Holy Name of Jesus School

  • Serves students in grades PreK-6
  • Have a courtyard garden
  • Uses rain barrel to gather water
  • Have both veggie and pollinator gardens
  • Garden used to help teach state standards
  • Garden designed by students

More details...

At Holy Name of Jesus (HNOJ), their goal was to get students outdoors for authentic learning experiences. They have found that outdoor authentic, hands-on learning improves engagement, involvement, and learning. They also found that many students who have difficulties in the classroom could shine in the garden and outdoor classroom. Their garden is located in a center courtyard in the school. The courtyard is only accessible through the school and classrooms that overlook the courtyard and garden. They started their garden with three large raised beds that are 8 feet by 4 feet. They utilize a rain barrel to gather rain and run off from the roof. They also have pots in the courtyard where they planted herbs and flowers. Long term, their goal would be to add vertical gardens to the area. The garden is used to teach science, math, and language arts state standards. Students study everything from types of soil, seeds, sunlight, water, conservation, measurement, fractions, models, poetry, and writing in the garden. A variety of skills and standards were met at each grade level. Students have instructional times regularly scheduled in the garden with the STEM teacher. They planted produce in the garden to be harvested by the students. Students researched what was planted in each bed with guidance from garden committee experts. They researched possible plants and produce based on sunlight, gestation period, and growing times. They then surveyed the sunlight and temperature in the garden space to choose the best plants for the space. Students designed the garden from start to finish. This year they monitored sunlight, brainstormed garden placement on the grounds, and researched and designed raised gardens bed plans in preparation for the garden.

For more information contact: Jeff Drake (jdrake@isd542.org)