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Forest School

The Forest School at Marshall is an elementary age program for kindergarten through 4th grade. Students spend approximately 50% of their time outside in nature-based learning on Marshall's 42-acre campus.

Learning in the Forest School occurs within a rich and systematic context of brain-based and research-supported experiences that grow the habits, skills, and dispositions necessary for learners to thrive.

While the Forest School curriculum is emergent and adaptive to the individual and group needs, the Forest School is part of a growing number of nature-based elementary schools that draw inspiration from several philosophies, including approaches found in nature-based, EL (formerly known as Expeditionary Learning), and Reggio Emilia pedagogies. The Forest School curriculum seeks the intersection of student-initiated learning with reading, writing, and arithmetic skills at all students’ developmental stages.

Through equitable, diverse, and inclusive teaching, students experience autonomous and communal learning that grows compassion, stewardship, responsibility, and curiosity. The Forest School’s commitment to long-term outdoor experiences develops connections amongst learners and the land, fosters creative, resilient, and physically healthy children, and facilitates growth-oriented, independent, and lifelong learners.

Core Values of the Forest School

Hear from the Forest School Principal

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The Guiding Principles

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Sarah Chapple

Sarah Chapple

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Melissa Ellis

Melissa Ellis

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Leif Gilsvik

Leif Gilsvik

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Sally Goodman

Sally Goodman

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Forest School Math

A Look Inside...
Marshall Curriculum


After a busy morning hike our "Sharpshins" were circling up for a math lesson. Forest School teacher, Karen Stiles, had the students visualizing numbers, grouping them by place value, and writing on their white board desks.

A Look Inside...
Marshall Curriculum


Literacy, numeracy, science, the arts, and culture are explored daily.  The image above shows one way that students connect traditional literacy curriculum with nature to create a deeper sense of understanding and connection with learning. 

Art Class

A Look Inside...
Marshall Curriculum


Our Forest School students enjoy their music and art rotations throughout the year. Pictured above is students using items found in nature to do tracing, patterns, and so much more! 

Water Depth Forest School

A Look Inside...
Marshall Curriculum


Our youngest learners explore hands on learning at Brewery Creek located right on Marshall's campus! Pictured above is our kindergarten class learning about measuring water depth along the creek.