Climate Literacy: Our Whole Child Approach
Making climate change relevant to the lives of our students while being conscious of meeting them where they are developmentally, guides our best practice approach. Introducing curricula in a mindful, interdisciplinary, scaffolding format, our TK-8th grade model consists of themes rooted in nature immersion and gardening, the science of phenology, evidence of climate change, smart technology integration, and sustainable design. Emphasizing climate literacy "foundation" activities and concepts in lower school provide the necessary experiences to help prepare and support our students to optimistically absorb the larger environmental issues they focus on in middle school.
TK – 1st grade
In our youngest grades, empathy and exploration of the natural world are foundational. Immersion in nature occurs daily as our students investigate, play, and explore our campus gardens, tree covered neighborhood streets, and the Presidio National Park. Experiencing San Francisco's seasons and learning to appreciate fog, rain, wind and the sun help our students personally connect with their surroundings and teaches them how humans, plants, and other animals benefit and depend on these ever-changing wether patterns of our planet.
2nd – 6th Grade
Building on the fundamental connection with nature the focus turns to learning earth’s ecological principles. The science of phenology (seasons), earth & climate systems, and our planet’s natural cycles become investigation focal points as our students learn about the carbon and water cycles, why seasons change, migration patterns, ocean currents & our planet’s cooling systems, jet streams, Sierra Nevada glacier formations, and the sun as the primary source of energy on earth.
6th – 8th Grade
Middle school emphasis turns to Environmental Solutions & Sustainable Design. Focus is on earth’s carrying capacity, ecological footprints, symptoms of global warming, the science of climate change, renewable energy, sustainable architecture, and positive human impact.
*Through a solutions lens and by selecting localized research questions based on real-world phenomena and events – such as sea level rise in SF Bay, wildfires in California, droughts in the central valley, LEED sustainable design, and energy use in our own school building, our students are surrounded by relevant curriculum applications.