The world is a place for learning, and in Silicon Valley the world is right there around us. We travel to other places and invite guest instructors to deepen the level of our students' understanding through practical knowledge. Visits give unexpected detail, perspective, and sensory experience to a study that cannot be achieved so easily inside a classroom. The school conducts regular trips to museums, parks, performances, and other sites related to topics of study.
The teaching staff collaborates each year to develop 8-10 excursions relevant to the thematic study of that year. Activities have included visiting the fire station as part of a neighborhood study, exploring the physical suspension dynamics of the Golden Gate Bridge, planting wildflowers at a local park to strengthen bee populations,
seeing the origins of technology at the Computer History Museum, studying the organization and procedures of a local grocery store, sharing experiences with children at another local school, witnessing a beautiful dance interpretation of The Velveteen Rabbit by ODC in San Francisco, learning about the cycle of food at Hidden Villa or Full Circle Farm, and following the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct all the way from Yosemite to Palo Alto as part of a yearlong investigation of water resources.
Parents often volunteer to accompany us on these explorations, which can become memorable moments out of the year, crystallizing and reinforcing the knowledge students gain from classroom reading and instruction.