The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education has approved more than $13 million in new bond-funded facilities projects to provide safe, welcoming and sustainable outdoor spaces that align with the 2022-26 Strategic Plan and support student-centered, experiential and engaged learning at schools across the district.
Five outdoor learning environment projects valued at approximately $11.9 million were approved. These projects, part of the Strategic Plan’s Pillar 2: Joy and Wellness, provide additional green space on school campuses by creating outdoor learning spaces.
“Greening our campuses is a top priority and makes a huge contribution to the health of our students and employees” Supt. Alberto M. Carvalho said.
Outdoor learning environment projects are identified using the LAUSD Greening Index for a ranking of campuses with the greatest need for enhanced greening, combined with data determining campuses with excess portable classrooms. Each project will provide approximately 2,000 square feet of outdoor learning space with landscaping, shaded seating areas, internet connectivity and Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility improvements.
Six Sustainable Environment Enhancement Developments for Schools projects, with a combined budget of $600,000, were also approved. The greening projects will enhance campuses by creating outdoor sustainable learning spaces that support the school curriculum. Projects will proceed at Atwater Avenue Elementary School, Dayton Heights Elementary School, William Jefferson Clinton Middle School, Henry T. Gage Middle School, Hesby Oaks Leadership Charter and Victoria Avenue Elementary School.
Under the SEEDS program, a school site by itself, or in cooperation with a partner organization, may submit a SEEDS application to receive up to $100,000 to create or improve an outdoor learning space that will facilitate educational programs and may also be used during recess and lunchtime by students. An additional $50,000 is now available to schools ranked in the top 20% of the Greening Index.
The board also approved outdoor classroom projects at Gratts Early Education Center and Estrella Early Education worth approximately $825,000. The projects will convert existing asphalt and playground areas into dynamic, nature-based play and learning environments for our youngest students. The new EEC outdoor classrooms will support whole-child development by offering learning stations for music and art, climbing and balance activities, building materials, garden planting and more.
“I’m thrilled to see more of our schools begin their greening journeys,” board president Kelly Gonez said. “Each project provides new outdoor learning opportunities and brings us one step closer to making our campuses welcoming, climate-responsive spaces.”
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