Outdoor School: an Oregon Tradition for over 50 years
Established in 1966, Multnomah Education Service District Outdoor School program in Oregon is one of the longest running and most successful environmental education programs in the nation. Outdoor School is a residential program for all sixth grade students enrolled in Multnomah County and the surrounding region (approximately 7,000 annually). The Multnomah Education Service District offers this service to the eight school districts in the county, and private, parochial, and out of county schools.
Outdoor school takes sixth-grade students from the classroom to the outdoors where they can study those things best studied outdoors... plants, animals, soil, and water. Outdoor education can take place in the school yard, vacant lot, or on a field trip, but the greatest gains are made when students can live in the outdoors for an extended period of time, at a residential Outdoor School.
Outdoor School operates multiple sites during the fall and spring of each school year. They are all located within approximately a one-hour drive from Portland and information about their locations may be found here. Outdoor School sites are owned by church groups or youth organizations and are leased by Multnomah ESD for the period of Outdoor School only.