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Outdoor Exploration at Owen Middle
Outdoor Exploration at Owen Middle
Posted on 05/06/2019
Black Mountain Primary School (BMPS) first-graders recently took a special field trip to Owen Middle School (OMS)’s 40-acre campus. In what has become an annual tradition, the younger students explored and experienced various science and biology concepts with fun, hands-on activities.

“Our intention is to foster relationships between students in our community by having students learning from other students, and to share the environmental passion that we hold dear, here at OMS -- Heritage, growth, and promise,” said Brittany Krasutsky, OMS 7th-grade science teacher.

The BMPS students learned about birds, bats, bees, conservation, and the environment. The middle school students led these various learning stations where the first-graders experienced hands-on lessons based on content they had studied in class.

“Our goal is twofold,” Krasutsky said. “First, we hope to share our community school vision of outdoor learning spaces and hands-on activities with the little ones, and second, to introduce them to the middle school that they will hopefully be attending from sixth to eighth grade. We find that our middle school kiddos step up as leaders when asked to be an example. Also, the first graders can get familiar with our campus and excited about attending middle school here! They do this while making connections with fun, knowledgeable, and caring students and adults.”

Owen Middle School leverages its unique place in the Swannanoa Valley in order to provide students with these fun learning opportunities. Their campus is home to many natural features such as a beaver dam (the second largest in the state), an outdoor classroom with solar panels, and a ropes course! All of these tools can be used to benefit students across the Owen District.

“The first-graders love interacting with the older students and walk away feeling more connected to our schools and community,” said first-grade teacher Ashley Styles. “Having their new (middle school) friends teach them is a memory they carry and can help to inspire them to work hard. They desire to be like their middle school and high school role models. Also, I personally think the middle schoolers have a better memory of what it’s like to be a first-grader. That makes them a little more relatable to our first-graders.”

The activities at OMS were designed by teachers, but the eighth-grade students were responsible for facilitating the stations for the first-graders.

“Our intention is to foster relationships between students in our community by having students learning from other students, and to share the environmental passion that we hold dear, here at OMS."

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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