Dennis C. Haley Elementary School

– Roslindale, MA
Engaging Students and Parents

In the fall of 2003, CO-SEED initiated a program with the K-5 Haley School in Roslindale, MA. With a large schoolyard and other local resources at its disposal, the Haley School chose to work with the Boston Nature Center (BNC), a Massachusetts Audubon Center within walking distance of the school. The BNC had been working with the Haley School for two years before the CO-SEED Program began to develop long-term relationships with local schools. With the help of CO-SEED, the BNC representative’s position at the Haley School transformed from guest naturalist to coach. Support from the BNC for Haley School Teachers in developing and carrying out their own lessons increased dramatically.

As a result of the CO-SEED Program, Haley School Teachers have begun to integrate their curriculum more and use the context of the environment to do so. Environmental learning spills over from the the study of science into the arenas of math and literacy. Haley School Students are engaged in hands-on, minds-on activities that have increased their environmental awareness through place-based lessons in their schoolyard and at the BNC.

Sample Success Stories

* Haley School redesigned their science fair to focus more on student inquiry. The redesigned fair allowed students to design and carry out projects with an environmental focus.

* The Haley SEED Team – The Earth Watchers – focus their work on encouraging greater parental involvement in student work. The Earth Watchers’ work has resulted in Haley Unity Days, a Vision-to-Action forum that created three committees: Parent Involvement, Fitness for Life, and Visual Identity (a committee that focused on ways to improve the Haley School’s appearance).