Site Info Container

Utility Container

Mobile Menu Trigger (container)

Search Trigger (container)

Off Canvas Navigation Container

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:

ccccccccc

  • 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

Please know:

ECO is an academic program with high expectations.

  • Each student is expected to be participative, productive and to do his/her best efforts throughout the year.

  • ECO is a “writing intensive” curriculum. This means a student must be willing to write across the curriculum in different assignments. We help all writers to grow.

  • Our school day generally goes to 3 p.m. and students are expected to be present unless all class responsibilities have been appropriately met or a student has a scheduled appointment and is dismissed by the teacher.

  • ECO students take many “field-based learning experiences” that include hiking, camping, and kayaking activities that are away from campus and standard toilet facilities.

  • ECO students visit various religious faith communities including a Christian church, a Jewish synagogue, an Islamic mosque, and a Buddhist monk as part of the social studies curriculum.

  • Each student and family is expected to participate in a parent-student teacher conference in the fall or scheduled as needed.

  • Each student and family is expected to participate in scheduled “ECO Whole School Meetings” during the evening several times a year.

  • ECO students should enjoy being outdoors in diverse environments.

  • Students are occasionally asked to make a small monetary donation to offset some activity expenses, but there is always scholarship support if a family is in need.

  • ECO is challenging, but it is a very rewarding experience that “grows” students academically, socially, and personally.

  • ECO serves all students, but it is essential that a student wants to participate and is willing to do the academic assignment work on a regular basis.

  • ECO is a choice.

  • Please make the proper choice to become an ECO student based upon your interest and willingness; otherwise another child may miss an important learning opportunity.


  •