During the district’s last Virtual Board Meeting, guardians voiced concerns over newly hired Dr. Sienna Waters, Nature Deficit Specialist and Counselor serving the Corvallis School District. The position was introduced last quarter, due to Kaiser reports of a 95% nature deficit rate and 86% obesity rate in primary grade populations.
Guardians are worried over Waters’ administered rock and tree climbing endurance exams and interactions with “infectious species,” not to mention the rumored free-roaming Old World hippie woodland colonies.
Waters retorted with data evidencing bi-species interactions as strengthening immune systems. She reminded guardians of quarterly scans and booster options provided by Nurse Bots. As for fear of falls, Waters argues these endurance exams will improve coordination skills and respiratory functioning while falls are unlikely, since students with opti-chips can assess each intended maneuver. Those without chips will be harnessed and provided a certified climber, plus catcher nets at each base.
Other concerns are over Waters’s Mammal Morph program, which assesses and assigns kindergarten children animals tailored to personality strengths. K-students are expected to study assigned species with gradual depth, at first level studying and simulating their sounds and movements. Some guardians report animalistic tendencies emerging and disrupting group homes.
Corvallis guardian Tim Riders facetweeted, “Since when was zoo and school synonymous? This chaos is intolerable.”
Undeterred by local criticism, Waters holds to the success of past implementation of such programs. Waters is also busy coordinating with each Ed-pod to take lessons outside bi-weekly, whether it be to the schoolyard greenhouse or garden or the old outdoors. Also intact are co-therapeutic days of the week, from Debug Monday, when students are locally stationed with litter-pickers, to Mindful Friday, when all ages meditate on a week’s learning in Woodland Sanctuary, a renovated gymnasium casting surround-screened nature projections.
A sensory nirvana of sorts, Waters’ office is adorned in fruits and flowers. The roof is one giant skylight and various tanks are filled with exotic fish and bugs and rodents. Her walls are muraled with old-growth forestry paintings.
Pointing to the bridge painted behind her, Waters said, “All these safe and cozy simulations all around us, and still we feel something missing. A certain lifelessness. I hope to help my students cross over and unearth the curiosity of our old world.”
Despite a definite presence of guardian fear, Waters is determined and confident in her holistic increments and excited to root our county’s young minds back in solid ground.
By Stevie Beiswanger