Aug 27, 2020
Sixty+ acres surround the Villa Madonna Academy school buildings, and for years, the grounds have been home to many learning activities. In just the first week of classes in the 2020-2021 school year, fifth grade students launched parachutes to determine what type of parachute stays in the afloat the longest. Sixth graders used tape measures to determine how six feet of social distance measures up with every day objects. Junior High Physical Education students tried to master the finer points of disc golf. Advanced Placement Seminar students took their discussion to our lakeside outdoor classroom, and Journalism students headed outside to document what learning looks like in the age of COVID-19.
Numerous studies confirm the benefits of studying outdoors. Research has shown that taking classes outside boosts student performance. Another study found that levels of the stress hormone cortisol are higher in students who stay indoors all day versus those who spend time outside studying.
This year, more than ever before, we are taking advantage of the space around us, and we have seen the positive effect it has on our students and faculty.