About Our School

Outdoor play area at a school with children engaged in various activities. A large, modern pavilion with a sloped metal roof provides shelter. The pavilion is supported by steel columns and open on all sides, with one wall featuring a warm wooden finish. A tree with yellowing leaves suggests an autumn season. Children in the foreground are playing with hula hoops, while others in the background are gathered in a group activity. The ground is covered in wood chips for safety, and the sky is clear, indicating a sunny day.

The TRAILS Outdoor School opened its doors in the fall of 2006. Part of the Ashland School District, this program provides academically challenging education for children in kindergarten through eighth grade with an emphasis on natural science, traditional arts, and music.

Children in the school build relationships with the natural world through planting, hiking, sketching and spending time outdoors. They hone skills of observation, theorization, inference and synthesis by watching, discussing, and interacting with nature. They experience the outdoors in rain, snow and sunny weather and learn to walk comfortably through the woods. They develop skills to record their observations and ideas in poems, essays, narratives, painting and drawing.

Study outside the classroom occurs through day trips for the youngest members of the school to backpacking trips for the oldest. Children learn to study plants and animals without harm, interference, or negative environmental impact. Stewardship remains part of their lifelong relationship with nature.

Music, laughter, dance, drama, and art are regular components of the school week. They are essential curricular skills as well as extensions of learning serving as response to knowledge and concepts.

View our brochure and a powerpoint presentation explaining the TRAILS School by clicking on the links in the menu to the left.