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Outdoor Learning Program


Outdoor Learning Program

Nestled within the expansive 630 acres of John H. Dover Park, Pioneer School enjoys immediate proximity to the natural green space along the Yellowstone River, as well as the upcoming transformation of the gravel mine into a rehabilitated area featuring lakes, wetlands, meadows, and trails. Our innovative Outdoor Learning Program transforms our school community into a dynamic outdoor laboratory, enhancing the impact of public education. This program caters to learners of all abilities and needs, fostering a profound connection to the environment. Through these experiences, we aim to equip our students with the skills necessary for success in both their academic journey and future endeavors.


Pioneer’s Outdoor Learning Program rests on three tiers of learning: Inquiry, Nature, and Community. 


Inquiry-based learning is a form of active learning that starts by posing questions, problems, or scenarios rather than presenting established facts. This pillar will focus on a set of teaching and learning strategies involving student-centered research and investigation that encourages metacognitive thought process, discussion and collaboration. This type of learning will culminate in individual student inquiries that are personalized to incorporate our other pillars as well as integrated common core standards.


Nature-based learning is active and increases students’ physical, mental, and social health. Access to nature has also been shown to decrease symptoms of ADHD, and decrease stress levels of students and teachers. We fully utilize John H. Dover Park as our partner in nature-based learning. Nature play and adventure education focus on physical activity, appropriate risk taking, and outdoor recreation, developing social and emotional competencies.


In a community-based learning environment, students see the school as part of the local community and the local community as part of the learning in the school. Parents play an important role in the anytime/ everywhere learning experience. Experts in the community will be utilized frequently to maximize the learning experience of each student.

Director’s Name: Taylor Eissinger
Phone: (406) 373-5357