Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE) Guidelines

The OLE is reserved for Lake Country School students only between the hours of 7am - 6pm on school days. These guidelines that follow The Four Respects, are to be used by all persons at all times while on the premises. If you have questions, please contact us (612-827-3707 or lakecountryschool.org) and we’ll be happy to help you. Thank you.

Respect for self
▪ Move safely 
▪ Except where prohibited, climb and jump from heights within your ability 
▪ Use equipment you can reach without assistance of others 
▪ Follow steps for Peaceful Conflict Resolution (on reverse) 
▪ Stay within OLE boundaries unless you have adult permission to leave

Respect for others
▪ Be aware of others’ needs and boundaries – avoid collisions and no tackling
▪ Model safety, grace and courtesy, and use appropriate language
▪ If someone is injured, play ceases until you know that everyone is okay
▪ Contribute to an inclusive environment

Respect for materials, tools and equipment
▪ Sticks, wooden blocks and other building materials are for building only
▪ Wood chips, sand toys, buckets, building materials are to remain in their specified areas
▪ This is a weapon free area – use equipment peacefully and constructively
▪ Climb only on climbing structures - i.e. the Big Rock and the Greenspace Fallen Tree are both sculptures and not intended for climbing
▪ Retrieve and put away all materials at the end of each time outdoors

Respect for the environment
▪ Play in play areas, be aware and take care of living plants, bushes and trees
▪ Pick up and dispose of garbage
▪ Consider water use thoughtfully
▪ Obey all posted signs

~Follow and support the instructions of Lake Country School staff~

For adults: Observation and supervision of the children and their play are your priorities. Adults (staff, parents, and visitors) are to be present and actively supervising the children they are responsible for. Keep conversations short, avoid distractions and mobile device use.

Steps to Peaceful Conflict Resolution

1. Listen carefully.
Everyone gets a turn to speak and to explain his/her point of view. When one person is speaking everyone else should listen carefully, without interrupting, to what is being said.

2. Use “I” statements.
“I feel _________ when you __________.” Beginning a statement with “You…” is not allowed.

3. Say what you’ve done.
Tell what you have contributed to the particular situation. “I shouldn’t have yelled at you when you dropped the ball. I’m sorry.”

4. How can we solve this together?
Make a plan you all can agree on.

5. Affirm your relationship.
Tell something that you like about that person such as: “I liked making up that game with you last week,” or “I look forward to building another fort with you.”

Rules of Conflict

Follow these guidelines to encourage a fair and clear resolution of the conflict:
* Do not bring up other people.
* Do not bring up the past.
* Do not bring up other issues.
* “You started it” is never an excuse.

Apologies
When you apologize, you tell yourself the truth about who you are and accept it. A simple “I’m sorry that I ____________. Can you accept my apology?” is often all that is needed. Any apology given should be from the heart and supported by a change in behavior.

Ideas from Rachel Simmons as explained in her video Odd Girl Out. 

Mission Statement

Lake Country School is a Montessori learning environment that fosters independence, critical thinking, and creativity within each child. We are a community that promotes diversity and inclusion, as well as respect and responsibility to self, to others, and to the earth.

Contact Us

3755 Pleasant Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55409
Phone 612.827.3707
Email Us

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