Each grade level aims to have an excursion or learning experience every month
Glen Lake Go !, a new program for Glen Lake elementary school students, hopes to provide students with around 10 unique experiences and field trips over the course of the school year.
The program is funded by the Glen Lake Elementary PTO and a $ 4,350 grant from the Hopkins Education Foundation awarded to the school last spring. According to Glen Lake Director Jeff Radel, the grant was originally intended to help fund experiences such as field trips. However, the start of the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to the excursions and funding instead flowed into the bus and to be wrapped in graphics.
Glen Lake students helped brainstorm the wrap design for the light blue 14-passenger bus.
Hopkins Director Jeff Radel and the Glen Lake Go! Bus.
“I’m passionate about rethinking the role of the headmaster,” said Radel. “I don’t want to be the one who just sits in the office and waits for something to come to me. I’ve always had a passion for being in the classrooms as much as possible and when this idea came up I said, ‘If I want to make this idea a reality, what can I do to best make this idea a reality? ? ‘”
He responded by getting a bus driver’s license to drive the bus himself.
“When you think about the cost of an excursion, it’s not the actual vehicle we’re paying for. We pay for the driver and the drivers and as we know there is a shortage of bus drivers, ”he said. Radel started training in the summer and his last test took place last weekend.
The Glen Lake Go! The program uses an experiential learning philosophy, also known as place-based education, to immerse students in local cultures, landscapes and opportunities as a foundation for studying subjects throughout the curriculum. The program builds on the district’s Vision 2031, which was created with the core belief that every student deserves a bright future.
“When you’re in the classroom there is great learning and there are standards and there is a curriculum that we have to make sure the students get it,” said Radel. “At the same time, a lot of it can be isolated and the students can’t really see the application. So if we can take them outside, into the world, into these experiences and say, ‘This is how the real world sees your learning in the classroom,’ I think children are just automatically drawn to it. “
Excursions are divided into four categories: standards / curricula; Experience; Career and business partnerships; and social engagement. So far, the bus has made excursions to the Glen Lake Golf Course for physical education and a “Welcome to Glen Lake Night” for incoming kindergarten children.
Heidi Droegemüller, the mother of sixth grader Henry, who was on the excursion to the Glen Lake Golf Course, said they would no longer take personal educational experiences for granted after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Henry was super excited. He loves golf and doesn’t go golfing with friends often because his friends don’t have the opportunity or have access to golf, ”she said, adding that she originally assumed that students would play golf on the school grounds.
Physical Education Instructor William Barringer and his class go to Glen Lake Golf Course.
William Barringer, a Hopkins PE teacher, was part of the field trip to the golf course. The trip was part of an elective sports course for fifth and sixth graders interested in golf. Students could sign up for the electives they wanted, with some of the other options including a ceramics class or a class teaching dances from around the world.
“Going to the golf course on our campus in Glen Lake and being able to hit real golf balls on the driving range we only had plastic balls, that was a big deal for them,” he said. “It was the first time that many of them had hit a real golf ball.”
According to Radel, the aim is for teachers in Glen Lake to get bus driver’s licenses if they are interested. Barringer said it would be.
Radel drove both barringers and the students to the golf course.
“I thought it would add to the experience,” said Barringer. “It was so cool that our headmaster was driving the bus. And then when he got there he had to jump out and hit a couple of golf balls and also show off to the kids. It made it even better. “