SSD Mountain Ecology


Summit School District
3rd Grade Mountain Ecology

Thanks to the generous support of Vail EpicPromise, the students of Summit County Schools will be attending a program hosted by Keystone Science School (KSS) to study local mountain ecology. This program is designed to supplement the elementary school curriculum by taking students into their backyards to learn about our unique forest dynamics, climate change, and how to maintain forest health.

Guardians – Get ready for your program

Please complete the electronic Medical/Liability Form at least two weeks prior to your school’s field day. These forms are necessary for your child to participate in the field day, and students who do not complete the Medical/Liability form will not be permitted to participate in programming.

School Field Day DateForm
Frisco Elementary4/05/2024FRE MEDICAL/LIABILITY FORM
Silverthorne Elementary1/30/2024SVE MEDICAL/LIABILITY FORM
Breckenridge Elementary4/04/2024BRE MEDICAL/LIABILITY FORM
Upper Blue Elementary3/14/2024UBE MEDICAL/LIABILITY FORM
Dillon Valley ElementaryTBD
Summit Cove Elementary3/08/2024SCE MEDICAL/LIABILITY FORM

Dinner Table Questions

Students will be learn about their backyard. After the program be sure to engage them in conversation abut their experience. Here are some questions you can use to engage your student about their experience.

  • How has climate change affected Summit County?
  • What does the word disturbance mean? Succession?
  • What are some examples of disturbances that have happened in Summit County in the past 10 years?
  • How do plants and animals react to disturbances?
  • Did you find any evidence of wildlife (scat, tracks) or see any wildlife?
3 girls take notes during a class field trip to Keystone Science School.
An Outdoor Education student writes in his notebook during trail observations.

Packing List

Please refer to the Field Day Packing List to prepare your child for their day out in the field with us. If you do not have the listed equipment for this field day, KSS will provide a select amount of gear to equip students who are missing certain items (snow pants, boots, jackets, etc.)– but please do send these items with your child if you have them.

Funding Support
Thank you to our 2024 Summit School District Sponsors

We are so thankful for the support of our sponsors in our effort to teach our local students about their backyard.

Copper Environmental Foundation
FirstBank logo
Climax Molybdenum logo
Alpine Bank
Axis Sports Medicine logo

We are so thankful for our Summit School District Partnership sponsors! If you are interested in supporting this program please contact our Development Director, Owen Dodd at or call (970)513-5833.

In the words of teachers:

“True outdoor ed, with lifelong skills. Kids grow as leaders, communicators, group members and problem solvers. It’s an experience that many will never have. Also builds confidence in our shyer students.”

– Charles World Hay School