MLA offers 5 days of Phys Ed and 1 day of outdoor education through Mountain SOL School every week. Learn why all this movement is important for kids' development. Read more . . .
Book Buddies is our unique school-wide literacy program. Small groups of students work on building comprehension and reading skills such as decoding and fluency. Each three-week rotation focuses on specific books or authors, incorporating writing and creative activities such as dramatic interpretation and art-centered projects. Students make connections between literature and other disciplines such as social studies, science, and fine arts. Each rotation allows students to work with a different teacher, giving them a well-rounded experience throughout the year.
Did you know that MLA sits on 11 acres with a trail system, school garden, and more? MLA supports outdoor education through a partnership with the Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership school, an outdoor classroom and trail system, a school garden, participation in the state's Wild Yards program, and afterschool programs that help to share stewardship skills and love of the natural world with our students. Every MLA student receives in-school outdoor education through Mt SOL once a week!
During the 2018-2019 school year, we will learn about botany, tree and wildflower identification, and raise frogs in the classroom. Previously, we have worked on the following projects:
During the 2013-14 school year, we were proud to be the recipient of two grants supporting our outdoor education program. We received a Greenworks grant from Project Learning Tree to support the MLA Wild Yards Project! This project focuses on youth-led creation of wildlife habitat on our property. Working in partnership with Friends of Deckers Creek Youth Advisory Board, the Master Naturalists of Morgantown, and volunteers from the non-profit Aurora Lights, students drafted a wildlife plan, worked with our partners to finalize the plan and create the habitat, and applied for Wild Yards certification through the state!
We also received funding from the Whole Kids Foundation to build 8 raised beds in our garden and connect our garden with in class curriculum for all grades from Pre-K to Eighth. We have a Friends of the Garden working group of parent and local volunteers helping to move the project forward, as well as enthusiastic teachers and students!
Growing Wilder! Adding Monarchs to the MLA Wild Yards: With funds from Project Learning Tree's Greenworks! program, MLA students expanded their Wild Yards area with the addition of habitat for the Monarch Butterfly. Through a partnership with the Monarch Sister School Project, student learned about the importance of the Monarch and why it is disappearing. We skyped with students at Leona Vicardio Primary School during Spanish class (levels 4/5 and MS) about the Monarch butterfly as well as the geography of our homes. We made a butterfly garden and painted a new mural showing the life stages of the Monarch. When the Monarch finally made it to us, our citizen scientists were ready to report the sightings!
Biodiversity Advocates for the Mountains (BAM): With funding from the Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation, both Mountain SOL afterschool students and our older MLA students learned about different groups (taxa) of wildlife (animals & plants) that are native to our area, how to survey for those different kinds of wildlife and conduct surveys on the MLA campus to create an inventory of flora and fauna in our own backyard. Both professional Biologists and biology students at WVU will present lessons on taxa natural history and proper survey techniques and protocols. The students will then venture out on the MLA lab-land to put those techniques to practice. So far we have had a presentation on predators, another on snakes, and one on falcons and owls! Our students created survey videos as well!
For more information and to view the videos, please go to www.mountainsol.org.