Dear Parents,

Welcome to our school year 2017/2018!

We are very grateful that you chose our small community school as a place of your
child’s learning. We promise to deliver our love, expertise, genuine inquiry, and
environment filled with rich and integrated learning opportunities.

I am thrilled about our potential and future. We worked very hard this summer to
establish some elements of the nature- place-based outdoor learning environment. As we
were hauling stumps from my house, I had images of myself running through the woods,
playing sports with my friends, building forts or creating mini shelters for all sorts of
critters. I, as many of my other friends, grew up in the forest school and learned through
experience. Yes, it is the experience that creates inner motivation and life-long love for
learning.

We are determined to create our school in a spirit of deep learning that is connected to
our real life. We now see so much push for natural spaces for our children and read
scientific literature that supports nature environment as the best way of education,
especially in younger grades. The natural living systems offer interconnectedness that
helps us to understand the bigger picture and think in creative perspectives.

The Google CEO recently reflected on what kind of skills will be needed in the near
future and cited critical thinking, creativity, philosophy, and science to solve our present
ecological crisis and the fast time acceleration. We need humans able to use their
intellectual capacities in practical and solution-oriented approaches. The old saying
theory without praxis does not solve much is pertinent.

Our children will have opportunities to work with amazing teachers who not only have
their general education degree, but also hold additional knowledge in ecology, adventure
and wilderness education, social justice, and sustainability. Our professional development
will focus on spatial awareness in the context of educating in the naturally designed
learning environments that help students to develop strong bodies, mental resilience and
higher cognitive functioning. We will focus on brain research behavioral strategies and
explore how to improve our instructional practices.

As you will see, our school grounds have improved tremendously. The building is freshly
painted, the peace garden and fences installed, boulders placed inside the incredible
obstacle course, lunch area created, benches assembled, and many other creative spaces
implemented.

We are embarking on a new and exciting path at La Tierra. We warmly welcome your
family to share this exciting journey with us.

Please stop by anytime. My door is always open!

Sincerely,

Lenka

Dr. Lenka V. Studnicka
School Director
La Tierra Community School
124 N. Virginia Street
Prescott, AZ 86301
(928) 445-5100