Since September, Gordon has offered full-time on-campus learning for every grade.
To do that safely, the school has made full use of every inch of Gordon's twelve-acre campus.
It's been hard, and it's been fun.
Students and teachers have discovered new corners of the campus, and new uses for familiar spaces.
Along the way, there have been unintended consequences.
The campus has been pushed to its limit, and students and teachers have been having an ongoing conversation about how to respect, protect and sustain this cherished shared resource.
In the fall, that conversation led to the fifth grade's data-driven anti-litter project.
This spring, it has second grade talking about how to steward and preserve the land around their beloved pond.
Yesterday, second graders armed themselves with photos of the pond from 2005, 2010, 2013 and 2015.
Then they headed out to do a little research.
The students know the pond has changed over the years.
It's changed a lot over past few months.
The pond is a living system, after all.
This year, it's gotten more traffic than ever.
What is natural change?
What is human change?
Which changes feel OK somehow, and which ones need fixing?
This was a science lesson, observing a natural system.
This was an ecology project, with a little historical perspective too.
But it was also literacy practice.
It was a test of teamwork.
And as they convened to compare notes, it became a public speaking moment too.
Can you read what you just wrote?
Can you choose the most important things to mention?
Can your classmates hear you?
Can you share the airtime with your partner?
History and literacy.
Teamwork and public speaking.
And at the core, fueling all this learning?
A wild space that's become an old friend to them.
A treasure they are thrilled to help care for.
A space they know by heart.