North Ridgeville private school to take learning outside to bring kids back safely

Updated: Jul. 31, 2020 at 2:04 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Lake Ridge Academy is using the great outdoors to safely bring their students back to school.

“Every piece of guidance we’ve gotten is that that’s a safer place to be. So we’re going to go outside a lot,” said Head of School Mitch White.

The private school sits on 93 acres in North Ridgeville, with open fields, woods, a pond, a gazebo, barn and patio which they use to teach their natural world philosophy.

“The campus is one of our greatest assets,” White said.

They’ll be open, and teaching at school K-12, five days a week, based on guidance that outside is the safest place to be.

“We do feel well-equipped to open, based on a few things that are unique to Lake Ridge. We are intentionally small, about 400 kids. We intentionally have small classes. Typical class size, K-12 is between 10-15 kids,” said White.

Upon reopening, they’ll be using their outdoor structures, adding to their outdoor-based curriculum, putting up tents, and building a new natural world Playscape which will include a tree house that can be used as a classroom.

Big plans for a Playscape outdoor learning structure at Lake Ridge Academy as they lean in to their “natural world philosophy” upon returning to school. Cleveland 19 News at 4:00 and 6:00.

Posted by Jen Picciano on Friday, July 31, 2020

“I expect at the teacher’s discretion and teacher’s leadership, we’ll have kids going outside multiple times a day every day. That’s the part of the reopening plan that I’m most excited about. It’s hand in glove with what our philosophy already is. And it’s a way to keep our kids safe in a way that’s not uncomfortable or inconvenient. Quite the opposite. The kids are going to love being outside,” White said.

They will not be moving desks outside, but rather asking the little ones to sit on the ground, and instructing the upper school students to bring their own lawn chair.

Lake Ridge Academy is scheduled to begin classes on Aug. 21, and is still accepting applications for enrollment until Aug 14.

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