We envision a school where nature is the classroom and learning ignites a sense of wonder, stewardship, and curiosity.
Our mission is to foster an environment in which the majority of learning happens away from screens and in the outdoors and engages students in meaningful experiences, rigorous academics, and authentic projects grounded in their community. Positive collaboration takes place on the part of students, families, staff, educators, and the broader community to nurture an environment of lifelong learning.
Our values include leadership, problem-solving, community connection, and compassionate stewardship.
HFS will equip students with the skills that support them in becoming leaders, problem solvers, and contributing community members, all while nurturing their sense of wonder and stewardship for nature and our community.
Outdoor play and place-based education are critical to raising future stewards of our community. We believe in minimizing technology in K-3 and building relationships to ensure academic success. Most of all, we believe kids can and should get outside!
Content and curriculum are aligned with state standards, our values as Alaskans, and is grounded in place, history, culture, and nature.
The purpose of Homer Forest School is to provide families in and around Homer, Alaska with an alternative, public school choice for their children, from Kindergarten through 8th grade, that is grounded in the school day happening primarily while outdoors.
Homer Forest School will provide its students with an opportunity to learn in diverse learning environments, through inquiry, exploration, investigation and sharing. As a school inspired by Forest School philosophy, Homer Forest School provides the community with the outdoor-centric school choice. Additionally, Homer Forest School will engage students in research-based place and project based learning, authentic community partnerships and experiences, and provide opportunities to engage in meaningful learning on a daily basis.
An outdoor-centric approach to learning will offer students meaningful, hands-on, developmentally appropriate experiences that inspire learning and personal growth.
What is a Charter School?
Charter Schools are public schools (tuition-free). Learn more about Alaska’s Charter Schools and Frequently Asked Questions here.
Where will you be located?
Our facilities committee is actively searching for a facility. If you’d like to help us find the perfect home for our school, please contact us.
When will you open?
The application process is lengthy and requires a lot of steps and public accountability. At this time, the date of opening is TBD.
“Forest Schools” originated in Scandinavia and are typically designed for early childhood or early elementary education. Forest School focuses on nature and play-based learning and can incorporate a variety of different pedagogies. The UK Forest School Association outlines 6 Core Principles of a Forest School which will guide the learning environment at Homer Forest School (see video).
Forest school encompasses the learning environment - learning takes place outdoors, so nature inspires what and how kids learn. The pedagogy of place and project-based learning is also grounded in being outside and being connected to your community.
Rigorous PBL White Paper (George Lucas Education Foundation)
PBL is an evidence-based practice under ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act)
Research makes a powerful case for PBL (2 major studies linked in)
Outdoor Learning and Screen Time
Screen Time Use Among US Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study
Effects of Regular Classes in Outdoor Education Settings: A Systematic Review on Students’ Learning, Social and Health Dimensions
The Value of Outdoor Learning (Google Book)
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