GATINEAU, QC. --
Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School is taking learning outside.
“We realized we have to do something more permanent outdoors and we don’t have actual outdoor classrooms but we thought, maybe we could make outdoor classrooms,” said Principal David McFall.
McFall spent his holidays brainstorming a creative return-to-school plan. That’s when he took a chance on three white tents, similar to what you would find at an outdoor wedding.
He paid nearly $3,000 upfront, hoping the school would be on board with the plan.
“It got approved, so that was great. It was a very calculated risk,” he laughed.
Students can use the tents to learn, eat lunch, or for group exercises such as yoga.
“There will be a shared Google doc where teachers can sign up and come down for a 50-minute period,” he said.
Long logs will be used as seats.
“They’re very natural and sturdy and fun for kids,” McFall said.
“They’re an inviting learning space and they’re cool as well,” said Dermot Guinnane, responsible physical education.
Cement blocks will keep the tents from blowing away.
When it comes to outdoor learning this winter, McFall says “heaters might be a stretch” but it’s not out of the question.
For now, the tents are here to stay.