Educational Courtyards at Warner Middle School
The Xenia Community Schools Foundation’s Grant Program is designed to enrich learning experiences for Xenia area students. It is an opportunity for staff, parents and community members to put creative ideas into practice with financial support though the Foundation. Twenty-one grants totaling almost $25,000.00 were approved for the 2020-2021 school year. Teachers have faced a number of challenges in implementing grant projects this year due to the pandemic, but many initiatives have successfully gotten underway.
“Educational Courtyards” at Warner Middle School is one of the projects approved by the Foundation All of the equipment needed to set up this enhanced space have been completed. Usage will expand as schools are return to an in-school setup on a fulltime basis. The outdoor courtyards provide additional seating areas for students during lunch and recess. Students enrolled in lab classes maintain the outdoor areas, while learning about science and nature. The new areas will provide all Warner Middle School students with an alternative place to learn and provide additional quiet spaces for those students that have sensory needs. The WEB and leadership students can utilize the additional space for planning and implementing school-based activities.
The courtyard project improved Warner Middle School’s current facilities including: a new water pump for the rock fountain, rocks, along with adding various plant and fish species, picnic tables and umbrellas for students, a grill and outdoor activities. The primary objective is: “ To create places that students can take responsibility for maintaining and caring for the environment, along with offering a place that students feel safe and welcomed.”
The area has been used as originally intended, but COVID-19 protocols have led to additional types of use. For instance, band class used this space for outdoor practice. In good weather, staff eats lunch in these outdoor spaces and, in upcoming warmer weather, students will be able to use these spaces for meetings, classes clubs and learning.
The Foundation provided $3,400.00 for this grant and the Courtyards are available to all 940 students, as well as staff, at Warner Middle School.