Our Environment

The outdoors is an extension of High Meadows classrooms. In fact, we often refer to our campus as our “third teacher.” Our landscape varies from natural to purposefully manicured—always with the objective to set a stage for learning, reflection, or play. Even our pathways are designed with children in mind. Whether it is grass, gravel, bricks, wood chips, slate, stepping stones, or sidewalks, children are encouraged to walk, dance, skip, hop, or meander according to their mood and purpose. This is sensory stimulation for the body and the mind.

Our grounds are home to a number of natural ecosystems, animals, and gardens which we also use for Environmental Education. There are three areas of our campus which are especially significant to the High Meadows experience: the High Meadow, the Lower Meadow, and our animal areas.

The Animals

Many believe that High Meadows would not truly be High Meadows without our farm animals. High Meadows has always had a commitment to the care and raising of a wide range of farm animals as a first-hand experience for all of our students. There are pony stables on campus behind the Lower Meadow. The ponies are often fed, brushed, and loved by our students (there is a list nearby to remind students how to care for them and what they are allowed to eat). Early Years students are afforded gentle rides once a week. The students come to know and love our ponies' unique personalities through riding and caring for them.

Rabbits, goats, a sheep, chickens, and a rooster are also members of the High Meadows community. Our youngest students learn to be gentle and quiet around the rabbits. The chickens not only provide classrooms with fresh eggs for cooking, but they also hatch chicks, which makes for first-hand science lessons. And, like all of the animals, the goats and sheep help teach our students numerous lessons, including the care and respect for all life.

A good portion of our 40 acres is woodland which means that visitors, students, and teachers cross paths with chipmunks, squirrels, and small reptiles. There's even an occasional deer sighting. And there are countless species of birds on campus. One of the highlights in the spring is to watch a nest of bluebirds hatch.

The Upper Meadow

On the west side of campus rises the Upper Meadow. At the foot of the hill stands a sprawling evergreen—not just any evergreen but the School's “Chicken Tree,” which is often filled with Kindergarten climbers (a rite of passage when a child enters Kindergarten). To the right of the tree are a dozen garden boxes maintained by children, teachers, and parents. More than 500 pounds of food a year is grown here by the children who take pride in planting and eating their harvest (or sharing the vegetables with local food banks).

The Upper Meadow is also home to our pond ecosystem, which generates enough tadpoles for every class to observe each spring as well as a thriving habitat for fish and pond-related plants. Near the pond there is a student-designed tire dragon play area, the result of a school-wide Emphasis study on trash.

Surrounding the Upper Meadow are open-air cabins (used primarily by High Meadows Camp) where teachers might bring a group for story or journal writing. Our American teepee rises at the pinnacle of this Meadow. Children know the teepee is a place for reflection so they enter it quietly. There is also a fire circle of logs to surround any speaker at its center and to keep everyone safe from regular camp fires stoked for special events such as Pioneer Day or the Preschool Camp Cookout.

The Lower Meadow

On the east side of campus extends the Lower Meadow. It is flanked by our LEED-certified Community Center and an authentic red caboose donated to the School many years ago (it serves as the office of the Middle Years director). The Lower Meadow is our students' recess playground. On the left of this Meadow there is a thicket of small climbable trees that our students call “the ditch.” It is interrupted by our iconic tire swing which students of all ages enjoy. A complex composite play set, for ages 5 and up, stands at the furthest end of this space. On the right side of the Lower Meadow, students play soccer and other group games on a long stretches of open field. It is here that children run, climb, laugh, play, imagine, compete, swing—they are encouraged to be children.

High Meadows School | 1055 Willeo Road, Roswell, GA 30075 | Phone: 770.993.2940 | Fax: 770.993.8331
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