Demythologizing COVID-19: How to use outdoor learning spaces to help control COVID-19 transmission as schools reopen

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John Fisher

Aug 31, 2020, 12:04:37 PM8/31/20
to school-garden-network,, staff,
Webinar/Online Q&A Session - Sep 1, 2020 11:00 AM in Pacific Time
Demythologizing COVID-19: How to use outdoor learning spaces to help control COVID-19 transmission as schools reopen 

Presented by the National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative

Event Description
Please join the National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative for an online Q&A session with Dr. Caesar Djavaherian, Co-founder and Medical Director at Carbon Health, and Dr. Nooshin Razani, Associate Adjunct Professor at UCSF, to discuss how to use outdoor spaces on school grounds as an asset to control viral transmission and vastly improve equitable access to meaningful and engaging learning experiences for students. The session will answer COVID-19-related questions that relate to using outdoor learning spaces, submitted by schools and school districts around the country.

Caesar Djavaherian, M.D. is Co-founder and Medical Director at Carbon Health. Under Dr. Djavaherian's direction, Carbon Health has performed 200,000 COVID-19 tests, worked with city and county governments to identify asymptomatic carriers, open source published the largest data set on coronavirus infections, and has advised dozens of institutions on their reopening plans.

Nooshin Razani, M.D. M.P.H. founded and directs the Center for Nature and Health at UC San Francisco where she is an Associate Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Pediatrics. Dr. Razani is currently conducting a review of outdoor transmission of respiratory virus infections, including COVID and runs a nature prescription program which facilitates outdoor experiences for stress relief and well-being amongst low-income families.

Event host
The National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative supports schools and districts around the country in their efforts to reopen safely and equitably using outdoor spaces as strategic, cost-effective tools to increase capacity with physical distancing measures in place. The Initiative was co-founded by Green Schoolyards America, The Lawrence Hall of Science, San Mateo County Office of Education, and Ten Strands. It now includes hundreds of participating volunteers across the country. Please visit:

Other Updates from the National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative

  • Last week, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published updated guidelines for Operating Schools During COVID-19. The new version of their guidance includes recommendations for protecting K-12 school staff using the outdoors as one of the strategies, for some types of classes and programs. Here’s a link to the document, updated 8/21/20: 
  • In California, the Division of the State Architect (permitting authority for all of California’s 10,000+ public schools) just published updated guidance and requirements that pertain to adding tents and other shade/rain structures to school grounds. Here’s a link to their updated document for California schools, entitled: BU 20-01: DSA Assistance During the COVID-19 Pandemic for Emergency School Facilities (This link goes directly to a downloadable PDF file.)

Outdoor Learning in the News!

The National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative has been featured in these publications over the last week or so, and the articles include examples of the exciting work that schools and districts across the country are doing to implement their outdoor learning plans:

John Fisher - Director of Programs & Partnerships - 831.471.7831 -
Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with locations in Santa Cruz and Watsonville, CA

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