Teachable Moment Outside School Doors

The Front Courtyard Committee met again this week to collaborate on landscape plans for the high school. This is the fourth time they have gotten together to hash over design features that will go out to the community for discussion. 

Every member agreed that incorporating the courtyard redevelopment into the school’s curriculum would help pique greater interest in programs and clubs. 

Anna Hooper, high school senior and member of the Front Courtyard Committee, said it would “help raise the bar for our students and build upon our rural backgrounds. Not only would it benefit those in agricultural classes, it would also help to educate students participating in environmental classes and groups like Envirothon.” 

“Landscaping is a FFA competition at the New York State Fair,” agricultural educator and FFA advisor Carmen Fagnani noted. She’s looking forward to giving her plant science and general ag students this real life lesson. “We use a three circle model in agricultural education. Ag classes give students content knowledge. A strong FFA teaches leadership qualities. And a supervised agricultural experience, like the front courtyard project, provides self-directed project based learning.”  

Parent and Front Courtyard Committee member, Sarah Hooper, said that she is very excited about the prospect of the school grounds being utilized as an educational setting. “It would be wonderful to see our students engaging in and taking pride in their school’s property. Some of our agricultural students could be exploring aspects of horticulture & landscape design by getting hands-on experiences planting and tending to some of the gardens on campus. Our Middleburgh School District is blessed to have such a beautiful community and campus to educate and inspire our children.” 

Front Courtyard Committee members meeting to discuss landscape plansFront Courtyard Committee discussing types of trees for landscape project