The AVS Middle School campus has a lot going for it. It is in a great building with an open commons, high ceilings, a black box theater, an Art/Maker Space and state of the art science labs. What it doesn’t have is an outdoor area. Before Covid, students would walk to Mission Playground everyday for lunch and to Coronado playground for PE. Now with all of the restrictions in place, those places are not available to us. But we haven’t let that stop us from getting outside on a regular basis.
Each day students take two 15 minute walks in our neighborhood. We are careful to wear our masks and stay distanced while we walk. I personally have the privilege to take out a group of students each week and we have a great time enjoying the day, moving our bodies and getting our steps in. Students enjoy the time to chat with each other and take a break from their in class activities.
We have also been able to partner with Northgate Church who has generously donated their patio space to us each day. We purchased small camping stools and students set up their stools and eat their lunch overlooking Valencia Street. In order to be safe while eating with masks off, students practice mindful eating without talking for 10 minutes each day. Once again, this time outside in the city helps to punctuate our day and gives us a different perspective on our learning experience. We are fortunate to have these options for in person learning and see all of the elements of the day as important to the educational experience.