Field School

Field School Is Expanding!

Northview Public Schools is also thrilled to announce the expansion of our popular Field School program. For several years, Northview has offered a K-4 outdoor learning program for interested students. Each year, we have many more interested students than we have space in the program and continue to look for ways to expand our ability to include more students. For the 21-22 school year, Field School is expanding to Highlands! If you have an incoming 5th grade student who is interested in joining Field School, please visit our website for more information, including application information.


A few key points for our newest section of Field School:

All Field School 5th grade students will attend school at Highlands (as do all Northview 5th graders).

All Field School 5th grade students will have their own teacher/team of teachers who focus their instruction on the natural world and who build off of the existing K-4 Field School curriculum.

All Field School 5th grade students will participate in ‘Encore’ classes such as PE, STEAM, and Band/Choir.

School Mission

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.


– School News Network –

Class is in session in the great outdoors







At Northview, we believe children are inspired by nature.

Field School provides an immersive outdoor learning environment along with student-centered teaching practices. It fosters students’ mastery of all core subject knowledge while also encouraging curiosity, stewardship, community, leadership and adventure. Students attending Field School 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 spend time outdoors through all seasons, and learn how the natural world is a living textbook.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hour of Code

Field School students participated in Hour of Code this last year. Hour of Code helps demystify coding by introducing students to the core concept of giving and following instructions in a sequence. It’s become a great way to introduce students of all ages to the basics of computer science and coding by starting them off with simple visual instruction sets and seeing those instructions carried out.


Hour of Code strengthens their troubleshooting, problem solving, and long term thinking skills while broadening their understanding of the computer world around them.


For more information on hour of code, check out the official Hour of Code website.

Field School Students

– 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

Field Guide (PDF)

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

– Science

– Social Studies

– Art, Music, and Physical Education

– Assessments

– Multi-Age Instruction

– Adventures

– Student Supports


Josie Martin


Josie Martin - Kindergarten teacher for Northview Field SchoolHi, my name is Josie Martin and I am thrilled to be teaching Kindergarten at Field School. Teaching in an outdoor setting is one of my greatest joys. I graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2019 where I studied Elementary Education and Social Studies. I have spent the past year and a half learning and teaching at Field School as their student teacher and outdoor educator. I also have created curriculum for both future field school fifth grade and kindergarten. I have spent many years teaching students outside at various camps, youth groups and as a backpacking guide on North Manitou Island. When I’m not at Field School, I love to ride my bike, cook with friends, create art and explore new places. Currently, I am finding so much joy in working in the Field School garden. I am passionate about my community and cannot wait to teach my students how to best care for and protect the world around them. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Jenna Rykse

(1st and 2nd Grade)

Jenna Rykse looking out over water and rock formations.Hi, my name is Jenna Rykse and I am so excited to teach the 1/2 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.

Sarah Kane

(3rd and 4th Grade)

Sarah Kane, Field School teacher holding a fish.Hello! My name is Sarah Kane and I am excited to be teaching 3/4 Field School at West Oakview! I love being outdoors and cannot wait to guide our students in their explorations and learning with the outdoor world. I graduated from Northern Michigan University in 2014, with a degree in Elementary Education Social Studies and Science! I have been in the classroom for 5 years now. 1 year as a paraprofessional in a kindergarten class, and 4 years as a 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade multi-age classroom teacher. I grew up in camping and at summer camp, where I learned to backpack, canoe and love the outdoors. When I am not at school, I like to read, go on road trips to new places, and be on or near water! Sailing and canoeing are my favorite. I am so excited for the coming adventures that we will go on together. The chance to connect the classic areas of learning to the great outdoors is a dream come true! If you have questions, or need anything from me, please feel free to reach out! I hope to see you at the mobile library, and open house!

Matt Fenech

(3rd and 4th Grade)

Matt Fenech hiking in the winter.Hello! My name is Matthew Fenech and I teach the 3/4 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.