"My name is Chris Schulze. I am a 6th grade teacher in Pendleton. I am also in my 8th year as the director of Sunridge Middle School’s Outdoor School Program. As public schools statewide organize their priorities to meet the demands of statewide standards and test goals, less and less time is devoted to educational activities gained through experiences outside their desks and outside the classroom. Students benefit from this type of experimental education in countless ways, especially students who struggle in purely academic settings but thrive when they are given the chance to learn something hands on and directly applicable to the skills needed to survive in the wilderness.
Through my participation in Outdoor School, I have been privileged to witness, firsthand, innumerable students who did not do well in the classroom but come alive as they learn about how to study and survive in nature at Outdoor School. Outdoor School meets a need in students that isn’t met in any other venue. As I write this letter my fellow teachers and I are making the final preparations to begin the 44th year of Outdoor School for Pendleton. On behalf of those 6th graders and those who don't have the benefit of an Outdoor School Program, I urge your support of HB 2648 and SB 439."
Sunridge Middle School teacher, Umatilla County