RCPS Takes A Hands-On Approach

Schools Officials Visit Coast To Learn About Bay Health

Posted: June 19, 2014

HARRISONBURG — About three dozen Rockingham County Public Schools administrators are on a retreat on the Chesapeake Bay aimed at improving education in North America’s largest estuary.

The three-day trip is taking place at one of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s off-site environmental education centers.

The retreat is mostly being funded by grant money from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Chesapeake Bay Trust, according to RCPS administrators, with the division paying about $1,000.

The goal is for principals, assistant principals and central office staff members to get hands-on education so they can bring back better ways to teach kids about the Bay in school.

Called “vertical integration,” the idea is that administrators, upon seeing firsthand how daily life affects the bay, will get excited about sharing their new knowledge with teachers, according to foundation and school officials.

Teachers would then, ideally, pass that passion onto students.

Administrators will participate in many of the same activities students do when they arrive for field trips at the Port Isobel Island Study Center: set crab pots, assess the biodiversity of underwater grass beds, and go on beach hikes and marsh expeditions.

Tammy Stone, coordinator of science for RCPS, organized the trip and secured grant money to pay for about 80 percent of the cost.

She hopes teachers will be able to go on the same retreat next year.

Contact Kassondra Cloos at 574-6290 or kcloos@dnronline.com

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