The Outdoor Classroom will post news, events, progress and milestones to this blog. Be sure to bookmark the page or visit often so you can see the progress we are making to transform the courtyard into a vibrant, inspiring place to learn!

view:  full / summary

March 16, 2019-

Posted on March 18, 2019 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Our spring workday is scheduled for Saturday March 30, 10am-1pm (rain date April 13). Please join us in preparing beds, weeding and sprucing up our infrastructure. SSL hours available. Park in the lot off Schuyler Rd and enter near the SCES cafeteria. For questions, contact Susan at [email protected]

March 15, 2019-

Posted on March 18, 2019 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The K-3 edible gardening season kicks off next week with 3rd grade pea planting! In the coming weeks, 2nd grade will plant carrots, 1st will plant greens, and K will plant radishes. If you’re interested in volunteering to help students plant or harvest vegetables (no experience necessary), email Debbie at [email protected]

March 14, 2019-

Posted on March 18, 2019 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The results of Ms. Scott’s classes’ soil organism surveys are in! Kudos to the budding field biologists who found centipedes, bess beetles and worms today and graphed their results by habitat. We discovered that last year’s garden beds are home to tiny worms, while centipedes prefer the habitat under the stumps.

March 7, 2019-

Posted on March 18, 2019 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Permission slips are available for 4th and 5th grade garden clubs, which begin the week of April 8. If you need a copy, contact Susan at [email protected]

Priorities, Budget and Volunteer Opportunities!

Posted on October 13, 2015 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Outdoor Classroom Committee Planning for 2015-16


The Outdoor Classroom Committee leadership team met on October 8th to discuss priorities for the year and our budget. We put together this list of priorities to focus our work, direct our volunteers and help us fundraise. The Outdoor Classroom Committee remains open to new ideas that may arise from teachers, parents and students.


• Hire an Outdoor Classroom Coordinator (convene a Work Group to work out the details)

• Spring Edible Garden program at SCES (K-3 Salad Parties; Three Sisters & Colonial Garden; plant a redbud tree with Girl Scouts)

• Host an Opening of the Outdoor Classroom Stage

• Keeping the Outdoor Classroom Beautiful

◦ ongoing weeding and maintenance

◦ Fall and Spring Work Days

◦ organize a training of staff and volunteers on plant identification

• Increase the use of the Outdoor Classroom

◦ help with lesson planning

◦ create and install signage around the Outdoor Classroom

◦ identifying places in the curriculum to use the Outdoor Classroom

• Monarch Sister School Program at SCES

• Construct new features - If time, resources and volunteer capacity allows, work on the next zone (pond, sensory garden, bird habitat)


Current Funds Available: approx. $9,000

2015-16 Spending Plan (approximate figures)

Edible Garden at SCES $1,000

Operations & Maintenance $1,000

Coordinator Position $7,000 (spending amount depends on job responsibilities & available funding)

Spending Total $9,000

** The Outdoor Classroom Committee will work with the Sligo Creek Education Foundation on securing additional resources to support our work.

Open Volunteer Positions:

• Organize the Spring Work Day

• Coordinate the SCES Edible Garden Program

• Work on Signage

• Explore construction options for the next zones (pond, sensory garden, bird habitat)

Thank you Work Day Volunteers!

Posted on October 5, 2015 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

THANK YOU to all the students and families who helped with the SCES/SSIMS Outdoor Classroom Workday on Saturday, Sept. 26! Together we weeded garden beds, landscaped and planted a tree near our new stage, picked up playground trash and had a great time! We couldn’t keep the

Outdoor Classroom looking great without your help, and we really appreciate you generously giving your time – it makes a big difference!

Join us! Fall Workday - Sat. 9/26 10:00-2:00

Posted on September 23, 2015 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

For the second year in a row, Sligo Creek ES will partner with The Tower Companies ( for their Green Apple Day of Service, in which the company’s employees will complete a service project at our school. The Tower Companies own the Blair Apartments and have many residents whose children attend Sligo Creek ES and SSIMS, and they are very interested in contributing to their educational experiences. This Thursday, the Tower Companies employees will landscape and provide seating for the beautiful new STAGE that was completed in the Outdoor Classroom over the summer!



