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Field Trips

At Washington Open fields trips are an import part of the curriculum.  Throughout the year, Washington Open students enjoy many off-campus, hands-on learning through field trips. 

Field Trips and Experiences 

Lower Grades - Younger children begin their learning outside of the classroom in familiar neighborhood spaces. For example they might see first hand how food goes from Farm to Table, by visiting a farm, a grocer, and a restaurant. Field trips and guest speakers are integrated into the science curriculum. These may include a visit to a monarch butterfly grove, a marine biology lab on the San Francisco Bay, or the Youth Science Institute. Our second graders are typically ready for longer field trips and more museum tours. This year could have more art-centered field trips like the Palo Alto Art Museum, plays, or a San Francisco Symphony concert. There are opportunities for more in-depth natural science programs like Long Marine Lab in Santa Cruz, studying minerals at Alum Rock Park’s hot springs, learning about wildlife and farm life at Hidden Villa, and tide pools in Half Moon Bay. 

Upper Grades - Most outside school programs require a minimum age of third grade, so in the upper grades we are more able to fully integrate our curriculum with field trip programs. In third grade the overarching theme through the year is the westward movement in the United States during the 1800’s. 

As they progress through the upper grades, there are fewer field trips, but these tend to be longer and more involved. Fourth Grade is centered around California history and its geography. Students will visit a California Mission, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and San Francisco’s Chinatown. They also become the crew of a ship in 1906 “sailing” to Oregon for lumber to rebuild San Francisco, and spend three days in Gold Country where they pan for gold and explore the historic town of Columbia. Fifth graders attend a week-long Science Camp, and end the year with another week-long intensive field trip in Petaluma.


How Parents Support our Field Trips 

The Washington Open program supports a curriculum that extends learning beyond the classroom and into the community. We understand that children learn most profoundly from an integrated curriculum that facilitates and fosters first-hand experiences. Children in all grades participate in many field trips each year, from visiting local restaurants and civic offices, to attendance at children’s theaters and concerts, to overnight camping experiences. 

* The above field trips are examples from past and present. Actual trips may vary depending on availability and teacher's discretion.