Thames Valley installs outdoor classrooms and Wi-Fi access points

Posted On Monday June 20, 2022

Thames Valley District School Board has expanded outdoor learning opportunities across the District with the installation of exterior Wi-Fi access points and outdoor education classrooms in urban, suburban and rural schools.

Staff and students are already taking advantage of these new tools to bring tech like Chromebooks and educational apps outdoors, where they can experience creative learning activities outside the classroom.

In addition to enhancing learning opportunities, outdoor Wi-Fi access makes it easier for staff to take attendance and document learning outside.

“Together, these resources are offering Thames Valley students more innovative ways to learn,” said Associate Director, Jeff Pratt. “We’ve seen amazing feedback from our school communities that are already making use of their outdoor classrooms and Wi-Fi access. We look forward to bringing outdoor classrooms to even more of our schools in the future.”

Last year, Thames Valley repurposed unused Outdoor Education Funding to create outdoor education classrooms at 20 schools. These outdoor spaces use natural materials to create seating for students and staff. For the 2021/22 school year, outdoor education classrooms have been installed at three additional schools, with plans for 15 more.

Thames Valley received funding from Infrastructure Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Education for exterior Wi-Fi access points through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream (CVRIS) as part of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). The installation project began in early 2021 and was completed in April 2022.

Exterior Wi-Fi access points are now available at elementary and secondary Thames Valley schools to extend network connectivity on school grounds. Access point locations were determined in consultation with principals to ensure convenient access for students and staff.

Outdoor education classroom at Central Elgin CI

Outdoor education classroom at Central Elgin Collegiate Institute

Outdoor education classroom at Montcalm Secondary School

Outdoor education classroom at Montcalm Secondary School

Exterior Wi-Fi access point

Example of an exterior Wi-Fi access point