Students who attend Foothill Horizons Outdoor Education School not only learn about science and nature,  they leave with many special memories.

Just ask Jodi Parolini, a sixth grade student from Mountain View Middle School. After spending a week at the outdoor school, she wrote a letter to Foothill staff and counselors. In her letter she shared, “I really miss you guys. It was cool being up there. My favorite thing was the night tower hike. I just wanted to say I really thought you guys were like family. Ever since I got home, I started to climb this tree and be more outdoors.” She ended her letter by asking the staff to write back and said, “P.S. When I grow up I want to be a counselor!”

"Outdoor Education goes way beyond a textbook. What book could show you a real shooting star?" Cody Kimball, Jamestown Elementary.

I learned how to act more like a scientist, To trust more people, and that I still love nature." Anaylee Delgado, student,  Cloverland Elementary School


Outdoor Education Advocate
Passes Away

Norman Faber was an advocate for Outdoor Education and instrumental in opening Foothill Horizons Outdoor School in 1977. Formerly an Assistant Superintendent at the Stanislaus County Office (SCOE) and Director of Outdoor Education, he worked at SCOE for approximately 10 years until his retirement in 1979. Mr. Faber passed away on February 20, 2013. “Students who have visited Foothill Horizons probably recognize his name, as our dining hall is named the Norman J. Faber Hall in his honor,” said Pam Ivie, Director of Outdoor Education. According to Mr. Faber’s family, the Outdoor Education program, which allows students to experience hands on lessons in nature, remained dear to him throughout his retirement.


Teachers agree that Outdoor Education supports student learning and development.

“It helps them grow as people, as students, in science, social studies, writing, observing and a hundred other ways,” said Fair Oaks teacher Keith Burns.

“It’s a fantastic experience for them. Connecting students to science and nature through hands-on learning is the goal of Foothill Horizons Outdoor Education School. Many standards that are taught in the classroom are reinforced at Foothill Horizons,” said Bryan Wesson, a teacher at Hart-Ransom School. “I refer to Foothill Horizons during my science lessons because at Foothill the students see and experience the standards in a way that I cannot provide in my classroom."

Carrie Burrows, a teacher at Walter White School said the outdoor education program helps engage students in learning. “It’s an effective way to teach the standards while connecting the learning to the real world," she said.

“Real hands-on experiences with nature cannot be duplicated in the classroom so Foothill Horizons provides a necessary component to our curriculum.  Great experience!”  John Vallerga, Cunningham Elementary School.

"Untouchable in a classroom setting!  This program reinforces and validates classroom earth science.  It builds social bonds and quells the fears of a latchkey child."  Fred Amos, Mederios Elementary.