FSTI Partner School Training Sites
Forest School programs are designed using various models, integrated into both public and private settings. FSTI training participants who take their training at Wauhatchie School will have a unique opportunity to observe children engaged in nature-based education at seven different school settings, all within 50 miles of Chattanooga, TN. The teachers at all of these schools completed their training at Wauhatchie School.
Wauhatchie School at Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center is the Main Campus for Wauhatchie School, and the headquarters for FSTI. The school cofounded and directed by Jean Lomino as the first forest kindergarten in the state of Tennessee in 2015 with 15 students. Currently the school has an enrollment of 75 children aged 3-11, and has added two more satellite sites for the 2019-20 school year at Audubon Acres and Ivy Academy.
Wauhatchie School at Lookout Lake (Original site) Lookout Lake is the only WS site with Forest School for very young children, beginning at age 2. The property includes a lake, creek, forest and meadow habitats for children to explore.
Wauhatchie School at Audubon Acres (Satellite Site). Audubon Acres is an historically significant site for Native American and early settlers in the Chattanooga area. It is also Chattanooga’s oldest wildlife sanctuary, located in the midst of a bustling commercial and residential community in East Brainerd, and bordering South Chickamauga Creek.
Wauhatchie School at Ivy Academy (Satellite Site) Ivy Academy is Tennessee’s first environmentally-themed public school, and has been recognized on the state and national level for its student service to the community. It is a USDOE Green Ribbon School and is working in partnership with TN State Parks.
Woodsong Forest School (located at Johnston Woods Camp and Retreat Center) is the first forest kindergarten in Cleveland. Founder and Director, Bonnie Cretton is planning for continued growth at Woodsong as they complete their first year of operation.
Sewanee Elementary School started their Forest Kindergarten program as a weekly experience this year, but are planning a half-day outdoor learning experience for next year. The school property adjoins thousands of acres of forest on the top of Monteagle Mountain.
Gilbert Elementary School was the first Forest Kindergarten program to be integrated in a public school in the US. Children in the program are outside every day for at least two hours in exploratory learning, and complete academic work indoors the rest of the day. Added this year is Forest First Grade.
Audubon Acres – the Elise Chapin Wildlife Sanctuary
This beautiful 130 acre sanctuary serves as the headquarters of the Chattanooga Audubon Society. The property contains a rich diversity of plant and animal life.