Schoolyard Improvements

Outdoor Learning

Are you interested in making changes to your schoolyard that support outdoor learning?

In October, 2022 SFUSD’s Board of Education reallocated $14 million in  Facilities Improvement Bond Funds to support outdoor learning at SFUSD school sites.  Bond funds can only be used for capital projects that focus on physical improvements that expand access to the outdoors. Outdoor learning projects can include:

Outdoor Learning Application

More information can be found in the Outdoor Learning Application.  Principals (or Assistant Principals) that would like to increase outdoor learning opportunities on their schoolyards should complete this form by June 7th, 2022.

Green Schoolyards

Information about the former Green Schoolyard Program

A small, but important, part of the 2003, 2006, 2011, and 2016 Bonds is the Green Schoolyard Program which provided funding primarily to elementary schools to expand or create a “green schoolyard” at their school site.  The definition of a green schoolyard will vary, depending on the needs and desires of each school community.

“School community” participation, which includes parents, students, teachers and administrators, is critical to the success of the project.  During the design process, a school community will not only view presentations that can help them think “outside the box” when it comes to schoolyard greening, they will also participate in workshops designed to gather their insight and input regarding the design of their green schoolyard in order to provide the school community with a usable "green" space that meets their goals and objectives.

What is a Green Schoolyard?

Green schoolyards can include many different types of “green” elements. In many instances “greening” means removing some asphalt from a schoolyard and replacing it with small social seating, trees, planting areas, or gardens.  Other schools may wish to create outdoor classrooms including tables, sinks and large classroom-size seating areas where teachers can demonstrate and explain natural, environmental processes as part of a science curriculum or hold language, art or cooking classes.  In other cases, the school community may identify the need for gathering spaces for children who are looking for alternatives to traditional play activities. These elements represent a small sample of what is possible in a green schoolyard.

Sustaining Green Schoolyards

Sustaining bond-funded green schoolyards is a priority for the Green Schoolyard Program. Therefore, ongoing maintenance is an important consideration as a school community develops plans for its green schoolyard. At many schools, parents and students contribute their time and labor toward building and maintaining certain elements of their green schoolyard. In addition, fundraising to supplement green schoolyard bond funds is encouraged.

This page was last updated on May 19, 2022