The goal of the South Whidbey School Farms program is to provide farm-based curriculum, integrated into the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, to grades K-12 in the South Whidbey School District, while also growing fresh food for the students to eat.
On May 23, 2014, we began delivering the school farm-grown produce to the Chartwells-managed cafeterias.
In the summer of 2014, we expanded the School Farm which greatly increased our capacity for both offering farm-based curriculum, and the production of vegetables for the cafeteria. Students picking and eating fresh veggies on the spot during farm classes became an important part of our curriculum.
In school year 2014 – 2015, Grades 1 – 5 at the Elementary School, Grades 1 – 5 and Middle School at the South Whidbey Academy, and 7th Grade students from the Langley Middle School participated in farm-based curriculum while growing the food at the farm.
In school year 2015 – 2016, we added Kindergarten classes, so that all classes in all elementary grades are now participating, as well as 6th and 7th grade FLEX classes at the Middle School.
Culinary classes were added for grades 3 – 6 and a Health and Wellness elective (8th grade) in school year 2016 – 2017, and science classes were frequently taught at the garden for grades 6 and 7. Curriculum opportunities for science, arts, special ed and other subjects greatly expanded with the establishment of a new garden in front of the High School.
In 2017 -2018, there are over 2200 student visits/month for farm-based classes. Grades K-2 meet weekly, and classes are taught every other week for grades 3 – 6, with culinary classes on the alternate weeks. Grade 7 science students have farm-based lessons one day/week. The High Ag class is daily. Grades 6 and 8 each have a small, rotating farm team that meets daily.