Service learning project in works for DistrictThe St. Croix Central School District is looking to add a service learning program into its curriculum.
By: Jackie Grumish, New Richmond News
The St. Croix Central School District is looking to add a service learning program into its curriculum.
According to Bill Stuessel, guidance counselor at the High School, service learning is a program that not only has an educational component, but also helps to better the community as a whole.
Currently school officials are meeting to discuss how and when to implement a possible program.
“We want to take it slow and do it well,” Stuessel said. “We want to make sure we have the background work done well, so it’s (the program) not gone in a year.”
A possible example of a service learning project for St. Croix Central would be the clean up and rehabilitation of the school forest, next to the Middle School. Currently the forest has become overgrown and is in need of some attention.
Once cleaned up, the school forest would be a place the community could also enjoy as an outdoor space, and the students would have gained valuable knowledge while working toward its rehabilitation.
An example of how a service learning project at SCC would work would be the High School horticulture class learning about the species of plants in the forest and the processes it takes to rebuild it, then going out and physically planting the plants themselves.
Elementary students could also gain experience working on the project by learning about germination and plant photosynthesis, then going out to the forest and planting flowers.
The goal of the service learning project is to create a program that the entire District could be a part of, not just a single building or grade.
“If it goes the way it should, we’d like it to encompass all of the schools and have every student involved in doing things,” Stuessel said.
Currently, there is a committee working to develop a service learning program for St. Croix Central and they are “in the discussion phase” at this time.
“We want to start small and see how it goes,” said Stuessel, a committee member. “We want to phase it in over time.”
Although he wouldn’t say exactly what the service learning project would entail, as the project had not been finalized, Stuessel said that it would most likely involve the school forest.
“We’ve been in more of a discussion about it (service learning project) this year, but it sounds like it will likely be the forest,” Stuessel said.
Stuessel also said that if plans continue forward, a service learning project would be brought on board this year, although an exact time was not determined.
A state of Wisconsin grant through CESA #11 is available to help over some of the costs associated with service learning programs and the District is looking into applying for such grants.