Picture of children

The first step of the evaluation was to articulate the Boston Schoolyard Initiative (BSI) Framework, and the model through which Science in the Schoolyard (SSY) works. Outlier worked closely with BSI, BPS, and FOSS stakeholders to thoroughly delineate BSI and SSY’s intentions, processes, and structures and how these relate to desired program outcomes.

The Boston Schoolyard Initiative Framework

The Boston Schoolyard Initiative Framework illustrates the core elements and relationships of BSI’s work. BSI’s programmatic work includes the development of renovated schoolyards and outdoor classrooms, the BSI SSY Guides to FOSS and other outdoor instructional curricula, and professional development such as SSY.

BSI seeks to improve student-level goals (such as engagement and achievement) as well as district-level goals (such as increased capacity for self-sustaining outdoor instruction). Critical inputs that frame BSI’s work include the science specialist model of teaching, the use of FOSS in BPS elementary schools, and the public and private partnership to facilitate the development of core programmatic elements.

The Science in the Schoolyard Logic Model

The BSI Science in the Schoolyard Logic Model details the processes through which the SSY program works to achieve teacher and student outcomes. The context for these processes is evident through BSI’s theory of action, articulated in the BSI Framework figure. The theory of action articulates the importance of the outdoor environment as a vehicle for the high quality science instruction lessons and practices delivered through SSY.