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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. 



“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 Tamara Litterick - 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 Program

Beyond the ClassroomEach year, students in grades 5-12 at The Pine School participate in off-campus education trips. These adventures expand our students’ worldviews and create lasting memories. The Pine School has for many years realized the importance of off campus educational opportunities.  In grades 5-12 it is a requirement, and all students are expected to participate in the experience offered.  All high school trips include Community Service which PINE counts as 15 hours towards the graduation requirement for our 9-12 grade students.

Our Off Campus Education Opportunities serve many important roles in our curriculum here at The Pine School. It allows students the real world experience to learn about different areas of our country. Students also learn a tremendous amount about themselves as they travel, learn and give back to the communities they visit through service projects. As the classes travel together, they grow and form lifelong relationships, friendships and memories,  all of which are a critical component 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 adventures and wait in anticipation to see the experiences these young adults bring home.

Beyond the ClassroomThe 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 are handled through the Grand Classroom website.



This year the 5th grade will travel to Nature's Academy on Florida's West coast.  While exploring Myakka River State Park and Fort De Soto, students will learn about diverse ecosystems that comprise Florida through hands-on, experiential education.  Through this mission students are given the opportunity to bond as a class and continue to learn more about themselves. Students will participate in nature and canopy walks, learn about the water cycle, kayak the mangroves, participate in shark dissection, study seagrass, and participate in a coastal clean up.


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 teambuilding 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 life long memories and close relationships with their classmates.


Since 1991, it has been a Pine School Tradition for the 8 grade to spend 3 nights and 4 days at Camp Greenville.  Students explore the 1600-acre classroom in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The group participates in experiences to enhance self-esteem, build leadership skills, and develop self and group awareness while finding out about the great outdoors.  Camp Greenville has been providing these experiences that will lead to lifelong awareness and understanding for our youth since 1912.


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 venture out to learn more about the history of our country and explore college choices for their future. While traveling to Washington DC, students visit Arlington National Cemetery, Kennedy Gravesites, the National Cathedral, Holocaust Museum and the Changing of the Guard. During their travels students get a chance to visit a wide variety of Colleges and Universities, including American University, Loyola University, John Hopkins University, George Mason University University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary.  Although it is a busy week for the sophomores, they find time to do a service project as well.

11th GRADE

11th grade students are sure to return from their NYC Outward Bound Adventure with a whole new perspective.  New York City’s rich human and physical resources provide opportunity 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. Our juniors participate in community service and adventure activities while in New York.

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.