Outdoor School

Students viewed through the leaves of a tree standing on a bridge


This is an exciting time for Oregon and for Oregon’s 5th and 6th grade students as OSU Extension works in collaboration with schools, partners, and communities to launch the statewide Outdoor School program, building on a legacy that began in 1966. 

Thank You!

The OSU Extension Outdoor School Program Office recently received a package of Thank You notes from a great group of students and teachers at Jefferson Middle School in Jefferson Oregon!  What a thrill to hear first hand how great an experience outdoor school can be!  And a perfect reminder for us to extend a hearty THANK YOU to the teachers, parents, principals, superintendents, volunteers, bus drivers, nurses, high school leaders, counselors, providers, etc. who make outdoor school possible for the 5th and 6th grade students of Oregon who receive Measure 99 funds!


If you have questions or would like to discuss how you can help, partner, or support the statewide Outdoor School program, please contact us.

As you receive questions from others, please encourage them to contact us directly and share the link to this page, which provides the most current information about the funding process and timeline, and other aspects of the program.

Save the date

The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School Program Office Team is hosting an Outdoor School Measure 99 Funding information and listening session on Thursday August 9, 2018 in Pendleton, OR (location pending). 

This will be an opportunity for Eastern Oregon District Superintendents, Principals, and 5th or 6th Grade Educators to ask questions, plan for next year, and learn how your district can get involved (or stay involved) in Outdoor School.  Please RSVP here and we’ll be in touch with details for attending. 

Stay connected

To be added to our stakeholder email list and receive periodic status updates and announcements, please fill out the online subscription form (button below)

Announcing New Outdoor School Staff Members

It is with great excitement that we announce the latest additions to your OSU Extension Outdoor School Team. Starting on July 9th, please welcome:

  • Charissa Jones, our new Outreach and Inclusion Coordinator; and
  • Renee O’Neill, our new Curriculum and Professional Development Coordinator

Both join Dr. Spirit Brooks, our Research, Evaluation, and Assessment Coordinator, who joined the Team in May.
Charissa Jones brings a tremendous amount of diversity, equity, and inclusion experience to the Outdoor School Team. Previously, Charissa served as the Environmental Education Coordinator for the Tualatin Riverkeepers, connecting youth and families from diverse backgrounds to the river and environmental education. Her successful outreach work is widely recognized in the environmental education community, and we are thrilled she has decided to help lead our work to actualize our unwavering commitment to Outdoor School for ALL.
Renee O’Neill joins us with more than ten years of experience in leading, coordinating, and developing field-based programs and leading teacher professional development programs. Most recently, Renee served as the Senior Programs Coordinator for OSU’s Science and Math Investigative Learning Experience (SMILE) Program. Additionally, she has successfully served as an Oregon Natural Resource Education Program (ONREP) facilitator. The OSU Extension Outdoor School Program is excited to welcome Renee, who will work in cooperation with the ONREP team as our programs work together to deliver excellent professional development and curricular support to outdoor school teachers and providers.
Dr. Spirit Brooks has been onboard for nearly two months now and is already deep into Outdoor School evaluation and our annual reporting requirements. Spirit will help us carefully evaluate the effectiveness and success of outdoor school so that we can continue to improve and increase program effectiveness in every school across our state. Spirit is an educational anthropologist joining us most recently from OSU’s Office of Academic Achievement where she has worked to support traditionally underrepresented students in their transition to college through direct student support, teaching, and advising. Spirit is an enrolled member of the Arapaho Nation and was the first in her family to attend college.

Join our team

While Spirit, Charissa, and Renee completed our search for full-time professional faculty positions in Corvallis, we will be announcing the search for three Regional Coordinator positions very soon. These positions will be located in 1. Eastern Oregon (Baker City); 2. Southern Oregon (Medford/Ashland); and 3. Portland Metro Area. 

Please return here for links to future 2018 job openings, and sign up for our stakeholder email list to receive periodic program updates and announcements (see “Stay connected,” above).

