This year, we are proud to announce the opening of our first environmentally-focused, outdoor learning “Field School” for the 2018-19 school year. Northview believes that children are inspired by nature, and Field School is one way our district can use that inspiration to encourage learning.
Field School will provide an immersive outdoor learning environment along with student-centered teaching practices. It will foster students’ mastery of all core subject knowledge while also encouraging curiosity, stewardship, community, leadership and adventure. Students attending Field School will develop a connection to the natural world, a strong growth mindset, the ability to understand and solve complex problems, and skills to communicate to the world in many ways. Students will spend time outdoors through all seasons, and will learn how the natural world is a living textbook.
Field School will be located in the portable classrooms at East Oakview. There will be one multi-age Kindergarten/1st grade class and one multi-age 2nd/3rd grade class. The selected field instructors are Jenna Rykse (K/1st) and Matt Fenech (2nd/3rd). Both are certified to teach K-8, are aware of current environmental topics that will provide powerful learning experiences, and have teaching styles that will play to the strengths of kids learning outdoors. The school will also be supported by Rich Youngberg- Director of Community Education and Outdoor Experiences & Liz Cotter- Director of People, Organization, and Accreditation.
Any Northview student entering grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade in the Fall of 2018 is eligible to attend Field School, however, class sizes will be limited. Families who may be interested in sending a student to Field School, or who want to learn more, should fill out an interest form.
– Spend time outdoors in any type of weather
– Work with teams and independently
– Love exploring new things
– Like to move and be active
– Learn by doing
Nomination submissions are closed.
Interested in what Field School is? What it looks like for your student? Check out our Field Guide (PDF) which outlines the course curriculum for each subject. Contained in the guide you will find information covering:
– English Language Arts
– Social Studies
– Art, Music, and Physical Education
– Multi-Age Instruction
– Student Supports
Field School will provide immersive outdoor learning environments along with student-centered teaching practices that will foster students’ mastery of core subjects while encouraging curiosity, leadership, stewardship, community and adventure. Students attending Field School will develop a connection to the natural world, a strong growth mindset, the capacities to understand and solve complex problems, and the skills to communicate with the world.
Hi, my name is Jenna Rykse and I am so excited to teach the K/1 multi-age class at Field School. Teaching in an outdoor setting has always been my dream and I know Field School will be an incredible experience for many students in Northview. As a Northview alumni, I am passionate about serving my community and helping instill the love of nature in our youngest learners. I am a 2008 graduate of Hope College, where I studied Integrated Science for Elementary Education. I also earned a Master’s of Social Work degree in 2013 from Western Michigan University. I have served in a variety of roles in my teaching career including 4th Grade Teacher, K-2 Reading Specialist, and most recently K-4 Literacy Specialist. I am excited to blend my passion for teaching kids to read, write, and think with my love of the outdoors. My personal hobbies include traveling, exploring new places, and I never stop learning. I recently spent six months backpacking through South America while participating in volunteer opportunities along the way. When given an option, I will always choose to be outside enjoying activities like hiking, kayaking, riding bikes, and exploring the world around me. Feel free to message me with any questions about Field School. I look forward to working with you and your families this year.
Hello! My name is Matthew Fenech and I teach the 2/3 multi-age classroom at Field School. One thing I tell my students each year is that “I like to play outside more than you!” And it’s true. I have experience teaching kindergarten and third grade here at Northview and believe that kids learn (and I teach) best in the natural world. I graduated Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science and an Integrated Science major which offered me many outdoor experiences that I share with my classes every year. I’ve studied geological formations on Mackinac Island, guided tours of iron ore mines in the Upper Peninsula, and local water and soil studies along the Grand River. My passions include hiking, and biking with my family and I don’t leave the water when we are near a lake. Townsend Park is my favorite natural area to explore close to home and once my wife and I got to ride our bikes 950 miles around Lake Michigan over the summer! We left right from East Oakview on the last day of school. Field School brings my career and passions together and I’m excited to share that passion with your kids. Please feel free to contact me with any questions about Field School, my teaching experience, or outdoor adventures.