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Residential Outdoor Science School for Every Student

Educational Support Services

Celeste Royer

Director, Environmental Education

Sophia:  Thanks for filling the week with fun and excitement. I especially liked the birds that you rescued. I really appreciate it because I love birds of all kinds and I want to be a birdwatcher!

Julian:  I loved the Hill hike. The lizards, birds, jackrabbits and snakes were great. Thank you for letting me hold the snake. I thought the python was the best.

It is testimonials like these that inform us how valuable the Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School experience is to students. Students are engaged in hands-on learning of ecological concepts that build their science knowledge and environmental literacy. Rancho El Chorro provides a unique experience for students to study and learn in a natural environment. Every Student should have access to this incredible educational experience. Participation in residential outdoor science school is supported by our educational leaders.

In the Blueprint for Environmental Literacy, published by the California Department of Education in 2015, Tom Torlakson, former State Superintendent of Public Instruction, supported the recommendations for strengthening the environmental literacy of ALL California students.  One of the six guiding principles in the Blueprint is Equity of Access.  We must achieve environmental literacy for all students, not just for a few. Students must have equity of access to learning experiences, in and out of the classroom, that lead to environmental literacy.

Chapter 11 of the California Science Framework provides instructional strategies that help educators work toward this goal of building environmental literacy for all. There is value in providing students with longer, concentrated opportunities to explore and explain the natural world by participating in Residential Outdoor Science School. There is evidence to support the value of using natural environments, local communities, and outdoor settings as a real-world context for science learning that engages student interest as they investigate the world around them.

Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School provides the opportunity for ALL students to have the educational experience of a lifetime. The outdoor school curriculum supports the Next Generation Science Standards and incorporates the Environmental Principles & Concepts recently approved into California Education Code.  Let us work together to ensure Equity of Access to Residential Outdoor Science School for all Central Coast students. If you would like more information or have questions about residential outdoor science school, please contact me at 805-782-7334 or at

Celeste Royer
Director, Environmental Education
San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

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