"Throughout their experiences at KSS, the behavior, social tolerance, and self confidence of these students almost always improves."
Our experiential programs are designed to positively impact the educational experiences of all students. We have received a great deal of feedback indicating that our programs are especially valuable for those students who are struggling in a traditional educational setting. Students with diverse learning needs thrive here due to our dynamic, multisensory lesson plans, social emotional learning curriculum, student focused questioning pedagogy, and our strong academic outcomes with minimal reading requirements.
"I feel like these students walk away from this experience stronger because they are challenged to stretch themselves in positive ways that they never had to before."
When students visit KSS, they are often taking a much needed break from a plugged-in, fast paced routine. An alarming 1 in 10 adolescents in America are diagnosed with anxiety, and a disproportionate number of these children also have a learning disability. Recent neurological research indicates that children who grow up in a state of chronic stress are unable to develop and learn to their fullest capacity. The Keystone Science School offers these students a clean slate where they are able to find success in their academic pursuits, connect with their peers, and rediscover a sense of curiosity and wonder.
At KSS, students were “more positive and respectful towards the educator” demonstrating “great improvement in social ability as well as engagement in learning."
While at KSS, teachers noticed “more engagement than normal, greater attention span.”
At KSS, our curriculum is rooted in exploration and curiosity. When students make careful observations, they engage with their surroundings and form emotional connections with the natural world. This experience cultivates a mindset for active questioning, discovering connections and considering new perspectives. This focus on discovery and curiosity rather than a single correct answer fosters student engagement and success.
When asked “What do you feel helped students tp succeed at KSS?” Teachers referenced “hands on activities, being outside, physical activities, and being able work in smaller groups,” along with “high expectations, accountability” and “authentic learning and purpose!”
The Keystone Science School directly impacts students’ self perception and community awareness. Outdoor Education increases students’ perception of nonverbal social cues, which tend to be underdeveloped among students with alternative learning profiles. A major review of environmental education studies conducted by Tim Gill determined that the following claims are well supported by robust research: ”Spending time in nature leads to improvements in mental health and emotional regulation, both for specific groups of children (such as those with ADHD) and children as a whole.”
Chaperone testimonials from a combination of teachers and parents during their time at KSS provide compelling evidence of these impacts. The testimonials throughout this page refer to a wide spectrum of students with diverse learning needs, including: ADD, ADHD, autism, dyslexia, anxiety / depressive disorder, and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder.