Performance and Outcomes
Echo Hill Outdoor School measures performance and outcomes in many ways. A particular strength leading to our growth and longevity is staff and teachers who offer a special blend of talent, personality and dedication to their work while being flexible to the needs of all our participants. In addition to the smiles we have generated over the years, here are some tangible facts and figures associated with an Echo Hill Outdoor School experience:
Participating Groups & Schools (MD, DC, DE, VA, PA, NJ)
Approximately 180 Groups & Schools with 5,500 Student-Participants served annually.
Our client (schools and organizations) retention rate runs at approximately 95% or better with time-slot availability accounting for most of the difference. The extended campus, diversity of programs and classes, lessons learned and quality and professionalism of staff are often cited as reasons for this wonderful rate of returning participants. While students most often visit only once, their recommendations to their lower grade classmates generate excitement when it’s their turn to attend EHOS.
Sampling of Participating Groups & Schools Served:
EHOS serves Friends Schools, Montessori Schools, Parochial, and non-Parochial schools as well as all other types of Private Schools. Additionally, EHOS serves an array of Public Schools. We work with all age groups, from pre-school thru elementary to middle school thru college. We work with students and groups from our local rural communities as well as clients from as far away as Central Pennsylvania and central Virginia. Many of these schools are from the Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia metropolitan areas as well as the Eastern Shore of Maryland. In addition, we also serve a wide range of youth organizations and corporate groups.
Diversity of Schools and Students Served:
We serve students from public and private schools (urban, suburban and rural environments) primarily ranging from early elementary to middle school level, high school students, youth organizations, colleges and universities, corporate employees and other adult organizations.
Percentage of Scholarship Students (students who receive tuition assistance):
While many of our student-participant guests enjoy their Echo Hill experience with their full-tuition paid by traditional sources (i.e. school, parents), many others are able to come to Echo Hill only through grant subsidies or through special fund-raisers conducted on their behalf. Approximately 15% to 20% of our student-participants receive financial assistance to make their visit to EHOS possible.
“It has been our constant experience that students return with a self-confidence as a class and as individuals which we could not provide with a year’s worth of schooling…The staff is well-qualified, many with advanced degrees in environmental studies. For the money, there is no better place around.” Friends Central School, Philadelphia
“Many students learned how to take full responsibility for themselves and their belongings. They improved their social interaction skills. Cohesiveness was enhanced. Staff professionalism was excellent.” Brookland Elementary, Washington DC
“Children return from the experience with a heightened sense of awareness of environmental issues which is then reinforced and expanded upon in our own curriculum throughout the school year.” Abington Friends School, PA
For More See Testimonials Page
Quality of Teachers and Their Training Process:
EHOS senior teachers have solid backgrounds in academics, education, environmental science and individual and group development while continually engaging in career and professional development activities. They regularly impart their knowledge and technique through comprehensive training and mentoring of our seasonal teaching staff. EHOS teachers are thoroughly screened to assure academic credentials, capabilities and personalities blend to offer the best experience for student-participants. Additionally, we are pleased to note that many of our teachers are affiliated with some of the best undergraduate and graduate schools in the country.
For more see Who We Are
Doing a Lot with Little:
By design, we cross train teachers to perform many tasks well without compromising quality, including adherence to and promotion of strict safety standards. By doing so, we are able to develop the capabilities of our staff quickly and interchange assignments easily while maintaining relatively low overhead costs, thus enabling us to maintain stable and competitive tuition levels.
How Echo Hill Distinguishes itself from other Outdoor Education programs
- By providing a tremendous environmental and ecological diversity in our extended campus resulting in a wide variety of classes
- Maintaining a residential teacher program where they are able to fully immerse themselves into the student-participant experience 24 hours a day
- Embracing regular sharing of thoughts and ideas ensuring participation of all students in classes and challenges
- Maintaining small class sizes that ensure individual attention
- Having a rural and pristine location that is close to major metropolitan centers
- Relationship with the Extended Community
- Fosters awareness and respect for individual differences
- Overcoming fears and aids in the development of problem solving and communications skills
- Individual growth in self-confidence and creativity
Our extended campus and activities include visits to towns, merchants, farms, ponds and streams, private lands and landowners along local rivers of the upper bay. We enjoy a long-standing and positive relationship with many such neighbors and friends who understand and value the nature of our business as they share their venues and experiences with our students.
Years of positive feedback from school administrators, teachers, parents and students can be summed up thusly:
- Improved academic, expression, and social skills
- Improved relationships with teachers and peers
- Greater knowledge and appreciation for the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, the ecology of farms, ponds, streams, swamps, forests
- Greater knowledge and appreciation of human history, occupations, and the built environment
- Overcoming fears and aids in the development problem solving and communication skills
- Supports Maryland Department of Education curriculum requirements for science, ecology, social studies, mathematics and physical education
- Lasting positive memories of interacting with and learning about nature
- Awareness of environmental issues