Sustainable Agriculture in Action

At Mountainside, the students run a small chicken operation, and work hard to sustain its economic viability. They sell eggs to the parents and feed the chickens scraps from their lunch boxes. They do basic accounting to track their profits and, in some months, their losses.

These chickens have enriched our lives and provided many educational opportunities for our children. They also work much better than speed bumps as they free range around the parking lot! Read more

The Play's the Thing

Play: The single most significant factor in determining our success and happiness.
–Stuart Brown, M.D.

I recently had the pleasure of supervising the Elementary recess period. Despite the fact that it was the middle of December, it was 65 degrees and there was not a coat in sight. The Elementary play area is approximately four acres, so the children were fairly spread out.

I was immediately invited by Zoe and Piper to participate in their aerobic workout. Great….. Just what I needed! Read more

The Benefits of Having Chickens

These chickens have enriched our lives so much since they came to our school. To begin with, the children hatched them out in their classrooms, carefully monitoring the temperature and checking the humidity of the incubators. They candled them and got to see through the shell the living, moving embryo contained within – an embryo that is similar to a human’s for a period of time. That was an amazing lesson! They got to witness the tiny chicks’ great effort to get out of the shell, and what happens if they cannot.

The children displayed tremendous empathy when one chick struggled to survive for the first 24 hours. They organized heat lamps, shavings, water, food, and shelter as the chicks grew. They built a small fenced area for them to run around in daily. It was great. Read more

Free Range Chickens

We already knew the school year would be unlike any other: getting ready for a move, new teachers in the classrooms, new friends to meet and families to welcome.

But then there was the crowing.

Peeking into the Elementary yard in mid morning revealed two roosters and five hens happily scavenging for bugs in the grass, up on the porch poking around, and having a stared own with Charlie the dog.

“They’re looking for people,” Miss Edel explained. “They’re very social.”

That need would soon be met with multiple daily visits from the children, feeding them, cleaning their pen, changing their water, repairing the fence.