Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien,WA 98166

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Outdoor School

For over 59 years, Waskowitz Outdoor School has been welcoming classes from throughout the Puget Sound region to investigate the beauty of the Pacific Northwest through classes in forest and river ecology, as well as forming bonds with new friends from different schools.

Mission Statement

Waskowitz Outdoor School is a magical journey of discovery exploring the diversity of people and nature, while providing a safe, high quality, affordable residential experience for the students of the greater Puget Sound area.

Vision Statement

Historic Waskowitz with its fully restored facilities is recognized as a leader in residential outdoor environmental education, innovative programming and in being a full partner in educating the whole child.

Students at Waskowitz Outdoor Education Center
Students at Waskowitz Outdoor Education Center
Students at Waskowitz Outdoor Education Center
Students at Waskowitz Outdoor Education Center
Students at Waskowitz Outdoor Education Center

Watch this Video to learn more about Outdoor School


Residential Outdoor Environmental Education Framework at Waskowitz

This framework serves as a guide to best practices at Waskowitz Outdoor School programs. The framework lists operational, program and curriculum components as they work in support of achieving the Waskowitz mission and vision. At the core of Waskowitz Outdoor School is a vibrant school that inspires an appreciation of and for communities of humans and nature.

Comprehensive Outdoor Environmental Education

We believe in meeting a child’s educational needs beyond curricula and supports traditionally offered by schools. Policies, procedures and practices are in place to ensure a physically and emotionally safe experience. Opportunities for participation in relevant curriculum and meaningful problem-solving create a powerful learning opportunity in real world issues. We believe that genuine collaboration in the curriculum invites creativity, innovation and long-lasting positive relationships for children with the natural world.

Healthy Sustainable Community

Engage and collaborate with schools and community partners using strategies for full participation beyond the time at outdoor school. Families are informed and engaged in students’ experience. Volunteer support is developed and encouraged, providing opportunities of service for supporters.

Access and Equitable Opportunities

Effort is extended to create scholarship and fundraising opportunities so no child is left behind or to feel uncomfortable due to financial and or cultural concerns. Instructional practices are culturally competent.

Holistic Approach

Senses are awakened and all learning styles engaged, naturally. A child’s sense of wonder is rewarded and encouraged. Progressive programs provide opportunities for all ages of learners.

Assessment is Ongoing

We believe that results matter. Therefore, we measure our success through ongoing qualitative and quantitative evaluation. Time is taken each week by staff to reflect on program and curriculum.

Shared Responsibility/ School Partners

Teachers and students are a part of the program. Staff is welcoming and inclusive. Schools are treated as a full partner in the Waskowitz experience. Lessons are hands on, experiential, and connected to state and school district standards. Students, teachers and residential program staff work together to ensure a better world.

Enduring Understandings/ Core Competencies

That which can best be taught outside, is. Living in nature, with nature, provides opportunities to make connections and develop understandings of how our ecosystems work, through interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches. Residential living and learning communities foster a sense of place and a sense of wonder. Waskowitz Outdoor School teaches community and social living skills with intention. Magic happens!

Facilities and Operations

Welcoming first Impressions set the tone for a safe and comfortable experience. The site design is accessible for all visitors. Buildings are comfortable and kept in good repair.

We provide nutritious and plentiful food, enhancing the away-from-home experience. Meals are served family style.

Sleeping facilities include safe beds and a place for student belongings. Shower facilities provide privacy for individuals.

Students have a role in maintaining camp cleanliness through service projects.

Waskowitz is fully staffed by professionals prepared to serve a diverse student body. Emergency procedures are in place and practiced bi-annually by staff.