CHCS is growing!
CHCS is growing!
The proposed campaign will expand the school to include an additional three classroom clusters (nine new classrooms total) which will house sixth through eighth grades along with a central building that will house administrative offices, art, music and special education classrooms, a media center and a multi-purpose space that will serve as gymnasium, theater and cafeteria, complete with a commercial kitchen that could also be used for programming for the larger community.
Solar panels will be attached to new and existing buildings, taking the school one step closer to its goal of becoming a net-zero campus, and a water catchment system installed.
Finally, an organic farm will be established. The farm will serve dual roles: it will be the laboratory where students apply classroom learning and will also grow the nutritious vegetables uses in healthy lunches.
Arriving on campus, visitors and students alike immediately recognize that something different and special is going on. The campus has been thoughtfully planned to be a Community Learning Village -- a cluster of individual classroom buildings facing an outdoor greenway. Instead of fluorescent-lit hallways, our classrooms are connected by outdoor paths lined with trees and student-planted gardens. The campus is designed to maximize student contact with their natural world while reducing the environmental impact of the buildings. Once planted, the entire landscape of the campus will be a series of “outdoor classrooms” including individual Classroom Gardens, a campus Farm, and a Bird Sanctuary. In these classrooms, students will examine natural systems, hypothesize and apply mathematical calculations, and even create artistic interpretations of their observations.
CHCS was built from the ground up by a community of dedicated volunteers who believe that a good childhood education improves not only the lives of the individual, but the wellbeing of the whole community; and that each individual has a social responsibility to contribute back to their community. Every month, hundreds of hours are logged by our extended family of volunteers: from lunch room buddies, to grounds caretakers, to board members; each helping build this amazing school and community. We hope you will join us in building this community of learners -- to benefit our local community and serve as a model for other rural communities around the country.
Nature is our classroom.
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The CHCS Campus is a series of outdoor classrooms comprised of Scholarly Gardens, the Farm and Orchards, the Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary, the Native Medicinal and Food Forest, and our Central Hallway.
There will be six of these gardens. With guidance, the gardens are meant to be originated, designed, and implemented by the students over time. Some of the examples of themes that might provide inspiration for the gardens are:
TUBER & BULB GARDEN: onion, garlic, potato and sweet potato
ROOT GARDEN: burdock, carrot, turnip, beet, radish and ginger
STEM GARDEN: celery, rhubarb, kohlrabi, fennel and asparagus
LEAF GARDEN: lettuce, kale, cabbage, spinach and sorrel
FLOWER GARDEN: nasturtium, broccoli, borage, marigold and artichoke
FRUITS GARDEN: tomato, cucumber, pepper, winter squash and strawberry
SEED GARDEN: sunflower, beans, peas, corn and pumpkin
To further the agricultural mission of the school, several outdoor classrooms are designed around teaching students about their food, how it's produced, and where it can be found in nature. ( Hint- it's not just a farm! ) The food-based classrooms are:
The CHCS Farm will incorporate the ethos of permaculture: to work with the land in a sustainable manner that is healthy for the earth and for our students. We want our students to work smarter, not harder- so we are incorporating poultry for pest management and fertilizing needs. Nearby shed and chicken coops will house garden tools, composting facilities and irrigation components.