuable extensions of academic content, enriching our students' learning experiences.

Ouray Box Cañon

Ms. Furstenfeld's 2nd grade class embarking on an exploration to investigate the question:
"How and why is the Earth constantly changing?"

Outdoor Rock Climbing

Ms. Jodi's 3rd grade class demonstrated strong communication and cooperation skills during a rock climbing adventure at Rotary Park, conquering significant heights.

A big thanks to Basecamp Ouray for the equipment support!

Colorado History

Ms. Gomez's 4th graders embarked on an educational journey to explore Colorado history, visiting Ridgway's Railroad Museum, the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose, and a Gold Mine in Silverton.

Learning about the founding of our town by Otto Mears in 1891 with the arrival of the Railroad at the Ridgway Railroad Museum.

Hiking to petroglyphs and practicing traditional beading on a hand loom with the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose.

Uncovering local mining heritage at the Old Hundred Gold Mine in Silverton.

5th Grade Learn to Ski

5th graders enjoyed a safe and exhilarating day on the slopes in Telluride, where they were taught the fundamentals of skiing in a fun-filled environment.

Thank you to Telluride Ski and Snowboard School Instructors for providing the lessons!

Overnight Trips

Overnight trips for 4th and 5th graders are designed to form positive relationships and inclusivity among students, offering an ideal environment for bonding and cultivating lasting friendships within their class. Additionally, these trips provide valuable opportunities for students to engage with other students outside the classroom, promoting social communication skills, and overall emotional well-being. As students navigate through the challenges and experiences during these trips, they undergo personal growth and develop a sense of independence. We believe that these overnight trips are incredibly valuable experiences for our students, offering them opportunities to learn, grow, and create lasting memories.

Science, Outdoor Adventure and Recreation (SOAR)

Students in 1st to 5th grade are actively engaged in SOAR (Science, Outdoor Adventure, and Recreation) class every week. These classes are thoughtfully crafted to deepen students' understanding of the natural world through immersive, hands-on activities, the development of recreational skills, and place-based discovery. Each session is aligned with grade-level science and social studies academic standards, ensuring that students not only acquire practical skills but also reinforce their classroom learning in a dynamic, experiential setting.

2nd Grade Terrestrial Habitats

2nd graders in SOAR class fully engaged in constructing terrestrial habitats for worms.

5th Grade Survival Skills

5th graders learned fundamental survival skills indoors then ventured outside to build emergency snow shelters.

Physical Education

Our PE curriculum includes a balance of cooperative games, competitive sports, and personal health and fitness, with the intention of keeping students active for the majority of class time. Through games and skills, students strengthen self-management and social emotional acceptance. Weather permitting, PE often takes place outdoors or at the field across from the school campus.

Ms. Javoronok leads 2nd graders and kindergarteners snowshoeing on a snowy day.

3rd and 5th graders engage in a bouldering lesson.