BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– In order to return to in-person learning, schools have implemented a variety of new safety measures including some outdoor lessons. In Boulder, Horizons K-8 is moving most of their classrooms outside.
Isela Moore is an 8th grader at the school. She says she expected the classroom to look a little different when she returned to in-person learning but even this was a surprise.
“I knew a little bit of the plan,” she said, “I think it’s a really good idea and it makes sense during these times.”
Her desk is now outside under a tent in the field next to the school.
“We never thought something like this was possible,” Lucas Ketzer, Head of School at Horizons said.
Ketzer and his staff spent months trying to think of safe ways to get teachers and students back to in person learning and parents wanted to help.
“If my children are going back it has to be the safest way,” Barb Verson who has two students at the school.
“There’s just so many possibilities out there and we were really just trying to keep an open mind and think outside of the box,” Antonia Nerzon said.
They did just that, went outside of the box and into tents after raising more than $40,000 in donations.
“It was big ask of our community to put that number out there and say we need your support,” Lauren Noyes said.
Tents were just the beginning. The parents had to get new desks and chairs as well as find a way to easily move supplies back and forth on those not-so-perfect Colorado days.
“Probably there will be days where they will need to be inside. But we figure as much outside time as possible is better than nothing,” Noyes said.
They have also been working with a University of Colorado scientist who specializes in air quality about how best to maintain safety but also add some walls for more protection.
“It still has good air flow, and it’s better than being inside,” Ketzer said about the enclosed tents.
For 11-year-old Lilah Baruch, not even the weather can scare her away.
“Might be hard on a cold or hot day but it’s better than learning online,” she said.
The tents not only provide better air flow for students, but they offer more space. Each of the outdoor classrooms will hold 8 to 10 students.
Outside of weather worries the staff is also closely monitoring air quality from wildfires to determine if outside learning is best.