We’re not looking for volunteers on Thursday, but *please come out to the Outdoor Classroom Fall Workday, SATURDAY 9/26, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.* We will be removing LOTS OF WEEDS, so bring your gloves, weeding tools, and be prepared to get dirty! SSL hours available. Coffee and snacks while supplies last. There is a “Sweep the Creek” event that day, too, and they will be clearing trash and recycling from the schools’ campus, so lots of opportunities to help out our schools/our environment on Saturday. Enter through the doors by the cafeteria down Schuyler Road from the main entrance. We hope to see you there!

Great New: Outdoor Classroom Stage Built

Posted on September 23, 2015 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

I hope everyone has enjoyed their summers! We have fabulous news that the stage in the Outdoor Classroom, at long last, is COMPLETE!!!! Pictures are below. This project began many months ago with a survey of teacher priorities, developed through fundraising and a generous grant from Westfield Malls, and finished with construction and the help of MCPS. Thanks to everyone who played a part in making this happen! The stage is intended primarily to give teachers a space to teach lessons outside, but I’m sure uses will evolve as teachers get a feel for how to incorporate this great resource. The next steps will include landscaping and installing seating, which we will accomplish through our partnership with the Tower Companies for their Day of Service upcoming on September 24.

The Stage is Coming Over the Summer!

Posted on June 12, 2015 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Hi Sligo Creek Parents –

We are excited to announce that the Stage in the Outdoor Classroom will be built over the summer (image below)! This stage is being built largely as a result of a generous grant from Westfield Malls, in addition to funds raised by the Outdoor Classroom Committee. The location for the stage is currently marked in the Outdoor Classroom with stakes and orange ground paint. Take a look if you’re around school today and Monday to see what you think! We expect that construction will begin in June and will be completed by mid-July. Please contact me with any questions or concerns.

Happy Summer!

Debbie Boger (on behalf of the Outdoor Classroom Committee

Edible Garden Update - Spring 2015

Posted on May 4, 2015 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sligo Creek Families –

For the last two weeks, I have had the honor of working with an AMAZING team of volunteers who have made it possible for every single student at Sligo Creek to plant edible plants in the Outdoor Classroom. These volunteers have given up many hours of their time (each class gets a half hour lesson along with their planting) to teach our kids how (and why!) to plant edible foods. Jes Skillman led many of the K – 3 and 4th grade classes and Emmanuelle Dupart led all of the K – 3 French immersion classes IN FRENCH. Helping to lead were Monica Nermark (in French), Nichole Bennett, Malia Hale, Margrit Wong, Amy Thompson-Jacobs, Lauren Aucoin, and others. Please thanks these volunteers when you see them!!!

In case you don’t know about the edible gardens program at Sligo Creek, each grade gets its own lesson plan:

· 5th grade students, who study Colonial America in social studies, plant a Colonial Garden;


· 4th grade students, who study Native Americans in social studies, plant the “Three Sisters” Garden (a Native American planting technique for corn, beans, and squash;


· K – 3rd grade students plant lettuce, radishes, spinach, swiss chard, sugar snap peas, and carrots.


- 3rd graders learn which parts of the plants perform which functions


- 2nd graders learn what parts of the plant we can eat (answer: all parts, depending on the plant)


- 1st graders learn why it is good to plant and eat our own food, and


- Kindergarteners learn what a plant needs to grow.


COMING UP: Grades K – 3 will harvest their salad fixings and celebrate with a Salad Party, supported with toppings and salad dressing from our own Whole Foods Silver Spring Store. *We are in the process of confirming that the Salad Party will happen on Friday, June 5.* We will need lots of volunteers to help wash the produce and serve salad, so please mark this date tentatively in your calendar and plan to attend!

(And here's a photos of the plants emerging!)