The Middle School Outdoor Leadership Grant (MSOL) is a new initiative under the direction of the OUSD Middle School Network Office and After School Programs Office, in partnership Bay Area Wilderness Training. The goal of MSOL is to build capacity within OUSD Middle Schools so that more students will have opportunities to participate in outdoor experiences. This bold initiative will include free outdoor leadership professional development workshops and support for teachers and after-school staff, access to free outdoor equipment loans from Bay Area Wilderness Training, special field trip grants, and stipends for lead teachers and after-school staff.
To apply for an MSOL Grant:
- Your school must be an Oakland Unified School District Middle School
- Two lead staff members must complete the online application form
- Complete steps 1 and 2 before February 10, 2017
If you have any questions about the application process or eligibility please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Application Deadline: February 10, 2017
Here is a short video about how Urban Promise Academy incorporates outdoor programming into their school using assistance from Bay Area Wilderness Training
Why should your school site participate in the MSOL Program?
As an MSOL site, your school will have exclusive access to special grant funds to help offset field trip costs and provide stipends to lead staff. During the pilot year we will disburse $5,000 in direct field trip support. School sites will be able to apply for up to $625 in support of an overnight outdoor field trip. Additionally, stipends of $280 will be awarded to two lead staff from each school site. These two lead staff must be one school-day teacher or administrator and one after-school staff member. The skills and training they receive will help them plan, organize, and lead an outdoor experience for your students in 2017, and build their capacity to sustain outdoor programming at your school for years to come.
What are the benefits of outdoor experiences?
Outdoor experiences can benefit your students and your school site in multiple ways. The trips help to build students’ social and emotional learning skills, including resilience, self-confidence, healthy relationships, and stress reduction. Additionally, students gain valuable experience when they touch, smell, feel, and learn about nature first hand. These experiences provide special opportunities for teachers to inspire learning across multiple subjects including Next Generation Science Standards, English Language Arts, and California history. For your school site, this is a unique opportunity to build stronger partnerships between school-day and after-school staff. This collaboration can help your school site achieve its mission, vision, and goals, by creating an integrated school-day and after-school culture and community.
How can my school site participate?
To participate in the MSOL program your school site must meet the following criteria.
- During the pilot year any OUSD Middle School can apply. We will accept 8 schools in the first cohort.
- Identify one school-day teacher or administrator and one after-school staff member to serve as school site lead staff for outdoor programming. These two lead staff must submit a joint application before the deadline of 2/10/2017 and participate collaboratively in all MSOL trainings and meetings
- The principal and the after-school lead agency director must do the following:
- sign off on the application
- commit to providing time for staff to attend all MSOL trainings and meetings
- commit to providing additional staff support to meet OUSD’s required 1:10 adult-to-student ratio for overnight field trips
What is the full commitment that staff and school sites make?
- One school-day and one after-school staff member fully participate in all MSOL trainings and meetings including one Frontcountry leadership training and 4 cohort meetings:
- Tuesday March 7th, 6pm to 8:30pm at Bay Area Wilderness Training
- Saturday and Sunday March 11th and 12th, overnight camping training at Tilden Park in Berkeley
- Tuesday March 28th, 6pm to 8pm at Bay Area Wilderness Training
- Tuesday April 25th, 6pm to 8pm at Bay Area Wilderness Training
- Tuesday May 23rd, 6pm to 8pm at Bay Area Wilderness Training
- Organize and lead at least one overnight trip between April 1, 2017 and September 30, 2017 for a minimum of 20 students
- Submit a grant application for funds to support your trip by February 10, 2017
- Commit additional staff time to support chaperoning the trip with youth OUSD’s required 1:10 adult-to-student ratio for overnight field trips
- Provide a complete report of your trip within 30 days of the trips completion
What benefits or incentives will the school site and staff receive for participating?
- The lead school-day and after-school staff who participate in the MSOL trainings will each receive a $280 stipend for full participation
- Sites will be able to apply for a grant to support one overnight trip with youth. The grants will be based on a per pupil rate of $25 and all grants will be capped at $625. In addition to the two $280 stipends, the total possible award per site is $1,185.
- Staff participating in the MSOL program will be able to borrow camping gear for all students for free from Bay Area Wilderness Training’s Oakland gear library. These staff will retain this benefit for years to come when they are leading trips with youth.
- During the MSOL meetings, staff will receive trip planning support and advice from Bay Area Wilderness Training. The Tuesday meetings will be both informational and opportunities for MSOL lead staff to plan the trip.