GFS is located on the campus of Foothill Elementary at 711 Ribera Dr. Our space consists of three indoor classrooms, several outdoor learning areas, vegetable and native plant gardens, and a courtyard. We are at the back of Foothill, close to the large field and Cathedral Oaks.
Sharing with Foothill School
GFS teachers and staff enjoy a positive relationship with Foothill School. As a program within the Goleta Union School District, GFS students share access to all of Foothill School’s programs and facilities. These include cafeteria breakfast and lunches, playground supervision before school and during recess, school nurse services, speech and language screening, psychologist, special education resources, and an after-care program till 5:30. We are also share Foothill's principal and office staff, who provide integral support to our program.
Over the past 3 years, upper grade students, teachers, and parents have collaborated to develop more extensive outdoor classroom spaces. This includes a large outdoor whiteboard with student desks, native plant gardens, and a small outdoor reading amphitheater. Plans are underway this year to build a low stage for the reading amphitheater, an outdoor kitchen and an outdoor science area. GFS students have been very involved in the design process and have undertaken a great deal of learning about the native plants involved.
GFS has a large garden space with many planter boxes for vegetables and flowers. Our students meet weekly with a garden educator, and our classroom teachers also often lead the students in garden activities. Each fall, the whole community comes together on a Saturday to renovate and revitalize the garden for the school year. Students usually have access to the garden during recess times and also utilize the space for reading, writing, and other academic activities during class time.
Outside of the garden, GFS students share the large blacktop, field, and playground equipment of Foothill School. Students have access to both a small and large play structure, playground balls, jump ropes, and handball & basketball courts. GFS does not utilize the Foothill kindergarten playground, as our kindergarteners and first graders operate as a single classroom community, along with the rest of their friends at GFS. Access to the full playground space can be intimidating for kindergarteners (and their parents!) in the beginning, but our teachers and big buddies support them in this transition and they quickly find their bearings. It is a common sight at GFS to see students of all ages, K-6, engaging in imaginative play together during recess.
For the past ten years, GFS has engaged in a native plant restoration project at Calle Barquero Open Space, a park and nature area within walking distance from GFS. Many times throughout the year, the students spend a school day working the site in their multiage groups. They walk there with their big or little buddies and participate in workshops focused on native plant care and propagation. They also engage in nature art, science, and play. Workshops on a recent restoration site visit included seed collection and identification, insect study and journaling, and castle building in the creekbed.