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Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the ClassroomLearning may begin in our classrooms, but it does not remain there. The flexibility of an independent school education means the freedom to explore lessons in exciting and new ways. From exploring the topography of our beautiful 142-acre campus to a history trip visiting the Japanese gardens at the Morikami Museum, our students benefit from hands-on experiences that bring their learning to life. 

Empowering our students to better the world is at the foundation of all the trips abroad that make up our powerful global travel opportunities. From service in South Africa and cultural studies in Peru to European history in Austria and language immersion in France, our commitment to cultivating global citizens is at the heart of The Pine School experience.


“Though our Off-Campus Education trips cover a wide range of destinations and activities, in the end, these unique opportunities are about celebrating the flexibility that independent schools have to explore experiences outside of the classroom, while also forging positive school-community connections between our students and faculty,” summed up Patty Woodbury - Off-Campus Trips Coordinator.

The Pine School believes in this approach so strongly that we dedicate a full week in the spring to Off-Campus Education - with Grades 5-12 all exploring unique destinations together.

Overview of the Off-Campus Education Week Program

Beyond the ClassroomEach year, students in Grades 5-12 at The Pine School participate in Off-Campus Education Week trips. These adventures expand our students’ worldviews and create lasting memories.

From environmental explorations of the FL Keys, a college tour through Florida, to taking on the challenging activities in the U.S. Whitewater Center - our trips are thoughtfully prepared to provide our students with experiences that are as meaningful as they are fun!

All High School trips also include Community Service opportunities to give back to the communities they visit - counting those hours toward graduation requirements.

Our Off-Campus Education Week opportunities serve many important roles in our curriculum here at The Pine School. In addition to providing students with real-world experience to learn about different areas of our country, students bond as as class and travel together - forming lifelong relationships, friendships and memories. All of these are critical components to the learning and growing process of our young adults that simply cannot be replicated in the classroom. We always look forward to successful Off-Campus Education Week adventures and wait in anticipation to see the experiences these young adults bring home.

The Pine School has entered into a relationship with Grand Classroom, who organize several of our off-campus trips. Grand Classroom is a student travel organization that partners with schools to customize trips and provide a connection to and appreciation of the outdoors. The registration process for those trips is handled through the Grand Classroom website.



5th Grade Students will visit Nature's Classroom Institute on the Gulf of Mexico in Palm Harbor, FL.  Nature's Classroom Institute is the  "Nation's Premier Environmental Education Program''.  Students will be involved in a highly engaging 2-day experience that has direct positive impacts on classroom community and academic performance.  They will take ordinary moments and transform them into engaging, educational, reflective experiences. Nestled in its own pocket of serene wildlife, the facility offers a true Marine environment waiting to be explored.  Wilderness trails, salt-water beaches, and Man-Groves provide a comprehensive learning experience for all.


6th Grade students will visit Circle F Dude Ranch, located in central Florida.  The Ranch is located on 500 acres of lush live oaks, rolling hills and private 43 acre spring-fed lake which makes it the perfect place for an outdoor classroom. Environmental activities are designed to expose our students to the Central Florida Ecosystems in a fun and hands-on fashion. Through exploration, games and adventures tailored to the group, they will experience freshwater ecology, scrub forest and sand hill ecosystems. Activities also focus on connecting with our natural environment and living within these unique ecosystems. Students will participate in team-building activities using simple props, low ropes elements and lots of imagination to develop and practice communication, leadership, trust, safety, cooperation, decision-making and problem-solving skills.


7th Grade students will travel to Florida's West Coast, for a Florida Spring and Busch Gardens Adventure. As a class, students will kayak the Wekiva River and visit the Withlacoochee State Park. Whether it be while swimming with the manatees, exploring caves or spending the night in the Tiger Lodge at Busch Gardens, the students will be forming lifelong memories and close relationships with their classmates.


8th Grade students will travel to Black Mountain in North Carolina.  At the YMCA camp of Blue Ridge, students will experience team building, high and low ropes course, outdoor education, adventure programs, and even square dance.  Throughout this 4 day trip, the students will form lifelong memories and close relationships with their classmates.


9th Grade students take a fun and educational trip to the Florida Everglades and Keys. The 4 night, 5 day trip includes visits to the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center, feeding Tarpon at Robbie’s dock, a Conch Train Tour and snorkeling at John Pennekamp. Students enjoy a hiking and kayak adventure before departing to Everglades National Park. While there students embark on a Shark Valley Tram Tour, Airboat Ride, Gator and Wildlife Show in addition to touring an organic herb garden. While on their adventure, the 9th grade students also participate in a service project, always the primary focus of our Off-Campus Education experiences.

10th GRADE

10th Grade students will travel from Florida up to North Carolina visiting colleges and other exciting venues along the way.  Students will have opportunities to visit public and private colleges with their friends and experience guided tours from each college.  They will also have an opportunity to enjoy a meal in the dining hall of a few of the colleges they visit.  While on their adventure, the 10th grade students also participate in a service project, always the primary focus of our Off Campus Education experiences.

11th GRADE

This year the 11th graders will return to New York City.  They will be immersed in NYC's rich human and physical resources to provide opportunities for learning and adventure. Students travel NYC streets and neighborhoods to discover firsthand the forces that shape the city. They engage with people, food, places and activities that are very different from their own experience. Students participate in community service and adventure activities.

12th GRADE

Our seniors will travel to the US National Whitewater Center located in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Seniors will have this last opportunity to bond as a class and make lifelong memories while participating in over 27 land and sea activities at the center. The group will also enjoy a dinner cruise and take part in a local service project.