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!