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ECO Program

Camo sticker that reads Environmental Classroom Opportunity Marcus Whitman Middle School

ECO, An Overview


Marcus Whitman Environmental Classroom Opportunity Program opened in September 1997. ECO is a Marcus Whitman Middle School "curriculum of choice" for sixth-grade students who have chosen to participate by lottery. ECO serves a variety of district students across academic and socioeconomic backgrounds. ECO’s academic curriculum emphasizes experiential, project-based learning with an environmental focus.

ECO’s purpose is to provide public school choice through an alternative curriculum.  ECO has an expectation of parental involvement in a student’s education through ongoing home-school communication and “whole school” meeting attendance seven times a year.  Teachers are also expected to undertake greater professional responsibility through additional instructional assignments, extensive time commitment, frequent parental contact, and personal involvement with students.

Students study a curriculum based on the New York State learning standards incorporating many “hands-on” activities.  These involve several themes: watershed study, business enterprise, field and forest / flora and fauna study, environmental issues, outdoor recreation, service, and community.

ECO students care for tomorrow’s environment by learning and serving in today’s!



ECO Dates for Year 23, 2019-2020:


  • Visit fifth-grade classrooms, Tuesday, May 21

  • Parental information meeting, Wednesday, May 22, 7:30 p.m., MS café 

  • Application due date by Tuesday, June 4

  • Tentative Lottery Drawing, Thursday, June 6 (may change due to ECO camping)

  • Lottery results notification mailing, Friday, June 7  

  • Return of student acceptance commitment, Thursday, June 13

  • ECO visit, Week of June 17 or 24