Funding and reporting process and timeline


2018-2019 Outdoor School (Measure 99) Funding Application links were emailed to participating District and Education Service District Superintendents or requested points of contact on April 23, 2018 and the application deadline was May 21, 2018.  We will continue to accept applications, but we will give priority to Districts that met the May 21, 2018 deadline.  Once we have issued awards to the Districts that met the deadline, we will review the applications submitted after the deadline (in order of submittal).  If you plan to submit an application after the deadline, we strongly encourage you to notify us via email (outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu) following completion and submittal of your application.

The following documents provide information that will be helpful in understanding the application and funding process:

Frequently Asked Questions

Outdoor School Program Resource

Frequently Asked Questions regarding OSU Outdoor School.

Application Overview

Outdoor School Program Resource

Application Overview.

Budget Categories and Definitions

Outdoor School Program Resource

Budget Categories and Definitions

Please don’t hesitate to contact us or call 541-737-4391 with questions regarding Measure 99 funding, reporting for reimbursement of 2017-2018 awards (which is due June 15, 2018), and the 2018-2019 application process.


The 2017-2018 application period closed on November 14, 2017 and award notification letters were issued on or before January 31, 2018. 2017-2018 award reimbursements will be issued upon receipt of a complete report, with the deadline of June 15, 2018 for all reporting materials.

Please contact us with questions regarding your application.

Note to Non-Public/Private Schools

OSU is committed to providing an Outdoor School experience to Oregon 5th and 6th graders within the funding allocations and requirements of the law. ORS 327.390 limits eligibility for Outdoor School Program grants to school districts and education service districts. Based on this provision and our understanding of the constitutional restrictions on the use of lottery funds, we will not be able to approve applications that incorporate subgrants to or other contractual arrangements with private schools for the purpose of providing Outdoor School services to the private schools’ students.

Note to Charter Schools and Districts Serving Charter Schools

As public schools, charter schools are eligible for Outdoor School program funding. A charter school’s Outdoor School program does not need to mirror other schools in the overall school district (e.g., length, provider, etc.). A charter school interested in applying for funds should contact their sponsoring school district and request to be included in the district-wide application. Funding will flow through the school district to any applicable charter schools. If a district is not submitting an application, a charter school may choose to work with their Educational Service District (ESD). The four state-sponsored charter schools can choose to apply themselves or be included within the District/ESD application. All districts should ensure they have included any eligible charter schools who wish to participate in their overall application.

Outdoor School Columbia Pro Purchase Program

The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School Program Office is pleased to announce the Outdoor School Columbia Pro Purchase Program!  

Columbia Sportswear has a strong history of supporting outdoor school in Oregon. And as District Leaders, Educators, and Outdoor School Providers begin to consider outdoor school equipment and apparel for their students, teachers, and staff, the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School Program Office would like to announce an exciting opportunity for districts and providers to purchase high-quality “tough tested” products at a discounted price.  Most products are available at wholesale costs! 

Please contact us to find out how outdoor school providers and districts can join Columbia’s Pro Discount Program. We hope districts and providers use this program to develop an inventory of high-quality equipment designed for heavy use that will hold up over time in Oregon’s harsh conditions, while ensuring every student has what they need to participate in outdoor school in both safe and comfortable conditions.

Advisory Committee and Resource Group information

Advisory Committee and Resource Group Members

Outdoor School Program Resource

Advisory Committee and Resource Group Members

Advisory Committee Job Description

Outdoor School Program Resource

Advisory Committee Job Description

Resource Group Job Description

Outdoor School Program Resource

Resource Group Job Description

As outlined in Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 327.390, OSU Extension is developing Outdoor School’s administrative structure and fund-distribution mechanism with help from a diverse advisory committee.



  • In July 2017, the Oregon Legislature formally approved $24 million for the statewide Outdoor School program over the next two years.
  • This followed Oregon voters' approval of Ballot Measure 99 in November 2016, which designated funding, and adoption of Senate Bill 439, codified into law as Oregon Revised Statute ORS327.390, by the 2015 Oregon Legislature, which directed OSU Extension to assist School Districts and Education Service Districts (ESD’s) to provide a statewide Outdoor School program.