Dept. Head

Stephen Sipes
CVUSD Outdoor School Coordinator
(805)497-9511 ext. 301

About Stephen

As I am about to embark on my 3rd season as Outdoor School Coordinator, I am looking forward to the challenges, accomplishments, and growth that each season brings. My past experiences with staff and students only makes me more prepared and excited for the upcoming season. I anticipate integrating activities that have presented positive results from the past but, also, including new activities that I consider to enhance value to the program.

I feel that my background as a 6th grade Math and Science teacher, National Park Ranger, Santa Monica Mountains Enthusiast, and as a CVUSD parent has prepared me to deliver a high quality experience for the CVUSD sixth grade student. I want the CVUSD sixth grade students to experience all that Outdoor School has to offer. Oceanography, Geology, Environmental Impacts, Astronomy, Chumash Lifestyle, and Local Flora & Fauna are some of the scientific subjects that are covered at Outdoor School. Also, and just as importantly, the Outdoor School experience gives sixth grade students a chance to mature and grow. Many group activities present students with the opportunity to take a leadership role. These opportunities give the students a chance to interject their personal strategies and ideas to problem solve. Furthermore, students have multiple opportunities to make connections with fellow students that they would not normally come into contact while in class. Additionally, CVUSD sixth grade students learn teamwork, responsibility, respect for others, Mess Hall etiquette, and feeling comfortable spending time away from home.

About Outdoor School

The Conejo Valley Unified School District's Outdoor School Program is a residential environmental education program for the District's 6th grade students.

Outdoor School is held at Camp Bloomfield in Malibu, California. The camp is located near Leo Carrillo State Beach just off of Pacific Coast Highway. This location allows the students to see the natural setting of the surrounding areas in which they live. The camp has access to riparian woodlands, chaparral, canyons, ponds, and tide pools at the beach.

Students spend 3-1/2 days learning about the environment through nature hikes and activities that focus on the California State Standards for 6th grade science.


The Outdoor School Program:

Students who come to Outdoor School learn about the environment in which they live by taking "trail classes" led by Naturalists who are skilled in the subject they teach. There are no classrooms or desks; students learn about the environment by going out and seeing it first-hand.

Naturalists teach classes by first-hand discovery, discussion, activities, experiments, games, and songs. Trail classes include: Astronomy, Geology, Oceanography, and Zoology.

One of the highlights is the Beach Hike. Students hike down the Arroyo Sequit Canyon to Leo Carillo State Beach where they explore sea caves, tide pools, and watch for dolphins and migrating gray whales.

Students have a chance to relax and have fun during the evening programs. Students watch and perform skits at the campfire and learn about nocturnal animals and astronomy on the Night Hike.